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The Internet

Net Neutrality Never Really Existed? 157

dido writes "In his most recent column, Robert X. Cringely observes that network neutrality may have never really existed at all. It appears that some, perhaps all, of the major broadband ISPs have been implementing tiered service levels for a long time. From the article: 'What turns out to be the case is that some ISPs have all along given priorities to different packet types. What AT&T, Comcast and the others were trying to do was to find a way to be paid for priority access — priority access that had long existed but hadn't yet been converted into a revenue stream.'" Cringely comes to this conclusion after being unable to get a fax line working. His assumption that the (Vonage) line's failure to support faxing is due to Comcast packet prioritizing is not really supported or proved. But his main point about the longstanding existence of service tiering will come as no surprise to this community.

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