From a Reuters story:
Sen. Ron Wyden on Thursday proposed legislation aimed at preventing high-speed Internet service providers from charging content companies extra so consumers have faster access to their Web sites or receive special treatment.
The Oregon Democrat said he was pushing the legislation to ensure smaller start-ups trying to do business on the Internet would not be outgunned by bigger companies.
Further thoughts at IPDemocracy: Would Wyden’s legislation prohibit a content provider from paying extra to the broadband provider for improved delivery? Wyden couldn’t easily answer these kinds of questions, but simply said that he opposes a world in which non-transparent deals inject latency into access web sites (where one site with a “sweetheart deal” might take five seconds to appear but another site with no such deal might take five minutes to appear).
Wyden seemed to say as long as the sweetheart deals are transparent, his legislation would not bar such relationships. “The heart and soul of this legislation are the transparency provisions – you get all those deals out there in the open.”
As much as I wish to be black and white on this issue, I sense there is much gray here. Fortunately an old hand from the telco/provisioning world just joined FM, and I’ll be talking to him about it in the coming days to get smarter….