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History of Net Neutrality

By 31 August 2010 2 Comments

From the Associated Press’ AP History — 1846-1900:

Over objections from Western Union, AP secures its first leased telegraph wire, a 226-mile circuit between New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, enabling AP to move news unencumbered by delays and competition for the wire.

It is a good thing that the FCC did not exist then, or AP would probably be in its 50th round of hearings as to whether this proposal was in the public interest.

It is also amusing because a number of news organizations (members of the AP cooperative) have thundered about maintaining net neutrality on the Internet.

Photo from Drinks Machine Photostream.


  • Mike said:

    Your reference does not capture the net neutrality debate at all. A more reflective headline would be something to the extent of AP enters into exclusive deal with the American Telegraph & Telephone company to be the only new sources sent over that company’s telegraph wires.

    Consumers desiring news from other sources will have to change Telegraph wire providers, assuming one is available and has not also entered into an exclusivity deal with AP or other news agency.

    That is the concern of net neutrality. That consumers will be denied access to some companies or information as part of an ISPs “network management” which is actually nothing more than an allowing content providers to buy priority and/or denying consumers access to the content of their choice.

  • Richard Bennett said:

    In 1875, AP bought a “managed service” for its own application, and such deals certainly are controversial under proposed net neutrality guidelines today.