The US Congress has shot down the bill to preserve Network Neutrality, making way for the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to achieve their dreams of making more money by controlling the internet.
A U.S. House committee approved a bill Wednesday, under which Internet carriers would have a free hand to charge the likes of Google Inc., Yahoo Inc extra for faster delivery of services to consumers, bringing a two-tier Internet one step closer to reality.From SavetheInternet Coalition:
What is this about?Since a huge slice of the Internet is American, the implications are global. If only I knew to what extent exactly. Anyone?
This is about Internet freedom. "Network Neutrality" -- the First Amendment of the Internet -- ensures that the public can view the smallest blog just as easily as the largest corporate Web site by preventing Internet companies like AT&T from rigging the playing field for only the highest-paying sites.
But Internet providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. If Congress doesn't take action now to implement meaningful network neutrality provisions, the future of the Internet is at risk.
What is network neutrality?
Network Neutrality — or "Net Neutrality" for short — is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.
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 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.
Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?
The nation's largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.
They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking their competitors.
These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.
What's at stake?
Decisions being made now will shape the future of the Internet for a generation. Before long, all media — TV, phone and the Web — will come to your home via the same broadband connection. The dispute over Net Neutrality is about who'll control access to new and emerging technologies.
On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control — deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There's no middleman. But without Net Neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.
The Internet has always been driven by innovation. Web sites and services succeeded or failed on their own merit. Without Net Neutrality, decisions now made collectively by millions of users will be made in corporate boardrooms. The choice we face now is whether we can choose the content and services we want, or whether the broadband barons will choose for us.