Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project

Notes: Definitions

Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

Address Resolution Protocol
Access Charges
Access Provider
Advanced Telecom Capacity
Ancillary Jurisdiction
Application Provider
Autonomous System
Backbone Provider
Basic Service
Best Effort
Brick and Mortar
Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS)
Cable Modem Service
Call, Telephone
Computer Utility
Commercial Electronic Mail Message (SPAM)
Commercial Mobile Service
Common Carrier
Contamination Theory
Content Generator
Content Provider
Critical Infrastructure
CPNI - Customer Proprietary Network Information
Dial Up
Domain Name
Edge Provider
Electronic Mail Address
Electronic Mail Message
End to End
End User
Enhanced Services
Frame Relay
Inextricably Intertwined
Information Services
Internet Access Service
Internet Control Message Protocol
Internet Protocol
IP Number
Internet Service Provider
IP Telephony
Metcalfe's Law
Network Administrator
Network Effects
Open Relays
Operating System
Packet Loss
Packet Networks
Packet Switching
Private Carriage
Private IP Address
Private Line
Private Mobile Service
Protected Computer
- Open Proxies
Public Interest
Public Internet
Public IP Address Space
Public Network
Public Switched Network
Public Switched Telephone Network
Public Telephone Network
Quality of Service
Search Engine
Screening Software
System Administrator
Technologically Neutral
Telecommunications Telecommunications Carrier
Telecommunications Service
Time Share
Virtual Private Network
Web Server Admin

See also Fed. Standard 1037c; ATIS Telecom Glossary


"address: 1. In communications, the coded representation of the source or destination of a message. (1882. In data processing, a character or group of characters that identifies a register, a particular part of storage, or some other data source or destination. (1883. To assign to a device or item of data a label to identify its location. (1884. The part of a selection signal that indicates the destination of a call5. To refer to a device or data item by its address." FS-1037C (1996)

"Address: The location to which USPS is to deliver a mailpiece. It consists of certain elements such as recipient name, street name and house number, and city, state, and ZIP Code as required by the mail class or product." Glossary of Postal Terms, USPS page 7 (July 2013).

Address Resolution Protocol

"A protocol used to obtain a node’s physical address. A client station broadcasts an ARP request onto the network with the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the target node with which it wishes to communicate, and with that address the node responds by sending back its physical address so that packets can be transmitted to it. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-1 (Sept. 2007)

Advanced Telecommunications Capacity

"“advanced telecommunications capability” is a statutory term with a definition that differs from the term “broadband” as it is used in other contexts. See 47 U.S.C. § 1302(d)(1) (“The term ‘advanced telecommunications capability’ is defined, without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.”). Thus, in this Inquiry, we do not equate the term “broadband” with the statutory term “advanced telecommunications capability,” but we do necessarily consider the availability of various broadband services that contribute to advanced telecommunications capability in our analysis under the statute. See Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to Accelerate Such Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act, GN Docket No. 15-191, Eleventh Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry, 30 FCC Rcd 8823, 8824 n. 3 (2015) (Notice or 2015 Eleventh Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry)." [11th 706 Report n 1 2016]

Section 706(c) is entitled "advanced telecommunications capability," which Congress defined "without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high- quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology."  Pub.L. No. 104-104, Title VII, § 706(c), 110 Stat. 153 (1996) (reproduced in the notes under 47 U.S.C. § 157).
Comcast Cablevision of Broward Country, Inc., v. Broward County, Florida, 124 F.Supp.2d 685, 688 (SDFl Nov. 8, 2000)

Application Provider

"Application providers offer users a discrete end-to-end service rather than open-ended Internet connectivity. Examples include IP telephony service providers such as IDT and Delta 3, and free electronic mail vendor Juno." In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 63 (April 10, 1998).

See Edge Provider.

Best Effort

CSTB, Realizing the Info Future p. 65 1994 ("An objective of the Internet has been to enable two computers to agree privately to implement some new service, and then implement it by exchanging packets across the network. The only conformance requirements for these packets are low-level matters such as addressing. This flexibility is very important and is captured in the ODN's architectural distinction between the low-level services of the network infrastructure and the higher-level conventions that define how applications are constructed. The Internet today provides a service that has been called "best effort." When one sends a packet, the network forwards it as best it can, given the other traffic offered at the moment, but makes no specific guarantee as to the rate of delivery, or indeed that the packet will be delivered at all. Many computer applications operate very naturally in a context that does not guarantee bandwidth, and the Internet has demonstrated that best-effort service is attractive in this situation.16 Just as many operating systems offer a different perceived performance depending on what other processes are running, so also does the best-effort service divide up the available bandwidth among current users.")


Fed Standard 1037c: "bit: Abbreviation for binary digit. 1. A character used to represent one of the two digits in the numeration system with a base of two, and only two, possible states of a physical entity or system. 2. In binary notation either of the characters 0 or 1. (188) 3. A unit of information equal to one binary decision or the designation of one of two possible and equally likely states of anything used to store or convey information. (188)"

"bit rate (BR): In a bit stream, the number of bits occurring per unit time, usually expressed in bits per second. (188) Note: For n-ary operation, the bit rate is equal to log2n times the rate (in bauds), where n is the number of significant conditions in the signal."

Examples: Mbps or Gbps

Brick and Mortar

The phrase "brick and mortar" is often used to designate a traditional business when contrasting it with a predominantly, or entirely, on-line business. The phrase appears to refer to the historical reliance on conducting commerce within the context of a physical space made from materials such as brick and mortar, as opposed to the modern trend toward conducting commerce in a cyberspace made from computer programs.-- eBay, Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc., 100 F. Supp. 2d 1058, 1065 n.11 (N.D. Cal. 2000).


Bundling means selling different goods and/or services together in a single package.[4]

[n 4] See generally F.M. Scherer and David Ross, Industrial Market Structure and Economic Performance 565-69 (3d ed. 1990); see also Computer II Final Decision, 77 FCC 2d at 442-443; Implementation of the Non-Accounting Safeguards of Section 271 and 272 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, CC Docket No. 96-149, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 21905, 22039 (1996) (Non-Accounting Safeguards Order), Order on Reconsideration, 12 FCC Rcd 2297 (1997), further recon. pending, Second Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 15756 (1997), aff'd sub nom. Bell Atlantic Telephone Companies, et al. v. FCC, et al., 131 F.3d 1044 (D.C. Cir. 1997). The economic analysis of "bundling" is a subset of the modern industrial organization literature on tying arrangements. See Computer II Final Decision, 77 FCC 2d at 442 n.51.

-- In the matter of 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of Customer Premises Equipmentand Enhanced Services Unbundling Rules in the Interexchange, Exchange Access and Local Exchange Markets,CC Docket No. 98-183, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, para 1 (October 9, 1998)


Fed Standard 1037c byte (B): A sequence of adjacent bits (usually 8) considered as a unit. (188) Note: In pre-1970 literature, "byte" referred to a variable-length bit string. Since that time the usage has changed so that now it almost always refers to an 8-bit string. This usage predominates in computer and data transmission literature; when so used, the term is synonymous with "octet."

Cable Modem Service

"Cable modem service transmits data between the Internet and users’ computers via the network of television cable lines owned by cable companies. See id., at 1124." - NCTA v. BrandX, No. 04-277, 545 U.S. __, Slip at 3 (S.Ct. June 27, 2005)

Call, Telephone

14. Some CLECs note that the language of section 252(d)(2) provides for the recovery of the costs of transporting and terminating a "call."[50] Although the 1996 Act does not define the term "call," these CLECs argue that it is used in the 1996 Act in a manner that implies a circuit-switched connection between two telephone numbers.[51] For example, Adelphia contends that a "call" takes place when two stations on the PSTN are connected to each other.[52] A call "terminates," according to Adelphia, when one station on the PSTN dials another station, and the second station answers.[53] Under this view, the "call" associated with Internet traffic ends at the ISP's local premises.[54]

15. We find that this argument is inconsistent with Commission precedent, discussed above, holding that communications should be analyzed on an end-to-end basis, rather than by breaking the transmission into component parts. The examples cited by CLECs[55] to support the argument that calls end at the called number are not dispositive. The statutory sections upon which they rely were written to apply to specific situations, all of which, as far as we can tell, involve traditional telephony connections between two called numbers, as opposed to the novel circumstance of Internet traffic.[56]

[50] 47 U.S.C. § 252(d)(2). See, e.g., Adelphia, et al., Comments at 15.
[51] See, e.g., Adelphia, et al., Comments at 15-20; Adelphia, et al., Reply at 5, 9-10, TCG Comments at 3-4; WorldCom Comments at 6-7.
[52] See, e.g., Adelphia, et al., Comments at 15-16.
[54] Id.
[55] Id. at 15-16, 19-20; Adelphia, et al., Reply at 18 n.32.
[56] See, e.g., 47 U.S.C. §§ 222(d)(3), 223(a)(1), 271(c)(2)(B)(x), and 271(j).

