FCC to propose regulating the Internet as a utility - report

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to issue a proposal this week that would see the agency classify Internet access as a telecommunications utility, a move that may also include reclassification for data services from wireless carriers.




Wheeler will not seek to interfere in pricing, according to the New York Times, but will instead model his new proposal on the "light touch" regulations adopted for mobile voice service in 1993. The report comes days after the commission updated its definition of "broadband" to mean connections with download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second.

Classifying internet service providers as "common carriers" under Title II of the Communications Act would give the FCC legal authority to impose more strict regulations, such as a prohibition on the creation of so-called "fast lanes" which are at the center of the net neutrality debate. Common carriers are forbidden from discriminating against customers who wish to use the service and are willing to pay a reasonable fee.

Net neutrality activists, including companies like Apple and Google, have been clamoring for reclassification for years. The process was given a kickstart when President Obama called for such an action late last year.





Obama's plan rests on four pillars: no blocking, no throttling, increased transparency, and no paid prioritization. Broadly, this means that if a customer wants access to legal content, they should not be impeded from accessing it in any way.

"So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do," Obama said at the time. "To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone -- not just one or two companies."

Wheeler is expected to submit his proposal to the full commission by Thursday, and a vote is scheduled for Feb. 26.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118

    Get bent, FCC.

  • Reply 2 of 118
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member

    Crushing all the states who ban/restrict Municipal Broadband would be enough.

     

    Title II is a bonus. This is what happens when states spend their time accepting bribes rather than improving their internet infrastructure.

  • Reply 3 of 118
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    jexus wrote: »
    Crushing all the states who ban/restrict Municipal Broadband would be enough.

    Title II is a bonus. This is what happens when states spend their time accepting bribes rather than improving their internet infrastructure.

    So you like socialism?
  • Reply 4 of 118
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    So you like socialism?



    Do you like Ogliarchies?

     

    What I want is for companies who ask for government subsidies to make good on their words. Something that the companies opposing the various rulings have not done, in a few cases for at least a decade.

  • Reply 5 of 118

    Ugh...I hate this. It'd be easier if the moronic internet companies would behave responsibly. That being said, I don't want the government involved either.

     

    Anyone who thinks it will improve, look at cell phone companies and tell me that government regulation helps. :rolleyes:

  • Reply 6 of 118
    F**k Comcast/Time Warner.
  • Reply 7 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

     



    Do you like Ogliarchies?

     

    What I want is for companies who ask for government subsidies to make good on their words. Something that the companies opposing the various rulings have not done, in a few cases for at least a decade.




    Cable companies have more competition, however the history has been monopoly positions with the approval of local governments in exchange for infrastructure buildout. Monopoly positions BECAUSE of collaboration with government. Cable companies hardly constitute an oligarchy. If you don't want government sanctioned monopolies, then don't vote Democrat or Republican. Vote for a party which has free market competition as a core principle.

     

    Full disclosure:  I hold TWC and CMCSA positions, in addition to AAPL.

  • Reply 8 of 118
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,158member

    Great. The government is going to start taxing us on the internet. 

  • Reply 9 of 118
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member

    Cable companies have more competition, however the history has been monopoly positions with the approval of local governments in exchange for infrastructure buildout. Monopoly positions BECAUSE of collaboration with government. Cable companies hardly constitute an oligarchy. If you don't want government sanctioned monopolies, then don't vote Democrat or Republican. Vote for a party which has free market competition as a core principle.

    Full disclosure:  I hold TWC and CMCSA positions, in addition to AAPL.

    Nothing will get built. Nobody is going to invest in something whose initial capital investment is so high that it'll take decades to see a return.
  • Reply 10 of 118
    strobestrobe Posts: 369member

    Anti-trust laws are the primary barrier to competition WRT "utilities" in this country

  • Reply 11 of 118
    Great... that means we'll have to start paying tax on internet and data. It's not taxable in PA, surprisingly.
  • Reply 12 of 118

    You want to know what the Internet under Government control will look line in a few years?  Take a look at the USPS. 

  • Reply 13 of 118
    The stupid is really thick in here....
  • Reply 14 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Nothing will get built. Nobody is going to invest in something whose initial capital investment is so high that it'll take decades to see a return.



    Nobody? I seem to recall Elon Musk is now planning to launch a fleet of satellites that will offer low latency Internet access.

  • Reply 15 of 118
    frankiefrankie Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     



    Cable companies have more competition, however the history has been monopoly positions with the approval of local governments in exchange for infrastructure buildout. Monopoly positions BECAUSE of collaboration with government. Cable companies hardly constitute an oligarchy. If you don't want government sanctioned monopolies, then don't vote Democrat or Republican. Vote for a party which has free market competition as a core principle.

     

    Full disclosure:  I hold TWC and CMCSA positions, in addition to AAPL.




    Free market?  You actually think that still exists?  Good one!

  • Reply 16 of 118
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member

    Nobody? I seem to recall Elon Musk is now planning to launch a fleet of satellites that will offer low latency Internet access.

    I'll believe it when I see it, plus satellites can always be repurposed.
  • Reply 17 of 118
    frankiefrankie Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nouser View Post

     

    You want to know what the Internet under Government control will look line in a few years?  Take a look at the USPS. 




    The Post office was doing fine until the GOP specifically decided to try to kill it.

  • Reply 18 of 118
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    I'll believe it when I see it, plus satellites can always be repurposed.



    If anyone can do it, it'll be Musk.

  • Reply 19 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post

     



    The Post office was doing fine until the GOP specifically decided to try to kill it.




    There are a lot of government departments and services that should be on the chopping block and I don't represent the GOP.

  • Reply 20 of 118
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     



    Cable companies have more competition, however the history has been monopoly positions with the approval of local governments in exchange for infrastructure buildout. Monopoly positions BECAUSE of collaboration with government.


    You've just described the problem.

     

    The FCC had to make a call, whether internet was advancing fast enough relative to the investments relating to subsidies being input, in addition to private investment.

     

    State Governments have failed their duty to maintain this standard, so the *Federal* government now has to come in because of a screw up on the local level. If State governments had actually done their jobs right, we would not have needed federal intervention. They had their chance.

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