Thursday, October 19, 2006

fired up

a few of my "keeper" cozies.

first off, thanks for your supportive comments about my cards and my job search. it is so heartening to read your comments.

and now for a rant.

have any of you watched the bill moyer pbs program on net neutrality? it was on the local pbs station last night. wow. it's crazy. the phone and cable companies in the US are lobbying the government (with millions and millions of {our}dollars) to basically control the internet. they would charge certain supposedly "big" users (yahoo, google, etc.) more for internet space. if the content provider can't pay, their sites will take longer to load for the user. thus putting certain companies out of business.

there's a lot more scary censorship stuff to this, but what i got from the program, was that these big corporations would control america's internet just like they (clear channel) now almost monopolize radio waves and tv. after the radio takeover happened, the government recognized the need for local radio stations and gave money/airwaves to something like 200 small radio stations across the country (not much of a consolation, but something). the big radio people tried to stop even that, and were successful in cutting the number of small, supported radio stations in half.

another f-ed up thing they talked about on the program, was the fact that we in the US have copper wiring for our internet connections. in other countries they have glass fiber wiring, which allows for 100 TIMES!! faster internet (thereby allowing way more, and better quality vidoes, video conferencing, music, animation, etc.) there are like 10 countries with this fast wiring. and our phone companies promised to build this new wiring infrastructure way back when (in like the early 90's i think), if they were allowed to charge more to the customer. well, they charged us more, but never built the infrastructure! just kept the money.

in lafayette, louisiana, a small city, the local government decided to build their own fiber infrastructure and connect all the citizens and businesses of the town. of course when the phone and cable companies heard of this, they tried to stop it. they are still trying to block it by holding it up in court. but it looks like lafayette will get the fiber infrastructure (and be way ahead of us turtles subject to sbc, cox, bell's money-hoarding ways). pretty cool. some other cities are also doing this, and being challenged by cable and phone companies.

what we can do, is write to our government officials and the fcc and urge them to keep the internet open, protect free speech and allow the US to be competitive with other countries, because this is in the interest of the people. the ONLY people who gain from not keeping the internet the way it is, is these huge corporations and the government officials who take their money. and corporations already control so much of the media.

never thought i'd get so fired up over the internet, but there's a lot at stake here. americans are so politically apathetic because we are disillusioned with our lack of voice and influence in the way this country is run these days. the internet is one of the last places for people to "meet" and "talk" and be active in shaping something larger.

ps. oo, be sure to check out the great links on how to save the internet that hilary posted in the comments.


hillary said...

rant on! save the internet!!

and my favorite take on net neutrality... ask a ninja

alyssa said...

Thanks for the heads up! I wish I had seen the show.

lisa s said...

this is SO SO important.... we definitely need to speak up now!

Hayley said...

Hi there!

I watched that show last night as well, and I feel the same way. I got really angry about corporate america's lack of responsibility and completly cheating the American public from something we have already paid for. We paid for this back in the 90's with phone company price hikes, deregulation and tax breaks, but they kept the profits for themselves. Oh gosh, and even super christian conservative republicans were angry over this because the rightfully view the internet as infrastructure which is the government's responisbility to provide for equal commerce.

I like how you wrote that "are so politically apathetic because we are disillusioned with our lack of voice and influence in the way this country is run these days" because that is exactly what is going on. I mean compared to something like the current war, glass fiber wiring might not seem like a big deal, but really it is at the heart of what is wrong with this country, that needs to be righted.

Thanks for posting about this!


Hayley said...

oops, that was my post above.

anne said...

...sending greetings from glass-fiber-country. this is very interesting and it would make me real mad too! thanks for sharing!

Listoria said...

hey, i remember hearing about how everything was going to be fiber optic, faster connections, etc. etc. back in the 90's, too! but i never thought much about it. it wasn't long after that that the local phone company put new wires up...we just assumed they were the fiber optic ones.

my big beef is that it is not illegal to create a monopoly (how can you corner the market, if you're the only one in the market?)

yes, antitrust laws make it unlawful to attempt to create a monopoly through evil tactics that put small companies out of business, but it's never enforced!

you've really touched upon an interesting point that needs to be it's good that you ranted!