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Monday, January 23, 2006

Battle for the soul of the internet continues

If you're interested in the great telecom debate, you might find this Washington Post article intresting. Joshua Micah Marshall of Talking Points Memo recommended it, and I've gotten a couple emails directing me to it today. I haven't had a chance to read it, since I'm on deadline, but I thought I'd pass it along. Enjoy. Discuss amongst yourselves.

January 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM in House Rules | Permalink

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Thanks for the link, Cathy. Interesting article. I see a big misconception behind this statement, though:

Whether or not you agree with Whitacre, you can understand his frustration. Companies like Google and Yahoo pay some fees to connect to their servers to the Internet, but AT&T will collect little if any additional revenue when Yahoo starts offering new features that take up lots of bandwidth on the Internet. When Yahoo's millions of customers download huge blocks of video or play complex video games, AT&T ends up carrying that increased digital traffic without additional financial compensation.

Theoretically, AT&T (or Verizon in my case) has already gotten whatever fee it is due from its customers, who pay for a certain bandwidth. If the customers actually use all the bandwidth they have paid for, I don't see how AT&T has any right to complain about it.

What this all amounts to, as far as I can see, is that telecom sees other companies making a lot of money and they want some of that pie, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. That's capitalism, I guess. But I sure hope our legislators won't fall for what amounts to a bully asking for permission to rough people up for their lunch money.

Posted by: Janice Dawley | Jan 27, 2006 11:06:59 AM

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