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mhoppes
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FCC Ruling

Is anyone concerned about the new FCC ruling on Net Neutrality? While I support it and am glad it passed the way it did, it got me to thinking about those of us who prioritize traffic. Is it now illegal to give higher access to HTTP traffic.... or to a business customer than a residential customer (both paying for 3 Meg service)... or worse yet.... is it now illegal to rate limit P2P traffic?

:icon_question::icon_frown:
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wifi_guy
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Re: FCC Ruling

Correct me if I am wrong, in that ruling didn't it say something about ISP's can no longer give priority to voice? Everything needs to be the same now doesn't it? I am guessing I am wrong, I hope i am wrong. I remember seeing something about not being able to be biased with Video and voice.
This doesn't affect us, minus maybe giving QoS to voice. However, I do see cable companies raising rates due to this. The ones that throttle content are going to claim major infrastructure changes will need to be in place to accommodate the raise in bandwidth since they can no longer throttle things.
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/21/AR2010122106110.html

However, the rules for the most part do not apply to wireless carriers, which have increasingly become the main providers of Internet connections for smartphone users.

Looks like we are exempt.
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mhoppes
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Re: FCC Ruling

Correct me if I am wrong, in that ruling didn't it say something about ISP's can no longer give priority to voice? Everything needs to be the same now doesn't it? I am guessing I am wrong, I hope i am wrong. I remember seeing something about not being able to be biased with Video and voice.

This doesn't affect us, minus maybe giving QoS to voice. However, I do see cable companies raising rates due to this. The ones that throttle content are going to claim major infrastructure changes will need to be in place to accommodate the raise in bandwidth since they can no longer throttle things.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/21/AR2010122106110.html



Looks like we are exempt.


Yeah... this is what I'm discovering. This is VERY good news for us. For once the little guys have won something. As I see it, the telcos and cable companies are going to have to raise rates and/or throughput is going to suffer. Meanwhile, for now at least, we can continue to throttle the P2P folks and manage our bandwidth in a responsible manner.
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coairnet
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Re: FCC Ruling

