Sunday, March 18, 2007


Ha! And you thought you didn't have to worry about Net Neutrality?

It's already happening, though not yet on the Internet (not on the Internet that we know of, anyway). Check out this article on Undernews, Big Phonies Block Free Conference Calls.

Wireless companies Sprint, Cingular, and Qwest have started blocking the phone numbers of at least one free conference service that competes against their own more expensive offerings.

A more complete discussion can be found here.

While the issue has its complications, bottom line is that the cellphone companies are blocking their users from calling these services. This should give us a taste of what will happen if we don't get firm laws in place to protect Internet neutrality.

The landline phone companies are prohibited from blocking access to phone numbers whether or not they like them. The same rules seem not to apply to wireless services, and so they are blocking your access to services they don't like but you might want to use.

If you want to stay in touch with the Net Neutrality issue or take some action on your own to keep the Internet free and accessible, a good start would be to go to the Free Press website or the Save The Internet website.


This isn't broadband "net neutrality" we're talking here, so the issues should be kept separate. I work for the Hands Off coalition opposing the Dorgan-Snowe bill, so the distinction matters to me.

I haven't seen all the details on this so I refrain from commenting specifically, but this TechDirt post explaining why neutrality laws are unnecessary for wireless carriers is pretty good:

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