There's been a ton of buzz today saying that BellSouth had somehow started blocking MySpace and YouTube, leading to all sorts of accusations that the telco was already breaking basic network neutrality by stopping the two extremely popular websites. However, there was no clear basis for the accusation, and some thought it was actually MySpace and YouTube who had done something to be blocked by BellSouth -- which also doesn't make much sense. BellSouth has stepped up and claimed they haven't done anything, and aren't sure what's going on. However, what seems likely is that there was some sort of unintentional network problem that caused the issue. There's almost no chance that BellSouth would actively decide to block two of the most popular sites online just as the big network neutrality debate was heating up. No matter what you think of telco execs, they're not that stupid. Actively blocking such sites at this particular moment could only lead to shift public opinion further to supporting net neutrality, and no fake telco PR commenters would be able to change that. However, what this hubbub has shown is that should any of the telcos actually get around to putting in place such a draconian block, the public outcry would be swift and fierce. The risk, obviously, is that the telcos wouldn't block a site completely, but simply degrade performance. Also, for customers who have no other options for service, there wouldn't be much they could do but complain. Still, this should temper the idea that the telcos would actually try to block specific websites, as they would never get away with it for very long.
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