September 18, 2006

The Net @ Risk: The New Digital Divide

How has the Internet impacted your life?

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Backgrounder: The New Digital Divide
"The Net at Risk" explains why America lags so far behind the rest of the industrialized world in broadband access to the Internet. Industry watchdogs say it is a history of broken promises to bring the "information superhighway" to every U.S. home and business. Once a technology leader in the Internet revolution, the United States has fallen into the teens in the world rankings of Internet access for its citizens. In some places-among them Japan, Iceland, Korea, and the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia-consumers get Internet connections that are significantly more powerful than what is available in the U.S. for the same price most Americans pay. Why? ... [more]

Class Is in Session...
"The Net at Risk," Internet scholar and media critic Robert McChesney describes the development of the Internet as the type of revolution that has come along only two or three times in all of human existence. It is the culmination, he contends, of a revolution that began with the birth of language 60,000 years ago. McChesney is not alone in equating the digital revolution with major historical shifts like the industrial revolution, which changed nearly every aspect of life-including political systems, economic power, gender roles, and where and how we live.

When you look at what we are able to do online now that we could not do even a few years ago, you can see examples of the potential of this new technological enterprise. Students can complete a university degree online. Employees from around the world collaborate on projects. People can be encouraged to take a greater role in democracy through the ease of online voting. Doctors in urban areas can diagnose patients in rural areas or consult with colleagues on difficult cases. Parents can keep on top of their child's homework and be in contact with their teacher. Aspiring authors can avoid publisher rejection letters and go straight to their readers online. Computer professionals can often repair their client's software glitches virtually. Users can even lend their expertise to the community-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia. And anyone with a computer can become a broadcaster, movie producer, journalist, or musician.

The Internet is pretty remarkable to those who remember this scene from the World's Fair less than 50 years ago.

Watch the video: Worlds Fair 1960

But for a whole generation, it's nearly impossible to imagine a pre-Internet world. Even the thought of being tethered to a telephone line is a distant memory, if it's a memory they have at all! Ben and Becca, ages 11 and 9, sat in the back seat of their aunt's car sending instant messages from their iBooks to their father using the wireless connection accessible from the driveway of their home. They were first confused, then indignant when they lost their connection as the car pulled out of the driveway. They assumed that the Internet was like air or water. To them, it is something that should always be there. On demand! At will! 24/7! And, many adults return from other countries surprised at how unconnected their U.S. lives seem in comparison.

The truth is that they can have the kind of 24/7, instantaneous, on-demand access they expect-in dozens of other countries. Just not here in the United States, the birthplace of the Internet. (Find out about communities setting up their own municipal networks.)

Watch the video

Here's a quiz Question: What do South Korea, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, Taiwan, Belgium, Iceland, Sweden Norway, Israel, Japan, Finland, and Singapore have in common?

Answer: All have a higher percentage of inhabitants hooked up to broadband than the United States, and many of them are adding a greater percentage of their population every year than we are. Only 11.4 percent of the U.S. population had broadband subscriptions in 2005, compared with more than double that amount in the Republic of Korea. US in world perspective

The international divide

In this country we often talk of a digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who do not. Indeed, this technological divide between rural and urban, wealthy and poor, persists. And when it comes to an international digital divide, the U.S. as a nation falls closer to the "have not" side of the equation than our economic rivals in every measure of broadband-subscribership, price, speed, and investment.

We still have the largest number of broadband subscribers in the world, but we lag behind other countries in the number of subscribers per capita, or what is referred to as "broadband penetration." This is an important measure of our economic competitiveness.

Watch the video

Plus, we are adding new broadband users at a slower rate than many countries, thus losing ground in broadband penetration. In March 2005, we ranked 17th in broadband penetration among countries surveyed. By March 2006, we had dropped to 20th place. In our increasingly online world, high-speed broadband has a direct impact on a nation's ability to roll out products faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.

Broadband has the potential to become the vehicle for distributing all forms of data-telephone, television, radio, and the Internet-making it an indispensable part of economic, personal, and public life. Even if you don't know what a megabit is, you'll likely still be startled to learn that most Japanese can access a high-speed connection that's more than 10 times faster than what's available here, for just $22 per month. And that's not all. They are now rolling out ultra-high speed access that is more than 500 times faster than what the Federal Communications Commission defines as "broadband." connectivity speeds This chart illustrates where the U.S. ranks internationally when it comes to speed and price.

So what exactly is broadband and why does it matter?

Broadband, or high-speed, Internet access is made possible by a series of technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than traditional telephone lines. In addition, broadband is "always on." No waiting for those clicks, beeps, and whirring sounds before you are connected! Even more important, you can send and receive data at the same time. Broadband technology can be delivered by cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), wireless, fiber, and satellite.

Fiber-optic cables are long, thin strands of glass that transmit bursts of laser light and carry information faster than any copper wire. The tiny glass fibers connect homes around the world to the information superhighway -- around 40 times faster than the broadband most Americans get from their cable or phone company.

Broadband is especially important nowadays because content on the Web is becoming sophisticated and increasingly includes video and audio applications. Users can interact with historical characters in virtual settings, families can share videos online, company employees can teleconference from far-flung areas of the world, and doctors can collaborate with colleagues on difficult diagnoses-these are just some of the amazing online opportunities that contribute to our economic, educational, and social well-being. But sending and accessing such data also requires large "pipes." Anyone who is still relying on telephone modem connections with a speed of 56K (that "click, beep, and whirring" technology) will grow old waiting for much of the new content to download.

Broadband is not just a convenience. It is important to our economy. In 2002, Gartner Inc., a research and advisory firm, found that implementation of "true" broadband (10 Mbps)-considerably faster than what most Americans use-could bolster the U.S. GDP by $500 billion a year because of new jobs, new technologies, new equipment, and new software designs.

Where's the fiber?

There are plenty of ideas about why the United States is lagging behind but very little agreement. Here are just a few of the perspectives.

In "The Net at Risk," telecom industry watchers Bruce Kushnick and Tom Allibone of Teletruth a consumer advocacy group which has published an e-book, $200 Billion Broadband Scandal, fault the telephone companies for not fulfilling the promises they made in the 1990s to provide fiber-optic connections to households. Had their grand plans been implemented, 86 million customers in the United States would have received much faster service than is currently available.

connectivity speeds Remember this chart?

Some organizations, like Free Press, a nonpartisan media policy group, say the United States is falling behind because it does not have a comprehensive national broadband policy. While the American approach of promoting competition by broadband providers may have yielded some new investment in the long-haul market and the local business market, our investment in broadband facilities for local residential customers remains far lower than in other countries.

Some critics fault the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to determine whether "advanced telecommunications capability (i.e., broadband or high-speed access) is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion." If it is not, the legislation directs the FCC to "take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."

