Tropos Opposes Net Neutrality; Links with Company that Supports Tiered Internet

Tropos is a company known for its wireless networking technology. Its products are used in many wi-fi deployments. In an example of a self-serving and wrong-thinking display, Tropos president and CEO Ron Sege came out today against a network neutrality safeguard. Sege suggested that we should allow the cable and phone giants to offer “advanced, prioritized services.” The trade-off he proposed would be for Congress to pass legislation creating more opportunities for municipal and other forms of wireless. He might have just asked them to pass the “Tropos Big Bottom Line Act of 2006” instead. Sege’s proposal would do little to ensure that the U.S. has a democratic and diverse broadband communications environment.

Tropos’s anti-net neutrality stance suggests they don’t want to anger powerful communications industry players, such as AT&T. It also appears that Tropos supports a world where “prioritized services” come to wireless. The company announced a deal this week with Allot Communications for its “NetEnforcer” product. “NetEnforcer” is just one of the score of products that enable broadband operators to know what’s in every packet. It’s a technology at the core of plans to turn the broadband Internet into a virtual tollbooth for both users and content providers.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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