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A World Without Net Neutrality Illustrated – Why it’s Critical

Ignoring articles on net neutrality? Don’t!

I’ll admit, net neutrality seemed like a geeky nerd dork fight that I heard about a long time ago, and I ignored any article that talked about it. Then, a few years ago I read an article that made my ears perk up and take note- net neutrality is what is keeping the internet open and free. Sure, you pay to access it but you don’t pay for use and if the telecommunications companies of the world have their way, that ends. This is what a world without net neutrality could look like (click image to enlarge):


What do we do about it?

First and foremost, brush up on the topic, Jim Duncan wrote an article outlining net neutrality and it is very easy to read and understand and is a comprehensive guide to the issue. Telecommunications companies are saying that we’re running out of bandwidth and Nick Bostic discussed how this claim is bogus.

Without net neutrality, the Internet may become cost prohibitive both for consumers and agents and all of this effort we’re putting into our web presence is all for naught.

The National Association of Realtors supports net neutrality and getting involved NOW before it is a reality is the best action anyone can take. Write your local politician and tell them your view and ask them to fight for you, tell others what you think and don’t be quiet, this isn’t a minor issue, it’s a game changer.

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Article originally published December 3, 2009

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Benn Rosales

    December 3, 2009 at 1:28 am

    The name of this issue needs to change to get people understanding it- it just sounds so damn confusing. With the right messaging, and using social media, this issue could be killed across the board. I fear it may be to late before anyone really realizes that no one get’s why it matters.

  2. Karen Rice

    December 3, 2009 at 6:02 am

    I agree with Ben – the name is very confusing. And what can we do about this to stop it?

  3. Amanda Wernick

    December 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I too had heard of “Net Neutrality” and even read up on it some, and will admit that when I fell into reading about it, thought it had more to do with internet censorship, not the cost of being online.

    As a Realtor and Social Media Trainer, I will definitely be writing to as many local politicians as I can and lof course, tweeting and RT this. Lani, since you are so articulate, how do you recommend we write the letters to make an impact as opposed to sounding like a whiny babies? Is there a petition that we could start that could be sent to everyone we know or to our local Real Estate boards, for example.

    Look forward to your words of wisdom! 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      December 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

      Amanda, stay tuned for letter writing tips (or maybe even a form letter)… 🙂 coming shortly.

  4. Matt Stigliano

    December 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

    @LaniAR – As I told you, I think this graphic is one of the best explanations of why net neutrality is so important. It amazes me that the telco industry passes it off as a “necessary” thing in order to continue to bring us more bandwidth. Why do we let industries like this hold us hostage? The power industry does it all the time. You want wind power? Pay us more. Wind is a free resource, how can it be more expensive? The answer lies in the fact that companies have stopped believing in the “cost of doing business” and just want to pass the bills down to the consumer level. We even see it in real estate with “transaction fees.”

    I wonder what would happen if the telco companies did get away with it. Would we take a stand and give up the internet? Or would we just follow along blindly like we did when they offered packaged minutes on cell and home phones (minutes that you pay for, but don’t necessarily use – where’s the sense in that?)? One of the greatest tricks played on the world was convincing us to buy blocks of time for our phone usage. All those unused minutes are money in their pockets – for doing nothing at all.

    I’ll take this issue head on…I’ve got a few letters to write.

    • Benn Rosales

      December 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

      “The answer lies in the fact that companies have stopped believing in the “cost of doing business””

      One could argue that so have consumers? Infrastructure does cost money, but how much?

  5. Matt Stigliano

    December 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

    @BennRosales – True. I think my real frustration lies with companies who just cry poor and talk about how much these new innovations cost, when in the long run, they will profit from them. Should I as a consumer be responsible for building more windfarms (by buying wind power at a higher cost than my current electric) when in the long term, that company is using that windfarm as a profit center for themselves? Will they give me a return on my investment in the long term? Of course they won’t.

    • Matt Stigliano

      December 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

      I need to start making use of the “reply” feature on AgentGenius.

  6. jeremyjisaac

    December 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Call me cynical, but this issue is really pretty simple… If NAR supports it, then I don’t. Simple as that – almost.

    • Matt Stigliano

      December 4, 2009 at 9:13 am

      Jeremy – While I can take a few wild guesses why you would say that, I’d love to hear a bit more background and explanation. While I have never proclaimed my undying allegiance to NAR, I still support them in many efforts (but I’m not afraid to call them nuts when I disagree).

      • jeremyjisaac

        December 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm


        I was obviously overstated my point for emphasis, as indicated by the word “almost”. However, I do not often agree with NAR. The problem is that NAR (and local and state boards) feel the need to lobby for legislation that will supposedly help Realtors (and purportedly homeowners) in the short term. Now this is noble enough, but all to often it conflicts with principles. The first time buyer tax credit is a prime example. It helps homeowners and Realtors in the short term, but it is terrible long term economic and housing policy.

  7. Benn Rosales

    December 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

    NAR is correct in their position.

  8. Ruthmarie Hicks

    December 5, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I don’t often agree with NAR – but in this case I do. The Obama Administration is for net neutrality – the danger was greater during the Bush years. Unfortunately, opponents of net neutrality have websites with misleading names such as “Hands off the internet” which is Chinese for “let the telecom companies do anything they want.”

    Interestingly enough – those who appose net-neutrality come from the right wing of our society – conservative think tanks such as the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute, and Americans for tax reform” claim net netrality violates the frist amendment to the consititution??? Really? I don’t think the writers of the Bill of Rights was thinking in terms of the internet when they wrote the first 10 amendments to the constitution…

  9. Pingback: Even Twitter proclaims they support net neutrality, hooray! - AGBeat

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