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The Internet Censorship Communications

Fairpoint Pledges To Violate Net Neutrality 249

Posted by timothy
from the we'll-read-it-to-you-over-the-phone dept.
wytcld writes "Fairpoint Communications, which has taken over Verizon's landline business in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, has announced that on February 6, 'AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third-party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third-party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal.' Since Verizon spun off its lines to Fairpoint in a maneuver that got debt off of Verizon's balance sheets by saddling Fairpoint with it, there was concern by the public service boards of the three states about how Fairpoint would deal with that debt. Fairpoint's profit plan: force all Webmail users through Fairpoint's portal, by blocking all direct access to Webmail portals other than its own. Will Fairpoint's own search engine portal be next? What can stop them?"
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Fairpoint Pledges To Violate Net Neutrality

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  • by Ceiynt (993620) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:51PM (#26243507)
    And as soon as there support lines are ringing non-stop, and they start losing some of thier bigger customers, that will stop pretty soon.
    • Not the best situation, companies doing whatever they want until someone complains.

      • by LoadWB (592248) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @05:12PM (#26244573) Journal

        I was hit by the irony of the company name. Anyway, if I understand this correctly, this is a win-win situation for Verizon.

        FairPoint forces all web mail systems to funnel through its own portal, thus generating ad-generated and direct-marketing revenue streams. With this they can quickly eliminate any remaining debt. (And, of course, there are surely technological means around this -- tunneling, and so forth.)

        Or they piss off customers and those who can switch to another provider, will. The company becomes insolvent or sells to someone else.

        Either way, the debt is already the problem of someone other than Verizon.

        Although, I think the bigger question is what happens to, and who safeguards, all of the data and personal information which will easily be harvested using a web mail proxy-portal?

  • what can stop them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by portscan (140282) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:52PM (#26243521)

    watching their customers dropping like flies...

    • by Repossessed (1117929) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @04:35PM (#26244265)

      How many of their customers are in areas with only one non dialup provider?

      I doubt this will last though, Fairpoint isn't big enough to stand up against MSFT's legal department, and the Tier 1 contract probably requires them to be a neutral provider.

      • I doubt this will last though, Fairpoint isn't big enough to stand up against MSFT's legal department, and the Tier 1 contract probably requires them to be a neutral provider.

        MSN and Yahoo *better* pay attention to this, because while it's only a possible 1.5 million right now, this opens the door to ISP blocking of all sorts of different on-line services that these Big Players are steaking their futures on.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        I noticed that they didn't say a thing about GMail.
        I wonder if they are paying Microsoft and Yahoo something to keep the hounds at bay.
        Google has too much money right now to be messed with and too much riding on Net Neutrality to be paid off so I guess they will not be blocked. besides what if Google blocked Fairpoint users from Google search and YouTube until fairpoint unblocked gmail?

  • by deft (253558) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:52PM (#26243525) Homepage

    Which is why I'm not looking for a new provider right now.

    if it did, I'd be looking up new plans in my area. Thats just rediculous. They are altering and restricting service, with no added benefits anywhere?

    The competitors should be advertising that they arent fairpoint as their best marketing campaign ever.

    • by residieu (577863)
      You have the added benefit of that warm feeling knowing the poor executives will be getting a better bonus.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jonadab (583620)
      > The competitors should be advertising

      They're *the* local telephone company across multiple states. They have no direct competitors in that market.

      I suppose cellular providers and cable providers will try to take advantage of this, but cellphonscht kshcht bzsakt shchtkischt rural kschischt bzczoscht, and cable providers only offer internet and maybe VOIP (err, and television if you're into that), which in the general case are not necessarily very good substitutes for an actual phone line.

      Having said th
    • Uh, I'm a Fairpoint DSL customer right now myself. They are WAY WAY cheaper (still around $50 a month for naked "high speed" DSL) than the amazing plethora of one other choice, the cable co, which is even more predatory (well, maybe not anymore) than the telco.

      So, for the blessings of actually being able TO HAVE STINKING EMAIL I'll have to now pay what, about $80 a month? Lovely.

      BTW, I've written everyone down thar 'n flatland, but I aren't holdin my breath... (still, I urge all to do the same).

    • by ameyer17 (935373)

      The competitors should be advertising that they arent fairpoint as their best marketing campaign ever.

