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Can the Internet be saved?

A Two-Tier Internet?

The Internet as you know it is in serious, serious danger. Some of the most powerful communications companies in the world have been involved in negotiations and have been making agreements that would throw net neutrality out the window and would move us toward a two-tier Internet. So exactly what would that mean? It would mean that the big corporate giants that have a virtual monopoly on other forms of media and entertainment would be able to buy access to the blazing fast “next generation” Internet that communications companies are developing and the rest of us (like this site for example) would be stuck on the decaying “gravel roads” of the old Internet. The threat that this poses to freedom, liberty, Internet commerce and the free flow of information should not be underestimated.

I want you to take a few moments and imagine with me what the future of the Internet could look like if something is not done. Imagine a world in which your Internet service provider gives you more “choices” regarding your level of Internet access. For a “budget” price, you can get email and access to several hundred of the hottest and most popular websites (controlled by the big media conglomerates of course) on the incredibly fast “next generation” Internet. For a bit more, you can get access to thousands of websites (once again, controlled by the big media conglomerates) on the new blazing fast version of the Internet that has been developed. Or lastly, you can get the “premium package” which will give you access to the entire Internet, including the millions of websites that are still chugging along on the “old Internet”.

Wouldn’t that be great?

Of course not.

Isn’t it obvious what would happen?

The millions of websites that are unwilling or unable to pay the exorbitant “tolls” to get on the new blazing fast version of the Internet would rapidly start losing traffic and would eventually fizzle out almost altogether.

After all, in this day and age who is going to stick with technology that is slow and outdated?

For example, how many people still use “dial-up” anymore? There are a few, but it is just not that many.

For years, the big Internet companies have been dreaming of getting permission to sell access to an Internet “fast lane” to the highest bidder. The potential profits to be had are staggering.

But right now there is one thing that stands in the way of those profits and that must be eliminated according to them.

Net neutrality.

Up until now, any information sent over the Internet has been treated more or less equally. When a data packet enters the Internet, it is directed to its destination regardless of the identity of the customer or the importance of the information.

But now some very powerful interests want to change all that. The idea is to have the Internet much more closely resemble cable television.

In particular, a recent agreement regarding net neutrality between Google and Verizon is causing alarm among Internet users.

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