Originally published: October 27, 2010
Last updated: October 27, 2010 - 6:21pm
[Commentary] It's not at all difficult to look at all that went on over the last couple of weeks and wonder if the Open Internet was only a grand dream that never existed, or was a phenomenon that appeared all too briefly and then was gone. Either way, there are more losers than winners.
Once, the online world (which encompasses the pre-Internet days) was, to use the expression, an "electronic frontier." Congress did what it could to protect the nascent environment, recognizing the great values it could bring. It ruled out taxes on Internet access. It created a safe harbor to protect online providers (in the pre-Internet days) from liability for material that rankles those subject to the rancorous online world. The complaints go back to the start of such protection, continue even through today, including those voiced by New York hotel operators critiqued by customers. The online world seemed almost as a DMZ from the regular business world, even as the Internet ecosystem was built by, and populated by, millions of web sites from those created by big companies and individual people. They combined to create something new and fresh, for a while at least.
That was then. Now, policymakers make noise about how important the Internet is, but do little to protect and preserve the environment, which allowed the unique properties of openness and creativity to flourish. Now, for some, the Internet world is simply a collection of more properties to be used as leverage in down-and-dirty business transactions. As usual, consumer desires, even if not legal rights, are getting left in the virtual dust.
- AT&T Slams Google Voice; Could Open Can of Worms
- Questions to Ask Regarding Internet Regulation
- Lacking GOP Support, Network Neutrality Bill Dies Before Introduction
- 95 Democratic Candidates Adopt Network Neutrality Pledge
- FCC faces Network Neutrality hurdles, questions going forward
- An Internet open to all, but controlled by none
- Rep Markey Praises FCC's Network Neutrality Efforts
- Preserving Internet Freedom and Openness
- Close Reading: The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009
- Network Neutrality Opponents Continue to Press Case in Washington
- Speaker Pelosi Supports Proposed New Rules on Network Neutrality
- Boucher Still Working Toward Network Neutrality Legislation
- Understanding Network Neutrality -- Worst Case Scenario
- FCC Briefing Hill on Network Neutrality
- Markey: FCC Network Neutrality Proposal Needs Legislative Teeth