Network Neutrality Suffers Another Defeat - InformationWeek

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6/9/2006
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Network Neutrality Suffers Another Defeat

The House rejects an amendment to the telecom bill on net neutrality.

Backers of network neutrality, those who worry that telcos and cable operators will create an Internet that discriminates between the haves and have-nots, lost another round last week. The House of Representatives handily defeated, 269 to 152, a measure sponsored by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and others to insert net neutrality language into a larger telecom bill. Similar measures have failed in committee and subcommittee votes in both houses in recent months.

The fear is that broadband providers will offer tiered Internet services so those who pay more will get better performance and security. Neutrality supporters cover the political spectrum from the Christian Coalition to MoveOn.org and include artists, musicians, and Internet businesses such as eBay and Google.

Service providers face more fights in the Senate, and some congressional committees are starting to ask whether this is an antitrust issue. It may not matter what the politicians decide; technical innovation and marketplace competition will decide the winners and losers in this battle.

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