History lesson: how US telecom became such a trainwreck

Robert Hallock of writes:

It cannot be contended that the BP oil spill, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the healthcare debate have left a minor mark on the face of American politics. Behind these hot-button issues, however, lurks another important discussion with the potential for an even wider impact: net neutrality.

Succinctly, the net neutrality debate is one that will shape the future of every American’s relationship with the Internet. It is the simple choice between giving ISPs the ability to run roughshod over the economy and freedom of the ‘net, or forbidding them from having any say about what you do beyond the letter of the law.

Expressed in this fashion, you might wonder how this ever became a debate in the first place. What happened in the course of American politics to give AT&T, Verizon and Comcast the idea that they could control what applications we use online?

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