Thursday, April 27, 2006
The last straw for Charlie Bass
I'm extremely disappointed to learn that my representative in Congress voted today against Net Neutrality. I kinda liked ol' Charlie, till today. Voted for him in several elections. Guess that's going to have to stop.
Representative Joe Barton of Texas has sponsored a bill that would allow large telephone and cable companies to set priorities on traffic to certain websites. Now, I wonder what they would base those priorities on? Fees? Say it isn't so!
It's so. And Charlie Bass thinks it's a good idea. He voted for it.
So, let's say Yahoo pays AT&T a larger fee for a higher priority than Google. Suddenly, all the traffic to Google slows way down. You enter a search term, and you have to go get coffee while you wait for your results. Or, of course, you could try your search on Yahoo, which (amazing!) is very, very fast. Sorry, Google, I'm gonna have to use Yahoo from now on.
Or, let's say you keep a humble little blog. It's a form of self-expression, not a profit-making endeavor. Naturally, you're not going to pay AT&T to keep your priority right up there with Yahoo. Pretty soon, people will stop coming to your blog because it's just too darn slow. So, go ahead & express yourself, but nobody's listening.
Here are some other ways we could be affected.
Despite my personal pleas that he not support the bill, Representative Bass did support it. I rarely write to politicians, but I sent a personal email to Charlie a couple of days ago. So now next week the bill goes to the floor of the House for a vote.
It's time, people. Time for even the most apolitical of us to start making some noise. What can you do?
MoveOn.org is trying to organize the blogosphere (that's me & you!) to get the word to our representatives that we're, to put it mildly, concerned and unhappy about the prospect of this commercial activity forever changing the face of the internet. Let quality and utility determine which website gets traffic, not the money grubbers. Or, as we like to say in New Hampshire, live free or die!
Sign a petition.
Send an email.
Get a phone number and make a phone call.
Write a blog entry.
Tell all your friends.
Make noise. Make a difference. Save the internet.