The FCC reports on its progress and consistently asserts that this goal is being met, that advanced telecommunications capability is indeed being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis to all Americans. But critics disagree, citing America's continuing drop in international broadband-penetration rankings, the comparatively low speed the FCC uses to define "broadband" (200 kpbs), and the use of zip codes as a measure of success-when only one broadband subscriber in a particular zip code constitutes regional "penetration."

Too much regulation?

Some, like the Cato Institute think tank, oppose making the FCC more proactive when it comes to broadband deployment. They argue that the Telecom Act is flawed and that Congress and the FCC should completely deregulate the telecommunications industry. According to the Cato Institute, "the Telecom Act is a statute at war with itself … Congress attempted to engineer a illogical balancing act between the contradictory goals of promoting increased competition and that of preserving the regulatory status quo." (Learn more about media regulation)

What next?

Congress has taken up the issue of broadband access, the impact of telecommunications regulation, and new technologies on broadband deployment. Some say it's about time, while others worry that regulations will not be strategic, well-thought-out, or result in prescriptive action. Clearly this will be an important issue to watch in the coming year. Stay apprised of the deliberations in Congress over the pending telecommunications legislation. (Learn more about net neutrality legislation)


  • How has the Internet impacted your life?
  • How do you foresee the Internet having an impact on you in the future?
  • What do you wish for when you think about the online world?
  • When you hear that other countries are implementing broadband with faster speeds to a higher percentage of their population than the United States, what concerns does that raise for you?
  • Can you imagine, or have you already experienced, any impact from our declining status?
  • Have you traveled abroad and experienced higher broadband speeds or wider coverage?
  • If we were to develop a national policy, how should we go about it, and what should it include?

Print the class


How has the Internet impacted your life?

How do you foresee the Internet having an impact on you in the future?

What do you wish for when you think about the online world?

When you hear that other countries are implementing broadband with faster speeds to a higher percentage of their population than the United States, what concerns does that raise for you?

Can you imagine, or have you already experienced, any impact from our declining status?

Have you traveled abroad and experienced higher broadband speeds or wider coverage?

If we were to develop a national policy, how should we go about it, and what should it include?

I pay more attention to current events on the internet, than I ever did before in print or broadcast media. I also get involved: signing petitions, sending letters, volunteering, even donating money. Not only is the need far greater than ever before, but the internet makes is very easy.

As an American born in 1946 at the start of what is termed the 'baby boom' generation, nothing in my lifetime has made a greater impact than the internet. I run a business online, call anywhere in the world computer to computer for free, and I interact with all of the important social, religious and political networks in my life via the internet. To interfere with the amazing advances made by the internet poses a problem so vast that it is inconceivable that it is even a serious issue for discussion.

The impact on us is that 12 years of internet business and we still get on line at 300/90 and that our high speed dsl.We have been struggling in the area we live to get high speed internet ,fiber optics,across the street will take 2 to 4 years to hook up because of we are not important enough ,we only have 20 families on our road, which we are only 4 miles from the city limits,Manning,SC

In 2000, I launched an online business to provide services remotely. This enabled me, as a single mother of three, to build a career online from the remote, rural farm where I lived.

Without the resources of the Internet, I would not have been able to live where I wanted to live, to support my children, and to build my business.

In my rather economically depressed area, in southern Kentucky, there were no viable job opportunities. In the city (where I had lived before my move) the cost of living was prohibitive.

I purchased a farm at a price I could afford and the Internet allowed me to work in a challenging and rewarding industry without spending all my income to pay for basic needs for myself and my family.

If I had remained in the city, I would not have been able to make my mortgage payment while building my business. I would never have been able to own 25 acres of land. I would have been "hand-to-mouth" for decades.

So how has the Internet impacted my life? Completely. I enjoy a flourishing business and a rewarding career. My children everything they need and most of what they want. My farm is paid off, my business is not built on debt and I'm happy.

And keeping the Internet open and free from politically/industrially motivated hobbling is essential, IMHO. So, I support Net Neutrality and am a huge fan of the Internet and the potential for "everyman" to use it to improve life.

The internet has changed my life in the last five years. I can communicate with people, friends and family in an instant. It has opened the world to education, information and news as it is reported all over the world, not just by our local communication sourses. We have access to points of view of people, media, from all over the world. The internet has given me access to information that it would be otherwise difficlt to obtain. Personally I am a poet and I can communicate with other writers in an instant and have my work on line.The internet has opened the world to the many who had little access to it.

I was born in 1946 - I am 60 years old, and grateful that the internet came along during my lifetime. It has changed my life; my awareness of the world; my interest in politics; my search for the truth and, my love of art. Thanks to blogs; forums, excellent online magazines,, and most recently, the ability to watch online video directly from the major news channels, I no longer watch television. Over the years, I have also taught myself how to make websites and web design has become one of three of my internet businesses. I consider the internet to be the most important development of the 20th century. I can "converse" with people all over the world, and I do, on a regular basis. It is also very cool that my adult daughters refer to their mom as being an internet junkie!

Thank you so much for undertaking this discussion. I am a retired telecommunications sales engineer, forced to leave my profession in 2001 because I told the truth about internal affairs of the telecom industry. Most of the true pioneers of digital innovation were squeezed out and replaced by less experienced people lacking the experience to know what was going on. There should be many people like me who can contribute far more than you already know about this subject. I am willing to share what I know. Let me know how.


What we are talking about, is the ability to purchase information. If net neutrality is not maintained, those with the ability to purchase information will create a unequal divide in our society. One answer is to empower local government on this issue. Not strip it of the ability to offer services where the duopoly will not.

Perhaps the fastest Internet access I've experienced while traveling abroad was in Dhaka, Bangladesh, of all places. Bangladesh suffers from very limited Internet access, but to my surprise, the broadband available at my hotel was synchronous - in other words, the download speed was as fast as the upload speed. Here in the US, Internet providers typically offer asynchronous access - you may get really fast downloads but uploading is very slow. This serves as a barrier to entry for many people who wish to get involved in videoblogging and other bandwidth-intensive creative activities.

But in Bangladesh, I was able to upload video at multi-megabit speed. Perhaps this was partially due to the fact that so few people in Bangladesh are uploading rich multimedia content. But if just a few people there could take advantage of this rich bandwidth, they could lay the foundation for an upsurge in Bengali user-generated content. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that one of the founders of YouTube is Bengali. :-)

The internet has opened my eyes to the reality of the world we live in and allowed me to communicate with a farflung community.

The internet is the last and only media in North America that is not controlled by those who would use media to their own ends by controlling all forms of information that are available to us.

The effort to control the Internet is the last stand battle for Freedom of Speach and if we lose this battle we will all drown in the sea of induced ignorance.

The internet has opened my eyes to the reality of the world we live in and allowed me to communicate with a farflung community.

