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Stop the Secrecy

The Boston Globe: 5 principles for saving the Internet

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 16:31 -- Eva Prkachin

The top 5 pillars of the Open Internet, all of which are under threat from cable companies trying to build the Internet slow lane. Help us protect these pillars at https://OpenMedia.org/SlowLane

Article by Andrew Lippman for the Boston Globe

In the past few months, the open Internet has been everywhere from Comedy Central to the Harvard Law Review. Why? Because the US government is at a crossroads in deciding how Americans will access it. The FCC solicited comments from the public, and more than 1 million people responded. But getting this one right doesn’t have to be complicated.

The FCC was created in 1934 to ensure that citizens throughout the country had access to affordable telephone service. We need a similar mandate today for Internet access. Here are five principles that can help us reach this goal.

Principle One: It’s about more than money. A common metric used to measure the success of the Internet has been the number of commercial successes it has enabled. But a far better measure is the number of attempts at innovation it has allowed. Sure, there are the Ubers and Googles and Facebooks that have made many billionaires. But more important is the vastly reduced barrier to simply trying a new idea. This low barrier is a far better measure of an entrepreneurial society. Attempts are a proxy for opportunity, and while many of these do not explosively succeed, the people who make the attempts are invariably better off for it, as is society at large. Let’s drop the economic argument that success is the only metric and place appropriate value on the social goal of giving everyone a chance. After all, opportunity is the American way.

- Read more at the Boston Globe