Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Net Neutrality Lesgislation Introduced

Just before Valentine's Day a new bill was introduced in Congress to ensure Internet Neutrality. The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (HR5353), proposes to allow consumers and businesses "to send, receive, access, and use the lawful applications, content, and services of their choice on broadband networks" using their selection of devices. The bill also mandates "that content providers not be subjected to new, discriminatory charges by broadband network providers."

This legislation is important for mobile content publishers and device manufacturers because it ensures that network providers like AT&T or Verizon Wireless can't dictate which applications can be used on their network by either banning their use or degrading access speed (or conversely speeding up). Broadband providers would also have to let handsets not directly sanctioned by them onto the Network.

These measures would put the wireless ecosystem in the same position as the desktop world. Cablevision, my high speed provider, doesn't dictate that I have to use an HP computer or that I can't access MTV through their service. Why should the wireless carriers have that power?

The CTIA of course opposes the legislation arguing no problem exists. However given that their funded by the carriers I wouldn't expect them to say anything different.

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