HR 1542,
May 8, 2001 7:03 AM   Subscribe

HR 1542, the so-called Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act, will do exactly the opposite of what its name implies, reducing Internet freedom and broadband deployment by eliminating many regulations designed to force the Bells into being more competitive, and also by outlawing voice over IP.

From the article: "This bill ... does nothing more than strip-mine the remaining competitive safeguards of the current law, green-lighting the Bells to bludgeon any remaining competitors into oblivion."
posted by donkeymon (4 comments total)
I'll be celebrating the recent broadband price hikes (both cable and DSL) by replacing my 28k modem with a 56k jobbie. And linking only to low-bandwidth, no-Flash, no-Java pages. And using command line and text-mode stuff (telnet, anon ftp, 7-bit-ascii mail, usenet) more. And upgrading my browser from IE5.5 back to Netscape 3. Or, I dunno, maybe Mosaic...
posted by jfuller at 7:20 AM on May 8, 2001

Why did I know, just know, the instant I saw this item that the bill in question was introduced by the Right Honorable Billy Tauzin, the Congressman from Verizon. :-P
posted by geneablogy at 8:00 AM on May 8, 2001

Some of this was bound to happen. Price bandwidth to go with a leased line or frame-relay connection. Even in DS-3 quantities, it costs $400/Mbit. Ok, DSL providers are promising 768k down (that's .75 or so MBit) for $39 a month including the local loop. Not possible to do profitably unless you own the upstream network which the DSL guys didn't. The baby bells own their own backbone and can control the bandwidth costs better, they actually have hope of making a profit at DSL. I still doubt that even they can sell broadband for the price that they have been hawking, but it's closer to reasonable.

Broadband will remain a pipedream until the costs of upstream bandwidth come down, which wasn't happening in an allegedly regulated market.

Also, at least in Washington state, DSL is not regulated by the state so Verizon and Qwest were able to run rough shod over Northpoint and Covad delaying installs and service and the like. This situation of fixed costs and unfair advantage was a setup for disaster. This bill, as near as I can tell, basically levels the playing field so that all the states will be screwed equally, joining us Washingtonians in DSheLl.
posted by shagoth at 8:50 AM on May 8, 2001

War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 11:20 AM on May 8, 2001

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