The United States Department of Justice. Dedicated to enforcing the law and defend the interests of the United States. Especially when Corporate America is at stake. Why else would the DoJ not only allow a biased and wholly non-neutral, two-tier internet, but also encourage the creation of a status-based online status/priority queue.
We’re not going to waste any more breath (or keystrokes, they do run out you know!) on begging people to see otherwise but rather get right to the point and list the real reasons why a two-tier internet is a very bad thing.
- It’s going to cost end users (you, the people reading this) a lot more. Whether ISPs have to pay extra to get their traffic through and carry those costs over to the subscribers or because online services will start to charge money for their previously free services just to get the bandwidth and speeds they need; it’s gonna cost you big.
- The web isn’t about boundaries, it’s about going wherever you damn well please. When the United States implements a priority-based two-tier internet, foreign-based websites and visitors will end up having to pay. Imagine that just because you don’t live in the USA you don’t get to access US-based sites at the same speeds (or at all!?!?!) as your US-dwelling cyber-residents do. How fast can you say “Not Fair!?”
- Startups don’t even get a chance. Web 2.0 is all about startups; if a two-tier internet is implemented, no startup will ever get a fair chance. Imagine if Fickr or YouTube had to pay extra on top of their already-huge bandwidth bills back in the day…
- The internet isn’t Cable TV. You don’t pay extra for certain channels, and that’s why pay-per-view internet sites haven’t (and never will) take off as well as their free alternatives. Think of it this way: once only big companies can afford priority-one internet, you’ll pay a hell of a lot more for stuff that used to be free, because they were forced out of business. Once a two-tier internet kicks in, don’t be surprised to see your ISP charging you extra for access to P2P networks, Flickr, YouTube, Linux Distros, and anything else that’s more than a couple of KB big.
- Open-source be damned… Or so the US DoJ seems to be hoping. While Microsoft and Google are protesting the two-tier internet (thank God someone seems to care!), in reality most open source projects run on stamina and selflessness alone. If webhosting costs were to rise any more, a hell of a lot of awesome freeware/open-source projects would be forced to shutdown.
- ISPs will have even less incentive to pull their act together! Already several notable organizations have lambasted the US-based ISPs for being noticeably behind their Asian and European counterparts with regards to broadband proliferation and network speeds. A two-tier internet is a last-ditch effort by ISPs for an easy way out of upgrading their networks. Once the internet is split into two and ISPs are charging you more for less, big bad CEOs can make more money without investing any in better networks. Is that what you want? Goodbye America, you’ve just dropped out of the technology race!
- This is bad for the economy. Period. Now, when almost everything from taxes to bills to entertainment to education to research and then some has moved online, is a very bad time to suddenly start charging everyone more for what they’ve already been using for years. There isn’t a single sector of the US Economy that doesn’t depend on a free and un-biased neutral internet – they’ll all suffer!
- The rich get richer… Verizon (yes, the same Verizon who’s involved in litigation against Vonage in an attempt to further reduce our online freedom) and other huge ISPs are just looking for more money. And that money has to come from somewhere. Whether they charge ISPs, big companies, or websites; at the end of the day, it’s users like you and ourselves that will pay – whether for higher ISP charges or in product price hikes, we’re going to suffer.
- An Internet Apartheid. A two-tier internet doesn’t just spell the death of the American Economy and an increase in already-high internet cost, it’s Apartheid. If companies like Verizon and AT&T make more money from traffic within the US, all of a sudden you’ll be seeing less and less international traffic and paying more to access sites across the Great American Divide. After all, why should foreign companies bother dealing with higher traffic fees for marketing to the US verses focusing on the (huge and untapped) foreign market?
- What the hell does the DoJ have to do with any of this, anyway? There aren’t any true federal issues at stake here, so what the hell is the DoJ doing encouraging a two-tier internet? The answer’s pretty simple: taxes, kickbacks, and corruption. If the DoJ honestly cared about the welfare of the American people and the status of the American economy as a whole they wouldn’t be butting in where they don’t belong; and most especially not to make such uninformed and obviously biased decisions like this.
It’s no longer a game, things are getting serious here. If you haven’t yet contacted your State Senator, you really should do so – before it’s too late.
Do you have any more to-the-point reasons why the US Government shouldn’t officially encourage a two-tier internet? To-the-point reasons why end-users should oppose? Post away, share, and make this stop!
Be sure to sign the petition, it’s the least you can do.