September 6, 2007

Bush Administration DoJ Weighs in on Net Neutrality [1:52 pm]

Did you really expect that there would be another answer? Feds OK Fee for Priority Web Trafficpdf

The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic.

The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to “Net neutrality,” the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.

Here’s the real stunner:

The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the “entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers,” the agency said in its filing.

Really? Who’s paying for it now?

What’s really insidious about this kind of argument/rhetoric is the suggestion that you and I, for example, are “customers” while Amazon and Google are “providers.” Hasn’t the fundamentally radical aspect of the network been the fact that anyone who’s on the network has the option to be both a consumer and a provider of content? And isn’t the suggestion that there should be these two classes of Internet users antithetical to the things that have made the internet such an innovation engine? Augh!

The DoJ Press Release; a notice; and Ex Parte Filing In the Matter of Broadband Industry Practices (local PDF)

Reaction from Online Journalism Review: It’s up to Congress now to protect Net Neutrality

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