In 2005, the FCC fined Madison River Communications for blocking competing VoIP service, and in 2010, customers of Windstream Communications complained that it was redirecting some Google searches to its own service. Windstream stopped redirecting the search results after customer complaints.
"Customers need basic safeguards against unreasonable discrimination no matter how big or small their broadband provider may be, and even if those customers have a choice among broadband providers," Wood said by email. "Because once you're signed up, that cable company controls the only wire into and out of your house."
While smaller ISPs may not have market power to demand traffic prioritization payments from websites, those examples show there are other reasons for blocking or slowing some Web traffic, Wood said.
"In the end, it's hard to understand what ACA is complaining about," he added. "If its members truly have no incentive and no ability to block or discriminate unreasonably, then what's the burden from complying with rules against blocking and unreasonable discrimination? That's all the FCC is proposing to adopt here. ACA is basically saying we should only apply laws to the people who intend to break them."
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