Net Neutrality and AT&T
AT&T Chairman Ed Whitacre seems to be intent upon pursuing access fees for high-bandwidth sites/networks. This article discussing his keynote at the TelecomNEXT show in Las Vegas quotes him as dismissing the torrent of criticism that has come his way on the issue.
Net Neutrality will be one of the themes we explore on the broadband panel next week. My personal view is that any attempt to impose such fees will boomerang, if it’s not blocked as a condition of the merger or via other regulatory initiatives (e.g., U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s bill).
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I’m a big fan of the law of unforeseen consequences. If Telcos go ahead with this, you can easily predict that every big companies whose livelihood depends on Web access (the Googles, Yahoos, Microsofts of this world) will band together to create a new Internet, one where the Telcos have lost all cuts of the action (including VoIP).