Speak now

July 21, 2006

or it may be too late.

It has to do with a principle called *Net Neutrality*.

Currently, the laws demand that ISPs treat bandwidth fairly and equally. Meaning that bandwidth (speed) is the essentially the same for everyone.

> The USA congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet’s First Amendment — a principle called Network Neutrality.

If passed, the law will allow ISPs to set up a multi-tiered Internet that would allow them to charge more for faster bandwidth speed. This means that only those who can afford it will have their sites served quickly.

Here’s an example. Say you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes. You visit shoes.com which loads in a flash but you want to see what podmart.com are selling them for … you wait… and wait… and wait. then you give up and buy from shoes.com. Why is there a difference? Because shoes.com paid for the premium, top-tier service; podmart didn’t and lost your business.

Another possible scenario – you’re an iTunes Music Store addict who recently signed up for a super fast connection with, say, Telstra. Unfortunately, when you try to access the iTMS, you find yourself waiting ages for the site to load. However, if you pop over to Telstra’s store, it’s nice and fast.

Okay, these scenarios are only theoretical at the moment. I’m sure those respective companies mentioned above would never engage in those practices.

The point is, it will happen if this law is passed.

The Internet has had a revolutionary effect on our lives because of the *equal* allocation of bandwidth.
The little guy can compete with the big guys. This fair and balanced access is, however, under threat – unless we can convince the USA congress to include a concept called Net Neutrality in the pending legislation.

I think it would be extremely naive to think this won’t have a flow-on effect in Australia.

###What can you do?######

Visit the [Save The Internet](http://www.savetheinternet.com/) website and add your name to the petition. If you are outside the USA or Canada, fill in the form anyway – and visit [the Freepress page](http://action.freepress.net/campaign/netfreedomnow/) and complete that form.

It only takes a minute or so but wil hopefully have a positive effect.

Then email everyone you know and ask them to speak up too! :-)

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