Senator “gets it” – geeks everywhere shocked?


ArsTechnica has the details on this one. The article talks more about the network neutrality debate that has been popping up in Congress recently. In particular, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has stated he intends to stand in the way of a current proposed communications bill if an amendment guaranteeing network neutrality is not included.

Next up for the telecom bill is consideration by the full Senate… maybe. Net neutrality proponent Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced via e-mail yesterday that he has placed a “hold” on the legislation, due to its lack of an “effective policy” on net neutrality. “The days of unfettered, unlimited and free access to any site on the world wide web, what I call net neutrality, are being threatened,” said Sen. Wyden. “Those who own the pipes, the giant cable and phone companies, want to discriminate on which sites you can access.”

Without such an amendment, we face a very near-future likelihood in which telecommunication providers can easily limit how accessible web sites and services are to consumers by requiring payment from service and content providers for assured bandwidth and/or latency guarantees. This would mean, for example, that your Vonage phone connection would be of poor to unusable quality unless Vonage paid the baby balls and cable company providers. VOIP consumers could then choose to use an unreliable service like Vonage or a more reliable and more expensive service from their internet provider. Read the above-linked Wikipedia article for a better explanation of why network neutrality is a “good thing.” Wyden has tried unsuccessfully to get such an amendment added before. Here’s hoping this go around is more successful.
As something of an aside, check out the extra unusual move of a Senator not caving to the entertainment industry:

Other amendments may also be tacked onto or removed from the bill, with Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) on record as saying he may try to strip the broadcast flag from the legislation.

[tags]Network neutrality, Broadcast flag[/tags]