Ed Foster has a excellent exchange on how Comcast is handling the takeover of AT&T Broadband. Comcast’s user agreement requires the purchase of a higher-priced service if you want to use a virtual packet network to, say, communicate with your office, but AT&T didn’t. It appears that Comcast is beginning to sporadically implement extra charges for VPN across their own and AT&T’s old network.

The access duopolies can be expected to ratchet up this behavior as they break free from regulation and start looking for ways to extract revenue from their customers without investing in their networks. Especially since there is no commonly agreed definition to “broadband”, “Internet”, or “access”.

[Ed Foster used to write the excellent Gripe Line column for InfoWorld. HIs new blog is really promising.]