Net Neutrality: What Can We Do?

isenberg.jpegReformed telco executive David S. Isenberg, author of the influential essay
The Rise of the Stupid Network: Why the Intelligent Network was a Good Idea Once but isn’t Anymore, delivered the morning keynote today at SES Chicago. His talk was entitled “Five Reasons Why Search Engine Marketers Need a Neutral Net.”

One hopes, and assumes, he was preaching to the choir. Net neutrality may be the single most important issue facing anyone who uses the Web, for anything and in any capacity. This includes businesses, consumers, and not in the least, marketers.
As Isenberg put it in his talk, the telcos are “declaring war against Google, and Vonage, and ClickZ, and everyone in this room.”

They are. The burning questions is what to do about it. Having written to congress, educated ourselves (and to an extent, our customers and users), how else can proactively we battle the telcos’ efforts to kill the Web?

Companies like Google can afford to hire lobbyists. But what about the rest of us? In this industry, why aren’t the major trade organizations such as the IAB, DMA, AAAA and ARF taking a solid stand, and rallying their members around this critical cause?

As consumers, what can we do beyond letter-writing and petition-signing? I’ve vowed to replace my home provider, Verizon, by the end of the year. It kills me to pay a monthly fee for Web access to a company trying to break the Internet.

That option, however, is largely limited to residents of major urban areas. Most ISP subscribers have no alternate providers in their areas, nor can they afford the often higher fees they charge.

How are you fighting for net neutrality, on both a personal and professional level? Please share your ideas with me, and I’ll share the best of them in a future post.

This issue is too important to ignore, folks.

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