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Re: [Latest draft of Internet regulation bill]

  • From: Leo Bicknell
  • Date: Fri Nov 11 17:50:25 2005

In a message written on Fri, Nov 11, 2005 at 05:26:59PM -0500, Sean Donelan wrote:
> MCI Friends & Family charged different rates for phone calls depending
> rate? Level 3 charges different rates for "on-net" versus "off-net"

It's not that any of these are bad, but it's that the consumer must
be informed what they are getting.  They all have nice product names
that are specific to a particular company.  That is, MCI can't offer
"Free Long Distance", and then hide in the small print "only to MCI
customers, $200/minute to everyone else", but they can offer a
"Friends and Family Plan with free calls to MCI customers."  It's
deceptive advertising.

Move to the Internet space.  A consumer provider can't offer "Internet
Access" and have the small print say "but only to content providers
who also pay us".  However, it's perfectly ok to sell access to
"the Compuserve network" and detail that it gets you access to all
of their partnered content providers.

So really the question is not a technical one, or even a business
model one.  It's a question of marketing.  Don't sell "Internet
Access" if you can't access "the whole internet" for what 99 out
of 100 people define as "the whole internet".  If you want to sell
some more limited service, fine, give it a new name because it's
not "Internet Access".

       Leo Bicknell - [email protected] - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
Read TMBG List - [email protected],

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