The Big Picture, from WhatIs.com

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Net neutrality debate rages on

According to Steve Forbes, "Net neutrality" is going to be the sound bite of the year. And so it should be. It's a major issue that's going to have a huge impact on the future of the Internet whichever way it goes down. There are big organizations on both sides of the debate: Google, Yahoo, Amazon.com and Microsoft are pro-neutrality, while AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner are con. Both sides claim to have the best interests of the Internet at heart.

Proponents of a tiered service model argue that it would enable delivery of more services, such as IPTV, at competitive rates and that protecting neutrality would stifle future innovation and free enterprise.

Proponents of continued neutrality, on the other hand, argue that the Internet has always been traffic-neutral and has developed as a meritocracy because of that neutrality. They fear that in a tiered service model, smaller, independent sites would be unable to compete and that the Internet would become like cable TV, in which users can only select among what the particular stations offer.

What do you think about this issue? Let's hear it!

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