Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Fee for service?

Debates are underway on Capitol Hill about whether telecom companies who provide Internet service should be allowed to charge extra fees to internet companies to guarantee specific levels of service (today's Financial Times: Telecoms and internet groups clash on charges, p. 6).

Opponents to the fees say that telecoms will use the fees to hinder access to certain Internet services such as Voice-Over-IP services that compete with their own offerings - a claim the telecoms deny.

Opponents also say that these types of fees will make it more difficult for newer companies to reach an audience.

I know that I want an Internet on which it is as easy as possible to access all the little start-ups - not one where start-ups have to pay to reach me. And I don't want to pay extra to be able to reach certain services like VoIP. I want an Internet that allows me to access any service I want - I don't want to have to pay extra to access this one or that one.

A good article on this topic can be found on the BBC web site.

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