      What competitors?
      Hopefully the government will actually have the balls to make them stop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:53PM (#26243539)

    Fairpoint contact addresses:

    Northern New England

    521 E. Morehead Street,
    Suite 240 Box #29,
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    Email: information@fairpoint.com

    Corporate

    521 E. Morehead Street,
    Suite 250 Box F,
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    Email: information@fairpoint.com

    Also tell everyone you know about, Streisand effect, tor, ssh tunnels, and other anti censorship tools.

  • Good thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dreampod (1093343) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:53PM (#26243541)
    I think that ultimately this is good for the case for Net Neutrality. It is a blatant move that blocks access rather than slowing it which will provoke an outcry even from the computer illiterate. This gives a real world example of what can happen without Net Neutrality to hit back against tiered internet supporters who claim that there will be no real downsides if we allow companies to boost their bottom lines at the expense of consumers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772)

      My guess is users attempting to navigate to Yahoo's mail site are simply redirected to Fairpoint's portal page, so their access isn't blocked, and the average clueless luser may not notice a thing

      (other than the page looks different)

      • by ppanon (16583)
        Which is pretty well the definition of Man-in-the-middle attack. While (hopefully) won't choose to exploit the approach with anything more than wasting your screen space with advertising, I would hope that they would be subject to two types of lawsuits. One from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, et al for brand dilution and/or copyright infringement (the resulting screen is a derived work), and one from users for illegal interception of communications.
      • Re:Good thing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LoadWB (592248) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @05:20PM (#26244635) Journal

        When I worked ISP tech support, I used to get calls from customers asking me to give them their passwords. After several minutes of confusion, I would discover the customer meant his Yahoo! (or Hotmail, or whatever) password. I would explain that we do not have that information as he is using a third-party system. To which the reply would come, "well, you're my Internet provider, aren't you?"

        FairPoint... all I can say is you better have plenty of aspirin and therapy coverage for your employees.

      • by Kadin2048 (468275)

        I suspect this is quite right.

        My suspicion is that they'll implement this in DNS. They'll just fix their servers so that Yahoo's (and whomever else's they choose) webmail interface resolves to their server, where they'll set up a "301 Moved Permanently" pointing to their webmail site. They could of course skip the redirect step, and just point Yahoo to their server directly in DNS, but that gets them a lot closer to actually impersonating Yahoo's service (since it would still say 'yahoo.com' in the addres

    • Re:Good thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:27PM (#26243771)

      I wouldn't even call it net neutrality, it makes it an internet issue while this is just plain old common carrier (this was a previous article recently somewhere). I, as a telephone customer, call whoever I want. AT&T can't stop a call and say "Sorry, that's not a customer of ours or an approved partner, sorry. Call someone else."

      It is not the googles and amazons of the world "calling" various internet surfers and demanding attention. It's the internet surfers who go out and "call"/retrieve the web pages they want. As soon as an ISP blocks that, they are not providing the internet they promised and lose common carrier status and the legal benefits it occurs by staying neutral and not checking what web pages are retrieved.

      I hope Fairpoint goes through with this and gets their ass handed to them.

      • Re:Good thing (Score:5, Informative)

        by Miseph (979059) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @04:43PM (#26244345) Journal

        "As soon as an ISP blocks that, they are not providing the internet they promised and lose common carrier status and the legal benefits it occurs by staying neutral and not checking what web pages are retrieved.'

        Can't lose what they never had. ISPs don't have, and aren't required to have, common carrier status; the idea was floated, but they shot it down because, frankly, it would cost an awful lot of money and create criminal penalties for failing to meet service guidelines. They DO get some protections from the DMCA safe harbor provisions which are similar to those given to common carriers, but they are slightly different and DO NOT require ISPs to retain any sort of common carrier status.

        Basically, common carrier is achieved by guaranteeing that transmissions will be delivered to the intended recipient without any sort of interference or monitoring on the part of the carrier, as well as meeting certain requirements for uptime and maintenance, and the free provision of service for the purpose of emergency communications (ie. 911 calls), and the protection given is that common carriers cannot be prosecuted for any crimes which are committed with the use of their services no matter how heinous or large in scale. The safe harbor provisions are achieved simply by connecting users to the internet, and only grant protection from civil suits regarding copyright infringement by users on their large and potentially semi-monitored (there are rules regarding monitoring, but they do not forbid all monitoring of traffic, merely on taking action with regards to certain aspects of it) network.

        • by Renraku (518261)

          But its not 'The Internet' if some sites are blocked by the ISP, is it?

          Its 'The Internet according to Carl's Jr.'

          or

          'The Internet according to Fairpoint'

          It should be labeled as such. In fact, its named should be changed to TIATF-SP. Or else false advertising charges could be brought.

