Net Neutrality Still Under Assault

In a move that surprised pretty much nobody, AT&T's CEO, Ed Whitacre, took a few more potshots at Net Neutrality in a speech that used alarming candor. Referring to getting anti-neutrality legislation passed, he said it's not 'cashing in', it's 'deregulation'. It seems that his replacement is taking a similar tack, wanting to double-dip content providers and destroy the "inter" part of Internet.

Time Warner hasn't wasted a lot of time on scrapping Net Neutrality before legislation goes through. They're recently implemented packet shaping to slow down certain kinds of traffic. Tops on their list are data-intensive applications like BitTorrent and Joost. Essentially, Time Warner is selling high-speed connections with the promise that you get fast downloads… right up until the point you actually want to use it. That smells like lawsuit in the air with a hint of false advertising.

Even cell phones aren't safe. Despite AT&T just about getting its head chewed off for blocking certain numbers in Iowa, T-Mobile has started blocking calls to numbers from a competing provider in the UK. So far, the block seems to only extend to users in the UK, but it'll be a matter of time before they start trying to pull the same stunt in the US. 

Maine, however, isn't content to sit this one out. In response to the assaults on Net Neutrality, they've passed a resolution demanding that more be done to ensure that all data is treated equal. Given Maine's history as a maverick state, this is none too surprising.

(See full articles here, here, here, here, and here.)

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One Response to Net Neutrality Still Under Assault

  1. I’m pleased to see Maine realize the importance of net neutrality. We cannot allow companies to dictate where we go and how fast a web site will load up. Companies such as google (for example) are paying their way and are not getting something for free as it was explained to me in an online conversation with one company CSR.

    We also cannot trust these companies to do what’s best for their customers. Comcast for instance is disconnecting people all the time for violating a “fuzzy acceptable use” policy which they will not divulge. Oh sure it’s online but when asked why you were disconnected they say you violated acceptable use. When asked what they means they say you downloaded too much. (Yeah, it used to be unlimited use for a flat monthly fee.. not anymore). Downloaded too much? How much is too much? “I’m sorry but I cannot divulge that to customers”. Yeah right. What a crock.

    Trust the company to do what’s right? I don’t think so.

    Fight the battle and spread the word. We need to keep the Internet free for everyone!

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