Friday, July 11, 2008

Net Neutrality Imminent?

The Wall Street Journal reported today that FCC chairman Kevin Martin intends to force Comcast to change its practices related to slowing down certain types of data traffic.  This is certain to be viewed by Net Neutrality advocates as a victory. However as indicated by the article, it may hasten the adoption of new approaches toward pricing of broadband data services by service providers.  Most carriers today will argue that capital costs to build high speed broadband networks cannot be recovered under today's "all you can eat" pricing models and increasing use of high-bandwidth services like streaming video and that application providers like Google are benefitting from these low prices without incurring any of the costs for construction of broadband networks.  Ultimately whether Net Neutrality advocates' or broadband service providers' arguments prevail at the FCC, consumers will no doubt be the ones paying for the information superhighway.  

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