Friday, December 29, 2006

Save the Internet: Congress must ensure Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is a concept that every blogger -- and for that matter, every Internet user -- should be aware of. Net Neutrality is a kind of "First Amendment of the Internet." As currently enforced by the FCC, it ensures that the cable and telephone companies (telcos) can't discriminate between different types of content. Traffic from Google, Yahoo, or Joe' all get treated the same.

But the telcos have spent millions (by some estimates, hundreds of millions) lobbying Congress to destroy net neutrality. Why? Their goal is to turn the Internet into cable television, where the carrier controls the channels that actually get to the consumer. And with AT&T absorbing BellSouth, the number of carriers continues to drop. If Congress doesn't take action now to implement meaningful Net Neutrality provisions, the future of the Internet is at risk.

Ready to learn more?

Net Neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. With Net Neutrality, the network's only job is to move data — not choose which data to privilege with higher quality service. Net Neutrality prevents the companies that control the wires from discriminating against content based on its source or ownership.

Net Neutrality is the reason why the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech online. It's why the Internet has become an unrivaled environment for open communications, civic involvement and free speech. It's why the United States has become a hub for Internet commerce, invention, and value creation: think YouTube, Google, Digg, and the thousands of other websites founded in garages or dorm rooms.

The carriers want to destroy all that. They want to control which application providers and partners -- including their own services -- should have competitive advantages. They want to turn the Internet into a service like pay-per-view cable television.

Learn more and take action in Net Neutrality 101. It's time you helped save the internet.

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