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Net Neutrality Equal Justice Conference Molly French, Colorado Legal Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Net Neutrality Equal Justice Conference Molly French, Colorado Legal Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Net Neutrality Equal Justice Conference Molly French, Colorado Legal Services

2 What is Net Neutrality? Net Neutrality is a guiding principle that means the Internet will remain free and unrestricted…which means The public will continue to be able to view the smallest blog as easily as the largest corporate website…which means Keeping the Internet open and accessible (as it now exists) to the fullest extent possible.

3 Net Neutrality Net Neutrality would prevent Telephone and Cable Companies (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon)… …from taxing content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of data …from discriminating in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video (from slowing down or blocking content of competitors) …from reserving the fast lanes on the networks for their own content and services, or for big corporations which can pay for the fast lanes through the Telecomm networks. Video: What is Net NeutralityWhat is Net Neutrality

4 Without Net Neutrality Network providers (such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon) could charge content providers to have their content travel through the network at a faster speed Content providers who could not pay (the little guys) – their content would travel at slower speeds, creating A tiered system, where those content providers who can pay are more accessible on the users end Network providers will have incentive to create and drive their own content more quickly through the networks (for example, Comcast Search)

5 Origins of Network Neutrality Video: Background and History – Net NeutralityBackground and History – Net Neutrality

6 Net Neutrality - Background Summer 2006 – bill became the Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunities Reform Act - offered to study network neutrality rather than create enforceable protections Legislation intended to reform existing communications laws affecting: Network Neutrality Broadband and video access The universal service fund Video franchising Wireless spectrum Community Internet

7 Network Neutrality Provisions Would Codify Consumer Protection – prohibit any network owner from blocking or degrading Internet content sent or received from the network Guarantee unimpaired access to all websites and services Prohibit network owners from setting up pay-for-play fast lanes relegating the vast majority of websites to the slow lane Guarantee that consumers can attach any legal device they choose to the network without discrimination

8 Why Net Neutrality Matters to Low- Income Communities Without Net Neutrality: Opportunities for free speech over the net could be minimized or negated Costs to access information online will rise (consumer will eat cost eventually anyway, so why sacrifice free speech in the process) Blogging could become sensored – (network providers doesnt like your blog – gets the slow lane) More difficult to access legal information, housing opps, job possibilities, public benefits, etc. etc. Your thoughts?

9 Why Net Neutrality Matters to Low- income People Seeking Legal Information Without Net Neutrality: and others could afford to pay for faster lanes, legal aid websites in the slow lanes, or networks build their own legal content and charge a fee for access Online court forms preparation – accessibility to HotDocs and I- CAN! could become disabled if companies like Bradford build their own online court forms preparation programs and pay for the faster lanes (user pays fees to have access) Costs could rise for all technology deliveries, development costs would rise, while accessibility to this information could substantially decrease Other scenarios?

10 Net Neutrality - What can you do? Raise awareness of the issue in the legal aid community (blog on, post to and read Net Neutrality Reading Room) Sign the petition (Read this entire website!) Encourage groups you are part of to sign the Internet Freedom Declaration of 2007 Show support for Internet freedom on your website or blog See handout for referrals to more information.

11 Net Neutrality – Bloggers Speak I am poor, so I cant contribute money. I dont have a car, so I cant get out and go to meetings, but I am very concerned, and I want us to have an open, democratic society, where all opinions can be expressed and are available to everyone, and where the media are available to the populace. Please tell me, what can I do? How can I help? Lyn Miner – Minnesota I am an 82 year old grandmother who does not know how to join in blogs but I am 100 percent in favor of maintaining Internet neutrality. Its a gut reaction. Sophie Stein

12 Net Neutrality – Take Action Work now to keep the Internet as… Greatest engine of economic growth and democratic communication in modern memory

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