BellSouth Reserves The Right To Port Block

from the so-don't-piss-them-off dept

How quickly things change. For years, US telcos have been claimed that there was no need at all for network neutrality regulations, because they would never (never, ever, we promise!) block usage of their connections. They even pointed out that, if they did start blocking stuff, it would be a publicity nightmare and they'd probably lose customers over it. However, since that time, a few things have changed. High bandwidth apps have become more popular and a few service providers have been able to get away with blocking competitive applications. On top of that, new tools are coming out that will make it easier than ever for service providers to block or simply degrade applications like VoIP. So is it any surprise to see Broadband Reports point out that BellSouth refuses to promise network neutrality and reserves the right to block whatever they want to? Of course, this wouldn't be much of a problem if there were real competition in the broadband space, but the same FCC that won't fully mandate network neutrality has determined that a duopoly is enough competition for everyone.

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  1. identicon
    George Hogge, 31 Oct 2005 @ 6:45am

    Network Neutrality

    I sent the email below to Bellsouth. Perhaps some other Bellsouth customers could do something similar.

    ===BEGIN===
    I have been a relatively satisfied Bellsouth customer for many years. I have not always been satisfied with the service, but have always, always, found the people at Bellsouth to be sincere and honest in their dealings with me and I've believe they were doing their best to resolve my issues. Bellsouth is an enormous organization and I have seen it sometimes struggle against itself to accomplish what seemed to me to be a small task. But the Bellsouth people take on the burden of that struggle and get the job done.

    I said all that to say this. While I am not just a customer of Bellsouth, I am a fan. I will quit you like a bad habit, if ever I discover proof of blocked ports.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051026/1616253_F.shtml

    This is akin to turning of my phone's access to Michigan or all GTE customers. It would completely unacceptable. If there is a need to charge a small fee to the consumer to offset costs of providing that service, I would find that distasteful. However, I understand the need to maintain and improve services and resources. And, there is nothing wrong with a little profit. But, if you wish to maintain me as a customer, you will not block ports (and/or services) or you will give me the option to pay for them.

    Respectfully,
    George Hogge
    George@Hogge.com
    ===END===

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