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October 08, 2005

Regulating the Net to Stop Blackouts

So I asked why blacking out the Internet wasn't a crime and a number of lawmakers are asking the same question after a feud between Internet companies shut down access to swathes of the Internet for their companies:

At least one influential congressman says he will try to add safeguards against this type of situation into an ongoing, major rewrite of the nation's telecommunications laws.

"I think that the situation has now gotten to point where some measure of federal assurance for the interconnection of these networks, and the charging of prices that are reasonable in all circumstances, is required," said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., who sits on the House committee handling telecommunications law.

Boucher's not alone in being upset over the Net blackout caused by a spat between Level 3 and Cogent. Consumer advocates and others are also calling for a basic set of rules that would keep traffic flowing.

Other countries are talking about taking global governance of the Internet away from the United States, but if we can't keep the trains running on time, we'll lose any excuse we have for the current governance structure of the Internet. That might be a good thing, but for those who like the current US dominance of the Internet, you basically have the choice of tightening regulation here at home or seeing a new set of global regulations established.

Posted by Nathan at October 8, 2005 12:21 PM