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December 01, 2005
Bells Formally Seek End of Network Neutrality
BellSouth has joined AT&T's call to end "network neutrality" and let it charge rents for sites' access to customers.
BellSouth CTO William Smith said he only wanted to charge some sites for "better" access, but he used the exact same rationale as AT&T head Ed Whitacre, that BellSouth's investment in lines justifies its killing the basic principle behind the Internet. .
A House subcommittee has begun auctioning off the end of network neutrality as it considers new broadband legislation. The Bells have all the money in the world, and can win this fight with a corrupt Congress unless you act now.
If you have an AT&T or BellSouth DSL line, you need to seek out an alternative and send those companies a letter saying you will switch unless they back off. A marketplace response to a marketplace threat is the correct alternative here.
My personal fear is that, given the large share of market AT&T and Verizon (MCI) hold in the Internet core, the companies could do exactly what they're threatening there and take payments under the table. But if they do that after the Congress demands network neutrality, the solution would be to throw top executives in jail.
This threat is as serious as a heart attack, and needs to be taken as such by all those who care about the Internet.
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