Internet Infrastructure Companies Oppose Net Neutrality
May 18, 2006 1:02 AM
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
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.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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