Momentum for Net Neutrality

With the AARP on board with the call for network neutrality, which will keep data packet-pricing on a level playing field, there's hope for innovation, yet.

Maybe it's that they have more time on their hands than youth, but older folks are talking serious sense about network pricing. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has joined the call for embedding neutrality in network pricing in U.S. law. Contrary to the cries of carriers that this is "increased regulation," it is a reasonable and appropriate call for a level playing field for IP packets that will preserve the basic catalyst of innovation.

Now, if only younger users would organize. There's no reason for a generation to be passive about the prospect that their own efforts will be choked off by predatory pricing by carriers. 

Also on the bandwagon as of this week, Adobe Systems, BT American, Sony Electronics, the Business Software Association and the Digital Medai Association. Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others have been campaigning for network neutrality for some time.

What we're seeing is a clear statement that, except for the carriers, which would benefit by milking higher prices from their increasingly commodified network capacity, no one in the economy would gain from the so-called "Internet fast lane." That term is a misnomer, however, because what we're really talking about is the general slowing of the Net, with most folks directed into slower, increasingly jammed lanes, where services that empower the user go to die.

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