Last Updated Aug 6, 2010 7:08 AM EDT
Right now, an unholy alliance of politicians and would-be monopolies are coming up with a deal that will allow the biggest, richest firms to control the speed with which information is delivered through the Internet -- giving the fast track to monopolists, and the slow lane (or even the dirt paths) to smaller firms.
Why should you care? Here's why. If you work for a midsized firm, your larger competitor will be able to pay to make sure that your website loads 10, 100, or 1000 times slower than theirs. Your ability to communicate with customers and generate leads on the web will be crippled -- unless you are big enough and have deep enough pockets to pay astronomical hosting and bandwidth rates.
If you work for a very large, very rich company, the move to kill "Net Neutrality" is a wonderful idea. You won't have to worry about competing with smaller firms who may be more innovative. Instead, you can simply drive them out of business by strangling their ability to communicate with the customer base. It's a monopolist's dream scenario.
What can you do? Frankly, not much. After decades of deregulation fever, rampant corruption, and the constant distractions of "culture wars", the United States now has a government that's largely run by and for large corporate interests. The mere fact that a deal to kill Net Neutrality is being publicly discussed probably means that the fix is in.
However, there is a chance (albeit a small one) that our elected "representatives" might put the kibosh on the deal if enough citizens write to them and tell them that that we intend to actively campaign against them and for their opponent, if our corporate government kills net neutrality.
The easiest way to do this is to use the links below:
I apologize for the readers who don't live in the United States. Not because this isn't interesting to them, but because if the U.S. kills Net Neutrality, the likelihood it will survive in your country is minuscule.