Last updated: August 10, 2010 - 8:27am
[Commentary] The long-running debate over "net neutrality" - the principle that cable and telecoms companies should not discriminate among different Internet services running over their broadband networks - shows no signs of flagging. A deal involving Google and Verizon, one of the biggest US telecoms groups, has only inflamed tensions.
The US is not the only country considering net neutrality regulations - so too are Norway, Canada and France, with other European countries including Britain consulting on the idea. Yet efforts by the US Federal Communications Commission to forge a solution are in the vanguard, and the Google-Verizon talks grew out of that. The US has to be especially careful because Verizon and AT&T, the other dominant telecoms company, are subject to only limited competition from other Internet service providers. If they were allowed too much latitude to charge both consumers and service providers for use of their wires, it could curb the Internet's potential. A compromise preserving broadband providers' freedom to manage their networks sensibly while not giving them too much pricing power is the best way forward. The agreement between Google and Verizon is a starting point, but two large companies should not be able to dictate how the Internet works.
- White House Passing On The Latest Net Neutrality Debate
- FCC's plan for 'Net neutrality' rules falters
- AT&T buying up ads on Google searches for 'FCC'
- Genachowski's tortuous way
- Another view of "net neutrality"
- FCC Holds Talks on Internet Rules
- Reps Doyle and Markey: FCC Should Move on Net Neutrality In December
- Thousands Petition Feds on Network Neutrality
- Is Google a Little Bit Evil?
- Net Neutrality Debate Turns Ideological
- Internet Freedom Isn't Just Another Word
- The FCC's Dangerous Game of 'Let's Make A Deal'
- Wireless Carriers Resist Open-Internet Stance
- Former FCC Chairman Powell: Net Neutrality 'Doing Great'
- Columbia Law's Tim Wu to Advise FTC