Google has decided to throw down hard for Net Neutrality. Good for them, and good for us that someone is looking out for the interests of the Internet as a whole.
As you might imagine, the concept of Net Neutrality is rather important to people like myself, who rely on the capricious whims of the TeleCom giants to ensure that you, my lovely internet friends, can get your daily dose of Transbuddha. There is no indication that the upcoming Senate TeleCom bill will provide protections to keep the industry from creating a tiered system wherein favored (read as ‘paid for’ content is delivered with priority over the content from say, me. Groups like AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner have publicly stated that they have no intention to do so, but don’t like to point out that the whole hubbub over this is due to internal memos from the companies indicating that they were very much looking at the possibility as a way to (in their words) recoup the cost of laying all that high speed pipe out there.
Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that the US is now ranked 13th (from 4th) globally in high-speed Internet usage, or that our high speed access is considered the slowest and least reliable in the world. Instead, we’ll look at the one argument that gets thrown up to defend such a practice: They paid for the lines, they can do what they want with them. In reality, you and I pay for those lines. Our unfettered access to content is paid for both by cable, dial-up, and DSL bills, as well as by content providers who pay for their servers and bandwidth. At least, that’s what my monthly bills tell me. The idea that our lackluster Internet access could be fettered even further by such a plain and simple money grab is monstrously wrong by any standard.
So while I am normally loathe to use this site as a soapbox, I can think of no other issue so capable of driving me insane with the pure injustice of it all as the death of network neutrality. As such, I can only urge you to take 5 minutes of your day and fire off a missive to your Senator to voice your opposition to yet another bloated, gift-wrapped money box for the Telecommunications industry which will do nothing more than erode and stymie our access to the world’s most important communication tool, as well as further denigrate our ability to globally compete in this technology.