Feeds

Net Neut nixed in Congress

On to the Senate

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Congress has declined an opportunity to shackle US telecoms companies with restrictions on the services they offer. The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE) act passed in the House yesterday by without the non-discrimination provisions campaigners wanted.

An amendment sponsored by Rep.Edward Markey (Mass,D) to ensure that broadband providers "do not block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access, use, send, receive or offer lawful content, applications or services of the Internet" was defeated by 269 votes to 151, the split falling down party lines.

Telecoms giants AT&T and Verizon want to deliver video services over IP alongside broadband down their fibre connections, and say they need to be able to discriminate high priority video on an IP infrastructure that's technically inappropriate for delivering multimedia. Campaigners say that if there's a fast lane, there must be a slow lane. Verizon responds that there's enough bandwidth in the 20Mbit/s connections to keep everyone happy, and that they'd be foolish to try descrimination.

So, depending on who you choose to believe, the vote marks either the beginning of the end for the internet as we know it, or the defeat of a Phantom Menace.

"Unless the Senate steps in, today's vote marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as an engine of new competition, entrepreneurship and innovation," Consumers Union Senior Policy Analyst Jeannine Kenney said in a canned statement.

The telcos' own Internet Freedom Coalition called "Net Neutrality" a solution in search of a problem.

"Despite the spin from pro-net neutrality advocates, it is highly unlikely in this free market environment that any provider would dare discriminate, or would benefit from the discrimination pro-regulation forces fear. Net Neutrality remains a solution in search of a problem, and until such problems manifest themselves, regulations are simply an illusion based on fear."

The debate shifts to the senate, where the net neutrality proposal the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2006" lies awaiting Senators' consideration. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.