Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 'Net Neutrality' Debate Heats Up at Senate Hearing - 'Net Neutrality' Debate Heats Up at Senate Hearing: "Google Inc. and other Internet companies pressed Congress for a law that would bar telecommunications networks from charging more for some services and controlling what consumers can obtain on the Internet.
'There are 250,000 networks that make up the Internet. They are compensated by its users," said net neutrality advocate Vinton Cerf, Google vice president and Internet pioneer. "Allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success.'"

Somehow I suspect this absurdity (the proposal by Verizon et al) would have gone nowhere if we were in the second term of a Gore administration, but in a culture wherein, e.g., the State of the Union address includes appeals for energy conservation while the administration simultaneously proposes to cut $100M from programs promoting conservation (amid record profits for oil companies, etc...), it's pretty clear that anything goes -- or, more precisely, that big business interests come first.


Anonymous said...

Let's not delve into political commentary here. We're in an era where all companies are desperate for any revenue they can generate, the easier the better. And what's easier than charging a fee for something that today is provided for free? So when industry powerhouses like Verizon come calling on Washington, all politicians are willing to listen. It's just the way the game works. It's unfair to blame leaders of either party for what simply amounts to the latest display of corporate greed.

pbokelly said...

I generally strive to stay away from political issues in my blog, despite the topic-target-rich domain, but I disagree with a couple themes in your comment. What Verizon, AT&T, and others are talking about could break the Internet as we know it today, and that would be a distinctly bad thing to do. Fortunately, increasingly unfettered competition for Internet access should keep those who would reverse progress in check.

I also think the overall "game" has gotten a lot more brazenly corrupt during the Bush administration. Yes, both parties engage in questionable activities, but the Bush administration has established many new records for dubious deeds.

Anyways, I for one plan to terminate all of my customer relationships with AT&T and Verizon if they prevail in this context, and expect many other people will do the same.