Friday, June 30, 2006

Kerry on Net Neutrality Part II

Little did I know that when I wrote about Senator John Kerry's net neutrality support yesterday that I'd be doing it again so soon. Senator Kerry wrote a blog post of his own today at Here's an excerpt:

Everyone says they don't want the new world we're living in to be marked by the digital divide -- the term is so cliched it's turned to mush -- but yesterday was a test of who is willing to ask corporate America to do anything to fix it, and the Commerce Committee failed miserably. Why are United States Senators afraid to say that companies should be expected to foster growth by building out their broadband networks to increase access?

Free and open access to the internet is something all Americans should enjoy, regardless of what financial means they're born into or where they live. It is profoundly disappointing that the Senate is going let a handful of companies hold internet access hostage by legalizing the cherry-picking of cable service providers and new entrants. That is a dynamic that would leave some communities with inferior service, higher cable rates, and even the loss of service. Not to mention inadequate internet service -- in the age of the information.
Without net neutrality, telecoms could turn the Internet into something resembling cable television, where the cost to entry is too huge for normal people to get the kind of reach they can have now. They could also enter into exclusivity agreements and control the kind of content that you're able to see. It seems like they want to go back to the days where you dialed in to something like AOL, which couldn't talk to Compuserve or Prodigy. The Internet has come too far for that to happen, and I hope that we can get net neutrality codified before it's too late.