There will be a fine line to define "wireless providers" but I don't know that fixed wireless will end up qualifying. I think the FCC will come out at some point and say the intention of their rules were to apply to cellular networks and thus we will be forced into this same position at some point if and when the rules are upheld and clarified. This is good and bad, good that it will raise rates for tel and cable co's but the other side of this coin is at some point we will not be able to block, shape, or do anything with any specific types of traffic. On our network, we use some rules to detect and block SYN floods, etc. If a customer gets infected with some nasty virus or bot I don't want their computer monopolizing our network resources to attack Mastercard for Mr. ASSange. I see this ruling taking away the control of people to do what they want with their private network. Savvis does some dropping of SYN packets on their network to help protect their customers from floods, now they will have to not only accept the traffic across their backbone but pass it onto customers.
The prioritizing of voice traffic will be a major component not just for us WISPs but for Comcast, Verizon, and even the Tier 1 providers (Level 3, Qwest, TWT, etc). Companies like Voicepulse can survive with just one or two POPs in the nation because they can get priority for VoIP traffic from their providers and the customers can also usually get priority on VoIP traffic, thus to traverse from the east to the west coast they have very low delay and even through Comcast's network there is only a fraction of the latency experienced by other traffic. The gamers are going to cry as well, I know many providers give UDP priority over TCP to be inclusive of VoIP and most games, now your torrent and your Call of Duty are going to have the same priority.
"The exemption of wireless broadband provoked criticism from Genachowski's allies in the consumer groups that have long pushed for net-neutrality rules." - (Sourced WP article cited earlier). You already ping 300+ms on most 3G, out here we don't even have 3G and it's 1200ms on Edge from my phone. If wireless providers (they aren't typically talking about us, they are talking Verizon, ATT, etc) cannot prioritize traffic, shape traffic, etc on their network then expect even more latency and poorer performance. This is good for us, in one area we have a small cell company that is promoting their service for broadband, it is pathetic but we have a few potential customers that are happy with it for the moment. Let them overload their network a little more, they barely can keep calls working, much less unrestricted data. I'll pick up an unlimited data plan just to SYN their network if they can't block my traffic.
Internet infrastructure is much like the power grid, initially power was a free for all, you paid for electric service and you didn't have meters, etc (late 1800's, early 1900's in some areas). Then utility companies saw people running around naked with their electric heaters turned up, lights left on, and the power grid could not sustain both growth and waste. They decided to reduce waste by charging for consumption, having peak and off peak hours, fusing transformers to limit draw, having different metering rates and classes, etc. If every electric customer were allowed to draw, and the power company mandated to deliver by the government, their rated service of 100, 200, 1000 amps (or in our case 3 Mbps, 6 Mbps, etc) 100% of the time without any restrictions the power grid would become horribly overloaded and collapse or the meter rates would increase. They have 25 kVA transformers one right after another for miles to service residential customers on a line that likely cannot provide a sustained 500 kVA. So they have 100 customers on a line that cannot support 20 customers concurrently drawing their "rated" capacity.
Sounds like the internet industry does it not? Comcast will sell tens of thousands of 20 Mbps, 50 Mbps, etc cable connections in an area and only have maybe GigE connecting it back to their core. In the case of most WISPs, and ISPs in general, there are no meters at this point so there is no incentive to shut down Azureus when you go to bed, not leave Hulu playing while you go down the street to the store, etc. Internet service is oversold, in some cases 100 to 1, just like the power grid is oversold but the US DOE isn't stepping in and telling power companies they have to deliver rated transformer nameplate to all customers on demand. They also don't jump up and down when power companies start rolling blackouts due to grid overload. Maybe ISPs should try rolling outages from 5PM to 10PM since that's peak internet time and some networks are overloaded at that point and we no longer can prioritize traffic to keep the network conditions favorable.
So many people don't understand that raw bandwidth costs anywhere from 10-100$ per megabit for most providers, sometimes even more, and then must be transported to their home for consumption. It's like asking today's children where milk comes from, "the grocery store". Where does bandwidth come from, most people think Comcast, and us as a WISP are some magical group that somehow has this intarwebz stuff tapped into and we are making a fortune. They have this picture of taking a backhoe out at night, tapping into some fiber and poof, internet. If an ISP pays $10 per megabit for bandwidth and sells a 20 Mbps connection for $100 per month (Comcastish), they have to oversell that connection 2:1 to pay for just the bandwidth. Factor in the overhead costs, network, repairs, maintenance, etc and it's more like 5:1. But you no longer have the rights to restrict, prioritize, limit, etc traffic on your own network so now you have ten bandwidth hogs in 100 people, you need to oversell 20 or 40:1 to be able to pay for the bandwidth required. This is all very simplistic but it's the reality that is tough to explain to customers but you would think the FCC would understand. The sad part is that most customers don't want, didn't care about and could care less about Net Neutrality. Most customers didn't even think there was a major problem.
Net Neutrality is something designed to fix a problem that only exists for maybe 1% of internet users who are willing to penalize everyone else so they can download their torrents a little faster, get more than their 250GB, etc. Very few providers actually blocked websites or traffic. There was the issue with the software that hijacked torrents (was that Comcast as well?), but the outcry from the customers quickly shut that down. Let the customers decide, if 99% are happy with a 250GB cap and throttled torrent traffic but VoIP priority then that is how it should be. The FCC has perpetually overreached their authority, extend their empire and now claim they can tell private companies on private fiber what traffic they must accept, prioritize, etc.
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mhoppes
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Re: FCC Ruling

I agree with you 100%. I'd prefer there was no ruling at all. If Comcast is screwing things up, then people will vote with their wallets.

I believe shaping, when done properly, can improve the network -- as I think we all know.

Wow... you've got a bad EDGE network there! We run EDGE on our cellular network and average speeds are around 200k and pings are about 400ms.
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WisTech
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Re: FCC Ruling

We don't cap our customers, but in our contracts we specifically state we do not allow peer to peer traffic and have the right to protect our other customers and the integrity of the network for other users, to throttle this type of traffic (viruses included). We do not do any filtering on standard ports, so web, etc will haul, but bit torrent/limewire (when it was around) would run at 64kbps so it'd maintain a connection but multiple concurrent connections wouldn't.

