Tollbooths on the Internet Highway


When you use the Internet today, your browser glides from one Web site to another, accessing all destinations with equal ease. That could change dramatically, however, if Internet service providers are allowed to tilt the playing field, giving preference to sites that pay them extra and penalizing those that don’t.

Some I.S.P.’s are phone and cable companies that make large campaign contributions, and are used to getting their way in Washington. But Americans feel strongly about an open and free Internet. Net neutrality is an issue where the public interest can and should trump the special interests.

In recent Congressional hearings on Net neutrality, Republicans as well as Democrats were concerned that the public interest would be irrevocably harmed if ISPS and cablecos were allowed to decide who can use their bandwidth and who can’t. This is an issue that effects everyone who uses the Net.