What is this junk?
“Net neutrality” isn’t just a term for tech nerds with tape on their glasses, it’s a real life battle internet providers are having with the public and internet users globally (you’re a user- you’re on the web right now, right?). Net neutrality is not a new fight but it is one that is becoming louder by the day as people learn what it is and how easy it is to rally behind. Without net neutrality, internet providers can govern your use of the web- not just what you see but how you use it and with what equipment! This isn’t a pretend problem pulled from the novel 1984 people, this is real.
SaveTheInternet.com defines net neutrality:
“Net Neutrality means no discrimination. Net Neutrality prevents Internet providers from blocking, speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination.”
This is a game changer for your biz AND your clients
“Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for residential broadband networks and potentially for all networks. A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as one where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.”
How is it a game changer?
If net neutrality isn’t in play, your internet provider can charge based on use, they can block certain sites or equipment meaning your use is governed. This is critical if you’re a blogger, use Twitter or any other site because it can become functionally restricted and cost prohibitive to use the web as providers are attempting to create a false sense of scarcity (like the diamond industry did once upon a time). We’re all here promoting the use of the web in some form or fashion be it helping each other, or telling a client we’ll promote their home online (and hope that it hasn’t become to prohibitive for consumers to use).
NAR supports Net Neutrality:
I want to take a moment to applaud National Association of Realtors’ policy on net neutrality:
“Five principles to guide lobbying efforts on any legislation to require broadband providers to adhere to net neutral practices: 1. consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice; 2. consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement; 3. consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; 4. consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers; and, 5. network providers should not discriminate among internet data transmissions on the basis of the source of the transmission as they regulate the flow of network content.”
For those reading at NAR, I ask, how can AG readers get involved in getting behind NAR and the net neutrality policy? Are there any active campaigns NAR is working on or any incentives where help is needed?
I asked a simple question on Twitter and here are a few of the results (told you people felt strongly about it, I didn’t find ONE person in favor of the internet providers):
Most people are supporters of net neutrality and there are a handful in the real estate industry who will gladly speak up and stand alongside NAR in the battle against the scams that internet providers are proponents of to save the internet! The real estate industry is not a quiet one and will NOT be quiet on this issue.
June 7, 2009 at 9:34 am
While I am HIGHLY in favor of NN, it’s another moment when we are forced to spend time understanding ‘what it is, how it works and what the ramifications are.’ I realize this issue seems simple but not all that SEEM simple are so. For example, the cynic in me wonders will NAR REALLY keep it’s and all of it’s partner’s ‘hand’s off.’ Considering the behavior of Realtor.com, Homegain, etc., over the years, I wouldn’t put it past either of them one bit to be net biased versus neutral. Oh to be back in the days where I thought we all played fair and were just out to do the best for our clients and customers.
June 7, 2009 at 9:37 am
After the whole MIBOR debacle, it’s nice to see a post with a positive slant on the actions of the NAR. Hopefully this will be the first in a series of posts by you, Lani, and others from AG and the various blog and news sites that seem to command the most agent presence.
The ground swell that precipitated the appointment of Jay to the MLS committee will hopefully be repeated for this issue.
Navy Chief, Navy Pride
June 7, 2009 at 11:08 am
Net neutrality is something that I have been concerned about for a very long time. The opponents have catchy soundbites that are very, very misleading. The real danger was during the Bush administration – they supported internet “freedom” – that is the freedom of broadband companies to “control” the internet. The Obama administration has been very supportive of net neutrality.
One of the biggest dangers for agents who blog was that such a change would absolutely favor the big sites such as Zillow that are flush with VC – they could pay their way to the top of the pile – content notwithstanding.
June 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm
This issue has been around for some time now. I’ve tried to bring it up several times in different RE.net forums but it hasn’t gained the traction it should. I think NAR has done a good job in trying to get the issue front and center, I know they have tried to do a few things through CRT as well. So hats off to NAR, I agree with their position and look forward to their success in spreading the word through the membership base.
As a former ISP executive, I understand SOME of the concerns that the current providers and TELCO’s have, but left to their devices, they will use their considerable lobby skills and deep pockets to create off ramps to the so called information super highway and the toll booth will be considerable to reach the content that is highest in demand.
I believe in letting the web continue to grow as it has for the last 15 years or so. Screwing with it now will only kill one of the best opportunities we have to pull our economy out of the crapper. I’ll continue to do all I can to help educate people on the issue.
June 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm
I wouldn’t be surprised if they (ISPs) were just looking to pull the same coup phone companies pulled so long ago. Remember when you paid for what you used and not for what you thought you might use? Best trick ever. Cell phone companies start the trend and then land-lines (what’s that?) came along with minute packages.
Imagine the net going back to the old days of AOL with per minute charges.
I’d go back to fax machines.