Why we need net neutrality

Two posts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) appear to confirm what many have suspected.

EFF tests agree with AP: Comcast is forging packets to interfere with user traffic

Comcast keeps telling its users that the problems they’re seeing are not its fault. It’s time for Comcast to come clean about what it’s doing and take its users’ reports seriously.

Comcast is also Jamming Gnutella (and Lotus Notes?)

When an ISP starts arbitrarily zapping some of the protocols that its customers use, they instantly endanger the cascade of innovation that the Internet has enabled. Before this kind of traffic jamming, anybody — huge businesses, small start-ups, college students and children in their bedrooms — could build new, innovative protocols on top of the Internet’s TCP/IP platform.

If this type of conduct is allowed to continue, many innovators will have to get active assistance from an ISP in order to have their protocols allowed through the ISP’s web of spoofing and forgery. Technologies like BitTorrent and Joost, which are used to distribute licensed movies and are in direct competition with Comcast’s cable TV services, will be at Comcast’s mercy.

It should also be remembered that in many parts of the United States, Comcast is a duopoly or even a monopoly provider of broadband Internet access. Competition might offer some protection against packet-forging ISPs, but under current market conditions, we can’t depend on it.

The last paragraph is the big problem here, with most citizens having little or no choice in ISP’s I think we need Network neutrality in the United States. If we ever get to a point in the US where most citizens have three or more choices in provider then it won’t matter if one or even two ISP’s are interfering with their customers usage.

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