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Just Don't Call Them the Suers

According to the transcript, there was "soft laughter."

Tangled Up in Tubes

The chairman of the Senate commerce committee, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), on the other hand, had the blogosphere chuckling when he explained his opposition to the fiercely debated "Net neutrality" amendment being marked up June 28 in his committee.

Cable and telephone companies oppose the amendment, which would bar them from charging additional fees to folks such as Google, Microsoft and other big users of the Web, even though those companies use more bandwith than others.

Stevens noted, by way of example, businesses that offer movies on the Internet, rather than, say, selling them via the mail. This clogs things up, he explained.

"You order your movie," he said, "and guess what? You can order 10 of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free, right? Ten [movies] streaming across that Internet and what happens to your own personal Internet?" he asked.

"I just the other day got an Internet that was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday [apparently June 23] and I got it yesterday," Stevens said. Five whole days to get an e-mail.

"Why?" Stevens asked. "Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially."

It's all because businesses want to do these things "to save money" when they "deliver . . . vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes."

So the next time someone sends you "an Internet" and you don't get it for days, it's because the tubes of your own personal Internet got tangled.

For a full rendition of Stevens's speech, go to http://media.publicknowledge.org/stevens-on-nn.mp3 .


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