FCC Moves to Halt Internet Service Provider Content Discrimination and Preferences

The Federal Communications Commission has moved to keep Internet service providers from limiting or unreasonably discriminating against content provided by competing services

The regulations are designed to keep telephone and cable companies that provide phone services from using their Internet services to limit use of Skype and other online telephone services. It is also intended to halt them from making content provided by audio and video service providers they do not own less desirable by limiting downloads from firms such as Netflix or Hulu or providing faster service only for their own content.

The rules are designed to maintain a level competitive position on the Internet and to restrict the abilities of companies that dominate access to the Internet from using oligopolistic control of the service points to harm content competitors.

The regulations require that services allow their customers equal access to all online content and services, but allow the services some flexibility to management network congestion and spam as long as the rules are clear and not anti-competitive.

The rules apply to fixed line services, but do not apply equally to wireless telephony which is becoming the primary means of Internet access though smart phones and electronic tablets and e-reader. Mobile phone providers are permitted to provide preferential access to their services or selected partners, but the rules forbid mobile providers from blocking access to competing sites and services. Mobile services are given more leeway to manage their networks because capacity is more limited than on the Internet.

The regulations are an important step in ensuring that major service providers such as Comcast and Verizon are not allowed to use their dominance in service provision to harm other companies and the FCC should be applauded for its efforts. Such companies have in the past shown their willingness to take advantage of their monopoloy power and are not widely noted for their consumer friendliness.

Major service providers and Republicans are vowing to fight the move, arguing that the FCC does not have the authority to issue such regulations. If the courts side with them on the issue, Congress should explicitly give it the authority or empower the Federal Trade Commission to ensure competivieneess online.

More Import Export Business Lessons

Another Import Export Business lesson in the form of an a Question and Answer Post:


I run a small wine export company in New Zealand and I am looking into exporting wine to Mali in Africa at the moment.

Contact is made, terms agreed on and now my customer says that I would need to open an non-residential account with his bank to enable him to transfer funds into my account in New Zealand. This sounds wrong to me and I have never been asked to do such a thing in the past. According to my customer this is an anti fraud measure introduced by the Malian government.

Could you please advise me whether or not this is true. Your help would be very much appreciated.


I would suggest that you do a search in google for Mali + Fraud and/or Mali + scam - Mali appears to be yet another African cesspool of fraudulent activity.

My first suggestion is - Find a buyer not in a 3rd world country

One of the key factors that fraudsters play on their marks is the desperation of or greed for the completion of a sale or to get money.

How many things could go wrong with this?? You deposit funds to open an account, your client "supposedly" puts their funds into your account. If the bank is a legit one, how do you know your buyer does not have a friend working in the bank? How do you get your funds back?? The Mali bank is under NO obligations like your NZ banks have to their customers.

How many different ways does this have to sound like a scam before you simply deem it NOT worth the trouble?

Please do yourself a favor and read some of the listings google will give you on the suggested searches above - these people have honed the art of scam.

Is the sale really worth all the hassle if it is legit? Talk to a freight forwarder in NZ that deals with Mali and see if they have heard of this 'new' requirement. But bottom line, is it all worth it?? Cant' you find a buyer
elsewhere in a non- 3rd world country.

Have you done due diligence on your buyer, or the so-called bank you would need to deal with??

See the list of resources we recommend -


My advice goes back to my first suggestion - WALK AWAY.

Ron Coble

Content Farms and the Exploitation of Information

A growing number of firms are aggressively pursuing the market for information by providing material that answers online searches and employing strategies so their material appears high in search results.

These enterprises are providing high quantity, low quality material on topics designed to produce many search hits and driven by the desire to make money from advertising received as high traffic sites. Some are proving quite successful.

Demand Media, for example, uses about 13,000 freelance writers to produce about 4000 articles a day for which it gains about 95 million unique visitors with more than 620 million page views monthly. Its eHow.com site alone gets about 50 million users. Ask.com, Yahoo and AOL are also engaging in the market.

When you make a search and are taken to answer.com, dictionary.com, wikianswers.com or hundreds of other sites providing such information to the public, you encounter this mass produced content. The business strategy is working and many of the sites are among the top 25 sites in the U.S.

These producers and a whole range of similar organizations are producing material in content farms that rely on freelancers who are paid as little as $1 an article or get no payment except for number of page views for their specific work. It is a throwback to the penny-a-word days of journalism in the 19th century. The firms are increasingly seeking video producers, photographers, and graphic artists to provide similar material at similar levels of compensation.

Even established news organizations and other enterprises are starting to use the syndicated material produced by such content farms. Organizations such as Hearst publications and National Football League are relying on them for some content that appears on their sites, for example.

The implications of these developments on the quality of Internet information and the prospects for professional writers are clear and hardly encouraging.