As written about here before (here and here) the telocos want to destroy the internet by making websites pay access to users. But Google and other large sites have a chance to bypass the status quo by building their own wireless network. Will they? Read on for more info…

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY – 4/10/2006, ironically sponsored by AT&T:

Analysts are speculating that Internet and media companies could team up to bid for radio spectrum in order to launch wireless broadband services, as a way around the phone companies.

Rumors that nontelecom companies could bid for wireless spectrum have floated around for a few years. The new speculation focuses on large Internet content firms such as Google, (GOOG) Amazon.com, (AMZN) and eBay. (EBAY)

Fueling the talk is a regulatory battle — the network neutrality issue — pitting Internet firms against phone companies AT&T, (T) Verizon Communications, (VZ) and BellSouth. (BLS)

Phone companies want to charge Internet firms for moving movies, video games, music and other bandwidth-hungry content over their networks. This is aside from the subscription fees they charge broadband subscribers.

Under their plan, Internet firms would pay extra to transmit content via faster and more secure lanes on the Internet highway.

Internet firms object. They want lawmakers and regulators to guarantee network neutrality. That means all Internet traffic would be treated the same, and that phone company customers couldn’t get special treatment over others.



  1. Matt Hecht says:

    Well, this was bound to happen. At least I can say I lived in the days when the internet was largely unregulated.

    The idea of the reverse internet is intriguing, and would definitly benefit them monetaraly, but it defeats the whole purpose of the internet and becomes something else entirely.

    Glad to hear about the wi-fi networks…sounds like it’s the way to go.

  2. gquaglia says:

    I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, Verizon is the telco equivalent of M$. Power hungry, greedy and looking to stick it to everyone.

  3. AB CD says:

    AOL blocks all sorts fo services. Haven’t you been calling for ISPs to block e-mail containing .scr files?

    Isn’t it b etter for the telcos to degrade their quality, as it makes it easier for competing versions to prop up?

  4. Don says:

    Oh, this would be so wonderful! It would do to the telcos what the interstate highway system did to the railroads, though I ‘m thinking the telcos are much more deserving.

  5. Baud Stupid says:

    Tin Foil Hat time!

    “the telocos want to destroy the internet by making websites pay access to users.”

    No they don’t, Chicken Little.

    Separate fact from rumor, and what do we know? DEFINITELY: They want to guarantee Quality of Service for fast, high bandwidth IPTV. MAYBE: they want to jack up the rates for internet companies like Google and Yahoo! that buy a lot of bandwidth. But wholesale bandwidth is still a competitive market… DEFINITELY NOT: they want to make “websites pay access”??

    Websites already pay, it’s called “hosting”. Wholesalers can’t make websites pay on a per user basis. They don’t even want to.

  6. SN says:

    “Tin Foil Hat time!”

    I cited numerous articles in this posting and in our prior postings laying out my facts proving that not only will this happen but that this is ALREADY happening!!! The Teloco do want to and are threatening to make sites like Google pay for access to users. There is absolutely no doubt on that fact. To argue against that is to argue against gravity. Save it for philosophy class!

    “Websites already pay, it’s called “hosting”.”

    This comment makes me believe that you have NO idea what this issue is about. This is not about hosting. Reread what I’ve written above and previously so you’ll have a better understanding of the issue before you make yourself look foolish again!

  7. It doesn’t really worry me. Suppose they tried to extort money from Google. Google would just refuse and Verizon would lose every customer who couldn’t do the browsing they paid for.

  8. SN says:

    “It doesn’t really worry me. “

    Plenty of others have asked why Google just doesn’t try to extort the Telcos. “If your users want to access our site, you’re going to have to pay extra.” I have a feeling sites such as Google and eBay would win that battle.

  9. Baud Stupid says:

    SN:

    “I cited numerous articles in this posting and in our prior postings laying out my facts proving that not only will this happen but that this is ALREADY happening!!! ”

    No, you haven’t. The article you cite is full of phrases like “Analysts are speculating” and “Rumors … have floated”. Do you know the difference between verifiable fact and rumor?

    SN: “This is not about hosting. Reread what I’ve written above ”

    You wrote: ” the telocos want to destroy the internet by making websites pay access to users.”

    Maybe you could write clearer. It’s telcos, not “telocos”. And “making websites pay access to users” makes no sense at all. Slow down, take a drink of water, and read back what you’ve just written before posting it.

    There are many regulatory concerns about the internet business. This isn’t one of them.

  10. tcmoore says:

    What’s really irritating about this is that they’re wanting to throttle our already pathetic 500K connections. With latency and traffic snarls and my old PC, I still can’t watch videos and “interactive” stuff properly.

    Maybe they should build out the decent infrastructure before they start charging for it.

    Baud Stupid this is not happening at the company’s hosted connections. It’s happening on telcos IP networks between the Internet and their customers, by looking inside the packets and reducing the QoS for those coming from Google, Amazon, etc. It’s not a per-user basis, it’s a per website basis.

    It’s brilliant and evil, because if Google or Yahoo is slow, most people think it’s the website’s fault. Completely blocking Vonage traffic is the worst. That should be illegal. Besides which, it only takes up 56Kbps.

  11. lessgov says:

    There is a fair point to be made that complete blocking of a site is illegal and almost never happens. I think that would be the “smoking gun” that would justify governmental regulation, but it just isn’t happening. It’s just rumors and speculation. The Internet has thrived without government resolving disputes between companies, and I have confidence that this trend will continue into the future.

  12. oldhats says:

    Doesn’t this prove that we really don’t need Congress to regulate? Innovation and/or the market will solve any problem that arises. What’s that expression about the mother of invention?

  13. pkp646 says:

    When pitting one multi-million dollar corporations interests agaisnt the other, how does it make sense to ask the government to step in and help? The answer is that it doesn’t. Congress shouldn’t get involved because there isn’t a problem. If there were the best solution would be to let the people decide with their patronage, not their representative.

  14. sagecast says:

    Readers of this comment thread should know that oldhats, lessgov and pkp646 are part of a tag-team of industry shills who invade blog comments on net neutrality to argue against any government regulation of the Internet. Other names who run with this crowd are John Rice, AJ Carey and Paulaner01. (Google any of these names in combination and you’ll see how their game works).

    By tag-teaming the blogs, this small handful of individuals gives the false impression of broad popular support for an industry-friendly position.

    What they fail to point out is that Net Neutrality has been the rule that has governed access to the Internet since its inception. It’s the reason that the Internet has become such a dynamic force for new ideas, economic innovation and free speech. What they really want is for Congress to radically re-write our telecommunications laws so that companies like AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth can swoop in and become gatekeepers to Internet content — in a way that benefits no one except the largest ISPs.

    I’d like these people to tell us how it is that they appear together (usually one after the other) praising one another’s comments and spouting identical industry talking points across the blogosphere.

    What gives fellas? Are you being paid to do this? And by whom?


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