A US House of Representatives handed AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest a victory in an their fight for a tiered Internet. The Energy and Commerce subcommittee shot down an amendment to Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act, a bill that would amend current telecommunications laws to account for certain technological advances. In a 23-8 vote, the subcommittee defeated an amendment proposed by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) that would have enshrined the principle of network neutrality into US law. Such legislation would have prevented telcos and other ISPs from selectively throttling or passing through IP traffic on their networks. In a statement (QuickTime) read before the committee, Rep. Markey said that the bill as written would ‘fundamentally alter the Internet’ and that it would preventing the FCC from translating its policy against Broadband Internet Transmission Services providers hindering ‘lawful content’ into ‘something it could effectively enforce.’ The battle over network neutrality has pitted the likes of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Amazon against the nation’s largest telecommunications companies. AT&T was the first of the telecoms to float a tiered Internet trial balloon, when then-SBC CEO Edward Whitacre accused Google and Yahoo of using AT&T’s pipes for free and said that there […]

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