Net Neutrality Under Attack: Google & Verizon Team Up to Destroy the Internet
Net neutrality is the very principle the Internet was founded on. It means that my data does not have to come second to that of a wealthier person. In many ways, net neutrality has helped bring some of the most creative minds into the mainstream. It has revolutionized the way that small businesses operate. The Internet has brought success to those who would not have achieved it otherwise. It is the fairest communication center in the modern world. It is the freest market. It is the only place that corporations have not ruined. Now, Google and Verizon want to silence independent media by creating an unnecessary two-tiered Internet that would serve no one but corporate interest.
In the beginning of August, Free Press and a number of other advocacy groups expressed their disdain for Google and Verizon's anti-net neutrality proposal. While Google tries to smooth over just how devastating its proposal is by posting a "facts and myths" article on their public policy blog, net neutrality organizations aren't buying it and encourage the public to rally against it. Perhaps, what is even more disturbing about this situation than the proposal itself is the way that Google and Verizon have lied about it, trying to make it sound as if it is pro-net neutrality. Don't be fooled; it's not.
The proposal would create a two-tiered Internet, referred to lovingly by Google as a "public" and "premium" Internet. They also want to distinguish between wireless and wireline Internet connections; no doubt, because the future of Internet is wireless. However, there are several problems with this proposed framework. The first and most obvious problem is that we are already paying for Internet service. To put it into perspective, my bill is around $50 a month. Sure, there are people who don't pay for Internet use but there is little incentive to do so when the quality of one's Internet connection is determined by the price one pays for the service. So they are basically saying that my $50 or however much it is that you pay is not enough. Oh, no. They want more, more, more.
The second problem, and this is the reason why no one likes this proposal, is that if it is allowed, the Internet will be like a bad cable package — possibly with things as simple as YouTube videos holding a price tag. The cost of registering a domain name and hosting would also go up, possibly so much so that it would force most web masters to shut down their sites. Independently owned websites and blogs might load much slower than "formal" media sources like CNN, MSNBC, and so forth. Creative geniuses, in which the Internet has been enriched with for over two decades, would see little incentive for continuing their craft. Self-publishing websites like Lulu.com would cease to exist and we'd all be forced, once again, to jump through corporate hoops in order to earn money from our creative ventures. The list goes on.Continued on the next page