Monday, July 09, 2007

Telecom History 101


The carriers view Net Neutrality not as a mere restriction or inconvenient regulation. It is a direct challenge to their business model, that is, to their existence. That's why in 2006 the carriers spent $1.4 million per week lobbying against it [source]. They will do to Net Neutrality what they have done to previous attempts to get them to behave:

  • The Telecom Act of 1996 required the carriers to make elements ("Unbundled Network Elements") of their networks available to other companies at prices that would allow these new companies to offer services and earn revenues from them. The carriers tied these new companies down with law suits. In 2003, the FCC eliminated the rules for broadband companies. Net effect of the legislation: None.
  • The carriers routinely agree to build out their networks to the poorer parts of the town. Then they don't.
  • The carriers took $200 billion [source] of tax payer money to create a fiber optic network that reached to every house. How's your fiber optic connection today?

The carriers will tip their hats at Net Neutrality if they are forced to. They will then ignore it. For the carriers, business models trump regulation, law and reason.

We have history swe can learn from it.

No comments: