Dane Jasper with Sonic.net here. Bravo for service providers requiring no commit, particular for residential customers. But the point in this article that seem to imply that the FCC somehow required ISPs to use term commits, or to charge install fees makes no sense to me. As a long-time operator, this seems an odd claim to make..
I had a hand in the writing of the policy, and it was written with the concerns of the day in mind. It goes beyond simply stating what we will or won't do, and gives some information on our philosophy - "strongly opposed" and "does not actively monitor" are examples of this. The goal was to provide as much reassurance as we could that we won't engage in these types of behaviors, because we abhor them.
As there does seem to remain some confusion here, I'll try to state it as clearly as possible.
With the narrow exception of a lawful obligation (subpoena or warrant), we will not harvest, sell, snoop or share any data about your use of the Internet via our services.
I'll also state that we are very careful about any subpoenas and warrants that we do get, and we reject roughly 50% of them as they are improperly executed. Also, in any case where we are allowed to do so, we always inform our customer prior to handing over any information. (Some ongoing criminal investigations incorporate a gag order which we must legally obey. This must be granted by a judge based upon justification provided by investigators in a criminal case.)
We structured this notice procedure so that customers who might be subject to a "John Doe" civil lawsuit would have an opportunity to retain counsel and object to any data hand-over BEFORE it happens. Most service providers don't bother with this, as they have no obligation to do so.
Finally, note that we don't log any actual Internet activity, so even under subpoena or warrant, we don't know what you have done, so we cannot reveal it. Our logging is limited to IP allocation and authentication data, the minimum required to support our services.
I hope this clarifies our official position and my opinion on some of the items under discussion here.