A big thumbs up to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon for stepping up to the plate to offer legislation barring telecommunications companies from being able to offer companies the ability to pay for faster delivery. Aynone who has worked extensively on the internet would have to agree that the net neutrality that has existed has been a boon to anyone that looked to get themselves established. There has been no monetary barrier to anyone starting up a site and offering a service. If the government allows some to pay for better access, that will all come to an end.
While Sen. Wyden’s bill would ban discriminatory pricing for paying customers, the first loophole that exists is the ability for providers to charge different rates for different types of traffic. However you look at it, the flat rate pricing structure has been a boon to every company on the web and every user that has looked to use it. The only difference now is that the telco’s are not happy with a flat rate structure. How are they going to line their Executive’s pockets with millions of dollars if they can’t fleece internet users? They got away with charging people a fortune to make long distance calls, and just because the internet does not fit their business model does not mean it is time to change the rate structure, but maybe time for them to change their businesss model. Holding the pipe to the internet hostage is not supposed to be the way to riches, offering the consumers a service on that pipe is. Time for the telcos to come up with something more.
They can claim that they are not getting paid for the internet infrastructure all they want, but at the end of the day all those lines are leased by various internet companies for traffice. If they don’t feel the internet is a good use of their resources, let someone else do it. There would be no shortage of takers. So here’s a final jeer to AT&T, Verizon and the other Bell companies that are aggressively pushing this plan. And no better treatment should be accorded to the FCC and Kevin Martin in particular who are standing on the sidelines, most likely in the hope that something like this could be pushed through (with FCC surcharges, of course). If they truly believed in net neutrality, they would have come right out and said it at the beginning of what will likely turn out to be a major fiasco. Screw with people’s phones and they will be upset, screw with their internet and their could be a major uprising.
Posted by Jeff