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Is Net Neutrality Principled?

If net neutrality is truly an Internet principle, would Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Amazon all agree to abide by the same principle of treating everyone the same in conducting their Internet businesses? This is a relevant question because the Internet browser and Internet search markets are actually much more concentrated and less competitive than the wireless market to which they want to apply net neutrality.

No Internet Search Discrimination? Will Google, Yahoo and Microsoft pledge to treat all search results equally and not discriminate against content by ranking websites based on how much advertising they pay to be a sponsored listing? Will they agree to not have a two-tiers of Internet search, one with sponsored listings at the top for those who pay the most and another at the bottom for those that can’t pay?

No Internet VoIP Application Discrimination? Will Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and eBay all support the principle of treating equally every VoIP and communications application in price, terms, and conditions -- in gaining access to their platforms as the default provider?

  • Will Microsoft agree to not discriminate in favor of its own default Live Communications Server application over competitive applications? (Like Vonage, AT&T Callvantage, Comcast Digital Voice, or Verizon Voicewing or others?)
  • Will Google agree to not discriminate in favor of its own default Google Talk or its default “click to callâ€? offerings over competitive applications?
  • Will eBay agree to not discriminate in favor of its own default Skype offering over competitive applications?
  • Will Yahoo agree to not discriminate in favor of its own default Yahoo Messenger with Voice offering over competitive applications?

Principles are supposed to be standards. The so-called “net neutrality principle� is looking more like a self-serving “double-standard� every day. One strict standard, that applies to broadband carriers, regardless of how competitive their market is. And no standard for ecommerce giants, that in many instances, face less competition than broadband carriers.