Monday, April 17, 2006

Don't Let AT&T Turn the Internet into Cable TV

Recently, the AT&T telecommunications monopoly of the 1980's that was split up has managed to come back as a giant again, under much looser, monopoly-favoring government policies. This time, it wants to control who uses bandwidth on the Internet.

Click the link above for the entire salon.com article.
Technology companies do say they fear AT&T's network won't provide a level playing field, and that AT&T's competitors won't be able to deliver videos that work as well as AT&T's content. Networks have finite space, and it is a fact of network engineering that when some data is given a priority on the network, other data will be pushed aside. At the Senate hearing, Stanford Law professor and Internet policy expert Lawrence Lessig argued that this will put companies or individuals that can't pay for high-quality service at an enormous disadvantage, "reducing application or content competition on the Internet." In the past year, streaming-video Web sites have proliferated on the Internet, and some of the most popular services have come from start-ups like YouTube. Under AT&T's plan, flush firms like Google would be able to pay for all the space on the line, leaving the smaller guys out of luck. The Internet has long been a meritocracy, where smart and creative companies can act quickly and beat out established players. That wouldn't be so on AT&T's Internet.

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posted by Brian at 9:05 PM

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