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Re: [Latest draft of Internet regulation bill]

  • From: Leo Bicknell
  • Date: Sun Nov 13 09:49:11 2005

In a message written on Sat, Nov 12, 2005 at 11:07:48PM -0500, Sean Donelan wrote:
> Verizon is calling their offering "Broadband access." Cablevision calls
> their offering "Optimum Online."  Are those the same as "Internet access?"

Depends on what they promise.  For instance, if I go to Cable
Vision's web site and click on "optimum online" I get
http://www.cablevision.com/index.jhtml?pageType=ool_product, and I
quote from the first paragraph:

] Cablevision's Optimum Online, the industry's first self-install,
] blazingly fast Internet access cable-modem service is revolutionizing
] the way people in the tri-state area view and use the Internet.

Indeed, they call it "Internet access" in the first sentence.  Sure
looks to me like that is what they are selling.

FWIW, "Broadband Access" is the name of Verizon's wireless product, not
sure if that's what you intended or not.  It's "Verizon Online DSL" for
the wireline verison.  The home page is at
http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobileoptions/broadband/index.jsp,
and again I quote (from "service overview"):

] You can finally access the Internet while in the airport, at the
] worksite, or even in a taxi with the freedom of the largest high-speed
] wireless network in the U.S.

"access the Internet", could it be more clear?

> I see the end result of your proposal is providers would come up with
> lots of different private label brand names for their services, because no
> one has been able to define with legal certaintity what the "Internet" is
> or isn't.

You're being too literal.  It's not just the service name.  If I
call it "Leo's IP Service" it doesn't have Internet anywhere in the
name, and that's necessary but not sufficient.  If in the description
of the service I call it "Internet Access", as both providers above
did, then that is what they are selling.  If you don't want people to
think it's Internet access, you can't use Internet /anywhere/ in the
description of the product.

> Bottom line, its called legal uncertainty. If no one is able to define
> what the Internet is or isn't, will the lawyers simply prohibit the use of
> the word "Internet" and do a global search and replace with a different
> term?  Do you think a more likely outcome is the marketing departments
> will just invent new brand names for stuff?  The companies will go on and
> sell whatever they decide to sell using the new name, while the term
> "Internet" becomes a historical footnote like ARPANET and NSFNET.

No, because consumers will demand "Internet Access".  Have we already
forgot the Level 3 and Cogent issue.  If the rumor mill is right
the way it was resolved was Level 3's customers got their lawyers
and said "you sold me x, and switched it to y, and you have to
provide notice before you do that."  Essentially an extension of
bait and switch.  I pitty the first cable company or DSL provider
that doesn't offer "the whole internet".  I suspect their market
share will erode to their competitors rather quickly.

> Have you tried to buy an HDTV recently?
> 
> Would that really be an improvement?

I think HDTV hardware is quite clear.  I love my HDTV.  But once
again, it's the service providers who are the problem.  My provider
(who I will let be nameless for now) doesn't keep any cable cards
locally, and has to send off to the national HDTV center to get
one.  They lock down their set top box to a single resolution, which
is not the resolution of my TV, nor the resolution of the local
broadcasters.  They don't carry anything but the three local networks
in HD.  They are also losing my business as we type to another
provider who offers a better service.

-- 
       Leo Bicknell - bicknell@ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
Read TMBG List - tmbg-list-request@tmbg.org, www.tmbg.org

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