Thursday, February 02, 2006


Scenario for content-aware Internet

You think "they're not going to use my pipes for free" is just about Yahoo, Google and Ebay? Think "private commercial arrangements" are just so movies get preferred transport? Jeff Chester writes:
Imagine how the next presidential election would unfold if major political advertisers could make strategic payments to Comcast so that ads from Democratic and Republican candidates were more visible and user-friendly than ads of third-party candidates with less funds. Consider what would happen if an online advertisement promoting nuclear power prominently popped up on a cable broadband page, while a competing message from an environmental group was relegated to the margins. It is possible that all forms of civic and noncommercial online programming would be pushed to the end of a commercial digital queue.
If you don't think it can happen to the Internet, look at TV. Are we heading for a world of 500 billion URLs and nothing on? Chester's article, "The End of the Internet," is worth reading entirely.

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