Money, money, money! There’s a whole lot of talk about money these days. With new media burning on the tongues of the in-the-knows, would-be entrepreneurs are scratching their heads on how to extract green bills from the honey of the rapid advancement of technology. With [post-] postmodern day society on the threshold of the digital age, and analysts and critics discussing the forecast of a paradigm shift just ahead, which Fast Company Editor Daniel H. Pink is referring to as the new “Conceptual Age,” every one seems to be clamoring to ignite the engine of the new frontier in conceptualizing a business model designed for the future. This is what’s probably keeping the folks over at company giants such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon up at night, as they’ve spent obscene amounts lobbying and campaigning against Net Neutrality. This, my friends, is their lottery ticket into the unknown, and as such, profit over public interest marches on to the future, unless we take action.
So, what on earth am I talking about? And why does this concern you? Actually, in all honestly, I’m new to this hot debate as well. As I’ve been too preoccupied on school projects and surfing the web for my own personal interests, I’ve completely neglected myself from pressing matters that could ultimately effect how I feed my virtual needs. This, of course, perked my ears as should those King Kongs get their way, they’ll be getting their bananas, and our voices and choices would be stifled yet again.
The jist on Network Neutrality and why it should behoove web surfers in becoming more aware of the subject matter is that right now, our freedom of online choice is in jeopardy. Even though the term Net Neutrality has just been recently coined, the principle has been around since the conception of the Internet with the underlining tenet of maximum user control and choice. The non-discrimination provisions, similar to Net Neutrality, has governed our nation’s communications networks since the 1930s, and it’s what the inventors of the World Wide Web, Vinton Cerf and Sir Tim Berners-Lee had envisioned and intended for Net Neutrality to be about - equal access to all content, and sites online. This means you can go here and there and everywhere without running into signs that say ‘No. Don’t Touch.’ Do you remember when you were a wee-of-a-toddler, and you kept getting slapped on the hand for disobeying your parents’ demands on keeping your paws off the china or the television set? It wasn’t so fun for your young and curious mind was it? It’s pretty much the same thing.
As how censorship and capitalism goes, the giants of the telecom industry foresee the future of the Internet with dollar signs and control. Meaning, they want to puppeteer your consumption choices by determining which sites you can access faster, and which you will access slower, if even at all. They want to discriminate against your wishes based on their own search engines or their own business interest, and block out competitors.
It would also be wise to be aware of what AT&T and others of similar interest alike have been up to in misinforming the public of their plans and doings. They’ve funded a behemoth misinformation campaign, which is, needless to say, full of misleading or deceptive advertising. This includes “Astroturf” groups like Hands off the Internet and NetCompetition.org.
So, by all means, if you want to preserve your voice and your choices, please take a moment of your time and read up on this debate and take action. As without Net Neutrality, our consumption will no longer be according to how and what we consume but rather curtailed to what these titans dictate.
For a brief overview, take a look at this:
Then follow one of the links below for more info:
Straight Talk on Net Neutrality
Free Press Fact vs. Fiction
PBS: Net Neutrality