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Net Neutrality: Personal websites in peril

Has anybody been paying attention to “Net Neutrality?” It seems that Lightstalkers and its members, especially those who have individual websites, will be seriously affected by this legislation. It certainly goes into the political realm, but then again, it could hurt most of us. Here’s the link to a column on the Huffington Post today about how big corporations like AT&T and Verizon essentially want to take over the internet and make little guys–like freelance photographers–disappear on the internet in favor of big corporate spenders. Here’s the story link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/net-neutrality-why-are_b_20311.html

by Michael Barrientos at 2006-05-04 11:17:21 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Lisbon , Portugal | Bookmark | | Report spam→

01 Jan 2006 00:01
Yeah, this is something I have been following lately and if you ask me it as big a threat, or bigger, than the current Orphan Works bill proposal. I think we have another fight on our hands, frankly, and this one could be life or death. We all of us depend on the net’s neutrality for freedom of speech, for freedom of commerce and for access to all kinds of information that would otherwise become unavailable. This is a very scary thing.

by Jon Anderson | 04 May 2006 11:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
This thread seems to be quietly slipping off the front page of Lightstalkers into page two oblivion. It needs to be read.The idea of Internet control is, as Jon says,scary, to say the least. Ok “it’ll never happen” is what many may say,but that attitude may take you back to the stoneage and Lightstalkers for one would go out the window ( "it doesn’t sell anything and it’s free? fuck that! ").

by Tony Stringer | 04 May 2006 17:05 | Turin and Rome, Italy | | Report spam→
I’m just curious as to why it won’t lead to a mass migration away from the telecom companies who try to strangle their ISP customers…assuming they’re all pipeline or wire companies, wouldn’t some wireless company/companies just take over?

Its kinda like in the UK, the largest telecom company, British Telecom, tried for years to restrict and control usage of the cables it owned – and in doing so slowed down UK takeup of internet access, but eventually got slaughtered when new mobile phone and cable phone companies just jumped over them and dug their own cables or put up their own masts. Now those same mobile companies are being jumped over by wireless internet companies which offer cheaper bandwidth for VOIP phone use and multimedia on the move.

Won’t dinosaurs like AT&T and Verizon just die? And won’t a lot of internet companies just move their servers to be seen by non-US viewers? I know the US is a big server hotspot but wasn’t the point of the internet that it could bypass any bottleneck or attack? If this comes to pass I can see a huge movement of internet capital away from US soil to Europe or Asia.

Or am I missing something?

by [former member] | 04 May 2006 17:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I’m just curious as to why it won’t lead to a mass migration away from the telecom companies who try to strangle their ISP customers…assuming they’re all pipeline or wire companies, wouldn’t some wireless company/companies just take over?

Its kinda like in the UK, the largest telecom company, British Telecom, tried for years to restrict and control usage of the cables it owned – and in doing so slowed down UK takeup of internet access, but eventually got slaughtered when new mobile phone and cable phone companies just jumped over them and dug their own cables or put up their own masts. Now those same mobile companies are being jumped over by wireless internet companies which offer cheaper bandwidth for VOIP phone use and multimedia on the move.

Won’t dinosaurs like AT&T and Verizon just die? And won’t a lot of internet companies just move their servers to be seen by non-US viewers? I know the US is a big server hotspot but wasn’t the point of the internet that it could bypass any bottleneck or attack? If this comes to pass I can see a huge movement of internet capital away from US soil to Europe or Asia.

Or am I missing something?

by [former member] | 04 May 2006 17:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I don’t think that moving servers to be seen by a non-US audience would make sense. I don’t have any figures, but I assume that the US is a very big market and a painful one to lose for anybody, be it an individual photographer or some gigantic conglomerate.
The point is that the space would be carved up by the latter and the small guy would get taken out.When I was a kid growing up in England their were a lot of small cornershops, then the supermarkets took over blowing out the competition. What we have with individual websites is the chance to at least try to be the small guy with the big audience.
No reason to get excessively worried ,but just the idea of this “Net neutrality” stuff is plain irritating…

by Tony Stringer | 04 May 2006 19:05 (ed. May 2 2008) | Turin and Rome, Italy | | Report spam→
well..i dont see how so many small guys would lose the BIG market..there are way too many small guys. besides the whole concept of the internet is fluid and pervasive.. and i think market forces would dictate. I am with Sion in wondering why a mass migration away from telecom giants wont ensue.

by [former member] | 04 May 2006 19:05 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
Personally i would like to see that happen,but the whole thing still makes me a bit nervous and I am not so sanguine about the inevitability of a mass migration away from these bastards, so I am moving this thread to the top of the list again. Let others see it and think about it.

by Jon Anderson | 05 May 2006 07:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I think it would be almost impossible to migrate away from the major telcom companies, because if you go high enough up the chain, you’re going to eventually run into one (or more) of them.

