Joy And Fun with(out) Network Neutrality

Just today I had an experience about what it can mean to have no network neutrality, taken from my professional work:

A client wanted to check out his brand-new VPN gateway, utilising IPSEC from his road-warrior client and a mobile connection, but it just didn't seem to work. While testing, we found the following:

  • The client could not ping his VPN gateway.
  • No ISAKMP packet arrived at the gateway.

He then cross-checked with wireshark to see which packets actually leave the system, and found that the relevant packets were being sent out by the PC, but didn't arrive at his VPN gateway. This is a strong indication that the mobile carrier blocked his IP packets.

This is not the first, but only the latest such incident I saw in my career.

Needless to say, a carrier who blocks users' packets, is about as useful as a car without an engine...

I demand that carriers who call their service "Internet", be required to indiscriminantly allow all (halfway sane) packets through. I am almost comfortable with someone blocking packets that have no return route (ie., if someone spoofs their source IP number), but that's about all restrictions I can think off the top of my head that I might consider acceptable.