FCC Votes To Accept Revised Net Neutrality Proposals

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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FCC Votes To Accept Revised Net Neutrality Proposals


The FCC has voted to accept revised changes to net neutrality rules and is now seeking public input on the matter in a process that chairman Tom Wheeler said could last for the rest of the year.

The FCC has voted to move ahead with plans to overhaul the way it regulates the internet, which could see preferential treatment granted to major media companies and others willing to pay for a "fast lane" into consumers' homes. The updated rules would prevent internet providers from blocking access to content by mandating a "minimum level of access," which on the surface sounds like a positive step, but it also allows them to operate within the limits of vaguely-defined "commercially reasonable" practices, which may allow them to provide preferential access to those who can afford it.

Wheeler, however, insisted that his aim is to ensure the internet remains open and accessible to all. "There is one internet. It must be fast, it must be robust and it must be open," he said in a statement. "The prospect of a gatekeeper choosing winners and losers on the internet is unacceptable."

The FCC will now seek input from the public on the matter, including how to define what qualifies as "commercially reasonable," whether "paid prioritization" should be banned outright and even whether the internet should be classified as a common carrier service - essentially a utility - which would give the FCC much more authority over it. A reclassification would face stiff challenges from House Republicans, however; a letter [http://www.speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/files/5-14-14-Net-Neutrality-Letter.pdf] sent to Wheeler and signed by House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and others says that classifying the internet as a utility "threatens to slow job creation and jeopardizes our economic recovery."

Regardless of the approach taken, Wheeler insisted that the intent is not to create fast and slow "lanes" for specific types of content, saying that nothing in the proposal "authorizes paid prioritization."

"Personally, I don't like the idea that the internet could be divided into haves and have-nots, and I will work to see that does not happen," he said. "As a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I know the importance of openness. I will not allow the national asset of open internet to be compromised. I understand this issue in my bones. I have scars from when my companies were denied access in pre-internet days."

The public consultation process will begin with a 60-day period for public comment, followed by another 60-day period for response.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal [http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/15/5717928/fcc-votes-on-net-neutrality-proposal-in-may-meeting]


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Atmos Duality

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"Public input" in this matter being a mere formality.
I imagine them sitting around in their suits going "Man, I wonder what I'm going to spend this year's kickback bonus cash on."
 

Erttheking

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Well this is...something. At least they're saying that they care what the public wants. Now to wait and see if they're full of shit or not.
 

Hero in a half shell

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Dec 30, 2009
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So when will the amended Bill be released for public viewing, as I take it we will actually be allowed to examine it as part of the public consultation, and not just expected to use our psychic auras to remote view it.
 

ArdoNorrin

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Actually, public comments on proposed regulations are a bit more than a "formality." The agency must formally address all substantive comments (beyond "this is stupid" type comments) before the rule can be made final.

Watch www.regulations.gov for the comments period to open if you wish to submit a comment.
 

Slegiar Dryke

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is anybody else sick to death, of everytime something isn't going their way control-wise "D-d-DON'T! Job creation and recovery and think of the children!" XP BS, if anything a less restricted and less bought out of an internet would HELP because more people could utilize it to help their smaller businesses AND MAKE MORE GODDAMN JOBS!
 
Mar 18, 2012
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Scrumpmonkey said:
The bullying threats from the ISPs also leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. They havven't been investing for the best part of a decade, look at their speeds as compared to the entirety of Europe. Here in the UK ISPs couldn't threaten to stop investing because then their competitors would eat them alive.
That's what happens when the free market isn't really a free market. In the UK the govt want internet to be as fast as possible and as cheap as possible as it helps the economy, etc etc. We can enjoy cheap, fast and reliable internet access as there are about 50 different companies offering a wide range of services so people can demand the best.

By contrast in the US (and I'm not entirely sure how the political system works there) the best way to stop competition seems to be to lobby to get restrictions on the competition. Mr Wheeler is likely being offered a senior position with one of those ISP's a few years down the line. People there like to tout the free market but it isn't really free, it's a crony capitalist system that doesn't help anyone but a select few.
 

Aircross

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Atmos Duality said:
"Public input" in this matter being a mere formality.
Pretty much. The guy in charge of the FCC is lobbied by the big ISPs so we know where his loyalties lie.

