Have you heard the term 'Net Neutrality' and wondered what all the fuss is about? This documentary by four eyed monsters explains it in everyday language and draws parallels with newspaper and radio for how the every day person lost access to open, mass media communication in those mediums.
Essentially it's about Phone companies in the USA wanting to control the Internet through charging for different types of media as it is uploaded and/or downloaded to and from the net. For example it might cost you an additional fee to upload a video file to share with your friends. Currently you can upload as many videos as you like for whatever it costs you to be connected to the Internet but think of this cost for uploading each video file as an additional cost to being connected. These additional costs could be applied to all manner of files from email, pdf files, mp3 songs etc. etc.
Remember how it's said that it costs virtually nothing to send an email? Potentially the phone companies could make you buy virtual stamps for every email you send. That might slow down the spammers but if you look at the real world postal service...it hasn't stopped the over supply of junk mail. There's always someone who can afford to send junkmail.
What the phone companies want will reduce your ability to broadcast and communicate on a level playing field with big corporations because you'll be priced out of the market. Why is that good for big corporations? Well they'll no longer have to compete with people like me, making no budget content that's only watched by a minority of people who don't return enough income to pay for my lunch...forget about paying for my living expenses.
The Corporations will get to feed you a selection of media based on market research, focus groups, cross sections and results that indicate which media is going to be the most profitable...there by killing minority media. Sound familiar? It should... that's what Television is. If you actually enjoy what I do...you won't see it again until I find a way to go main stream and be financially viable or can get a look in on a community broadcasting network. How likely is that?
You might think this is only an issue for the USA but you'd be wrong. If the phone companies get their way in the States how long will it be before your communication provider and government wants a piece of the action? The whole war on net neutrality needs to be fought and won in the USA. If they lose to the phone companies there then it will be next to impossible to stop the transformation of the Internet as we know it to a closed media platform.
Net Neutrality is the online issue for 2007. Keep yourself informed and don't support those who would take it away from you and I.