North American Network Operators Group

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Re: [Latest draft of Internet regulation bill]

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Thu Nov 17 21:01:17 2005

On Thu, 17 Nov 2005, Stephen Sprunk wrote:
> Other than references to spam and a couple other minor things, there's a
> remarkable lack of discussion of content, either good or bad, in this draft.
> If anything, this appears to be the exact opposite of what SBC et al want.
> Given all the fuss about content and access to eyeballs, I'm actually pretty
> shocked about the complete turnaround here.  Maybe previous drafts got too
> hot a reception?

Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

Some people think the carriers make more money when customers use the
network more, even if the user didn't intend to use the network a lot.
Abuse departments and policing users costs money.  If they had the legal
cover of law prohibiting them from interfering with customer content,
would the carriers just fire their abuse departments and charge customers
for the bandwidth they use, regardless of the content?

If your computer gets infected and starts spewing terabytes of traffic a
month, will the carrier send you a bill at the end of the month for 10
Terabytes used, please pay $1,000,000?  If your computer marked the
packets as DSCP EF, could the carrier charge you a premium fee for those
packets even if your computer was infected?  If the law prohibits carriers
from interfering with customer content, will the carrier just sit back
and bill customers for bits regardless of what's in those bits?

In the telephone world, if a phreaker breaks into a PBX and makes lots
of toll phone calls, the PBX owner has to pay for the calls.  Is Vint Cerf
willing to take the bad, as well as the good from the telephone world?

ISP terms of service are mostly about things ISP's don't permit customers
to do, even if a legislature has not yet written specific laws
prohibiting it. ISP terms of service have grown over the years in
response to customer complaints about other users' activities.