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7/7/2006
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Double-Dipping
We already have tiered Internet access, of a sort ("How To Prevent Internet 'Neutricide,'" June 26). Anyone with cable Internet access probably has access to a higher-priced "business class" service that has additional bandwidth, greater uplink speed, and perhaps a guaranteed quality of service.

What's new about "net neutrality" is that now carriers want to charge content providers for more than merely the bandwidth they've contracted for. They want to charge for a guaranteed QoS, for preferential access. This is double-dipping. The market, as determined by consumers, should be the deciding factor in the percentage of total capacity each major content provider consumes. If carriers aren't profitable, they need to consider the economics of their pricing model.

I'm deeply skeptical that Congress will be able to do anything useful anytime soon. I'm more convinced that a bad law will be written, if anything at all. This is truly the best government money can buy. Doesn't say much for bang for the buck, does it?

Dennis Barr
IT Manager, Larkin Group
Kansas City, Mo.

Actions Say It All
As a former technology manager and programmer for a Fortune 1,000 company, I'm against raising the visa quota ("No Escaping H-1B," June 12). Companies want quotas increased not only for immediate savings of salary and benefits, but also to save the costs of training workers. Despite rhetoric of developing the U.S. workforce for the future, their actions speak louder when they outsource high-paying jobs anywhere possible. If lack of qualified personnel were the true reason, why don't we outsource other jobs where demand outpaces supply, such as inner-city schoolteachers, recycling/ waste management workers, or senior care workers?

W.R. Paprocki
Chicago

Simple Economics
Just when I came to rely on a technical news source for insightful industry analysis, it comes up a cropper ("Big Vs. Small? It's Not That Simple In High Tech," June 26):

"And just last week, the CEO of security vendor Sunbelt Software charged that Microsoft is selling its consumer and enterprise security software at prices below cost to drive out smaller competitors. How getting Microsoft to charge higher prices will ultimately benefit customers, the true little guys, is anyone's spin."

The answer, obvious to anyone who has sat through Economics 102, is that selling below cost provides a temporary consumer windfall until enough competitors have been driven out of the market.

Then the technology can be monopolized by the price cutter, resulting in a situation where prices are limited only by what the customer is willing to pay, rather than by how low the competition is willing to discount prices to compete for the business.

Ron Kleinman
Technical Director, Sun Microsystems
Santa Clara, Calif.

For The Record
In "Cost Conscious, But Demanding," I stipulated that some of my comments on IBM were off the record, and the request was not honored (June 19). Also, the article reports that we "ditched" IBM. To be clear, we have a master services agreement in place with IBM and have used the vendor for various statements of work over the past four years and anticipate working with IBM going forward.

Susan Powers
CIO and Senior VP Product
Solutions, Worldspan, Atlanta

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