The Future of the Internet. Timothy Karr Campaign Director Free Press www.freepress.net. People started to publish. A brief history of communications. 60,000 years ago. People started to speak. 5,000 years ago. People started to write. 600 years ago. 45 years ago.
Timothy Karr Campaign Director Free Presswww.freepress.net
A brief history of communications
60,000 years ago
5,000 years ago
600 years ago
45 years ago
In the 1960s, a U.S. defense research project created a linked network that shared information across computers.
The World Wide Web
17 years ago
It exploded in all directions
The Internet is changing
The Internet age is a major historical shift. Like the industrial revolution, it is changing nearly every aspect of life:
And the most important thing about the Internet: It was all built on a level playing field called Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is this:
Since the Internet's birth, every site, every packet of data, regardless of its size, has been given equal — neutral — treatment by providers; its content is transmitted at equal speed:
Net Neutrality saves democracy
Under Net Neutrality, users choose
Net Neutrality is about innovation data, regardless of its size, has been given equal — neutral — treatment by providers; its content is transmitted at equal speed:
The neutral network has become an engine for innovation. Internet name brands of today were just a good idea in a garage a decade ago.
This technological revolution keeps turning as long as the Internet remains an unrestricted marketplace of ideas where innovators rise and fall on their merits.
Net Neutrality is the reason that the Internet has been an explosion of online economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech.
Net Neutrality is the Internet …
... and it’s now under threat
This fundamental notion of an open and level playing field is NOW under siege by powerful industries who seek to tilt the field to their advantage.
How did this happen? explosion of online economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech.
Let’s review …
What ever happened to the idea of the MASS media?
Radio? explosion of online economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech.
In the 1920s radio was a common technology, in the sense that an extraordinary range of people could gain access to a new and relatively cheap technology to air messages to one another.
But once companies began to think that they could profit from advertising over our airwaves the FCC began to implement a very different idea about how radio would function.
Working with special interests, government allocated the spectrum in a way that made it so only a few could get access to the airwaves. By the mid 1930s NBC and CBS were responsible for an astounding 97% of nighttime broadcasting.
The number of radio station owners has plummeted by 34% since the 1996 Telecommunications Act. That year, the biggest radio owners controlled fewer than 65 stations. Today, Clear Channel— one company — owns more than 1,200.
Television? explosion of online economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech.
Television suffered much the same fate. Using powerful lobbyists, television broadcasters gained overwhelming influence in Washington.
The spent $222 million to lobby government officials from 1998 to 2004. including millions on entertainment and travel, taking FCC regulators on 2,500 all-expense-paid trips.
Television broadcasting policy was shaped in closed-door meetings with policymakers. So, even though the public owned the airwaves, special interests decided how this influential media was created, financed, and distributed.
There developed an interdependence between those who held political power (and needed access to the airwaves) and those who controlled the airwaves (and needed access to political power).
The media industry and their lobbyists worked hand in hand with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
It's gotten so bad that today, instead of nurturing and extending democracy and free speech, broadcasting threatens to distort it.
In all of these cases what we see a “disruptive technology” that sparks an explosion of democratic participation. But this explosion threatens the status quo. And those threatened react. Their reaction is to take a culture that has been unlocked by technological change and to re-lock it.
What happened to the Mass Media…
… could happen to the Internet with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
What happened to stifle openness and limit access to broadcasting is happening to the Internet right now.
A handful of phone and cable giants are promising to build a new network of Internet services. But they want something in return from government. They want control. Not just over the “pipes” but control over the Internet itself.
They’re pushing laws that would gut Net Neutrality
The threat is real with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
This isn't mere speculation — we've seen what happens when the gatekeepers gain control over radio and television. Phone and cable companies are now hatching plans for the Internet:
How would this affect you with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
Google users—Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.
Ipod listeners—A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.
Political groups—Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay "protection money" for their Web sites and online features to work correctly.
Online purchasers—Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices—distorting your choice as a consumer.
Small businesses—When Internet companies like AT&T discriminate in favor their own services and allies, new market entrants won’t be able to compete.
Bloggers—Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips—silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.
Changing the law with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
To kill Net Neutrality, phone and cable companies are changing the laws.
In the past 10 years, they have spent more than half a billion dollars on campaign contributions, political action committees, PR firms and high-spending lobbyists to push through their rules.
On Net Neutrality alone, AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth and Comcast have spent more than $150 million to strong arm Congress and the FCC.
But they didn't anticipate one thing....
The public with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
In 2006, a grassroots coalition of more than 850 groups including educators, not-for-profits, consumer rights groups, small business and public advocates — banded together to protect Internet freedom.
We were joined by more than 1.5 million people who signed a petition urging Congress to maintain the free and open Internet.
More than 6,000 bloggers linked to the coalition's site, SavetheInternet.com, many of them posting homemade videos to counteract the phone companies’ misinformation campaign. Online social networks formed around the issue at MySpace, FaceBook and YouTube.
We Used the Internet to Save the Internet.
We took action with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
We came out in the streets
And we won with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
This grassroots campaign lifted this arcane issue from obscurity and threw a wrench in phone and cable Companies’ plan to overhaul our media laws behind closed doors.
Whereas before, the phone companies were confident that Congress would simply sign-off on industry-written legislation, today no member of Congress can vote with the telecom cartel without feeling the full heat of public scrutiny.
We made opposing Net Neutrality a political third rail.
So what’s next? with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.
Internet access must be regarded as a civil right for every American.We want:
Lessons from the campaign with policymakers to shape a system that cedes control of mass media to a few corporations.