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Why Bellsouth’s Tiered Interent is Wrong February 13, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in Bellsouth, Pontification.

The BBC has a good piece today about the the possible emergence of a tierd net or one that favors certain provider’s over other. Aside from being touted by Bellsouth (if they were promoting sunshine I’d scurry for darkness) this idea has a million and one things wrong.

Back in 2004, Michael Powell, at the time chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said that net service firms should support “network freedom” and ensure that their users could access all lawful content and attach whatever devices they want to their network connection without any discrimination.Now some of the big telecoms companies want to be able to sell premium services for things like streaming video or voice over IP, and some people are worried that this will eventually lead to a segregated internet.They include Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford University, founder of the Creative Commons and one of the most significant and influential thinkers about the future of the network we have been building for the past 30 years.It’s a big issue.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Why the net should stay neutral

The biggest single problem it will solve is ….. What? What is the problem such a plan will solve for the average internet user ? The answer is nothing is to be gained for anyone and medium sized web based companies down to mom and pop shops and startups are going to suffer which means (Bellsouth please read this if you all know how) EVERYONE WILL SUFFER.

There is nothing to be gained for you unless you’re the CEO of one of a handful of telco types and you’re short on vision and really don’t give a damn one way or another how it affects the longer term prospects of the internet.

Its an election year and if you care about the net and how it affects your life and work then please make a point to see which politicians are taking money from Bellsouth or lining up behind any regulations and impending legislation that may further the Balkanization of the net.

UPDATE. See this story from Business Week for a good analysis

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