Can sites violate net neutrality?

In this case Comcast, which we have been hammering on here for throttling BitTorrent, is the innocent victim. Rather, you might argue its subscribers are. Or, you might argue its' competitors' subscribers are.

ESPN 360 logo
For the last year Disney's ESPN has been trying to bring the basic cable model to the Web, charging ISPs to let their subscribers deliver its ESPN360 service.

In this case Comcast, which we have been hammering on here for throttling BitTorrent, is the innocent victim. Rather, you might argue its subscribers are. Or, you might argue its' competitors' subscribers are. Read on.

In flogging the service in February, ESPN executives were quite explicit, claiming future growth for ISPs will depend "on the value of the content they offer."

So far  AT&T and Verizon, have jumped at the chance to make their services "better" than cable Internet, even at a price. Most cable companies are holding firm. In July ESPN claimed it had 30 deals.

So, is this a violation of net neutrality? If subscribers could buy their own subscriptions, at some price, I would see no problem. That's not being offered maybe because ESPN failed in this area with its Insider service.

Advocates for the phone companies insist this is a good thing, that ESPN360 would not exist without such "experimentation." What is in fact happening is phone companies are charging non-fans for something only fans want.

Will it work? There are already indications ESPN is hedging its bets, adding free access to colleges and the military, admitting in February it had streamed only 500,000 hours of programming.

Personally I'd be pissed if my ISP were charging me for something I wouldn't use, giving in to a site owner too lazy to manage subscriptions.

As mad as I am at my cable operator for doing essentially the same thing?

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