"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?