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites said:
When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
Source. [http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf]
 

vallorn

Tunnel Open, Communication Open.
Nov 18, 2009
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Scrumpmonkey said:
JimmyPage666 said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
The bullying threats from the ISPs also leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. They havven't been investing for the best part of a decade, look at their speeds as compared to the entirety of Europe. Here in the UK ISPs couldn't threaten to stop investing because then their competitors would eat them alive.
That's what happens when the free market isn't really a free market. In the UK the govt want internet to be as fast as possible and as cheap as possible as it helps the economy, etc etc. We can enjoy cheap, fast and reliable internet access as there are about 50 different companies offering a wide range of services so people can demand the best.

By contrast in the US (and I'm not entirely sure how the political system works there) the best way to stop competition seems to be to lobby to get restrictions on the competition. Mr Wheeler is likely being offered a senior position with one of those ISP's a few years down the line. People there like to tout the free market but it isn't really free, it's a crony capitalist system that doesn't help anyone but a select few.
I'm afraid you don't grasp how bad the situation with Wheeler is. You have it the wrong way round. He is the former chief lobbyist for the cable industry. He was of the foremost advocates of these business and their stakeholders. He's their company man though and though. He belongs to the cable companies.
Yep, and he was appointed by Obama who seems to have a track record for giving donors to his campaign big positions like, hell, the ambassador to the freaking UK.
(Not his first snub to blighty but then the guy did have Winston Churchill's bust removed from the oval office and gave Gordon Brown (Then the PM) a stack of US region DVD's as a gift after Brown gave him a pen holder made from the timbers of the HMS Garnet (an anti-slave ship) and a first edition biography of Churchill)

So I did some digging, and found this: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/198350-comcast-time-warner-execs-have-been-big-obama-supporters

So we know Obama rewards people who funded him with positions of power and he had a lot of funding from these ISPs... What's the likelihood that he gave them Wheeler as a reward so they would have someone in the FCC to approve not only the merger but also to make it almost impossible to dig them out of their monopolies in general by this net-neutrality ruling?

Well, In any case, vague pondering on how utterly rotten the USA is in comparison to the rest of the anglosphere aside. We need to get about 32,000 more signatures on this petition which might really light a fire under the FCC in this case:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/maintain-true-net-neutrality-protect-freedom-information-united-states/9sxxdBgy
 

1337mokro

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Yeah we just kind of thought we'd at least ask your opinion on whether you want no lube or no lube when we screw you over.
 

StriderShinryu

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Wow, is Wheeler actually genetically capable of not contradicting himself? It's like everything he says is literally followed up by a slightly reworded opposite statement.

Anyway, if the door is open to public input, then everyone in the public should be standing up and speaking. I don't care if you think it's worthless or already decided, don't be silent. If you actually care about the free and open internet, you owe it to the service to speak up.
 

Callate

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Dec 5, 2008
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Slegiar Dryke said:
is anybody else sick to death, of everytime something isn't going their way control-wise "D-d-DON'T! Job creation and recovery and think of the children!" XP BS, if anything a less restricted and less bought out of an internet would HELP because more people could utilize it to help their smaller businesses AND MAKE MORE GODDAMN JOBS!
Amen.

Basically, any time one of those guys says something about "slowing job creation", read it as "put less money in the pockets of those who support our re-election campaigns"; it would be a damn sight more accurate.

All evidence says that it's the small businesses that make new jobs, not the kinds that could afford their own personal fast lane for their Internet content. Boehner and Cantor are full of it... But what else is new?
 

chozo_hybrid

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Jul 15, 2009
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StriderShinryu said:
Wow, is Wheeler actually genetically capable of not contradicting himself? It's like everything he says is literally followed up by a slightly reworded opposite statement.

Anyway, if the door is open to public input, then everyone in the public should be standing up and speaking. I don't care if you think it's worthless or already decided, don't be silent. If you actually care about the free and open internet, you owe it to the service to speak up.
Is there any way for people not in the US to help with this, because I get the feeling it will set precedent for other countries to follow if they manage to screw the net over there.
 

Double A

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Jul 29, 2009
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chozo_hybrid said:
StriderShinryu said:
Wow, is Wheeler actually genetically capable of not contradicting himself? It's like everything he says is literally followed up by a slightly reworded opposite statement.

Anyway, if the door is open to public input, then everyone in the public should be standing up and speaking. I don't care if you think it's worthless or already decided, don't be silent. If you actually care about the free and open internet, you owe it to the service to speak up.
Is there any way for people not in the US to help with this, because I get the feeling it will set precedent for other countries to follow if they manage to screw the net over there.
A better question is if there's a way for people actually in the US to help with this. I feel powerless to stop this bullshit, and that my only hope is the big alliance between Google, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. I'm worried the ISPs will cut a deal with them. They'll certainly try to.