Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Net Neutrality, Begged AT&T & Verizon

It's interesting when any giant corporations argue that all is good and there is not a need for the people to worry. That is precisely the time the consumers to start worrying. It is a bit like kids who have already done something bad or is about to do something bad.

AT&T along with Verizon got together to tell the FCC that they already have to tools to enforce net neutrality. Be that as it may, what's wrong with a bit of assurance from Congress? And AT&T getting together with Verizon to make this point? Shocking.

To make the story short, the largest cable provider, Comcast, has been screwing some of its subscribers by slowing down their download speed. It was targeted specifically at bandwidth hogs. P2P kind of things. Or so they said. I'm sure it's not a precursor to the day when folks start to download movies and other media.

The two telecom giants want the FCC to come down hard on Comcast. Keep in mind that no mention of consumers were made of AT&T and Verizon only that less regulation is good for the broadband industry.

This really bare watching as new broadband technology come online in the next few years. A lot of new wireless broadband technology such as Sprint's WiMax and LTE are months of not a couple of years away. Given an increasingly mobile workforce, it would not be inconceivable that one day, users abandon the shackles of today's broadband for tomorrow's faster and mobile services. These are the areas where AT&T and Verizon dominates and they know it.

It's never good when corporations come out against industry regulations and made no mention of consumer welfare. This is an issue we all need to pay close attention to given that it has not registered at all with mainstream Web media.

All mobile warriors, keep an eye on this and let me know if you read any developments.

Update: Here are some links related to this issue.

• AT&T to metering DSL subscribers.
AT&T spokesman Michael Coe says that given the trends the company is seeing, a form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is "inevitable.
• Comcast to user: stop using your cable broadband if you want to keep it.
Looks like the Canadians are going through the same thing. And they've got more regulations in general than Americans here.
Webware wonders if Comcast will cut users off. (Only if we let them.) Read the comments by one of the readers, surfyogi2. Way to go, dude. Fight back!
Really sad for Cox users.
Roadrunner too. Rot spreading on the net indeed.

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