--In Re Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Inter-Carrier Compensation for ISP-Bound Traffic, CC Docket No. 96-98, CC Docket No. 99-68, Declaratory Ruling ¶ 13 (February 26, 1999)


the term ''computer'' means an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and includes any data storage facility or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device, but such term does not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, a portable hand held calculator, or other similar device; 18 USC 1030(e)(1)

Computer Utility

Commercial Electronic Mail Message

2) Commercial electronic mail message-

(A) IN GENERAL- The term `commercial electronic mail message' means any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose).

(B) TRANSACTIONAL OR RELATIONSHIP MESSAGES- The term `commercial electronic mail message' does not include a transactional or relationship message.

CAN SPAM Act Sec. 3(2).

Commercial Mobile Service

47 USC 332(d)(1) the term “commercial mobile service” means any mobile service (as defined in section 153 of this title) that is provided for profit and makes interconnected service available (A) to the public or (B) to such classes of eligible users as to be effectively available to a substantial portion of the public, as specified by regulation by the Commission; 

Compare Private Mobile Service

Content Generator

"A program on a Web server that will dynamically generate HyperText Markup Language (HTML) pages for users. Content generators can range from simple Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts executed by the Web server to Java EE or .NET application servers in which most—if not all—HTML pages served are dynamically generated." - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-1 (Sept. 2007)

Content Provider

Content providers make information available on "servers" connected to the Internet, where it can be accessed by end users. Major content providers include Yahoo, Netscape, ESPN Sportszone, and Time-Warner's Pathfinder service." In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 63 (April 10, 1998).

See also Edge Provider


For first identified discussion of Convergence, see Computer I.

Critical Infrastructure

Part of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Critical Infrastructures Protection Act of 2001, 42 U.S.C. § 5195c(e) (2006), defines the term "critical infrastructure" to mean "systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters." 


"Cyber" is the prefix used to denote Internet-related things. The realm of the Internet is often referred to as "cyberspace."
-- Sporty's Farm L.L.C., V. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 493 n. 5 (2nd Cir. 2000)


National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Directive 23 (NSPD-54/HSPD23) Definition of cyberspace

"'Cyberspace'" refers to the interaction of people and businesses over computer networks, electronic bulletin boards, and commerical online services. The largest and most visible manifestation of cyberspace is the Internet ...." R. Timothy Muth, Old Doctrines On A New Frontier: Defamation and Jurisdiction In Cyberspace, WIS. LAW. 10, 11 (Sept. 1995), available in Westlaw at 68-SEP WILAW 10; see also ACLU v. Reno, 929 F.Supp. at 830-38.
-- Blumenthal v. Drudge, CA No. 97-1968, note 8 (DDC April 22, 1998).


Due to the lack of any regulatory control over domain name registration, an Internet phenomenon known as "cybersquatting" has become increasingly common in recent years.5  See, e.g., Panavision Int'l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir.1998).   Cybersquatting involves the registration as domain names of well-known trademarks by non-trademark holders who then try to sell the names back to the trademark owners.   Since domain name registrars do not check to see whether a domain name request is related to existing trademarks, it has been simple and inexpensive for any person to register as domain names the marks of established companies.   This prevents use of the domain name by the mark owners, who not infrequently have been willing to pay "ransom" in order to get "their names" back.   See HRRep No. 106-412, at 5-7;  S.Rep. No. 106-140, at 4-7 (1999).
--Sporty's Farm L.L.C., V. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 493 (2nd Cir. 2000)

"Cybersquatting involves the registration as domain names of well-known trademarks by non-trademark holders who then try to sell the names back to the trademark owners."  Id. Trademark owners are frequently willing to pay "ransom" in order to protect their marks.  See id.;  HRRep No. 106-412, at 5-7;  S.Rep. No. 106-140, at 4-7 (1999).
-- Morrison & Foerster LLP, v. Brian Wick and American Distribution Systems, Inc., No. CIV.A.00-B-465., 94 F.Supp.2d 1125, 1127 (D.Co. April 19, 2000).

Dial Up

The traditional means by which consumers in the United States access the network of interconnected computers that make up the Internet is through “dial-up” connections provided over local telephone facilities. See 345 F. 3d 1120, 1123–1124 (CA9 2003) (cases below); In re Inquiry Concerning High-Speed Access to the Internet Over Cable and Other Facilities, 17 FCC Rcd. 4798, 4802–4803, ¶9 (2002) (hereinafter Declaratory Ruling). Using these connections, consumers access the Internet by making calls with computer modems through the telephone wires owned by local phone companies. See Verizon Communications
Inc. v. FCC, 535 U. S. 467, 489–490 (2002) (describing the physical structure of a local telephone exchange). ... Technologicallimitations of local telephone wires, however, retard the speed at which data from the Internet may be transmitted through end users’ dial-up connections. Dial-up connections
are therefore known as “narrowband,” or slower speed, connections.

NCTA v. BrandX, No. 04-277, slip at 2 (S.Ct. June 27, 2005)

Domain Name

(4) DOMAIN NAME- The term `domain name' means any alphanumeric designation which is registered with or assigned by any domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority as part of an electronic address on the Internet.
CAN SPAM Act Sec. 3(4)

`The term `domain name' means any alphanumeric designation which is registered with or assigned by any domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority as part of an electronic address on the Internet. ~ AntiCybersquatter Consumer Protect Act, Sec. 3005.

"The term 'domain name' means any alphanumeric designation which is register with or assigned by any domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority as part of an electronic address on the Internet."  47 USC 1127.

Every time a user attempts to access material located on a Web server by entering a domain name address into a Web browser, a request is made to a Domain Name Server, which is a directory of domain names and IP addresses, to "resolve," or translate, the domain name address into an IP address.  That IP address is then used to locate the Web server from which content is being requested.  A Web site may be accessed by using either its domain name address or its IP address.
          A domain name address typically consists of several parts.  For example, the alphanumeric URL can be broken down into three parts.  The first part is the transfer protocol the computer will use in accessing the content (e.g., "http" for Hypertext Transfer Protocol); next is the name of the host server on which the information is stored (e.g.,; and then the name of the particular file or directory on that server (e.g., /documents/opinions).
              A single Web page may be associated with more than one URL.  For example, the URLs and will both take the user to the New York Times home page.  The topmost directory in a Web site is often referred to as that Web site's root directory or root URL.  For example, in, the root URL is  There may be hundreds or thousands of pages under a single root URL, or there may be one or only a few.
ALA v. United States, CA No. 01-1303 Finding of Fact: Internet (EDPA May 31, 2002)

Web pages are designated by an address called a domain name.   A domain name consists of two parts:  a top level domain and a secondary level domain.   The top level domain is the domain name's suffix.   Currently, the Internet is divided primarily into six top level domains:  (1) .edu for educational institutions;  (2) .org for non-governmental and non-commercial organizations;  (3) .gov for governmental entities;  (4) .net for networks; (5) .com for commercial users, and (6) a nation-specific domain, which is .us in the United States.   The secondary level domain is the remainder of the address, and can consist of combinations of letters, numbers, and some typographical symbols.2  To take a simple example, in the domain name "," cnn ("Cable News Network") represents the secondary level domain and .com represents the top level domain.   Each domain name is unique.
-- Sporty's Farm L.L.C., V. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 492-93 (2nd Cir. 2000)
2.A domain name, the address given to a webpage, consists of two parts: a top level domain and a secondary level domain.
-- Bihari v. Gross, No. OO Civ. 1664 (SAS), 1 (SDNY Sept 25, 2000) .

A domain name is made up of two components:  a top level domain and a secondary level domain.  See id.  The top level domain is the suffix of the domain name, and the Internet is primarily divided into six top level domains:  "(1) .edu for educational institutions;  (2) .org for non- governmental and non-commercial organizations;  (3) .gov for governmental entities;  (4) .net for networks;  (5) .com for commercial users;  and (6) a nation-specific domain, which is .us in the United States."  Id. at 492. The secondary level domain is the remainder of the address, and can consist of letters, numbers, and some typographical symbols.  Certain symbols, such as ampersands ( & ), cannot be used in a domain name.  (Tr. Exh. 30, Domain Name Rules).
-- Morrison & Foerster LLP, v. Brian Wick and American Distribution Systems, Inc., No. CIV.A.00-B-465., 94 F.Supp.2d 1125, 1126 (D.Co. April 19, 2000).

