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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

This day is without food blogs

Savetheinternetblog_image The sky is falling. Yes, I'm not just being Chicken Little. The sky is falling. And hardly anyone is looking. That's what kills me.

A huge change is brewing in the US Congress, fueled by lobbyists from large telephone companies and service providers. If these lobbyists are successful then the face of the Internet that we know and love will change forever.

From the NY Time's Editorial Desk May 2,2006:

"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".

But access to the Internet is not exactly equal now, is it? People pay for varying speed of connection to the Internet, dial-up, DSL, T1, etc. Those with more money can access the Internet at much faster speed than those with less. That's what you think, yes?

That is something different though. Currently, consumers can pay for different speed of connection, but once they are connected to the Internet, there is no difference between accessing the massive Yahoo.com or the little chezpim.com. But when the new law is passed the service providers will be allowed to dole out different websites or services at different speed, essentially by creating two-tier Internet: one with super fast speed for the sites who are willing to pay, and the other with only the slow lane, for those unwilling or unable to pay up.

That means that the phone companies can tell you that if you want to access CNN.com, you can use the fast lane, but if you want to see your friend's blog, you will have to use the slow lane.

This is a blatant violation of the principle called Net Neutrality, and it will change the face of the Internet forever. And since a huge part of the Internet goes through the US, or through routers and switches owned by companies in the US, this change will affect you no matter where you are.

Do you know what I mean by the sky falling now? And it really kills me that hardly anyone is looking. We should not let a change this fundamental happen under our radar.

Please learn more about this important issue. Make up your own mind, and act on it.

I do hope that you go to savetheinternet.com and sign a petition. You could also write your congressperson or senator to show your support of Net Neutrality, and tell them to protect democracy on the Internet.

More resources:
Keeping a Democratic Web
New York Times' Editorial Desk, May 2, 2006
Catching the Web in a Net of Neutrality
Washingtonpost.com, May 2, 2006
Why You Should Care About Network Neutrality?
Slate.com, May 1, 2006


Food Bloggers, please join us and make today a day without your food blog as well!

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