Looks like the Internet is the information superhighway, after all.
In the closely watched Brand-X case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cable Internet services, such as those provided by Comcast
Interestingly, the phone companies have sided with the cable operators. Not out of any sense of altruism, mind you, but rather because phone companies like Bell South
The current case began when Brand-X Internet, a California-based ISP, wanted the cable operators to provide it and other ISPs like EarthLink
While it might seem a harsh ruling for consumers, considering the cable operators have been granted a government-sanction monopoly, and no one loves the high rates they charge for seemingly mediocre service, in fact, we're being well-served by the ruling.
Information services will inevitably evolve over time, and this ruling will help foster new developments. Right now we use cable modems and DSL services, but "broadband over powerlines" may soon be a reality, as will WiMax and other iterations not yet thought of. "Open access" is simply a euphemism for access to other people's property. It would stifle innovation if all of the new technologies were forced to allow competitors access as they took hold.
The Brand-X decision ensures that the information superhighway will maintain a steady flow of traffic.
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