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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Goodbye open internet? 

The nation has an article on the future of the internet as envisioned by the carriers (the companies who provide our service at the door, and who operate the large fiber-optic networks that serve as the backbone of the internet)
...phone and cable lobbyists are now engaged in a political campaign to further weaken the nation's communications policy laws. They want the federal government to permit them to operate Internet and other digital communications services as private networks, free of policy safeguards or governmental oversight. Indeed, both the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are considering proposals that will have far-reaching impact on the Internet's future. Ten years after passage of the ill-advised Telecommunications Act of 1996, telephone and cable companies are using the same political snake oil to convince compromised or clueless lawmakers to subvert the Internet into a turbo-charged digital retail machine.
When I first heard about this, I understood that they were looking to charge providers for what they send us. For example, google video would be charged a couple of cents for me to watch something through their site. Doens't make a lot of sense, given that I have already paid them for the internet connection. From this article, it looks like they also want to charge consumers more to view or download different types or amounts of data. It would be the death of the intet as a commons and the birth of a coopropate-controlled ad-fest that does not serve the public good.

Wasn't there a time when the telecoms got in trouble for just this sort of thing? Those were the days...

UPDATE: Lawrence Lessig has something on this.

-Ben  19:13 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

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