for W3c validation
There’s a great guest article on CNN by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist — he’s addressing the subject of net neutrality. It’s a fascinating topic in my mind and worthy of some more commentary. If you’re not familiar with the “net neutrality” issue, here’s a quick description: End users pay cable and telephone companies for the right to access the internet through their networks. Right now, those companies cannot control which sites consumers access at what speeds — meaning all sites on the internet are on a level playing field. However, the cable and telephone companies are trying to get more control over the “pipes” of bandwidth that consumers use. They want to further control thier status as gatekeepers between consumers and internet companies — providing no benefits, but making them a lot of money. How? By charging web sites for the right to be served on their “high speed” pipe to the end user. Meaning, if Yahoo or Google didn’t want to pay the broadband companies, their sites would run much, much slower than sites that did pony up the dough.
I’d encourage you to watch the video I’ve embedded below for further information and commentary.
My personal opinion is that the concept of broadband service providers being given the ability to play “favorites” is absolutely crazy. If you LOVE Yahoo!, but their search results run at half speed because they weren’t willing to pay Comcast the bucks to let you (the end user) run them at full speed — would you be a little pissed? YES, I certainly would be. I think it would stifle innovation by increasing the cost to reach the end user. If I’m not mistaken, consumers already pay to access the internet via the broadband providers’ network. It’s not as if broadband companies aren’t making money with the current system — they just want further streams of revenue for their shareholders by exploiting their gatekeeper status.
Check out http://www.savetheinternet.com/