If we really want this, we have to do something about it. Any ideas? Would a letter-writing campaign work with this administration?

It’s time to delve into net neutrality, see what yesterday’s Senate committee vote meant, what portents of doom are portending and if Google of Yahoo! is going to win the bidding war for premium service the telecoms are slavering for.

The basics: Don’t confuse the apples with the apple cart. Net neutrality is but one part of an omnibus legislation phone companies are keen to see get passed so they can start doing things like offering pay-television services in competition with cable companies, according to industry observer Amy Schatz:

“The Senate bill’s main focus is creating a national video franchise system that would allow phone and cable companies to bypass the sometimes lengthy negotiations with local authorities over offering pay-television service,” Schatz writes. “But the bill also contains a wide variety of other requirements, from antipiracy technologies for television broadcasts to changes in a federal fund that subsidizes phone services in rural areas.”

Is this going to be another case where the public starts complaining only when they’ve discovered what they’ve lost?



  1. Eideard says:

    http://www.congress.org ain’t a bad place to start.

  2. malren says:

    Smartalix, it’s not “This administration” which as anyone knows, refers to the occupant of the White House and his chosen staff. The culprit here is Congress as a whole, left right and center. This Congress is substantially the same as it was during the last administration. All sides voted to destroy the Internet. The screw-up was bi-partisan.

  3. RoeBoeDog says:

    They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot! As sung by Joni Mitchell. We poor Americans never seem to know something is wrong until we can’t do something.

  4. Allen says:

    It’s on their radar. Even though it wasn’t on the popup list of hot topics, there was a boilerplate ready (if I didn’t mangle the html):

    Thank you for contacting me with regard to net neutrality.
    I appreciate your bringing to my attention your concerns about this
    important issue.

    The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    Committee has held hearings on net neutrality and related issues,
    and is in the process of considering relevant legislation. Although
    I am not a member of this committee, you may be assured that I
    will keep your views in mind should this matter come before the
    full Senate for consideration.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of assistance to you
    in the future.
    In the future please visit my web site at http://sarbanes.senate.gov rather than
    clicking reply.

    With best regards,
    Paul Sarbanes
    United States Senator

    I’d say that those who are in states with actual members on Commerce have a better chance of getting an actual answer.

  5. phiend says:

    “Is this going to be another case where the public starts complaining only when they’ve discovered what they’ve lost?”

    You know it will be, we are a society of lazy people. So enjoy the Internet now because this time next year the Internet as we know it will be gone.

  6. John Wofford says:

    Well, it looks as if we’re all doomed, yet again. The question seems to be who is going to make the most money from entertaining the goofballs who crave naught but titillation and sensation. Like the man says, if they don’t like the content, or the speed/price ratio of downloading all the dumbed down content then let them read a book.
    Not a bad idea, in my opinion.
    Didn’t someone else get into a bit of trouble with a similar statement, something about let them eat cake?
    Heads could roll over this.

  7. Smartalix says:

    You’re right in that Congress is directly at fault here, but I also blame the administration, because this could be solved directly with regulation. Net neutrality is a public-domain issue.

    However, the primary reason I mentioned the administration in that context was to point out the White House’s known dismissal of protesters. Congress will get the message if enough of us act. a site that supports the cause.

    Anyone who has read my political rantings knows I dislike both parties. Their blatant maneuvering for maximum dollars from lobbyists on both sides of the issue is sickening.

    However, Congress does it because they know the general public doesn’t understand the issue, especially with the lack of real, coherent analysis from the mainstream press. So the special-interest groups frame the issue with advertising and steer the vote with campaign dollars.

    Business as usual, which means we get the business in the end.

  8. bill says:

    How about having our web servers refuse traffic from any compromised networks. When ‘congress’ is sitting there with electronic paperweights on their desk, maybe they will get ‘the picture’. Geee, remember when you put up a thing on the roof to get TV? like if there was anything worth watching on pay tv I might do that.

    What do they do in other countries about this? maybe it’s time for a new ‘real internet’. How about that Cisco (CSCO)? Plop down some of your super routers, conect them up and charge 19.99 for some serious bandwidth.

    I mean how much would it cost to do it right?

  9. Gary Marks says:

    (this is my email to one of my Senators)

    Dear Senator Ensign,

    Since I read about your recent vote against the net neutrality amendment sponsored in committee by Senators Snowe and Dorgan, I can now foresee only two possible scenarios under which you will ever receive another one of my votes. The first is if a similar amendment is offered on the floor of the Senate, and you reverse your position to help it pass.

    The second circumstance under which I might vote for you is if your opponent were Lucifer himself. I realize that this scenario is highly unlikely, however, because I expect that Lucifer is probably one of your more enthusiastic supporters, especially from a financial standpoint.

    I also have a hunch that the $1000 personal campaign donation from SBC Chairman (now AT&T) Ed Whitacre to your Nevada Senate campaign is just the tip of a very large iceberg. I hope you enjoy the telecom money in lieu of my vote.

    Your truly,
    Gary Marks

  10. ECA says:

    Why is our country HELPING corps to make money, and NOT helping the Citizans, anymore??

  11. MikA says:

    No 8 – why not charge the (compromised) network to access our (your?) servers

  12. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    Nothing will come of this from the public because few understand it and even fewer care. Big business scores another won.


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