Thursday, May 15, 2014

The net is our home

The net regulator, the FCC, is threatening to ratify the practice by service providers of selling a few big companies fast service -- and consigning most of us to under-maintained back roads. The video above describes this very well. I hope everyone reading this has already "commented" -- yelled and screamed -- at the FCC.

Bill Moyers did a terrific show on these issues that you can watch in full here. I was particularly struck by how New York Times media columnist David Carr observes us interacting with the net.

People have a close, intimate relationship with the Web in a way they don't other technologies. It's where they see their loved ones. It's where they communicate with people. And they have the precious propriety feelings about it. And I'm not sure if the FCC really knows what they're getting into.

...people don't get excited about this until their movie starts stuttering or they can't upload big files. Then they get plenty, plenty excited. People expect it to be like electricity. You expect to turn on the cold water and to have it flow. You expect to plug something in and for it to light up. And you expect to turn on your Internet, and for it to work. ...

[When the entertainment industry tried to pass a law that would choke the internet,] people went ballistic. And, with the support of Google, with the support of Facebook, came off the sidelines and said, you know what? You're going to break the Internet. We don't want you to break the Internet. That’s ours. Keep your hands off our Internet. If you look at the hierarchy of communication that comes to you over the web, there's your email. What could be more interesting than that? Somebody's thinking about you, sending a message.

You hit the button, and up pops your grandchild. Or, if you want, you move over and you can talk to them in real-time on FaceTime. We're living in an incredibly magical age that all this technology has enabled. ...


Carr has caught how fully embedded in our intimate lives the option of internet connectivity has become. The net is a great part of where we live. It is home. No wonder we holler when somebody tries to seize and sell off our home. Will they get away with it?

H/t to Time Goes By for the video -- one of the best of a large genre.

UPDATE: The FCC voted to go ahead with the changes that will make for a two-(or more) tiered internet. There will now be a 120 day comment period -- a 120 day fight back period.

You can put yourself in the loop on net neutrality issues here.

No comments: