Peter Suber’s Open Access newsletter and related blog should be required reading for librarians who care about free access to information. This month he discusses three large proposed shifts in the way the Internet works that could have long-lasting implications for open access: the webcasting treaty, network neutrality debates and the end of free email. Heavily footnoted and clearly explained, these ideas should be read and understood by people concerned with equality of access.
If companies like AT&T and Verizon have their way, there will be two tiers of internet service: fast and expensive and slow and cheap (or cheaper). We unwealthy users –students, scholars, universities, and small publishers– wouldn’t be forced offline, just forced into the slow lane.