Net Neutrality Shot Down in the US
April 27, 2006 9:16 PM
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Tiered networks seriously harm Internet development say Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others
Net neutrality has become a great deal of concern, for Internet back-bone telcos, ISPs, and users alike. The idea is that network providers should be neutral with their services -- the wires should not care what data is being transmitted. It has been argued that maintaining network neutrality will enable innovations and new ideas to take place, fostering growth and development.
Many companies, including Google and Microsoft, support net neutrality. In some countries, such as the Japan, UK, South Korea and many others, laws are in place to protect net neutrality. In the US however, some large telcos, organizations and government bodies are opposing net neutrality. Cisco for example, benefits from tiered networks and the problem of network discrimination and strongly opposes network neutrality. The Bell family of telcos argues that they should be able to regulate what data traverses their networks and ultimately the Internet, and different prices should be in place for different types of network requirements.
This week, the House Committee rejected a bill called the Markey Amendment (named after Democratic representative Edward Markey) to maintain network neutrality, allowing large telcos to charge extra for bandwidth usage or date types. Many telcos are looking to create a tiered network, one that has slow bandwidth and one that has high bandwidth for such things as video. Unfortunately, many companies are now afraid that this will allow telcos to restrict the low bandwidth tier to a point where development is so restricted, companies will have no choice but to pay up to move to a different tier.
According to the Markey Amendment,
network neutrality is designed to prevent telcos "not to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access, use, send, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services over the Internet."
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4/28/2006 1:43:45 PM
Bingo! This is actually the crux of the matter. If you haven't noticed, VOIP is gaining strength because it is a cheaper alternative to a dedicated analog land line. This is anti-capitalism at its best. Legistate the new, superior competition to death with the massive profits made by a previous monopoly. What every happened to the monopoly busting and competition friendly laws of the 20th century?
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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