The Communication Wars

5 Dec ’05

Jeff Pulver has recently posted on the curent state of the communication wars, and the news is troubling:

The battle — once waged between ILECs and CLECs, between cable and LEC, between wireline and wireless, between terrestrial and satellite — has officially morphed into a battle between Internet Access Provider and Internet Application Provider. This did not have to be the case; the battle could have persisted between and among Internet Application Providers, with each trying to gain the support of the Internet Application Providers to offer their users more compelling content, services and applications. Instead, it appears as if the Internet Access Providers are on the verge of opting for a more “cartel-like” approach, hoping that they can all, in concert and using their collective control over last-mile and first-mile access facilities, extract as much additional revenue from the Internet Application Providers who cannot reach end-users except through one or the other of their bottleneck facilities.

It’s worth a careful read. I’m going to guess that his host’s servers are struggling under a barrage of trackback pings.

The most significant recent event on this front was the indication from SBC’s Ed Whiteacre some weeks ago that the pipe was considered anything but dumb, which I blogged in some detail. If Jeff Pulver’s post is any indication, it now appears that concerns about true network neutrality are deepening south of the border. No doubt Canadian broadband ISPs will be watching with covetous eyes any indication that the U.S. ISPs are getting traction on this.

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