AT&T’s plan to charge developers isn’t crazy, yet
I’m not sure on which side of the fence I fall on the net neutrality debate. There’s been trillions of dollars of value generated in sales and companies over the last two decades of the internet’s life. Most of that value has been with the companies developing products and services that are primarily delivered on the internet. The dream of starting a company with sweat equity and low cash and building it online into a hugely profitable enterprise has been largely dependent on the availability of a relatively free service delivery medium (i.e. the Internet or mobile web).
On the other hand, the carriers and network infrastructure providers have spent many billions of dollars to build out their networks — and must continue to spend billions of dollars to maintain and upgrade them to provide the service level required for all the internet businesses to operate. They are hamstrung by having to charge real money for consumer access to their services while the businesses that run on top of their network can deliver services to consumers for free.