At Internet Librarian 2009, we got to hear Vint Cerf with Google as our Monday keynote. I found this great video by way of Alec Couros' blog, which features Cerf talking about the importance of net neutrality.
Net neutrality is a super important concept for today's Internet users to learn about. Here's why you should support it:
-- Right now, it doesn't matter what you type into the address bar at the top of your browser. Whether you ask for this blog, Google.com, the New York Times, a friend's Facebook page, or your mom's recipe bookmarks on Delicious.com, your Internet service provider (ISP) will serve up whatever you ask for at the same speed. Every site is equal in the eyes of your ISP, and they are *neutral* when it comes to giving you access to these wildly different sites.
-- Without net neutrality, the doors are open to wealthy corporations and other people with influence to pressure the ISPs into delivering some sites more quickly than others. Or not at all. Can you imagine paying for Internet access and not being able to go to the sites you want to visit? Or having to sit and wait while the "right" sites are being delivered quickly, and your ISP deprioritizes your choices because the site owners couldn't afford to pay off TimeWarner, AOL, or (your ISP here)?
Net neutrality is something you should know about. It's a wonderful thing, and it keeps the voices on the Internet flowing in a democratic and fair way. Your choice is what matters - not the choices of the wealthy or well-connected.
For more info and explanation, try the Wikipedia article on net neutrality. SaveTheInternet.com, or the DemocracyNow! video on net neutrality.