Typically, we've stayed out of political debates on this blog. There are more than enough participants in the various issue-driven discussions that crowd the blogosphere. Even when there appeared to be an issue where taking a "stand" might have been expected (e.g. armed forces recruiting) we've preferred to remain neutral, focused on finding solutions for problems rather than celebrating them!
Today, we'd like to deviate significantly from the past, and point out an issue on which no one in this sector can remain "neutral." Strangely enough, the issue is none other than "net neutrality." Well summarized in a May 2, 2006 article by Reuters' Kristin Roberts, here's the bottom line on the "net neutrality" debate:
"Broadband providers such as AT&T Inc., BellSouth Corp. and Verizon Communications want to expand from flat pricing and also sell tiers of service based on the speed, reliability and security of the bandwidth used.
While those providers have said they would not block access to the open Internet, companies that use the Internet to sell products or services want Congress to adopt stricter safeguards to ensure they are not pushed into a slower lane of the Internet if they do not pay more for dedicated network service."
What's disturbing about Robert's article, entitled US Finance Sector Puts Web Pricing in Cross Hairs is that even people as astute as the financial services community are just waking up to the costs that could be imposed if recently proposed legislation (supporting a less-than-neutral Internet) makes it through Congress. In fact, as Robert's implies, the FS people may be too late to make anything happen at this stage. Instead, they may fight it out (for their own interests . . . not yours or mine) in
Don't miss the opportunity to be heard. The impact of new costs (imposed by carriers) on net proceeds even WITH good conversion rates could be significant for many of us. For more information on what you can do, check out Save the Internet.com. And contact your elected representatives today!