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Under Mr. Martin’s recommendation, which would need to be approved by the full commission, Comcast would not be fined. But it would be forced to change its practices and give the commission more details on what it did in the past.
Mr. Martin wants to set a standard that will make it difficult for an Internet provider to discriminate against users based on what they want to do online.
“The Internet is based upon the idea that consumers can go anywhere they want and access any content they want,” Mr. Martin said in an interview. “When they show they are blocking access to some sort of content, they have the burden to show that what they are doing is reasonable.”
U.S.FCC Aims to Punish Comcast Over Net Neutrality [webmasterworld.com]
We allow ISP's to block spam for us. Would we want ISP's to be disallowed from blocking spam or fighting spam?
I don't see the connection other than the emails that go into a black hole that the customer is never even aware of that it was sent or blocked whether they have a spam filter engaged or not. I know there is some criteria like a bad reverse DNS that will cause emails to disappear but I really think that's the server admins fault from the sending server.
If you're opting into it then you're knowingly requesting this service. On the other hand if the filter cannot be turned off then I see an issue.
Just because consumerism has swallowed America whole is no reason to argue that there's no longer a purpose to the internet besides commercial viability; in fact the semi-recent explosion of the blog-o-sphere is largely affecting the Presidential race. Granted that blogs still don't capture as many viewers as big-news, the percentage is still such that a much larger percentage of Americans are actually informed this election year. Like, on issues.
I digress back to the topic of spam vs. internet regulation: The key difference here is that when you're blocking emails, it's your mail server that's blocking them, typically based on message content and some sort of blacklist check. Because it is their server, they are welcome to filter messages as they see fit. You're free to set up your own server (if the ISP allows you to, more on that later) or to move your mail services to another provider if you're unhappy.
What Net Neutrality attempts to protect is the connection. Similar to a phone line, these connections are fairly well protected by the law. ISPs are not supposed to interfere with the data being transmitted except when troubleshooting or otherwise attempting to improve/fix the system. By blocking ports or throttling connections, they're violating that protection.
Without a form of net neutrality, ISPs would be able to grant preferrential speeds to certain connections (by effectively throttling others). An ISP could, for instance, grant large amounts up-bandwidth to a high-definition movie server for Company A. If Company B also has a high-definition movie server, but cannot afford the same connection Company A has, or if (through contracts), the ISP will not grant the same connection speed to Company B as it does Company A, then you have preferrential traffic.
Company A can send you ten movies in three hours, but Company B takes about that much time to send you its home page. Where are you going to go?
What the ISPs are hoping to do: Charge you for your connection, charge the company in question for their server connection, and finally charge everyone all over again, but for bandwidth. Not "Data Transfer Per Month" bandwidth, mind you, but the derivative of that equation, or active bandwidth.
How fast can you send your site to your visitors? Most consumers leave a site if the pages take more than a few seconds to load. As a communications pipeline, do ISPs have the right to decide what companies should be able to more effectively communicate with consumers?
Not to disagree with you :), but the reason we have this lovely internet is because of commercial interests.
The roots of the internet were in academia and things were wonderful - but the rest of us regular folks would never have had access to free <adult material> if it were left at that. It wasn't until commercial interests got involved and started making connections available for a price and laying lines down that the rest of us were able to get online.
The internet isn't and never was 'about anything'. It's a computer network.
[edited by: lawman at 8:15 am (utc) on July 17, 2008]