A few months ago – I posted a little blurb about how the companies that provide high speed internet – the cable and telephone companies – were trying to pass a bill that will require search engines such as Google and MSN to pay a fee to the high speed internet companies in order for people like you and me to access it. The DSL and Cable companies are very vague about what would happen if – for instance – Google didn’t give them any of their billions. Those that pay will be rewarded with instant connection – those that don’t will be hampered by delayed or slowed connections. In other words , the future could be – Yahoo pays my cable company – and when I search on the Internet, I start using Yahoo because it’s faster. Google doesn’t pay – and I find using Google frustrating due to the slow connect time.
Or perhaps, I won’t be able to gain access to a site I want to visit at all. Can you view a TV Channel that isn’t in your cable providers line up? Nope… The Internet could become just like Cable TV … not only could Search Engines end up paying more – but the future could hold tiered access charges … Pay X amount and you get a high speed connection limited to those companies that have paid up. Pay X amount and you get the companies that paid at high speed and those that don’t at low speed. Pay a premium amount – and everything connects quickly… just like the good old days that we currently enjoy.
Keeping the Internet Neutral has gained ground recently – There are now 26 senators in favor of the Snowe-Dorgan amendment to Senator Stevens’ telecom bill – a bill that encompasses a vast amount of changes – including the provision that search engines will need to pay in order to play. To learn more – visit https://www.freepress.net/issues/free-open-internet/net-neutrality.
There’s also an interesting editorial in the Anchorage Daily News (Senator Stevens is from Alaska.)
A Recent Article at Computer World suggests the issue will be backburnered – it’s controversial and it’s an election year with many senators facing re-election.
For anyone that uses the Internet on a regular basis, this is an issue that is definitely worth following.