Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Net neutrality and Ted Stevens, moron in charge

Internet neutrality is a big deal. The debate over internet neutrality is the debate over keeping the internet as open and free as it is, or allowing the big telecoms to turn it into a for-profit land of have- and have-nots that would operate like cable television -- you pay to post content, and the telecoms decide how much you pay.

Or, as the Michigan State Journal said (via freepress.net)

If the legislation passes, smaller Web site companies that can’t pay the same price as larger companies may reach your screen at a slower rate. And as technology and the speed at which it works advance, our patience diminishes, leaving these smaller Web sites untouched.

The Internet has become one of the latest forums for free and equal speech, and infringing on that is a bad idea.


The legislation would limit our resources as consumers and define what exactly could be put on the Internet based on money. If passed, the legislation would widen the gap between huge enterprising Web sites like CNN.com and smaller ones like your favorite blog. Several Web site owners would be pushed off the Internet because of price, and we would no longer have access to the variety of sites available on the Internet we currently know and love.

The telecom bill -- which at this point does not support net neutrality -- may or may not come up for a vote this session. The big telecoms see that the legislation is written their way and are pushing hard for the Senate to act.

It's obviously extremely important that Congressional leaders fully understand the issues so they can make smart decisions (i.e., see through the lies of the telecmos). It's hard to decide if it is more appalling or funny that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) -- chairman of a committee that rejected net neutrality language -- had this to say about the Internet, as reported by NewMexiKen, among others.

But this service isn’t going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

As for Wisconsin's two senators: Sen. Russ Feingold supports net neutrality. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) has been a bit of a wuss about it all and it's hard to tell just what he will vote for or against. Hey, why not drop him a line and tell him to support net neutrality?

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