Net Neutrality – Modern Communication’s Last Stand!

First and foremost, I apologize for keeping some of you waiting out there. I know I had promised a good article about Net Neutrality and I really want to put a slightly different perspective on things but, alas, it is easy to get derailed when you have lots of projects on the table. That being said, I do have tons of stuff lined up and hope to get some quality content in the next three weeks or so, but first things first… Let’s talk about Internet Neutrality and how the Internet may die soon (if we do not preserve neutrality)!

The mouse is dead. The Net is next?

With just three days left on the supposed final countdown, I am surprised that many people do not have net neutrality on their radar yet they ALL will be affected by the legislation that is in the works. I have talked to many friends about this topic in the past three weeks (basically, during my little blogging sabbatical) and everyone had all the wrong ideas about Net Neutrality. Before I get into the complicated explanations, let’s get one thing straight: net neutrality is a good thing for the common folks, the so-called “little people”, and getting rid of it only benefits the large corporations and wealthy. There’s simply no nicer way of explaining it but I will try to stick to the facts and put emotion aside (at least a bit).

We all know what the Internet is but many of us do not realize the vast scope of things. The Net is a lot more than just the Web. It’s news groups, file transfers, terminal services, online gaming, backoffices, and so much more to many different people. Our government has plans to allow private interest to supercede fairness and justice by giving business control over how we experience the Internet, thus changing the Internet as we know it forever. These companies are selling it by saying it will allow expansion of the Internet to continue at a faster rate, thus bringing broadband into areas where it is currently not available. They also tell you that those that pay a “little more” can experience faster speeds and better content. As expected with the typical corporate sales talk, they’re not telling you the full story.

2B Net Neutral or NOT 2B Net Neutral

The beauty of the Internet as a communication medium is that it is probably the one place where people can find everything they want in the least adulterated form. Web sites, blogs and forums especially, are now considered more reliable and less biased news sources than more traditional sources. Why is this? Well, there’s the notion of “every bit being create equal” – everyone experiences the same Internet, no spin, no tailoring, no smoke screens and mirrors. Commercial interest may drive some of the Internet but, as a whole, the Internet is not owned by any group. The Internet, as we know it now, is a true public resource.

Imagine, just for a second, if the Internet was given under the control of private groups, large corporations, the small-interest-serving folks… Can you imagine if a company like Verizon not only control PSTN (traditional telephone) systems but also a major portion of the Internet? Sure, the government steps in and splits up control so that the monopolies are no longer powerful but, in the end, it’s a few suits calling the shots for millions of people. Privatization has all but killed the telecommunications industry, which is exactly why the Net has allowed things like VOIP and hybrid cellular-wireless technology to come to prominence.

Net Neutrality and the Internet go hand-in-hand. The fact that the Internet represents the collective neutral grounds of the world is exactly why it continues to grow rapidly, both in usage and system expansion. To me, this realization makes the matter that of common sense but, as we have discovered time and again, common sense is dead. As I stated in the beginning of my little informative rant here, I was greatly shocked and disappointed to see how many of my own close friends had the wrong information.

Don’t be gullible. The large corporations always dress up things to sound better than what they really are. It’s like the gym representative that tells you you can cancel your membership at any time should you ever not be satisfied. Have you ever spoken to anyone that tried to cancel? They make it near impossible for you to do so and, even after you cancel, they may send you bills. These businesses just want your hard earned money.

The number one myth I am hearing from those that are against Net Neutrality is that people will get better service if service providers are given the power to regulate bandwidth usage. Hogwash. Companies do this now and, even when they do not offer premium packages, they do administrative bandwidth regulation, capping connections and creating false limitations and bottlenecks. There’s nothing keeping service providers from adjusting their price models right now but, maybe, just maybe, they realize that they’ll lose customers to the competition if they get a little too greedy…

Actually, Net Neutrality has very little to do with communism...

So the notion has become that people supporting Net Neutrality are communists. I won’t get into political parties and how they really come into play here but this notion is ridiculous. Apparently, everything bad is communist or unpatriotic. This is the type of mentality that would have people be metaphorically raped as consumers, just to do the “right thing” – does that really make sense? Why make the rich even richer than they already are? There’s no need to increase the cashflow for Internet Service Providers because they have plenty of other services they can offer to drive value and become more profitable.

Here’s the real kicker: the large corporations lobbying to get rid of the Internet as we have known it for a long, long time also fight to keep communities from establishing Internet cafes, learning centers, and things of the sort. In places where broadband services are not available to residential customers, this allows people to have access to a powerful information tool, but the large corporations feel threatened by this and will not allow it. Knowing this sort of thing people are *STILL* siding with the large corporations in the effort to get rid of Net Neutrality, knowing it will destroy the very fiber of the Internet – WHAT???

