The Ongoing Corporate Murder of the Internet

The stories cropping up everyone regarding lobbying efforts by telecom companies to start chopping up, tiering and otherwise murdering the smooth flow of information across the Internet have started to worry me more than just about any other technical issue of late. Typically, this whole situation is yet another example of corporate interests and their political partners working to maximize profits while limiting the choices of the consumer. From successful attempts to obliterate municipal wireless networks to decreasing regulation touching off more and more megamergers in the telecom and media world, we’re likely to see the Internet we use today turn into another “gold”, “silver” and “platinum”, tiered, packaged and overpriced pile of crap not unlike satellite TV and cell phone service.mountainsphoto.ru

That might sound a little fatalistic or overblown… but look at the warning signs. Of the various articles I’ve read scattered about the web, this story on DailyKOS is a good starting place to get a taste of the political and corporate mix that is taking us down this road:

According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets — corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers — would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.

Under the plans they are considering, all of us — from content providers to individual users — would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing “platinum,” “gold” and “silver” levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received.

Give it a read…

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