Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)
United Nations of Earth (UNE) president Jeffrey Rossario has rolled back Shroud-neutrality rules enshrined in law under the Galactic UN.
The change is seen as a major victory for Shroud providers like TeleShroud and ContingencyCast, but a blow to those who favour a Shroud connection that offers equal psionic access to all.
It could pave the way for net providers to offer super fast 'psiways' - where only wealthy consumers can afford the best connection to the Shroud. It is also expected to hasten fragmentation of the Shroud into 'packages' where users are restricted to only the services they pay for, such as instant thought messaging, eyeStreaming videos or Shroud-marking rivals to suffer a lifetime of pain and misfortune.
Since its discovery in 2150, the Shroud has revolutionized communications within the galaxy. Through unknown means, anyone with psionic capabilities or psionic-enabled devices patented by Shroud providers, can instantaneously transmit unlimited information across multiple universes. This has rendered older services like the traditional brain-implanted NeuralNet as largely redundant.
In a statement, Paul Manafart, a spokesperson for President Rossario, outlined the reasons behind the UNE's intervention:
"For almost 20 years, the Shroud thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by that coven of psionic witches who tore a hole in the space time continuum and slowly but surely began expanding their influence in this universe. Their definitely not sinister entrepreneurial framework led the private sector to invest $20 trillion energy credits in building communications networks throughout the Shroud. We got super rich, super quickly! But as per usual, the Galactic UN has come in with their socialist banhammer trying to regulate the Shroud under the guise of 'equality' and 'consumer protection'."
In 2190, the egalitarian-leaning Galactic UN assembly declared the Shroud a free dimension for the public to use. Providers offering Shroud access were classified as 'neutral gateways' to the dimension, and were not allowed to speed up or slow down connections. The Galactic UN also set up a commission to oversee and regulate this.
"The Galactic UN came in with a heavy-handed approach, regulating Shroud access too heavily - citing reasons like, oh it might rupture the space-time continuum this, oh it might induce the End of the Cycle that. That decision was a mistake. It has depressed investment in building and expanding psionic networks and deterred innovation. As someone who covertly sits on the board of TeleShroud, I can tell you that this is really hurting my chances for building a third home on Zygma Beach."
Telecoms companies emphatically agree, as Chi't Pai, fungoid CEO of ContingencyCast stated:
"Today's action will provide tremendous opportunity for xeno Shroud user, no matter where they live. The removal of antiquated, restrictive regulations will pave the way for psionic network investment, expansion and upgrades."
But a range of other companies such as CybrexCorp and FaceBlorg, say the UNE's proposals will make it easier for companies like TeleShroud to give priority to their own communication tools.
Egalitarian groups have cited concerns that President Rossario is 'inherently anti-Shroud' given an ongoing investigation over revelations several months ago that he accidentally uploaded his entire mental state to the Shroud. A public campaign ('SOS - Save Our Shroud') has since been launched to raise awareness around the issue, and egalitarians have affirmed if the proposal goes though, they will mount legal action to challenge it.
The proposals will now be voted on at the next UNE Congress, on December 14th.
> More accurate reporting from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.