Some company gained themselves a decent amount of press last month by announcing they'd built an appliance for carriers and ISPs to block Skype, VoIP and other kinds of traffic on their networks. The concept really isn't new: ISPs are no strangers to things like port blocking, and their efforts to get people to use their services instead of competitors' (via whatever means necessary) for things like VoIP are intensifying. It's little surprise, then, that VoIP-blocking is a growing industry, and some other company's got a new product out that doesn't go as far as outright blocking voice traffic, it just messes with it enough to degrade call quality. It's an interesting take on network neutrality: we won't block your service, that would be wrong -- but we will make it unusable. This really isn't unprecedented. After all, at least one ISP has told VoIP providers they must get "certified" or else their service to any of the ISP's customers might get "inadvertently" cut off.
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