Feeds

Net Neut nixed in Congress

On to the Senate

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.