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Labyrrinth
05-28-2006, 06:51 PM
1811Telecommunications companies, like Verizon, Bell South and AT&T are lobbying Congress to block laws that would prevent a two-tiered Internet. One with a fast lane for Web sites who are able to afford it and a slow lane for everyone else. What does this mean to you as a consumer? Well, right now anyone can click to any site or download any service they want on an open network. If the phone and cable companies get their way, the Web will be laden with all kinds of blocks and tollgates, designed to generate revenue for the companies providing you with your broadband service. Theoretically ISP's could degrade delivery of Web pages whose providers don't pay extra or even go so far as to actually block sites such as Google or Amazon in favor of their own.

Read Coming Soon: The Web Toll (http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/05/25/the.web.toll/index.html). There are also multiple links to a video (http://www.freespeech.org/fscm2/contentviewer.php?content_id=1296) that describes what's going on here (Thank you Tolliner!)

Want to get involved, contact your congressman/woman (http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet).

Snake
05-28-2006, 07:19 PM
If my ISP blocks google, there will be hell to pay. :ninja: :pirate: :twisted:

Razorwire
05-28-2006, 07:32 PM
I signed the petition and sent email to my senator and rep. Those in Barbara Boxer's territory feel safe she is all for Net Nrutrality. Fienstein needs a bit more convincing according to her auto responce.

vitakorpen
05-28-2006, 08:03 PM
*coughes* i Really dont care for congress...LOVE my country but some of the idiots running it really belong in a Mcd's drive thru. Honestly Dont these companies make enough money already? pfft

signed the petition. Some things need to be taken seriously

Skarlath
05-28-2006, 08:06 PM
That's crazy! Surely nothing that ridiculous would ever come to pass - there's nothing in it for the average user at all!

I do like the www.savetheinternet.com site though. They have cool features like a letter composer to help you write a letter to your local newspaper's editor. You can click certain points that have been pre-written to have them added to your letter. Very slick.

I don't think anything like this would ever be considered as a real possibility here in England. How can this possibly have any weight in Washington?

Liin
05-28-2006, 09:59 PM
I wouldn't bet on Congress to do the right thing. They can be convinced to do anything and this very well could be something that could come to pass. I do hope that they can see the harm that would be the result of this action and keep the internet as an open network.

Lord_Vyper
05-28-2006, 10:23 PM
I don't think anything like this would ever be considered as a real possibility here in England. How can this possibly have any weight in Washington?
Because $ > all?

Couple things to think about as well:

All major telcos fund the majority of their line installation/upgrade via government grant. Yes, they spent untold billions doing it... of taxpayer's money, not theirs.
They're not planning on any capacity upgrades to cover the proposed tiers, so any argument that this wouldn't affect normal network traffic is false, since prioritizing a given data stream by default will cause every other stream to be lower/slower priority.
Every ISP customer on Earth pays AT&T, Verizon, and all other Tier 1 ISPs. A percentage of whatever you pay your local ISP gets turned over to a Tier 1 as compensation for fair use of their lines.
There would be multiple fees that would need to be paid. One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that it's worldwide, and data can and will bounce all over everywhere going from A to B, so no gurantees that your data will stay within AT&T or Verizon's lines. Heck, it may not even stay within a single continent.


I've written my congressmen, written directly to AT&T, Verizon, & TimeWarner, and ultimately put my money where my mouth is and cancelled all business that I or the company I work for did with them.
If you don't want to see this happen, do the same.

tolliner
05-29-2006, 02:14 AM
Woot thanks for putting this on the main page. I hope more people spread this information to other places on the net :)

Flayer
05-29-2006, 02:16 AM
Phew. I don't live in the US, but I'm glad this is getting the attention it deserves. We (every human being on this planet) need to nip this the bud as soon as possible.

Elrar (of Silky Venom)
05-29-2006, 03:34 AM
Signed and sent, also posted and relayed to all my various guilds and social groups.

Its disgusting they'd even think of something like this, hopefully congress will realise that this benefits no one but these giants themselves.

tolliner
05-29-2006, 03:57 AM
Thank you all for the support!
Just read this today from the website Save the Internet.com (http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/)

Please tell your congress people to support H.R. 5417
Read more here (http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/)

Chade
05-29-2006, 07:01 AM
Makes you wonder.. seems to me the foundation of a democracy is severely undermined when big corporations can simply do a little lobbying to block/pass laws.

