Having a faster internet connection is costly. Those who want a faster connection get charge more. Those who want to use the internet more get charged more. Franken thinks that is a violation of free speech. To him everyone should get equal access to speed and apparently another goal of "net neutrality" that there shouldn't be higher charges if you use the internet more
Well, our free speech rights are under assault -- not from the government but from corporations seeking to control the flow of information in America. . . .
"Net neutrality" sounds arcane, but it's fundamental to free speech. The internet today is an open marketplace. If you have a product, you can sell it. If you have an opinion, you can blog about it. If you have an idea, you can share it with the world.
And no matter who you are -- a corporation selling a new widget, a senator making a political argument or just a Minnesotan sharing a funny cat video -- you have equal access to that marketplace.
An e-mail from your mom comes in just as fast as a bill notification from your bank. You're reading this op-ed online; it'll load just as fast as a blog post criticizing it. That's what we mean by net neutrality.
But telecommunications companies want to be able to set up a special high-speed lane just for the corporations that can pay for it. You won't know why the internet retail behemoth loads faster than the mom-and-pop shop, but after a while you may get frustrated and do all of your shopping at the faster site. Maybe the gatekeepers will discriminate based on who pays them more. Maybe they will discriminate based on whose political point of view conforms to their bottom line. . . .
Labels: AlFranken, freespeech