Net Neutrality – How important is net access in our every day lives? What do you think Canada? Cornwall Ontario – June 8, 2010

Cornwall ON – So who owns the Internet?  Should anyone own the Internet?  Should we all have free access to it?  Who should control it and why if so?

There are battles going on right now.   At the turn of the 20th century the passport system was introduced because advances in travel made it easy for people to get around.   While there were lots of benefits things like spying grew and national paranoia and control issues took over.

Passports were created so that “Big Brother” at least the kind of that day, could have some sort of way of knowing who was going where, when, and of course why.   It wasn’t a perfect system, and of course the “bad guys” always found ways around it thus leaving the good guys to have to waste their time.

Technology advancements have led to everyday people travelling the world from the comfort of their electronic device of choice.   The Internet has changed the world and will continue to change the world as we know it.

China makes it illegal for some communications as a means of control of society.   Apparently many in the West are jealous and are trying to find ways to “control it” or control you and I.   The current excuse is monetary.

With the recession/depression governments are looking for ways to monetize the internet and of course that monetization turns into a class issue.  Right now there’s a big press for convergence and using mobile devices to use the internet, but the cost of “bandwidth” on most mobile phones is a bit prohibitive.

Big Media companies have also taken a brutal beating in the age of the Internet.  While financial in large part it’s also about control of our agenda and the messages that we are supposed to digest.

Go back to the 50’s and you couldn’t say “Pregnant” on TV.  There were censors and “codes of conduct”.   Even today the Howard Stern’s of the world can say what they want on Satellite radio because it’s not “controlled” by the FCC.   Our own radio station, has freedoms because it’s not a signatory to the CRTC here in Canada.

Net Neutrality is the hot buzzword and has been for a few years now.   There’s an ongoing struggle for not only freedom of speech, but the ability to communicate that speech.   Right now if big Cable, internet, phone, and media companies had their way there’s going to be a new level of internet, very much commercially controlled that will make it free for “Big Brothers” websites to be viewed but make it more expensive for sites like this one to be available to you.

There’ll be extra fees, and extra hoops which in the end will result in focusing people on content on the main tube and many sites like this may one day wither and die.

Of course this fortunately is still in the discussion and fighting stages at this point;  but it’s not that far away.

It’s something to think about this invisible highway we almost all travel.

What do you think Canada?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. Most of the web is populated by small business. The power this gives a small business owner is that they may create a website which may appear to be as impressive as a ‘big brother’ counterpart – for example, a well established clothing store vs. a new start up clothing store could have equally ‘succesful-looking’ websites, creating a level playing field for internet commerce.

    If these proposed changes should happen, only the established and financially succesful businesses would be online, creating yet another ‘big guy / little guy’ separation of financial level – in other words, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Isn’t it enough that our internet access will be taxed at 13% in a few weeks? No, the net oughtn’t to be free, but it should remain affordable to all.

  2. I agree with what John says “the net should remain affordable to all”. I believe that Canada has the highest ISP prices, cellphone voice/text prices, and the highest telephone service prices in the world.
    Why is this? When will these service providers lower their prices to more affordable levels like in Europe and Asia?

  3. Neutrality is for the gutless that can’t back a hand. Objectivity is a fairy tale for five year olds. I use a shortwave radio. I get the news two days faster than the internet and three days faster than the newspaper. I like watching newspapers fold and reporters wash dishes. Maybe next time they will develop some backbone and pander to the public and not the publisher.

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