Bellsouth wants to turn Internet into a toll road
December 1st, 2005

The Washington Post reports that the CTO of BellSouth is ready to start dismantling the Internet as a commons and converting it into a toll road:

A senior telecommunications executive said yesterday that Internet service providers should be allowed to strike deals to give certain Web sites or services priority in reaching computer users, a controversial system that would significantly change how the Internet operates.

William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc.

Or, Smith said, his company should be allowed to charge a rival voice-over-Internet firm so that its service can operate with the same quality as BellSouth’s offering.

Network operators can identify the digital “packets” of content moving through their wires from sites and services and can block some or put others at the head of the stream.


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