People keep submitting to us the story that's making the rounds about BellSouth saying it's "pursuing discussions" with internet companies to charge them extra for preferential treatment on their network. We didn't post it because it's not new. The same guy said the exact same thing a month and a half ago. We're not sure why his repetition is newsworthy on its own. Nowhere does it say that Google, Apple, Yahoo or any others are playing along with this -- which actually would be news. However, instead of just hoping that these companies recognize what a dangerous precedent this would set, it's time that people call them out and tell them to call the telcos' bluff publicly. Jeff Pulver is leading the charge with a direct appeal to Google's Eric Schmidt that he tell BellSouth (and the others, we presume) to take a hike. Even more directly, Pulver suggests that if BellSouth pesters them about it, simply stop allowing BellSouth customers to reach Google -- and see how long BellSouth keeps saying that Google needs to pay them. The reason the telcos have so many DSL customers is because of the valuable services that companies like Google, Apple, Yahoo and others provide. It's time the telcos realize that they're not the ones in the power seat here.
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