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[ NNSquad ] Re: NY Times: Verizon offers system to improve P2P transfers

Kevin McArthur wrote:
Verizon does continue to set itself apart.

The statement:

"Pasko stressed, however, that Verizon wants to work with P2P companies that are focusing on delivery of legitimate media, like Pando -- not systems where anyone can upload anything, which usually means lots of pirated material."

does strike me as having the potential to run into neutrality concerns when the carriers begin picking winners and losers in the P2P technology competition. As we all know, Bittorrent is open-source (and as a company, focused on legitimate media) while other solutions are either closed source or subject to content controls, patents and other nonsense. I'd hate to see the carriers giving competitive advantage to one but not the other just based upon their ownership of the gateway.

Verizon DSL and FIOS service already has one dark stain when it comes to neutrality. They have a feature called "DNS Assistant" which is designed to redirect web browsers to a Verizon/Yahoo search page in the event they type in a URL for which the hostname does not resolve. Verizon's DNS servers will reply with the IP addresses of their own search engine rather than returning a correct negative response. Up until a few months ago it was possible to opt out of the DNS Assistant service; however, the opt out capability has been removed. After talking to a number of sales, internal support, technical support, and engineering personnel at Verizon, it became apparent that the marketing department at Verizon initiated the policy change that led to the removal of the DNS Assistant opt out capability.

The DNS Assistant service causes problems for VPN software, among other things.

The message in both the Pando P2P announcment and the "DNS Assistant" change is that marketing trumps everything else.