Richard Freeman on 30 Aug 2009 04:18:27 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Verizon blocking port 25 wrote:
> In the message dated: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 18:11:26 EDT,
> The pithy ruminations from Art Alexion on 
> <Re: [PLUG] Verizon blocking port 25> were:
> => I was about to say the same thing, but then I considered that there is  
> => some additional bandwidth with additional minutes and that  
> => theoretically costs something.
> You're each overlooking something:
> 	oversubscription

Agreed, but I think that the problem isn't really oversubscription, but 
the way internet service tends to be marketed in the US.  The problem is 
that service is advertised as Unlimited(*).  Where the * means:

1.  If you download (or especially upload) too much, we'll cut you off. 
  We won't tell you how much this is.

2.  You can't use your connection for certain things - namely running 
servers of any kind.  Of course, 99% of the time they don't care if you 
run servers, but if you become a perceived problem the clause will be 
invoked.  Technically any game (or other application) that listens on a
port is a server.

There really needs to be some reform:

1.  Obviously net neutrality - so that the rules aren't ignored when you 
work with preferred partners.

2.  Any limits should be declared openly (both soft and hard).  They 
should be part of the agreement and generally not be modifiable when you 
are under contract.

3.  No restriction on how the connection is used (beyond standard legal 
disclaimers that any commercial ISP would impose).  If you don't want 
people serving up GBs of web traffic then impose a publicly-declared 

4.  ISPs should be forced to declare what their oversubscription ratio 
is on a quarterly basis.  No rules/regulations on what it can be - just 
truth in advertising.

The real problem with all these unwritten rules is that it makes it 
difficult for consumers to select the best deal.  Since the consumer ISP 
market is very limited by its nature we need to ensure that at least the 
limited choices that do exist have to compete vigorously.
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