TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Network Neutrality

Re: Network Neutrality

Steven Lichter (
Sat, 22 Apr 2006 01:41:14 GMT

In article, at wrote on 4/21/06 12:26:

> (quoting from the MoveOn original item):

>> If you've never heard about this bit of business history, there's a
>> good reason: it never happened. Instead, A.T. & T. had to abide by a
>> "common carriage" rule: it provided the same quality of service to
>> all, and could not favor one customer over another. But, while "tiered
>> access" never influenced the spread of the telephone network, it is
>> becoming a major issue in the evolution of the Internet.

> It is curious Move-On cited the old style common carrier policy as a
> justification for their position.

> Yes, in the old days it was equal access, equal rates for all, and
> common carrier. But MCI successfully sued to throw all of that out of
> the window along with the courts and Congress. MCI claimed the right
> to carry public customers at lower cost when and if it suited them.
> That claim created "tiered" service. Our telecom service has been
> operating that way, for better or worse, ever since.

And now look who owns MCI!!

> Most telecom services today are deregulated. That means you pay for
> what you want in a competitive marketplace. If your provider rips you
> off, too bad, it's buyer beware.

> I can't help but suspect Move-On is being a little selfish here.
> Their operation works on mass emails -- to their members to promote
> causes, from their members to push politicians. Cheap or free email
> is necessary to do that. Perhaps Move-On is afraid of having to pay
> for what it now gets for free.

> Sorry, but just because they're a non-profit doesn't mean they get a
> free ride. Another poster correctly pointed out that someone has to
> pay for the Internet. I don't want to subsidize Move-On.

> Indeed, perhaps someone like myself who is a prolific Usenet poster is
> getting a free ride. Admittedly I like that deal very much, but I
> must admit it's not very fair.

> Another poster noted the problems of spam and abuse. I think there are
> stll some "purists" or "romantics" out there who still think of the
> Internet as a pure form of like-minded people when it served only a
> very select audience of researchers. Those days are very long gone.

> BTW, there's a intermediate load of mail I call "semi-spam". It's
> mail from someone you know and converse with, but stuff you're not
> really interested in. For example, say one of your friends is
> religious and keeps sending you little Bible quotes and the like,
> things you didn't ask for and always delete. (Or it could be
> political messages). Organizations -- both profit and non-profit of
> course do it all the time. A lot of people do this because it's so
> easy and free. This represents a wasteful load on the network.

> As to Move-On's fear that major ISP controllers will restrict access
> to sites, I question that. Undoubtedly favored sites will get top
> billing, but that does not mean other sites will be degraded in
> access. TV and cable networks don't do that to favor their own shows
> or channels. They can't because consumers would raise hell if they
> did.

> Actually, as I consumer, I wonder if some sort of "bit tax" might be a
> good idea. My dial-up home is essentially worthless these days
> because sites have some much layered overhead bloat you gotta have DSL
> to do anything in a realistic amount of time. That bloat doesn't give
> one any more information, only more pizazz on the screen. On the rare
> event I find an old site my dial up works just fine and the text flows
> and small graphics through quickly. At the present rate plain DSL
> will be obsolete and will have to go to industrial strength DSL or
> FIOS at much higher cost to us consumers. It is worth it to see pop
> up ads blink on and off?

In article, Waitman Gobble at wrote on 4/21/06 8:10:

> Hello,

> I'm not sure that the typical consumer would have the patience for a
> broken Internet. If average Susan decides to "shop store x" and the
> site isn't working properly, her patience will wear thin. If this
> happens to multiple sites, It is my opinion that she won't merely be
> "trained" into going to the sites approved by the government. She'd
> probably just jump ship and scrap the whole notion of the Internet.
> Which would mean she'd just call up her provider and disconnect
> service. She has better things to do.

The Internet is broken now and the only way to really fix it is to start
over again!!

> The bit about "tiered access" is curious, because it JUST happened to a
> client of mine. He has been using DSL in his home for years without
> much of any trouble. However in the past month his service has been
> offline about half time, which has been extremely frustrating for him.
> The problem is that a few weeks ago, it was down for a week and they
> said that some tech had "accidentally unplugged 50 lines in his
> neighborhood and his was included". It actually took them a week to
> "plug it back in". Then after a week of uptime it went down again (for
> another week) and the providers' response was "there's water in the
> line". The word he received from his provider, which is the company
> named in the article, was that he should upgrade his account to "their
> business level service to get better service and have trouble-free
> Internet". After that phone call, he called his local cable company and
> ordered their Internet service. That's a true story.

> We'll see what happens I suppose :)

> Take care,

> Waitman

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