What does ‘net neutrality’ have to do with solar-charged driving?
A lot, actually – at least if we’re talking about SolarChargedDriving.Com and our grassroots attempt to promote the revolutionary synergy between solar energy and electric vehicles and to create an online community where people interested in solar-charged driving can exchange ideas, information, experiences, and collectively grow solar-charged driving.
You see, we’re a tiny web site with no big money, no big corporation, and no large media organization backing us.
If net neutrality – which basically means that large cable and telecommunications companies like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc. must treat all information flowing on the Internet equally no matter where it comes from – disappears, SolarChargedDriving.Com and millions of other small web sites and blogs on the internet could be in trouble.
In a world without net neutrality Comcast is free to charge whatever it wants to Netflix – and anyone else who dares to challenge its pay per view business – to send digital content to you in your home. What do you think Comcast will do?
That’s because without net neutrality, Comcast, Verizon and others could – and, in our opinion, likely would — charge different, higher rates to web sites who wanted to ensure fast(er) load times for their site.
Page load time makes — or breaks — a site
Nothing is more important on the web than page load time. Research shows Internet users will wait at most two or three seconds for a web page to load before they give up.
Who will be able to afford the higher rates Comcast, Verizon, etc. would almost certainly charge web sites which want to ensure the fastest load times?
Big Corporations, Big Media, Big Government. Basically, the Big Boys.
The rest of us, meaning the millions of smaller guys on the web – not so much.
Charging more to ensure faster load times essentially tilts the already stacked odds even more in favor of the Big Boys.
For every person that’s heard of SolarChargedDriving.Com and who comes to our web site, there are tens of thousands who have heard of MotorTrend.Com and go there, and there are millions who’ve heard of CNN, and who surf to CNN.Com.
After all, the Big Boys have got horizontal integration, meaning CNN can, and does, advertise web pages on its television programs. We – the smaller guys – have got none of that.
No more Netflix without net neutrality?
If you don’t care much about the small guy and whether his or her already-much-harder-to-find web site loads half as quickly as CNN.Com’s simply because Ted Turner’s got billions to fork over to Comcast to ensure the fastest load times for CNN.Com and we don’t, there’s a lot more hanging in the balance here.
Download high definition movies from Netflix at a bargain price?
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Thank net neutrality for that. In a world without net neutrality Comcast is free to charge whatever it wants to Netflix – and anyone else who dares to challenge its pay per view business – to send digital content to you in your home.
What do you think Comcast will do?
You’re damn right.
So, what can you do to ensure all traffic on the internet is treated equally and that the Big Boys don’t win (yet again) at the little guy’s expense?
For starters, sign on to this CREDO Action petition (we did).
If you’re more ambitious and/or concerned about what the elimination of, or watering down of net neutrality could do to undermine the democratic nature of today’s internet, you can pick up the phone and call the White House (we did).
President Obama made a pledge to keep net neutrality when he ran for office. Make sure he keeps it!
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