Politics Meets Technology, Chaos Ensues
First AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) tried to drag the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) into the fray, citing work done in the 90s to develop DiffServ as a way of enabling the Internet to handle the needs of different traffic differently, as proof the Internet was always intended to offer different tiers of service.
That prompted an angry response from the Free Press and other pro-neutrality groups, and even a denial by IETF Chairman Russ Housely, who later clarified his denial and probably now wishes he'd stayed out of the whole thing.
Now comes the Tea Party, backing the cable and telco giants in the name of preventing a government takeover of the Internet.
This is exactly what this debate doesn't need: more inflammation. There are rational issues to be discussed and rational solutions to be found, and inflamed rhetoric on all sides is not helping.
AT&T will take a hit on this one as well, as the company is allegedly donating to Tea Party coffers, along with spreading money around Congressional coffers, but net neutrality proponents have been fanning the flames for years, claiming that any attempt of an ISP to manage traffic on its network amounts to discrimination.
There is room on both sides for folks to take a deep cleansing breath and try to remember the ultimate goal that benefits everyone is an Internet capable of supporting the new video-laden applications, an Internet accessible to all, and -- here in the US -- for ISPs to be able to make a reasonable profit on their service offerings.
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading