Sunday, June 18, 2006

Get busy, push for Net Neutrality

Many of you have probably heard that corporate shill Mike McCurry had his ass handed to him on Friday by's Paul Misener at debate hosted by George Washington University. If you haven't watched the debate, you can see the entire video at Politics TV (or just watch the Q&A where McCurry really gets slaughtered). You can also read ">some the transcript at SaveTheInternet to see how the Telco's argument does it's counter-clockwise spiral down the bowl but the entertainment value of seeing McCurry get soundly spanked is worth watching.

If you're unsure about how the Net Neutrality goes, here's the down & dirty talking point. The big Telcos (AT&T, Bell South, Verizon, etc.) claim that unless they can run the internet their way, innovation is dead, and the internet will suck forever. The big Telcos are calling Net Neutrality "regulating the internet".

What a crock of shit. What the big Telcos want to do is create a monopoly for themselves, rake in money on services that are currently free (by setting up "toll booths" for those services - such as blogging, video streaming, etc.) and potentially determine which content will be provided to users. In order to argue this, McCurry and the Telcos have resorted to outright lies, claiming that Net Neutrality is an issue advocated by the far left and that if the Net Neutrality amendment passes, traffic on the internet will bog down in an increasingly overwhelmed network.

Both claims are nonsense, desperate words to cover fatcat asses. Net Neutrality is supported across the political spectrum, as Eli Parser points out,
Telecom companies also like to paper Congress with propaganda implying that Internet freedom is somehow a left-wing issue. Tell that to the Christian Coalition, Gun Owners of America, Instapundit, the business executives, and the many libertarians who are fighting right along with MoveOn, the inventors of the Internet, thousands of bloggers, and the Coalition in support of Net Neutrality.

As Craig Fields of the Gun Owners says, when the left and right agree on an issue like Internet freedom, "it's been my experience that what Congress is getting ready to do is basically un-American." On the proposal to destroy Net Neutrality, most Americans would probably agree.

The canard that internet traffic will slow to a crawl (and will squelch innovation) is a laugh, pure and unadulterated bullshit. In fact, there is so much infrastructure in place, the companies decades away from using it all. As Fiber Optic Association (FOA) president Jim Hayes said to,
"The backbone was terribly overbuilt. Ninety-three percent of all the fiber that’s been installed is still unused."

However, you can decide for yourself and read S 2917 in its entirety.

The bill goes to committee this Thursday; Colorado voters don't have a dog in this fight at that point. However, should Net Neutrality pass the Commerce Committee, Senators Allard and Salazar need to be urged to support the Snowe/Dorgan amendment AKA “Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2006." Good local coverage of this issue is over at Coloradopols (where I got this contact info and directions):

Contact Senator Ken Salazar: Click here to email or call:
Phone: (202) 224-5852
Fax: (202) 228-5036

Contact Senator Wayne Allard: Click here to email or call:
Phone: (202) 224-5941
Fax: (202) 224-6471

If you email, be sure to click the ‘High-Tech/Telecommunications’ choice so that it is directed to the correct place.

As I mentioned, there's good coverage of this over at Coloradopols; you'll also want to catch what's written over at as they have more information and some lively discussion in the comments.

It's your internet - for now. If you don't call or email, you have no one to blame but yourself if you start getting charged "tolls" and find that you can't access your favorite site. You have the power but you have to fight to keep it.


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