Somehow I knew this was coming, but it isn’t any less pleasant the closer it comes. FCC Chief Kevin Martin has come out in support of the telco’s desire to charge more for high bandwidth users. Does that make any sense to anyone? These high bandwidth users have already purchased their bandwidth from the telcos, and now they want to charge more if the companies actually use them? What is it they really bought in the first place then?
From Slashdot, FCC Chief Kevin Martin yesterday gave his support to AT&T and other telcos who want to be able to limit bandwidth to sites like Google, unless those sites pay extortion fees. Martin made it clear in a speech yesterday that he supports such a “tiered” Internet.”
What is the real cuplrit here? Very simple. False advertising on the part of the telcos. They are more than happy to sell fairly expensive bandwidth to every company in the world. The real problem comes when all of these companies then want to use the full bandwidth they purchased (rented, actually). While the bandwidth may be supported from the customer premise to the telco itself, the telcos do not want to have to support all that traffic all the way to the internet. They have made an assumption that only a certain percentage will be in use at any given time, and that is what they will support. This matches their telephone paradigm where they have thousands of users, but can only support a certain percentage of them making long distance calls at any one time. I am sure you have noticed this if you have ever tried to make a long distance call during a large scale emergency. So, what the telcos are really saying is that in order for you to have full use of what you thought you already purchased, you will have to pay us more money, or else we will offer you only the bandwidth we decide you should be using. Sounds like extortion to me.
Unfortunately, the only way to derail this would be for Congress to take action. With Ted Stevens of Alaska chairing the Senate Commerce Committee, I see little to nothing being done by our elected representatives. To expect them to take action that is in the best interest of those who they supposedly represent is obviously too much of a burden on them.
Posted by Jeff