My Not-So-Neutral Net

I've had my own scuffle with the erosion of Net Neutrality recently. After having endured unreliable wireless for a year and a half--when it was good it was very, vey good, and when it was bad, it was horrid--we switched to SBC Yahoo DSL. A year and a half ago, wireless was the only option available in our semi-rural area--and even when unreliable, it was light-years away from the dial-up that had been the only thing in our area for years. (Keep in mind, I worked and took classes online for years. I never did learn that "patience" thing.) Two months ago, DSL finally reached us, and we were so glad to finally have some options, particularly since our wireless was in one of those "horrid" moods.

It turns out that Yahoo doesn't like our Gmail accounts that much. You can get to Google's homepage without much trouble, and gee, Yahoo pages sure do load fast, but try to get into your gmail account and you'd think you were trying to download the entire Star Wars sextology at once. In HD. Including special features.

Hmmm. Now wait a minute... who's one of Yahoo's biggest competitors? And who's the new hottest free-email account provider? Riiiight.

I strongly encourage you to read Charles W. Bailey Jr.'s article, "Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?" in September's Information Technology and Libraries (a preprint is available here). I particularly like his last sentence:

"These issues may well determine whether the much-touted information superhighway lives up to its promise or simply becomes the 'information toll road' of the future..."

1 comment:

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