osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Comcast apparently messing with Bittorrent


There have been rumors about this for awhile. Leaving aside my opinion that broadband access providers should be regulated as common carriers, I am consistently annoyed that Comcast and other broadband access providers are allowed to hold me to secret terms of service under my service agreement (which allows them to muck with traffic at their discretion and without disclosing).

For my more elaborate treatment on this theme, see my professional blog post: Of Bandwidth Hogs, QoS, and Regulatory Chameleons.

Now Customer is thoroughly confused. “So the FCC can preempt local authority, then declare you are an 'information service' and preempt itself, but because you still have a telecommunications component, you claim you are also exempt from the FTC. And everyone knows the Department of Justice Antitrust Division will do whatever you ask. So where do I go to find out your terms of service or hold you accountable for your promises?”

At this point, the Regulatory Chameleon starts to grin and asks: “How is a raven like a writing desk?”

The frustrated Customer replies: “What's that got to do with it?”

At this point, the Regulatory Chameleon slowly begins to vanish, while its grin gets bigger and bigger: “The rights of a customer with a broadband provider are the same way a raven is like a writing desk.”

“But a raven is nothing like a writing desk.”

And the Regulatory Chameleon has now entirely faded away, except for its grin: “And a broadband customer has no rights.”

“Well,” says Customer crossly. “I've often seen a Chameleon without a grin, but rarely a grin without a Chameleon. Although given everything this Chameleon has going for it, I shouldn't wonder why it grins so hugely.”

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