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Net Neutrality Further Complicated by Opposition from Hardware Firms

The political debate in Washington over the concept known as Net neutrality just became a lot more complicated. Some of the largest hardware makers in the world, including 3M, Cisco, Corning and Qualcomm, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday firmly opposing new laws mandating Net neutrality -- the concept that broadband providers must never favor some Web sites or Internet services over others. more

Smaller Cable Companies Take Aim at Network Neutrality

Young, wealthy Internet companies like Google shouldn't expect to get "special favors" from network operators that have sunk billions of dollars into fiber investments, the head of a smaller cable company said Monday...

"I think what the phone industry's saying and what we're saying is we've made an investment, and I don't think the government should be coming and telling us how we can work that infrastructure, simple as that," Commisso said during a panel discussion about issues faced by companies like his, adding, "Why don't they go and tell the oil companies what they should charge for their damn gas?" more

Net Neutrality Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

After failing last week to add a provision to a telecommunications reform bill, four Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday introduced a free-standing bill aimed at preventing broadband carriers from discriminating against competing Web content or services.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Jay Inslee of Washington state, Anna Eshoo of California and Rick Boucher of Virginia, would create a net neutrality law banning phone and cable companies from charging Web sites for faster data transmission, or blocking their online competitors' content and services. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.  more

Net Neutrality Provision Rejected

Internet companies and consumer groups calling for a new U.S. law that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or degrading some connections lost a major battle this week when a U.S. House of Representatives committee voted down such a provision.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, during debate on a telecommunications reform bill, rejected an amendment that would write so-called net neutrality provisions into U.S. law. Backers of a net neutrality law want Congress to prohibit U.S. broadband providers from blocking or slowing their customers' connections to Web sites or services that compete with services offered by the providers. more

Reinventing the Internet

New initiatives aim to overhaul the internet. But how can a "clean slate" redesign ever be implemented? If a planet-wide data network, akin to the internet, were built on Mars, what would it look like? That might sound like a silly question, but it raises an important point. The design of computer networks is constrained by the need to be compatible with the internet and other systems that have grown up over the past four decades. What if network designers could start again with a clean slate, unencumbered by today's messy reality? more

VoIP Prompts Carrier Backlash

Carriers plan to challenge VoIP 'poachers' with services to win back defecting small businesses and test the market's economics. Signals that their grip on the Net neutrality high ground could be slipping are prompting major telecommunications carriers to put Plan B in motion -- an all-out price and feature war to test the staying power and limitations of Internet voice upstarts, analysts say. more