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Once thought dead, net neutrality roars back to center stage
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 29 October 2007 10:16
Once thought dead, net neutrality roars back to center stage
ARS Technica
By Nate Anderson | Published: October 29, 2007 - 08:50AM CT

Conventional wisdom has it that net neutrality is dead. Embalmed. Buried. Covered with six feet of dirt and a mahogany lid. But just in time for All Hallows Eve, the concept has risen from the dead like a zombie and started shambling round the halls of Congress as two senators asked the Senate Commerce Committee to look into the issue of network discrimination this week.

Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) have tag-teamed in the past on the net neutrality issue, and they're still a formidable bipartisan duo. On Friday, the two senators asked the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee to see if a lack of network neutrality rules were causing problems for Americans in the wake of some widely-publicized PR gaffes by some of the country's largest telecommunications firms.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Critics argued only a few weeks back that the issue had lost traction, both in Congress and among the public, because there just weren't any actual problems to get worked into a lather about. Who needed rules when the telcos and cable operators were all behaving themselves so well?

And then came the bad behavior, the litany of minor cases, dropping like early Christmas gifts into the laps of net neutrality advocates across the country. AT&T censored political lyrics in a Pearl Jam webcast (then apologized). Verizon initially blocked a mass text message from NARAL Pro-Choice America (then apologized). Comcast was found to be delaying BitTorrent and Lotus Notes traffic (and remains unapologetic). AT&T's new terms of service appeared to prohibit criticism of the company (the company apologized and changed the terms)... More... Comment in the Forums

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