Monday, September 04, 2006

The net neutrality debate continues...


Good article from silicon.com updating where things have got to, with some interesting quotes. From the "pro" camp:

"They're pushing for enactment of the Snowe-Dorgan measure because it includes rules explicitly barring broadband operators from brokering deals with content providers to shuttle their goods at faster speeds or to give them more prominent placement. An absence of such regulations, supporters claim, would interfere with users' ability to view all content on a level playing field, indirectly raise their surfing costs, and keep garage innovators from getting their ideas off the ground."

And the case for the opposition:

"Stevens' relatively hands-off approach to net neutrality regulations continues to receive backing from the powerful cable and telecommunications industries, which have admitted they would prefer to see no new legislation in the area at all. Brushing off concerns raised by net neutrality fans, lobbyists from those sectors say they have no intention to block or degrade any internet content and are merely seeking new revenue sources to offset investments in new offerings, particularly IP-based video. Some have voiced confidence that their leanings will prevail among politicians."

And I can't work this one out:

"A spokeswoman for the US Telecom Association, which lobbies for large and small phone companies, said in an email interview: "The longer this debate goes on, the more lawmakers realise that without any evidence of a problem, there is no good reason to start regulating the internet. The so-called net neutrality proponents have tried to hijack this debate to bolster their business models, all to the detriment of American consumers."

...so why and how, if there's no good reason to start regulating the internet, have the net neutrality proponents hijacked the debate? Surely what they campaigning for will benefit consumers?