(quoting from the MoveOn original item):
> If you've never heard about this bit of business history, there's a
> good reason: it never happened. Instead, A.T. & T. had to abide by a
> "common carriage" rule: it provided the same quality of service to
> all, and could not favor one customer over another. But, while "tiered
> access" never influenced the spread of the telephone network, it is
> becoming a major issue in the evolution of the Internet.
It is curious Move-On cited the old style common carrier policy as a
justification for their position.
Yes, in the old days it was equal access, equal rates for all, and
common carrier. But MCI successfully sued to throw all of that out of
the window along with the courts and Congress. MCI claimed the right
to carry public customers at lower cost when and if it suited them.
That claim created "tiered" service. Our telecom service has been
operating that way, for better or worse, ever since.
Most telecom services today are deregulated. That means you pay for
what you want in a competitive marketplace. If your provider rips you
off, too bad, it's buyer beware.
I can't help but suspect Move-On is being a little selfish here.
Their operation works on mass emails -- to their members to promote
causes, from their members to push politicians. Cheap or free email
is necessary to do that. Perhaps Move-On is afraid of having to pay
for what it now gets for free.
Sorry, but just because they're a non-profit doesn't mean they get a
free ride. Another poster correctly pointed out that someone has to
pay for the Internet. I don't want to subsidize Move-On.
Indeed, perhaps someone like myself who is a prolific Usenet poster is
getting a free ride. Admittedly I like that deal very much, but I
must admit it's not very fair.
Another poster noted the problems of spam and abuse. I think there are
stll some "purists" or "romantics" out there who still think of the
Internet as a pure form of like-minded people when it served only a
very select audience of researchers. Those days are very long gone.
BTW, there's a intermediate load of mail I call "semi-spam". It's
mail from someone you know and converse with, but stuff you're not
really interested in. For example, say one of your friends is
religious and keeps sending you little Bible quotes and the like,
things you didn't ask for and always delete. (Or it could be
political messages). Organizations -- both profit and non-profit of
course do it all the time. A lot of people do this because it's so
easy and free. This represents a wasteful load on the network.
As to Move-On's fear that major ISP controllers will restrict access
to sites, I question that. Undoubtedly favored sites will get top
billing, but that does not mean other sites will be degraded in
access. TV and cable networks don't do that to favor their own shows
or channels. They can't because consumers would raise hell if they
Actually, as I consumer, I wonder if some sort of "bit tax" might be a
good idea. My dial-up home is essentially worthless these days
because sites have some much layered overhead bloat you gotta have DSL
to do anything in a realistic amount of time. That bloat doesn't give
one any more information, only more pizazz on the screen. On the rare
event I find an old site my dial up works just fine and the text flows
and small graphics through quickly. At the present rate plain DSL
will be obsolete and will have to go to industrial strength DSL or
FIOS at much higher cost to us consumers. It is worth it to see pop
up ads blink on and off?