Internet companies join the net neutrality debate

Six Apart has announced a new site called "It’s Our Net" which has been established by a coalition of Internet companies to raise awareness of the net neutrality debate in the United States:

Last year, the phone and cable companies convinced the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts to change how the Internet is operated, making a few unelected officials responsible for a decision with billions of dollars of impact for millions of Internet consumers.
These decisions reversed the safeguards that made the Internet so great the freedom known as Net Neutrality,? which allows you to go anywhere you want to go on the Internet. The Internet was designed by American universities, and made available to the general public over an open platform that required phone and cable companies to treat all traffic in a neutral manner.
Now, however, the phone and cable companies boast that they will create premium lanes on the Internet for higher fees, and give preferential access to their own services and those VIPs who can afford to pay to play.? They have already blocked certain services and have the power to block or degrade any service that competes with them …

The coalition is pretty big and includes major players such as Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Skype, eBay and Intel. The Net Neutrality debate has been raging for a little while now and the main problem seems to be that the American public who are really in a position to influence the debate through political pressure on Congress are largely either uninformed or misinformed. Another problem as I see it is that there are members of Congress who simply don’t understand the issues and believe whatever the advocates of a tiered Internet tell them. One of the more famous lies is how content providers like Google have a "free ride" on the telcos’ networks. As many commentators have pointed out time and time again, both content providers and end users pay for their Internet usage in one form or another and there are certainly no "free rides".

If the telcos and their supporters get their way we will see the end to the Internet as we know it and the emergence of a restrictive and discriminatory Internet that will ultimately harm everyone except the telcos who will only get richer. Support this cause!






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