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Wall Street to AT&T et al : "Hands off the internet"

When you have two sides fighting each other and in a deadlock, it is often up to the referee to decide who is the winner. But the referee in the knock out match between Content and Service providers on one side and Network owners on the other seems to have sided with the former.

The powerful U.S. financial sector (opens in new tab) is gearing up for a fight to prevent billions of dollars of additional expenditures to be footed to pay for tiered internet services.

Online banking services and information technology have helped the U.S. financial services generate and save tens of billions of dollars so it is no surprise that they are one of the biggest spenders on technology. With so much at stake and with their clout, they could be the one who will decide the fate and future of the Internet in the US.

Network providers say that they need necessary financial resources to take on cable companies and bring in future network products. Opponents say that telecommunications companies in other countries have survived and thrived without the need for a tiered internet. British and French Telecoms have suffered but have managed to rebound even in difficult times. The former is even nurturing its most ambitious project ever, the 21st Century Network.

The sad part of the story is that the Net Neutrality debate is still relatively new and unknown; and while it may impact on the lives of millions of people, it has yet to make the headlines where it really counts and get the common people to make their voices heard.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.