If you care about Net Neutrality which basically means that no one entity, company, government or organization should be able to partition or control the Internet, you may be interested in catching up with the activism that took place on Google’s campus last Friday, August 13th.
Members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Color of Change, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action and Free Press rallied in front of Google’s World Headquarters and delivered 300,000 letters to Google in favor of net neutrality. The Google Staffer who accepted delivery of the letters said that Google is committed to open internet. But Google is profit driven and needs to satisfy their shareholders, so there is an inherent conflict of interest here.
Our own Alliance for Community Media is working hard in a related area. The Cable Access Preservation (CAP) Act which was introduced last year by Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin will have a huge impact on the future of Access. The CAP Act will allow Public, Education and Government (PEG) access fees to be used for any PEG-related purpose, will end operators’ discriminatory treated of PEG channels, direct the FCC to study the effects of individual state’s frachising legislation on PEG access and also defines all video services delivered to the home over wire as “cable” regardless of the transmission protocol used. The passing of the CAP Act is very important to us here at the Media Center and at the thousands of Access stations across the country and to the millions of people served by Access stations.
The preservation of access is very similar to the preservation of an open internet. The John Maher lyric says it all: “When they own the information they can bend it all they want.” We need to make sure that local access television, the internet, and other public information forums stay accessible to the people for whose benefit they were created and NOT auctioned off to the highest bidder.