Net Blocking: A Problem in Need of a Solution

The principle that protects free speech and innovation online is irrelevant, they claim, as blocking has never, ever happened. And if it did, they add, market forces would compel Internet service providers to correct course and re-open their networks. In reality, many providers both in the U.S. and abroad have violated the principles of Net Neutrality — and they plan to continue doing so in the future. […] In 2005, North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked the voice-over-Internet protocol (VOIP) service Vonage. Vonage filed a complaint with the FCC after receiving a slew of customer complaints. […] In 2005, the nation’s largest Internet provider, Comcast, began secretly blocking peer-to-peer technologies that its customers were using over its network. Users of services like BitTorrent and Gnutella were unable to connect to these services. […] From 2007–2009, AT&T forced Apple to block Skype and other competing VOIP phone services on the iPhone. The wireless provider wanted to prevent iPhone users from using any application that would allow them to make calls on such “over-the-top” voice services. […] In 2012, the FCC caught Verizon Wireless blocking people from using tethering applications on their phones. Verizon had asked Google to remove 11 free tethering applications from the Android marketplace. These applications allowed users to circumvent Verizon’s $20 tethering fee and turn their smartphones into Wi-Fi hotspots. – Timothy Karr,Free Press
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