The internet is the last and only media in North America that is not controlled by those who would use media to their own ends by controlling all forms of information that are available to us.

The effort to control the Internet is the last stand battle for Freedom of Speach and if we lose this battle we will all drown in the sea of induced ignorance.

The internet provides information on every subject under the sun at the touch of a key. What took scholars a lifetime to research is available to us in an instant. Like having the Library at Alexandria in our backyard. Finding treasures happens everyday on the internet and that is just plain fun. Also, the internet is the great equalizer. No one needs to know how old I am, my nationality, religion, gender, or finances to be able to voice an opinion. It is empowering and there lies the rub.

I work for a small company that depends heavily on timely and efficient Internet access all day every business day. We provide equipment for the biological research community and the pharmaceutcal industry. We compete in a global marketplace. If our Internet access is compromised, our foreign competitors will take business away from us. This may not bother stakeholders in multi-national corporations, but it will be very bad for us and our community.

it's simple. when the mainstream media decided to join in the conspiracy to murder the iraqi people, the internet gave me the pure, true evidence of their crime-a crime we must prosecute them for.

The net is the last and only true medium for free speech!
Every other mainstream source of electronic or print medium has been corrupted. Even PBS is self restricted by excepting Corporate Sponsors.

I've used the Internet for business, before it was Clinton made it generally available. It was an excellent communication and research tool then. The Internet continues to be an excellent information and communications resource.

I would like to see the PBS dialog include these Internet topics in the dialog: Internet II (at most Universities now).
Internet resource enabling tools like WiFi & WiMAX. Digital Content distribution over the Internet, in the old days you could watch TV NYC-LA-Raliegh-W.DC-SanFransico for free on the Internet (High Quality, Continuous Video Broadcasting - not excepts and clips). Now you have to pay a service provider similar to a Cable TV company. Odd, laws were passed to stop free distribution over the new Internet. Now you can access those services if you pay a fee. Seems like there's a story there. Same distribution channel, only now there's a middle-man adding fees, rebranded as Broadband TV & FiOS TV.

It is absolutely true that the internet is a strong medium of free speech. Our civil liberties are eroding at a very alarming rate and corporations are very much facilitating this trend due to their greed and ambition which appears to have no limits. it may be the only thing that can combat the this dark cloud over the people by letting them share and exchange in a free flow of ideas and information. Why regulate or impose restrictions on something that is working as well as it is?-- Simple Answer: Money and control. KEEP THE INTERNET FREE!

I was diagnosed with a chronic illness at a relatively young age in 1993, right about the same time I got my first computer. To this day, I don't know what I would do without my online freedom. It's very hard to become disabled when one is used to working and always being 'out & about'. The internet allows me to still get 'out & about' in a sense, even when I'm confined to my home, and to stay in touch by email with friends and family instead of with expensive long distance phone calls. I have many online friends, am active in politics & various forums, participate in online discussions, petitions, podcasts and many other activities. I only recently got broadband service this year since I live on a very limited, 'set' income. I'm still struggling somewhat to pay for it, but I wouldn't give it up for anything! Hopefully we can soon emulate Japan & other countries, and enjoy a wonderful broadband wwweb that will connect everyone no matter where they live for a more reasonable fee, at faster speeds. We must also maintain our 'Net Neutrality' as one of the last true mediums for Free Speech.

I am from the UK but I have been following this issue very closely and with growing alarm. If the internet loses its free status then we will all suffer globally. The fact the internet is free has made it what it is, a marvelous source of information and has given billions of people the opportunity to connect on a personal level. It is possibly the greatest invention or tool of the 20th Century! The internet, has actually saved my life! I researched a small lump using the net and this research prompted me to go to my doctor and the cancer was caught in time. If had not done that research there is every chance that I would have waited too long. If you remove the free status of the internet then we will all suffer.

I can not put into words the profundity of the affect the internet has had on my life. Information from multiple sources "on demand" the news can't lock us into a one sided view based on opinnion rather than fact. Information that was in danger of becoming archic or unavailable is now preserved in an easy to find format i.e. Dictionarys "Retire" words every year from their volumes, now with unlimited virtual "pages" words can be found and traced back to origin with very little effort. In every portion of the service industry the internet as a tool has been a Godsend. Tracking shipments, medication interactions, research, patient tracking - I could go on and on. I don't know of a single facet of my life that hasn't been changed by the advent of the Global Internet. Keep it free.

I remember a joke a friend presented to us in 1974: "you know they will start charging for watching tv," he said. "How can they do that?; How would they know if you have one? you're crazy!" we responded. Well, we all know now that it did happen. We pay for the programs we watch, for the news we get and yet our exposure to information is restrictive,and extremely biased. Through the Internet I learn about world events --and even of my own country, in a much more accurate, timely and educational manner than through any other media. If it was not for Internet I would never learn a different perspective than that of the corporate U.S. media. Unrestricted access to information is the basis for true democracy, freedom and self-determination. The Internet should serve this purpose.

I've lost count of the number of times I've asked myself and others "What in the world did we do before the Internet"? (And a tip of my hat to all of the search engines that allow us to find virtually anything we're looking for, be it an obscure piece of information, a blog or website that matches our interest or a Morten Studio Irish Setter in mint condition!)

Our government has allowed large corporations to buy and control our newspapers and our local television and radio stations. Can anyone doubt that our Congress no longer has our best interests in their hearts or minds when they allow the oil companies, banks, and the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to write their own self-serving legislation? Now the telecoms want to take control of the one medium that's still free (in every sense of the word!). And can anyone doubt that our government will allow this too unless we finally speak up, loud and clear. Email your representatives and tell them you want a free and open internet. (And if you haven't already, visit According to them, "Phone and cable companies have spent more than $100 million on lobbyists, Astroturf groups, political campaigns and PR firms. But they are finding that money can’t overcome organized public opposition.")

Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for shedding some much-needed light on this issue and thank you PBS for airing "The Net at Risk".

The Deregulated OWNERS of AMERICA want you to PAY for the INTERNET VOLUME that you use...
so that the RICH OWNERS can FLOOD the internet with their PROPAGANDA while the CITIZENS VOICE is SILENCED.

Our Government has been reduced in size to complete impotence and is no longer able to defend Americans from the OWNERS and OCCUPIERS of Washington.

Anything that can bring and the Christian Coalition together has got to be all good or Satan's Spawn. I'm voting for all good. As a small business owner, Net Neutrality is very important. As an informed citizen, it's even more important. I don't want to be an alarmist, but this is beyond frightening.

Each and every one of us should be writing our congresspersons in Washington and locally if we wish to continue to subsist in a nation where "ONE MAN, ONE VOTE" is NOW Seriously threatened.

Good evening all. Quick question: Does anyone know the organization "Hands Off"?
I have posted on this event tonight at my site and after the post went up I got an interesting comment. Please check out my site and let me know what you think. Thank you.

