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Net Neutrality

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I don’t tend to watch these “political” comedies too often.  In fact, I didn’t watch this one live, either.  However, this monologue from the show has been making the rounds and it couldn’t be more poignant.  Obviously, it’s also meant to be funny, but take a few minutes (13 to be exact) and watch.  You’ll laugh, and then once you take a minute to think about it, you’ll cry at how we as a society can managed to screw up one of the greatest innovations we’ve ever accomplished as a people.  Yay, greed and selfishness.

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Many of you have noticed my strong position on ensuring Net Neutrality.  Without getting up on my soapbox, I think this is the biggest “freedom of speech” like battle of this generation.

Unfortunately, many people have no idea what Net Neutrality is.  So… to do my part, here is a video from a young lady who explains it in simple terms, with pictures, that hopefully anyone can understand.  So please take a few minutes, watch the video, become educated on this very important issue.

Then if you want to maintain the freedoms we enjoy with an open and innovative Internet, please contact the FCC, write to your representatives, and otherwise make your voice heard.


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It seems almost ironic that today of all days this new and improved soapbox of mine goes live.  Why you might ask?  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised since most major news organisations are failing to property cover this historic event.  Well, it’s because today is the day we will find out if the FCC will fail in its duties and allow the destruction of the free and open internet we all know.

Wait! You might be yelling.  “Are they going to take away my Faceyspace?”  Well, no. But they are going to make it so either you, The Zuckerberg, or both will have to pay the ISP a premium to access the website efficiently.  The easiest way to explain this is that as of today you can visit ANY website, at ANY time, and expect to receive about the same speed.  Now imagine if your internet connection was like your cable television connection.  You pay for access to a select menu of channels, but if you want to watch say, that new episode of Game of Thrones, you can’t, because you don’t pay extra for HBO.  That is the future of the internet here in America the cable companies want.  That is what the philosophy of “Net Neutrality” is trying to prevent.

So no, you probably won’t lose access to your social media, you or the developer will just likely have to pay more to keep it.

What does that mean for personal websites or those of small business and start-ups?  Well, it means, “too bad for you!”  These sites will be left with little or no priority over the existing infrastructure, mean that if you can access them at all, they will load very slowly compared to premium content (you pay extra for).  It means that without very deep pockets, companies hoping to complete with the likes of Google, Facebook, or whatnot will run up against an enormous barrier to entry.  The days of rampant internet innovation and competition will likely come to a screeching halt.

How could this happen?  Well, like most things in politics it’s simple: greed.  Money rules the day, and the multi-billion dollar cable conglomerates have a lot of it to throw around.  Worse still, one of their shills managed to get appointed to head the one agency with the mandate to prevent just these kinds of abuses.  The current head of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, is a former cable industry lobbyist.  That’s right, he would have been the guy fighting against net neutrality legislation for the cable companies just a few years ago.  I wonder where his loyalties lie?

It’s no wonder that with oversight like this the US was branded an “Enemy of the Internet“.

The biggest shame of all is that all of this could have been avoided.  The NN rules put in place in 2010 were deemed unenforceable because the FCC failed to designate ISP as common carriers.  A simple change that would have ensured the American people free and equal access to one of our nation’s most valuable modern commodities.  Instead, we will likely fall even further behind our “industrialised” nation counterparts as they put in place laws meant to foster innovation and freedom, while we suffer under the rule of the American Oligarchs.

So folks, take a read of the original article here.

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