Soon, all those cable channels will be replaced by virtual digital segments of a single all-purpose fast pipe to the home, providing voice, video & data across one connection. If you’re writing a new app or developing a new online service, you should be worried: There’s no guarantee that whatever you’re doing will work.

Susan Crawford writes that, if current trends continue and Washington doesn’t step in, big media mergers — like Comcast’s proposed takeover of NBC — will reach a fever pitch and we’ll soon have no choice for data providers. These monopolists will also be content providers, with business models designed to shut out the little guys.

Without Net Neutrality, there’s nothing to stop this the dystopian future from rolling all over us. Crawford’s call to action: Pay attention to what’s happening to our media system.

This is an insanely important post. Read it.

P.S. Read my friend Nancy Scola’s Q&A with Susan Crawford at the American Prospect. It’s the clearest description yet of why we should care about Net Neutrality and keeping the Internet open.