Pass a law that outlaws lobbying? Hell, yes.Realistic.Hell, no :)
You'll probably consider me one of those smart-arse euro's that likes to comment on US affairs, but I'll do it anyway hehe; there seems to be a very unfortunate tradition of mixing money and politics in the states.
In any event I hope you win this one, because if you don't it will only be a matter of time before ISP's in other countries get the same idea.

Giftmacher
05-29-2006, 07:23 AM
Some of my friends were telling me about this a while ago, but I've not much clue what I could do as a UK citizen to lend support. Which is a bit frustrating really. It's your government so I don't feel I've a right to commnent and yet it irritates me no end to think my friends are going to get stiffed while I do nothing. :mad:

Gift.

Razorwire
05-29-2006, 07:40 AM
What people outside of the USA can do is contact the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at http://www.intgovforum.org/. You can email US politicians directly. You can contact ICANN http://www.icann.org/

The IGF and ICANN of course can't dictate American law but they can exert influance.

Hell take it to the UN ;)

Giftmacher
05-29-2006, 07:59 AM
Ah thanks for that, the IGF looks like a good starting point, I'll mail them :D

Gift.

Nargroth
05-29-2006, 08:59 AM
I posted on guild site and other places, as well as let my co-workers know about it. I'm not a US citizen so aside from the mails I can't do more than... laugh?

The world already frowns upon US extreme capitalism, and this is must be the pinnacle of it.

Oh well, as long as my own ISP don't get these ideas, I should be home free ^.~

Giftmacher
05-29-2006, 09:07 AM
I think I'm going to bounce the following over to the IGF, anyone want to comment before I do?

Dear Sirs,

It has recently come to my attention that various corporations in the US are currently lobbying the government to introduce a law which may pave the way to a two-tiered internet. E.g. this CNN report:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/05/25/the.web.toll/index.html

I fear that if internet tolls are permitted in the USA it will only be a matter of time before we see them spreading to other parts of the world. I am not a US citizen myself so I cannot directly voice my distaste for this situation. Therefore I have decided to contact your organisation to seek reassurance that you will be tackling this problem as one of the emerging issues described in 72.g of your mandate.

Indeed, as I’m sure you’ll agree, the threat of a toll based internet deserves wider public attention and opposition as it would operate against the principles described by the WSIS. In this context a two-tiered internet, contrary to the WISI declaration, would limit rather than enhance the potential for information exchange through this medium. If extra charges become the norm, the internet will no longer be “a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society”, rather it will become a forum where any information presented will merely reflect the author’s ability to pay. Furthermore, any extra expense associated with internet use can only act directly against the interests of developing countries, and as such will directly oppose the objectives set out in your mandate.

To summarise, I can find very little to recommend forfeiting the principles of net neutrality to the world wide community, and I hope your organisation will be proactive in opposing any attempt to limit free information exchange over the internet.

[Edit changed a sentence I didn't like but otherwise I'll send it "as is" after a little more contemplation :)]

Razorwire
05-29-2006, 09:10 AM
Damn that rules. Send that.

Zygon
05-29-2006, 01:19 PM
Excellent letter Gift! On behalf of all Americans, thank you so much for your support. :)

Giftmacher
05-29-2006, 01:35 PM
Well let's hope it helps :) I'll let you know if I get a reply.

Gift.

Thornblade
05-29-2006, 03:32 PM
Makes you wonder.. seems to me the foundation of a democracy is severely undermined when big corporations can simply do a little lobbying to block/pass laws.

This is why so many insist that the U.S. government is, by definition, a fascist government and no longer a republic.

Forgive me for being naive, but I have a question. Isn't it possible for a person to "plug in" to the internet by bypassing an ISP? I mean, how do the ISP's make it possible to connect to the internet? Couldn't the average Joe say, "Hey, forget your service then, I'm going to get my own." Or, couldn't one ISP company (i.e., "Freedom Internet") branch out and NOT do this? So, people had a choice as to what type of service they give their money to?

