Whats the Difference Between a Telco and an ISP? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
10/16/2007
08:08 AM
50%
50%

Whats the Difference Between a Telco and an ISP?

The inability of the courts and regulatory bodies to keep pace with technological changes could create problems, one that Richi Jennings, an analyst at Ferris Research thinks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should acknowledge and fix.

The inability of the courts and regulatory bodies to keep pace with technological changes could create problems, one that Richi Jennings, an analyst at Ferris Research thinks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should acknowledge and fix.He notes that ISPs have garnered a legal status known as Common Carrier. This categorization means that an ISP cannot be charged if someone uses its communications lines to transfer illegal materials, such as copyrighted works or child pornography. The rationale is the ISPs job is to move information from place to place and not to judge whether or not the content is appropriate or inappropriate.

However with the advent of the Internet, ISPs do more than simply move data from one place to another. In their efforts to ward off spam, they determine whether some information is appropriate or not and block it from being delivered. In fact, various ad-hoc groups are trying to work with ISPs and cut down on the amount of clutter that users find in their In Boxes. The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group, whose goal is to bring the messaging industry together to tackle messaging abuse, has been recommending that ISPs set up outbound as well as inbound spam filtering systems, to help prevent virus-infected PCs from sending spam from their networks. Yet, some industry observers are expressing concern that such discrimination would count as another instance where they break their Common Carrier rules.

So do these actions violate the current definition of a Common Carrier? On the surface, it would seem that a lawyer could make that argument. The problem remains because the definition of Common Carrier has not changed since grandma was baking apple pies. One can understand why the FCC would avoid this area (It would be difficult to craft a new definition in todays complex communications world) but until the agency takes that step, there is a chance that a court will court will rule that actions such as spam filtering are illegal and create chaos for medium and small businesses.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll