One Network to Rule Them All- AT&T's Sneaky Exceptions to Network NeutralitySomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

One Network to Rule Them All- AT&T's Sneaky Exceptions to Network Neutrality
 


29 December 2006 at 12:05:41 PM
salon

AT&T badly wants to swallow up BellSouth and become a monopoly that you will have to go through (and having NSA track all your calls through the AT&T switches is just the added gravy) But to do so, it's had to offer some concessions.... you might think that when it says that it will observe network neutrality principles that those of us who are against two-tiered networks are in the clear. Nah!

Dave Burstein, who knows more about DSL than probably just about anyone, lets us know that the fine print in the deal actually may negate the network neutrality premise. The wording is a little tricky, but while they agree not to remove network neutrality from their standard network, hidden in the middle of a later paragraph is this sentence: "This commitment also does not apply to AT&T/BellSouth's Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service." At first that might seem innocuous, but Burstein has pointed out that AT&T's always planned on using the IPTV network as that high-speed toll lane it wants Google, Vonage and others to pay extra for. Burstein notes that AT&T isn't even set up to put quality of service on their existing network -- so the agreement not to violate network neutrality on that network is effectively meaningless. It is, he claims, a sleight of hand that successfully fooled a bunch of people into supporting the deal, and will probably help it get approval. AT&T promises not to violate network neutrality on a network they never intended to use that way, and carves out permission to use it on their new network, where they had planned all along to set up additional tollbooths.

P.S. Chet Edwards voted against network neutrality. We've speculated before that it might be because he got a 10,000 smacks donation from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

How does the National Cable & Telecommunications Assoc feel about Network Neutrality?

Network neutrality would bar cable companies from blocking or degrading competing telecommunications, media or commercial services offered over broadband pipes. The restrictions likely would extend to phone providers of high-speed Internet. The high court ruled Monday that broadband over cable modems should not be subject to “common carrier” rules requiring the sharing of networks with competitors.

“Network neutrality is no such thing,” Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, responded during a Monday press briefing. His industry has a business incentive to preserve the rights of cable-modem customers to go anywhere online, he said, and network neutrality would create a solution for a non-existent problem.


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