February 22, 2009

Net Neutrality Video – Please Share With Friends

By admin

A lot of Canadians are relatively unaware of the issues associated with what’s called ‘Net Neutrality’.  In the last election, the only party that even dared make it a modest political issue was the NDP.  If the Liberals are seeking ways to get Canadians on board with their new leader, this would be a great issue to support.  It’s a seemingly small issue, but it would differentiate themselves from the Conservatives, something they’ll desparately need in the coming months.  Universal support for Net Neutrality would also ensure that we take action against Canada’s largest media companies and their poor Internet management habits.

For those who are unfamiliar with the issue, this video explains a lot of the concerns raised by SaveOurNet.ca :

A neutral Internet acknowledges that the world of media and content creation has changed.  Significantly.

The last decade has seen a shift in the ability to influence the public.  We’ve seen mainstream media lose its grip on control of our ‘mindshare’ as individuals have gladly leveraged the tools at hand to create content and send messages to the public that are inconsistent with those of Bell, Rogers, Videotron and others.

With content creation (and ownership), comes the power to influence the markets through advertising and mass appeal.  Now that companies like Bell and Canwest no longer control the content – either from their own ‘pundits’ or from corporations selling us more ‘stuff’ – they no longer control the message either.  They have lost the ability to ‘massage’ people into following specific agendas and this is the central reason why net neutrality is so important to average Canadians (and people all over the planet, for that matter).

Another important element related to net neutrality is the notion of innovation and ecommerce.  It may sound like a severe statement, but the two will not survive without a neutral net.  Innovation – and a lot of new wealth creation – in the last decade or so has come in the form of new web sites selling unique products and services to Canadians.  Many of these sites and services help Canadians bypass inefficient structures like big box retailers and those that don’t believe in basic principles like fair trade and environmentally friendly product development.  For the same reason, the future of ecommerce in Canada relies on net neutrality.  Forcing Canadians into single channels of consumption (be it for content, products or anything else) is undemocratic to say the least, but more importantly, it strangles the ability of Canadians to launch their own businesses in the online environment.

It’s this latter notion that should inspire ALL Canadian entrpreneurs that rely on the Internet for their web sites, their blogs and their online stores to support a cause like SaveOurNet.ca.  If you profit from the web, please consider giving a small portion of that profit to SaveOurNet.ca (I’m not sure if similar organizations exist in Canada – this is the main one that I’m familiar with).

With so many people balking at the notion of leaving regulation and control to the government – which is at the very least elected by the people of this country – I’m always stunned to see that the alternative is to leave our future in the hands of a select few that only want to shout at us and sell more crap.