Tuesday, June 28, 2005
More on Brand X decision
Ben Scott, of Free Press, said this:
The Brand X decision is not only absurd on its face, it is an insult to the American ideals of competitive markets, equal opportunity, and the free flow of information. This short-sighted decision to eliminate common carrier requirements on broadband networks essentially grants the incumbent cable giants the prerogative to stifle all competitive access to their wires. If the telephone companies receive similar exemptions — as is expected — the cozy duopoly of cable and DSL that controls more than 95 percent of the broadband market will be entrenched for a generation. There will be no competitive broadband carriers. There will be no independent ISPs. The thriving new market for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) may be badly destabilized. The owners of the wires will likely determine what content is and is not appropriate to travel over their networks.Seems that the alternative to common carriage has always been robber-barons. Is this the future of cablecos and telcos?
Without guarantees of nondiscriminatory access, Internet services provided by anyone other than the incumbent wireline giants will be under threat. Not just the so-called last-mile connections into consumer households will be affected. The decision also impacts the "middle-mile" networks that connect our major cities. The booming market for wireless broadband depends upon these middle-mile pipes for backhaul connection to the wider Internet.
The hundreds of communities across the country that have built their own Community Internet services must also be interconnected. Common carriage rules guaranteed that competitive broadband providers serving rural areas and low-income urban neighborhoods would not become isolated islands. After Brand X, this guarantee will be replaced by the whims of the cable and telco cartels . . .
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