Why the net should stay neutral
From the BBC
Is it time to let internet companies provide premium access to paying websites and services? No, says technology commentator Bill Thompson.
One of those loud and angry debates that seems to have nothing to do with the rest of the world is currently playing out in the US.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is considering making changes to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and one of the ideas being floated is that network providers should be allowed to offer preferential service to some of their customers instead of providing a neutral data carrier service.
Back in 2004, Michael Powell, at the time chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said that net service firms should support "network freedom" and ensure that their users could access all lawful content and attach whatever devices they want to their network connection without any discrimination.