        • by PPH (736903)

          Basically, common carrier is achieved by guaranteeing that transmissions will be delivered to the intended recipient without any sort of interference or monitoring on the part of the carrier,...

          Common carrier status is achieved when the regulators having jurisdiction over your business say you are a common carrier. Then, they apply the various quality of service, maintenance and delivery guarantees to your operations.

          There's not much you can do about it as a private business. At such time that the FCC tells you that you are a common carrier, you can kick, scream, stamp your little feet, pay off congresspersons to try and get a law changed. But common carrier status isn't something that you opt in

  • Not gonna happen (Score:2, Informative)

    by assemblerex (1275164)
    Vermont's motto is "Freedom and unity". I don't think they have a snowball's chance in hell of doing this.
    • Re:Not gonna happen (Score:4, Informative)

      by Terminal Saint (668751) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:56PM (#26243559)
      Let's not forget New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die."
      • Re:Not gonna happen (Score:5, Informative)

        by Firehed (942385) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:16PM (#26243685) Homepage

        And as someone currently in NH who lived in VT for most of his life, I'll point out that, by and large, the only people who actually believe in those mottos are growing-pot-on-the-porch hippie types that nobody takes seriously, and suffice to say aren't exactly internet-savvy.

        FWIW, I did see a bumper sticker on a Verizon service van saying something to the general effect of "Fairpoint is the only company worse than we are!" and had to agree. Even still, you're lucky to have one option for a broadband provider in many parts of VT and NH, let alone two. I can't speak for Maine but assume it's about the same.

        HOWEVER, after looking at TFA (ignore sig, please), it looks like a quote has been pulled wildly out of context:

        Starting Jan. 31, users of e-mail software applications like Microsoft Outlook can begin adjusting their e-mail settings. The process can be automated by visiting www.activate.MyFairPoint.net/emailupdate and following the instructions. Users can also update their settings manually.

        Web-based e-mail users can continue to access their e-mail at the Verizon Web site until Feb. 6. After that date, Fastiggi said users will need to log on to www.MyFairPoint.net. Customers then click on Web mail and type in their existing user name@myfairpoint.net and existing password.

        AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal.

        Fastiggi said e-mail will automatically be forwarded from a customer's Verizon e-mail address to myfairpoint.net for three months, until April 30.

        Sounds like all that's going to happen is Verizon will be killing off their portal which was previously doing some level of integration w/ AOL, Y!, and MSN, and those who have been bought out by Fairpoint will no longer be able to use it. Which makes sense, as they're no longer Verizon customers.

    • Vermont's motto is "Freedom and unity".

      This way they deliver "unity" - all mail web-services under one, united interface.

      Also you get freedom from non-Fairpoint advertisements.

  • No it doesn't. (Score:5, Informative)

    by barfy (256323) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:54PM (#26243551)

    Did anyone read the article???

    Verizon provided a service to IT'S customers where they can read webmail of another provider on their web page. Fairpoint is saying that after x date that if you still want that kind of service you have to go through THEIR web page. You can still go to Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, and Hotmail, and read your mail from those pages directly.

    This is NOT a net neutrality issue. It is an added feature provided by the provider.

    I for instance have NEVER used any of my ISP features, as I have separate email provider. Nothing Changes.

    Shenanigans!
    Happy New Year

    • Re:No it doesn't. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Trahloc (842734) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:01PM (#26243583) Homepage
      Did *you* read the article?

      "... will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal."

      Sounds pretty straight forward to me. You wont be able to go to mail.yahoo.com, you'll have to go to allyourbasebelongtous.MyFairPoint.net to access your yahoo email.
      • by pm_rat_poison (1295589) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:09PM (#26243627)

        allyourbasebelongtous.MyFairPoint.net

        I'm pretty sure that would give you a 404. The correct url is
        allyourbaseAREbelongtous.MyFairPoint.net

        • by the_B0fh (208483)

          No, don't you know that a website doesn't work if it doesn't have the magical www in front of it? So, it should be www.allyourbaseArebelongtous.MyFairPoint.net

          (yes, I had someone tell me that as I was trying to get a site up... *sigh*)

      • Re:No it doesn't. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by techno-vampire (666512) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:09PM (#26243631) Homepage
        Yes, I did RTFA, but unlike you, I did so with an open mind. Before the part you quote, it says, " Web-based e-mail users can continue to access their e-mail at the Verizon Web site until Feb. 6." In that context, it looks to me as though the Verizon webmail page is the "third party Web site" referred to. I'll grant that it's not written as clearly as it should be, but it does make more sense than the interpretation in the summary. Cutting off access to other provider's webmail site while allowing unhindered access to all of their other content just doesn't make sense. Telling new customers that if they want their third-party email on their homepage they need to use yours instead of their other providers does. My guess is that when the dust clears this will turn out to be Yet Another Slashdot Tempest In A Teapot.
        • Let me get this straight.

