Text of FCC 'Proposal to Restore Internet Freedom' released, eradicates net neutrality rul...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2017
As promised, the U.S. Federal Communcations Commission has released the full text of the "Proposal to Restore Internet Freedom" which completely removes restrictions on throttling or prioritizing content, and explicitly allows paid prioritization of content.




The proposal was announced on Tuesday, and there are few surprises in the full text beyond what Chairman Ajit Pai promised. The text spends about 230 pages of 386 citing the justification behind the order, citing court cases and guidance issued about the internet more than two decades ago, despite more than 10 times the number of people using it, and over 10,000 times the traffic volume.

The order text does note that Comcast discriminated against online video providers in the past. However, it also notes that the length of time that has passed "shines little light on its ability to do so now."

Mention of other restrictions, throttling, or prioritization by internet providers in the past are absent from the proposal and are explicitly stricken from the record by the changes made in the new order.

While the FCC claims that it has restored the 2010 ruling "with some modifications," the draft removes the FCC from enforcement of rules and conduct in any way contrary to the 2010 order. The carriers can promise whatever they like to consumers -- up to and including restrictions on allowable content of any sort and price tiering -- and as long as they follow through on what they promise to consumers.

"Any person providing broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient to enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of such services and entrepreneurs and other small businesses to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings," the proposal states. "Such disclosure shall be made via a publicly available, easily accessible website or through transmittal to the Commission."

The proposal also eradicates the formal complaint process. The FCC expects that complaints by consumers and businesses affected by ISP decisions will be "infrequent" and "involve relatively small amounts of harm, though the record does not allow us to estimate this magnitude."

Pai's order relies on consumers being able to shift providers should they find conduct, promises made or broken, or pricing by the ISP intolerable. The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service.

The FCC maintains jurisdiction over community-based broadband projects under the order -- which it routinely battles against in court. But, at the same time, it claims that the new classification will "reduce the burdens" on smaller providers from reporting requirements.

The new order eradicates most of the provisions in the Title II reclassification of broadband, including the general conduct standard, the ban on paid prioritization, and the no-blocking/no-throttling rule. Also superseded are the rights of the states to enact neutrality laws -- they are expressly forbidden under the order.

"We eliminate these rules for three reasons. First, the transparency rule we adopt, in combination with the state of broadband Internet access service competition and the antitrust and consumer protection laws, obviate the need for conduct rules by achieving comparable benefits at lower cost," writes the FCC. "Second, the record does not identify any legal authority to adopt conduct rules for all ISPs, and we decline to distort the market with a patchwork of non-uniform, limited-purpose rules. Third, scrutinizing closely each prior conduct rule, we find that the costs of each rule outweigh its benefits."

The proposal will likely get the green light on Dec. 14, with a 3-2 vote along expected party lines. The proposal is not valid until voted upon, and entered in the Federal Register -- and is likely to be challenged in court before that happens.

Opinions and responses

Ex-FCC head Tom Wheeler objects to the proposal.

"The job of the FCC is to represent the consumer," Wheeler said after the proposal was announced. "Tragically, this decision is only for the benefit of the largely monopoly services that deliver the Internet to the consumer."

Google agrees with Wheeler's sentiment. The search engine giant is "disappointed" and claims that the "net neutrality rules are working well for consumers."

Verizon released a statement after Tuesday's announcement lauding the plan, but claiming that it wanted to protect free and open access to the internet.

"We continue to believe that users should be able to access the internet when, where, and how they choose, and our customers will continue to do so," wrote Verizon. "We are also confident that the FCC will reinstate a framework that protects consumers' access to the open internet, without forcing them to bear the heavy costs from unnecessary regulation that chases away investment and chills innovation."

Republican senator John Thune also celebrated the proposal, but wants to have a bipartisan effort in government continue to clarify the matter to "create long-term certainty for the Internet ecosystem."

Apple filed a multi-page objection to net neutrality eradication earlier in 2017. In it's statement, it said that paid fast lanes could result in "differential treatment of content based on an online providers' ability or willingness to pay."

