Saturday, April 22, 2006

 

National Net Neutrality Defense System Needed

Hello Jamaicans. The OLPC ($100 laptop) hardware and Croquet/Linux software movements are within range of the land of almost no-cost citizenship to the digital 21st century for all citizens. By grooving a path to those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, we will further increase the educational levels and economic competitiveness of a nation. For example, many groups who have been disenfanchised have recently been making great strides, such as the giant leaps forward taken in Internet use by the black community. Further, many ambitious rural and metropolitan regions that have been challenged economically have been building wireless and wired networks to increase local Internet access in hope of also catching up. However, the successful and intense multi-million dollar lobbying of the phone and cable companies is powering up for summer 2006 to get the legal power to end the prior legislative understanding of net neutrality. They will thereby gain a toll-gate monopoly of priority-based toll roads across the path of accessibility to the Internet and its vast treasure trove of free and commercial resources. See (http://www.cio.com/archive/041506/net.html?source=cioinsider).

Perhaps it is time for a national net neutrality defense system (NNNDS) and a national meeting of minds to develop alternatives to the "last mile" access that is currently managed by phone and cable companies. I'm also open to a better acronym for the effort. National Education, Economics & Communication System (NEECS)?

It is helpful to review the history of past highly successful efforts for national communication and economic development systems, such as the interstate highway system advocated for and achieved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. See http://www.infoplease.com/spot/interstate1.html. The interstate was orginally proposed as a tollway system but now serves all users without regard to economic status and without the kind of priority lanes and tollway mechanisms being proposed for the Internet by phone and cable companies. Similar values apply to our national library system, which has co-existed successfully with commercial bookstores for quite some time.

As Google, Yahoo and Microsoft should be opposed to the end of net neutrality, I suspect they'd be willing to fund the effort and maybe even recognize their mutual need for alliance in spite of their intense competition in other areas. There are interesting technical solutions that regions can consider, including Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) and important new develpments in digital wireless systems that can be brought into play.

Is anyone engaged in this effort already? Here's some: http://www.savetheinternet.com/ and there's Senate effort. Use your net skills to reach out and touch someone on this issue.
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