What is Net Neutrality?

I’ve been meaning to post about this forever, but I kept forgetting about it. You’ve probably heard the words “Net Neutrality” thrown around a lot lately. If you’ve been wondering exactly what that means… the good folks at Public Knowledge have you covered. They’ve produced a really straight forward video giving a basic explanation. The graphics are a bit cheesy, but it gets the message across in an easy to understand format.

I encourage you to get involved however you can, even if it’s just spreading the word. Don’t let anyone dictate where you can, or can’t go online.

Found via Quality Peoples

Links: Video

3 thoughts on “What is Net Neutrality?”

  1. Having worked for an ISP, it seems silly to think that if an ISP messes with its customers they won’t just switch. If your ISP clocked sites you go to, wouldn’t you switch? And with all the national competition (comcast, verison, aol, etc) and the local ISPs too, there’s enough choice so that you can switch service in a heartbeat.

    Here in America we have “freedom” which lets companies offer services and limit those services in any way they want. Some ISPs block porn sites, so if you want porn, you don’t sign up with them. What’s the difference between blocking porn and blocking google? It’s the right of the company to choose what they block.

    Why do we need “common sense laws”? Why does my coffee cup say “Hot Beverage” on it? I ordered HOT COFFEE! Why should an ISP have to let everything thru? It’s about choice, and I choose an ISP that doesn’t block anything, but if one day they do, I’ll choose to leave for a different ISP.

  2. UsrBinBoy, I totally agree in that I don’t like “common sense laws”, but I think this is slightly different. I can see this problem growing. If ISP “A” starts filtering content, and it’s financial successful, then you know ISP “B”, “C”, and “D” will follow their lead and do the same thing. Pretty soon it could become very difficult to know which one to go with, as you may not know who filters what. We may no longer have “The Internet”… we would have Cox’s Internet, or Aol’s Internet, or Comcasts’s Internet, etc…

    To answer your question about the difference between blocking porn or Google… I personally don’t think either should be blocked… but I can kind of see a distinction, as porn is already regulated by the government. It’s sociably acceptable to block porn, but if you start restricting information just to make a buck, that’s a little more sleezy.

    I think the biggest problem is with not knowing your content is being filtered. I’m sure it would be burried in section 19, sub-section 12, paragraph 32 of your ISP user agreement… and written in a way that no mortal can understand.

    Also, in terms of switching, it’s not always that easy. Our building, for example, is pre-wired for RCN Cable/Interent. You can use other providers, but they make you jump through some hoops to switch. I live in a major city, but some rural areas have fairly limited options.

    What if cities started taking this approach with public libraries… and they only had books by authors who payed the city? That would be bad… of course, you could always move to another city ;)

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