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Imagine one day calling a hospital to talk with your friend who is recovering from surgery, and not being able to complete the call because you and/or the hospital did not subscribe to the phone company’s “premium package.”
Or, imagine that you are only allowed to use a certain amount of electricity per day because you haven’t yet upgraded to the electric company’s “elite power package.”
Terrible, isn’t it? But that is what they’re trying to do with the Internet.
The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic.
The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to “Net neutrality,” the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.
Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others.
This has already been occurring in small instances, most recently with Comcast. As the Washington Post writes:
Comcast has punished some transgressors by cutting off their Internet service, arguing that excessive downloaders hog Internet capacity and slow down the network for other customers. The company declines to reveal its download limits.
Remember when the Internet wasn’t a highway of commerce, when it belonged to and was financed by the public? The Internet was only recently commercialized and now the corporations are trying to funnel as much money out of your bank account as they can.
It’s not enough that companies like Comcast and Verizon offer three-in-one packages that include television, telephone, and Internet, with the former two running your bill into the $200-300 range. Now they want to inflate that bill even more from the $20-40 monthly rate for broadband Internet into the stratosphere with cable and telephone. And they have a near-monopoly on the market, so you almost have no choice but to open your wallet upside-down at the steps of their corporate offices.
The Internet is the last virgin entity of freedom. Let’s keep it that way.
The corporations own everything else. Fight to let us keep our Internet.