Skarlath
05-29-2006, 04:11 PM
These three companies are the companies that own the physical telephone lines that your internet connection uses. Other ISPs - your "Freedom Internet" - pay money to these three companies to be allowed to run their services down the infrastructure put in place by AT&T and such.

"Freedom Internet" is the hose, and so could give it a squeeze to effect performance, but AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth are the tap. That's why this is such a scary prospect - it removes all choice from the matter. Consumers lose their ability to select alternatives. That's also why this will never come about - it brings about the exact some problems as a company gaining a monopoly.

I say never, but i'm sure a lot of people would be willing to overlook anti-trust laws if given a large enough incentive.

Razorwire
05-29-2006, 05:05 PM
This is why so many insist that the U.S. government is, by definition, a fascist government and no longer a republic.

Forgive me for being naive, but I have a question. Isn't it possible for a person to "plug in" to the internet by bypassing an ISP? I mean, how do the ISP's make it possible to connect to the internet? Couldn't the average Joe say, "Hey, forget your service then, I'm going to get my own." Or, couldn't one ISP company (i.e., "Freedom Internet") branch out and NOT do this? So, people had a choice as to what type of service they give their money to?
No it's not possible. The ISPs forma network of line that make the internet. In a very real way the ISPs are the internet. Additionally, even if your ISP doesn't do this if one of the ISPs between you and your site does you will be affected.

For example right now this is my route to Silkyvenom

Tracing route to www.silkyvenom.com [69.12.20.212]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 3 ms 1 ms 1 ms local.gateway [192.168.1.1]
2 107 ms 24 ms 14 ms anchor-hg-4-l100.router.demon.net [194.159.161.3
5]
3 41 ms 12 ms 15 ms anchor-access-4-v155.router.demon.net [194.159.1
61.161]
4 38 ms 102 ms 24 ms anchor-inside-3-g5-1-0.router.demon.net [194.159
.161.86]
5 110 ms 205 ms 107 ms ny1-border-1-g0-3-0.router.demon.net [194.70.97.
234]
6 129 ms 204 ms 102 ms nyiix.ge-0-2-0.cr2.nyc1.speakeasy.net [198.32.16
0.119]
7 226 ms 205 ms 204 ms 100.ge-0-0-0.cr2.dfw1.speakeasy.net [69.17.82.21
8]
8 226 ms 204 ms 204 ms 100.ge-0-0-0.cr1.dfw1.speakeasy.net [69.17.82.21
7]
9 234 ms 203 ms 205 ms so-1-2-0.core1.dfw1.netfire.com [69.17.82.158]
10 227 ms 204 ms 204 ms silkyvenom.com [69.12.20.212]

Trace complete.

Between my computer and Silkyvenom are: My ISP (Demon), Speakeasy and Netfire (I assume Silky's ISP). If assuming that my ISP isn't blocking Silky and Silky's ISP isn't blocking them. If Speakwasy is blocking Silky in favor of Allakhazam or some other site then I will never get here. A third party service provider would block my attempt to get where ever I want to go.

This is the real danger of letting dual stream and redirect happen, if it is your ISP you can leave them, if it is the destination's ISP they can move. But what happens when the person between you and your site doesn't let you through and there is nothing you can do about it? What if the big 3 block your site and redirect your customers to someone that has paid them some cash.

Net neutrality must be maintained because we as consumers have no alternatives.

Perhaps to take it a bit more personal (and totally imaginary), what if you were blocked from Vanguard and forced to Hello Kitty MMO.

Teiraa
05-30-2006, 05:06 AM
Actually a two-tiered system already exists in many part of the internet. People paying for extra-fast download, ISPs paying for bandwitdh/speed used...

Nothing to be afraid of in my opinion.

Razorwire
05-30-2006, 05:22 AM
Actually a two-tiered system already exists in many part of the internet. People paying for extra-fast download, ISPs paying for bandwitdh/speed used...

Nothing to be afraid of in my opinion.
That is different. You paying an end provider for a faster download is different than some third party imposing limits on you. ISPs paying for bandwidth used is just the way the internet works you pay for what you use...

