06/01/2008 - Every significant Internet provider around the globe is currently in talks with access and content providers to transform the internet into a television-like medium: no more freedom, you pay for a small commercial package of sites you can visit and you'll have to pay for seperate subscriptions for every site that's not in the package.
Almost all smaller websites/services will disappear over time and multinationals who are used to using big budgets to brute force their content into every media outlet will finally be able to approach the internet in the same way.
This well-known illustration of why we need net neutrality turns out to be very close to the truth at the bottom of this blog:
Internet providers have realized that the only way to not lose massive amounts of customers over this is to make sure there are no alternatives, that's why all major Internet providers are currently making agreements and planning to switch simultaneously somewhere in the year 2012. This is currently all going on under very strict NDA's (Non-Disclosure Agreements) because the last thing they want is the masses speaking out against it.
It's our responsibility to spread the word, use any sort of political or media contacts you may know. The more awareness there is, the more impossible it'll be for Internet providers to make this switch. Let's make sure that by 2012, ISP's won't even dare think about doing anything that goes against the principles of net neutrality.
Net neutrality has been a much debated issue for several years now and there have been many lawsuits in cases where an Internet provider blocked access to a certain competitor's site or simply crippled download speeds on services that they felt were using up too much of their bandwidth. But this new information that has now been confirmed by inside sources from major ISP's and content providers gives us a far bleaker vision of what the future of Internet freedom will look like if we don't take action in every way we can.
Why is this happening? The entire media and marketing industry is losing its grip on the upcoming generations of Internet-minded consumers. Statistics show that traditional media is losing popularity as the Internet continues to grow drastically every year. And the Internet is a completely different place: consumers aren't passive any more and advertisements don't have the same psychological effect they normally have on television. Internet users are very active and focused: they only go to the sites and services they want, and with an infinite amount of alternatives, users simply switch to something else if one service becomes too commercialized with annoying advertisements.With this in mind, it's no surprise that the past 6 years the industry has secretly been planning a 'take-over' to secure the Internet as a purely commercial playground.
But there is hope... More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of net neutrality and now that we have uncovered what the industries have been plotting, it's not just about big corporations forming shady agreements, it's about what they will say to their users who will demand an explanation from their providers on what will happen to their access in 2012. As long as there are alternatives, we can pressure those providers who admit to being against net neutrality and favor those who take a stand and choose to give their users their freedom even after 2012. We can keep pushing for net neutrality laws and we can start spreading awareness on a massive scale to make sure that ISP's think twice before signing anything that'll go against the freedom that made the Internet into the important open medium that it is today.
It's our responsibility, spread the word and use any sort of political or media contacts you may know. Let's make sure that by 2012, ISP's won't even dare think about doing anything that goes against the principles of net neutrality.