Thursday, April 27, 2006

Warning: Your Internet is in Danger

What if BellSouth (or Comcast, or Verizon, or AT&T) decided to block your access to internet sites based on whether or not the owners of those sites were willing (or able) to pay each of them an access fee?

How would that change your access to information?

Do you maintain a web presence? A blog?

How much are you willing (or able) to pay so that everyone has access to your site?

Right now these companies make their money largely from subscribers like you and me tapping into their networks to access content. They don’t also charge people who provide content via other “connections” to get their contact through to you from the other side. Because the law says they can’t.

But that is in danger of changing. Soon.

If you use the internet at all you need to learn about this before it’s too late and you get locked out of content, or if you’re a blogger, you get locked out of potential readers.

Take another hypothetical: What if you live, say in Savannah like me, and you run a blog that is hosted on a computer somewhere on the West Coast. And what if neither you nor the company that owns the computers that host your blog are willing (or able) to pay your internet provider at your home for access through them.

You could find yourself in a position where you can’t even access your own web site!

If you think this doesn’t really matter to you because you don’t really use the internet all that much you are exactly wrong. Us little guys will be impacted the most if we loose Net Neutrality. The big companies like will simply ante up and pay the fees. The little people will be left out in the cold.

Get educated. Holler at Congress before it is too late!

Start with Randall Bowman’s great (non-technical) post Threat to the Net.

I first read about Net Neutrality on Liz Strauss’ Successful Blog post Net Neutrality is in Jepardy. Also see Do you trust Congress & AT&T to run the internet?

These posts have links to others where you can see all about this.

If we do nothing we will be the poorer for it in more ways than one.

Update: Visit for the complete round-up on this issue.


Randy said...

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the comment and the link! I'm glad I was able to help you understand the issue. I really enjoyed your site and will be back.


Chris Cree said...

Thank YOU for explaining the issue simply enough that even I can understand it!