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The Importance of Net Neutrality

They're trying to silence our voices.
Catherine F. Hill

Note: This piece was originally published on my blog, but I wanted it to have an airing here as well.

Comcast and Verizon are trying to kill the internet as a viable form of communication. That is the only possible result I can see from their petition to have a 'fast lane' for their own content and a 'slow lane' for everybody else (Except, of course, those who can pay a whacking big fee.) Already, the internet in the United States is slower than what other countries enjoy. In the US, the most important consideration is that the Big Boys get their cut of the money.

Since it was first developed, the internet has served as a conduit for ORDINARY PEOPLE. We've made new friendships we could never have thought of before, met people we could never have met through ordinary social interactions. These friendships span both miles and age groups. I myself have grown and learned much from this kind of contact - contact with ordinary, not-so-powerful people.

The biggest reason Comcast and Verizon have hatched their plot with the blessing of certain elements in power is that ordinary people have found their voice in politics. Care 2 petitions about all sorts of causes have rocked the world. The internet propelled Howard Dean and his 50 state strategy. It still propels Organizing for America, Move On, VoteVets, and similar organizations. Ordinary people are taking part in their government and expressing themselves and petitioning on social issues of all sorts. This has been massively liberating, and, frankly, I think Comcast and Verizon will find that without these features they will have an empty shell on their hands.

Thanks to a free internet with no fast lane for the big boys, I myself, a 68-year-old domestic violence, stroke, and cancer survivor with false teeth, hearing aids, and glasses, have been able to find a voice. I write articles on Examiner.com on three subjects, and these are read all over the world. This blog is another avenue for me to speak out and to share personal interests and experiences. In addition, through oDesk.com I have been able to earn a little extra money writing and editing. I fear none of these services will be available in the 'fast lane'. So far, nobody has said how slow the 'slow lane' will be, or how hard to use.

I was taught to think for myself and look up my own sources, not accepting blindly whatever I was told. Recently on the Net I have researched Buddhist doctrines, the Russian city of Yakutsk and its famous horses, domestic architecture in Lahore, Pakistan, and many other various subjects. I WANT ALL THIS INFORMATION TO CONTINUE TO BE AT MY FINGERTIPS.

I am not interested in the latest stories from Comcast and Verizion. I want in-depth coverage of major happenings from a variety of sources. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm fighting for a free internet.