In the heat of the summer I wrote a blog post that was a survey of sorts on Net Neutrality. Well, it actually feels like fall today (after an amazingly beautiful weekend in Dublin) so I thought I’d do another survey of sorts…
When we last left our heroes, the FTC had released legislation that promoting guidelines and caution in regards to increasing regulation – especially in terms of Net Neutrality. Telcos and other chimed seemed to think it was great; lots of others (including Google) didn’t like the idea.
Department of Justice Comments on “Network Neutrality” in Federal Communications Commision Proceeding – Their first paragraph says it all “some regulatory proposals offered by various companies and organizations in the name of “net neutrality” could deter broadband Internet providers from upgrading and expanding their networks to reach more Americans.” They go on to compare the Internet to the US Post; customers can choose to pay more money to get better services – such as next day mail. To take the edge off their initial statement, the DOJ ends with “Anticompetitive conduct about which the proponents of regulation are concerned will remain subject to the antitrust laws and enforcement actions by government as well as private plaintiffs, and the Department will continue to monitor developments, taking enforcement action where appropriate to ensure a competitive broadband Internet access market.”
I’ve noticed that a few of the big net neutrality supports (Save the Internet and the Open Internet Coalition) have shifted gears a bit to talk about the 700 MHz auction and the fact that the FCC recently added a clause that licensees must allow the use of any device or application of a specified portion of the 700 MHz spectrum.
Ten things that finally killed net neutrality – I’ll list the 10, you can check out the article for the details:
1. The Bush administration.
2. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
3. The AT&T merger.
4. A fragmenting coalition.
5. Mixed messages.
6. The Bush administration. (not a mistake, it’s listed twice)
7. The Federal Trade Commission.
8. No smoking gun.
9. 700 MHz wireless spectrum.
10. Partisan gridlock.
(Personally I might list #8 and #1 – right now there are few examples of companies infringing on net neutrality. So people on both side of the fence kind of make it up as they go along, which means there isn’t much of a common ground for definitions.)
Down Big Downloaders – OK this really just kind of makes my earlier point. I’ve seen several blog articles that point to this article as an example of a Net Neutrality issue. In short, Comcast has cut off people who used too much of their “unlimited access”. OK that’s an issue, but in my mind it’s not a net neutrality issue. Maybe if they took down web sites that had been promised unlimited bandwidth I would feel differently.