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DOJ Opposes Network Neutrality
Sounds strikingly like an incumbent lobbyist...
by Karl Bode 03:04PM Thursday Sep 06 2007 Tipped by Old_Grouch See Profile
With the hopes for passage of any meaningful network neutrality laws largely dashed for now, the often murky debate seemed to have quieted down of late. That meant we got a break from misleading cartoons and painfully lame videos for a while. But apparently, that peace is about to be broken.

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The Department of Justice today chimed in to note that they're opposed to network neutrality. The agency all but mirrored the arguments of incumbent operators and their lobbyists in a press release:
In its filing the Department said that some regulatory proposals offered by various companies and organizations in the name of "net neutrality" could deter broadband Internet providers from upgrading and expanding their networks to reach more Americans. . . The Department stated that precluding broadband providers from charging content and application providers directly for faster or more reliable service "could shift the entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers."
It's curious, because while we may have napped through some college classes, we're fairly sure that the role of the Justice Department is to enforce the law, not to act as the public relations department for industry. Justice, last we checked, was intended to be impartial.

Incumbent operators (and their think tanks) defeated the push for network neutrality laws by arguing they would result in no infrastructure investment and a bandwidth apocalypse. Since the entire subject confuses the hell out of most lawmakers, the fear worked well to derail Congressional network neutrality proposals.

Of course, contrary to the DOJ's statement, the interest for companies like Google wasn't in laws that prevented ISPs from offering "faster or more reliable service" -- it was in laws that prevented providers from discriminating against competing content (since most ISPs are now content juggernauts) and services.

Still, the fear of such laws has kept the mega-ISPs on their best behavior -- for the time being.

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Jonesville, MI

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Who cares what the DOJ thinks? I've hardly seen them dish out any "justice", so perhaps they should shut up about broadband and do what they're supposed to.
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