Friday, 8 April 2011

Net neutrality....why you should care.

“WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved a measure on Friday that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating how Internet service providers manage their broadband networks, potentially overturning a central initiative of the F.C.C. chairman, Julius Genachowski.” ... this from the New York Times.. more here.

It’s one of these seemingly less important things that go through the legislative process while people are worrying about other stuff and fail to notice.

What does it mean? Well, instead of your internet service being inferior to a rich persons service, currently you both receive the same service ....... instead of Google being faster to load than this blog, we both load at the same speed ........... it’s called Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is about to become a thing of the past.

In the future you will have to pay more for the service you now receive, and, the more you pay, the better your service..... (think of it like small shops being squeezed out of existence and huge Malls taking over the town....familiar?)

Now, there are some that think that a fair and even distribution of services is a Communist agenda, but I think of it more like the old Public Libraries, i.e. information is available to rich and poor as a basic human right. No one living in a poor nation or situation should be unable to access information, teaching and knowledge.

We may not be able to stop poverty. Poverty is a situation caused by so many factors beyond one person or groups ability to rectify. Education though, specifically the Internet, did promise to be a major factor in lifting people who wanted to learn out of ignorance, independent of their background. I know the Internet isn’t the only way to gain knowledge, but it could have been a very useful tool.

If America decides to go ahead with this idea of different classes of provision dependent on payment it will find that not all (European) nations will go along with this, alternative systems will arise and we will have an US and Them situation.

I feel that in the long term this will not be to America’s advantage.

This expensive tiering of American services will simply make the rest of the world look elsewhere for suitable provision, while short-term it will seem to be fine as there are enough US customers to provide a very healthy income for the companies concerned.

Although the closing of European offices by LL has, seemingly, had little financial effect on SL, it still leaves a taste of alienation in my mouth.....

[Europeans see the average US citizen as being very insular regarding the rest of the world, which is natural considering the size of the continent. ...(I do not regard the average European to be much better, but many European countries share borders with other countries..... internationalism is built into our culture).]

.... and I expect that this latest move will do the same on a larger scale for a larger internet population.... why not use an Iceland-based server/search engine/cloud/auction site (for example).... we are a very mobile user base.

I think that anyone (in this case the House of Representatives) that believes that they can ignore international opinion is gonna be riding for a fall.... a slow fall, admittedly.

.... even if both the UK and US share Greed as the only real Foreign Policy....

Greed is not the only business strategy

[another Greed post]



  1. Such a good post! I will put it up as my surf recommendation of the day at my blog!

  2. Thx Apmel. Yes, we will see a real change over the years if this goes ahead.