Friday, July 25, 2008

Internet in the corporate crosshairs

By Libby

Via Avedon some troubling news from Canada. At ICH, a report on a proposed test run of de-neutralizing the intertubes in the name of corporate profit.
In the upcoming weeks watch for a report in Time Magazine that will attempt to smooth over the rough edges of a diabolical plot by Bell Canada and Telus, to begin charging per site fees on most Internet sites. The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point.
So in other words, just like cable, you pay for a package with predetermined channels and if you want to visit something not listed, it becomes a pay for view extra. I don't know about you, but I might visit over a hundred sites in any given day when I'm looking for information. I would be priced out in matter of hours. Not to mention, return visits to sites I visit daily for updates. And then there's the other side of the equation.
And this is where the Internet (free) as we know it will suffer almost immediate, economic strangulation. Thousands and thousands of Internet sites will not be part of the package so users will have to pay extra to visit those sites! ...

There are so many other implications as a result of these changes, far too many to elaborate on here. Be aware that we will all lose our privacy because all websites will be tracked as part of the billing procedure, and we will be literally cut off from 90% of the information that we can access today. The little guys on the Net will fall likes flies; Bloggers and small website operators will die a quick death because people will not pay to go to their sites and read their pages.
And what about people who conduct business through the internets? Small entrepreneurs would be out of business. Comparison shopping could cost more than you save. In short, everything that is good about the internet would be gone. This is why we have to fight now to preserve neutrality.

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

3:03:00 PM  
Blogger BJ said...

I don't know. This sounds a bit too fantastical to be true. Not that I wouldn't put it past Bell, Rogers, and Telus if they thought they could get away with it.

I'm also not to happy with the whole, "Canadians are a bunch of lazy, politically uninformed, easy marks" for such manipulation. As his own article points out, we just forced the large telecoms back on charging ridiculous fees for text messaging, and there is a considerable legal battle going on right now regarding Bell's "traffic-shaping" practices. Add to that the fact the Canada has one of the highest internet adoption rates on the planet, and you can be sure such a measure would not pass lightly.

2:26:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg, I can't get that image out of mind everytime I read the news.

BJ, I hope you're right. I worry that I'm in a bit of bubble when it comes to Canada. I only know smart engaged activists so I don't know it plays in the general public.

2:49:00 PM  

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