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Florida VoIP Provider Files Net Neutrality Complaint With FCC 70

Posted by timothy
from the fungible-phonecalls-upset-rigid-rules dept.
New submitter himilean writes with this snippet from PC World: "A Florida VoIP carrier has filed a net neutrality complaint against a Georgia utility and broadband provider, after the utility accused the VoIP firm of theft of service for using its network to deliver voice service without paying for it. L2Networks filed the net neutrality complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission Tuesday, the first formal complaint since the FCC passed net neutrality rules in December 2010. L2Networks' filing comes after the telecommunications manager for the City of Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission, a municipal utility in Georgia, filed a theft-of-service complaint with the Dougherty County Police Department in Albany earlier this year." Asks himilean: "So, would this not be considered the most abusive power of all within the legal system? Does this mean if I Skype my buddy and he's on Comcast, Comcast can file theft charges against me?"
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Florida VoIP Provider Files Net Neutrality Complaint With FCC

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  • ...although, now that I think about it, you can get in trouble for flushing unapproved content.

  • 4 step plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:19PM (#40090487) Homepage Journal

    1. start isp
    2. let users access the internet
    3. sue the internet
    4. profit ???

    how stupid is the isp here?

    • You a step (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You missed an important step...

      1. start isp
      2. let users access the internet
      3. charge users for accessing the internet (sustainable)
      4. users get what service they pay for (NOT theft of services)
      5. profits

      It never ceases to amaze that people are allowed to get degrees without ever having to take economic sustainability 101.

      Village epic fail once again LOL

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        You missed an important step...

        1. start isp
        2. let users access the internet
        3. charge users for accessing the internet (sustainable)
        4. users get what service they pay for (NOT theft of services)
        5. profits

        It never ceases to amaze that people are allowed to get degrees without ever having to take economic sustainability 101.

        Village epic fail once again LOL

        why would you need to charge the users if you define others on the internet providing service to the users as theft of service and sue those service providers for profit? that's how idiotic this municipal isp is.

    • The ISP is the town government's water monopoly. Are you sure you want municipal Internet service?

      • by KlomDark (6370)

        I am absolutely sure I don't want municipal internet service. Maybe municipal fiber service as an empty last-mile pipe, that multiple ISPs can feed data over rather than just one incumbent provider.

        But that would introduce competition, which introduces innovation, which is bad for Fascists.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          There are four levels of service, slashdot loves car analogies so it works like this.
          There are the highways, which take services intercity, interstate and international.
          Then there are the main roads which distribute services throughout the city.
          Then there are suburban streets which distribute services from main roads to every other street.
          Then there is the kerb to the house, the final service.
          The ISP really should only do the kerb to the house. By breaking it down you can more readily generate competi

  • Complicated (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:19PM (#40090491)

    This is a little complicated. From the article:

    L2Networks purchases ethernet transport from Albany Water in order to serve its voice and Internet customers, Beahn said. The theft-of-service complaint stems from a single customer that uses L2Networks VoIP service over Albany Water's broadband service, he said. L2Networks also provides IP transit services to Albany Water, he said.

    There's no simpler way to put it than the article quote above. What is obvious is there is a massive civil contract dispute going on, and its not entirely certain who is right and wrong. What is certain is this is merely an escalation. One side pays money to rent space and were locked out during an outage (who caused that outage?).

    The real tragedy, beyond the net neutrality issue that is a minor part of this hyper dysfunctional relationship, is the rule of law is gone in the USA. If you have a civil contract between two citizens/corporations, nothing happens with law enforcement until after a judge makes a decision. But if one party in a civil contract is in any tangential way involved with a local government, then before a judge is involved, you can expect police harassment, criminal charges to be filed, etc.

    This is what scares me away from municipal fiber / municipal wireless. In a civilized world it would work, but in the USA, if you are a municipal internet customer and open a trouble ticket, you could realistically expect the police to break down your door, stomp your puppy to death, and beat you, because thats just how law enforcement rolls in the land of the free.

    I prefer getting access from my local cable monopoly... whats the absolute worst thing they can do to me as retaliation, disconnect my modem and tv? Intentionally screw up the paperwork and send my account to collections for service and hardware for at most a couple hundred bucks?

    Hmm A couple hundred bucks and maybe an "accidental" disconnect, vs stomping family pets to death and beating people. I think I'll avoid municipal internet, thanks.

    • Sounds like the last time Grand High Sherriff's men stopped by my place looking for my scofflaw siding contractor....jackboot-smeared puppy all over the carpet. That little fella had a lot of guts though.
    • I would tend to want to avoid municiple internet though I think there role should be fiber to the home. Where they just take care of the fiber and manage the cross patching to whoever wants to provide services. Could they be a provider for services above that sure just not the only ones.

    • Re:Complicated (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:51PM (#40090943)

      >>> if one party in a civil contract is in any tangential way involved with a local government, then before a judge is involved, you can expect police harassment, criminal charges to be filed, etc.

      It's always been this way. Look-up the history of Eli Whitney when he was trying to defend his patent over the cotton engine. The local government usually defended the farmers or inventors who had hand-built copies of Eli's work, and interfered with the ongoing civil lawsuit.

    • by grantus (261016)

      Yes, this is a complicated issue that seems to stem from a business dispute. Looking back, I could have done a better job characterizing the issue that way.

      Grant Gross

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>I prefer getting access from my local cable monopoly... . I think I'll avoid municipal internet, thanks.

      The best scenario would be fiber owned by the state government (just like roads) and each customer gets to decide what brand internet they want to purchase: Comcast or Cox or AppleTV or Verizon or MSN (just like they choose what brand car to drive).

      Of course you make a good point about how corporations, shitty as they are, are actually BETTER than government. The government can suck money dir

      • by Yakasha (42321)

        The government can suck money directly from your paycheck, or bust down the door of your house, or drag you off to jail. A corporation can not.

        The MPAA, RIAA, and every other major lobby scoffs at your silly attempt to separate corporate and government powers.

    • Your forgetting when Apple appeared at the house of someone who 'found' an unreleased iphone, with actual police officers and their own security.. searched the house.. no record of a call, or report being filed.. Took a long time, and a lot of attention about it from some media for those officers to get into trouble..

    • Re:Complicated (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:12PM (#40091243) Homepage Journal

      This is what scares me away from municipal fiber / municipal wireless. In a civilized world it would work, but in the USA, if you are a municipal internet customer and open a trouble ticket, you could realistically expect the police to break down your door, stomp your puppy to death, and beat you, because thats just how law enforcement rolls in the land of the free.

      Well, that depends on what city you live in and who is running things there. A decade back I called the Mayor (who actually talked to me!) complaining about the taste of the city water; I had to buy a filter and take water to work with me, city water was undrinkable. I was never harrassed orr threatened, and the water tasted very good just two days later.

      She retired and we got a new Mayor, and after my (now ex) wife was in an accident with a city truck that had run a red light, I got pulled over every damned day.

      But corporate monopolies can fuck you over, too. The city owns the power company, and we have (but not for long I fear, we got a new Mayor after Davlin committed suicide) the lowest rates and the best uptime in the state, and customer service is about as friendly as it could possibly be. Two F2 (nearly F3) tornados hit here on March 12, 2006 and completely destroyed the electrical infrastructure in a large swath of he town. The entire town was without power for several hours, and a week later everyone's electricity was back on. It took a month for anyone to get landline phone or cable service back. The city's scars from the tornado were still there two years later; it was a humungous mess.

      That June a weak F1 hit the St Louis area. A month later I visited a friend in Cahokia (in the path of the tornado, right across the river from St Louis) and he still had no power, but that was the only evidence that there had even been a tornado.

      So all in all, after my experiences, I'd pick municipal internet over corporate internet any day. They just raised our electric rates, and I expect the Mayor (the real head of the power company) to not be re-elected because of that.

      If the service is municipal owned and the rates are high and the service is shitty, the mayor loses his job. In a corporation, you have no pull whatever. What are you going to do, buy your electricity from another provider?

