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Net neutrality will keep the carriers from digging deeper into your pockets

Your telecom carriers already charge both you and their subscribers for access to their networks. Are you ready for them to double-charge you for the same access?

A debate is raging in Washington about so-called “net neutrality” rules. Reports in the mainstream press and blogosphere make it seem like just a big fight between the carriers, the government, and public interest groups. But large enterprise customers that use the Internet to conduct business have a huge financial stake in the outcome.

Under current practices, an end-user buys bandwidth to access the Internet and pays the carrier more if it wants more bandwidth. So far, so good.  But what happens when the carriers-who never pass up an opportunity to enhance revenues with additional fees-want to charge not only their own subscribers but also the businesses trying to communicate with those subscribers via the Internet?  Call it a “fast lane,” call it “packet prioritization,” or call it what it is: double dipping.

Without “net neutrality” rules from the FCC, nothing would prevent the carriers from demanding a fee from business customers whenever a subscriber downloads a business’s web page, even though the business customer and the subscriber are already paying for the Internet access they use. The former CEO of AT&T summed it up best: “(T)hey would like to use my pipes for free, but I ain’t gonna let them do that.”

Savvy enterprise customers, who are already paying a lot to use those pipes, support the adoption of net neutrality rules.

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