Threats to Ubiquitous Computing

As I was perusing blogs this morning, I ran across this post from Will Richardson regarding competing bills dealing with “Net Neutrality”.  An excerpt from what Will says about the bill that would regulate Internet access pricing:

While this bill does not in any way regulate what Internet users can access, it does begin to set up a system where the haves get more in terms of faster and better connectivity for video distribution, multimedia sharing and more. To me, at least, it feels like a dangerous precedent, and another way potentially for some of our more fortunate kids to get a leg up on those who may not be able to pay.

I strongly agree with Will that if this bill passes, we could have some real issues on our hands with regards to Internet access. If this bill passes, a lot of work that has been done in recent years to provide Internet access to those who have the most difficult time getting it could be undone with one pen stroke (and not even a digital pen!!). Imagine what it could potentially do to Internet access to schools and public libraries, which are important points of access to information for our children, but also places that don’t tend to have a lot of money. Imagine what it can do to Web 2.0 and the plethora of free social sharing tools. They work because they are freely accessible (for the most part).

Despite all of its issues, the beauty of the Internet is that it does not discriminate against its users. Let’s try to keep it that way.

Here are some links to check out:

technorati tags: net_neutrality, ubicomp

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