I’ve written about the importance of Net neutrality to small businesses and entrepreneurs before, but this time I’ll let Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, explain the problem to you:
I think the people who talk about dismantling — threatening — Net neutrality don’t appreciate how important it has been for us to have an independent market for productivity and for applications on the Internet.
Now, if we compare what you can get into your home with earliest modems, it’s maybe 1,000 times as fast. So that market has been very competitive, very successful.
And I think we wouldn’t have seen this explosion in the exciting, tremendous diversity of the kind of things you see on the Web now. So in the future, obviously, we expect to see many more things. We expect to see, very importantly, television streaming over the Internet, which is going to make a very exciting market in television content and maybe entertainment, maybe educational ideas.
The people deploying these things rely on the fact that the Internet is sitting there waiting to carry whatever they can dream up.
There was a very good reason why the monopolistic AT&T was dismantled in 1982, and yet the separate parts have nonetheless found a way to reassemble themselves. The latest severed appendage to attempt a crawl back home is Bell South, under a proposed acquisition by the new AT&T that was created when “Baby Bell” SBC kicked off the homecoming game by acquiring “Ma Bell” in the most ironic corporate acquisition since AOL bought Time Warner.
The problem is, these two companies have been the most outspoken about creating a tiered Internet, where those who pay (beyond basic hosting and internet service) get preferential speed and access. Plus, the combination of the two will result in a DSL monopoly in 23 states, and sets a precedent for the cable companies to follow the tiered Internet approach soon to be established by AT&T (barring government intervention).
Guess where that leaves us and all our efforts in the social media space?
Liz Strauss has been following this issue from the standpoint of the small business practically all year, and it’s not too late to stop AT&T’s acquisition of Bell South due to pending FCC approval.
Head over to Successful Blog for all the details on what we can do to fight back.
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