Thursday, May 25, 2006
Twelve true things about Network Neutrality
Ben Scott (Free Press), Mark Cooper (Consumer Federation of America) and Jeannine Kenney (Consumers Union) have written an excellent, comprehensive report [.pdf] on the issues surrounding network neutrality. They identify twelve facts that the telco-cableco lobby is twisting or lying about. These are:
FACT #1: Network Neutrality protections have existed for the entire history of the Internet.I think there's a 13th fact worth mentioning: "The telcos say, "Trust us," but the record shows we shouldn't. They've (a) failed to field any new Internet apps, (b) stolen $200 billion in return for a an unkept promise to provide high-speed services, and (c) now they're spying on us illegally. We shouldn't trust them with our Internet.
FACT #2: Network discrimination through a "tiered Internet" will severely curtail consumer choice.
FACT #3: Network discrimination will undermine innovation, investment and competition.
FACT #4: Network discrimination will fundamentally alter the consumer's online experience by creating fast and slow lanes for Internet content.
FACT #5: No one gets a "free ride" on the Internet.
FACT #6: Phone companies have received billions of dollars in public subsidies and private incentives to support network build-out.
FACT #7: There is little competition in the broadband market.
FACT #8: Consumers will bear the costs for network infrastructure regardless if there is Network Neutrality.
FACT #9: Investing in increased bandwidth is the most efficient way to solve increased network congestion problems.
FACT #10: Network owners have explicitly stated their intent to build business models based on discrimination.
FACT #11: The COPE Act will not deter discrimination, but it will tie the hands of the FCC from preventing it.
FACT #12: Supporters of Network Neutrality represent a broad, nonpartisan coalition that joins right and left, commercial and noncommercial interests.
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