What you are describing is not a two tiered system and it is not what is being proposed. (As I understand it)

Giftmacher
05-30-2006, 05:43 AM
Actually a two-tiered system already exists in many part of the internet. People paying for extra-fast download, ISPs paying for bandwitdh/speed used...

Nothing to be afraid of in my opinion.

This isn't just a case of the speed of connection you can afford, competitor/none toll paying sites may effectively be blocked by your ISP. If you've got a blog, web page, on line business etc. you may be denied bandwidth if don't pay ISPs allowing users to visit your webspace.

Basically you will no longer have the right to publish or surf on a level playing field CAD summed the impact of this up (http://cad-comic.com/news.php?i=1087) fairly well for me (scroll down). And if that doesn't hit home clearly enough if net neutrality is compromised even Silky Venom could be inaccessible to the world.

The net may be two-tiered to an extent now according to the speed of connection you can afford, but at least you’ve got access to wherever you want to go. Moreover, as time goes on speed will become cheaper. Contrast that with compromised net neutrality, where accessing websites or getting your material visible to the world will incur a charge that never would have existed before. In short your freedom of speech and virtual travel will depend on your (or someone elses) ability to pay.

Gift.

Thornblade
05-30-2006, 12:19 PM
The thing that concerns me most about this, is that I don't think the average person will be able to fully understand the implications. Many people who come to this site or are involved in MMO's have a more in-depth (if not full) understanding of how the internet or computers work.

I mean, I consider myself to be generally computer savvy, but I am still in the dark when it comes to how the internet really works (save for the above explanation). My point is, I think these big corporations could easily slide this by without the general public even being aware.

Pragmatica
05-30-2006, 01:57 PM
I have read all the above posts and everyone is missing one important fact from History.
The companies mentioned (Verison, AT&T, and Bell South) and all Baby Bells. For those that don't know what that means; there was a very large cooperation called Bell in the 1970's until the government stepped in stating that Bell was a monopoly. As part of the government agreement, Bell had to break up into 12 different publicly traded organizations. From the original 12 parts, the "baby's" have bought each other back again and now there are only 4 companies that are separate. As mentioned before, 3 out of the 4 own 100% of the hardware that leads to your house for cable and telephone (and Internet). I have heard that Sprint is changing their name which makes me wonder if they have been added into the mix also. How can a cooperation that has been broken up once, get back together and make restrictions on what you see on your computer monitor in order to get more profit? This is precisely why the government is supposed to be the watchdogs for the utilities sector. Next thing is Pay-per- view for internet sites. I pay a service to the ISP, the host (SOE for example), and now they want me to pay for preimum services on top of that? I am willing to pay for services that I receive (after all, I am a MMO gamer, with a cable service), but at least I have the full access to every part on the internet. Don't let the government take the "Web" out of World Wide".

Giftmacher
05-30-2006, 02:58 PM
Well as I understand it Pragmatica, that's why anti-trust laws are being mooted as a way to nip this in the bud. Not sure if that's viable myself, but I'm watching with interest.

Gift.

Lady Hushpaw
05-30-2006, 07:19 PM
I have signed the petition and posted it on our web site as well.

Pragmatica
05-31-2006, 12:26 AM
I got the following letter from E-Bay and I thought I would share:

As you know, I almost never reach out to you personally with a request to get involved in a debate in the U.S. Congress. However, today I feel I must.

Right now, the telephone and cable companies in control of Internet access are trying to use their enormous political muscle to dramatically change the Internet. It might be hard to believe, but lawmakers in Washington are seriously debating whether consumers should be free to use the Internet as they want in the future.

The phone and cable companies now control more than 95% of all Internet access. These large corporations are spending millions of dollars to promote legislation that would divide the Internet into a two-tiered system.

The top tier would be a "Pay-to-Play" high-speed toll-road restricted to only the largest companies that can afford to pay high fees for preferential access to the Net.

The bottom tier -- the slow lane -- would be what is left for everyone else. If the fast lane is the information "super-highway," the slow lane will operate more like a dirt road.

Today's Internet is an incredible open marketplace for goods, services, information and ideas. We can't give that up. A two lane system will restrict innovation because start-ups and small companies -- the companies that can't afford the high fees -- will be unable to succeed, and we'll lose out on the jobs, creativity and inspiration that come with them.

