February 13, 2006

Telcos Playing with Fire

The telcos have been making threatening noises about Net traffic passing through their lines. Despite rumors to the contary, Google says they aren't negotiating with the telcos. This has been rumbling around the Net for a couple of months. Recently Verizon announced their intent to prevent the proposed "network neutrality" which currently prevails. So far, it's been voluntary, but Congress appears set to consider codifying it in legislation. Verizon and friends are fighting to charge for Net access at both ends. A quick reading is all it takes to realize this is no more than Google envy. As one wag said somewhere, if it were really about bandwidth, they'd be going after iTunes, streaming video and other serious bandwidth hogs. Instead, they are going after a service which sends little more than text and a few tiny images, but happens to make millions doing it. This is transparently petty envy. Perhaps the telcos need to revisit their economics classes.

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