Monday, July 03, 2006

Senator DeMint emerges as a leader in the future of telecommunications and the Internet

On July 1st on C-SPAN (The Communicators: Sen. Dorgan (D-ND) & Sen. DeMint (R-SC)), Senator DeMint discussed his leadership role in moving the current telecommunications bill through the Senate Commerce Committee. One of the key amendments was network neutrality, which failed and which Senator DeMint voted against. His argument is that the US is falling behind the rest of the world in the build-out of telecommunications infrastructure, as we must allow those who provide the infrastructure to benefit from their investments to maintain our competitiveness, and even to catch up where necessary.

I think he's right. We don't want Congress mandating network neutrality or non-neutrality. We need for Congress to get out of the way and let the market sort out what consumers want.

Congress screwed up the Telecommunications Act of 1996, leading directly to the speculative bubble of the late 1990s and the painful recovery since then. We can't afford for Congress to screw this up again.

Another South Carolina blog, Laurin Line, has also had an interesting discussion on this topic which is critical to all our futures.


Anonymous said...

Network neutrality must be maintained in order to promote innovation, and new products and services. Seperate the medium from the media and the net will afford both profitability and ingenuity. The pipe should be a public utility only.

Evan Tishuk said...

If you don't like toll roads, believe large transport trucks should pay more to use the highways, and think power plants should pay for carbon emissions, you probably dislike net neutrality. Personally, I'm torn. It's one of those slippery slopes that probably only sounds good on paper. If internet traffic becomes prioritized, I think/hope an underground "free" internet emerges where all the cool people hang out.

Lee said...

The government is doing silly things to degrade the Internet, and not doing its duty to police it.

The Americans With Disabilities Act is being extended to business web sites, mandating that every page be readable by a program to convert it to sythetic speech for the blind. This means no tables, and a lot of other basic things.

On the other hand, half the Internet is owned by thugs, pushing pornography, drugs, swindles and gambling into the homes of decent people and businesses which find it offensive. It is worse than crank telephone calls.

At the very least, all web sites should have a verifiable link to a physical address. All pornography and vices could be put under a separate suffix, like .xxx, instead of .com. Violators could be blocked at gateways and routers. Countries harboring swindlers and pornographers can be shut completely out of the US markets to get their attention.

Rob Wright said...

I am by no means a expert on Net Neutrality, but if I see Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft on one side and AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast on the's a no-brainer. When in the past 20 years have the traditional telcos done anything innovative. The biggest news in that space is the consolidation of SBC, Pac Bell, Bell South, etc. into the "new AT&T." Wasn't that a bad idea for everyone the first time around?

I provide more detail in my my letter to Senator DeMint