If you had told me two years ago that Google would propose plans like this I would have fought you on every word. Google was the crown jewel of the internet, offering free solutions to many of the internet’s problems.
When Google announced their Android operating system, I was among the many who awaited eagerly to an alternative to the extremely expensive AT&T iPhone, and to see what this behemoth of the internet could bring to the mobile handset.
Since, Google has done very little to keep my respect and live up to their “Don’t Be Evil” mantra. They’ve consistently leveraged a “people vs. Apple” approach to their mobile endeavors, hiding behind support for “open” practices which are constantly found to be neither safe, nor open. Their mobile operating system struggles to impress with a hodge-podge of awkward UI tendencies.
But up until now, I welcomed Google into my life with open arms, always giving them the benefit of the doubt.
But what Google is suggesting (along with evil-doer Verizon) will effectively KILL the Internet we all have come to know and love. By putting money and business first, they are suggesting that the next wave of the Internet be a segregated and privileged place, where the users of the Internet no longer matter.
The only thing I can do is relate it to what must have happened to TV as cable services emerged. Sure, 6 or so channels are still freely delivered to your house, but the quality of said stations are shoddy at best. To get real TV content, you have to pay xfinity or Dish or DirectTV for “premium” services. And that doesn’t even get you everything. There are a million tiered plans, not to mention even more premium services like HBO, VOD, and Showtime. Middle tiered plans can easily run over $100 month.
Google and Verizon are proposing basically the same thing, but here’s the kicker: we have built our culture around the free, open internet. Can you actually think of anyone who doesn’t conduct some sort of business online? Alright, well, now if you actually want to even get to those services like facebook, Amazon, probably even Google-search, you’ll have to pay a small monthly fee. Oh! You want to use YouTube too? We’re happy and here to help, it’ll just cost you a little more. Hmm, TicketMaster wants to pay to have access for their website appear to be “free” - well they can pay too. And IndieTickets.com, you can’t afford the same level of elitism that TicketMaster can? Well, your customers can pay for you. It might balance out to make TicketMaster the better deal.
Everyone hates xfinity - because they feel like they are being cheated. No one feels like they should be charged $139 dollars a month just to enjoy the HD TV that they purchased themselves from Target. No one will feel happy about having to pay the same amount to use the wireless internet on their new mobile-iPad-tablet-like-device that they just purchased for that very purpose.
Please sign the petition. Who knows if that will even do much of anything. But do whatever you can. Call your congress person? Call your senator. Turn this into the make-or-break issue for the coming elections.
But seriously. This could take away I Can Haz Cheezeburger forever.
P.S. The thing that kills me the most is that, I just would say “f-it” and stop using Google services. But even to write this post I turned to Google to search for sources. And all of my e-mail accounts are owned by Google. And god-for-bid I seriously suggest that we all use Bing to find things on the Internet…