I believe this is where the problem lies... if it isn't written into the contract and signed, you're in trouble. I do what is best for ALL of my clients and do not throttle certain ports/applications just because they're residential vs business. The only thing we do is throttle is their maximum speed for their service level, which is like anyone else, want more speed, you have to pay for it. I'm all for allowing users to do what they want as long as it isn't a detriment to the entire network.
Tony Pierro
CTO at Wireless Internet Services, Inc.
www.wirelesstcp.net
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mhoppes
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Re: FCC Ruling

We don't cap our customers, but in our contracts we specifically state we do not allow peer to peer traffic and have the right to protect our other customers and the integrity of the network for other users, to throttle this type of traffic (viruses included). We do not do any filtering on standard ports, so web, etc will haul, but bit torrent/limewire (when it was around) would run at 64kbps so it'd maintain a connection but multiple concurrent connections wouldn't.

I believe this is where the problem lies... if it isn't written into the contract and signed, you're in trouble. I do what is best for ALL of my clients and do not throttle certain ports/applications just because they're residential vs business. The only thing we do is throttle is their maximum speed for their service level, which is like anyone else, want more speed, you have to pay for it. I'm all for allowing users to do what they want as long as it isn't a detriment to the entire network.


You brought up another interesting point. Right now my DSL provider filters outbound port 25 traffic to any mail server except theirs. Can they continue to do that?
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SPITwSPOTS
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Re: FCC Ruling

Correct me if I'm wrong (I hope I'm not) But don't these FCC rulings usually only apply to ILEC (common carriers)?
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Rhymhoont
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Re: FCC Ruling

The ruling is meaningless, as the FCC has no legal authority to control the Internet. They have been slapped down just recently by the judicial branch telling them they had no authority, yet a month or so later they throw down this regulation anyway... Most likely because they know the new congress when started, will tell the FCC where to go.

This has nothing to do with bandwidth throttling or anything to do with fairness. It has everything to do with government control of something it currently has no control over. Feds hate not having control.

Nothing, and I mean nothing good will come from government control of anything let alone the Internet.

You can bet if it does get control your costs as an ISP will go up.
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coairnet
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Re: FCC Ruling

100% correct, this is about control. The FCC's ever expanding empire requires more and more funding to function. For that to work they need to control more things so they can tax and raise more revenue to support their bloated empire. I have little doubt that some court will slap this down, the real question is since the government is in charge of policing the government will the supreme court uphold it since we have very few people left in the judicial branch interested in what is constitutional, legal, or correct.

While this has nothing to do with bandwidth control, traffic blocking, etc the end result will be that it regulates those things. There will be taxes, fees, reporting and other things required as well that will increase the cost end to end and result in more revenue for the FCC so they can further expand their empire.

SPITwSPOTS I think you might be right, but in the eyes of the FCC and the government you won't be correct. That seems to be the difference these days, you may be right but you won't be correct. If the FCC can justify how it will apply to us, no matter how absurd, they will be given control.
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mhoppes
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Re: FCC Ruling

100% correct, this is about control. The FCC's ever expanding empire requires more and more funding to function. For that to work they need to control more things so they can tax and raise more revenue to support their bloated empire. I have little doubt that some court will slap this down, the real question is since the government is in charge of policing the government will the supreme court uphold it since we have very few people left in the judicial branch interested in what is constitutional, legal, or correct.

While this has nothing to do with bandwidth control, traffic blocking, etc the end result will be that it regulates those things. There will be taxes, fees, reporting and other things required as well that will increase the cost end to end and result in more revenue for the FCC so they can further expand their empire.

SPITwSPOTS I think you might be right, but in the eyes of the FCC and the government you won't be correct. That seems to be the difference these days, you may be right but you won't be correct. If the FCC can justify how it will apply to us, no matter how absurd, they will be given control.


You said it - more fees. I'm already paying the parking lot restriping fee on my telco bills!
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coairnet
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Re: FCC Ruling

Prepare for the "Net Neutrality Compliance Fee" - $3.95/mo on your telco bill. It won't be spelled out like that though, it will either be named something ambiguous so nobody knows what it is (i.e. "Universal Service Fee") or something to do with butterflies and rainbows so everybody thinks it is wonderful and they are doing the world a great service by paying the fee.

It's all in what we name it, "American Recovery and Reinvenstment Act" vs "Increase the national debt by hundreds of billions while creating an unaccounted for slush fund and waste what money we distribute on pointless projects and signs to promote such projects".
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Rhymhoont
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Re: FCC Ruling

And good luck passing any fees down to our clients. Then you will hear revolt for sure.

It will probably be like a VAR tax idea where you are forbidden to pass the cost down the line.. Right!
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MeSSeNJa
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For once...something I can contribute to

Guys...do not worry. Here's how it will happen:

The FCC has lost in court twice over this.
Congress can legislate to overturn the decision to regulate.
The decision, if challenged in court, will AGAIN be struck down.
Verizon, Microsoft, etc. will challenge Net Neutrality in court (possibly to the supreme court).
The entire power grab is unconstitutional and can be ruled as such.
The interstate commerce clause does not apply in this scenario (Gibbons V. Ogden).
In order for a civil society to have consensus there must be consensus of the assembly (congress in the US).
Republicans have control of, at least, the house and can exert enough influence to pressure the Senate to sway the few Democrats in power to the non-regulatory side.

Regardless of whether you agree with the FCC's decision to regulate the internet or not...it's not legal and it's certainly unconstitutional. Don't worry...it's just dirty politics at the moment.
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Dave-D
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Re: FCC Ruling

'coairnet', I think you're being naive.

Comcast in particular has been caught
purposely screwing up VoIP traffic. And
the only reason would be to push users
to their own 'private network' VoIP.

To label the FCC as some overweening
monster is largely overstated. While the
FCC has meddled in content issues, for
the most part it's incredibly benign.

Here the 'monster' is Comcast. In our
area, they are fast becoming effectively
the ILEC. And you can't shop around for
Internet service in many places--this is
truly a monopoly. For us, the only other
provider is Fairpoint; it has low-speed
DSL only, and it has filed for bankruptcy.

With that kind of clout, and that record,
there's no reason to believe Comcast (or
any other monopoly) will have consumer
interests in mind instead of their own
very focused desire to increase revenue.

Why do you believe gutting consumer
protection will make things better?

..'nothing good will come from government
control of anything... ? You can't be serious.
You believe the 'wild west' is the right plan? Dave
No disclaimer. Nothing to sell. I need to fix that.
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coairnet
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Re: FCC Ruling

I said nothing of gutting consumer protection, my gripe is that we are increasing government and letting it meddle into things it has no business in. The FCC has no more a place regulating the internet than they have regulating the sale of gasoline. On a privately owned and built network you should be able to do whatever you want, restrict traffic, block ports, redirect websites, etc. Is the FCC next going to step in and say that the DNS rewrites some ISPs use instead of the "Cannot find webpage" that take you to their own search engine are tampering with traffic and aren't allowed either?
If I want to build a network that only allows port 80, 443, 25 and 110, blocks everything else, I should be able to and sell internet to anyone who wants on my system. If they are unhappy with the system they can find another provider. If every Comcast subscriber was unhappy with their internet service there would be some other company (Verizon rolling out FiOS) step into their markets and take away their customer base. The only thing that prevents that is the FCC and the government in the first place giving telcos and the like exclusive markets. The government has created this mess and giving them more power to try to fix their initial problems only makes it worse.
I have no doubt that Comcast has tampered with VoIP traffic, messed with PtP, etc. If they own the equipment, the network, the infrastructure they should be able to do whatever they want. Saying that any ISP is required to provide the services of a competitor through their network with the same quality of service as their own services is crazy, it's their network, they can do with it what they want. If a Christan organization wants to put up a WISP and block porn to their customers the FCC has no business telling them they can't, it's their network. If they want to block websites that discuss the Koran that's their business as well, it is the product of a competitor (in some senses) and if their customers don't want it blocked or are outraged they will switch to another provider.
What are the limits on this ruling? Are we no longer allowed to block spam? Are we forced to accept SYN floods? What about probes from other providers? There is another company that used to have a bunch of our equipment up on their Nagios so they could make a big deal out of whenever our equipment was down, we blocked their Nagios IP, is that allowed? Does any ISP have to open themselves up to whatever is pushed their direction or whatever a customer feels they should receive?
The ultimate consumer protection is competition. Most of us started, operate, own or work with a WISP that was created because someone or several someones were unhappy with the service available, that service may have been dial-up only, satellite, DSL, cable, whatever the case may be. If we do a poor job another WISP will step in and compete with us. The government at all level creates these problems in the first place with the FCC and federal creating regulations and preventing competition, the states limiting who can operate and etc, and the local governments giving exclusive cable/telco/etc to a select company. If consumers had a choice of an ISP that blocked traffic, one that didn't, one with caps, one without, they would chose what suited their needs the best and if the one with caps and blocks was cheaper some would chose that while other customers would go for no caps or blocking. Net neutrality has about as much to do with consumer protection as the TSA Gate Rape has to do with airline security.
As for the my painting of the FCC as an evolving and growing monster that is consuming everything in it's path, take a look at this:
www.flickr.com/photos/42182583@N00/2073190473/
The FCC is now wielding a nearly half a billion dollar budget to do the following:
TITLE 47 > CHAPTER 5 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 151
Purposes of chapter; Federal Communications Commission created
For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications, and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority heretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is created a commission to be known as the “Federal Communications Commission”, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Does the defense request a redirect?
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coairnet
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Re: FCC Ruling

