Thursday, October 29, 2009

The future of the internet

While we're all busy pushing for health care reform and following the horrifying developments in Afghanistan and whatever else the obsession of the moment is, there's been a quiet movement spearheaded by John McCain to eliminate net neutrality. McCain, who has his pockets regularly stuffed with telecom lobbyist bucks, is pushing some lame bill with the usual GOPer style Orwellian name to allow the telecoms to become the gatekeepers of our internet content.

The graphic was created by some random regular on the technets. Click to enlarge it to get the full impact of what your package plan would look like if McCain succeeds in sneaking this through while we're distracted.

This is what happened to the cable television industry way back when. As I recall in the beginning, cable was more like the internets. Kind of a free for all where entry was relatively cheap and you had a rather large diversity of programming to choose from. You paid extra for the movie sites I think, but otherwise, it wasn't unusual to see independent stations.

Then the industry bigwigs noticed that there was money to be made in this medium and they started buying up the stations to form big conglomerates. They pushed for deregulation, to "stimulate competition" but of course what really happened is they formed quasi-monopolies and the content of the programming became more homogenized. Meanwhile, the cable companies started breaking down the content into "packages" so to get you get everything you wanted, you ended up paying more. Plus you were stuck paying for a bunch of stations you never watch.

If we're not vigilant, it will happen to the internets too. The telecoms can't wait to break it down, just as this imaginary graphic predicts. If they succeed, the internet won't only get more expensive, it will be less useful and the small voices will ultimately get lost. I know there's an overwhelming outcry for everyone's attention to various causes, but this is a fight that's worth having. Keep an eye out and when you're asked to take action -- please do.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The Internet Freedom Act. I guess that is Orwellian enough, but of course when they say "freedom" they always mean Corporate freedom - kind of like the letters of marque they used to issue to ship captains making them licensed pirates.

How can ANYONE see this as a benefit to the public?

Of course if that SOB had been elected I couldn't afford an internet account anyway.

11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

He's such a dirtbag. Hard to believe anybody voted for him. Ever.

1:00:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home