From the Jeff Chester news item linked below: "The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online."
It has been alleged in various places (e.g. Rob. H's posting here) that:
- In the 1990s the BabyBells didn't upgrade their infrastructure after getting tax write-offs and the like in exchange for said upgrades. Instead, the phone companies and cable companies pocketed their new "profits" and thumbed their nose at the American people.
- As a result, quite a few industrialized nations have internet that has download speeds of 100 MB/sec for the cost of our current 1 MB/sec internet.
- Whenever a municipality tries to put up its own fiberoptic network, the phone and cable companies yell "unfair competition!" and tie it up in the courts for years, while still refusing to upgrade the phone networks and pocketing money from their tax breaks (which are supposed to pay for the upgrades).
Allowing the telecoms the freedom to charge additional fees for doing the upgrading they were already supposed to have done with the public funds they were given (in the form of the tax writeoffs mentioned above) would therefore be cheating the payers of those taxes and the users of bandwidth who should have already had the benefit of improved infrastructure.
It has also been suggested that the internet should be a public utility, much like electricity and the telephone, in that it:
- is now an essential service for business, industry, education, and (many) normal people
- promotes democracy
...also, what's with all this "dark cable" which is apparently so plentiful that Google is able to buy it up cheaply?
- XMission's stance on UTOPIA: apparently, when citizens get together and try to provide alternative connections to the internet (the UTOPIA project), the telecom regional monopolies (in this case Comcast and Qwest) get together and try to pass legislation to prevent it. (Note: XMission's DSL service is provided through Qwest.)
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- 2007-08-21 Comcast Is Starting The Tiered Internet.. Whether We Like It or Not (see also Comcast)
- 2006-08-19 Net Neutrality... another oversimplification: this raises some good ideas
- 2006-07-09 Subject: Foe of net neutrality clearly explains his argument
- 2006-07-08 The Golden Age of the Internet (Jerry Pournelle)
- 2006-06-09 A turning point in the history of the Internet: extensively quotes Vint Cerf [W], "inventor of the internet", and adds commentary from Lawrence Lessig and Robert McChesney [W]
- 2006-05-24 Save the Net
- 2006-05-15 Relevant entries on isen.blog:
- 2006-01-24 The Broadband Battle: Round I: mega-media corporations are working to control what content you view, which services you use online, and whether others can see the content you create.
- 2006-05-14 High-Definition Video Could Choke Internet (slashdot)
- 2006-05-11 Network neutrality update: more bills, more conflicts of interest by Conor Kenny
- 2006-05-08 The Web We Love is Endangered by Annalee Newitz, AlterNet
- 2006-02-01 The End of the Internet? by Jeff Chester
- 2004-12-29 Brand X by Annalee Newitz, AlterNet: some earlier wrangling which may be related
Some of these links may belong here, and some may belong elsewhere...
- 2006-08-21 The Google Ploy—A Revolution?: apparently Google's free wiring of Mountain View, CA for WiFi was what sparked the whole debate over neutrality
- 2006-08-03 Vint Cerf to Senate: Don't Wait; Enact Net Neutrality! by Vinton Cerf
- 2006-07-06 Nuts and Bolts of Network Neutrality by Edward W. Felten
- 2006-06-29 If we build it they will come: It's time to own our own last mile by Robert X. Cringely
- 2006-06-22 Net Neutered: Why don't they tell us ending Net Neutrality might kill BitTorrent? by Robert X. Cringely
- 2006-06-21 Net Neutrality: This is serious by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web
- (no date) Summary:$200 Billion Broadband Scandal by Bruce Kushnick