Why wouldn't we just boycott the companies that would be paying for the high speed connection and just favor the little guy? People have become too complacent. The way I see it, we'll all just sit back and take whatever the movers and shakers want to give us. Net Nuetrality isn't something that effects everyone's everyday life. I install it everyday in alot of people's homes and I can't even get the customers to realize how important it is to maintain their operating system. They just want it to work, they don't care how or why.

I get my news from the internet since the main newsproviders are owned by yes men who do the bidding of the current political party. ie Phil Donahue MSNBC. On the internet one can go to the BBC and other news providers who aren't muzzled. I can get information from various alert groups and sign petititions that sometimes make the difference. I really believe that stopping the drilling at ANWAR WAS stymied in part by the internet outrage. I can be in touch with my representatives immediately instead of writing a letter that may or may not be seen by the person who needs to know how I as a constituent feels about things such as 'net neutrality' This is the last place we as Americans can go freely and find out what is really going on in our world. We are slowly going from a democracy to a dictatorship run by corporations.

I volunteer at a two year old internet radio station. The college station I loved was made an NPR station and over 40 djs were pushed out over a 5 year period. Our now station manager told us he had the no how to start an internet only radio station. We now have 50 djs, broadcast many local musicians, talk local and world politics and it is really the only true local media outlet in our area. Our listeners are wonderful and we feel it is more of a community then just a station.
I appreciate what we have created even more after seeing this program. Thank You!

For me, the internet IS freedom. Freedom to find out what is going on everywhere, what people are thinking, what news sources outside the U.S. are saying that our news remains strangely silent on. Hmmmm. Yes, I guess most peole want to know the truth of their surroundings. We are tired of being given 'candy coated' visions of sugar plums and 'all is well'....when it is not. We have been insulated, sadly, on purpose, to our detriment. Our fellow world citizens do not truly know us! They mostly see our leaders. Yet all of us suffer the consequences, good or bad.

I am convinced that the peoples of the world do not want war at all, at least most of them. Maybe that is what the powers that be don't want us to know -- that we ALL want a safe, healthy and comfortable life. The more we know, the more we see that we are indeed more similar than different after all.

I have internet access for only a year and yet cannot imagine doing without it. I find information in countless different fields, communicate with my legislators—more in a year than my entire lifetime previously (I have been a voter for 40 years) and remain genuinely hopeful about democracy—as long as access remains neutral.

BILL: Tonite's show on Network Neutrality was EXCELLENT! I'm 66, retired, on a fixed low income, and have become addicted to MPT Ch.22 in Baltimore, MD.

Other than changing channels because of excellent children's shows, or to watch specific prime-time shows, PBS via 22 is now my BIBLE of probably 20-30 hours per week.

When I want news of USA that offers TRUTH, I watch BBC on PBS every night!
The monopolized media is a SIN against GOD as well as DEMOCRACY & TRUTH!

Another 40+ hours per week are spent on the Internet! As a writer, author, poet, and avid learner and researcher, the FREEDOM & DEMOCRACY of the NET is now a PARAMOUNT concern of MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of Americans, and especially those BABY BOOMERS & AARP members who were fortunate enough to be well educated.

This next November election is going to be a rude awakening to ALL of the crooked Congress persons who've been in the pockets of corporations. Very few incumbents running will ever go back to D.C.

DITTO for the next elections, ad infinitum. And I predict a GRAND-SWELL of "Grass Roots" to finally put a THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE into the WHITEHOUSE, and maybe even the FIRST LADY PRESIDENT!

The public is sick & tired of the corporate LIES and will not stand for it any longer! Instead of hearing "God is Dead!" SOON it will be "GOLIATH IS DEAD!"

BILL - thank you for doing such a great job yourself! HONESTY WILL OUT!

Cordially, Tom Hyland - Only One Man's opinion, but that of a PATRIOT!

I need to state some qualifications first thing. I've been in media (various capacities, mainly journalism) for over 35 years and am the youngest person ever to receive the Peabody Award.

On both the "pipes" and content side, I could not agree more with the salient points made by the "net neutrality" and "common carrier" portions of the program. Moveover, the conglomeration discussion was especially personal to me.

I began my career in Mesa, AZ, at an FM/AM combo during the time when regulation was at its most effective. My staff and I could not have done what we did -- such as covering Allende's fall and the 1972 and '76 political conventions live; or presented regular cultural coverage (e.g., of the groundbreaking Southwest Ensemble Theatre; a three-season Friday primetime series of original dramatic adaptions; or such seemingly radio-antithetical topics as ballet, photography and architecture); or the country's first weekly media-review series; the industry's first ever produced-by-gays series, "InnerCourse"; and other innovative programming -- without the community-service mandate.

Oh, yes... we did it all on commercial stations!

Staying awake 3-4 days at a time was merely the price we chose as repayment for the investment of blood in ideals of independence of mind.

I am 56 years only now, disabled and unable to sustain at such tasks. So I beg you all... particularly those under 30 years or so... DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT DARK NIGHT proposed by the media robber barons.

Fight! Then, upon Victory, set aside a few hours a month to volunteer your own unique self to your community. It's only nearly 800 years (since 1215AD) that are at stake. Only that.

Keep it free. We already pay for access. Further portals such as paid subscriptions are too limiting and ultimately the content shows up free somewhere else. It's like trying plug a leaky boat. Pay for printed material but not for cyber content should be the "net standard."

As a an author I give away web content for free. I put it there for that specific purpose.

Just want to make sure you all know that there's a live discussion going on right now with Mike McCurry of Hands off the Internet and Ben Scott of Save The Internet representing both sides of the debate -

So get your questions in there!

I'm glad I watched and now know about this-can't rely on corporate paper/TV. Neutrality must not change and I'm glad to read on this blog that a lot of people feel strongly about this. My Senators will get a letter, er, email from me. The information available on any topic, the ability to be in touch via email with long distance relatives, friends and political reprsentatives as well as research for my highshoolers papers and ok commerce too, are our main uses. Bigger than that to me, is the government undermining our choices. To me this is just another axample of that that we can stop before it gets more complicated. By the way, the phone companies and cable owe us either infrasture or our moneyback and the choice to do it ourselves. I hope we won't make this same mistake again-giving private companies control over things that should be public, like water!!!

The internet provides the most cost effective opportunity for the average person to create financial freedom. We must not let corporate giants steal our level playing field.

Verizon is my ISP provider. I can remember when filber optics was supposed to be laid under the streets of New York City in the 90's. What a sham!!! I need to speak to my landlord again. I am in the encore program with Verizon.
The internet is the only place where I can here world views rather than the limited Evangical Christian views. We have slid back 100 years with this group in Washington.

