Funny, The Telcos Weren't So Against Regulations When It Helped Them

from the hands-off-now? dept

It's getting somewhat annoying to see just how partisan the network neutrality debate has become, with both the telcos and the internet folks spinning the rhetoric in the debate well beyond the actual issues. Both sides are making statements that have little basis in reality, but it still seems like the claims from the telcos and their supporters that this is about "keeping regulatory hands off the internet" are the most silly. Remember, these are the telcos. They've benefited from billions of dollars in subsidies and regulations in their favor over the years -- regulations that granted them monopoly rights of way and helped them get rid of most of the competition. That, again, is the real issue. If there were true competition that would allow others to enter the market, then there wouldn't even be a debate about network neutrality, because no firm would realistically be able to break network neutrality without a serious backlash. So, the next time someone says this is all about keeping regulators away from the telcos, remind them that regulations built these telcos into the position they're in today -- and ask them if they're willing to trade in all the benefits they got from those other regulations?
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  1. identicon
    William C Bonner, 24 May 2006 @ 6:33am

    Net Neutrality vs. Censorship

    I believe that it was on this blog that I read an excellent piece about network neutrality being in the telco's best interest. Primarily because as long as they are just passing data back and forth and not examining it, they are not responsible for it.

    At the point that they are filtering, and some kiddy porn gets transferred over their network, then it's concievable that they should be liable for trafficking in kiddy porn.

    On a different but related subject:

    Free Internet is a question I've had for some time now. Does free internet really mean free web browsing? With the Free part being funded by advertisments in the web browser? When I'm connected to the internet, I'm using a web browser, but I'm also using Instant Messenger, SSH, SMTP, IMAP (primarily over SSH) and who knows what other protocols that don't have a way of inserting ads into the datastream.

    A web connection that doesn't allow me to bring up a secure socket connection to my primary web server isn't getting me very much, but I don't understand the economics of free.

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