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Has This Been the Golden Age of the Internet?

05.01.2006 05:16 | DISPATCHES

That first novel that reaches heights of intensity a writer never again attains. A ballplayer reaches the World Series as a rookie, never to make it again. Those first heady months of a love affair.

Sometimes when you think something is just beginning, it's at its peak. Is that the case with the Internet?

"Net Neutrality" is in danger of being relegated to history as a quaint notion of the Information Age. A bill that threatens this freedom (which prevents cable companies from regulating Internet use) has made it through the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Just three of its effects, courtesy of (sign their petition like, yesterday) if it's passed by the House proper and the Senate:

"Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices.

"Political organizing could be slowed by [providers unless] advocacy groups pay. . . for their websites and online features to work correctly.

 "[Blogging] costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips."

It might soon be time to refurbish those old mimeograph machines rotting in school basements. And, if worst comes to worst, there's always talking drums.


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