The choice facing lawmakers is stark: keep the Internet as a decentralized network that no single company controls and where all users and all Web sites are treated equally; or hand control over it to an oligopoly of cable and telephone companies.Fairly clear where they stand now - Thank you! (Read the full editorial online).
Shamefully, Congress appears inclined to do the latter by refusing to adopt so-called "network neutrality" rules. It's a choice that would be disastrous for Internet users, for Internet companies and for innovation itself.
Yes, all this Save the Internet! stuff is for real, not just an imagined threat or blogger-driven urban legend.
"Network Neutrality" basically means that all content providers and users are treated equally with equal access (to legal content). AT&T, Verizon, and the other large pipeline owners would like to slow down or cut off access to those who don't pay them extra.
Remember: Network Neutrality is not some new concept that radical libertarians are trying to sneak past the public. Network Neutrality is the existing paradigm that has accompanied the growth of the Internet since the start. What is new is the strength of the corporate backlash against it, and the attempt to sell off the Internet to the highest bidder.
Tags: Network Neutrality, Internet, freedom, San Jose Mercury News, Congress