On one side are the Democrats. President Barack
Obama is a strong
supporter of net neutrality, arguing it's essential for the
“little guy” web startups to have a chance against bigger
players. The Democrats have lobbyist backing, with Google,
and others investing much to try to push through net neutrality
legislation. And the culmination of these efforts was FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal
of net neutrality rules yesterday.
The new rules
would restrict carriers from discriminating against content or
applications (e.g. throttling P2P traffic) and also call for
transparency as a means of ensuring these requirements are met.
Chairman Genachowski calls the measures "fair rules of the road
for companies that control access to the internet."
the measure for various reason. Verizon and AT&T has
long kept information on their data network a guarded secret, and the
proposal would force them to air information on their traffic, which
neither company wants. Other companies like Comcast would be
forced to abandon their secret P2P throttling techniques.
Others like Virgin want to charge for fast-lanes and are declaring
net neutrality "a load of bollocks" as Virgin's
CEO puts it.
AT&T encourages the adoption of the
rules, but opposes their application to wireless networks. Jim
Cicconi, the company's top legal affairs man states, "AT&T
has long supported the principle of an open Internet and has
conducted its business accordingly. We were also early
supporters of the FCC's current four broadband principles and their
case-by-case application to wired networks. To the extent that the
chairman seeks to bolster the FCC's legal authority to enforce these
principles, we would support him. We have also indicated publicly
that, despite any compelling evidence of abuses that need correction,
AT&T could also consider endorsing a fifth principle relating to
actions that are unreasonably discriminatory and that cause material
harm. Finally, we have never had concerns with disclosure or
transparency regarding network management decisions so long as such
requirements are reasonable.
"[But] we are concerned,
however, that the FCC appears ready to extend the entire array of net
neutrality requirements to what is perhaps the most competitive
consumer market in America, wireless services," Cicconi
While the ISPs have kept their criticism relatively
quiet, Republican think tanks are more vocally opposing the
measures. The telecom industry's majority owners have funded many of these groups
and has also funded lobbyists who are pushing the Republicans to
block any attempt to put net neutrality in the books.
Republicans have already launched
an attack to try to kill the net neutrality. Texas
Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has added language to a
funding bill for the Interior Department that will block the FCC from
gaining funds to regulate net neutrality.
succeeded in killing similar net neutrality legislation in 2006 --
but at the time, they had a tight grip on the government that they do
not have today.
At the end of the day, both the Republicans
and Democrats are serving as the voices of greater powers in our
nation's economy. On the one side you have companies like
Google (and their associated think tanks) that profit from
democratization of the internet (which support the Democrats).
And on the other side you have the ISPs (and their associated think
tanks) that support the creation of an internet oligarchy, with
tiered levels of privilege and opportunity (supported by the
Republicans) and only a select elite at the fast traffic tier.
Only time will tell which of these significant powers will triumph.
quote: A site like Youtube have a lot of traffic so they want Google to pay them a fee to insure faster transmission of packets through their servers
quote: Even third world countries have better speeds than the USA
quote: "I don't see a better solution than government intervention."
quote: I'm talking about buying the lines from private companies and putting them into a non-profit organization to be leased to whatever ISP wants them.
quote: How do you force ISPs to compete without some regulation pushing them in a desired direction
quote: Right now the government makes it so that they don't have to compete. Take that away and the market will take care of itself. Verizon is chomping at the bit to bring FiOS nationwide but it can't do it because of the mandated monopolies cable and phone companies have.
quote: Also, once the FCC gets their teeth into something you are going to need the jaws of life to get them out of it.
quote: I don't think they should segregate traffic with fast and slow lanes. I think a data packet is a data packet is a data packet. What's it matter who it comes from?
quote: And our goverment absolutely has an obligation to ensure that utilities that affect the success of our economy are run fairly
quote: ISPs have been abusing their position by pillaging consumers for decades
quote: The only thing that currently keeps telecoms in check is competition with other telecoms.
quote: Government regulation would keep telecoms universally in check. You propose the industry more competition but how do you suggest this can come in to place if the large mega telecoms are allowed to abuse their power?
quote: Again, government gave them the power to abuse their position. What you speak of is regulation to manage regulation.
quote: ...or to have the gov't or a gov't backed non-profit actually own the lines...
quote: Military NASA - including going to the moon Infrastructure - including the national highway system USPS - was successful - just obsolete now
quote: The Republicans are pushing for ISPs to have control over their own product
quote: We need more competition in the ISP sector, not more regulation.
quote: At the end of the day, both the Republicans and Democrats are serving as the voices of greater powers in our nation's economy. On the one side you have companies like Google (and their associated think tanks) that profit from democratization of the internet (which support the Democrats). And on the other side you have the ISPs (and their associated think tanks) that support the creation of an internet oligarchy, with tiered levels of privilege and opportunity (supported by the Republicans) and only a select elite at the fast traffic tier. Only time will tell which of these significant powers will triumph.