The "common carrier" concept was established in the 1934 Communications Act, which is the act that formed the basis of the Federal Communications Commission.

The concept of a common carrier is not exclusive to the telecommunications industry. It is a legal and social concept that dates back centuries. It was developed to ensure that the public retained access to fundamental services that use public rights of way.

By definition, a common carrier is not responsible for the content or goods that it carries. (under the DMCA)

Title II defines common carrier as A company that provides telecommunications services, as by telephone or satellite, to the public.

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