          If I use gmail to read my email that's fine.

          But if I use google/ig as my home page to read my email (as google allows me to do for the last 2-3 months), that's going to be blocked?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Paradise Pete (33184)
          I agree that most likely the reporter simply got it wrong, but these two sentences, especially with the instead link, certainly imply that Yahoo is one of the third parties whose email will not be available except through fairpoint.

          Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal.

          • by rhizome (115711)

            I agree that most likely the reporter simply got it wrong, but these two sentences, especially with the instead link, certainly imply that Yahoo is one of the third parties whose email will not be available except through fairpoint.

            You inferred it but it's not implied (much less 'certainly'). If Yahoo was a "third party Web site" for the purpose of the article, then MSN would be too ("Yahoo and MSN subscribers") and they wouldn't have used the singular "site." All you have to do is replace "third party Web"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Trahloc (842734)
          Hmm well I read it as you can still use the "third party" email systems as meaning all those companies listed, such as yahoo. You just need to access it via the isp's portal. Now its possible the writer of that release whipped it up in 5 minutes without proof reading it for clarity so you might have the right of it... but strangely I'm going to continue leaning towards /.'s interpretation until proven otherwise. Better to holler and shout and be wrong than stay silent and be proven right when your no lon
          • Better to holler and shout and be wrong than stay silent and be proven right when your no longer able to access your email on the official site.

            Even better is to go right to the source and ask the horse. Why not check with Fairpoint itself and find out just what's going on? If "m right, no problem; if I'm wrong, we'll know what to do next.

      • Re:No it doesn't. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Unoriginal Nick (620805) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:10PM (#26243639)
        Read the paragraph before it. The "third party Web site" is referring to the Verizon web site, not Yahoo, MSN, etc. This is a non-story.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ptbarnett (159784)

        Sounds pretty straight forward to me. You wont be able to go to mail.yahoo.com, you'll have to go to allyourbasebelongtous.MyFairPoint.net to access your yahoo email.

        I think the article is wrong, having been written by a typical clueless journalist.

        This sounds like Verizon subscribers were getting some sort of "partner" package with Yahoo, MSN, and/or AOL -- i.e. certain things like email service were out-sourced.

        My father was offered the same deal with Southwestern Bell (now AT&T) DSL. I steered him away from it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Jarik C-Bol (894741)
          DING! and we finally get someone who gets it. Verizon has the same deal going on as the fabled "ATT/Yahoo!" DSL package. you get ATT DSL, with a deranged ATT frontend for Yahoo's services. So what you have in the article, is Verizon internet, with a Verizon frontend for Yahoo, MSN or AOL. now, since Verizon sold off its responsibility for this frontend business to FairPoint, the yahoo.verison.blah frontend is going to become yahoo.fairpoint.blah or somsuch. verizon was the third party website, Yahoo.com ca
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mysidia (191772)

        Did *you* read the article?

        Frequently the authors of such articles are not very technical and don't understand all details of the situation.

        It is eminently plausible that the author of the article was confused, AND Fairpoint was talking about the third-party Verizon portal for accessing Yahoo mail and other webmail services.

        In fact... it's much more likely than that an ISP would go to measures to block third-party webmail sites

        Which would be extremely unpopular among subscribers, and might upset t

        • It is eminently plausible that the author of the article was confused, AND Fairpoint was talking about the third-party Verizon portal for accessing Yahoo mail and other webmail services.

          ...Verizon has a site called the "third-party portal"? Yeah, I can see how that could get confusing in a situation where there are real third parties, none of whom are Verizon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Firehed (942385)

        Context is really damn important, and you're using even less of it than the summary. The third party website in question is a Verizon portal, not AOL/Y!/MSN's respective sites.

        Of course, Rutland VT (where TFA comes from) isn't exactly known for being tech-savvy, so the meaning could have been a bit clearer, but read enough of it and it's fairly clear. I go into it a bit more in a post above, but this quote without creative trimming makes it fairly clear what the intent is:

        FairPoint spokeswoman Beth Fastiggi said Friday that Internet customers will keep their existing user names and passwords but will use a different domain: myfairpoint.net.

