Verizon vs. Net Neutrality Part 2

Russ Pitts

The Boss of You
May 1, 2006
The United States Senate Commerce Committee [] will be convening this week to debate the issue of "Net Neutrality," specifically how it applies to the communications companies who wish to enable tiered fee structures for usage of advanced broadband networks, apart from or alongside the traditional internet infrastructure.

The issue, which I've outlined previously HERE [], is essentially that Verizon and other communications companies have been spending vast sums of capital establishing their own broadband networks, apart from the internet proper. These companies would like to begin charging content providers a second set of fees, in addition to the fees they already pay for internet access, in order to access these secondary networks, which in many cases may be faster and "cleaner" than the traditional internet.

The problem is that a tiered fee structured could potentially create trust issues when, say, a content provider owned by Time Warner (for example) is competing for access to the same secondary network (also owned by Time Warner) with another company which may be owned by someone else. What we would have in that scenario would be the possibility of Time Warner enforcing their own editorial control over the content available to you, the user.

Hence, the debate over Net Neutrality.