IT Trends :: Thursday, January 18, 2007

Opinion

A Reprieve for Net Neutrality

There was a time, less than a year ago, when a lot of us thought that the telecommunications dinosaurs were plotting against us. Net neutrality is essentially the status quo, and they wanted to change that. I don't know about you, but I pretty much wake up every morning ecstatic about the development of the Internet and the Web so far. (If we could solve the spam problem, I could drop the "pretty much" part of that statement. And, no, I don't buy that dropping net neutrality would get rid of spam. Not for a second.)

What was it we were afraid of before so much else intervened? Oh, yeah, back before the awakening of the American public to the quagmire in Iraq, back before the 2006 mid-term elections, we were worried that the telecommunications companies were going to get "creative" about selling us services and access in ways that produce little or no benefit to consumers but would escalate both consumer confusion and telecommunications company profits.

As both content providers and content consumers, institutions of higher education, their faculty, staff, and their students definitely have a dog in this fight....

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