30 December, 2006

AT&T Closer to Supporting Net Neutrality

For nearly a year, the FCC has not approved the AT&T / BellSouth merger -- more specifically commissioners Michael J. Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein. In order to break the deadlock, AT&T has put forth provisions to make the merger look more favorable to consumers. This is the second set of conditions that AT&T has put forth in order to get the merger through -- the first being in October. The most exciting part of the provisions this time around is AT&T's partial support of Net Neutrality.

According to Nate Anderson of ArsTechnica, this provision means that all content of a particular type will receive equal bandwidth. What it does not provide is equal bandwidth across different content types. For example, AT&T could throttle back all VoIP, and give more bandwidth to video. The good news is that companies cannot pay AT&T money to deliver their content faster than another content provider.

Other provisions include returning 3,000 BellSouth outsourced jobs and low cost ($10) DSL for a minimum of 30 months.

Though not complete, I believe this a a great step for net neutrality.

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