A Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on
Wednesday defeated a proposal that would have levied extensive
regulations on broadband providers and forcibly prevented them from
offering higher-speed video services to partners or affiliates. By an 8-to-23 margin, the committee members rejected a
Democratic-backed "Net neutrality" amendment to a current piece of
The debate over the provision highlighted the rift between telecom mega-corps like AT&T and Verizon, who want to prioritize internet traffic based on who pays them, against internet giants like Google, Yahoo and Amazon, who benefit from an internet where all content is treated equally.
And in between them are us, the citizens, who stand to lose from any legislation that allows these gatekeepers of access to privilege certain content over others. Once we allow the telecoms to break the end-to-end / "stupid network" foundational principles of the internet, we open the door towards a future where only the richest and largest content providers can reach a mass audience. We make the internet into television.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen, there’ll soon be 57 million websites and nothin’ on.