Monday, April 24, 2006

Net neutrality not an optional feature of the Internet

It's one of the finest opinion pieces on the importance of network neutrality that I've read. Daniel Berninger, writing in GigaOM, summarizes the critical importance of neutrality on continued innovation:

Beware of the monopolist that wants the “market” to decide. If there actually existed a healthy market for Internet access, users would certainly switch away from service providers tinkering with performance based on kickbacks from content companies. The toll collecting ambitions of the telco’s and cable co’s hinge on the absence of market forces. The fights against municipal wireless initiatives and lobbying budgets that exceed R&D budgets arise to defeat any leakage of market power. Network neutrality forces a virtuous cycle where winning requires making offers faster and cheaper. This dynamic accounts for growth in the info tech industry as platform improvements expand the range of possible applications.

Read it all. GigaOM: Net neutrality not an optional feature of the Internet

Related: Jeff Pulver is holding a Viral Marketing Contest to Save the Internet. If you have video or marketing skills, you'll want to check it out.

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