Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Net neutrality fails

This may not be final, final word, but a tie vote in a Senate committee may be the death knell for net neutrality, at least for this session, the WashPost reports:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved sweeping communications reform legislation on Wednesday that would make it easier for telephone companies like AT&T Inc. to offer subscription television to consumers.

But the panel narrowly rejected attempts by some lawmakers to strengthen safeguards on Internet service, which had pitted high-speed Internet, or broadband, providers such as AT&T against Internet companies like Google Inc.

In a room packed with lobbyists representing companies and consumer groups, debate raged over whether broadband providers can charge more to carry unaffiliated content or to guarantee service quality, an issue called Net neutrality.

The bill included provisions aimed at preserving consumers' ability to surf anywhere on the public Internet and use any Internet-related application, software or service, similar to a bill that passed the House of Representatives.

Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, tried to add further protections by barring discrimination of content or service based on origin, destination or ownership, but it failed to get a majority vote. The final tally was 11 to 11.

"That means for the first time we are going to have a two-tiered Internet," said Snowe, who bucked her party. "Broadband operators will be able to pick winners and losers, they will be able to choose the Web sites of their choice."


At 11:11 PM, Blogger Troy Fullerton said...

Good. We've managed to keep control of the internet out of our government's hands for a little while, at least.

I hope Congressman Sensenbrenner did not catch anything from his brief time in bed with the likes of Pelosi and Clinton.

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Jay Bullock said...

Ron Wyden sounds like he'll hold and fillibuster the telecom bill until neutrality language is in there, though. There may yet be hope.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Sven said...

We've managed to keep control of the internet out of our government's hands

Note: Subject displays remarkable wingnuttio spasmus articulatio genus reflex.

Recommend stage two, the "welfare queen or famous jazz singer" flash card test.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Troy Fullerton said...

Little early in the morning to be tipping the bottle like that, isn't it Sven? But if you have any logical rationale for why the companies that actually built the internet backbone should not be allowed to prioritize traffic over their own networks, please feel free to elaborate.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Sven said...

Troy Boy, the Internet is not a collection of wires, just as a "novel" is not "a stack of paper bound together with glue."

The Internet is a concept, a system - specifically, "an interconnected system of networks that connects computers around the world via the TCP/IP protocol." This system was invented, developed, funded and regulated from Day 1 by The Government.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Sven said...

(P.S. you're also wrong about the Internet backbone - it was financed by the National Science Foundation, a (gasp) guvmint agency and handed over to industry by "free market" Republicans in 1994.)


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