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Monday, January 05, 2009

A New Year's message from Internet researchers

The widely respected Pew Internet Center on Obama's online fiscal stimulus:

"Researchers in the United States invented the Internet and have done the most to shape its architecture and principles of open access that have empowered so many Internet users. But in recent years, American has fallen behind in providing easy, inexpensive online access. Our nation ranks 15th in the world for high-speed Internet connections needed to make the best use of many Internet features.
"Beyond education, other potential benefits of high-speed Internet are apparent. Wider access would lead to more efficient and effective health care, spur entrepreneurial efforts, particularly in rural areas, and promote the arts, science and social interaction. Mr. Obama himself has shown how the Internet can be an effective tool in promoting a political agenda and spurring wider participation in the democratic process. 

"The president-elect also has energetically advocated "network neutrality," the idea that Internet service providers should not be able to discriminate against any of the information carried on the Net. We believe Net neutrality laws are needed to require that big Internet service providers do not block content they disagree with or provide more favorable access to corporate allies than to their smaller competitors."

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