Let’s look at some of the other implications and repercussions we can expect should Net Neutrality be completely killed off:

  1. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) can decide what type of content is appropriate and block sites they do not think people should be seeing.
  2. Large corporations can pay to have their resources given more bandwidth and visibility, making it even harder for small businesses to get noticed (SEO strategies would become almost worthless as well).
  3. Our privacy will be further infringed upon (good bye P2P of any kind, hello push marketing).
  4. The Internet will be segmented to the point at which different ISPs will have their own exclusive web sites and miscellaneous Net resources.
  5. People hosting non-profit sites will have to expect additional operational costs to continue providing the same quality service that they currently do.
  6. Competition will be strong-armed out of the picture, meaning whatever provider(s) controls a region will determine what services, sites, and resources are available.
  7. ISPs will determine which resources deserve more bandwidth, thus making some of our favorite Net stops slower and perhaps nearly-unusable during times of heavy traffic.
  8. Net users will have to pay extra for things they already access for FREE – imagine paying per message when e-mailing people!

I was happy to see most of the blogosphere on the pro-neutrality side of things. Dom’s blog over on Blogspot hit some key points that I think people missed. I’ve reiterated some of them here but go ahead and check out Dom’s blog on Net Neutrality – good stuff!

Even if the competitive geek in you says “it’d be neat to be able to pay more for UBER BROADBAND”, after reading this, I think everyone should see that Net Neutrality is a good thing. We don’t want our last bastion of hope, one of the last fronts for true communication, to go down. Chatting, sharing files, spreading news quickly, advertising a small business… The Net is all about giving the little people a chance to get noticed. If I haven’t made my case, check out the following sites and take action today…

Google and other large corporations have stepped up to fight FOR Net Neutrality so it’s nice to see that not everyone has become corrupt. Google’s executives realize, like many others, that Net Neutrality has existed since the beginning and has made the Internet what it is today. Changing things now would surely destroy the Net. I must say, it’s nice having an 800-pound gorilla fighting on your side!

Don’t let the misinformation campaigns propogated by the evil large corporations fool you. Net Neutrality is a beautifulthing. Let’s preserve neutrality and save the Internet!

*** Only 2 days left – DIGG THIS and spread the word!!! ***


11 thoughts on “Net Neutrality – Modern Communication’s Last Stand!

  1. Very well put Yogizilla. The net is very much a public resource where the little guy can compete. I detest these corporations that claim they’re all about the consumer (and what the consumer wants), but want to control what the consumer can have. We’ve seen this same thing in the cellular industry where the carriers exhibit control over everything that consumer can do (disabling bluetooth, filesharing, ringtones, etc) just so that they can make ridiculous amounts of money off those mediums.

    But not having net neutrality is WAY more dangerous to us as consumers. I’m also glad that Google is supporting this initiative. Of course they have a lot at stake, but products such as theirs are the reason why the internet is as expansive a resource as it is today.

  2. You’re right, Jules! Some people have common sense but the point is that the things that should be common sense, no-brainers, for everyone are not always that clear to everyone. It’s actually a topic in a lot of modern networker books so I reference that often.. Common sense is all but dead.

    Hey Link! Thanks for the comments, as always. Like you, I feel that net neutrality is imperative for both small businesses and consumers. If you really think about it, keeping small businesses alive stimulates competition, which ultimately prevents monopolies and benefits consumers. Everything is connected.

    You’re right about the cellular companies. Telecommunications overall has been abusive with the consumers. Traditional telco is all but dead, mostly because the large corps are too greedy. As consumers depend more on the Net and wireless technologies, the major service providers are positioned to raise prices and potentially abuse customers.

    I know some folks are out there saying that federal regulations protect the consumers against monopolies and unethical business practices but the reality is that there are many companies out there that do not value their customers enough and only seek to milk them for money. I digress. The point is that the Internet provides several alternatives to over-priced, strong-armed communication services so we need to keep that neutral. When the large corporations finally wise up and see why they are losing business, they will follow more fair business practices, rather than trying to see how much more money they can get out of their shrinking clientbases.

    I just hope everyone spread the word in time. Sadly, most people I contacted directly did not want to be bothered, yet they are doing pointless personality surveys and forwarding jokes. I guess we all take things for granted at some point but it is a sad state of affairs when people look at important news and advice as “spam”.