      Now, if this was Chicago instead of Springfield, I wouldn't want to contract for city-run ANYTHING.

      • by operagost (62405)

        If the service is municipal owned and the rates are high and the service is shitty, the mayor loses his job. In a corporation, you have no pull whatever. What are you going to do, buy your electricity from another provider?

        In PA, you can do just that. I have switched my electricity provider twice since the price caps were removed (thus making electricity choice relevant) and ended up with a cheaper rate each time. I will have to go back and check old bills because my "green" efforts have reduced my usag

    • Comcast actually has done things this egregious - maybe you remember the "Get a Cable Modem, Go To Jail" [mit.edu] event from the late 90s. But it's pretty rare.

    • by Lost Race (681080)

      There's no simpler way to put it than the article quote above. What is obvious is there is a massive civil contract dispute going on, and its not entirely certain who is right and wrong.

      It's not complicated at all. L2N peers with Albany, but the traffic is not balanced so L2N pays Albany for the connection. That's their relationship.

      L2N is an ISP; some of their customers use VOIP. Albany thinks they should get an extra cut for the "VOIPness" of L2N's traffic over their network, because they have a local mon

      • by vlm (69642)

        I was looking at the toxic business relationship angle, you're looking at it from a completely different angle.

        Look at the history... even the article notes that they used to get along years back. Then foolishness gets started which has steadily escalated for years. Net neutrality is being used as a weapon in todays battle in the multi-year war between that company and the local water utility. If I interpret you correctly you are analyzing how well they're applying that individual weapon. I think your i

  • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:32PM (#40090667) Homepage Journal

    Hey! Police! This startup is messing with my city-guaranteed monopoly! Take em down, officers!

    • by zlives (2009072)

      wonder if they file charges against porn web sites... clearly they should be the only one to screw the customers

    • by kjs3 (601225)
      Didn't read the article, eh? Don't understand the issues I see? How'd you miss your face with that knee-jerk.
  • So, the next time someone calls my home phone while I'm not home, I should file burglary charges against them... They should be charged with filing a false police report.
  • Here we have an instance of a tiny fish wanting to gobble up a huge national-international issue. If there is a case to be made it needs to at least resolve the issue for the entire nation. The hazard rests in the government simply not liking people to be able to communicate. Governments universally seem to dislike the ability of people to communicate easily.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    IP traffic is IP traffic. Why does my ISP care what all those packets contain, or where they are headed? I pay them to move my packets across the wire and route them properly; nothing else.

  • Either you provide Power, or water, or broadband or phone or TV.
    The fact that everything runs on your pipes/cables/em waves does not mean you are the one and only provider.
    At least for the sake of market freedom.
    And finally, what's written in the EU contract?

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      I don't think the European Union contract has anything to do with this. AND: The theory was that government should provide all these "necessities" to the citizen: power, water, sewer, and internet. They believed the government would do a better job than for-profit company. (Ooops... they were wrong.)

      • by aglider (2435074)

        EU=End User

  • And again why do we want the governments running our networks? They will be more likely to do this kind of stupid thing and get away with it.
    • by Bengie (1121981) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @03:18PM (#40092929)
      Around here, the government WANTS faster internet, but the Cable company keeps complaining when competition moves in or the state tries to lay its own. The people want it, the people are willing to pay a fair price for it, the Cable companies are not willing to do it.

      Actually, this was more like the past decade. The people finally won and we're getting fiber state wide. State is laying the infrastructure and leasing and/or selling at whole sale, while also providing grants/loans for local ISPs to upgrade/expand their infrastructure.

      fk you cable!
  • Why didn't they go after Netflex as well ? They have a lot bigger pockets to pick to fill the local coffers
  • ISP - You provide me with access to The Internet, what I choose to do with that access is none of your business. I SO hate what the net has become.

  • so wouldn't any other service that uses the isp's bandwidth, without being a customer themselves, also be stealing bandwidth? they either have to accuse everyone or no one.

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