The internet is the only place to find information..
for Education, World Events, Current Events and a broader view than local networks. The BBC is my home page.

Bill, Net Neutrality is a must. As Citizens of the greatest country in the world, we cannot allow our voice to be silenced. Your program has open my eyes even more about what I already know about the communications industry. I have been employed 20 plus years in this industry. I am currently employed by one of the major cable TV provider.

Great program tonight. It really moved me to do some research and write to my Senators and this site.

I am a retired military officer and served stateside and oversease. I also worked at a major Federal health agency.

During my career, I've used the internet and computers to conduct my business for research, communications and training. I now use my home computer rather than one from work. While I am not a computure guru, I have seen the wounderful possibilities of computers, the potential of their use in the internet and e-mail. It is transforming our world and the possibilites are up to the imagination of the generations to come.

I've also lived in many communities as result of my military service and have seen the increase in cost for both phone and cable servies. If the major cable and phone services get their way, our costs will increase further. I do not believe them for a second that they are decreasing costs for consumers. I remember the breakup of AT&T and see now that we are again consolidating the phone companies. All I've seen from that breakup is increase in costs and poorer and costlier services and a multipage bills.

I currently have dial up service and during this evening, I've had to connect several times while researching the sites presented by this program. Since I am now retired, the cost issue concerns me a great deal as I've seen the cost for services go up rather than the other way, while my income goes up at a much slower rate. Think of this...cable TV costs for mid grade options about $65,(I live far from a major city to get free TV) local hardline phone service about $25 ( no call waiting, no caller ID, no long distance calling, etc), cell phone very basic $35 (most can't get that rate anymore and the services are not aways that good {"can you hear me now?"}....that's $125 for connectivity on it's lower end- I'm trying to be frugal. These costs, I'm sure will continue to increase.

I do not object to paying for services. But I do expect to get what I pay for. According to tonight's TV program, we've already paid to place the internet infrustructure. I feel cheated! I feel, the phone and cable companies as well as government should live up to the promises they make (with the funds we've already paid.)

Shouldn't they be held accountable.... but wait, there is no corporate responsibility anymore (remember Enron) other than to their stock holder... but wait.... I'm a stockhold. Can I induence these corporation? NO! I don't own that many stocks to have an impact.

But I can do something. I've already written my senators to vote for net neutrality.

I met the best friend I ever had through the Internet, and I have become a news junkie through Google News and the New York Times AP Index. A well-written obit reads like a novella, and my local newspaper and TV stations no longer have the power to keep people metaphorically "barefoot and pregnant". Now I can at least can read propaganda from all over the world, not just from my home state. While I read that we are to be relieved about the relatively mild hurricane season for us, I can understand that in another hemisphere communities are being devastated by typhoon after typhoon, and I can care. The biggest impact the Internet has made for me, then, is that my view of the world is no longer held hostage by local media, has broadened, and I now have the ability to connect with people from all around the least, those with Internet access. Now, if we can just get rid of all the Viagra ads...

It's very easy for the ruling class to rule when they are lording over dumb sheep...whistle one way...I go left...whistle another way and I go right...maybe I would be happier if I didn't have internet access to so much TRUTH....then I wouldn't know that there there were so many liars everywhere!!!I'd just like to say to the poweres that be....sheep like fresh air and produce...not tv boxes in apartment boxes!!!!! If we can't have any rights then let us be serfs and sharecroppers and vassals....

ReefNews began in 1997 (inspired by PBS, National Geographic, NWF, et al., by the way) as an online educational organization to teach students of all ages about the oceans, with the goal of inspiring students to excellence in science education.

Now ReefNews reaches students and teachers in 30 states and 19 countries, for only about $5000 each year. This would've been impossible without the Internet.

Yes, I'm for net neutrality. To whom shall I write, and what legislation should I support or oppose? Please keep me informed, PBS.

You forgot to include Mexico as one of those countries that provide more powerful (faster) internet access at lower cost than in the USA. For $30 dollars a month, you can get your standard broadband service (the equivalent to the $40-$55 service here). But then you have extra options for much faster service for home, personal use that you cannot find here (or it is only available for businesses).

Yes the internet has influenced my life for the better as well as the country for the better.

The big media with the help of the incombents in goverment are trying to close the freedom of communication, to keep their positionns of power.

the internet has broken that stranglehold- that is why they are trying to close down the free access to al gores baby. Algore regrets the day he came up withj the internet- had it not been for the internet we would have a presidant algore in 2000. God willing, and we have a free and open internet, we will not have a algore or a clinton presidant in the future.

I would never have been diagnosed without the internet. I have dysautonomia, a rare condition that most doctors have never heard of. After running an assortment of tests, my ex-doctor told me that I had had thousands of dollars worth of tests. She said my symptoms are unexplainable, and I should learn to live with disabling symptoms. She then turned her back on me and walked out of the room while I was still speaking.

I went searching for answers and diagnosed myself with information I found on the internet. I also found a doctor that can treat me. I will be forever grateful to the people at and

I was stunned to hear that the USA does not have high speed fibre optic connections!
It was also interesting to note that the producers used Japan and Europe as examples of countries with inexpensive broadband.
I live in Canada and have been on fibre-optic broadband since the mid '90's.

I would also like to point out that ATT through their Canadian affiliate has built much of the infrastructure here in Canada and provides fibre-optic liks from as low as $20 USD.
Time you called your corporations to task down there!

I watched the program last night and became absolutely flabbergasted! I know that our nation has degenerated rapidly (since the 60's) into the Robber Baron status of the late 1800's and that we have become a nation "for the Greedy, of the Greedy, and by the Greedy" more and more with each passing year. It seems that Greed is in EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE! When the President commented that we "are a Nation of Laws".. I had an amazing revelation; we used to be a Free nation, governed by a wide crossection of people (from many work backgrounds -i.e.:farmers,teachers,soldiers, etc.) Somewhere along the line we have become a nation of Laws because all of our politicians are Lawyers! So, if it isn't the money greedy big business (or Corporate) entities, it's the power greedy Lawyer/politicos!!
What can we do? I believe that every effort should be made to keep the internet in the hands of the public!
Net Neutrality forever!!!

The internet has brought me out of my mundane life and given a way to express myself and also to learn new things and will as refreshing myself on old things, that I had learned a long time ago.

Thank you for this informative and important program. Keeping the internet neutral is essential to an already altered American experiment in democracy. Corporate America already controls too much of our lives. I live, for example, in a small town where alternative choices of cable and telephone service are not an option. If Big Media is so benevolent, so trustworthy, what's the harm in a specific law that states Net neutrality?

In my earlier post, I forgot to include what the internet has done for me. I am a correspondent for my local newspaper. All of my stories and photos are sent from my home office via the internet. In addition, I read news on the net daily because main stream media often under-reports the news. I am free to choose what I read and subscribe to without large conglomerates dictating what is available. That, to me, is true freedom of the press—still the most important cornerstone of democracy. The internet also allows me to be connected with voices all over the world. What better means of free expression!