"Each web page has a corresponding domain address, which is an identifier somewhat analogous to a telephone number or street address."  Brookfield, 174 F.3d at 1044.   Domain names consist of a second-level domain--simply a term or series of terms (e.g., "thebuffalonews")--followed by a top-level domain, many of which describe the nature of the enterprise.   Top-level domains include ".com" (commercial), ".edu" (educational), ".org" (non-profit and miscellaneous organizations), ".gov" (government), ".net" (networking provider), and ".mil" (military).   See id. (citing Panavision, 141 F.3d at 1318).  "Commercial entities generally use the '.com' top-level domain, which also serves as a catchall top-level domain."   See id.  "Each domain name is unique."  Sporty's Farm, 202 F.3d 489, 491.
     Until recently, domain names with the ".com" top-level domain could only be obtained from Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI").  Id. at 492. Now other registrars may also assign them.  Id. But all these registrars grant such names primarily on a first-come, first-served basis upon payment of a small registration fee.  Id. Because each web page must have a unique domain name, the registrar checks to see whether the requested domain name has already been assigned to someone else.   If so, the applicant must choose a different domain name.   The registrar does not generally inquire into whether a given domain name request matches a trademark held by someone other than the person requesting the name.  Id. In other words, anyone may register any unused domain name upon payment of the required fee;  the registrar does not make any type of legal determination as to whether the requested domain name would infringe an existing trademark.   Of course, registration of a domain name in no way trumps federal trademark law;  registration does not itself confer any trademark rights on the registrant.  Washington Speakers Bureau, Inc. v. Leading Authorities, Inc., 33 F.Supp.2d 488, 491 n. 3 (E.D.Va.1999).
-- OBH, Inc., v. Spotlight Magazine, Inc., No. 99-CV-746A, 86 F.Supp.2d 176, 179-80 (WDNY Feb. 28, 2000).

Under Fourth Circuit law, "a domain name is more than a mere internet address.  It also identifies the internet site to those who reach it, much like ... a company's name identifies a specific company." Cardservice International, Inc. v. McGee, 950 F.Supp. 737, 743 (E.D.Va.1997), aff'd, 129 F.3d 1258 (4th Cir.1997).
-- Virtual Works, Inc., v. Network Solutions, Inc., Volkswagen Of America, Inc., No. Civ.A. 99-1289-A. 106 F.Supp.2d 845, 847 (E.D. Va Feb. 24, 2000).

17. Domain names serve as an address for sending and receiving e-mail and for posting information or providing other services. On the Internet, a domain name serves as the primary identifier of the source of information, products or services. It is common practice for companies to form internet domain names by combining their trade names or one of their famous trademarks as a prefix and their business category as a suffix. The suffix ".com" (usually pronounced ³dot com²) identifies a service provider as commercial in nature.
18. The domain name is one component of the ³Uniform Resource Locator² (³URL²). The URL may also include root directories and subdirectories which serve as a guide to the contents of a Web site.


Civil Action No. 96-6961 November 2, 1998 Filed: November 3, 1998 (enjoining defendant from using Playboy trademark on or in its websites)


"the internet has four major participants: end users, broadband providers, backbone networks, and edge providers" [USTA v. FCC Slip 9 DC Cir. 2015]

Edge Provider

"Edge providers, like Netflix, Google, and Amazon, “provide content, services, and applications over the Internet.” Id. at 629 (citing In re Preserving the Open Internet (“2010 Open Internet Order”), 25 FCC Rcd. 17,905, 17,910 ¶ 13 (2010))." [USTA v. FCC Slip 9 DC Cir. 2015]

"Edge providers are those who, like Amazon or Google, provide content, services, and applications over the Internet, while end users are those who consume edge providers’ content, services, and applications. See Open Internet Order, 25 F.C.C.R. at 17910 ¶ 13." - Verizon v. FCC, No. 11-1355, Slip at 5 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 14, 2014)

"We use “edge provider” to refer to content, application, service, and device providers, because they generally operate at the edge rather than the core of the network.  These terms are not mutually exclusive.  See infra para. 20" - Open Internet Report and Order, Docket 09-191, para 4 n. 2 (Dec. 23, 2010)

End User

End User :: Telecommunications

47 C.F.R. ' 69.2(m) (1996). ""End User" means any customer of an interstate or foreign telecommunications service that is not a carrier except that a carrier other than a telephone company shall be deemed to be an "end user" when such carrier uses a telecommunications service for administrative purposes and a person or entity that offers telecommunications services exclusively as a reseller shall be deemed to be an "end user" if all resale transmissions offered by such reseller originate on the premises of such reseller."

27. Finally, incumbent LECs assess end users a flat end user common line charge (EUCL), also known as the subscriber line charge (SLC), to recoup part or all of the local loop costs allocated to the interstate jurisdiction. The SLC currently may not exceed the lesser of the actual interstate loop cost, or $6 per month for multi-line business customers and $3.50 for residential and single-line business customers. In addition, IXCs are assessed a per-minute CCL charge to recover the remaining interstate allocation of loop costs that is not recovered through SLCs. IXCs with at least .05 percent of the total common lines presubscribed to IXCs in all study areas are also assessed Universal Service Fund and Lifeline service charges based on each IXC's share of presubscribed access lines. In addition, Part 69 identifies several other charges, including those for signaling and database queries. " ---- In re Access Charge Reform, NPRM, Third Report and Order, and NOI, CC Docket 96-262 &25 (Dec 24, 1996)

"End users would pay charges directly to the exchange carrier (i.e., the local telephone company) for the following three elements: Dedicated Access Line; End User Common Line; and Pay Telephone." -- In Re MTS and WATS Market Structure, 97 FCC2d 682 & 4 (1983)

End User (Internet)

"Most end users connect to the internet through a broadband provider, which delivers high-speed internet access using technologies such as cable modem service, digital subscriber line (DSL) service, and fiber optics. See In re Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet (“2015 Open Internet Order” or “the Order”), 30 FCC Rcd. 5601, 5682–83 ¶ 188, 5751 ¶ 346." [USTA v. FCC Slip 9 DC Cir. 2015]

"Internet users generally connect to these networks—and, ultimately, to one another—through local access providers like petitioner Verizon, who operate the “last-mile” transmission lines. See Open Internet Order, 25 F.C.C.R. at 17908, 17915 ¶¶ 7, 20. In the Internet’s early days, most users connected to the Internet through dial-up connections over local telephone lines. See In re Inquiry Concerning High-Speed Access to the Internet Over Cable and Other Facilities, 17 F.C.C.R. 4798, 4802–03 ¶ 9 (2002) (“Cable Broadband Order”). Today, access is generally furnished through “broadband,” i.e., high-speed communications technologies, such as cable modem service. See In re Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, 25 F.C.C.R. 9556, 9557, 9558–59 ¶¶ 1, 4 (2010) (“Sixth Broadband Deployment Report”); 47 U.S.C. § 1302(d)(1). Edge providers are those who, like Amazon or Google, provide content, services, and applications over the Internet, while end users are those who consume edge providers’ content, services, and applications. See Open Internet Order, 25 F.C.C.R. at 17910 ¶ 13. To pull the whole picture together with a slightly oversimplified example: when an edge provider such as YouTube transmits some sort of content—say, a video of a cat—to an end user, that content is broken down into packets of information, which are carried by the edge provider’s local access provider to the backbone network, which transmits these packets to the end user’s local access provider, which, in turn, transmits the information to the end user, who then views and hopefully enjoys the cat. These categories of entities are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, end users may often act as edge providers by creating and sharing content that is consumed by other end users, for instance by posting photos on Facebook. Similarly, broadband providers may offer content, applications, and services that compete with those furnished by edge providers. See Open Internet Order, 25 F.C.C.R. at 17915 ¶ 20." Verizon v. FCC, No. 11-1355, p.5-6 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 14, 2014)  

"End users send and receive information." In re Application of WorldCom, Inc. and MCI Communications Corporation for Transfer of Control of MCI Communications Corporation to WorldCom, Inc., Report and Order, CC Docket No. 97-211 ¶ 143 (September 14, 1998)

"End users obtain access to and send information either through dial-up connections over the public switched telephone network, or through dedicated data circuits over wireline, wireless, cable, or satellite networks." -- In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 63 (April 10, 1998).

In this Order we use “broadband” and “broadband Internet access service” interchangeably, and “broadband provider” and “broadband Internet access provider” interchangeably. - Open Internet Report and Order, Docket 09-191, para 4 n. 2 (Dec. 23, 2010)

NOTE: The distinction between different types of edge users is strained. Policy makers continue to struggle in their understanding of how the Internet is distinct from previous communications networks. Policy makers continue to want to conceive of the Internet in the legacy broadcast / publication bidirectional model where there are content creators and there are content consumers - and the two are distinct. They want to conceive of the Internet a traditional two-dimensional network where communications happens between two end-points with a line in between, where one point originates the communication and the other point terminates it.

But on the Internet, everyone is a content producer, consumer, curator, reviewer, contributor, and critiquer. Merely by observing content, we interact with that content, and create more data. Merely by viewing a YouTube video we have changed it; its number of views goes up, its ranking in the service goes up, and analytics are created about us providing the content creator (and possibly others) data about our visit. When we view that video, the experience may be different compared to someone else based on what browser we are using, where we are viewing the video from, what we previously viewed, and personal data which will generate targeted advertising. We may like the content, comment on the content, forward that content on, or create new media that incorporates that video. We act as curator or creator. Furthermore, any 'single' interaction involves multiple servers from multiple services in multiple locations with content generated at different times, both statically or dynamically. Our interaction enters a stream of continuos interactions, and we engage content as it is in this moment, but which may have been different a few moments ago (different formatting, different advertisements) or different a few moments in the future (revisions, new collaborations, new comments, new likes). We enter a continuous exchange of information and contribute to that experience.

Unlike previous communication networks, end users cannot be segregated between content creators and content consumers; there is a continuum on which all end users fall at any given time, acting somewhere between pure creator and pure consumer; there is likewise a continuum of traffic balances where most traffic is primarily up and most traffic is primarily down. Likewise, communications are rarely merely between two points occurring at one given moment in time, but is a mesh network interaction involving multiple end points continuously generating data and interactions.


  The Internet's protocols themselves manifest a related principle called "end-to-end": control lies at the ends of the network where the users are, leaving a simple network that is neutral with respect to the data it transmits, like any common carrier. On this rule of the Internet, the codes of the legislator and the programmer agree.
-- AT&T v. Portland, Case Number 99-35609 (9th Cir. June 22, 2000).

Frame Relay

      6.  Frame relay is a relatively new, high-speed packet-switching technology used to communicate digital data between, among other things, geographically dispersed local area networks (LANs).  In addition, frame relay technology often serves as the intermediary format for data traveling between different computer systems employing different communications protocols.
      7.  As the term suggests, frame relay networks communicate "frames" containing digital data.  The format of a frame?defined by a specific interface protocol?consists of a beginning "flag," a "header," a variable length data field, a "trailer," and an ending "flag."  The header contains routing and congestion control information, while the trailer holds an error control sequence enabling detection of errors within frames.  Unlike the slower X.25 packet switching protocol, frame relay switches do not store frames until a positive acknowledgement is received from a destination switch.  When a destination switch receives a frame with errors, it simply discards the frame, relying on higher-layer protocols of intelligent customer premises equipment (CPE) to note the omission and take corrective action by rerequesting transmission of the packet.   This streamlined operation allows frame relay networks to operate at significantly higher speeds than X.25 networks.
      8.  In a typical frame relay application, a LAN is linked to a device known as a "router" on the customer premises.   If the router supports frame relay protocol, it is connected to an access link which carries the frame relay traffic to a central office port.  If the router does not support frame relay, a frame relay assembler/disassembler (FRAD) is located on a customer premise between the router and access link to convert the data transmitted from the router to frame relay format.   The central office frame relay switch establishes a permanent virtual circuit (PVC) connecting the access link to a communications line linking one switch to another.  While the access link may operate at speeds from 56 to over 1,000 kilobits per second (kbs), the data relay rate across the network is limited by the transmission rate of the PVC, which varies according to customer needs and budgets.  The customer contracts with the service provider for a specified information transmission rate.  If the customer attempts to transmit data at speeds that exceed the agreed-upon rate, the network tries to accommodate the higher rate if capacity is available.  If the network is unable either to perform the transmission or temporarily buffer the data, the network discards excess frames beyond the agreed-upon rate.  As with frames containing errors, frames discarded in this fashion must be tracked by CPE.
-- -- In The Matter Of Independent Data Communications Manufacturers Association, Inc., Petition for Declaratory Ruling That AT&T's InterSpan Frame Relay Service Is a Basic Service; DA 95-2190, MO&O, 1995 WL 613619, 10 FCCR. 13,717, 10 FCC Rcd. 13,717, 1 Communications Reg. (P&F) 409,  (October 18, 1995)

H.323 ITU

NIST, Security Considerations for VoIP Systems, 800-58 p. 22 (April 2004)
4 H.323

H.323 is the ITU specification for audio and video communication across packetized networks. H.323 is actually an umbrella standard, encompassing several other protocols, including H.225, H.245, and others. It acts as a wrapper for a suite of media control recommendations by the ITU. Each of these protocols has a specific role in the call setup process, and all but one are made to dynamic ports. Figure 4 provides an overview of the H.323 call setup process.

4.1 H.323 Architecture

An H.323 network is made up of several endpoints (terminals), a gateway, and possibly a gatekeeper, Multipoint control unit, and Back End Service. The gateway is often one of the main components in H.323 systems. It serves for address resolution and bandwidth control. The gateway serves as a bridge between the H.323 network and the outside world of (possibly) non-H.323 devices. This includes SIP networks and traditional PSTN networks. This brokering can add to delays in VOIP, and hence there has been a movement towards the consolidation of at least the two major VOIP protocols [see 11]. A Multipoint Control Unit is an optional element that facilitates multipoint conferencing and other communications between more than two endpoints. Gatekeepers are an optional but widely used component of a VOIP network that perform several network optimization tasks [see 12]. If a gatekeeper is present, a Back End Service (BES) may exist to maintain data about endpoints, including their permissions, services, and configuration [13].

Generally, there are different types of H.323 calls defined in the H.323 standard:
- Gatekeeper routed call with gatekeeper routed H.245 signaling
- Gatekeeper routed call with direct H.245 signaling
- Direct routed call with gatekeeper
- Direct routed call without gatekeeper

An H.323 VOIP session is initiated (depending on the call model used) by either a TCP or a UDP (if RAS is the starting point) connection with an H.225 signal. In the case of UDP this signal contains the Registration Admission Status (RAS) protocol that negotiates with the gatekeeper and obtains the address of the endpoint it is attempting to contact. Then a Q.931-like” protocol (still within the realm of H.225) is used to establish the call itself and negotiate the addressing information for the H.245 signal. (This is done via TCP; Q.931 actually encapsulates the H.225 Call Signaling messages.) This setup next” procedure is common throughout the H.323 progression where one protocol negotiates the configuration of the next protocol used. In this case, it is necessary because H.245 has no standard port [7]. While H.225 simply negotiates the establishment of a connection, H.245 establishes the channels that will actually be used for media transfer. Once again, this is done over TCP. In a time-urgent situation, the H.245 message can be embedded within the H.225 message (H.245 tunneling), but the speed of a call setup is usually a QoS issue that vendors and customers are willing to concede for better call quality. H.323 also offers Fast Connect. Here, a call may be setup using one roundtrip. The SETUP and the CONNECT messages piggyback the necessary H.245 signaling elements.

H.245 must establish several properties of the VOIP call. These include the audio codecs that will be used and the logical channels for the transportation of media. The OpenLogicalChannel” signal also brokers the RTP and RTCP ports. Overall, 4 connections must be established because the logical channels (RTP and RTCP) are only one direction. Each one-way pair must also be on adjacent ports as well. After H.245 has established all the properties of the VOIP call and the logical channels, the call may begin.

The preceding described the complicated VOIP setup process based on H.323, although the complexities have been somewhat reduced with version 4 of H.323. The H.323 suite has different protocols associated with more complex forms of communication including H.332 (large conferences), H.450.1, H.450.2, and H.450.3 (supplementary services), H.235 (security), and H.246 (interoperability with circuit switched services) [14]. Authentication may also be performed at each point in the call setup process using symmetric keys or some prior shared secret [15]. The use of these extra protocols and/or security measures adds to the complexity of the H.323 setup process. We shall see that this complexity is paramount in the incompatibility of H.323 with firewalls and NATs.



"Political activism on the Internet has already generated a wide range of activity, from using email and web sites to organize, to web page defacements and deniol-of-service (DoS) attacks.  These politically motivated computer-based attacks are usually described as hacktivism, a marriage of hackinig and political activism." - NIPC, Cyber Protests:  The Threat to the US Information Infrastructure, p. 2 (Oct 2001)

Header Information

(8) HEADER INFORMATION- The term `header information' means the source, destination, and routing information attached to an electronic mail message, including the originating domain name and originating electronic mail address, and any other information that appears in the line identifying, or purporting to identify, a person initiating the message. -CAN SPAM Act Sec. 3(8)


"Almost any kind of computer, including a centralized mainframe that is a host to its terminals, a server that is host to its clients, or a desktop personal computer (PC) that is host to its peripherals. In network architectures, a client station (user’s machine) is also considered a host because it is a source of information to the network, in contrast to a device, such as a router or switch, that directs traffic. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-1 (Sept. 2007)


HTML is the language in which Web pages are formatted.  This language is a kind of "publishing mother tongue that all computers may potentially understand."  HTML allows authors to mark up a document by representing structural, presentational, and semantic information adjacent to the cotent.  In HTML, a mark up element is called a tag.  These tags include, for example, paragraph separators, text treatment (e.g., bold, italic, etc.), and hyperlinks.  HTML files may or may not include instructions, including a programming language called JavaScript.  -- British Telecom v. Prodigy, OO Civ 9451, Memorandum and Order Granting Summary Judgment (SDNY August 22, 2002)


A hyberlink points to the URL for a web page.  Hyberlinks often take the form of a colored text (such as a URL description), logo or image that is displayed on the screen.  When a user clicks on the highlighted word or icon, she is sent to the URL requested, or receives more information about what she clicked on.    -- British Telecom v. Prodigy, OO Civ 9451, Memorandum and Order Granting Summary Judgment (SDNY August 22, 2002)

6. A hyperlink is " 'highlighted text or images that, when selected by the user, permit[s][her] to view another, related Web document." ' Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, 126 F.3d 25, 27 n. 1 (2d Cir.1997).
-- Bihari v. Gross, No. OO Civ. 1664 (SAS) (SDNY Sept 25, 2000) .

Finally, web pages often contain links to other web pages called  "hyperlinks."   A hyperlink is a highlighted portion of text or an image that, when selected or clicked on by the user, permits the user to go directly from the web site he or she is currently viewing to a different web site, without first having to enter the domain name of the new web site.   See Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, 126 F.3d 25, 27 n. 1 (2d Cir.1997);  Intermatic Inc. v. Toeppen, 947 F.Supp. 1227, 1232 (N.D.Ill.1996).
-- OBH, Inc., v. Spotlight Magazine, Inc., No. 99-CV-746A, 86 F.Supp.2d 176, 181 (WDNY Feb. 28, 2000).

Through a "hyperlink," a browser may connect to another web site by clicking on the "specially highlighted text or images on the initial web site. After clicking on the highlighted text, the browser is then directly taken to that particular web site. Complaint ¶35.
-- Blumenthal v. Drudge, CA No. 97-1968, note 2 (DDC April 22, 1998).

ILEC Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier

"For purposes of this section, the term 'incumbent local exchange carrier' means, with respect to an area, the local exchange carrier that--

(A) on February 8, 1996, provided telephone exchange service in such area; and

(i) on February 8, 1996, was deemed to be a member of the exchange carrier association pursuant to section 69.601(b) of the Commission's regulations (47 C.F.R. 69.601(b)); or
(ii) is a person or entity that, on or after February 8, 1996, became a successor or assign of a member described in clause (I). " 47 U.S.C. s 251(h) (1996).

A special set of ILECs is the Regional Bell Operating Companies or RBOCs.

February 8, 1996 refers to the date that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed into law.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996


Consistent with the views of the commenters that addressed this point, we conclude that the term "interLATA services" encompasses both interLATA information services and interLATA telecommunications services. -- In the Matter of the Implementation of the Non-Accounting Safeguards of Sections 271 and 272 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Amended, Order on Reconsideration, Docket 96-149, 1997 WL 71143 (FCC), 12 FCCR. 2297, 12 FCC Rcd. 2297, 6 Communications Reg. (P&F) 972, ¶ 55 (Feb 19, 1997)

Interlata Information Service

We conclude that, as used in section 272, the term "interLATA information service" refers to an information service that incorporates as a necessary, bundled element an interLATA telecommunications transmission component, provided to the customer for a single charge. [FN264] We find, as noted in the comments of AT&T, MCI, and the BOCs, that this definition of interLATA information service conforms to the MFJ precedent in this area. [FN265] We further conclude that a BOC provides an interLATA information service when it provides the interLATA telecommunications transmission component of the service either over its own facilities, or by reselling the interLATA telecommunications services of an interexchange provider. This conclusion also comports with MFJ precedent. -- In the Matter of the Implementation of the Non-Accounting Safeguards of Sections 271 and 272 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Amended, First Report and Order and NPRM, Docket 96-149, 1996 WL 734160 (FCC), 11 FCCR. 21,905, 13 FCCR. 11,230, 11 FCC Rcd. 21,905, 13 FCC Rcd. 11,230, 5 Communications Reg. (P&F) 696, ¶ 115 (Dec 24, 1996)


NIST, Security Considerations for VoIP Systems 800-58 p. 17 (April 2004)

Jitter refers to non-uniform packet delays. It is often caused by low bandwidth situations in VOIP and can be exceptionally detrimental to the overall QoS. Variations in delays can be more detrimental to QoS than the actual delays themselves [8]. Jitter can cause packets to arrive and be processed out of sequence. RTP, the protocol used to transport voice media, is based on UDP so packets out of order cannot be reassembled at the protocol level. However, RTP allows applications to do the reordering using the sequence number and timestamp fields. The overhead in reassembling these packets is non-trivial, especially when dealing with the tight time constraints of VOIP.

When jitter is high, packets arrive at their destination in spurts. This situation is analogous to uniform road traffic coming to a stoplight. As soon as the stoplight turns green (bandwidth opens up), traffic races through in a clump. The general prescription to control jitter at VOIP endpoints is the use of a buffer, but such a buffer has to release its voice packets at least every 150 ms (usually a lot sooner given the transport delay) so the variations in delay must be bounded. The buffer implementation issue is compounded by the uncertainty of whether a missing packet is simply delayed an anomalously long amount of time, or is actually lost. If jitter is particularly erratic, then the system cannot use past delay times as an indicator for the status of a missing packet. This leaves the system open to implementation specific behavior regarding such a packet.

Jitter can also be controlled at the nexuses of the VOIP network by using routers, firewalls, and other network elements that support QoS. These elements process and pass along time urgent traffic like VOIP packets sooner than less urgent data packets. Unfortunately, not all network components were designed with QoS in mind. An example of a network element that does not implement this QoS demand is a crypto-engine, which ignores Type of Service (ToS) bits in an IP header and other indicators of packet urgency (see 8.7). Another method for reducing delay variation is to pattern network traffic to diminish jitter by making as efficient use of the bandwidth as possible. Unfortunately, this constraint is at odds with some security measures in VOIP. Chief among these is IPsec, whose processing requirements may increase latency, thus limiting effective bandwidth and contributing to jitter. Effective bandwidth is compromised when packets are expanded with new headers. In normal IP traffic, this problem is negligible since the change in the size of the packet is very small compared with the packet size. Because VOIP uses very small packets, even a minimal increase is important because the increase accrues across all the packets, and VOIP sends a very high volume of these small packets.

The window of delivery for a VOIP packet is very small, so it follows that the acceptable variation in packet delay is even smaller. Thus, although we are concerned with security, the utmost care must be given to assuring that delays in packet deliveries caused by security devices are kept uniform throughout the traffic stream. Implementing devices that support QoS and improving the efficiency of bandwidth with header compression allows for more uniform packet delay in a secured VOIP network.


NIST, Security Considerations for VoIP Systems 800-58 p. 16 (April 2004)

"Latency in VOIP refers to the time it takes for a voice transmission to go from its source to its destination. Ideally, we would like to keep latency as low as possible but there are practical lower bounds on the delay of VOIP. The ITU-T Recommendation G.114 [2] set forth a number of time constraints on one-way latency. The upper bound is150 ms. for one-way traffic. This corresponds to the current latency bound experienced in domestic calls across PSTN lines in the continental United States [3]. For international calls, a delay of up to 400 ms. was deemed tolerable [4], but since most of the added time is spent routing and moving the data over long distances, we consider here only the domestic case and assume our solutions are upwards compatible in the international realm."


3. A metatag is hypertext markup language ("HTML") code, invisible to the Internet user, that permits web designers to describe their webpage. There are two different types of metatags: keyword and description. The keyword metatag permits designers to identify search terms for use by search engines. Description metatags allow designers to briefly describe the contents of their pages. This description appears as sentence fragments beneath the webpage's listing in a search result.
-- Bihari v. Gross, No. OO Civ. 1664 (SAS), 1 (SDNY Sept 25, 2000) .


A mouse is a device that allows a computer user to issue commands by moving a marker across the screen and then clicking on the symbol, word, or icon that represents the particular information that the user wants to access.
-- OBH, Inc., v. Spotlight Magazine, Inc., No. 99-CV-746A, 86 F.Supp.2d 176, 179 n 1 (WDNY Feb. 28, 2000).


network: 1. An interconnection of three or more communicating entities. 2. An interconnection of usually passive electronic components that performs a specific function (which is usually limited in scope), e.g., to simulate a transmission line or to perform a mathematical function such as integration or differentiation. Note: A network may be part of a larger circuit. - FS-1037C

Network Administrator

"A person who manages a local area network (LAN) within an organization. Responsibilities include ensuring network security, installing new applications, distributing software upgrades, monitoring daily activity, enforcing licensing agreements, developing a storage management program, and providing for routine backups. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-1 (Sept. 2007)

Network Effect

Network Effects in Telecommunications Mergers, MCI WorldCom Merger: Protecting the Future of the Internet, Address by Constance K Robinson, Director of Operations and Merger Enforcement, Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice, Before the Practicing Law Institute (August 23, 1999).

"What are network effects? Network effects occur when the customer's value of a product increases with the number of people using that same product or a complementary product. A typical example is the telephone. By itself the telephone is little more than a paperweight; it is only useful to me if other people have them. The more people who have phones, the more useful, and therefore the more valuable, phones are to the consumer. Another example is fax machines; the more people I can reach by faxing, the more valuable my fax machine is. In "real" networks like these communications networks, the value of the product increases with the number of people that the user can communicate with. In addition to real networks, there are "virtual" or "hardware-software" networks. In this type of network, the increase in the number of people using the product increases the number of complements for that product which increases the value of the product.(1) For example, as the number of owners of video tape recorders increases, the number and selection of tapes for video recorders increases, making the video tape recorders more valuable to their owners. Another example is a computer operating system. If only five people owned an operating system, no one would write any software for that system, which would limit its usefulness. But as more people purchase that same operating system, programmers will create more programs for that particular system, increasing its usefulness.

"The characteristics of network industries make them prone to dominance by a single firm. If the attractiveness of a network increases as it enlarges, consumers will tend to choose the larger network, which in turn will make it even larger and even more attractive. These "positive feedback" effects are due to "increasing returns to consumption" also referred to as demand-side scale economies and can lead to a market "tipping" towards a single company or standard.(2) A classic example of tipping is the video tape recorder market, in which Betamax became extinct after consumers flocked to VHS.(3)

"In some instances--where there are significant economies of scale, or where costs of designing components to work with different systems ("compatibility") are high(4)--it can actually be more efficient for the market to tip and for a single firm to dominate and become a monopoly. If tipping results in an increase in the size of the network, consumers can benefit. On the other hand, tipping can also increase the monopoly power of the dominant firm by creating significant barriers to entry. This is because "network market(s) tend to display inertia -- that is, once a technology is known to have a substantial lead in its installed base, it is hard for it to be displaced even by a technically superior and cheaper alternative."(5) A new entrant's network is limited by its lack of popularity and its inability to achieve network effects. Overcoming this Catch 22 is extremely difficult because "[a]lthough users are happy to jump on the 'bandwagon' of the new technology, too few may be willing to switch in advance of other users for fear of being stranded with an orphaned technology if others do not join them."(6)

"Additionally, the difficulty of entry is exacerbated because consumers who use the Internet, like consumers of other products, may prefer to stay with the established technology because they are "locked-in" or tied to a particular product by significant investments into that product. These investments can range from time spent training employees how to use the product (e.g., computer software) to investments in complementary products (e.g., owning VHS video recorders and large collections of movies on VHS tapes). Such consumers will be even more reluctant to switch to a new entrant.

"For these reasons, it is often difficult to reverse a tipping effect. Moreover, the possibility of obtaining significant and sustained market power creates an incentive for a firm to engage in predatory behavior to create a tipping effect. In a network industry, a likely form of such anticompetitive conduct would be for a firm seeking to obtain dominance to degrade its rivals' access to its network. By denying compatibility, a larger firm will have less to lose by decreasing compatibility than rival firms; the value of the rivals' networks will decrease more than the value of the larger firm's network, leaving the larger firm in a better relative position and increasing the likelihood that customers will switch to it. Also, by working to deny rivals or entrants access to its network, a larger firm will deny its rivals the benefits of network effects and raise a barrier to entry.

Open Relays

Open Relays: An open relay is an unprotected, or “unsecured,” email server that is configured to accept and transfer email on behalf of any user anywhere, including unrelated third parties. By routing their email through open relays of other organizations, spammers disguise the origins of their email. For example, if a spammer located in the United States sends email through an open relay in China, the email may appear to have come from China. - Report to Congress: A CAN SPAM Informant Reward System, p. 12 FTC Sept 2004

Operating System

"The software “master control application” that runs the computer. It is the first program loaded when the computer is turned on, and its main component, the kernel, resides in memory at all times. The operating system sets the standards for all application programs (such as the Web server) that run in the computer. The applications communicate with the operating system for most user interface and file management operations. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-1 (Sept. 2007)

Packet Loss

NIST, Security Considerations for VoIP Systems 800-58 p. 18 (April 2004)

VOIP is exceptionally intolerant of packet loss. Packet loss can result from excess latency, where a group of packets arrives late and must be discarded in favor of newer ones. It can also be the result of jitter, that is, when a packet arrives after its surrounding packets have been flushed from the buffer, it is useless. VOIP-specific packet loss issues exist in addition to the packet loss issues already associated with data networks; these are the cases where a packet is not delivered at all. Compounding the packet loss problem is VOIP’s reliance on RTP, which is based on the unreliable UDP, and thus does not guarantee packet delivery. Unfortunately, the time constraints do not allow for a reliable protocol such as TCP to be used to deliver media. By the time a packet could be reported missing, retransmitted, and received, the time constraints for QoS would be well exceeded. The good news is that VOIP packets are very small, containing a payload of only 10-50 bytes [5], which is approximately 12.5-62.5 ms, with most implementations tending toward the shorter range. The loss of such a minuscule amount of speech is not discernable or at least not worthy of complaint for a human VOIP user. The bad news is these packets are usually not lost in isolation. Bandwidth congestion and other such causes of packet loss tend to affect all the packets being delivered around the same time. So although the loss of one packet is fairly inconsequential, probabilistically the loss of one packet means the loss of several packets, which severely degrades the quality of service in a VOIP network.

Packet Networks

Packet networks are like the Star Trek transporter, breaking down communications into small pieces of information, routing them through the network flexibly and reassembling them at the communication’s end point. - Vermont Telecommunications Plan, Sept 2004

Packet Switching

Packet [s]witching technologies segment information into small pieces, called packets, assigning each packet identifying characteristics as well as a destination address. The packets traverse the network, often following many different physical paths, until they arrive at their destination and are reassembled. -- In re Deployment of Wireline Services Offering Advanced Telecommunications Capacity, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCCR 4761, 4764 (1999).

In contrast to voice communications, data communications between computers is generally thought of as "bursty" traffic. That is, rather than a continuous stream of data, computers communicate in bursts of data. Packet- switched networks were developed to take advantage of this characteristic of data communications. With packet switched data transmission, many users can share a single digital transmission channel. Each user's data are divided into small discrete packets.4 Each packet contains a header with address information that enables the network to route the packet to the proper destination. Packets belonging to one user are sent through the network separately, then reassembled at their destination. During transmission, packets belonging to one user can be interspersed among packets belonging to other users, allowing the channel to be more fully occupied than it would be if it were dedicated to a single user.

4A packet is a block of binary digits that is communicated through a network as an integrated unit.

-- In The Matter Of Independent Data Communications Manufacturers Association, Inc., Petition for Declaratory Ruling That AT&T's InterSpan Frame Relay Service Is a Basic Service; DA 95-2190, MO&O, 1995 WL 613619, 10 FCCR. 13,717, 10 FCC Rcd. 13,717, 1 Communications Reg. (P&F) 409, ¶ 3 (October 18, 1995)

 2. 'Packet Switching' technology was initially developed by U.S. Government sponsored research for the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Unlike the conventional telephone system, in which circuits are switched to provide an individual customer with exclusive use of a particular line or circuit, a 'packet switching 'circuit transmits small groups (packets) of digitized data over a network of lines to a designated recipient, usually a computer. These packets are stored and forwarded over the best available path through the network.
-- In The Matter Of The Application Of Packet Communications Inc. For Authority Under Section 214(A) To Institute And Operate A Packet-Switching Communications Network In The Contiguous United States By Leasing Inter-Exchange Lines From Established Communications Common Carriers, File No. P-C-8533, Memorandum Opinion, Order And Certificate (November 16, 1973)


"A “repair job” for a piece of programming; also known as a “fix.” A patch is the immediate solution that is provided to users; it can sometimes be downloaded from the software maker’s Web site. The patch is not necessarily the best solution for the problem, and product developers often find a better solution to provide when they package the product for its next release. A patch is usually developed and distributed as a replacement for or an insertion in compiled code (that is, in a binary file or object module). In many operating systems, a special program is provided to manage and track the installation of patches." - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-1 (Sept. 2007)


"Using technical means to redirect users into accessing a fake Web site masquerading as a legitimate one and divulging personal information" - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-2 (Sept. 2007)

Private Line

private line: In the telephone industry usage, a service that involves dedicated circuits, private switching arrangements, and/or predefined transmissionpaths, whether virtual or physical, which provide communications between specific locations. Note: Among subscribers to the public switched telephone network(s), the term "private line" is often used to mean a one-party switched access line. [Fed. Standard 1037c]

"These lines are not connected to the general exchange system. The wires used and the instruments attached to them are owned and maintained by the telephone company. The company does not permit telephone instruments not owned by it to be attached to these lines. There is no switching permitted or provided for between stations of such a system. Communication may be had between several stations and a central point but the different stations are not connected one with the other. Brokers are said to be the principal users of private line systems. They are used mainly between points where they have a great deal of communication." [Re New York Tel. Co., 44 P.U.R. (n.s.) 265, 269-70 (N.Y. Dep't, State Div., Pub. Serv. Comm'n 1942)]

Private Mobile Service

47 USC 332(d)(3) the term “private mobile service” means any mobile service (as defined in section 153 of this title) that is not a commercial mobile service or the functional equivalent of a commercial mobile service, as specified by regulation by the Commission. 

Protected Computer

(13) PROTECTED COMPUTER- The term `protected computer' has the meaning given that term in section 1030(e)(2)(B) of title 18, United States Code.
CAN SPAM Act Sec. 3(4)


"Protocol" refers to the ensemble of operating disciplines and technical parameters that must be observed and agreed upon by subscribers and carriers in order to permit the exchange of information among terminals  interconnected in a particular communications network.  A subscriber's digital transmission necessarily consists of two components:  information-bearing symbols and protocol-related symbols.  The information-bearing symbols constitute a subscriber's message.  The protocol-related symbols initiate various transmission control functions and also define the format in which the  information-bearing symbols appear within the composite data stream.  "Protocol  processing" is a generic term, which subsumes "protocol conversion" and refers to the use of computers to interpret and react to the protocol symbols as the  information contained in a subscriber's message is routed to its destination.  "Protocol conversion" is the specific form of protocol processing that is necessary to permit communications between disparate terminals or networks.
-- In The Matter Of Independent Data Communications Manufacturers Association, Inc., Petition for Declaratory Ruling That AT&T's InterSpan Frame Relay Service Is a Basic Service; DA 95-2190, MO&O, 1995 WL 613619, 10 FCCR. 13,717, 10 FCC Rcd. 13,717, 1 Communications Reg. (P&F) 409, n 5 (October 18, 1995)

"A protocol is a well-defined specification that allows computers to communicate across a network.  In a way, protocols define the 'gramar' that computers can use to 'talk' to each other." -- CERT Coordination Center, Home Network Security (2001)


"A proxy is an application that “breaks” the connection between client and server. The proxy accepts certain types of traffic entering or leaving a network, processes it, and forwards it. This effectively closes the straight path between the internal and external networks, making it more difficult for an attacker to obtain internal addresses and other details of the organization’s internal network. Proxy servers are available for common Internet services; for example, a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) proxy used for Web access and a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) proxy used for e-mail. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-2 (Sept. 2007)

See Internet Freedom and TOR.

Open Proxies

Open Proxies: Most organizations have multiple computers on their networks, but have a smaller number of proxy servers that are the only machines on the network that directly interact with the Internet. If a proxy is configured improperly in a way that permits unauthorized Internet users to connect through it to other hosts (computers that control communications in a network or administer databases) on the Internet, it is considered to be “open.” Such misconfigurations can arise through setup errors by administrators, unforeseen effects of seemingly unrelated systems changes, or outside forces such as trojans or worms. This kind of proxy misconfiguration is common and results in general purpose forwarding that is utilized by hackers and spammers. For example, a spammer can send email through an open proxy as an intermediate step before routing the message to the recipient’s email server. The headers for messages that pass through an open proxy indicate the proxy’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address in the “Received: from” line, and not the true originating IP address. In this way, open proxies provide another means for spammers to hide their tracks. Spammers sometimes route their messages through a series of open proxies, referred to as a “proxy chain.” - Report to Congress: A CAN SPAM Informant Reward System, p. 12 FTC Sept 2004


The word "public" can itself have multiple meanings.

Websters' definition of public:

1 a : exposed to general view : OPEN b : WELL-KNOWN, PROMINENT c : PERCEPTIBLE, MATERIAL 2 a : of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state <public law> b : of or relating to a government c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation 3 a : of or relating to people in general : UNIVERSAL b : GENERAL, POPULAR 4 : of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs : SOCIAL 5 : devoted to the general or national welfare : HUMANITARIAN 6 a : accessible to or shared by all members of the community b : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market -- often used with go

Merriam-Webster Online, Collegiate Dictionary, Public (2002) <>.  Also compare the definition from Black's Law Dictionary: 

Pertaining to a state, nation, or whole community; proceeding from, relating to, or affecting the whole body of people or an entire community.  Open to all; notorious. Common to all or many; general; open to common use.  Belonging to the people at large; relating to or affecting the whole people of a state, nation, or community; not limited or restricted to any particular class of the community.

Black's Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, p. 1104 (1979).

It gets tricky when people, at times unconsciously, use "public" multiple times in a text yet meaning different things.

Public Interest, Convenience and Necessity

See Broadcast (Video); Sec. 257

Public Interest, Convenience and Necessity, Museum of Broadcast Communications (“History has proven that interpretation of the "public interest, convenience and necessity" is subject to prevailing political forces. The development of new technologies continues to test the trusteeship model of broadcasting and what the public interest epitomizes. Despite it's ambiguity, this phrase remains the regulatory cornerstone of telecommunications policy in the United States.”)

Ford, Frederick W. "The Meaning of the Public Interest, Convenience or Necessity." Journal of Broadcasting(Washington, D.C.), Summer 1961.

Krugman, Dean M., and Leonard E. Reid. "The Public Interest as Defined by FCC Policy Makers." Journal of Broadcasting (Washington, D.C.), Summer 1980.  

Public Switched Network

47 CFR 20.3: Public Switched Network The network that includes any common carrier switched network, whether by wire or radio, including local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, and mobile service providers, that uses the North American Numbering Plan, or public IP addresses, in connection with the provision of switched services. (as amended by Open Internet)

In re Implementation of Section (3)(n) and 332 of the Communications Act; Regulatory Treatment of Mobile Services, Dkt 93-252, Second Report and Order (1993) (notice how the FCC defines a network by its addressing scheme. This is consistent with how the Federal Networking Council defined the Internet as bounded by the ICANN / IANA addressing set)

59. The statute also requires the Commission to define the term "public switched network." The Commission has frequently used the term "public switched telephone network" (PSTN) to refer to the local exchange and interexchange common carrier switched network, whether by wire or radio. Many parties urge the commission to continue this approach to defining the public switched network. We agree with commenters who argue that the network should not be defined in a static way. We believe that this interpretation is also more consistent with the use of the term "public switched network," rather than the more technologically based term "public switched telephone network." The network is continuously growing and changing because of new technology and increasing demand. The purpose of the public switched network is to allow the public to send or receive messages to or from anywhere in the nation. Therefore, any switched common carrier service that is interconnected with the traditional local exchange or interexchange switched network will be defined as part of the network for purposes of our definition of "commercial mobile radio services."

60. A mobile service that offers service indirectly interconnected to the PSN through an interconnected commercial mobile radio service, such as a cellular carrier, will be deemed to offer interconnected service because messages could be sent to or received from the public switched network via the cellular carrier. We agree with Nextel and Pacific that the use of the North American Numbering Plan by carriers providing or obtaining access to the public switched network is a key element in defining the network because participation in the North American Numbering Plan provides the participant with ubiquitous access to all other participants in the Plan. We find that another important element is switching capability, which the term "public switched network" implies. This includes any common carrier switching capability, not only a local exchange carrier's switching capability. Thus, we believe that this approach to the public switched network is consistent with creating a system of universal service where all people in the United States can use the network to communicate with each other.  

PSN: "Any common carrier network that provides circuit switching among public users." FS 1037c

Public Switched Telephone Network

"A domesttic telecommunications network usually accessed by telephones, key telephone systems, private branch exchange trunks, and data arrangements." FS 1037c

Public Telephone Network

Traditional telephone companies use circuit-switched technology. Chérie R. Kiser & Angela F. Collins, Regulation On The Horizon: Are Regulators Poised To Address the Status of IP Telephony?, 11 CommLaw Conspectus 19, 20-21 (2003). A person using a traditional telephone, or plain old telephone service ("POTS"), is connected to the public switched telephone network ("PSTN"), which is operated by local telephone companies. -- Vonage v. Minnesota PUC, Civil No. 03-5287, Sec. III (MJD/JGL) (DMN October 16, 2003)


Registrars assign domain names on a first-come, first-served basis upon payment of a registration fee.  See id., the registrar used in this case, charges $75.00 per domain name.  Domain name registrars do not inquire into whether a domain name request matches or conflicts with another's trademark.  See id.  Lack of regulatory control caused problems of cybersquatting and cyberpiracy.  See id. (citing Panavision Int'l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir.1998)). -- Morrison & Foerster LLP, v. Brian Wick and American Distribution Systems, Inc., No. CIV.A.00-B-465., 94 F.Supp.2d 1125, 1126-27 (D.Co. April 19, 2000).


NIST, Security Considerations for VoIP Systems, 800-58 p. 34 (April 2004)
SIP is the IETF specified protocol for initiating a two-way communication session. It is considerably simpler than H.323 [14][12] when simple calls are to be performed. SIP is text based; thereby avoiding the ASN.1 associated parsing issues that exist with the H.323 protocol suite, if S/MIME as part of the SIP inherent security measures is not used. Also, SIP is an application level protocol, that is, it exists independently from the protocol layer it is transported across. It can be based in TCP, UDP, or a number of different IP protocols. UDP may be used to decrease overhead and increase speed and efficiency, or TCP may be used if SSL/TLS is incorporated for security services. Unlike H.323, only one port is used in SIP (note that H.323 may also be used in a way that uses only one port &ndash; direct routed calls). The default value for this port is 5060.

5.1 SIP Architecture

The architecture of a SIP network is different from the H.323 structure. An SIP network is made up of end points, a proxy and/or redirect server, location server, and registrar. A diagram is provided in Figure 5. In the SIP model, a user is not bound to a specific host (neither is this the case in H.323, gatekeeper provides address resolution). The user initially reports their location to a registrar, which may be integrated into a proxy or redirect server. This information is in turn stored in the external location server.

Messages from endpoints must be routed through either a proxy or redirect server. The proxy server intercepts messages from endpoints or other services, inspects their To:&rdquo; field, contacts the location server to resolve the username into an address and forwards the message along to the appropriate end point or another server. Redirect servers perform the same resolution functionality, but the onus is placed on the end points to perform the actual transmission. That is, Redirect servers obtain the actual address of the destination from the location server and return this information to the original sender, which then must send its message directly to this resolved address (similar to H.323 direct routed calls with gatekeeper).

The SIP protocol itself is modeled on the three way handshake method implemented in TCP (see Figure 6). We will consider the setup here when a proxy server is used to mediate between endpoints. The process is similar with a redirect server, but with the extra step of returning the resolved address to the source endpoint. During the setup process, communication details are negotiated between the endpoints using Session Description Protocol (SDP), which contains fields for the codec used, caller&rsquo;s name, etc. If Bob wishes to place a call to Alice he sends an INVITE request to the proxy server containing SDP info for the session, which is then forwarded to Alice&rsquo;s client by Bob&rsquo;s proxy, possibly via her proxy server. Eventually, assuming Alice wants to talk to Bob, she will send an OK&rdquo; message back containing her call preferences in SDP format. Then Bob will respond with an ACK&rdquo;. SIP provides for the ACK to contain SDP instead of the INVITE, so that an INVITE may be seen without protocol specific information. After the ACK&rdquo; is received, the conversation may commence along the RTP / RTCP ports previously agreed upon. Notice that all the traffic was transported through one port in a simple (text) format, without any of the complicated channel / port switching associated with H.323. Still, SIP presents several challenges for firewalls and NAT. These difficulties are discussed in the next section.


Spoofing: “Spoofing” refers to the falsification of email header information. This technique disguises an email to make it appear to come from an address other than the one from which it actually came. Not only can a spammer send out millions of spoofed messages, but any bounced messages – messages returned as undeliverable – will flow to the person whose address was spoofed rather than to the spammer. As a result, an innocent email user’s inbox may become flooded with angry, reactive email, and the innocent user’s Internet service may be shut off due to the volume of complaints. - Report to Congress: A CAN SPAM Informant Reward System, p. 12 FTC Sept 2004

System Administrator

"A person who manages a computer system, including its operating system and applications. A system administrator’s responsibilities are similar to that of a network administrator. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-2 (Sept. 2007)


"tariff: The published schedule of rates or charges for a specific unit of equipment, facility, or type of service such as might be provided by a telecommunications common carrier. " FS 1037c

Technologically Neutral

The Iowa Utilities Board has three points for the FCC to consider. First, the standards and regulation of telecommunications services should be technologically neutral, that is, based on the function served rather than the equipment or protocol used. --In Re Vonage Holdings Corporation Petition For Declaratory Ruling Concerning An Order Of The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Comments Of The Iowa Utilities Board Wc-03-211 (October 27, 2003)


A threat is any circumstance or event with the potential to intentionally or unintentionally exploit one or more vulnerabilities in a system resulting in a loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability. Threats are implemented by threat agents. Examples of threat agents are malicious hackers, organized crime, insiders (including system administrators and developers), terrorists, and nation states. Federal Plan for Cyber Security and Information Assurance: Research and Development, NSTC p. 5 (April 2006)

Time Share

"Time-sharing permits several users at remote locations to have access to or to share computer memory and logic capability." Manley R. Irwin, The Computer Utility: Competition or Regulaiton, 76 Yale L.J. 1299 (1967)

Virtual Private Network

Paul Ferguson, What is a VPN, Part I, Internet Protocol Journal Vol. 1, No. 1

What is VPN, TechNet, Microsoft March 28, 2003

Microsoft Technet. "Virtual Private Networking: An Overview" ("A virtual private network (VPN) is the extension of a private network that encompasses links across shared or public networks like the Internet. A VPN enables you to send data between two computers across a shared or public internetwork in a manner that emulates the properties of a point-to-point private link. The act of configuring and creating a virtual private network is known as virtual private networking.")


"The use of an abstraction layer to simulate computing hardware so that multiple operating systems can run on a single computer." - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-2 (Sept. 2007)


"A security exposure in an operating system or other system software or application software component. A variety of organizations maintain publicly accessible databases of vulnerabilities based on the version numbers of software. Each vulnerability can potentially compromise the system or network if exploited. " - Miles Tracy, Wayne Jansen, Karen Scarfone, Theodore Winograd, Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, NIST Special Publication 800-44 ver. 2 at B-2 (Sept. 2007)


"In the colorful argot of computers, a "worm" is a program that travels from one computer to another but does not attach itself to the operating system of the computer it "infects." It differs from a "virus," which is also a migrating program, but one that attaches itself to the operating system of any computer it enters and can infect any other computer that uses files from the infected computer."  US v. Morris, 928 F.2d 504, 504 n.1 (2nd Cir. 1991)


Zombie Drones and Bot Networks: A “zombie drone” is a computer on which email server or proxy software has been downloaded which, without the knowledge of the computer owner, causes the computer to spew out spam or to serve as a relay or proxy for spam. A “bot network” consists of a large number of zombie drones controlled by the same entity. Some observers report bot networks with as many as 400,000 drones.23 When each drone in the network is instructed to generate or relay spam, the aggregate spam generation rate can be very large. - Report to Congress: A CAN SPAM Informant Reward System, p. 13 FTC Sept 2004