On Jun 23 the Supreme Court agreed to review a California suit where Linkline, an ISP, had accused AT&T of charging so much for wholesale access that the ISP could not compete. AT&T argues that they are under no obligation. An appeals court found for Linkline. The Bush administration persuaded the Supreme Court to review the case.
The outcome has serious inferences for access competition in the nation.
There’s been some discussion on the ISOC-NY discuss list as to whether a free market solution or government initiatives are best way to improve broadband access in the U.S. Part of that discussion is the question as to whether there actually has been an open and competitive market for broadband services.
A case where an independent ISP, Linkline Communications, alleged that AT&T charged excessive access fees that prevented them from competing in the broadband market will now be reviewed by the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had ruled against AT&T but the Bush Administration’s Office of U.S. Solicitor General sided with AT&T, maintaining that federal antitrust laws don’t cover the LinkLine claims. Continue reading
A CNET article reports that, at a recent forum in London Jim Cicconi, VP of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.
“The surge in online content is at the center of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today,” he said. “In three years’ time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today.”