Net Neutrality Update

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.

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About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

16 thoughts on “Net Neutrality Update

  1. The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic.

    The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to “Net neutrality,” the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.

    Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others.
    The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the “entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers,” the agency said in its filing.

    When we offer unlimited we mean unlimited unless someone is using others space then thats where a problem comes in .Downloading of large files has always been a problem with many isps and i have had same troubles on it and been charged extra for abusing my bandwidth which i always whined and cried about and thats why i wont over charge on usuage.

  2. It’s a little bit like 1984 – people are starting to realized that unlimited doesn’t always mean unlimited.

    I think that companies should decide if they want to provide limited or unlimited service – but that companies that change their mind mid-stream ought to get in trouble with the Better Business Bureau at least.

  3. well i see it as customer satisfaction and for us thats what we strive for .On that news we have been contacted to start providing services in the south also threwout regions in mississippi and alabama as well as parts of louisianna to start with.They are looking at the future because they realize the needs for a mobile solution

  4. Ann we now have radios to provide services to rural regions.This is huge news as we will be able to work on a specified spectrum and are only people to have this radio available at this time.

  5. in all reallity they are the only ones who have declared a national buildout .We provide and i know of many others also providing.But its always the big wheel who gets attention and really i would rather they leave me in my world and let me work along and just get noticed for what we do not for our intentions .In more news for our side,we have just worked a deal to provide native communities in northern ontario with wimax services.Some of these regions have no backhaul so we will provide backhaul using microwave technology

    this is another write up that talks mainly on the mobility products ready for 2008.I have been talking to a few carriers using diff means of delivery and they all agree this technology will change the landscape of how we all communicate and they are just trying to gain access threw firms like mine and others to be able to provide on the back side so they dont loose out totally.When we can place services over a 400 mile region for under 5 million it does make sense to look at it and we are also not against partnering with communities to provide them a solution in a timely basis which gives them there needed services .Amazingly ann we can go in tomorrow and have services placed and running by next saturday .

  7. I thought this was an interesting statistics from the article above:

    according to Rethink Research, growth in broadband penetration has slowed from 13 percent per quarter at the end of 2004 to approximately 7 percent now.

    Difficulty of build-out is blamed for the decrease – and wireless is offered as an option.

  8. yes everyone still thinks in antiquated ways and thinks wire is the only way to do things and the cost is crazy to think wire.With the new technology the growth should triple

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