June 11th, 2006

ichigo calendar

Save the Internet / Net Neutrality

jediboadicea's post on the subject pretty much explains everything you need to know about the issue, along with links to relevant websites.

If you think you can safely ignore this because you don't live in the United States, you're probably right, for now. But if you're in Canada? Some of our telcos have a very recent history of trying to curtail access to specific content, and if you think that our government won't try to follow in the footsteps of the USA, you're probably wrong. If net neutrality is deemed non-enforceable in the US, this will set a precedent for other governments. You can bet your silly hat collection that telcos in many developed countries will want the same thing for themselves, too. Net neutrality is law in the UK, South Korea and Japan, but tiered service plans are not banned in these countries.

I predict that if tiered access is implemented, there will be an option the consumers can take -- of paying an extra few bucks a month to ensure equal access for themselves alone. But why would you want to pay extra fees for a service that you are already getting now? What makes this issue difficult is not that someone is trying to overturn an existing, constitutionally sound law. Telcos are trying to prevent network neutrality from becoming law because they want the ability to introduce tiered access. Will they do it? Well, look at it this way: if you had the opportunity to make upwards of 40% more money off a service you already offer, without the need to spend much more than you already do, would you not take it? This is business. If there are no regulations in place, of course they'll do it.

Again, if you're not in the US, there's not much you can do but read the links. In Canada, there are no current legislative movements on the issue but it is on the table, waiting to see how the US side of things plays out. Considering that a House vote has just defeated the relevant amendment and the issue is going before the Senate, you can expect telco mutterings to start up on this side of the border, too. If you're not in the US or Canada and any of this matters to you (that is, if you care about having equal access to any damn online content you please), I can only advise trying to keep up with local news regarding the issue, because your government could be next in line to refuse legal weight to net neutrality.
  • place: wikipedia
  • mood: disappointed disappointed
  • now playing: Sky - Superhero