Published at LXer:
(Originally published in the American Reporter.) The Internet was the great noncommercial success story of our time. Commissioned by the government, built on open-source software, promulgated initially through research and academic facilities--the Internet was the crowning example of a public good, a resource without an owner, a self-regulating convocation of equals. All that seems threatened now. This month, local phone companies revealed a far-reaching change to Internet access. These companies, who control the line into the Internet users' homes (usually through ADSL connections over traditional telephone wires) want to create varying levels of service for Internet content of their choice.