The Definition of "Common Carrier"
It bothers me that people are so dismissive of the Communications Act being applied to the Internet. Sure, the technology underlying the communication system in question these days is completely different than that in 1934 - nobody is arguing otherwise. But the underlying principle - that the companies that own the "wires" can't control with *whom* you communicate nor the *content* of said communication - is what that law is really about. That principle is essentially the same as what is commonly known as "net neutrality" - no Internet service provider should be able to decide what sort of communications I get to have over the Internet. It's none of their concern - their job is to shuffle the bits back and forth as quickly as possible; no more, no less.
My Internet connection brings me entertainment, news, and personal correspondence in the form of audio, video, text, pictures. It allows me to do business by remote controlling my computer at work and have fun by playing video games with someone on the other side of the planet. I can interact with government services to renew a license plate or pay my taxes. I can buy groceries, order a pizza, pay my bills, and transfer money from checking to savings. Almost everything that I can do in the world at large, I can do over my Internet connection.
I cannot think of a more apt term for that connection than "common carrier."