20 February 2009

Guarantee Net Neutrality NOW!

Holy Polis the internet is ours! But will we keep it?

If history is a constant struggle consolidating power against efforts to empower broadly, today we are amidst a battle of recently unrivaled import. When you showed up to the internet you were a consumer. You clicked your links, checked the weather and sent email. The computer was an appliance, you shortcutted your tv and your mailman to get what you wanted when you wanted it. Congratulations, that's about as impressive as ditching the Sears Roebuck catalog for a shopping mall.

But then you joined the we. Technological babysteps towards user driven content spawned an emotional and personal stake in the internet. If you want to be cooler than a twelve year old with a skateboard he drives with his finger tips you'd call this Web2.0 (Full disclosure, delvv would like to be that cool, thats why we've affixed a mirror effect to our logo and added a permanent beta). Alas, I digress, I doubt a reader of this blog needs much convincing that the new internet transformed pop culture, won a presidency, earned a person of the year Time cover, and confused most people over thirty-five.

Traditional interests would rather not roll over and die, however. Proponents of a so-called tiered internet would like us to pay for the internet like we pay for tv. Give them the big stuff cheap, the ads will pay for it anyway. But anyone who wants to go deeper will have to pay for it. You see, the problem is that we piggybacked the technology for the internet on the backs of cable and phone companies. These company's started the game with entrenched interests, and if you don't think they're throwing their weight around to protect them, you're in for a rude awakening.

Here we lead into what ticked me off today. This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that America's cable companies want to restrict viewing of those online TV shows to tv subscribing customers. I'm sorry what?! You're a utility, shut your mouth and sit down. If I pay for the internet, I get what's on it. End of discussion. It's bad enough that Comcast charges a "subscriber fee" for non-cable tv customers which is the same price as basic cable. We have to end these games now, or we'll lose the internet. Tiered internet could kill YouTube, it could kill Blogs and . . . you know what, we had tiered internet once.

Remember AOL, with its little channels trying to get you to do everything it could to use its stupid "Keywords" rather than using the world wide web. Thats tiered internet. We could be back in that nightmare in a blink of an eye. You would never let your car decide where you were driving. You would never let your grocery store decide what you're having for dinner. Internet Service Provider is not Internet Service Decider. ISPs are public utilities and should be treated as such. Thank you, that is all.


Gunnery Sergeant Chimichanga said...

Hear, hear!

"Internet Service Provider is not Internet Service Decider"

NoU-turnFromLeftLane said...

CHEERS and PROS'T! So true to all!