While here in Canada we're certainly better off broadband-wise than our neighbours to the south, we are slipping.

Five years ago we were in second place behind the Koreans in broadband access. In the more recent surveys we've fallen to eighth or ninth place.

That's not a good trend.

On the positive side the municipally owned electric power utility in Toronto is in the process of rolling out Wi-Fi
in the central core of the city.

They're doing it smart...using wireless mesh networking instead of incredibly stupid ideas like "broadband over powerlines" ...something ex-FCC Chair Michael Powell was chief cheerleader for.

The internet has made it possible for me to help launch a grassroots organization that is taking on Wall Street. We are trying to make people aware that all of the laws of the Security and Exchange Act have been countermanded by rules that serve special interests. People don't understand because they haven't been informed that we are back to where we were before the Crash and for the same reasons..selfish, unethical robber barons who have captured the regulators and the mainline media. Using the internet has allowed people from all over America and the world meet behind their keyboards and act together to accomplish things none of us could accomplish alone. The internet is the only place that allows this synergy. It is almost free and has to remain inexpensive without certain entities controlling content or access. The very people who are robbing America's retirement are those that control the media. Our inability to be heard or represented fairly on television or print has been overcome with the internet. The internet allows individuals to unify and thwart the efforts of the old school special interests.

It is sufficient to any legitimate purposes that the big media companies should be able to toll by volume, which really only amounts to time. Whatever else thay're going for is not necessary.
Here's a little ammo:
Ranked Ballot (“RB”) (plus “Organized Communications” ("OC"))
will bring us:
Instant ~ GLOBAL ~ TRUE ~ Denmocracy
A REAL Solution to Terror
A Perfect Marriage of Freedom & Justice, Tradition & Modernity
The Most Free Market (And Cooperation) Possible
All the Payback, Catch-up & Makeup One Could Wish
Political Ecology & Ecological Politics
What’s Best for ALL Workers
Instant Global Women’s Liberation
The Rationalization of the War on Soft Drugs Now That Arabs
Have Brought Their Version of Coffee to America.

--- (OC is small randomly assigned discussion groups electing reps to
higher & higher levels by means of “Ranked Ballot” til one small group,
exactly in the middle of all voting, remains. Ranked Ballot (“RB”) is
each voter ranking all candidates in order of preference.)

---Because it always elects the candidate most exactly in the middle of all
voting, RB is "top-dead-center-counter-extremist" & thus more anti-
terrorist than all the recent retrenchments combined. While it would
be equally useful for all else, RB’s real power is perhaps most clearly
shown in the case of potential inter-tribal war, as in Iraq. Had they not
chosen to require a (non-secret, elitist) 2/3 vote for Prime
Minister (“The Week”, 022406), a “variant” of RB, the Parliament might have lacked
(& still might lack) stability & the world would have been (& may still be) in danger
of going to war over some oil well, or multi-ethnic city. Elitism may
yet prove too clever. (Perhaps they’ll have to agree to deny the PM-ship
to all the parties’ leaders & hold a secret RB vote among the
parliament’s members before they’re done.) RB would be equally useful
for all other parliamentary &/or presidential systems, cooperatives,
collective leaderships, tribal groupings, religious confessions,
political parties, associations & cabals as well.
---Because it gives the minorities a real say in which majority member gets
chosen, RB is the only thing that will lead them to support of any plan more
than inadequate confederation.
---Because it gives all combinations of programs, not just parties, an equal
chance, RB is the only thing that's truly just.
---Because it provides real-time alternatives to all proposals, from wherever:
market, coop or social, RB has brakes, reverse, 3D hyper-drive & goes
sideways. It will result in “phantasmagoric subtlefaction”. Both more
Liberty and Justice can be found in RB than in any ideology. Help put this
idea, in time (before “clockwork orange”, “1984”, cosmic collision
“category seven”, economic collapse or literalist contretemps) to as many
as possible. The $15,000 cost of a single full-page ad in USA Today,
enough to put RB to virtually everyone involved on earth, would be repaid
in a year & a half at the pre-9/11 US annual defense spending of $10,000
per family.
---We imagine running on the single issue of RB, promising a citizens'
advisory board based on OC to guide us in the rest. You do the same,
from the most local on up, or at least only as a subterranean internal
policy within your personal group. Ten to the power of ten (ten levels
of random groups of ten) would be sufficient to organize & unite all
---The "additive" form of RB, is to count first choices & then, if noone
has 50 %, to add in the next choices, & so on, until someone finally
does. RB is the sole unchangeable plank & bylaw of the Preferential
(what RB’s called in Robert’s Rules of Order) Ballot Party, the only
practicable third party. The more skewed, less top dead center, more
commonly espoused, “eliminative” form of RB, is called “IRV” (Instant
Runoff Voting, though both additive & eliminative give instant runoff)
allows only first & second choices to count, & only the losers even get
that. It might offer “protection to “minorities””, but that is provided
by the fact that RB gives an equal chanceof winning to all programs.
One must beware of what snakes one looses.
---While the Iraqis saw fit to include “their” (elitist) 2/3
vote in the new Iraqi constitution for PM, neither the Reps nor Dems spoke
out for a super majority during the recent Supreme Court
confirmations. Good enough for emergency situations, Australia, New
Zealand, Kerala India, Iraq, London, Ireland, Cambridge Mass, Vermont,
Ferndale Mich (?), Frisco, Berkeley, Takoma Park, the House Reps for
selecting the majority leader, the Utah Republican Party for nominations,
& both the Green & Libertarian parties, but not good enough for the rest of
us? Must be in somebody’s interest. How can one ask it of others if one does
not have it oneself? I should accept if my name wins with the write-ins.
USA, Planet Earth

There is a new site providing forums for localities to use to organize their efforts to introduce their own fiber networks, Anyone wishing a forum to be created for their locale, send an email to

The internet has really impacted my life. The internet is a very good source of information if you know what your looking for. However many websites are simply an oppinion and may not be the actual truth. It has informed me in many things throught the amount of time that the internet has been around.

The internet has really impacted my life. The internet is a very good source of information if you know what your looking for. However many websites are simply an oppinion and may not be the actual truth. It has informed me in many things throught the amount of time that the internet has been around.

The internet has impacted my life by learning new views on politics, from doing current events in History and Government classes. It has got me more interested in voting then i have ever been. There are many websites that show differnt views on how people stand even though they may not be always true. Besides TV the internet is my main source that i refer to.

The internet has really impacted my life. The internet is a very good source of information if you know what your looking for. However many websites are simply an oppinion and may not be the actual truth. It has informed me in many things throught the amount of time that the internet has been around.