The power belongs with Internet users, not the big phone and cable companies. Let's use that power to send as many messages as possible to our elected officials in Washington. Please join me by clicking here right now to send a message to your representatives in Congress before it is too late. You can make the difference.

Thank you for reading this note. I hope you'll make your voice heard today.

Sincerely,

Meg Whitman
President and CEO
eBay Inc.

Elrar (of Silky Venom)
06-01-2006, 05:48 PM
Just got a response from my senator today, 49 to go :D:

May 31, 2006


Dear Mr.

Thank you for writing to me about open access to the Internet and the policy of network neutrality. I appreciate hearing from you.

It is vital to Americans and to our economy that we provide access to an open Internet with a balanced playing field for network, service and information providers. Giving consumers more access to and choices over information and services available over the Internet should not compromise other providers. Should legislation regarding network neutrality come before the Senate I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Again, thank you for writing. If you should have any comments or questions, I hope you will feel free to contact my Washington, DC staff at (202) 224-3841.





Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

They are listening, we just have to show them the way :pirate:

Razorwire
06-01-2006, 05:54 PM
hmm I think I got my senators backwards :( Sorry Ms. Feinstien

Darkgecko
06-05-2006, 04:40 AM
Dear Mr. --------:



Thank you for contacting me regarding network neutrality, which is the principle that consumers should have access to the Internet content and applications of their choice without interference from network operators. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your views on this issue.



As a longtime advocate for network neutrality, I believe that network operators should facilitate, not stifle, Americans' access to the Internet. Individuals' ability to define and shape their experiences on the Internet has led to an explosion of creativity that has greatly benefited our economy and our lives. I fear that if network operators abandon the principle of network neutrality, the next generation of Internet innovators will be harmed.



That is why I am co-sponsoring S.2917, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. This bill would prevent network operators from discriminating against their competitors' use of the network by giving certain content preferential treatment.



Congress is currently considering a number of bills on this issue, including S.2917. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over broadband and telecommunications issues, please be assured that I will keep fighting for legislation that will ensure that the Internet remains an engine of growth for commerce and ideas.


Again, thank you for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue of concern to you.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Please visit my website at http://boxer.senate.gov

Elrar (of Silky Venom)
06-05-2006, 06:58 PM
I got the same letter! Lol.

Skarlath
06-06-2006, 01:38 PM
Do you think there's a savetheinternet.com for senators and newspaper editors that allow them to make templated replies agreeing with net neutrality? :D

Giftmacher
06-06-2006, 03:15 PM
Still no reply from the IGF. :( although I'm not too surprised, they are a policy discussion forum and unlikely to say anything until this becomes a more pressing issue. Still I'm ever hopeful that this issue will be raised when appropriate.

Gift.

reefus88
06-06-2006, 05:18 PM
copied from the other thread on this:

dont people have the choice now?

dial-up
DSL
Dish
Broadband
Fiber

maybe not everyone wants or needs a t-3 connection and they shouldnt have to pay what those that do pay.


70 year old suzy playing online poker vs 13 year old DL'n porn, MP3's and movies while playing WoW should pay more if he wants the stuff to DL faster.


But if I understand this right, that's not what this is about. this is about charging the 5% of websites that flood the internet with 95% of the traffic more then the other 95% that flood it with 5%.

From the article:
Specifically, such companies want to charge Web sites for the speedy delivery of streaming video, television, movies and other high-bandwidth data to their customers

I really wish people had more of an understanding of the costs of laying these OC3's and other optical carriers that deliver these high speeds was.

The telecom industry sees such remuneration as fair compensation for the substantial cost of maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure that makes high-bandwidth services, such as streaming video, possible



This:
Which brings up another sticking point: A tiered system would give established companies with deep pockets a huge competitive edge over cash-strapped start-ups consigned to slow lanes

I doubt this will happen as it will and should balance, small company small traffic small prices.

pay per bandwidth. thats what this is about and it makes sense to me.

member of fileplanet the DL's ALL THE TIME??? want to DL at BLISTERING speeds? pay $20 more a year and you can!!!!!

