Internet: 1960s-2014, RIP

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News is emerging slowly about a very important decision that was made yesterday in the US Federal Court of Appeals.

In the ruling this week of the case Verizon vs. FCC, the US Court of Appeals has declared that net neutrality is a basic tenet of the Internet that no longer needs to be adhered to.

THIS IS HUGE.

The open Internet has effectively been closed.

What this means is that companies like AT&T no longer have to provide universal access to all online content, regardless of origin, quality, source and so on.

What this means is that we have just entered a new age for the Internet, where corporate-sponsored content will crush independent content with a tsunami wave of binary code.

Many sites will simply be blocked by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States.

YouTube, Skype, Netflix and other services that compete with traditional distribution services will suffer, as larger telecom companies strangle the Internet or charge for access.

While an appeal is likely, this is a bad sign that the Internet as we know it is dead.

What does this mean for Canada?  Expect the same here.  It’s just  a matter of time before we have a two-tiered system emerges in Canada.

The solution?  My position and belief is that at the moment, policy makers are not motivated to change rules in favour of the public, despite promises of the Conservatives to do so (much like their promises of accountability and transparency).  However, those of us who are interested in an open Internet need to get together ASAP to organize lobbying, political pressure and public awareness about the benefits of the Internet as a public utility that has a mandate of keeping the Internet ‘open’.  In the interim, be sure to sign up with those committed to Net Neutrality, like TekSavvy.

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