Whatever happened to Net Neutrality?

Instead of defending a frozen concept of neutral access, the FCC may better serve the public interest by letting network owners have their way, as long as the FCC also adds open spectrum. That would allow free Wi-Max, a more wide-ranging wireless Internet service than Wi-Fi, to more effectively compete with fast but pricey private wirelines, ensuring real net neutrality.

Read this article from Broadcasting & Cable

The two Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission finally let the AT&T-BellSouth merger proceed last week, though not without some major political rent-seeking. AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre had to agree to follow “Net neutrality” mandates for two years — after having once said that such a policy would be “nuts.”

Read this article (subscription required) from the Wall Street Journal

It didn’t take long for network neutrality to reappear before Congress. Only days into the new session, two sentors have teamed up to re-introduce net neutrality legislation that failed to get a hearing last year, and the bill is already sparking very public debate.

Known as the Internet Freedom Preservation Act (S.215), the bill would require network operators to run their network in a “nondiscriminatory manner”—certain types of traffic or traffic from certain sources could not be hampered or prioritized, but operators would still be free to offer different tiers of service. The bill would also require broadband operators to offer “naked” DSL and cable modem service that does not require the purchase of other services.

Read this article from Ars Technica

Plus, from C|Net, the Net Neutrality Showdown, a massive collection of Network Neutrality articles from the past year

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Filed under Community WiFi, Broadband, Net Neutrality, Networks, Regulation

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