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Russian Telco MTS Bans Skype, Other VoIP Services 94

An anonymous reader writes "MTS, one of the three largest mobile carriers in Russia, have been buying up smaller cable TV and Internet providers across the country, and besides the GSM/3G cellphone service they now also offer cable TV and home broadband Internet access. And their unified TOS [PDF] (Russian; mirror) for home broadband now says: "3.4.4. The customer may not use the Services for the purpose of transferring voice over the Internet; Skype and other similar software is forbidden." (screenshot). Really, why would you need to phone over the Internet, comrade, when you have a perfectly good cellphone [from MTS, presumably]?" Can anyone out there provide a good translation?
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Russian Telco MTS Bans Skype, Other VoIP Services

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  • Re:Net Neutrality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Teancum ( 67324 ) <[ten.orezten] [ta] [gninroh_trebor]> on Saturday October 08, 2011 @06:06AM (#37646800) Homepage Journal

    The problem is thinking somehow that there are some "special" classes of data and other "not so special" classes of data. Net neutrality isn't even really a political game, but rather an arbitrary designation that has no basis in reality.

    Seriously think about it if you have any knowledge of network protocols: Does it really matter what you call the data as long as eventually the end users simply see the interpretation of that data? You can put a telephone conversation wrapped up into an MPEG movie requested via HTTP and the end users wouldn't know the difference as long as the software can pull that conversation out of the data stream. Turn it into a PNG image (or series of images) if you have to. TCP/IP ports numbers.... and those mean anything at all? Instead the firewalls pervert everything to squeeze through port 80 so the whole concept is meaningless in the first place.

    This goes doubly so for China, as many of those who are skillful in the art of getting around the "Great Firewall of China" have used this concept of data encapsulation for a great many years. You can even do acts of Steganography to "hide in plain sight" data if you really care to in a multitude of manners.

    All that attempts to put in classes of service actually accomplish is to raise the bar for an ever escalating arms race where all those who are attempting to control the internet will accomplish is to choke network bandwidth with needless protocols and extra layers of useless routing data that accomplishes nothing in the end. Data simply is data, and if you are being honest as a carrier as well as wanting to actually care about your customers, you would accept net neutrality as a basic business plan because economics would keep you from mucking up your service with all that extra useless data to encapsulate what customers really want to accomplish. Bandwidth goes down along with "quality of service".... not just for those who are playing games to get around the restrictions but also for the rest of us who have to use that same network for "proper" activities recognized by the network carriers. We all lose when this game is played, including the carriers themselves.

    If only this argument could be explained to members of parliaments/congresses/legislatures as well as corporate boards of directors... but those folks like to be able to manipulate people for their own ends. Trying to explain liberty to folks like that is like trying to convince a brick wall that it can fly like a bird.

  • Re:Netherlands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday October 08, 2011 @09:33AM (#37647382) Homepage Journal

    Right, in either scenario they win.

    Not that i normally approve of federal government intervention, but some industries do need to be regulated to ensure fairness of service to the citizens. Industries that are fundamental to our way of life ( i wont use the term required however, as we don't NEED them for life.. but it is ingrained into modern society now, just as running water and electricity is )

  • Re:Not new... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Saturday October 08, 2011 @10:36AM (#37647724)

    VoIP codecs are typically ~10kbit/s, which is a trickle on a 7.2MBit lines... I highly doubt it's the bandwidth that bothers them, especially when you're allowed to stream audio and video as much as you want within your bandwidth allowance ;)

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson