I’m gonna put off food posts for the time being as I want to touch upon something that most certainly not food related.
Big service providers -or the Pipes as called in the Telecom jargon- such as AT&T, Comcast, and others, are lobbying Congress and the Senate to allow them to create two tiers internet, essentially a fast and slow one. The fast one will be used by companies who are willing to pay for the Ã¼ber speed, while the rest of the little guys can move at a snail’s pace on the slow lane.
This is not the same as the varying types of Internet access that people have. Currently, consumers can pay at their end for different connection types at varying speed, DSL, dial-up, etc. Once they are connected to the internet, reaching a little blogs or the big Food magazine sites will be just as easy. But this new law, when passed, will change things completely. It will allow the Pipes to dole out different sites at different speed. It will even allow these Pipes to exclude sites or blogs that they don’t like out of their services altogether.
How does this threat to Internet freedom affect you?
- Google usersâ€”Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.
- Innovators with the “next big idea”â€” Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the “slow lane” with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
- Ipod listenersâ€” A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.
- Political groupsâ€” Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay “protection money” for their websites and online features to work correctly.
- Nonprofitsâ€” A charity’s website could open at snail-speed, and online contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can’t pay dominant Internet providers for access to “the fast lane” of Internet service.
- Online purchasersâ€” Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower pricesâ€”distorting your choice as a consumer.
- Small businesses and tele-commutersâ€”When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won’t be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your office.
- Parents and retireesâ€”Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning vacations, etc.
- Bloggersâ€” Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clipsâ€”silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.
You can read more about Network Neutrality at Wikipedia, or the Free Press.
If you want to add your voice against those who would like to remove the open-access standards that the Internet has evolved into, head to Save The Internet.
Many thanks to Pim and Save the Internet for the content above.