World Affairs Council - Net Neutrality

I am attending the World Affairs Council session this Thursday 2006-10-05 to see David Cohen, the Executive Vice President for Comcast Corporation speak about net neutrality. They will likely support their oppinion that they should have the power to charge for "guaranteed delivery of their services". I think that this extreme and unchecked power is unwarranted, especially with their history of anti-competitive behavior towards Vonage.

I would like to make a comment or ask a question during this council and so I am researching examples of Comcast anti-competitive behavior and the possibility of racketeering against companies like Vonage if net neutrality is denied.

I am having a tough time collecting information for my question since I can only find user testimonial of Comcast putting the squeeze on Vonage. For example by searching for http://www.google.com/search?q=comcast+vonage

Would you be able to provide any insight into facts I could bring up when asking my question or hints on a way to most effectively reach the audience on this issue that they might not fully understand?

Please let me know.

Comments

http://slashdot.org/articles/06/10/02/0111221.shtml
Anonymous said…
I hope you can do find better sources than a Slashdot comment.

How about this: If the network companies own the network pipelines, why should anyone be able to tell them what they can do with that hardware? They want to build some amazing new infrastructure and in order to pay for it they are going to have to charge extra for the heavy bandwidth users who are going to chew that up. In other words, the 'net is going to get even more amazing. Folks like Google and Microsoft, who will be using the infrastructure first, should pay for it first. As they do so, the technology will expand and get cheaper.

Instead, those companies want to push legislation through so that they don't have to pay this premium, pushing it on to YOU.

So-called "net neutrality" would abolish a toll system, possibly, but it would do so by guaranteeing universally lackluster Internet performance in the US.

Government regulation does little to improve anything. It hasn't improved industry, it hasn't diminished drug use, it hasn't gotten rid of corruption. It certainly won't help the Internet.

http://dontregulate.org/
Anonymous said…
There's a great article here, that gets my basic point across: Traffic shaping is different from content discrimination. The telecoms have no interest in blocking content. They'd lose business fast if they did that. They ARE interested in traffic shaping--a necessary tool for making sense of and streamlining network traffic. The corporations interested in getting the new broadband infrastructure for free are willing to destroy the telecom's right to intelligently manage the traffic on their own networks.

In so doing, they would stifle progress of Internet technology in the States, if not freeze it altogether.
This event was cancelled, so I really missed out on it. However, I will follow up on these comments to clarify.

There is a company called Vonage that produces a service called VOIP. When Comcast produced a competing service, they blocked access to the Vonage homepage and degraded the quality of the Vonage VOIP service running over the Comcast connectivity service. Because Comcast is the only service provider in many markets, they are considered a monopoly. Therefore, they used a monopoly power to reduce competition in another market that they were involved in.

This is illegal and in direct violation of competition laws.

Since most internet service providers have monopolies in many markets, many people are vulnerable to this anti-competitive behavior.

When a majority of people are vulnerable and a majority of service providers are expressing an interest in legalizing anti-competitive behavior, a law needs to be passed.

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