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The Day The Web Went Dead

Dec 03, 2008, 15:33 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Woolley)

"Officials in Maine's state government found they couldn't link up with many town governments. Millions of Sprint's wireless broadband customers found themselves cut off from thousands of Web sites. Yet neither the Federal Communications Commission nor the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission took any action to restore global connectivity and the Web stayed broken for three days.

"The recent disruption marked the final blowup in a year-long game of chicken played by Sprint Nextel and Cogent and brought to light an uncomfortable reality: The Internet is held together by collection of secret contracts struck between private companies, free from government oversight and regulation.

"Financial pundits are having a field day blaming lax government oversight for much of the current financial woes. But the disruption of the Internet early in November raises an intriguing parallel question: Is the Web dangerously unregulated?

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