Off Topic: Exploring Net Neutrality

Let me introduce you to a completely new issue that I just found out about. It is called Net Neutrality.

Have you ever heard of this?

Yeah, neither had I. So let me introduce you to the issue:

Net Neutrality is in some ways like the First Amendment, but for the Internet. It is "the foundation of the free and open Internet" (Media Alliance).

The pro-Net Neutrality video below, explains what Net Neutrality is in about a minute.

So if you're wondering how Net Neutrality can effect you? Read on.

Currently, all traffic on the Internet travels equally. There is no idea that one site is superior than the other. Now, large corporations are trying to challenge that. Giant companies want to place fees for faster speed service on sites. If you don't pay the fee, your site may take up to a minute or two to download all its content, maybe even longer if you have video.

They say they are providing us with what we want, which is on-demand TV and movies, but they want to limit us in the way we retrieve this content. Simply put, they don't want anyone competing against them. Telephone giants, like Comcast and AT&T, want to decide what the best websites are for you.

Ahhh, is in that sweet? They're always thinking about us. In a market full of Starbucks, Walmarts, and Rupert Murdochs, how is a small business or non-profit organization supposed to compete?

Since 2005, several bills have been introduced to Congress, but none have become law. Wikipedia has a nice list of the proposed bills.

A few opponents of Net Neutrality:

Senator Barrack Obama on where he stands on the issue of Net Neutrality.
So, how am I affected by Net Neutrality?

Currently, I have the freedom and power to visit any site I want. Without Net Neutrality, I would be forced to visit sites that have paid for the better and faster service. This would leave non-profit sites, educational sites and many small sites that cannot afford the premium, out of my reach. A system that many of us know as, the haves and the have-nots.

This is obviously nothing new, it has been going on for centuries. But I knew the day would come when these huge corporations would go after the Internet because of its capacity and future potential.

Here it is at its best.

This great blog dedicated to the greatest team in the world, the Dodgers, can be potentially lost in the vast world of the Internet.  I don't have the financial resources to pay for premium service, like Joe-Millionaire, who is writing a blog about how bad his Padres are doing this season. 

My e-mail and banking services can be jeopardized because they could take too long to load.

As a student, the impact could be potentially detrimental. San Francisco State University's (SFSU) websites can be compromised. SFSU has enough financial trouble and requiring any school system to pay a premium, could put any school in financial ruin. SFSU servers are slow as it is and accessing I-Learn, SFSU webmail or MySFSU without Net Neutrality can make the process hours longer.

As a Bay Area resident, non-profit websites like, Beyond Chron, would not be easily available because they would not be able to pay the high-price being charged. Without Net Neutrality many Bay Area voices that use the World Wide Web to spread their ideas and opinions, could be silenced.

Nation-wide the Internet has allowed millions to retrieve a vast variety of information from any site without any limitations. Additionally, the Internet has allowed millions to share information with each other, making us online journalist, critics, activist, and publishers of online content.

Is this really a problem?

According to corporations and some lobbyist, it is. They would like to regulate more than just television, more than just the radio, and more than just periodicals. They want it all!

Do they want to regulate what can and what can't be distributed?

When I first started researching Net Neutrality and those opposed to it, I said, "Great! Finally some form of Internet regulation".

I've always been passionate about regulating explicit online content from reaching children, and only children of course because everyone has the right to search for a MILF online.

But after diving more into this issue, I realized that this is another ploy for the rich to become richer. It is a ploy to silence those who have a small space on the Internet. It is a ploy to reduce and possibly eliminate competition.


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