Friday, May 26, 2006

Net Neutrality

The concept of "net neutrality" has been in a news a lot recently. Basically, the concern has been that Qwest or Comcast or other ISPs could de-prioritize internet traffic that competes with their other business interests. For example, Comcast could make video traffic from a video-on-demand provider very slow so that online video rentals wouldn't compete with Comcast pay-per-view. Or Qwest could make your Vonage or Lingo service run slowly so that you can't get good voice quality through an internet phone line and you'll have to continue to get a land line from Qwest for your telephone service.

Mind you, neither vendor has proposed these changes, but that is the fear that is driving "net neutrality" legislation before Congress.

Pete Ashdown, a Democratic candidate for the US Senate, happens to be a technology expert. He runs the large Utah ISP, XMission. He has a take on the net neutrality issue on his campaign wiki. Ashdown's technical smarts give him an important weapon in his fight against Orrin Hatch. Many Republicans have come out in support of Ashdown for exactly this reason.

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