Big Win For Net Neutrality Advocates

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Well, maybe not. Edward E. Whitacre Jr., former CEO of SBC Communications and now head of a newly super-sized AT&T, seems to have flip-flopped on the net neutrality issue. In 2005, he said Google and Yahoo were “nuts” for expecting free use of his company’s network to deliver their content. But now, according to the LA Times, he’s saying that AT&T will not sell premium delivery of Web content for the next two years.

AT&T was forced to agree to treat all online content the same to gain Federal Communications Commission approval of its purchase of BellSouth Corp. The $86-billion deal, which the FCC unanimously approved Dec. 29, makes AT&T the dominant phone company in 22 states, including California, and the nation’s largest provider of high-speed Internet service.
Advocates of network neutrality requirements now contend that if a behemoth such as AT&T can build its data highways without charging websites for faster delivery of video and other bandwidth-devouring services, so can other providers.