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It's Time for Broadband ISPs to Put Their Foot Down

Swedish ISPs save one are remarkably silent. By Mattias Westlund.


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I find it remarkable that of all the Swedish broadband providers it's only Bahnhof who object to the new IPRED law. Very remarkable. If this dip in Internet traffic is really caused by IPRED or if it is going to be a permanent change is of course uncertain. One must be careful in judging the cause of the downturn if one is not going to uncritically drink the Kool-Aid™ of the Antipiracy Bureau.

But if file sharing really is reduced because of the law then we'll see that fast broadband isn't as attractive anymore. Why buy a 100 megabit line? Surely not to visit aftonbladet.se even if it can be needed what with their abundance of adverts like a porn site. And we won't need fast broadband to send mail, to chat on IM, or to pay our bills. People get fast broadband for file sharing - period. Up to now people have been willing to pay several hundred SEK pcm for that capacity but the question is whether this will now change because of the effect of IPRED.

In other words the ISPs are going to lose because of IPRED. Maybe even lose big if enough people stop file sharing and downgrade their accounts. How can they all with the notable exception of Bahnhof just accept something like this? Telia, Bredbandsbolaget, Glocalnet, Comhem, and all of them whatever their names are - I don't understand that you neither can nor want to choose sides in this copyright debate. I don't demand it. But inasmuch as you don't protest against IPRED I have to interpret your silence to mean you think it's OK that the entertainment industry lobbyists push through laws you lose money on. A remarkable position with any entrepreneurs I must say - if this had happened in any other business sector you'd have heard screams of protest all the way to China.

Isn't it time you removed your muzzles and chose a side in this debate? You can't win by pretending it's raining, much less by bending over for the plundering of the media mafia. Either customers get slower and cheaper broadband or else they switch providers completely - by for example moving to Bahnhof. And in both cases this leads to less money in your coffers, and I'll venture a guess this is the last thing you want right now what with the current worldwide financial crisis.

Then one can of course question whether this helps the government's employment policies and their continual efforts to stimulate our economy. Should all those who lose their jobs in the broadband sector start working for the entertainment industry? Or what do you have in mind?

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