    BTW, just call me Yogi, Link – all my friends do! 8)

  3. Keep proving my point by stealing my bandwidth. You have no concept of property rights, and that is why you support net neutrality. Of course you are not a communist. You are worse. You are a statist. That is more evil, because it is more subtle, and ultimately more destructive in the long run. I suggest you look further into the subject of property rights before joining an emotionalist cause that will end up allowing further restrictions on the Internet. Once property rights have been violated, all other rights are up for grabs.

  4. Hmmm, interesting…

    Let’s not jump the gun. I did not delete your comments. I approve all comments for the sake of keeping the spammers at bay. You are a borderline spammer at this point but I want people to see the sort of over-zealous behavior that can discredit and otherwise reasonable debate.

    You keep proving *my* point by showing my readers how the real face of terrorism truly manifests itself. Whenever someone presents a unique idea, they are shot down for it. Your angle is that you hate freeloaders and privatizing the Net will improve the quality of service for you. I’d hate to break it to you but, even with privatization, many Net resources will remain shared (your bandwidth included). Many institutions will get extra/free bandwidth as well due to their useful research in the areas of Telecommunications and IT. Are you going to flame them as well?

    Since the Net is a shared system, a collection of shared systems, better yet, you’ll always be piggybacking somehow. BTW, cable, a major medium for broadband Internet, is a shared pipeline. You can take all the freeloaders off or limit their activity and, guess what, you’ll still have hours of peak usage where “your” bandwidth will be limited. Also, if you are paying for specific bandwidth usage with a hosting account (i.e. a blog account), why would you want restrictions on that??

    I am all about rights being protected which is why I say Net Neutrality is a good thing. Freedom of speech, our greatest right, is protected and facilitated by the Net. If you pay for a service and have a certain expectation and usage, how can someone suddenly come in and tell you how you SHOULD be using the service? Seems like the only people that are being favored with such an initiative are the large corporations and the government itself. With the Net privatized, they can finally implement random fees on services, exploiting countless gray areas all over the place.

    As a man that worked with people that helped make the Internet what it is today, I feel that privatizing the Net any more than it has been would go against the spirit of the Net and, for that, it should just return to it’s military roots, serving as an emergency broadcast system. You see, if the federal government manages such a massive resource, it’ll be like most other federally-ran programs (not very good). I smell TSA all over again. It’ll be more inconvenience than value added.

    Even if privatization of Internet resources is managed at the state level, it can still get messy. Telco systems were finally opened up more after decades of monopolization so why not keep the Net systems open as well? After all, there is common framework in there as well. Even after the much-needed changes to telco-related laws, the pricing is hardly regulated or competitive, while QoS continues to decline. The people that “own” the lines charge whatever they want. Why? Because they can. The feds sanctioned them and gave them immunity to abuse the people, essentially. There needs to be all sorts of checks and balances in place and the Net is too massive of a system to make this feasible without more taxpayer contribution. Do you feel like paying others to carry on with their own pet projects?

    If you see that sort of stuff as good trends to follow, then you’re right: we must act now to end the Internet as we know it and privatize it. I think we need to be treated like children and told what sort of sites are allowable and what activity should receive more bandwidth. I know I, for one, can’t wait for ads and “marketing activity” (spyware) to take up a bulk of my bandwidth. It’d also be great to have our activity monitored closely (who needs privacy) and. WOOHOO!!

    Please, by all means, keep flaming. My readers are enjoying your comedic exploits. We totally see your points but your impudence makes us not wnat to listen. What ever happened to “respect begets respect”? Perhaps you should practice what you preach. BTW, you can thank me for the improved blog traffic later. 🙂

    NOTE TO READERS: Apparently, this gentleman is upset that I borrowed his image, though that happens in the blogosphere all the time. I’ve taken the liberty of hyperlinking the image so you can all see where the image originates from. Being the mature guy he is, he turned the image into something of a more vulgar nature. Quite interesting indeed. I see why he considers logic a fallacy since he seems to lack it himself. 8)

  5. I have not and am not responding to the comment above.

    I am here to say that I made a mistake with my initial reaction to this post. I was furious to find my image hotlinked yet again by a net neutrality “freedom fighter” and made some rash comments. I appologize for these as I realize my own ideas can not spread with such behavior. I acted exactly how the opposing side is acting, and am sorry I stooped to that level.

    I just read the last sentence of your comment, and you are correct, I committed a fallacy and I am sorry.

  6. Also, let me make it a little more clear by why I said this: I have not and am not responding to the comment above.

    What I meant to say is that I came back here on my own accord, realizing the mistake I made.

  7. Not a problem, MAF. We are all susceptible to verbal vomit every now and then. I see you have changed the image once again. I understand your POV and it makes sense logically. I’m just sorry we’re not fighting on the same side. It happens. Have a great Thanksgiving Day!

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