Saturday, May 20, 2006

Net Neutrality All-Star Team: Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman, writing in Inc. Magazine:

The principal of maintaining the Internet as a single, interconnected network with no preference for one type of bits over another--what geeks call "network neutrality"--is under assault. Foreign countries have led the charge. Saudi Arabia blocks content that runs counter to the clerics' interpretation of Islam. China bars its citizens' access to sites created by, among others, practitioners of Falun Gong. What results is the fragmentation of the Internet...

...[and it's] not just repressive regimes that are trying to turn the Internet into the Internets. Customers of the Canadian cable company Shaw will find that Vonage runs slowly on that network. In fact, Shaw warns users of all VoIP services that they may experience connection issues unless they pay a $10-per-month enhancement fee. It shouldn't surprise you to know that Shaw offers a competing digital service.

...American entrepreneurs and consumers, and the politicians who represent them, may want to think very carefully before they embrace a world of many Internets.

No comments: