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Qwest: We'll Charge Extra For Our Pipes

Add Qwest to the list of telcos threatening to charge Google and others what seems like extortion fees if those sites want adequate bandwidth. Qwest honcho Richard Notebaert told the VON conference, "If you have enough money, we can make a lot of things happen."
The converse is also true, of course. If you don't have a lot of money, Qwest can make a lot of things not happen as well -- like providing adequate bandwidth to the sites.

Notebaert went out of his way not to sound like AT&T's bully boy Ed Whitacre, who sounds more like Tony Soprano than a CEO when he threatens Google and other sites.

"I don't think we ought to block anything on our network, and we won't," CNet reports Notebaert saying.

However, he went on to say that Qwest would "give some content providers an advantage over others," if those providers came through with cold cash.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This is just plain wrong. The Internet unleashed the biggest burst of innovation in history because deals like this were prohibited. Let telcos start charging extortion fees like this, and that innovation will be in danger.