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San Clemente Journal

“Net Neutrality and Big Brother"

Nov 01, 2007 05:32PM ● Published by Don Kindred

by Roby LaPorte

It has often been said that the Internet is too good to be true… and I couldn’t agree more. Since the government relinquished the WWW to the general public in the mid-‘90s, it has grown to be the most powerful and useful medium this world has ever known. Over the years it has remained completely neutral, an equal and level playing field for all, fair and free. Smaller businesses have the same priority on the web as the major conglomerates. The term used for this is "Net neutrality." When the Internet is neutral, we all get to use it, just like we all get to use public roads and airwaves. The World-Wide Web needs to remain what its very name states so clearly, world-wide, where all businesses on the Internet get an equal shot at success.

However, Net Neutrality is being threatened by legislation passed recently by the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow Internet Service Providers to play favorites among different Web sites. The jury is not out on this issue yet, as it still needs to get through the Senate. 

It seems the very telecommunication companies that bring the Internet to our homes and businesses now want control over which sites we visit and how we get to see them. While charging other businesses for varying levels of service, they would provide privileged access for themselves and their preferred partners. This is not fair, by any means. Subscribers should be the ones dictating what sites they want to visit, not some "Big Brother" corporation. 

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

No doubt it would kind of go like this: let’s say we wanted to order a pizza for dinner and decided to call ahead to Cassano’s for pick up. What we would get is a recorded message saying we'll be connected in a few minutes, but if you’d like, you can be connected to Round Table Pizza right now. Obviously, the bigger company gets the priority. If this does become law, your free Yahoo or Google e-mail account could run much slower and be charged for, unless these guys kick down the big bucks to the major ISP’s.

Seem unfair? Indeed, we need to keep the Internet the way it is, fair and square and free for all! A two-tiered Internet is not in the best interest of the average Internet user. Allowing some companies to dictate who gets high-speed service and who doesn't is a restriction on our freedom to choose. If you care about this issue and want to learn more, please go online and visit http://www.savetheinternet.com/

On another note, your very own ‘San Clemente Journal’ (sanclementejournal.com) is offering local businesses the opportunity to place their business ads on the Journal website, which is getting very high numbers for unique visitors to the site. It averages over 500 visits a day, and that’s over 15,000 people logging onto the site each month. As many of the local businesses are already advertising in the actual publication, here’s another great way to advertise your goods and services and get you noticed.

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