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What does the term commodity Internet refer to?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

A general, commercially-available connection to the "regular" Internet, as opposed to a special-purpose restricted network like Internet2 or the US military's NIPRNet, or some other specialized backbone network. Generally, a commodity Internet connection offers no content, application protocol, or destination restrictions or quality-of-service controls.

The term "commodity" is used because you could basically get the exact same thing from many competing providers. They may vary in details like where and how you're connected, but in theory if you paid enough you could get the same thing from anyone.

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Thank you for the detailed answer. With no protocol restrictions do you mean application-layer protocols? – Francesco Feltrinelli Nov 27 '10 at 17:13
Yes, I'll edit to make that more clear. – mattdm Nov 27 '10 at 17:18

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