With the assistance of Liz Strauss from Successful Blog, I wrote a post about maintaining Network Neutrality. If you are not familiar with the Network Neutrality issue, this is a good place to start. If you know about this issue, please leave a comment at the end of this post. I am always interested in you point-of-view.
Large telecommunication companies and cable television operators have lobbied Washington very hard to eliminate Network Neutrality which would prevent them from blocking certain content from your Internet account and charging a surcharge for access to other content, like this blog!
The lobbyists have been successful in getting their bill passed in the Senate, but there is still a chance to defeat the legislation in the House. One of the challenges with with bill is that it contains considerable jargon and technical language. Most Congressional representatives do not understand this language and have just accepted the lobbyists' recommendations to eliminate Network Neutrality.
Below, Scott has stripped away all the jargon and technical language and has distilled the issues to a 3rd grade show-and-tell level. Click here for more detailed information about Network Neutrality, it's potential impact on travel sites like mine, and the pending legislation in Congress.
"So, class, please put away your crayons. Art period is over, and here's Scott with our first show-and-tell this afternoon. He's going to explain why Network Neutrality is so important to your future and especially to your promotion to the 4th grade. Here's Scott . . .
Thank you, Miss Francis.
The Internet is a worldwide collection of millions of computer hard disks that are connected to each other by wires and radio signals through millions of little boxes called routers.
The companies that own the wires, radio signals, and routers are called service providers or network administrators. They sell connections to the big network that includes the Internet. The big network, which includes the Internet, also includes telephone calls, cable TV, and things like NASA's communications to our astronauts.
When you close your eyes and think about this big network of computers and routers connected to each other by wires and radio signals, you might see something that looks like a spider's web. This is how the Internet also became known as the Web or the World Wide Web. This is also why many Web site addresses begin with the three letters, W W W.
To allow the Internet be able to exchange data all over the world, these hard disks and routers speak one language so they know where the data is coming from and where it is going. This language is called a protocol and it is specifically called an Internet Protocol or IP.
Freedom of speech, which is an important part of the Constitution of the United States, is also one of the founding principles of the Internet. This means you have the right to create and send any data you want from one computer's hard disk to another's using the wires and routers of the Internet. Data includes things like E-mail messages, pictures, games, movies, and songs.
Of course, you should be careful because some bad people use the Internet too. They also have the right to practice freedom of speech, but your mom and dad can set the router in your home to block data and protect you from these bad people and their data.
The network administrators who own the wires and routers in between the sending and receiving computers cannot control the type of data that is sent. They can only control the amount of data that is sent each second. This is called bandwidth and is part of the cost your parents and our school pay a service provider to be connected to the Internet. Usually, bigger bandwidth means faster data communications and a higher monthly cost. This is one of the ways service providers and network administrators make money.
The Internet's current setup, which is based on freedom of speech, maintains that all data are neutral and have equal rights. Only bandwidth can be regulated by the service providers and network administrators. This is called Network Neutrality and is what makes the Internet and all of its content available to you through one connection, unless you live in China or another country that censors Internet data.
Some service providers and network administrators what to eliminate network neutrality by setting their routers to control or charge from certain types of data before it reaches the router in your home. They want to be data censors too.
They want to do this so their movies, articles, telephone conversations, or other data they own get to your Internet connection faster and cheaper than their competitor's data. In some cases, they even want to block your access to data that they do not want you to see. Just like China.
This of course eliminates free speech and turns the service providers and network administrators into censors. It also reduces the number of Web sites you can search to help complete your homework.
So, tell your mom and dad that you want to be promoted to the 4th grade, but you will need Network Neutrality to help you do that. Also, tell them that they should tell their Senators and Congressperson why they should support and vote for Network Neutrality.