Most of the traffic that flows accross the Internet is already on their networks, so moving to a smaller company isn’t exactly the answer. The smaller companies need to purchase their bandwidth from somewhere – and if you trace it backwards, you’ll see that almost everything touches a major telco network at one point.

This is a huge issue that could destroy the Internet as we know it, and I’m shocked that the major news organizations aren’t really talking about it.

Sometimes I wonder if the print and broadcast media want to keep this flying under the radar in an attempt to take away their most-feared “competition” – successful Internet news outlets.

by Grover Sanschagrin | 08 May 2006 11:05 | San Francsico, United States | | Report spam→
Here is an interesting piece from the Harvard Law School Berkman Center newsletter on this topic:


What’s Driving the Next Telecom Law
- by David S. Isenberg


The COPE (Communications, Promotion, and Enhancement) bill in the House of Representatives, and a similar, but more detailed Senate telecommunications bill are racing towards enactment by summer. The likely new law is propelled by the nation’s big telephone companies’ perceived business need to deliver video entertainment along with voice telephony and Internet services. The triple-application formula fits the old telco/cableco business model, i.e., collecting fees for delivering established applications and using these fees to subsidize the delivery network. This old model is threatened because today’s Internet can support voice and video, and infinitely more, delivered from its edges by third-party application providers. Indeed, third parties like Skype and Vonage are breaking out all over and rudimentary video services are popping up like dandelions. National TV franchising will replace thousands of local city-by-city agreements to ease telco entry into video services. This will institutionalize the voice, video and Internet service bundle so only big players, “rational competitors,” as cablecos and telcos like to call themselves, can participate.


Telephone companies have been weakened by the onslaught of new technology. The number of dial-up lines, which are the foundation of their business, has been falling since 2001. In 2003, the number shrunk by 4%, and the trend is accelerating. Meanwhile, telcos have not figured out how to make money selling simple Internet connectivity, so they need de jure preservation by Congress.


Until this decade, law has treated the telephone network as a public accommodation, meaning that non-discriminatory access to the network, known as network neutrality in the current policy debate, was assured. On the Internet, though, non-discriminatory access leads straight to the erosion of the telco/cableco business model by third parties that would not behave as “rational competitors.” This is why telephone companies are fighting fiercely against non-discriminatory access. Recently they have been successful in the courts and the FCC, and the current House bill contains ineffectual, hard-to-enforce non discrimination provisions. The Internet succeeded largely due to non-discriminatory access. That is what permitted third parties to create (and find markets for) e-mail, the Web, e-commerce, chat, online music, blogging, and virtual-world gaming. With it, there’d be more of the same tomorrow. An Internet that is made discriminatory to save the telcos is likely to remind us of Bruce Springsteen’s song, “57 Channels (and Nothing On).” The problem we should be solving is not how to change the Internet to save the telcos, but how to have a growing and innovative Internet without them.


LINKS:


Public Knowledge’s Net Neutrality Video: <http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/307>


Center for Digital Democracy’s Resource Site on Net Neutrality: <http://www.democraticmedia.org/issues/JCnetneutrality.html>


CyberTelecom.org <http://www.cybertelecom.org/>

by [former member] | 10 May 2006 17:05 (ed. May 10 2006) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Neal, thanks for all that, excellent info. I confess I find all this a little unsettling. And thanks Grover for providing a perspective from your end of the biz, which is a healthy reminder about the realities here. I tell you, I have a bad feeling about this!

by Jon Anderson | 10 May 2006 17:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
The Public Knowledge video is a straightforward introduction to a rather complex subject.Clear and to the point.Maybe a good entry point for people who’ve just hit this thread and ar’nt into wading through all the spiel.Thanks for locating this material Neal.

by Tony Stringer | 10 May 2006 18:05 | Turin and Rome, Italy | | Report spam→
The New York Times had an editorial today that clearly laid out this issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/28/opinion/28sun3.html

by Michael Barrientos | 28 May 2006 04:05 | Lisbon, Portugal | | Report spam→
Okay I am up to speed, but not sure what I can do other than spread the word around. Given I’m not from the good ole’ US of A I wasn’t able to sign the petition at www.savetheinternet.com Absolutely agree: a mandatory read for LS.

by Thomas Pickard | 28 May 2006 08:05 | Male', Maldives | | Report spam→
Yes, this is a must read, so I think maybe I will make a new thread on this just to multiply entries and guarantee that more people take notice. this is not a good trend

by Jon Anderson | 28 May 2006 08:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
http://cdn.moveon.org/content/pdfs/MoveOnChristianCoalition.pdf

by [former member] | 28 May 2006 18:05 | Amsterdam, Netherlands | | Report spam→

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Participants

Michael Barrientos, Photojournalist Michael Barrientos
Photojournalist
Guayaquil , Ecuador
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Tony Stringer, Photographer Tony Stringer
Photographer
Turin , Italy
Grover Sanschagrin, Marketing Grover Sanschagrin
Marketing
San Francsico , United States
Thomas Pickard, Photographer Thomas Pickard
Photographer
Rarotonga , Cook Islands


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