        Starting Jan. 31, users of e-mail software applications like Microsoft Outlook can begin adjusting their e-mail settings. The process can be automated by visiting www.activate.MyFairPoint.net/emailupdate and following the instructions. Users can also update their settings manually.

        Web-based e-mail users can continue to access their e-mail at the Verizon Web site until Feb. 6. After that date, Fastiggi said users will need to log on to www.MyFairPoint.net. Customers then click on Web mail and type in their existing user name@myfairpoint.net and existing password.

        AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal.

        Fastiggi said e-mail will automatically be forwarded from a customer's Verizon e-mail address to myfairpoint.net for three months, until April 30.

      • I read it, and what I saw was "Company A buys company B, after date C punters need to collect ISP email from mail.a.com instead of mail.b.com".

        Doesn't seem like a "net neutrality" story (or indeed a story at all) to me.

      • by Lazarian (906722)
        "... will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal."

        Interpretation: They are going to extensively datamine your email.

    • Web-based e-mail users can continue to access their e-mail at the Verizon Web site until Feb. 6. After that date, Fastiggi said users will need to log on to www.MyFairPoint.net. Customers then click on Web mail and type in their existing user name@myfairpoint.net and existing password.

      AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed direc

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Verizon provided a service to IT'S customers where they can read webmail of another provider on their web page. Fairpoint is saying that after x date that if you still want that kind of service you have to go through THEIR web page. You can still go to Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, and Hotmail, and read your mail from those pages directly.

      Article says:

      Web-based e-mail users can continue to access their e-mail at the Verizon Web site until Feb. 6. After that date, Fastiggi said users will need to log on to www.MyFairPoint.net. Customers then click on Web mail and type in their existing user name@myfairpoint.net and existing password.

      AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be acce

    • Re:No it doesn't. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:26PM (#26243761) Homepage

      Exactly. they are shutting down VERIZONS integrated email portal. NOT blocking access to mail.yahoo.com

      The whole story headline is a troll and should be voted down.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        I second this. I commented twice on this story based on the summary alone. This looks like they are cutting off integrated access to Verizon's portal based on them splitting from Verizon.

        The summary is a troll to elicit reactions such as mine or the author just really misunderstood.

  • i smell a law suit brewing against Fairpoint...
  • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:59PM (#26243571) Homepage Journal
    1. AOL
    2. Yahoo!
    3. MSN/Microsoft
    4. A class-action by their subscribers
    5. the FTC
    6. the FCC

    ...why didn't I see Gmail on their list?

  • This chipping away at net neutrality is dangerous. Let's hope legislators in Maine, NH and VT see that compromising net neutrality is extending to large corporations the same preferences they enjoy offline, and granting their wealth the same citizen-crushing weight that enables travesties like the RIAA's greedy rape of innocents.

    Net neutrality is more important than most know. It is *worth fighting for*. Educate others!

  • .. and aren't monopolies bad enough offline when a corporation gets too much power?

  • I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by carlzum (832868) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:43PM (#26243889)
    I'll reserve my judgment until I see this reported in a better source. This article is written so poorly I suspect the author has no idea what his misstatement implies. If FairPoint is planning to block major webmail sites, the Rutland Herald missed out on a huge story. They seem to be the only news source with this information.

    Look at what other sites [boston.com] are reporting about this deal. "In Maine, regulators have alerted FairPoint that it will be scrutinized more closely than probably any other utility in the state's history." If true, the details will come to light quickly as this hits the major news outlets.
  • by hansoloaf (668609) <hansoloaf.yahoo@com> on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:56PM (#26243979)
    I got their mailer and here what it says :

    Yahoo!, AOL and MSN or Other Third-Party Portal Users

    On Jan 31, 2009, you'll still have access to Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN content, but you'll no longer be able to access your email directly through the third-party portal. Instead, you'll now have access to the new MyFairPoint.net portal.

    Beginning January 1, 2009, we'll start the migration of all Verizon-Yahoo! emails and settings to your new FairPoint WebMail account. You'll be able to access your FairPoint WebMail on this date, but your Verizon-Yahoo! messages may not be transferred until later in the month. Please check your new inbox periodically to find out when your messages are moved. The migration is expected to be complete by January 31, 2009.
    • by Skapare (16644) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @04:40PM (#26244311) Homepage

      Yahoo!, AOL and MSN or Other Third-Party Portal Users

      On Jan 31, 2009, you'll still have access to Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN content, but you'll no longer be able to access your email directly through the third-party portal. Instead, you'll now have access to the new MyFairPoint.net portal.

