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The Trojan App

Dec 24, 2010, 19:02 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert X. Cringely)

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"It wasn't so many years ago, remember, when AT&T (the old AT&T, the U. S. national telephone monopoly) owned the phone wire in your walls. You put the wire there, or your builder did, and you certainly paid for it, but once dial tone filled the lines those lines became the physical property of Ma Bell and you couldn't legally touch them. Everyone longing for the bad old days should remember when you couldn't touch your own phone lines under penalty of law. Today or tomorrow, we're told, the FCC will vote under the guise of net neutrality to re-instill some of those old ways of doing business, at least for wireless networks.

"Well it won't work.

"The short story of what's happening at the FCC is that the agency is trying to grab power over the Internet and to make that happen is paying-off any number of constituencies. With everything eventually going onto the net as a data service, the FCC wants to avoid irrelevancy, so this is how they are doing it with the help of Google and Verizon. Net neutrality partisans appear willing to accept more oversight if it comes with guarantees against packet throttling. And phone companies are willing to accept broader restrictions if they can still throttle or introduce tiered charges on their only networks that matter anymore — wireless."

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