December 28, 2006

AT&T's New "Network Neutrality" Concessions Are Laughable

Greetings. Wire services are reporting that AT&T has offered a set of new "concessions" to the FCC in hopes of gaining quick approval for AT&T's merger with BellSouth, as the march continues toward resurrecting the "glory" days of the telecom oligarchy.

Many observers appear to feel that these concessions, relating to a number of different areas of contention, will hasten quick FCC approval, perhaps within days.

Unfortunately, from any sort of realistic perspective, the concessions being discussed are laughable in terms of their actual impact. They would have little if any lasting effect, and if history is any guide, will be used as excuses to justify future anticompetitive behaviors.

In particular, AT&T's offer to abide by some Internet "network neutrality principles" for a reported 24 months is utterly worthless. The sorts of abuses that genuine network neutrality legislation is meant to prevent are not a matter of the next two years, they are serious risks that would likely have negative repercussions for decades.

It is crucial that we do not allow these sorts of sucker-bait offers to distract us from the critical need for effective Internet network neutrality legislation at the federal level.

More on this next year. Have a great New Year's Day!


Posted by Lauren at December 28, 2006 09:03 PM | Permalink
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