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Summary:

As if web workers didn’t have enough to worry about: now AT&T Vice President Jim Cicconi says we’re on the verge of exceeding the capacity of the internet to move bits around. He puts the breaking point in 2010, a scant two years away, and (of […]

As if web workers didn’t have enough to worry about: now AT&T Vice President Jim Cicconi says we’re on the verge of exceeding the capacity of the internet to move bits around. He puts the breaking point in 2010, a scant two years away, and (of course) blames the rise of broadband for the trouble. Not to worry, he says: AT&T is investing $19 billion to upgrade the backbone, but the government needs to stay out of the way.

Of course, this may be just propaganda designed to help protect AT&T from the evil regulation of net neutrality. Web workers might need to decide fairly soon whose side we’re on in this rising debate, if Cicconi’s figures aren’t pure hyperbole. Even though many of us are historically opposed to ISPs meddling in the free flow of the internet, I have to wonder: wouldn’t it be worth paying a bit more to get a work connection that’s prioritized above your neighbor’s video downloads on the backbone?

  1. you want to do something to solve bw issues? how about seriously fighting spam traffic?

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  2. I agree with Peldi. The problem must be fought at its source (i worry cause Google Translator give me the same sentences as the one i wrote… ^^).

    Spams traffic represent a lot of useless datas.

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  3. “Paying for it”: that’s the problem, it turns the issue of access in a class war over what is fundamentally a public utility (see the Telco Act of ’96, for example, for all the public subsidies they got to provide high-speed access that most still don’t see in America). It’s like saying, “shouldn’t I just be able to pay for cleaner water while my neighbor gets whatever dirty crap comes publicly?”

    Which may indeed be your philosophy if you’re a hardline libertarian and social Darwinist, but it really doesn’t do the overall livelihood of the society any good.

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  4. Some times I get real tired of doomsday mongers, in any field… it gets old.

    I do agree, get the people who are doing the real spamming, not just the regular joe’s trying to send a message to a friend which yahoo seems to deem as spam now no matter what, get the REAL spammers and you will probably free up a ton a bandwidth.

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  5. This is an utterly nonsensical statement intended to scare us into killing net neutrality.

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  6. Ars Technica has a pretty thorough analysis of this story, and surprise, surprise–AT&T’s claim is largely bogus.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080420-analysis-att-fear-mongering-on-net-capacity-mostly-fud.html

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  7. Deanna,
    You do realize that your argument, ‘It’s like saying, “shouldn’t I just be able to pay for cleaner water while my neighbor gets whatever dirty crap comes publicly?”’ is non-sensical. You can pay for cleaner water than the crap your neighbor gets. It’s called bottled water. You can also put a filter on the water main coming into your house. Your argument might hold for minimum QOS, but that itself would violate pure “net neutrality.”

    I don’t trust either side in the “net neutrality” debate because government regulation never serves anything but government and the telcos do the same. In either case your argument doesn’t hold water ;-)

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  8. “wouldn’t it be worth paying a bit more to get a work connection that’s prioritized above your neighbor’s video downloads on the backbone?”

    No. And further, what makes you think that the charge would be client-side? Why wouldn’t ISPs charge the websites themselves for the privilege of using their network? In that case, your neighbors youtube (gootube?) vids would run a lot faster that your own site (unless you coughed up to increase the speed).

    More likely, instead of paying a little more to be faster than the Joneses, you pay a little more to keep the same speed you have now (while the Joneses slow to slightly-more-than-dial-up) and a LOT more for a real increase.

    Personally, I already pay enough for my barely-adequate-from-a-worldwide-perspective broadband. Why would I want to encourage a system that will likely slow it down even more?

    Fact is, broadband providers already have a monopoly and have already been disingenuous about net neutrality, so why would I expect anything but a DECLINE in service once they get what they want?

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  9. This is a power grab of what is a common good. However smooth and moneyed they are, please be critical of the telcos’ claims, and support equal access for everyone of this public utility.

    Please look into the issue critically, and immunize yourself against empty and slickly presented ads from the likes of AT&T.

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  10. AT&T was widely regarded as a monolithic evil when it was broken up the first time. Now, it’s starting to get too big once again and is grasping its clawed, venomous hands towards whatever untainted prize it can find.

    Regardless of whether net neutrality is good or not (I am a fervent supporter of neutrality, but that’s beside the point), AT&T is a vile organization that I group in the same category as Telecom in New Zealand, Enron and Microsoft in the United States, and other lovely entities worldwide.

    Are we honestly going to trust an organization of that character to tell us the truth? “The Internet is filling up.” Honestly, that’s a load of corporate bull.

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