April 26, 2006
Net neutrality update

Just a quick update on the fight over Net neutrality. Sean-Paul has a good roundup of links and other information here. If you want a more technical description of the issues at hand, check out Kevin Drum, Crooked Timber, and Unrequited Narcissism (link via Ezra. I agree with his bottom line summary of the argument:

[S]top looking for nuance. It's simpler than you're making it out to be. Here, let's let AT&T chairman Ed Whitacre explain:

"They don't have any fiber out there. They don't have any wires... They use my lines for free - and that's bull... For a Google or a Yahoo or a Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes for free is nuts!"

But of course, they don't use them for free. They pay a broadband wholesaler. You pay the Ed Whitacres of the world for your home connection. And Ed and the broadband wholesalers (he's one, too) have complicated agreements governing how they exchange traffic equitably. Everything's paid for; nobody's getting away with anything.

It's as simple as this: Mr. Whitacre and the other ISP stakeholders have convinced themselves that when someone isn't paying them money, it constitutes an injustice. They're wrong - really wrong. Don't give an inch, don't give equal time, don't pretend there's more to it than this. There isn't.

Pretty much. Another simple way of looking at this: How can you be wrong if Alyssa Milano is on your side?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 26, 2006 to National news | TrackBack