Last updated: February 20, 2008 - 11:52pm
[SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer, AUTHOR: Jeff Gelles]
[Commentary] Cable companies such as Comcast have raised rates relentlessly since Congress ended most price regulation in 1996, and have simultaneously come to dominate consumer access to the broadband Internet. The combination is dangerous. Cable companies already have too much control over what we watch on TV. Now they threaten to undermine the open-access culture that has made the Internet a world-changing force. Telephone companies are moving in to compete with cable companies for the video delivery market. Are the Baby Bells the answer? Jonathan Rintels, who heads the Center for Creative Voices in Media, welcomes the Bells entry as long as lawmakers set rules that prevent all providers from turning the Internet into a "walled garden," akin to what cable TV is today. His top priority: "net neutrality," to stop any provider from blocking some Web sites or favoring others.
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