View Full Version : Net Neutrality and FutureQuest
10-19-2006, 09:35 PM
The impending merger of AT&T and BellSouth seems to mark a turning point and while I have followed the larger outlines of the argument, (Doc Searles, et al) I have not yet thought about the "nuts and bolts" of the situation and the reality of it. I'm wondering how this will affect FutureQuest, our accounts, and further specifics.
This may be too soon to raise these questions, on the other hand we may not know when it's too late so better to raise them now.
Will we need a different host to participate in the faster, more expensive connections?
Will there be a two tier system here?
Is FutureQuest researching this and may we benefit from or add to this research?
10-20-2006, 03:16 PM
Ok, maybe they're dumb questions. Can someone at least tell me why? Is everyone as uninformed about this as I am? That is disconcerting.
BellSouth and AT&T are currently expected to complete the merger by the end of 2006. (http://largebusiness.bellsouth.com/MergerFAQ.aspx)
The proposed merger of AT&T and BellSouth means the death of the Internet... (http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3589426)
I'll be away from my desk for a few days, see you Monday. :)
Andi and other interested readers ;)
As far as I have been able to determine no one really has a complete handle on what could happen in this area.
1: AT&T has been requested to and has, supposedly, guaranteed Net Neutrality as a stipulation to the merger with BellSouth.
Additionally, for 30 months it would abide by principles on Internet access the FCC has adopted, which include allowing customers to surf anywhere on the Internet and run any application they choose with their high-speed service.http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/1-3&fp=453bccea17c7c32e&ei=p747Rf2oDqCcHZGN_GU&url=http%3A//money.cnn.com/2006/10/20/news/companies/bc.telecoms.bellsouth.fcc.reut/%3Fpostversion%3D2006102018&cid=1110476479&sig2=I04T0WlyLrIh8nQCGB4sVw
Of course that is only a 30 Month guarantee but...
2: That would not prevent Verizon from taking advantage of AT&T in an attempt to charge sites for unfettered access to their network to increase profits while Ma Bell (assuming you call Verizon Pa Bell :confuz: ) has their hands tied.
3: We have no clue who or what would be affected even if some sort of Tier Access was implemented by any ISP however everything I have read indicates they would target specific web sites, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, MSN ...etc, and not a Host provider as such...
I found the WikiPedia page on Net Neutrality to be extremely informing in this area and even contains references to two interesting points that some that oppose any Federal Regulation use to point out that the FCC already has the power to ensure Net Neutrality...
In 1860, a US federal law subsidizing a coast to coast telegraph line stated that
messages received from any individual, company, or corporation, or from any telegraph lines connecting with this line at either of its termini, shall be impartially transmitted in the order of their reception, excepting that the dispatches of the government shall have priority.
—An act to facilitate communication between the Atlantic and Pacific states by electric telegraph. June 16, 1860
In 2004, a small North Carolina telecom company, Madison River Communications, blocked their DSL customers from using the Vonage VoIP service. Service was restored after the FCC intervened and entered into a consent decree that had Madison River pay a fine of $15,000. The FCC retains this authority under all telecom legislation pending in the US Congress, with or without "net neutrality" amendments, with an increase in fines to $500,000 under the House bill and $750,000 under the Senate bill.
At this time I would say that all anyone can do is to take a wait and see attitude as far as which direction would be the most prudent, A: Legislate Net Neutrality which could open up cans of worms we can't even imagine or B: Depend on the FCC to continue to ensure they follow the above quoted guidelines and enforce the same, which many argue is just as scary...
This is a subject that should have every web site operator's attention as well as providers however as of this time everything I have seen appears to indicate that web site operators would potentially be more impacted than hosting providers.
10-22-2006, 10:21 PM
Thanks Bob, I should have known you'd be the one who was most informed about this. :) Wikipedia! of course... :: slapping forehead :: That's one venue that will definitely keep up with this...
Buying a lot of stock in AT&T would be a good hedge against losing the internet. It will probably pop big as soon as the merger is approved, in fact that's what I was researching when I stumbled back upon Net Neutrality.
This is a subject that should have every web site operator's attention as well as providers however as of this time everything I have seen appears to indicate that web site operators would potentially be more impacted than hosting providers.Yeah, really, that's what I thought.
10-24-2006, 12:33 AM
It feels odd to have backed our way into the "new" Ma Bell. AT&T held a minority stake in Southern New England Telephone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNET), so technically we were part of the system even then, if not an actual Bell Company. But now we're "AT&T Connecticut," deep in the belly of the beast.
As former SNET phone customers we already had reason to dislike SBC/AT&T/whatever. If they start monkeying with the internet -- we're AT&T Yahoo DSL customers as well -- people around here might start burning phone books. :wink:
SNET was always a bit screwy, but they were our screwy phone company.
11-09-2006, 02:22 PM
Well, Rep. Dingell may be good for something (http://www.theeagle.com/stories/110906/business_20061109039.php), the dems won't let this happen. So glad I dumped AT&T before the election, telecom is tanking, regulation is in the air.
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