Wednesday :: May 3, 2006

Network Neutrality: It's Time for Silicon Valley to Wake Up


by eriposte

Via Matt Stoller (at MyDD) and Save The Internet, I see that influential technology commentator Om Malik (at the blog GigaOm) has some relevant observations. He also quotes Time Berners-Lee - considered one of the "fathers" of the internet. Here are Malik's comments (emphasis mine):

Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the web, so to speak, weighs in on Net Neutrality.

When, seventeen years ago, I designed the Web, I did not have to ask anyone’s permission. [3]. The new application rolled out over the existing Internet without modifying it. I tried then, and many people still work very hard still, to make the Web technology, in turn, a universal, neutral, platform. It must not discriminate against particular hardware, software, underlying network, language, culture, disability, or against particular types of data. The Internet is increasingly becoming the dominant medium binding us. The neutral communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair competitive market economy.

More than anyone, I think it is time for start-ups and their backers to take stock of what the loss of network neutrality would mean to their business. Win or lose, this one has business implications, more so for many of the smaller corporate citizens.

In his previous post, Malik writes (emphasis mine):

While the campaign tries to reach out to Joe & Jane Citizen, the leading web companies are not taking the issue seriously. In reality they should be reaching out to Silicon Valley. Everytime I have a chat with folks in the Valley, there seems to be little awareness of this issue.

Similarly, the start-ups that are most likely to affected seem to be in the dark as well. Niall and I have discussed this time and again in our pod sessions.

Also take a minute to read this post by Jeff Chester at Digital Destiny.

Folks, if you are part of a small to medium size company, try to raise awareness of this issue within your management. Useful background is available here (video) and other resources are mentioned here.

eriposte :: 7:25 AM :: Comments (1) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!