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A World Without Net Neutrality Already Exists, by Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio

Stashed in: Teh Internets, Fox News, Twilio!, Net Neutrality

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To understand neutrality, you have to understand an esoteric concept called “common carriage.”

Since 1934 and the advent of common carriage in the U.S., telephone service providers have been prohibited from deciding who you can call or what you’re allowed to say while you’re talking. We take this freedom for granted in our voice communications. But for SMS, where messages aren’t afforded common carriage, carriers are responsible for policing the content of the communications.

Since 2010, innovators have used the power of communications by leveraging open access to SMS to deliver new products and services to consumers. In that time, companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Nordstrom and The Home Depot have delivered customer experiences via the ubiquitous mobile medium of SMS.

But unfortunately — due to the lack of network neutrality rules — we’ve seen carriers block messages from customers for arbitrary and unpredictable reasons – for example, because they contain web links, because they reference alcohol, and because — and I’m not making this up — they reference content from Urban Dictionary. Do we really want an Internet where carriers police the content that we see? Should we really choose between a Fox News Internet and an MSNBC Internet?

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