The great net debate

One of the things I’ve been following very closely is the “great debate” going on about “Net Neutrality”. Now I’m not going to go into all the details since there is already plenty of material already available on the very thing that the debate is about…the internet.

There are two websites that directly represent the two opposing sides of the issue. The first being Save the Internet which starts off with the following excerpt below (plus the extra paragraph) with the full text available via a link on it’s main page.

If Net Neutrality is gone, the future of the Internet will be dominated by only those large companies that can pay the phone cartel’s broadband fees. This predatory scheme would muscle aside the Internet’s real revolutionaries – the small-guy innovators who historically have made the Internet a beacon for democracy, economic growth and new ideas.

In the words of Internet architect Vint Cerf, the Internet is “innovation without permission.” That is the genius of the network that has proven to be a wonderland for new entrepreneurs and ideas, with all the intelligence residing with the end users and not those who control the pipes.

By the way, Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf appear to support this side of the debate.

The second, Hands off the Internet has their main blurb on the main page without the teaser and a link to click as in the former but whatever. Here’s the excerpt from there:

The online debate over ‘net neutrality’ has to date been dominated by the proponents of far-reaching new laws. We think it’s about time the other side is heard. We look forward to discussing many issues surrounding the telcoms industry, and preserving the exciting future of broadband Internet against potential regulatory legislation which might threaten it. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll explore the different sides of this debate and put it into the proper context.

So far, too many groups and individuals have painted this debate as a case of the telcoms industry vs. the little guy. But that’s not what this is about at all. This is about how we’re going to pay for the next generation Internet, and creating different ways to deliver web content to the home as fast as possible. This is also about whether we want the government to dictate how the next version of the Internet is run before we even get there.

I would suggest giving both websites a good looking over. Both offer justifiable arguments and a way to send a letter to your various Representatives, congressmen, senators etc but it’s the difference in the members of each group that becomes so interesting and the “what’s and who’s” not directly involved that support one or the other viewpoints such as retailers and the like. As my research went on I realized that a whole blog could be dedicated to this one issue so I suggest anyone interested check out the above sites and then head to your favorite search engine and start bringing up the resources and info related to this debacle.

This is serious stuff folks and will affect how the internet and the ISPs that you pay your hard earned $$ to in order to use it, will operate in the future. As for the two sides directly represented by the above sites and what each has to say, in my mind it boils down to one question…

…who do you trust?

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