Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Net Neutrality! ...Again

When I heard the fuss about neutrality being raised up again, I thought to myself, “This issue has been around a while, hasn’t it?”  In fact, I remembered having written about it some time ago.  It turns out that was back in 2006.  I looked it up: http://sohoman.blogspot.com/2006/08/net-neutrality-and-you.html  I guess the wheels of regulation turn slowly.

Not that it’s an invalid concern.  Far from it.  It’s very important that the Internet, which has a long, tested, and sometimes sordid history of unregulated freedom, be kept free for all.

Here’s the deal:  There’s a lot of content on the ‘net, not just websites and silly blogs like this one.  There’s TV shows, and movies, and streaming music and talk, and all kinds of media and information flowing through these wires, fibers, and waves.  Much of that content is being provided by some pretty big corporations.  They feel that they should be able to have better service, with faster connections, and better stability than little mom & pop web shops or bloggers.

Others, mostly mom & pop webstore owners and bloggers, as well as a lot of folks that work on the ‘net daily, feel that the same wires, fibers and waves should carry everything.  Equally.  Neutrally.  Hence, “net neutrality”.

What they’re afraid of is that these powerful and wealthy companies will end up being able to restrict the usage of the network of their smaller competitors, or even of those that speak in ways that they don’t like. And in order to preserve that equality that has existed for so long, in order to keep it a free and open forum of ideas, they’re asking for some regulation.

Yes, you heard that right.  They’re wanting regulation, rules, in order to keep things fair and free.  Oh, the irony.

If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you’re one of the smaller website owners.  It’s likely that you’re not a major, multinational corporation.  So, this is something that you should be concerned about.  Is it possible that they’ll end up squeezing you out of the picture?  Net Neutrality, then, becomes not so much a techie-sounding buzzword, and turns into a real-life concern.

The FCC recently presented some proposed rules changes.  These are not yet fixed, and there well be legislation that could come down as well.  It would be wise for all of us to contact our representatives and let them know how we feel.  To access your representatives, look to http://www.house.gov/ and http://www.senate.gov/


Mark is currently employed as an Internet Business Coach.

Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot - Dutch Oven Recipes, MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.

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