Savetheinternet.com: Keep the Playing Field Level

This is a cause that we little websites need to be on board with: net neutrality. Without it, the big-money players on the internet could easily squeeze out access to little websites like this one. Here’s a statement from savetheinternet.com, a new coalition formed to advocate for net neutrality so that websites of every stripe and political persuasion will continue to be accessible online:

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon Network Neutrality, the Internet’s First Amendment. Network neutrality prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work the best — based on who pays them the most. Your local library shouldn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to have its Web site open quickly on your computer.

Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn’t speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn’t just speculation — we’ve already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet’s gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Canada’s version of AT&T — Telus— blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. And Shaw, a major Canadian cable TV company, charges an extra $10 a month to subscribers who dare to use a competing Internet telephone service.

Congress thinks they can sell out and the public will never know. The SavetheInternet.Com Coalition is proving them wrong.

I urge anyone who cares about the internet to join this coalition.

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