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impact on those with physical problems Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 16:31:22 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mike Todd <Todd () iramp com>
Date: April 30, 2006 4:25:22 PM EDT
To: ip () v2 listbox com, dave () farber net
Cc: bod () isoc-la org
Subject: Re: [IP] more on Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute

Dave and other IP list readers,

I have been watching the exchange of messages on this topic and am concerned about the impact of this kind of heavy-handed action and its impact on more
of our Digital Divide affected netizens than just those who might be
concerned by the cost factor.

My concern is for those who have physical and other challenges that cause
them to stick with older computer technology, such as DOS and specific
computer related hardware that interface with devices and software that have
been developed to accommodate their needs.

Because this is not a "large and lucrative" market for hardware and software
developers, these folks are often faced with making due with what is
available - and it has to keep on working even though the current
technologies are moving on.

If companies like Microsoft were truly dedicated to supporting the
"accessibility community", they would not continue dropping support for
"legacy" systems that may be a convenience factor for some people but are
definite barriers for others who have no way to accommodate that kind of
action. I don't know about the general public but I know I am not really
concerned about Microsoft's ability to focus on the most profitable
ventures. Even Microsoft investors should have some concern for Microsoft's
public perceptions.

As you can see, it is easy for me to get off track when discussing the many
facets of this category of problems.

In this latest issue, phone companies, insecure in their own "legacy"
problems and looking at reversing their "mistakes" regarding charging by the minute for local calls that happen to provide an internet connection, are literally cutting off the ability of a person who has the larger kinds of accessibility problems, from being able to take a trip and still be able to make an internet connection by using someone's dial-up service when they are
not in their at-home environment.

At-home is where the accessibility challenged have spent much money and
effort to enable using whatever computer technology they must in order to support their at-home connections. Quite often they are faced with using
DOS (none of the "big" companies still support) and older hardware (no
portable computer made in the United States provides a modem with a true
UART that may be used with DOS - the only ones available for portable
computers require a "win-modem" that will only work within Microsoft's
supported Windows platforms).  So who do the telephone companies hurt in
order to make some "last straw grabs at easy profits"? The people who are
least able to find other alternatives.

It would be easy to end this note with a "shame on the phone companies"
thrust but there is a better solution for everyone.  How about if the
technology companies, Microsoft included, accept a challenge to do more for
the "accessibility" sector than build a web site that focuses on
accessibility issues that is barely accessible by those affected (such as Microsoft's that does not even pass the minimal tests of accessibility that the community has provided as a help for developers). The large hardware
and software developers have the resources and could very easily extend
concepts like "backward compatibility" and offer assistance to smaller
companies that have developed solutions that folks in the accessibility
communities have found useful, to better enable them to accommodate new
hardware paradigms and new operating systems so that the accessibility
community is not left in a lurch.

Besides, I believe it is always better to expand a market than to implement
options that make it shrink.

Mike Todd
President, Mike Todd Associates - www.MikeTodd.com
Supporting the Digital Coast

President, Internet Society Los Angeles Chapter - www.ISOC-LA.org

Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Law
Pepperdine University School of Law - mltodd () pepperdine edu

Technology Expert Witness - ExpertWitness () miketodd com

  310-321-5706  Office Phone
  310-321-5701  Office FAX
  714-893-6684  After Hours Voice
  714-893-6866  After Hours FAX
  714-222-3700  Cell

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Farber" <dave () farber net>
To: <ip () v2 listbox com>
Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 5:26 AM
Subject: [IP] more on Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute

Begin forwarded message:

From: Thomas Leavitt <thomas () thomasleavitt org>
Date: April 30, 2006 3:10:51 AM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Cc: monty () roscom com
Subject: Re: Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute


What changed, after fifteen-plus years under the previous model?!? The
article's failure to describe the legal basis for the ruling and/or why
this dispute is different and distinct, and/or the precedent setting
nature of this ruling and how it differs from previous practice is very

I know plenty of small (under 5000 person) ISPs that still depend on
dial up for a substantial proportion of their revenue and as a backup
for DSL and for traveling customers... a ruling of this sort, especially
one that renders the ISP liable (how does that work?!?), is a death
knell to dial up, and will drive down adoption of the Internet for a lot
of people (they'll go back to casual / intermittent use, only connect
through WiFi at cafe's, etc. - I know a lot of poor people who simply
won't commit to a broadband contract). What will this to do non-profit
companies like LA Freenet (www.lafn.org), which my parents still use as
their primary Internet access method?


From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute / Ruling
favoring Verizon may hike price of service
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 20:24:10 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Monty Solomon <monty () roscom com>
Date: April 28, 2006 6:57:20 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipient:;
Subject: Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute / Ruling
favoring Verizon may hike price of service

Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute
Ruling favoring Verizon may hike price of service

By Keith Reed, Globe Staff  |  April 28, 2006

Service to thousands of dial-up Internet users in Massachusetts was
disrupted this week after a federal court ruled against a Quincy
company in a lawsuit that could have broad impact on the cost of
dial-up service.

The US Court of Appeals in Boston ruled April 11 that Verizon
Communications Inc. can charge per-minute fees for calls to local
numbers that dial-up users need to connect to the Internet -- in much
the same way that they charge for long-distance or other calls.

The ruling came after Verizon sued Global NAPs Inc., a Quincy company
that supplies local numbers to 28 Internet service providers for use
by their dial-up customers.

Verizon claims it is owed more than $65 million by Global NAPs. The
court did not rule on damages, but Verizon cut off Global NAPs's
access to its network, effectively shutting down Internet service for
customers of dial-up providers like MegaNet of Fall River, which had
to find another company to supply emergency connections for its
approximately 7,500 dial-up subscribers.


Thomas Leavitt <thomas () thomasleavitt org> - 831-295-3917
Godmoma's Forge, LLC - www.godmomasforge.com
- Web and graphic design made spiffy -

Encrypted public key at http://www.thomasleavitt.org/thomas.asc

Download GnuPG (including for Windows) at
http://www.gnupg.org/download/ to read .asc attachment (encrypted

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