The internet has really impacted my life. The internet is a very good source of information if you know what your looking for. However many websites are simply an oppinion and may not be the actual truth. It has informed me in many things throught the amount of time that the internet has been around.

the internet has impacted my life greatly. i use it is useful for anthing that you can possibly imagine,i mostly use it for homework but frinds consist of many different sources to look at when deciding on any topic.

The internet in my mind is one of the best inventions known to man. It can be used for homework, friends and surfing the web. This is not all that it is used for but just to give a few examples.




Informed people have greater chances of making the right decision for them. The Internet provides the most wide-ranging information possible on every aspect of our life and the circumstances that influence the way we live and the decision we make. Information is power! Access to information is the basis for freedom and the lack of it only serves to perpetuate oppression.

Access to the Internet based on non-discriminatory principles is the basis for true democracy. It allows individuals and groups to exchange ideas and discuss solutions and actions to effect the changes we deem important. It helps us to mobilize and be heard when the more traditional means of influencing constituencies and decision makers only serve the interest of elite groups and corporate greed. The internet gives everyone the same space. We have the option of choosing what we want to be informed about and on what issues and solutions we want to put our creativity and energy to use.

The U.S. government has lost its ability to serve as intermediary between different interest groups. It is time to make government accountable for such an important role. Government policies should regulate profit making from controlling access to information instead of granting it. The telecommunication and media corporations have controlled and manipulated information for too long. They should not own the delivery system of information through the Internet. Government policies should enforce the delivery of fiber optic network that telecommunication companies are obligated to deliver given the $25 billion write off they obtained from high-priced consumer services since the 1990s. We all paid for it already! Local governments –be municipal or county, should own the fiber optic cable networks because it will put control in the hands of our communities and away from corporate manipulation. True democracy starts at the community level where individuals build trust amongst people for making right decisions for the common good.

This is an incredible site and the information here presentend proves the validity of my point. Let's keep it going!

I think that we are blessed to have internet, because it has opened up so many doors for us. It makes like so easy and convenient for all.

The internet is used at work, in day-to-day relationships, in dealing with public services as well as in culture, entertainment, leisure and for community and political participation. Studies show that those without Internet access "become less effective consumers and citizens relative to their fellow citizens who have access." Those that have the technology — both physical access and the know how to use it — can use it to make more money, purchase more, become more knowledgeable, etc. It’s not enough to just give an individual access to technology; without giving them the proper training in the use of it and the knowledge of the unlimited possibilities it brings. Lack of access affects the ability of children to improve their learning with educational software, adults to learn valuable technology skills, and families to benefit from online connections to important health and civic information. In today’s job market, technology skills are essential. Lack of access to the tools of today's workplaces leads those without the technology to be left out, never really able to make enough money to afford the technology and training that would make employment in areas requiring the use of technology even possible. Individual ownership of computers for everyone is certainly a goal for the (distant) future. However, access to the technology does not have to be. With public libraries, public schools, colleges and universities (public access), all people should have access. Funded training programs conducted by community-based organizations can be beneficial in closing the gap, in addition to providing neighborhoods with much needed services and a familiar and comfortable place for individuals who are not computer savvy.
In going forward, it is essential that a national Internet policy be established to address access/lack of access to the Internet. Policies should take into consideration areas of the country as well as socio-economic conditions. The needs of those with disabilities should be addressed, and in that would come the (expanded) delivery of the services. The U.S. being the riches country in the world should in no way be behind in its delivery of faster more efficient internet. The use of antiquated dial-up modems should be a thing of the past (as well as broadband) and in its place the use of fiber optic technology. How can the U.S. be expected to “keep up” with other countries, let alone lead the way when we are living in a country where such a large number of the population are not able to utilize something that should not be deemed a privilege but a new way of doing things. A country of opportunity – that’s limited!! There should be no “divide” – digital or otherwise!!!!

I was a "knowledge worker" for a high tech company for many years. I specialized in transitioning new products from our labs into production. As the internet and high speed networks grew, our project teams included members from the US, Scotland, Germany, Singapore, Japan, China, and Malaysia.

Eventually our management decided to close our local production lines in the US and only produce our equipment in Malaysia. This required my partipation in the offshoring of thousands of my neighbors jobs. There were rumors of organizing, and as one of the few non-managers involved in daily communications with Malaysia, I decided to publically support the free discussion of pros and cons of organizing.

I requested to use my companies online bulletin board to post notices for employees interested in discussing organizing. Not surprisingly, Management didn't like the idea of using our high speed networks to organize against the offshoring of jobs...ironically the same networks that made offshoring possible. I was forced to file a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, and eventually they settled in my favor.

Read my history at:

My job is all about the Internet -- I have been working with customer support over the Internet for over 10 years.


Is my information source; I do not trust main stream media any longer (due to unanounced biasis and adjenda)

My access; into world information allowing me to go directly to Iraq for instance, or Israel, or Palestine to read about my national interests.

I also have access to opinion sources (ie I trust and the links they offer me to other sources for indepth reading.

The internet is endless

The big business has try to take over the internet for there own use, and have peopls pay a lot more for the used of it.
The fcc should take more control of the air way and the internet for consumer can have a say in the way the rate should be handles.

The internet has impacted my life in several ways. I am able to communicate with my extended family that way. I like to use the internet for educational purposes. You are able to access more information with just a click of the mouse. The internet is so beneficial for everyone, and it should not be restricted.

Coming in at the tail end of this discussion I am writing to you from The Netherlands where broadband is relatively cheap and very reliable. I use the internet every day to do reseach, keep up with information, listen to music, download podcasts and communicate with friends in the USA where I lived from 1976 till 2001.
I am 63 and worked briefly in New York at a start-up dotcom until the bubble burst. I got my first internet connection in 1994. It was painfully slow, but endlessly fascinating to find these weird, slow loading personal home pages.

The strange thing is I am an anomaly here. I know NO one in my age group who uses the internet or is aware of its myriad aspects. Worse, much younger folks who teach at the elementary school where I teach, have no clue and the teaching of internet use, the pitfalls and advantages is practically non-existent. Kids learn it anyway but their parents have no idea what their kids are doing.
I have become an advocate for getting the teaching of internet skills on the curriculum but there's a long way to go and a lot of resistence.

The only internet junkies here seem to be men in their 20ties or thirties and a few women. Many politicians have jumped on the podcast and blogging bandwagon and the print and tv media all have their online components now, so you can watch most programs on the internet.

Rarely do I watch TV, but when I do I watch it on my computer. My internet, telephone and TV are all on cable for with I pay around 40 euros a month.

I am just grateful for the access so I can listen to Fresh Air again or watch Van Morrisson sing Cyprus or Cypress Avenue in the late seventies on youTube.

