Saturday, January 10, 2015

Net neutrality takes new twist as Congress appears ready to step in - CNET

Net neutrality takes new twist as Congress appears ready to step in - CNET: Large broadband providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, say that reclassifying broadband as a utility will stifle innovation by imposing antiquated telecommunications regulations. 

The innovation argument is a canard. Fiber optic technology had been around for decades. The challenge isn't technological but rather one based in economics and policy so that fiber is as ubiquitous as copper telephone cable was in the pre-Internet era.

Some consumer advocates and content companies, such as Netflix, say reclassifying broadband services as utilities is the only way to ensure that the Internet will give equal treatment to content and sites.

Net neutrality alone won't ensure equal access to the Internet's core content. Title II classification of Internet services must also ensure all U.S. homes and businesses at the network edge have access to those services -- something they don't currently have given the nation's checkerboard of the limited "footprints" of incumbent telephone and cable providers that serve some areas but leave many others unserved.

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