Net Neutrality Legislative Proposal

Joe Greco jgreco at
Tue Jul 11 13:24:47 UTC 2006

> * Seth Johnson:
> >          (A) Internet.— The term “Internet” means the worldwide, 
> >              publicly accessible system of interconnected 
> >              computer networks that transmit data by packet 
> >              switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP), 
> >              some characteristics of which include:
> So I put all my customers behind a NAT device (or just a stateful
> packet filter).  They are no longer publicly accessible, and hence not
> subject to the provisions of this section. 

That could be trivially addressed through a Truth in Advertising
provision.  Something I've been advocating for years.  Don't call it
Internet access if it isn't.  This has bothered me for years at hotels
where I end up using GPRS because their stupid "Internet access" system 
is some sort of web proxy that resets any connection over two minutes; 
I need to have SSH!  And often you can't even log in with a UNIX laptop
because they require a web browser with flash and javascript and all
sorts of other garbage...  

I realize that there are some practical realities to operating large scale
customer ISP's.  I know a number that use (or have used) NAT, or limit port
25, or have a per-month maximum number of gigs per connection.  These
limitations are rarely disclosed to customers up front, and I believe that
to be something that ought to be corrected.

So that's already addressed by the dpsproject folks in Sec. 3(3).  Which
makes me reasonably happy.

But there's a flip side to that problem.  Restricting companies from
calling it "Internet access" may not have the desired effect.  And this
is where network neutrality definitions also become a problem.

Let's say I'm Joe's Telephone & Telegraph - JT&T.  I'm a big telco and
I want to offer my hundred million subscribers a DSL solution that will
allow me to offer IPTV and other nifty stuff, but I definitely want to
be able to treat my customers as a somewhat captive audience.  I'm not
really convinced that Sec. 3 is sufficiently strong enough that I might
not be able to get away with deploying "JT&T Planetconnect", my own
IPTV/VoIP/content portal service that also includes Internet access. 
My quick read of Sec. 3 makes me wonder if there isn't a loophole if
I simply don't *say* that it includes access to the Internet, don't
*charge* for access to the Internet, etc.  A question for the lawyers
to puzzle out, to be sure.

Further, I wonder if the wide brush strokes in Sec. 3 (1)(B) might 
actually prohibit things like BCP38.

> Fixing that would probably
> require companies to open up their corporate networks, which is a
> non-starter.

I don't see why.  Unless they're in the business of hauling Internet
traffic, a company's connection to the Internet is at the edge of their 
network.  If they want to install a content control device, bandwidth
limiter, unplug the Ethernet, whatever, beyond their Internet demarc,
that is a choice they've made and it is an internal networking choice.
It may affect the quality of their Internet experience, but it is not
being imposed by a third party, which is what net neutrality is largely

> (I've wondered for quite some time if "net neutrality" implies that
> Ebay or Google must carry third party traffic on their corporate
> networks, by the way.)

No, why would it?  (note that I may be missing something; I'm not aware
of eBay or Google selling transit or transport, and if they are, that
changes my reply.)

... JG
Joe Greco - Network Services - Milwaukee, WI -
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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