Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu describes “Network neutrality as a network design principle. The idea is that a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally”.
This morning’s keynote speaker, David S. Isenberg, Principal Prosultant, isen.com walked SES attendees through basic concepts of net neutrality and urged us to get involved in order to save our businesses from monolithic and greedy telecom and cable companies.
Now that we’ve invented the internet and applications that drive it’s growth, the telephone companies want to take a bigger bite. Along with the cable companies, they seek to transform the internet into an application-sensitive network where some applications are free and corporate applications, like search marketing communications, are essentially taxed. Services like email, websites, blogs, photo-sharing and many other day to day staples of modern digital life would have metered charges, essentially multiplying the cost exponentially.
When AT&T’s Ed Whitacre declared in 2005, “They’re not going to use my pipes for free,” he was talking very specifically about [content providers that fuel] search engine marketers and corporate applications. The phone companies have even used fear tactics such as implying degraded service.
More disturbing, if the telecom companies have their way, is that those who do contract with Internet access providers will be forced to “withstand extra charges, reduced reach, degraded knowledge of their customers’ behaviors, reduced ability to discover new applications and markets, and reduced trust.”
The reality is that we’re threatened. Recent FCC and court decisions seem to indicate that the neutral Internet we’ve all come to cherish, mother of search engine marketing is not a reality we can count on in the future.