Print 12 comment(s) - last by Soviet Robot.. on May 20 at 10:56 PM

Thirty-four of the most well known names in network hardware make their stance known

It appears that everyone has chosen a side in the network neutrality battle that is currently raging on in Washington.  This time around, 34 companies have sent a letter to Congress stating their opposition that mentions all the companies are against net neutrality laws.  CNET has an excerpt from the letter, citing "It is premature to attempt to enact some sort of network neutrality principles into law now."  CNET claims some of the companies that signed the letter include 3M, Cisco, Corning and Qualcomm. 

Net neutrality circles around the thought that network providers should be neutral with their services, so that no one should care what data is being transmitted over the Internet. Companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google are supporting net neutrality.  Several major ISPs have claimed that they will not censor web sites or block traffic.

On the other hand, other ISPs claim several networks use too much traffic, and that they have the right to filter, censor or simply deny the right for networks to communicate.

Of the 34 companies who signed the letter sent to congress, Cisco appears to be the most spoken of the group.  Earlier this week, Cisco wrote a corporate blog about the company's position on Net Neutrality, claiming "Broadband Internet access service providers should remain free to engage in pro-competitive network management techniques to alleviate congestion, ameliorate capacity constraints, and enable new services."  The company argues that legislation should only be enabled if there are no other possibilities.

Cisco, like many of the other companies that signed the letter, also have a bit of a vested interest in keeping Net Neutrality from becoming a law.  Not only does Cisco manufacture devices that filter and manipulate Internet traffic, but if networks do become fractured it would be very logical to conclude ISPs will need a lot more hardware to keep the networks running.

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By bighairycamel on 5/18/2006 7:27:37 AM , Rating: 3
If the corporations get this one I will be severely pissed. Even though many ISPs have stated they will not filter content or block addresses, just the thought that they could is unconstitutional. How can a corporation decide what content is and isn't protected under the freedom of speech?? ISPs provide service to the world wide web. Just like the guy who delivers my newspaper in the morning, would it be right for him to start cutting out articles he didn't want me to read?

Big corporations? WHat?
By Dfere on 5/18/2006 9:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
This is not about "big" business, - whatever that means. ALL the companies throwing in here are BIG. Some will win some will lose.

For the record I hate the trends of stockholder apathy which has led to bloated board salaries, lack of oversight, etc.

This issue is not about "big business", nor is a non-governmental unit respsonsible for your constitutional rights, you are. Businesses can do whatever they want, if they harm you, that is why laws and courts exist.

The issue is about LEGISLATION, and whether congress should ahe the right to interfere.

RE: Grrrr
By OrSin on 5/18/2006 12:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I don't like the the law it is not unconstitutional in any way. First no sites are blocked they are meterer lower so other site have more bandwith and faster access. Alos it have notthing to do with your delivery man taking out articles. It alot more liek the paper you buy still the artilce on the front page on the back. And guess what they already do that. I against becuase the major player can buy the bandwith and limit the little guys. So google sites come up nice and fast me my limit search site takes longer to render. I for it for when everyone of my segement is Downloading pron during peak hours and I can't even get me email. I got nothing against porn, but you DL at night like I do. :)

RE: Grrrr
By bighairycamel on 5/18/2006 5:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're only thinking of half the net neutrality debate. One half of it is that ISPs want to be able to decide who gets what level of service and access(tier-level). Corporations paying big bucks will get the global service while meager joes will get the frog pond service.

The other half is that they also want to choose which other "networks" they allow their users to connect with("networks" could be other ISPs, could be a domain host, etc. Network is a very very broad term).

Now that you understand the whole debate, because of the fact they can deny access to sites they deem as a "network" this totally violates constitutional rights.

By mickeymouse9 on 5/19/06, Rating: -1
Big Surprise
By TomZ on 5/18/2006 9:38:21 AM , Rating: 3
These are all companies that stand to benefit from a lack of neutrality on the Internet. This is pretty much a case that is cleanly divided between service providers and equipment providers on the one side, and consumers and content providers on the other. Funny to see content providers on the same side of consumers for a change.

RE: Big Surprise
By DigitalFreak on 5/18/2006 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 1
Someone needs to start offing these CEOs...

RE: Big Surprise
By DigitalFreak on 5/18/2006 11:26:32 AM , Rating: 3
Or maybe firing... :-)

It never ends....
By proamerica on 5/19/2006 4:35:39 PM , Rating: 3
Google has said that if the providers move to a tiered model they may build their own internet. No doubt that would be a fascinating industry shake-up.

RE: It never ends....
By Zoomer on 5/20/2006 8:05:08 AM , Rating: 2
Where can I sign up? :)

Seriously, this is a bad thing. It opens up channels of abuse. For example, service providers could delibrately not add capacity when the link is saturated. Instead, they could sell "net boosters" which bump your traffic up by a notch. When everyone buys that and speeds slows again, they could sell "super net booster", "super ultra net booster", "super duper Ultra tritium SLI net booster accelerator Mk 3!"

Wow, free money without spending a single cent more on hardware upgrades! What a deal!

By Soviet Robot on 5/20/2006 10:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they oppose it, they want to strictly control the internet because it makes them the most money and screws the consumer.
The internet is one of the last true forms of free media and a reliable source(a lot of bs too, but not as much as fox/cnn/msnbc) for information.

this is a comment.
By Missing Ghost on 5/18/06, Rating: 0
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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