Internet Bandwidth Caps are a Direct Muzzle on the Progressive Voice

Josh Silver of Free Press discusses the potential catastrophe of allowing the communication monopolies to cap internet use. He mentions Congressman Eric Massa's reaction:

Yesterday, Rep. Massa told the Philadelphia Inquirer he is looking for a Republican co-sponsor for the bill: 'This is bigger than a college kid surfing the Internet. Anything that limits access to the basic Internet is a threat to the economy."

It's more than a threat to the economy. It's a threat to our freedom of speech and ultimately to our democracy. Josh Silver elsewhere in the piece points to the plethora of showbiz garbage that's routinely spewed out by the corporate media. When you add to that, the thousand points of virulent right-wing talk radio, basically you've got our 'mainstream media' completely covered. It's not a pretty or friendly picture -- at least for progressives.

Before the Internet, progressives had no voice. There were the time-honored weeklies that went out but in no way could this match the mighty Wurlitzer arrayed against us. Part of Bill Clinton's problem was that this vast communications apparatus simply ganged up on him. We can't let this ever happen again.

Putting caps on bandwidth use isn't simply the sign of a service dangerously dominated by corporate monopolies, it's a direct throttle on our ability as progressives to get the word out and organize on anything approaching an equal basis.

Caps on bandwidth just as easily affect the distribution of videos on health care reform or employee rights as they do the downloading of reality shows or pop music. Caps on bandwidth allow the telco and cable monopolies to act as gate-keepers. It recreates a situation reminiscent of earlier technologies where content is favored, and hence most likely to get through, that comes from entities that look a lot like the gatekeepers themselves.

The Internet is all we have. There's never going to be another opportunity to develop yet another technology that gives all of us such equal access. We cannot allow this one final medium to go the way of television and radio.

[h/t CrooksandLiars]