There is an imininent danger to our free and easy access to the internet. The issue is called net neutrality. Already in America, legislation is being debated to create a two tier system What this means is your spam will get delivered faster and your personal email will take forever. And you can forget free and easy access to blogs, myspace etc. You\'ll be paying by the entry. This is a deliberate attack on our freedom to debate and share information by big media and the telecoms giants. And it\'s coming here next. We have to act now before this gets a toehold.
This is not a doomsday scenario - this is already in the process of being passed in America and BT is considering it here.
This is not just a matter for service providers. This is an issue with those who actually own the pipes for broadband.
Part of the cost will be placed on those who run websites. At the moment, you can get web hosting very cheaply and your page will load on a viewer\'s screen as quickly as any other. THAT is a neutral net. But with a two tier system, web pages would load according to which speed YOU the content provider had paid for - irrespective of what download speed the viewer\'s system was capable of. So unless you could afford to pay extra to get yours to load full speed, the page could be very slow indeed. The slow page is nothing to do with your system\'s abilities - it\'s a synthetic brake put on your service by the telecom carrier. It would disincentivise web users to look at independent and small media sites that were cheaply run because it would take them forever to load. The big media however would be fast and reactive.
Therefore, this is not just a technology issue - it\'s a freedom of speech issue. The internet has become such a powerful tool for spreading information and organising and that is terribly threatened by this.
Then there\'s charging by email - which again wouldn\'t be by gmail or yahoo or whoever - but by the carrier instead.
Even at 1p per email - the proposed charge, how do you imagine a campaign like Make Poverty History - which relied heavily on a campaign of emails to activists to get them to email politicians from it\'s web site, could have operated The financial implications would be impossible. Similarly - imagine a newgroup with a few thousand members - I use a freecycle group with 6000 users approx. At 1p per email, it would cost
Just little old me at the moment but I\'ll keep badgering other folk to join in.
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