Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
The Internet has become a remarkable fount of economic and social innovation largely because itÃ¢â¬â¢s been an archetypal level playing field, on which even sites with little or no money behind themÃ¢â¬âblogs, say, or WikipediaÃ¢â¬âcan become influential. If the Internet turns into a zone of tiered access, it will be harder for noncommercial sites or startup companies to compete with bigger firms.
Broadband providers insist that they have no plans to block access or degrade service to those who donÃ¢â¬â¢t pay a premium rate. But if some companies are getting better service, then all the others are getting worse service. Besides, there have already been examples of active discrimination. Last year, a rural telecom company in North Carolina blocked its usersÃ¢â¬â¢ access to the Internet-based phone service Vonage, and in Canada the telecom company Telus blocked access to a Web site supporting the telecommunications workersÃ¢â¬â¢ union. Market forces will offer some check to this kind of interferenceÃ¢â¬âif a particular provider goes too far, customers will take their business elsewhereÃ¢â¬âbut, in the world of broadband, market forces are weak, because most cities have only two major providers.
This is amazing. Charlie Gonzales proposed and 10 other Congressmen voted for an amendment to investigate search engines.
The coalition is moving forward, collecting more blogs and more friends on this cause. By contrast, the telcos have been quite taken aback by how much popular outrage there is at their land grab. Over 1500 blogs have rallied to the cause of internet freedom. They are losing, and they know it. I’ve had several disgusted insiders contact me about the low morale and dismay the lobbyists are feeling. They really don’t know what to do, so they are going to the bag grab of tried and true dinosaur tactics.
The amendment requires broadband providers “not to block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer any lawful content, application, or service made available via the Internet.”
That’s good, yes. But the bill goes on. It provides that network providers:
(1) are allowed to offer “to users a broadband video service or other service that requires prioritization of content, applications or services,” (as long as those video services don’t amount to bocking or interfering),
(2) are allowed to prioritize in a most favored nation sense (nonaffiliates get the same quality of service as affiliates),
(3) are allowed to discriminate based on “type of application,” and
(4) aren’t required to provide symmetric transport up and down. . . .
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE