The Internet: Accessibility & Net Neutrality

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Access to the Internet is rapidly becoming a necessity for many in the developed and developing world. In a very real way access to the Internet, in particular the high-speed broadband capability, is becoming yet another defining factor between the world's haves and have-nots.  This digital divide exists both between countries and within a country. It is not only between the have countries of the developed world and the have-nots of the developing world but between rich and poor, urban and rural in Canada.  In addition, some corporations want to create a two-tier Internet that would allow them to slow or even block content that is not in their corporate interests.  This issue is called Network Neutrality the "principle that all Internet traffic be treated equally, regardless of origin, destination, or application type."  This is not an issue solely about corporate profit or the growing power of telecommunications companies - it is also about the rights of citizens to exercise control over one of the greatest innovations in communications history.  Should these companies succeed, it will undermine the Internet's level playing field and will make it much more difficult for the small and independent voice to be heard on the web.

Publication date: 
June, 2007
Publication Topic: 
Consumer Rights