Sunday, May 28, 2006

Free Speech Threatened

I suppose you have been following the progress of federal legislation of the Internet, which would permit the carriers (Verizon, Comcast, ATT) to charge different rates for usage ... so your site with more hits woyld pay more than me with less hits,, but I might pay more by publishing more or less video online. The likelihood of pay as you go is a very threatening control mechanism by the feds and utilities, and would dramatically change the current Net model ... with the tradeoff of increasing corporate services, reliability, speed, and reach, but putting the small guy who can't afford that out of business. I think its very similar to the cable TV legislation that would create tiered packages for viewers, and if the channel is not in the package, it could not be viewed ... that would most likely eliminate most of the non-commercial community cable access channels, such as where I air my documentaries, church programs and screen play -- and where many relevant local programs are aired and producers are trained in TV, thanks to grants from municipalities and the cable companies. That open access (AKA freedom of speech), and equality of viewership would end ... as many people would not likely pay the extra fees to get community TV ... but simply accept a pay per view model. If you get the chance to voice your opinion on either of these issues, cable TV and Internet open access, don't hesitate. Write your legislators. When the utilities take these over, it will end free speech as we know it.