What is Net Neutrality?

I'm a fan of big business and I'm not much of a doomsday theorist; however, Net Neutrality is huge to me personally. My entire life and ability to support my children relies on my work's ability to use the Internet, my ability to use the Internet… and it's quickly becoming my childrens' as well. Dicing up the Internet with fast and slow lanes doesn't provide choice, it will truly just bury the slow lanes. That means that our ability, as bloggers and small business entrepreneurs, will disappear.

I believe that will result in less economic growth and will ultimately hurt our economy and, in turn, tax revenue. That's a pretty scary scenario and will change the balance of wealth and power that the Internet brings to the small voice – and put it back in the hands of those with money – just as it happened with newspapers, music, radio, and television.

You really shouldn't work on fixing things that not only aren't broken… but are changing the world we live in and opening new economies and businesses every second of the day.

There is some irony here as well. Businesses such as Akamai already help businesses to ‘speed up' their content delivery on the net:

The Akamai EdgePlatform comprises 20,000 servers deployed in 71 countries that continually monitor the Internet ? traffic, trouble spots and overall conditions. We use that information to intelligently optimize routes and replicate content for faster, more reliable delivery. As Akamai handles 20% of total Internet traffic today, our view of the Internet is the most comprehensive and dynamic collected anywhere.

We recently began using Akamai at our work and it's been double-digit improvements in our application's response around the world… in some places up to 80%. This is, of course, technology that is not affordable to small businesses; however, it's a business in and of itself. So not only do we not need these new ‘fast lanes', we already have solutions that assist big business in faster content delivery. So why are we still talking about this?

Sign the petition and donate to Save the Internet.


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    The folks that own the main thoroughfares of the Internet would like to create two paths for traffic. One path (as it is now) would be a normal internet routing. Another path; however, could be a path where the telecoms could charge for faster, better bandwidth for paying customers.

    The idea behind it is that legitimate businesses could pay for improved delivery of their content to you or me. This way they don’t have to worry about getting traffic through existing traffic. If you hit Google for instance, and they are paying for the increased bandwidth, their website would be able to load much faster.

    On paper, it sounds great. However, the result would most likely be catastrophic. There would be no incentive for these companies to improve the overall performance and infrastructure of the Internet for you and me. In fact, quite the opposite would be true. If they let the ‘normal’ pathways of the Internet drop in performance, it would attract more business for the ‘business’ pathways.

    Currently, if Verizon or AT&T or Comcast improves their network and bandwidth, everyone sees the improvement. That’s the ‘neutral’ in Net Neutrality. Folks like me would like to keep it that way. If these guys build a faster, better network that you have to pay into, you and I will be out of business. People won’t bother coming to our sites because it will simply be too slow.

    At the root of my concern is that, although, these companies are investing heavily in the Internet – they did not create it. It was U.S. taxpayer money that got the Internet off the ground… we shouldn’t be left behind!

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    Is this specific to the US or something all over. But, I guess since most of us non-US citizens have sites hosted in the US, it effects us a great deal.

    Going to blog about it. Thanks 🙂

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      It could happen anywhere, but if it happens in the U.S., the effects would definitely ripple well beyond. Other countries’ big businesses would most likely climb on the bandwagon as well, since that would be the infrastructure that would support reaching the most people. L’il ol’ folks like you and me would be forced to fork up some money or get left in the dirt.

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