      If you were using the VERIZON third-party portal to access your email that is located at Yahoo!, AOL and/or MSN ... since you are no longer a customer of VERIZON, and instead are now a customer of FAIRPOINT, third-party access mechanism is now through FAIRPOINT's service. In other words, Fairpoint is going to be providing a similar kind of service that Verizon did.

      I'm sure there will be problems for people with email addresses "@verizon.net". There should not be problems for people using other email addresses. I see nothing in this that says people cannot go to Yahoo!, AOL, or MSN directly for email address originally established through those providers (e.g. youremailaddress@aol.com). If such email accounts were previously restricted such that they could ONLY be accessed via the VERIZON web site, I could understand them being similarly restricted to the FAIRPOINT website. But as for people having their email addresses changed, I can't see that affecting anyone other than those who have an "@verizon.net" address.

      • by wytcld (179112)

        Ah, that explains it. From the Herald article there was no hint that "third-party portal" was a term of art, not a reference to what in common English would be a "third-party" - that is, any party beyond the first party (the customer) and the second party (Fairpoint) - which maintains a "portal" (in the common Internet sense).

        So in your interpretation, "third-party portal" is not a third party's portal, but the portal of the second party to third parties, while not restricting access to what in common Engli

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Perhaps this might explain something:

      https://login.yahoo.com/config/login_verify2?.partner=vz-acs&.done=http%3a//verizon.yahoo.com [yahoo.com]

      Verizon and Yahoo have some sort of integrated portal.

      Non-story.

  • There is no way they can block it without having an ssl proxy filter. That would allow them plain text views of user information. ie. bank account passwords, medical records... I think the government would stop that really quick.

    http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.ultrareach.com/download_en.htm&sa=X&oi=smap&resnum=1&ct=result&cd=1&usg=AFQjCNE-DVlL7PRbTeO5epMPAh810jBVoA [google.com]

    But then with, all the privacy protection governments are doing these days I could be wrong.

  • I wouldn't use their portal at all. Doing so would involve entering my e-mail password into a page potentially hosted by someone other than the e-mail provider. I don't do that. Period, end of discussion. Not with any password, ever. That kind of thing is exactly what the phishers try to get you to do, and I don't need my passwords leaking out.

    And if they tried to force it by prohibiting direct access to those e-mail sites, I'd send them a little letter with an agreement to fill out. An agreement stating th

  • If they are an area monopoly, not market forces. Unfortunately it will take the government to step in.

  • I'd like to point New Hampshire residents to MV Communications [mv.com] which offers DSL service throughout New Hampshire.

    Oh, did I mention they'll throw in a static IP on your residential DSL just for asking? I've been using MV for over a year now, they're the best ISP I've ever had.

  • I've been waiting for some access provider to have the balls to stand up and RUN their network, instead of letting it run them... Should be interesting to see how long they last.
    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      I hope you're talking about forcing a legal conflict by their actions instead of meaning that they should be allowed to do this.

  • meaning that third parties can implement their own interface to Yahoo! mail.

    http://developer.yahoo.com/mail/ [yahoo.com]

    This may be what Fairpoint is doing to give users access through their branded portal. These same APIs mean that any user can implement their own non-Fairpoint approved access mechanism for their webmail.

    It may not be a solution for all users, but at least yahoo's opened up enough that there are options available in the case of abusive network access providers.

  • If you go to the verizon high speed internet site, you will see that verizon offers customized portals:

    "Kick-start your High Speed Internet experience with a Verizon version of one of the top Internet portals. During your Verizon High Speed Internet installation, choose Verizon Yahoo!, Verizon with AOL ®, or Verizon with Windows LiveTM along with a new Verizon email address."

    These are not the original Yahoo, AOL, and Windows Live, but special Verizon versions. When you lose access to Verizon, y

  • Inaccurate! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThinkingInBinary (899485) <thinkinginbinary&gmail,com> on Saturday December 27, 2008 @11:04PM (#26246625) Homepage

    The summary is inaccurate. Verizon offers MSN and Yahoo! "extras", which basically integrate MSN and Yahoo into their own portal. (I know this, as I am a customer.) All they're saying is that, instead of using Verizon's web portal, they'll be using Fairpoint's, since they're now being served by Fairpoint instead of Verizon.

    There is no network neutrality violation here.

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