Posted by Jake on Thu Jul 06, 2006 at 11:00:00
If you can get through it, the Congressional Research Service report, "Access to Broadband Networks" - dated June 28, 2006 - tells you everything you need to know about Network Neturality:
CRS analyst Charles B. Goldfarb notes that the telcos and cable TV will not want to “restrict the availability or quality of applications” that you or I can get at because it will reduce our demand for their services and increase the likelihood of new competition arising.
Having said that, however, he continues (and forgive the long quotation, but this is the key):
“At the same time, to the extent that the broadband network providers seek to maximize their revenues for what they perceive as the killer broadband applications – voice and video service today, perhaps interactive games or other applications in the future – they will have an incentive to build, operate and manage their broadband network in a fashion that favors their own applications over competitors’ applications. With only limited alternatives to the cable and telephone broadband duopoly for the foreseeable future, and with the cable and telephone companies both pursuing largely the same business plan, the broadband providers might have both the incentive and the ability to exploit their control over access to end users to restrict competition (and the innovation it might bring) and harm consumers.”
You can see and download the entire CRS report here.