Campaign: The Open Internet & Innovation

Neutrality = Innovation

The internet has thrived precisely because it is free and open to innovation from the smallest to the largest entity. It is because the net was open that all of these wonderful things were built on top of it. Now that the network is worth so much money (because the innovators made it so), the ISPs like Comcast think they should be able to control who does what. This will prevent new ideas from ever getting the chance to compete in the marketplace! One only needs to look at the wireless space to see what happens when companies control a network. Prior to the iPhone, wireless was just worthless. The carriers locked down the services that could be provided on their network. The result was, lame to say the least. For 10 years we lived in the wireless desert - you could make a call, send a text for 20cents each, that's it. Then Apple used the iPhone as leverage to force AT&T to open their network to outside innovation and BOOM - the wireless space is suddenly much more like the internet at large with a vibrant marketplace of ideas pouring out. Still it is stifled and should be opened even more. Why can't I make Skype calls over 3G from my iPhone? Because AT&T believes they will lose money and they control the network. The point is, the internet became what it is today precisely because it was neutral to whomever wanted to innovate. If you want to see what happens when you have a locked down model - look no further than AOL - it was a proprietary network controlled by a private party - it has withered on the vine because the financial self interest of a single company prevents competition from deciding how the resource should be used - the consumer loses without a neutral network infrastructure. Network neutrality is precisely the reason the internet is the amazing - don't let a few corporate interest control it and stifle innovation in America.

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Idea No. 33