Pipe Owners Want To Sell EZ-Passes For Info Highway

This Wired.com story talks about toll booths but what the pipe owners really are talking about is more like the EZ-Pass some people buy to avoid the toll booths that slow down usual traffic. So-called tiered services would provide speed-lane options for some commercial users instead of treating all traffic equally. Their argument: let those users pay more instead of charging everyone for increased capacity costs. Never mind that the tiered costs likely will be passed back to the consumer within fees.
Telecom providers have been the most vocal but cable operators have a huge stake in this — finally, something they can agree on — and the noise level all around is only going to ratchet up. In the meantime, while they talk about the federal government holding them in check, they’re also lobbying against net neutrality regulations.

Updated: In a related story, a 50-member coalition including MoveOn.org Civic Action and Gun Owners of America, has teamed up to fight AOL’s plans to charge for a guarantee that commercial email will get through. MoveOn.org’s executive director Eli Pariser tells USA Today AOL’s certified email program “a big step in the direction of a locked-down Internet” and says the organization couldn’t have been created with programs like that in place. Even though Yahoo has similar plans, AP reports that AOL is bearing the fulll brunt because its plans are further along.