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View Full Version : Online Business Face Possible Internet "Toll"


Steve
04-22-2006, 01:43 AM
I know Troy brought this up previously, I just found a new article on the topic.

Quote[/b] ]AT&T also points out that if they charge companies such as Apple and Google to use their lines, they won't have to charge consumers, significantly reducing the costs of internet service.

I totally don't buy this position. Any time I have ever heard such a position, it's always been a scam. The government loves to say this all the time too. If we taxed this one group more, then the rest could be taxed less. It never happens. What DOES happen is that rates or taxes go up for everyone.

Online Business Face Possible Internet "Toll"
Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/04/17/toll/print.html)is featuring an article today that should be of interest to online businesses and consumers alike. It's an in-depth look at AT&T's alleged plan to institute a sort of "corporate toll" on the internet that will charge online businesses a fee to use AT&T's faster DSL lines. Major phone and cable companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast control 98 percent of the internet market, and according to Salon, many online companies such as Apple, Amazon, eBay, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! fear that their enormous share of the market will give them power to control what Americans do online. For example, if AT&T institutes the alleged toll, subscribers to AT&T's service might only be able to access information from companies that have paid AT&T a fee. Those companies that don't pay the fee, on the other hand, will be forced to send data over smaller, slower sections of AT&T's network, allowing AT&T to prioritize content from some companies over others.

To be fair, AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre is quoted in the article as promising that AT&T "won't block anyone's access to public internet, nor degrade anyone's quality of service." And some network policy experts believe that giving priority to some traffic is good for the internet and will lessen "traffic jams" by allowing certain data to travel faster. AT&T also points out that if they charge companies such as Apple and Google to use their lines, they won't have to charge consumers, significantly reducing the costs of internet service. There's no real mention of what affect his will have on small online businesses, though. Check out the article (http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/04/17/toll/print.html) and read both sides of the argument to see where you stand on this issue.