Google, one of the biggest guns roaming the internet frontier, has reportedly joined the posse of big boys looking to shoot down net neutrality. News today is that Google and Verizon are collaborating to create a tiered internet service where some information will flow fast and other information will trickle. The fast information will live. The trickling information will die. Your internet town will turn into a suburb brimming with strip malls that will be just like everyplace else on the internet.
If this move is what it appears to be, as Brian Barrett at Gizmodo writes, it’s an enormous about face from Google and the most powerful evidence yet suggesting the headway media corporations are making to once and for all make the internet their own, a place that is stacked in their favor, weighted toward their product– that is, to make it the same kind of immensely profitable and enragingly bland uninteresting unaccountable product as network and cable TV and radio and big newspaper chains. Great stuff.
T make his point, Barrett uses the words of onetime net neutrality champ Google CEO Eric Schmidt, which is effective and entertaining and sad.
[This Google-Verizon move] has the potential to forever change how you access the internet—and how much you pay for it.
Think of the internet as a highway. Right now, all lanes are open to everyone. Nice! That means there may be traffic jams sometimes—an Apple keynote, say, or the release of a Snookie-Bieber sex tape—but it’s ultimately fair. Opponents to net neutrality—ISPs like Comcast and Verizon—want to create a special high-speed toll lane, where internet providers can decide what you’ll be able to see and do on the internet, and how fast.
If that metaphor sounds familiar, it’s because I ripped it off. Here’s Google CEO Eric Schmidt back in 2006:
Read the whole blog post.