Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
This past weekend TNW brought you notes on Terry Kramer, a United States Ambassador, whose views on the Internet are by and large correct. We called him the rare civil servant worthy of praise.
He matters at the moment as he is the head of the United States’ delegation to the coming shindig in Dubai to take a look at international telecom rules, and see if they need to be changed or updated.
As has been widely reported, one proposal that has many fretting is the idea of forcing content delivery services – such as Netflix – to pay carriers for sending their media to consumers. If that sounds asinine – the customers are already paying for the bandwidth and access to each, why there should be another payment flow is hard to parse* – don’t let logic get in the way, the idea has its supporters.
As The Hill noted today: “[The] controversial proposal from a trade group of European telecom companies is gaining momentum in African and Arab states.”
However, it appears that the States’ task force to keep the Internet safe and regulation sane will include a number of our heaviest technology hitters. Among the mix will be, and I reference that same Hill report, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Cisco, and AT&T. While AT&T might not be everyone’s favorite company, having a US carrier on site may be a boon.
Finally, there is a larger narrative to all of this. As TNW reported some time past:
There has been much ballyhoo online in the last few days, specifically concerning fresh calls for the treating of blasphemy as a crime, along with somewhat stunning notes from the UN Secretary General detailing that in his view, much of speech is not protected. Fuse those into law, and allow the international community to run the Internet, and at once you have a place where the free exchange of ideas is constrained by what certain groups find irksome.
This obviously won’t do.
Ceding control of the Internet has brought stern and unanimous condemnations from US politicians, who managed to agree for once. Much work is left to be done. And regarding the upcoming meeting in Dubai, the U.S. has already acquired a bit of a reputation as a naysayer. That won’t help.
As this unfolds, TNW will keep you informed.
*For that matter, Netflix should start charging ISPs as their service makes it more attractive to purchase broadband service, benefiting them. If you agree that that is ridiculous, well, the other end doesn’t hold up either.
Top Image Credit: cloudbuilding
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