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dlewis23

AT&T wants to take over the Internet

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AT&T is back, it's big, and according to consumer advocates and some of the nation's largest technology companies, AT&T wants to take over the Internet.

The critics -- including Apple, Amazon, eBay, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo -- point out that AT&T, along with Verizon and Comcast, its main rivals in the telecom business, will dominate the U.S. market for residential high-speed Internet service for the foreseeable future. Currently, that market is worth $20 billion, and according to the Federal Communications Commission, the major "incumbent" phone and cable companies -- such as AT&T -- control 98 percent of the business. Telecom industry critics say that these giants gained their power through years of deregulation and lax government oversight. Now many fear that the phone and cable firms, with their enormous market power, will hold enormous sway over what Americans do online.

Specifically, AT&T has hinted that it plans to charge Web companies a kind of toll to send data at the highest speeds down DSL lines into its subscribers' homes. The plan would make AT&T a gatekeeper of media in your home. Under the proposal, the tens of millions of people who get their Internet service from AT&T might only be able to access heavy-bandwidth applications -- such as audio, video, and Internet phone service -- from the companies that have paid AT&T a fee. Meanwhile, firms that don't pay -- perhaps Google, Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, Salon, or anyone else -- would be forced to use a smaller and slower section of the AT&T network, what Internet pioneer Vint Cerf calls a "dirt road" on the Internet. AT&T's idea, its critics say, would shrink the vast playground of the Internet into something resembling the corporate strip mall of cable TV.

Source:http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/04/17/toll/index_np.html

this is some B.S. They better not alow them to do this.

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