Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
Well, surprise, surprise! Two of the leaders of the fight to have MarkeyÃ¢â¬â¢s amendment voted down certainly appear to be in the back pocket of a couple of telecommunications giants who have a direct interest in seeing the amendment defeated! How about that?
. . . network operators figure they can charge at the source of the traffic — and they’re turning to technology for help. Sandvine and other companies, including Cisco Systems (CSCO ), are making tools that can identify whether users are sending video, e-mail, or phone calls. This gear could give network operators the ability to speed up or slow down certain uses.
That capability could be used to help Internet surfers. BellSouth, for one, wants to guarantee that an Internet-TV viewer doesn’t experience annoying millisecond delays during the Super Bowl because his teenage daughter is downloading music . . .
. . . But express lanes for certain bits could give network providers a chance to shunt other services into the slow lane, unless they pay up. . . .
That could result in an Internet of haves, who can afford to pay the network operators more to ensure smooth service, and have-nots. Trouble is, those have-nots may include the Next Big Thing . . . The fewer innovative services on the Net, the less reason Web users have to want broadband. Both the network operators and the Internet could lose out in the end.
Pushing such regulation through will be difficult for the Internet companies, says Blair Levin, analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. Consider Supreme Court rulings like the National Cable & Telecommunications Assoc. vs. Brand X in June, 2005, which gave cable operators autonomy in sales of broadband services, and similar allowances by the FCC last summer for telecom operators. . . .
Plus, the Internet companies — whose lobbying efforts have been close to nonexistent up until a few years ago — are going up against some of the most well-funded and experienced lobbyists in the business, making for a fairly lopsided battle. “Right now, I would never invest in a business model that depended on protection from Net neutrality,” says Levin.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE