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Friday, May 12, 2006

The other side of the story

This is from Save the Internet

Big Lie of the Week

Don't be fooled. Web sites like "Hands Off The Internet," are industry front groups -- the products of high-priced consultants bought and paid for by the cable and telephone industry. Companies like AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth and their trade associations are spending millions every week to mislead and misinform the American public.

Their latest attempt to hoodwink Internet users is a cutesy cartoon at www.dontregulate.org -- a clever piece of industry propaganda that is riddled with half-truths and outright lies.

The animation is an example of Stephen Colbert's "truthiness" in action. Telco giants cloak their real interests behind a populist message that sounds plausible, while undermining the work of the genuine public and consumer advocates at SavetheInternet.com.

Here's a quick guide to help you cut through the industry spin:

Telco Lies
They say: Is the Internet in Danger? Does the Internet need saving? It keeps getting faster. We keep getting more choices.

The truth: Right now AT&T and others want to take away your choices and control what you can do and watch online. If their high-priced lobbyists get their way in Washington, the Internet as we know it will be gone. Network Neutrality has always curbed the control of the network owners, invited competition and encouraged innovators. It's what made it possible for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to prosper online. None of these new services and big ideas came from the cable or telephone companies.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Telco Lies
They Say: Building the next generation of the Internet is going to take a lot of work and cost a lot of money. And some big corporations can't wait to use it.... They're going to make billions. But they don't want to pay anything. Instead they want to stick consumers with the whole bill.

The truth: Nobody is getting a free ride on the Internet. Any Web site or service you use on the Internet has already paid these providers to reach you -- just like you pay to send e-mail and download files. In fact, total expenses from major content and service providers to expand network capacity totaled about $10 billion last year. But the cable and phone companies want even more -- forcing content providers to pay protection money to get a spot in the fast lane. Who do you think will pay that bill? You will … big time. The costs will be passed directly to consumers. Even worse, without meaningful protections of Net Neutrality, there will be less choice on the Internet. That means higher prices and worse service at a time we're already falling far behind the rest of the world.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Telco Lies
They say: These corporations are asking Congress to create volumes of new regulations to control how content is delivered over the Internet. Should politicians and bureaucrats replace network administrators? It will be the first major government regulation of the Internet and it will fundamentally change how the Internet works. These big corporations and the Save the Internet campaign want the government to take control of the Internet.

The truth: There's nothing new about Net Neutrality. It has been a fundamental part of the Internet since its inception. As a tenet of communications policy, it goes back some 70 years. Only last year did the Supreme Court uphold a bad decision by the Federal Communications Commission to do away with the rules that forced cable and phone companies to open up their networks to competitors. Those rules protected net neutrality by ensuring lots of competition (think of all the choices you've had for long distance service or dial-up Web access). In fact, these rules still protect the Internet under a temporary FCC ruling. All a Net Neutrality law would do is maintain the even playing field we've always enjoyed -- by preventing big cable and telephone corporations from taking over as gatekeepers.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Telco Lies
They say: The net neutrality issue is a fundamental question about who should control the Internet: The people or the government? And it's a fight about who's going to pay: multi-billion dollar corporations or you?"

The truth: Who should control the Internet? Now that's a good question. But the real choice we face is whether we're going to keep the good government polices that have protected Internet freedom, created a truly free market in content and services, and encouraged free speech to flourish online -- or let companies like AT&T and Comcast re-write the rules and take over. For the entire history of the Internet, Web sites and services have succeeded or failed on their own merit based on decisions now made collectively by millions of users. Getting rid of Net Neutrality will hand these decisions over to a cartel of broadband barons. Do we really want Ma Bell and the Cable Guy picking the next generation of winners and losers on the Internet?

- - - - - - - - - - -

The sponsors of this site do not receive funding from corporations or political parties. For more information visit: www.savetheinternet.com/=coalition.

posted by Steve @ 7:11:00 PM

7:11:00 PM

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