New Net law could harm innovation?

By Derek Sooman on February 8, 2006, 2:50 PM
Will a law preserving the right to surf anywhere on the web help or harm consumers? Thatís the debate going on right now among ISPs and content companies in the US.

Representatives of local US telephone and cable companies that offer broadband services said passing a new law could stymie innovation while companies like Google said that could happen without legislation.

Broadband providers have largely pledged that consumers would be able to access any internet site. But some also said they may charge more for services that use faster private internet networks, like downloading movies.

Google and other companies have argued that a private fast internet lane could not only block users from accessing their content and services, but also have a negative effect on innovation.

"We must preserve neutrality in this system in order to allow new Googles of the world, new Yahoos, the new Amazons, to form," said Google vice president Vint Cerf. Mr Cerf is considered one of the founding fathers of the internet.




User Comments: 9

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nathanskywalker said:
I'm not quite certain i understand this. I don't suppose someone would be up to paraphrasing this....
PanicX said:
Kind of hard to say as the article is clearly biased and doesn't show any argument as to what the legislation would help. From what I gather, ISP's want to have the right to charge a premium for high speed access to exclusive internet content. (Exists already doesn't it?) However capital hill wants to pass a bill forbidding any restriction to internet content at the ISP level.
sngx1275 said:
I'm not entierly sure what the article is saying either. I got the impression that there are some broadband providers, but not all, that want to charge you more if you access some sites that provide you large amounts of data (movies, music probably, tv shows). Apparently the fear by law makers is that more and more ISPs are going to start wanting to do that. So they want to pass some legislature saying ISPs can't do that.But it doesn't make a damn bit of difference, because ISPs then won't charge you more for certain sites, they will just put a cap on the max amount you can download per month. I've had 2 different broadband providers and neither did this, but apparently there are several that do.Offer the customer a 10Mbps upload speed and 20Mbps down, but then cap them to 5 gigs a month uploaded and 20 gigs a month download, and then charge $2.50 for each gig over the limit.See law makers need to (as they said in the article) figure out what the hell they are even talking about, and then decide if anything needs to be passed or not. Personally I don't think anything needs to be done, as long as there is some competition in the ISP market there will be some provider that will offer it to you the way most people are getting it now (fixed up and down speed, but no limits on data transfering).
nathanskywalker said:
So basically this isn't going to help anyone?
MonkeyMan said:
Well, if they restrict the amount of sites we are able to go to, wouldn't that be like taking away our freedom of voice? lots of ppl that use the internet, use it to express themselves, if they have trouble communicating to other people. Restricting sites, is a definate no no in my book, because with the fall of one site, many sites follow thereafter. Many sites depend on each other for information, and support, and without that, there would be a limit to Internet communication. The more and more I read about this, the more it reminds me of China, and its communist government, that restrict certain things that its citizens can do. Is the US slowly becoming a communist power?
Need_a_Dell said:
This is silly. The internet should stay a place of freedom for all those who choose to surf. VIVE LA NET!
cyrax said:
I agree with Need_a_Dell. This is a sign that companies are going to create a system that will stifle the faster capabilities to the wealthy, and keep us with retarded bandwith.
Race said:
From what I'm getting from this, actual content blocking is not exactly the issue. It's more like untenable access to web sites that would refuse to pay for guaranteed service levels.Actually, it's some top executives from AT&T (SBC), BellSouth, and Verizon that apparently have a hand in this, arguing that they need revenue to upgrade the networks that enables the profits of high-bandwidth web sites.Web sites would pay a premium to guarantee delivery of their large amounts of broadband-intensive content at high speeds,In a way, there are sites that institute a form of this already.Take Gamestop for example.....you have to be a paying member to get access to their high-speed servers for downloading games.....otherwise you can use the 'public' servers for free, but are slower and usually busier.Also, SBC/AT&T has had a revenue sharing agreement with Yahoo for a few years......and with 'Movielink', to enhance their video delivery.[quote] Lee Selwyn, president of Economics and Technology in Boston said...."The suggestion that these companies aren't paying for their use of the Internet is not true. When Amazon.com or ABC News.com signs up, they are buying very large bandwidth pipes. The only time you have to prioritize is if you're in a condition of scarcity. We have the technology to have all the fiber optic capacity that you could possibly want and then some."[/quote]The bummer is that something as radical as this would no doubt mean rising prices for content providers, which will be passed on to consumers.Of course you knew it was just a matter of time before some fat-cat execs came up with something as lame as this.Personally, I don't think it will get that far.
Kaleid said:
[url]http://www.netfreedomnow.org/[/url] is supposedly about this issue, but it's offline atm.
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