Feeds

Net Neutrality bid gone for good

Welcome to Switzerland

Business security measures using SSL

The final attempt this session to give the United States regulator more discretion over the deployment, and potential abuse of broadband, has failed.

A "net neutrality" amendment to the telecommunications reform bill failed to pass the House Energy and Commerce committee by 34 votes to 22 yesterday.

The move comes against the backdrop of consolidation in the telecommunications business, with the former monopoly AT&T coalescing back into two giants: Verizon and AT&T. Both want to take on the entrenched cable industry by offering high speed video download services, and net-based TV, IPTV over fiber.

It's given rise to much paranoia, some of it justified. But the response, framed under the unpromising moniker "net neutrality", was never likely to succeed. Rather than ensuring the scope of regulation is appropriate to reflect the recent consolidation, and ensuring that the FTC actually does the job, the amendments were full of pettyfogging detail.

For example, where a simple FTC guideline would have been adequate, amendments specified minimum bandwidth requirements right down to the Kilobit/s. That's the FTC's job to judge, and would have led to a course of action that would have required the committees to return to the subject in detail each year.

And the home-brew attempt to manufacture a grass roots consensus behind the amendments only succeeded in embarrassing everyone concerned. A small gun lobby signed up at the last minute to the SaveTheInternet.com website, having been tricked into the idea they'd lose their right to free speech.

There are important principles at stake here, so here's hoping the campaign regroups in more coherent and professional fashion next time. And with better branding. The only people who went to the barricades for the cause of "neutrality" were the Swiss. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.