The customers will pay.

Interviewed by USA Today, John Chambers provided his view on Net Neutrality:

Q: What about the argument that we’d wind up with a two-tiered Internet and start-ups won’t have the same ability to reach consumers as wealthy companies such as Google?

A: I wouldn’t expect companies to pay for high-speed access — consumers will. If I want to watch a ballgame from multiple angles and perhaps telepresence across the country with my brother … to expect that free of charge is not realistic.

Note that he doesn’t actually answer the question.He throws up an example of a different kind of service – something not currently available – and says that you can’t expect that for free. But that isn’t what the discussion is really about. It is really about access to a choice of any kind of service, like search for example. And that’s exactly what people like Ed Whitacre intend to charge more for:

The Internet can’t be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! (YHOO ) or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!

It isn’t about charging more for better services. It’s about charging more for what you already have.

It’s about the fact the these services made the internet valuable, and the telcos want their cut, even though they already get paid for their services.

It’s about extortion. You wanna provide services to customers? You’re gonna have to pay up first.Only, as John Chambers points out, the customers are the ones who are being extorted.

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