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Congress to Debate Net Neutrality 227

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the future-of-freedom dept.
evw writes "The NYTimes is reporting that legislation was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday in support of Net Neutrality. It is bipartisan legislation introduced by Olympia Snowe, R-Maine and Byron Dorgan, D-N. Dakota, however the article notes that Senator Snowe is one of the few Republicans that supports it. "Senior lawmakers, emboldened by the recent restrictions on AT&T and the change in control of Congress, have begun drafting legislation that would prevent high-speed Internet companies from charging content providers for priority access." This isn't the first attempt. Last year a similar amendment was blocked. However, conditions placed on AT&T in its merger with SBC have emboldened supporters of the legislation."
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Congress to Debate Net Neutrality

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  • by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @12:47PM (#17541186) Homepage Journal
    There is one concept that you are missing in your analysis, and that is "natural monopoly". Unless we want fifteen different wires coming into people's homes, the telcos, power companies, and cable companies will have a natural monopoly on service to your home. Somebody owns those wires running across the sidewalks. We can't just quadruple the amount of phone poles overnight. If you are unhappy with your phone company, you can't just have another company drive their van to your house trailing copper wire behind them. There is just one phone wire coming into your house.
  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @01:24PM (#17542024) Homepage
    Actually, the middle class emerged during the middle ages as the bourgeoisie, which consisted primarily of merchants. The rise of the middle class over the last century or so has been primarily due to industrialization and mechanization, which has shifted more workers from away from production type labor and into mercantile and technical fields.

    You're assertion that the whole of human history, up to recent times, has been the history of the free market is entirely false. For example, in feudal Europe and Japan you needed a lot more than a shop to be a shop keeper. You needed to be a member of a certain land-owning class, something a great deal more difficult to obtain than a business license. And where exactly would you say that slaves fit into the free market?

    You also claim that Socialism and regulated economy are inventions of the past 100 years. However, Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848.

    Your entire statement is nothing more than supposition and conjecture, interlaced with flat out falsehoods. The free market is far from perfect. There are plenty of areas where regulation is needed to ensure things operate smoothly (economists refer to these as externalities). However, you completely fail to understand the respective benefits and shortcomings of the free market and socialism, not to mention basic history.
  • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @01:34PM (#17542208)
    You're asking Congress to start directly regulating technical policy with how the Internet works.

    Ummm..... Technically they have since it started.

    Does DARPA ring a bell?

    And all Telco's and Cable Co's have been FCC regulated since day one. And if you have ever worked an ISP you'll know there is plenty of regulation on how DSL, Central Offices (the phone company ones), and DSLAMs work.

    The only reason you can get Speak Easy and Earthlink DSL is because of current government regulation that forces telco's to let 3rd party ISPs use their CO's for their rack equipment.

    In this instance government regulation prevents over powerful already government sponsored monopolies. You remember the telco's got all that tax money in the 90's to build infrastructure?

    Well if we let the telco's go hogwild then the ISPs might as well be owned directly by the government... one that wants to charge whatever they want without.

    Normally I am a libertarian, but we are far too into this to let these companies run crazy without over sight.
  • Re:I find this funny (Score:3, Informative)

    by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @02:05PM (#17542800) Journal
    Customers won't just know what's being throttled, they will actively want it to be that way.

    Except that the ISPs aren't throttling based on what the customers want, they want to throttle based on how much HBO pays them to not be throttled.

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