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Two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would subject broadband providers to antitrust violations if they block or slow Internet traffic.New Net Neutrality Bill Introduced [nytimes.com]
Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has sponsored the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act along with Representative Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from the Silicon Valley area of California.
The legislation requires Internet service providers to interconnect with the facilities of other network providers on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis. It also requires them to operate their networks in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner so that all content, applications and services are treated the same and have an equal opportunity to reach consumers.
Based on this bill, you could force any internet service provider that currently blocks access to SMTP ports to open up the port because it's a legal service, therefore also unlocking access for all the spammers, brace for impact.
What the ISPs should be forbidden is to charge a 3rd time for the traffic.
- they make the consumers visiting the web sites pay
- they make the webmasters pay for hosting their sites
- now they want more money to connect the two more effectively
Collectively they already get paid twice for all traffic, if they cannot effectively distribute the revenue, perhaps a regulator needs to be created to make sure it's fairly distributed, and perhaps their promised abilities towards consumers need to be reviewed (if you promise you should be able to deliver what you promised).
Selling "unlimited" amounts is a bad business model in the long run, and it seems some are starting to feel that. Perhaps it's not bad that they go out of business and get replaced by operations that do care for the long term.
Unblocking ports is not the issue and not blocking content is not the issue for those who choose to break the law by harassing people via spam or virii proliferation. We should try enforcing the current spam law first.
If you are concerned about spammers and malware, then you should be requesting better tracking and more static ips. This too however presents the problem of loosing the anonymity that the internet has afforded so many of us who now live off of it. I very much enjoy the benefits of being a contract website developer and not having to answer to any one boss.
Unfortunately, this is similarly the issue with posting cameras and listening devices on every street corner. You may gain protection(through relocating crime), but you lose much of the freedom that privacy affords a person.
Currently the ISPs are already selling you internet based on bandwidth. Which I see no problem with. It is fine to set prices based on the bandwidth provided to you. Why would someone just looking at IMs or simple sites need more than a 56k modem and why should they pay the same amount as someone who needs t1 speeds and is hosting sites/databases/gaming servers? This law seems a little under researched before presentation similar to many of the other bills proposed by the government.
The problem is that not everyone has the same needs or demand for the bandwidth and the model of pricing your internet service based on how much bandwidth you wish to have is a good model. Similar to that of the real world highway. Most people would not want to go out and buy a semi and nor would it be practical to have everyone driving semis(could you imagine the headache rush hour traffic and finding parking would be if it were the case), such should be the same with the internet.