FTC Urges Caution On 'Net Neutrality' Proposals
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Author:  Vass [ Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  FTC Urges Caution On 'Net Neutrality' Proposals

If, like me, you've been living in a cave for the past week, you might not have heard this latest twist in the net neutrality debate...


The U.S. Federal Trade Commission warned Wednesday against regulations to ensure that providers of high-speed Internet service treat all content the same way, saying such rules could stifle innovation.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission warned Wednesday against regulations to ensure providers of high-speed Internet service treat all content the same way, saying such rules could stifle innovation.

Network neutrality proposals, backed by Internet content companies like Google Inc. and eBay Inc., would bar Internet providers from charging extra fees to guarantee access to the Internet or give priority to some content.

In a report, the FTC sided with high-speed Internet providers such as AT&T and Verizon, saying the government should be cautious about imposing such regulations.

"This report recommends that policy makers proceed with caution in the evolving, dynamic industry of broadband Internet access, which generally is moving toward more -- not less -- competition," FTC chairman Deborah Majoras said in a statement.

"In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area," Majoras said.

The concept of net neutrality is being studied by regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and has been the subject of much debate among lawmakers in Congress.

Some lawmakers in Congress tried unsuccessfully to get net neutrality legislation passed last year.

Companies like eBay and Google worry that AT&T and Verizon will charge them more to get access to consumers or make it harder for consumers to access unaffiliated content.

The network providers counter that they would not block access to public Internet sites, but want to offer private Internet-based services with faster speeds for uses such as downloading movies.

The high-speed providers welcomed the FTC report.

"Proposals to impose new regulation actually threaten further advancements in broadband Internet connections. That hurts consumers by denying them new and better services," said Verizon executive vice president Tom Tauke.

But supporters of network neutrality rules scoffed at the premise of viable new competition that offers an alternative to the cable companies and major carriers.

"Despite the fervent wishes of the FTC staff, there is not a competitive market for high-speed Internet services. New technologies, particularly wireless technologies, are not soon going to have the same robust qualities or market penetration as the duopoly cable and telephone-company services," said Gigi Sohn, president of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge.

Last year, the FCC approved AT&T's purchase of BellSouth Corp. after AT&T promised to maintain net neutrality of its high-speed Internet platform for two years. It was one of several key concessions that AT&T made to ease concerns about competition.

Author:  actor_au [ Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:50 pm ]
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How long before some bright young thing works out a way around the slow-downs and filters?
I'd give it a month.


Author:  Kaz*CheesyDoritoBomb* [ Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:00 pm ]
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Yeah but still...


Author:  Kest [ Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:07 pm ]
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So that's what they've been saying, eh?

Author:  Kest [ Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:12 am ]
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Here come the responses

AT&T Rigs Net Neutrality Study
How the FTC Mangled Net Neutrality

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