The Internet: Net Neutrality or Pay to Play?

Updated below

As a long-time user of the Internet, I'm naturally very concerned when something threatens access to it or threatens to balkanize it into little segments. Unfortunately there is such a threat at the moment. Telecom companies want to regulate content on the web and internet by differentially charging users to see content. Obviously, if access to web content varies by where you live or by how much you're willing to pay, that is, pay to play, this is not good. It will especially affect the little guy, most of us.

The concept of "net neutrality" is that the web should be open to all--as it is now. Major content providers such as Yahoo and Google are in favor of it. Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the web, is in favor of it.

Today a bipartisan bill, HR 5417 is being marked up. It's stated goal is to offer protections to net neutrality. Here's more info.

Update. The Judiciary Committee Dems seemed to have voted the right way in favor of the bill. Some commentators are warning of telcos obfuscation of the issue, so watch out.

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