If you’re like most Web surfers, chances are that you never think about how you access content online. You run searches with Google, shop at Amazon, and read the news at CNN or MSNBC, no matter if you’re at home, work, or elsewhere.
The universal accessibility of the Internet has made it an essential tool for accomplishing daily tasks and providing information across the globe.
But a regulatory debate is brewing in Congress that may lead to a system where companies provide “preferred access” to some Web content services over others.
Imagine not being able to access Yahoo’s Web portal as quickly from your Internet service provider, because the company that owns the cable lines has cut a deal with Google to provide their services exclusively.
None of this is a problem in other countries. The US is a mere 14th in broadband pentration, with countries like France offering consumers a vastly faster Internet at much lower prices than in the US. That’s because their regulations make it impossible for greedy companies to try to hog the Net for themselves.
If greedhead telcos have their way, they will lock down the Net, allowing only who they want through. This needs to be stopped, and stopped now. Don’t assume the Microsofts, Googles, and Yahoos will somehow prevail. Get involved in the fight now.