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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Net neutrality...

I'm not going to go into detail about my support for net neutrality and, more particularly, the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act," which reappeared in 2007 form on Tuesday in D.C.

Although neutrality seems to be a "cut and dried" issue for a lot of people on both sides, I think it's a complicated issue that deserves detailed consideration. The net has become a marketplace inside a marketplace (and I mean that in both a commercial and "marketplace of ideas" kind of way) and matters of regulation, control, profit, and access aren't quite as simple as who owns the pipes and who should have to pay to flow through them.

In the end, I come down on the side of net neutrality legislation.

That's not really my point today, though. What has surprised the heck out of me is the seemingly low percentage of people out there who have any idea what all of the commotion is about (if they are even aware a commotion exists) and the even lower percentage of people who seem to give a damn one way or the other.

So, instead of preaching my particular viewpoint, I thought I would instead invite those who haven't made up their minds (or who aren't really even that familiar with the concepts at play) to start digging. If you aren't sure where to first plant your spade, you might want to try:

Text of the Act, recently re-introduced in the Senate (PDF).

Propaganda extolling the virtues of net neutrality:

Propaganda in opposition to net neutrality legislation:

Articles opposing net neutrality from The Washington Post and PhysOrg. Oh, and something from the folks at Cato who don't care much for the idea, either.

Articles advocating net neutrality legislation from GigaOm, Barack Obama, and warnings from Bill Moyers.

The motivated may want to read some Senate Judiciary Committee testimony.

Oh, and even though I am trying to be even-handed here, I can't resist poking fun at Ted Stevens, the anti-neutrality Alaskan Senator famous for his dumping, tubes and stuttering. Something tells me that even those who oppose neutrality are probably happy Stevens won't be their front-person from here on out...