by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
lobbyists, net neutrality, telcos

Companies Reach 'Deal' On Net Neutrality... But What Does That Mean?

from the not-really-their-call,-is-it? dept

A few weeks back, we noted that a bunch of tech and broadband companies were back to "negotiating" around net neutrality, leading us to highlight Adam Smith's famous quote that "people of the same trade" seldom meet together except to create "a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Now comes the news that those involved -- including Verizon, AT&T, Skype, Microsoft, NCTA and "others" have "reached an agreement," which might be "stricter" than the Googrizon "framework," but which probably doesn't really apply to wireless networks.

I'm still at a loss as to how this actually matters. The companies can agree to whatever they want, and none of it makes a difference if Congress acts (or the courts say that the FCC is allowed to act). I guess the idea is to think that an "industry agreement" will stave off legislation, which perhaps might work for some time, but still reeks of collusion without consumer input or review.

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  1. identicon
    Anti-CO SB 152, 1 Sep 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Telco Politics start with MaBell.

    Anonymous Coward it encroaching on tinfoil hat territory. There is not secret modulation scheme or technology that the telcos are suppressing. 100 Gbit/s is state of the art at the moment and there are a few different modulation schemes companies use for that. The industry is just now discussing the next step. Pick up an IEEE Communications Magazine and read all about it. As for subscriber line technology there are a few from ADSL2, ADSL2+, and VDSL that continue to squeeze the life out of old copper. The issue is not bandwidth but quality of service. You can have unlimited bandwidth and still suffer QoS problems.

    As for the U.S. taxpayers owning the network. The "High Performance Computing and Communications Act" was insignificant compared to the private sector investment in the telecommunications networks over the past 100 years. True there may have been some lobbying by certain telcos for that money, but it was hardly enough to say the the citizens own the telecom networks.

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