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November 11, 2005

Verizon Wireless: Scrap Network Neutrality

A Verizon Wireless exec told a House committee hearing on the telecom reform bill that network neutrality provisions shouldn't apply to wireless carriers, because, well, just because, really. The exec contends that wireless operators should "have the right to manage their network and the devices that can be used with that network" -- which sounds like an open-ended way of saying they should be able to decide what content and services people using their network access. "Network management" will become a euphemism for "content blocking", with financial considerations, not technical ones, driving the decisions. If carriers are going to advertise unlimited service, they need to sell open, unlimited service, not not pretend there aren't capacity constraints, then hide restrictions in fine print and selectively block services that compete with their own. There's not much point in the operators trying to hide their sentiments, as it's pretty clear they'll go to drastic measures to get what they want. If there were real competition in the market, these types of regulations wouldn't be necessary, because any provider that started blocking applications would get destroyed by consumers. But when there isn't any real competition, the market doesn't do a great job of regulating itself.

Posted by dymaxion at November 11, 2005 05:30 PM


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