Business - Written by Paul Artiuch on Friday, September 7, 2007 11:08 - 1 Comment
One step back for net neutrality
The US Justice Department has come out as an opponent of net neutrality – the concept that all traffic going through the internet should be treated equally. Other opponents of this concept include internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T and Verizon who own and maintain the networks.
The Justice Department argues that limiting ISPs from charging premium rates to network users such as Google and Yahoo will impede their ability to invest and upgrade their networks. This also leaves customers to bear the entire cost of maintaining the networks.
These arguments are misguided. The push by ISPs is driven more by their desire for higher revenues and control than the need to enhance their networks. Equal access to the internet has fueled its remarkable growth. The development was driven mainly by startups who, if net neutrality did not exist, could not afford premium access to deliver their services. Leaving customers to decide what content they would like to consume, rather than allowing ISPs to pick and choose, will ensure the further evolution of the internet.
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