Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Giving Away the Internet

U.S. Congress Is Giving Away the Internet Pressure continues and political support grows for the biggest giveaway in history that will impact upon us all, yet we know little about it - the Internet is being given away to private interests. be prepared to pay through the nose for sites and services that may not be of your choosing. Free, unedited excahnge of information may become impossible. The so called free market will not "sort this out" except to sort out their individual slice of the Internet pie.

" Last fall the Federal Communications Commission, backed by the U.S. Supreme Court, decided that the high-speed Internet services offered by the cable and telephone companies didn't fall under that law, the Communications Act. Out the window went the law that treated everyone equally. Now, with broadband, we are in a new game without rules.
Telephone and cable companies own 98% of the high-speed broadband networks the public uses to go online for reading news, shopping, listening to music, posting videos or any of the thousands of other uses developed for the Internet. But that isn't enough. They want to control what you read, see or hear online. The companies say that they will create premium lanes on the Internet for higher fees, and give preferential access to their own services and those who can afford extra charges. The rest of us will be left to use an inferior version of the Internet.
Admittedly, it hasn't become a problem yet. But to think it won't become one is to ignore 100 years of history of anti-competitive behavior by the phone companies. And it was a mere six weeks or so from the time the FCC issued its ill-fated decision to the time when Ed Whitacre, the CEO of (then-SBC) now AT&T issued his famous manifesto attacking Google and other Web sites for "using my pipes (for) free."

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