Whitacre, Martin Line Up on Neutrality

LAS VEGAS -- TelecomNext -- OK, so maybe Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) aren't nuts after all.

Reversing his rhetoric a bit, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) CEO Ed Whitacre on Tuesday declared that his company won't try to block or degrade customers' access to Internet applications or content, a marked change of tone from his previous statements on the issue of network neutrality. And Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Kevin Martin said that his agency has the authority to police any so-called net neutrality violations, both in the voice and video arenas.
Whitacre, who last year told BusinessWeek in an interview that Google and Vonage were "nuts" for thinking they could "use these [AT&T's] pipes for free," on Tuesday admitted that any service provider who tried to block or degrade Internet services would be committing economic suicide. (See Net Neutrality Goes to Washington.)

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