Are you the average user that DL's often but not all the time? want a nice solid DL speed that are not too slow but dont want to pay for the preium DL speeds? Our average joe speicial may be right for you, for a yearly fee of $X!!!!!!!!

dont DL all that much? not that worried about DL speeds? Sign up for our super saver account and pay $10 less a year!!!!


and as far as google and amazon are concerned, it will be a "trickle affect" they charge advertisers more and advertisers charge consumers more and i highly doubt your going to go from buyng a sweater on amazon for $20 to $30 because of it, more like $20.05 heh. and I think its worth it if it helps build the internet ifnrastructure.

Razorwire
06-06-2006, 06:43 PM
reefus,
You are missing the point. The point is that no matter what internet connection you buy from your ISP the bandwidth that the site you use will be restricted unless they are paying premium fees.

The telecomms are trying to exert monopoly power to control what websites you are allowed to see. A small website doesn't pony up the fee then they are shut down. A small website doesn't pony up the fee and you are redirected to their competition. How would you like to be looking for Silky Venom and end up at IGE.com? IGE has the money that Silky Venom doesn't have.

The ISP doesn't like MMOs and the broadband they require, guess you get lagged out.

This legislation isn't for the good of the people it is only good for a few powerful corps and their pocket books. And your money will be what fills those pocket books as Vanguard has to up the price of a sub, Silkyvenom and Scarletrazor have to start charging fees to keep up with IGE etc. It is not good for anyone and to think it is, is nieve.

reefus88
06-07-2006, 12:53 PM
reefus,
You are missing the point. The point is that no matter what internet connection you buy from your ISP the bandwidth that the site you use will be restricted unless they are paying premium fees.

The telecomms are trying to exert monopoly power to control what websites you are allowed to see. A small website doesn't pony up the fee then they are shut down. A small website doesn't pony up the fee and you are redirected to their competition. How would you like to be looking for Silky Venom and end up at IGE.com? IGE has the money that Silky Venom doesn't have.

The ISP doesn't like MMOs and the broadband they require, guess you get lagged out.

This legislation isn't for the good of the people it is only good for a few powerful corps and their pocket books. And your money will be what fills those pocket books as Vanguard has to up the price of a sub, Silkyvenom and Scarletrazor have to start charging fees to keep up with IGE etc. It is not good for anyone and to think it is, is nieve.


So you're defedning one greedy coporation while demonizing another?!?!?
Google and Amazon and Yahoo are not going to slice those payments out of their profit margins and eat them They're going to pass them on to the consumer

If you had any idea the ammount of traffic google/e-bay/amazon create compared to SV and most the other websites, you'd get why this is necissary, especially if you want the internet to keep growing and getting faster. Feel free to call me nieve......

as far as your conpiracy theory:
The ISP doesn't like MMOs and the broadband they require, guess you get lagged out

sorry. ain't gonna happen. see, these compaines have a QoS they have to keep or pay HUGE fines for, but the companies that leech off them DO NOT, which is a WHOLE other point raised in some of these articles that people don't get.

Razorwire
06-07-2006, 01:42 PM
That QoS is only contracted to the ISP that co-locates the servers. Anyone outside of that Co-Lo facility isn't bound by that contract or those fines. Unless the MMOG has to pay each and every ISP and carrier a fee to keep QoS up.

The internet isn't run by one company it is a great big web of lines/companies and are ALREADY paid for by bandwidth usage.

reefus88
06-07-2006, 02:19 PM
That QoS is only contracted to the ISP that co-locates the servers. Anyone outside of that Co-Lo facility isn't bound by that contract or those fines. Unless the MMOG has to pay each and every ISP and carrier a fee to keep QoS up.

The internet isn't run by one company it is a great big web of lines/companies and are ALREADY paid for by bandwidth usage.

http://att.sbc.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=22098&phase=check
AT&T 8-8.5 billion globally, covering 97% of the globe.

http://att.sbc.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=21207
"The recent decision by the Bush Administration to allow unlawful telephone wholesale rules to lapse and let stand the FCC's decision not to unbundle broadband is a positive step," said Whitacre. "We are now more optimistic that we may be headed toward rational, market-oriented regulations that will promote investment and deployment of new capabilities."


http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2006/tc20060202_061809.htm
Verizon-10billion over 7 years

Verizon argues that it needs to take such measures to earn a return on its network investments. The New York giant is seeing steep declines in its traditional telephone market, so it is spending an estimated $10 billion over seven years on new fiber lines to diversify into the TV business. Unless it can deliver seamless, high-quality TV service -- a real bandwidth hog -- Verizon says it won't be able to compete against Comcast (CMCSA) and other cable rivals.



What is net neutrality all about?
At its core, it's about consumer protection. Consumers should have unencumbered access to the Internet and not be subject to blocked content. AT&T vigorously supports net neutrality as defined by the FCC last August when it laid out its "New Principles to Preserve and Promote the Open and Interconnected Nature of Public Internet:"

Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;
Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network;
Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

Sounds reasonable. Where's the disagreement?
Some Internet content providers have hijacked the concept of net neutrality — away from consumers — and made it a rallying cry to protect their business interests.
Here's the basic premise: We invest billions in our broadband network, which gives content providers — popular Web sites, VoIP providers and so forth — access into the homes of customers like you and me. That works fine, to a point. These content providers more and more are offering online services — especially video — that require more bandwidth. They want to ensure that these services get to consumers without any delay or latency, which happens sometimes with a typical Internet connection. They want us to give them premium bandwidth — not only more bandwidth, but some level of service guarantee — to deliver their services to Internet customers. Just as people are willing to pay more for next-day mail delivery instead of regular delivery, we think content providers should help pay for this premium delivery if that's what they want or expect. Put another way, our customers should not be expected to pay more for DSL because a content provider demands premium bandwidth treatment. Companies seeking increased bandwidth should bear the cost.

Can you elaborate?
As I said, we agree with the FCC and we side with consumers. A truly healthy Internet is one where all parties who use it share in the cost of ensuring the health of the networks. We invest billions to build and maintain networks. Content providers count on that investment to reach their customers. Prioritization of data over private networks is an essential part of managing traffic. We simply want to allow content providers the option of choosing different service levels when moving bits over our network. From that point, it's up to them whether they want the service we're offering.

But no blocking or degrading?Absolutely not. Any broadband provider who blocked access to the Internet would be inviting its customers to find another provider. AT&T has made clear, as a matter of company policy, that we will not block or degrade anyone's content.

Why do people sometimes equate net neutrality to highway construction?
It's a good analogy. Double-load tractor trailers pay extra fees to travel our highways because they require more room and they cause more wear and tear on the roads. Companies that push bandwidth-consuming applications such as video are the equivalent of big rigs on the highway. If Internet content providers had their way with the highway system, two things would happen: Everyone would have sub-par roads and everyone would pay significantly higher gas taxes. There is a better way, which would continue to provide consumers what they have today as well as offer them more options.

Everyone would pay more under the Internet content providers' plan?
Yes. By denying companies a choice of selecting different levels of speed and security, net neutrality proponents are really advocating a "one-size-fits-all" Internet. That would add costs for all Internet users, regardless of usage. Higher-bandwidth applications, like gaming and video, require billions in investment for fatter pipes. Absent the ability to manage traffic and offer differentiated pricing, low-volume users would pay more for basic activities such as e-mailing and Web surfing just to subsidize gamers and others. Some Internet companies want all consumers to pay for the high-bandwidth services, regardless of whether or not they use them. Instead, we believe the cost of providing high-bandwidth, high-quality services should be paid for by those who actually use them.

What are we proposing?
It all boils down to this. We don't want to restrict anyone's use of the Internet. We just believe that high-volume, bandwidth-intensive content providers should be asked to contribute proportionally toward the huge costs they create-rather than demand premium network services with the costs being passed on to DSL customers who may never use or need their applications.

And, more importantly, we think customers should continue to have control over their Internet experience, including their monthly bill, rather than have their services and costs dictated by the unreasonable demands of a few large content providers.

reefus88
06-07-2006, 03:50 PM
just a little more:
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035_22-6052239.html

AT&T will not block or degrade traffic, period," he said. "And we won't change (our position) no matter what sky-is-falling rhetoric you hear. Markets work best when consumers have choices."