Telecoms want to be able to offer different plans that would block rivals or favor partners websites. Imagine if Google was always slow and Yahoo! was always fast on your SBC connection. Some small phone companies are already blocking VOIP services from running on their networks. These companies claim that these services are “freeloading” on their networks, which is ridiculous. Customers pay these telecoms for access to the Internet, I don’t think these guys can have it both ways. Imagine a car that only ran on Exxon gas or would drive to Macys faster than Sears.
This is not the first I have heard of plans like this either. Here’s a similar story in Business Week. This is a very scary reminder of how fragile freedom on the web is. It also reminds me that in the future, censorship will not come from governments but from corporations. I hope Congress will protect consuemers’ choice on the Internet.