Thursday, May 04, 2006

Save the Internet

Daily Wireless runs down the new pro net neutrality bill that has just been introduced.

From the post:

"Net Neutrality is not dead yet, reports GoogleNews, Consumer Affairs, Red Herring and MacWorld. The bill, entitled the Network Neutrality Act of 2006 (text), is sponsored by Representatives Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Jay Inslee of Washington state, Anna Eshoo of California and Rick Boucher of Virginia.

It would create a net neutrality law banning phone and cable companies from charging websites for faster data transmission, or blocking their online competitors. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

It goes well past the two other telecommunications bills by strictly barring phone companies from establishing Internet tolls. "This legislation is designed to save the Internet and thwart those who seek to fundamentally and detrimentally alter the Internet as we know it," said Markey."

From the New York Times Opinions page:

"Net neutrality" is a concept that is still unfamiliar to most Americans, but it keeps the Internet democratic. Cable and telephone companies that provide Internet service are talking about creating a two-tiered Internet, in which Web sites that pay them large fees would get priority over everything else. Opponents of these plans are supporting Net-neutrality legislation, which would require all Web sites to be treated equally. Net neutrality recently suffered a setback in the House, but there is growing hope that the Senate will take up the cause.

One of the Internet's great strengths is that a single blogger or a small political group can inexpensively create a Web page that is just as accessible to the world as Microsoft's home page. But this democratic Internet would be in danger if the companies that deliver Internet service changed the rules so that Web sites that pay them money would be easily accessible, while little-guy sites would be harder to access, and slower to navigate. Providers could also block access to sites they do not like.

That would be a financial windfall for Internet service providers, but a disaster for users, who could find their Web browsing influenced by whichever sites paid their service provider the most money. "

Tim Berners-Lee:

"Twenty-seven years ago, the inventors of the Internet[1] designed an architecture[2] which was simple and general. Any computer could send a packet to any other computer. The network did not look inside packets. It is the cleanness of that design, and the strict independence of the layers, which allowed the Internet to grow and be useful.

When, seventeen years ago, I designed the Web, I did not have to ask anyone's permission. [3]. The new application rolled out over the existing Internet without modifying it.

It is of the utmost importance that, if I connect to the Internet, and you connect to the Internet, that we can then run any Internet application we want, without discrimination as to who we are or what we are doing. We pay for connection to the Net as though it were a cloud which magically delivers our packets. We may pay for a higher or a lower quality of service. We may pay for a service which has the characteristics of being good for video, or quality audio. But we each pay to connect to the Net, but no one can pay for exclusive access to me.

Let us protect the neutrality of the net."

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