Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet’s First Amendment — a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you — based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn’t speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.
How would a loss of Net Neutrality affect you? Well, this would be the online equivalent to losing your freedom of speech in the real world. Here are just a few of the consequences we CAN look forward to.
- Political groups – Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay “protection money” for their websites and online features to work correctly.
- Online purchasers – Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower pricesÃ¢â‚¬â€distorting your choice as a consumer.
- Small businesses and tele-commutersÃ¢â‚¬â€When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won’t be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your office.
- Parents and retirees – Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning vacations, etc.
- Bloggers – Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clipsÃ¢â‚¬â€silencing citizen journalists (like myself) and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.
- Innovators with the “next big idea” – Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the “slow lane” with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
And let me remind you folks, I am a former Vice President of a global Telecom company. I can guarantee they will instantly jack up rates the moment they have the opportunity to!
Finally, here is an excellent video which explains exactly how and why this will all go down.