Net Neutrality Heats up again in the wave of recent events.

Comcast throttling bandwidth form P2P networks, Verizon censoring political text messages, I guess the Telcos will never change. trying to hang on to an old dying business model in the wake of the emergence of companies like Google, Flickr, Facebook, eBay, etc.

If the AT&T, Verizon and Comcast get there way, this will be the future tiered pricing of the Web: (from a graphic found floating around the Internet. If you know who created this, please email me)

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Jim, if you are out there and find you posted comment ‘reprinted’ here, drop me an email. I have not read anything anywhere over the last year on Net Neutrality that is as clear and direct with a historical context as this. I would love that info to attribute, Thank you.

The notion that the telcos and cablecos are free to do whatever they want with “their” networks is nonsense. First of all, these have an remain heavily regulated companies, with at least 51 state and federal regulators overseeing their business activities. To obtain a less regulated state of competition, all of these companies made deals with regulatory bodies and legislatures, few of which have they honored. Executive teams at these companies will continue to violate such agreements so long as the FCC and Congress let them. What you see now is a few Congress-people awaking from their stupor to the seriousness of the flawed telecom policies of the US government (under Clinton and Bush administrations). Our country has neither a fully deregulated telecom industry, nor a fully regulated one. For as long as this purgatory continues, the US consumers and businesses will not get access to communications services that are and will be available in other countries around the world. By fully regulated, I don’t necessarily mean like the old ATT days. A more viable model would be a fully regulated wholesale monopoly that must provided bandwidth on a common basis to all its customers, which would be the entities actually providing service to businesses and consumers.Alternatively, a completely deregulated environment would reserve certain radio spectrum bandwidth for government use, and let the “market” sort out how the rest should best be used.

Regarding Ted’s assertion that there is no public Internet in America, that’s also nonsense. While ISP’s are unregulated, the underlying networks (physical and logical for OSI enthusiasts) are regulated and therefore subject to public policy expressed vis those regulations. There would be no Internet as we know it now had the Internet not originated as a public service of the federal government. As a former telco employee who participated in the planning process, I can assert this as a fact. Prior to the creation of the Mosaic browser in 1994, all the RBOC’s were attempting to build their own “information superhighway” or broadband network. It was the intent of each RBOC to tightly control all content on that network, as well as the devices that were permitted to attach to it. In that world, their would have been no Amazon, Ebay, Google or Facebook, because the telco bureaucrats would never have allowed it. Fortunately for us all, Netscape popularized the Mosaic browser, AOL popularized dial-up Internet access and the RBOC’s have been trying to put the unregulated Internet genie back in the bottle ever since.

The telco/cablecos excel at one thing and one thing only – manipulating the regulatory bodies.They know their legacy business (voice minutes sold on a metered usage basis). They do not know how to transition that business model to a broadband, open access environment. So every attempt to “manage” P2P taffic, or VOIP traffic, or locked cell phones is simply an attempt to revert the world to one they understand. To believe otherwise is foolish, especially if you have never listened to an internal telco/cableco discussion of such issues. Bottom line: unless Congress wises up to the real state of affairs, bandwidth will remain a scarce and rationed commodity in the US, while other countries with more enlightened telecom policies develop a surpluses (France, Korea, Japan, Scandinavia, etc.).

Post #17 by Jim read on techcrunch

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