New Lobbying Coalition To Preserve End-to-End Principle
April 29th, 2003

The genius of the Internet’s architecture, known as “the end-to-end principle,” was that the network was deliberately designed to be “dumb” — that is, the network’s routers didn’t do anything fancy to information, but simply delivered bits. Innovation was reserved for the endpoints — the computers connected to the Net. This made it possible for Tim Berners-Lee to create the Web without getting anyone’s permission to change the network, or for Stanford students to create Yahoo from their dorm rooms. Now, however, broadband providers that happen to be owners of content companies ‚– AOL-Time-Warner, for example ‚– are asking the FCC for permission to compromise the Internet’s architecture by allowing them to discriminate among the data-packets sent on their network. The Mercury News reports that even such conservative companies as Microsoft and Disney are alarmed, and have joined a new lobbying coalition opposed to this takeover move by broadband providers.

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