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[ NNSquad ] Re: Definitions: "Network Neutrality" (and "National Security")

At 11:09 AM 11/11/2007, Lauren Weinstein wrote:
>There are plenty of specific issues for us to deal with.  As it
>stands now, just to choose one example, when a consumer pays extra
>for a "higher speed" tier of Internet service, what are they
>actually getting?  The ISP will usually define speeds in terms of
>"last mile" behavior, while Terms of Service (ToS) will usually
>routinely disclaim *any* performance guarantees overall.  This
>situation strikes me as rather interesting.

It reflects the decentralized nature of the Internet. Ultimately, I as an ISP only have full control of my own infrastructure. When packets leave my network, I can make no guarantees about what happens to them thereafter. They may go through a dozen providers' networks on the way to their destination. Unless you want to go back to a centralized system, there's no avoiding that. "Ma Bell" in the days of the Bell System monopoly could guarantee the quality of a call from end to end. I can't.