"Imagine an Internet that would allow the wealthy to pay Internet service providers (ISPs) to allow for much faster access to their sites. It would mean less incentive for folks to visit smaller sites - so that all of a sudden, we could face an Internet in which some of your favorite sites (the ones that weren't paying premiums) loaded extremely slowly, or not at all. Imagine an Internet that would allow a corporation to make exclusive arrangements with an ISP, so that only that corporation could offer a particular product or service. For example: Let's say you run an online printing business, but AT&T has an exclusive deal with FedEx. If that's the case, then no one on AT&T's network would be able to use your service. Equally frightening, under such a scenario, ISPs could start blocking or censoring online content that criticizes the ISP or its business allies.
The upshot of it all? Communities across the country would be priced out of certain content - content that could affect an individual's ability to get an education, a job, or learn about political issues.
What's keeping this nightmare from becoming real? Net neutrality. Without net neutrality, that's the kind of Internet that would evolve." -"Tomorrow's Internet May Be Bad News for People of Color" by Anna Hirsch of the Race in America blog here on change.org
From its beginnings as an educational and communicative tool for the masses, the internet has been seen as the home of limitless free speech, the home of dialogue and debate. Anyone can put up something and is practically guaranteed that it will be eventually seen by somebody. Businesses can promote themselves, organizations can provide information about their causes. The internet, in its ideal state, is like a massive convention or festival where everyone gets their say.
But, unfortunately, what we perceive to be the essence of the internet is at risk of being stifled, or even destroyed. According to the Save the Internet coalition, large companies such as AT&T and Verizon are pushing to be allowed to have control over which pages on the Internet load quickly, or even load at all. This is a blatant attempt to determine the content which can be viewed by the consumer.
By charging more money to content providers so that they may have their pages load quickly will severely negatively impact everyone from grassroots political movements (who use the Internet to rally support, get petitions signed, etc.) to small businesses (who get their products sold via the Internet). And we are counting on you, the decisionmakers of our country, to stop this.
Please support the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458), and tell the large telecom companies that you will not allow this attempt to control the flow of information and commerce. Do not let big business take away the rights of the rest of us.
Sonja Lund started this petition with a single signature, and now has 57 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.