From: "Max Bell" <>
To: <>
Date: Mon, Jul 3, 2006 10:00 AM
Subject: Net neutrality? No way.

To Whom It May Concern:

“They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

“It’s a series of tubes.

“And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”

-Senator Ted Stevens, R. Alaska

This document articulated four primary functions for global Internet DNS coordination and management:

1. To set policy for and direct the allocation of IP number blocks;

2. To oversee the operation of the Internet root server system;

3. To oversee policy for determining the circumstances under which new top level domains (TLDs) would be added to the root server system; and

4. To coordinate the assignment of other technical protocol parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet.

"The Continued Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet Domain Name and Addressing System

Top Contributors
3 Verizon Communications $36,550
5 Viacom Inc $23,000
6 AT&T Inc $22,500
19 Sprint Nextel $14,500

Naturally, you’re going to have a lot of very angry computer geeks writing. Some of us may even be political. But the issue at hand is much larger than this. It’s not simply that too many people realize that this is about money; it’s about the fact that Senator Stevens needs people like me and those who will doubtless write to explain things like what a top-level domain is or how to reassign “technical protocol parameters”. More importantly, simply having control of “the series of tubes” won’t do the Telco’s or anyone else a whole lot of good; it won’t give them ownership of the innovation and content that drive the internet we use today. Neither will it kill these things off, they’ll simply move to their own network.

This is pretty much a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot move; somebody might get rich in the short term, but in the long term, more money stands to be lost when the internet begins to fracture and innovation, in the form of the open-source movement and the small business startups who go on to become the Googles and the eBays.

Anyone seriously considering this would be well advised to ask if they’ve done their homework as thoroughly as the decision merits.

If this happens, people will look back in five years and ask “What were we thinking?”

-Max Bell