One more thing for thought, nobody holds a gun to someones head and says you must be on Comcast. Internet access is not a right, it is not guaranteed in the constitution, and is by no means required for life. If you are ultimately unhappy with every solution available for you for internet access you can either move to a location that you can find a provider that suits your needs, build your own infrastructure to get the internet you desire (as many WISP owners did) or do without. I don't think not being able to download torrents or talk all day on Skype or Vonage is like taking away your supply of oxygen or water.

Ultimately your freedom ends at the end of your property, your nose, or the public property you are on, as does mine. You have freedom of person, freedom on your property, and freedom on public property, all of which are already hobbled by the government. Stepping in and saying that I must grant you freedoms on my property is a broad overreach. If I want to grant you the right to walk down my sidewalk but I make it clear that you will be trespassing if you step on my lawn the FCC shouldn't require me to allow you on my lawn.
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SPITwSPOTS
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Re: FCC Ruling

:iagree: I think the government should encourage competition as the primary method of consumer protection. If we allow unlimited p2p it can hurt the quality of our service. It's a technical issue for us. Not a freedom issue.
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Rhymhoont
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Re: FCC Ruling

Coairnet, wow you took the words out of my mouth.

Spitwspots, the way government encourages competition is stay away and let the free market choose. I compete with Com***t in my area, but I have had customers switch to me and tell me how much better it is.

WoW player word of mouth has people flocking to me over Com**** because of my low latency and consistent speeds. I work hard for that and haven't bought a new car for 10 years, but it's a free market and I need to be better than them.
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Dave-D
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Re: FCC Ruling

Guys, you're simply wrong.

This idea of completely open, unregulated
service is truly the 'wild west'. It hasn't
worked anywhere there is an effective
monopoly. That's what 'anti-trust' was
all about: the railroads controlled both
free commerce and free access.

If a market is truly free and open, and a
consumer has a choice of product, and
also is fully informed, I might agree that
regulation could be minimal. I would
still want strict quality monitoring.

But why do you pretend that providers
like Comcast form that kind of market?
In New England, I can't shop around,
and most consumers will have no way
to know when they're being manipulated
out of competitive VoIP offerings.

The marketplace is not open, there is not
full disclosure. And the idea that because
a private corporation in this situation has
absolute right to provide what it chooses
is ludicrous. Rights are never absolute.

Back to the railroads, guys.

And your contention that folks can
pick up and leave or create their own
'infrastructure' is like suggesting that
if you don't like the water company you
can jolly well build your own backyard
reservoir and pumping system.

Yes: cutting off open Internet access
is exactly like cutting off the 'air supply'
of modern life. We now depend on it for
our core business, our home activities--
and yes, social needs. To do without it in
today's society is to return to subsistence.

No: I don't care if Comcast wants to discuss
the Koran. I do care if it wants to block my
discussion of it. A business should not have
the right to block my content. Censorship is
just as dangerous in private hands as public.

For the FCC budget, consider that the
number and complexity of products it works
with has greatly increased. That budget
(adjusted for inflation) is flat or reduced;
this is not a picture of expansion at all. Dave
No disclaimer. Nothing to sell. I need to fix that.
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