The only thing the internet has affected negatively is my waistline. I spent far too many hours doing all kinds of thing on the computer and putting it out there.

The internet has impacted me in a big way. Mainly in the school activities. I use the internet to due alot of research for all my classes. I makes is easy for people like myself to do research, I think that it is a very vital aspect in a student's life.

The Internet has impacted my life and my family in a great ways. Going to college the Internet has helped me in many assignments that I needed help with knowing anything I might need help with the Internet will help me in one way or another. Thank God for the Internet!!!

Mr. Armey's comments on the defeat of measures in the Maine net neutrality efforts are very telling. It's a good "sound bite" to say this is an issue in search of a problem - but the problem already exists in all of the media except for the internet.

Right now, the public has an ability to comment and contribute to these topics freely. That will last exactly as long as net neutrality lasts - and it is already being eroded.

I believe the US government should step in and make sure high speed access is available to all citizens - just as we did (and in the same way we did) when the REA was formed - and for exactly the same reasons. In fact, I don't see why we can't revive that program and use it to establish the high-speed access we all need in order to be able to participate fully in the current political and economic climate.

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Let me begin by telling you that if I didn't have the internet at this stage of my life, I would not be able to function. The internet has had a huge impact on my life from friends to finding colleges. The internet has helped me communicate with people all over the United States and my aunt who also lives in Austrailia. I use the internet for just about everything like myspace, facebook, email, homework, newspaper, and school as well. The internet has progressed so much and hopefully keep progessing to help make life easier in every way possible. Our lives are all based around the internet to find out information and to communicate with others around us. The internet is life...period...paragraph.

As I got older the more i used the internet. It has a pretty big impact on my life. Everyday after school i get on the computer and use the internet for something, whether its for facebook, e-mail, myspace, or for school. I don't really read the newpaper so the internet is a way that I get the news and find out whats happening in the world. It is a great way for me to communicate to my family friends, especially when they live far away.

internet has made a big impat in my life. I use it everyday. If we didnt have the internet we wouldnt be able to look up things, do our homework? It is something that we have grown up with and have adapted to the use. It gets information faster and more accurate because it can be updated all the time. If i didnt have internet i wouldnt know what to do.

The internet has deffinately had a positive impact on my life. I use it multiple times a day, it's my source for all info. I Mostly use the internet for e-mail, checking the weather, facebook, movie times, research, and news updates. I feel like anything i need to know can always be found on the internet and i like that. Also, i think it's great for keeping in touch with friends that live far away. I can easily have a conversation with them over the internet, while i do my homework or read breaking new stories. The internet also makes shopping alot easier. Instead of wasting hours walking around the mall, i can just type in exactly what i want and find it within minutes. Without the internet, i would be lost.

The internet has deffinately had a positive impact on my life. I use it multiple times a day, it's my source for all info. I Mostly use the internet for e-mail, checking the weather, facebook, movie times, research, and news updates. I feel like anything i need to know can always be found on the internet and i like that. Also, i think it's great for keeping in touch with friends that live far away. I can easily have a conversation with them over the internet, while i do my homework or read breaking new stories. The internet also makes shopping alot easier. Instead of wasting hours walking around the mall, i can just type in exactly what i want and find it within minutes. Without the internet, i would be lost.

I dont believe that i could funtion with out the internet. Everything that i do in college is so dependent on it and i also pay most of my bils through the internet. If it was not available then it would my like alot more diffucult to get done. Im very thankful that the digital does not include me.

Is it mature period to buy land now? Prices went significanly low, but I dont want to be stuck in an non appreciating market!

Where can you buy land close to mumbai, but still very cheap. I was wondering which direction is the urban growth going to expand?

Great Comments!! Im always glued to the comments posted here. Thanks all! Lyndsay

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I found Bill Moyer's piece on Net Neutrality fascinating.

I am currently writing a paper on the FCC Media Ownership Rules, and it's clear to me that this is just history (2002-3) repeating itself yet again. The internet is very important to me in terms of its capacity to feed the marketplace of ideas. All citizens, of all parties can find common ground in this issue, which could be a blessing in disguise for our politically and culturally-fractured nation.

I'm a super user on Huff Post. I've also written an environmental blog as part of my county's newspaper for 4 years after obtaining a BA in English for Professional Writing from NYIT--totally online also. To say the Internet has impacted my life is an understatement.

I'm extremely concerned about certain industry's monopolization of the Internet. I have my reasons to distrust ATT and their 2wire wireless router system after suffering what appears to be a pattern of selective virus attacks whenever I bash polluting industries in a blog. When I researched 2wire's history I found that 2wire had been the portal for hackers in a Mexican bank account heist not long ago. I also found a technical website where the author explained how that particular router can be used for access from unknowns on the outside.

I have to begin by saying I've been an avid user of the Internet since 1998. I know not to click on anything unusual. Most of my Internet use is for research. I had no virus attacks until I got DSL in my area from ATT. They installed an older version of the 2wire router. (An example of lagging behind competition—I live 20 minutes downriver from the city of Detroit, yet it's only been a little over a year since I could get anything out here but dial-up. I went through college on dial-up).

After doing research for my blogs, I gathered more and more information and likewise began to speak out equally as much about polluting industry. And I began to get virus attacks immediately afterward. There is a firewall on the 2wire router that blocks Microsoft updates leaving my pc vulnerable to attacks. This has been thoroughly documented by Microsoft security support for 2 cases of mine. The beginning of this year, I was knocked out for a week with 10 hours worth of sessions among 5 Microsoft customer support reps. It wasn't until a supervisor traced the problem to 2wire's firewall. We called 2wire and they shut off the firewall. It was enabled again within a month with more attacks directly after certain blogs. At one point a 2wire rep. not only failed to turn off the firewall but also lost any Internet access for me at all. ATT came out immediately and gave me an updated version of the 2wire router, (oh goody), and assured me the firewall shouldn't be an issue. I was attacked last week with 3 viruses, one a Trojan. I'm savvy enough to recognize a problem immediately, and run malware programs, and registry repairs. But I had an online chat with Microsoft's reps about it anyway that traced the problem back to the 2wire firewall again. I have the password to go into and disable the firewall, but it cannot be done--even by 2wire.

Recently, in an attempt to turn it off, I noticed a NEW info note on that firewall page that disabling the firewall can't be done now without causing other problems with my pc. It appears ATT is on to the fact that others are onto their hacky 2wire router and what really appears to be a selective pattern of access from the outside. I've been hit 4 times since February!

To say ATT isn't the problem—I'm not so sure. I know ATT's political affiliations and that they are big contributors. I know what happens after certain blogs. I know that my free speech is being interrupted every time my daily blog is out of order for a week no matter who is at fault. Not only that, the advertising on my blog stops rather quickly when new blogs fail to appear, hurting the newspaper in general.

I think without risk there will be no fun.

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