"Apple remains open to alternative sources of legal authority, but only if they provide for strong, enforceable, and legally sustainable protections, like those in place today," Apple declared. "Simply put, the internet is too important to consumers and too essential to innovation to be left unprotected and uncertain."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 174
    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    randominternetpersonracerhomiewilliamlondonanton zuykovtallest skilredraider11dunestockadm1ylon
  • Reply 2 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member
    Well, here we go, just another move by the Trump administration to take more rights away from us. Now, removing these rules, which were hard fought for, will allow ISPs to decide which sites they will carry. One day, if someone at Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon and others is a Windows person, we may not be able to get AppleInsider from them. Isn’t that just great?
    lostkiwidysamoriajahbladefrankiemagman1979radarthekatmanfred zornaylkteejay2012jony0
  • Reply 3 of 174
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,334administrator
    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    FTA: "Pai's order relies on consumers being able to shift providers should they find conduct, promises made or broken, or pricing by the ISP intolerable. The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service."

    15 miles to the south of this chair, there is one broadband choice. And, if you live more than 5 miles from 95 in that same area, you have one wireless choice.

    Also, I'm a little unclear on "let all the data through, regardless of who it's from" is bias or self-interest from Washington.
    edited November 2017 singularitylostkiwigeorgie01gatorguydysamoriajSnivelyjahbladefrankiemagman1979roundaboutnow
  • Reply 4 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member
    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    What a load of...

    this lack of rules are just as much biased and self-interested as anything else. Except with this, our protections from predatory behavior by these companies are out the window. But, I suppose that from the right, that’s a good thing. As long as the bias is in favor of large companies it’s great, when it’s in favor of citizens, it’s not.
    edited November 2017 singularitylostkiwigatorguydysamoriajahbladefrankieradarthekatroundaboutnowjony0StrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 174
    What happens when public policy is written by corporate lawyers and lobbyists. I oppose this change by the FCC. It does not serve the interest of the general public, nor does it protect the general public from corporate  shenanigans.

    Verizon’s statement amounts to: trust us. Kill the regulations and protections and trust us not to be greedy about Internet fast lanes and “pay to play” access to content. Whoops, Apple didn’t pay Verizon a tithe, so we’re going to slow down your downloads from iTunes Store to a crawl. Apple Music is buffering? Aww, maybe sign up for music streaming from one of or “preferred partners” who’ve paid us for the privilege. Never trust the wolves to watch over the flock.
    singularitylostkiwiwilliamlondongeorgie01fotoformatdysamoriajahbladefrankieradarthekatviclauyyc
  • Reply 6 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member

    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    FTA: "Pai's order relies on consumers being able to shift providers should they find conduct, promises made or broken, or pricing by the ISP intolerable. The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service."

    15 miles to the south of this chair, there is one broadband choice. And, if you live more than 5 miles from 95 in that same area, you have one wireless choice.

    Also, I'm a little unclear on "let all the data through, regardless of who it's from" is bias or self-interest from Washington.
    But, it’s still competition to them as long as you don’t have to move too far to get it. After all, I read that the average American moves every 7 years. I don’t know if that’s real, but, hey, if it gives one the excuse to move, that’s actually a good thing, isn’t it?
    edited November 2017 jony0
  • Reply 7 of 174
    Good job FCC.
    Let the competition commence.
    The less regulation,the better.
    williamlondonmike1SpamSandwichbluefire1
  • Reply 8 of 174
    I trust the ISPs to be neutral and apolitical more than I trust Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

    All those companies have gone pro-censorship. Coming from a country without freedom of speech, that's frightening.
    macseekerchristophbSpamSandwichboogerman2000adm1redgeminipa
  • Reply 9 of 174
    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    FTA: "Pai's order relies on consumers being able to shift providers should they find conduct, promises made or broken, or pricing by the ISP intolerable. The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service."

    15 miles to the south of this chair, there is one broadband choice. And, if you live more than 5 miles from 95 in that same area, you have one wireless choice.

    Also, I'm a little unclear on "let all the data through, regardless of who it's from" is bias or self-interest from Washington.
    I'm glad you focused on this part.  I was going to ask specifically about the sentence you quoted:  "The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service."  Is this from the proposal or, I expect, from AI?  I believe is inaccurate or grossly misleading.  Does "the vast majority" refer to individuals (as "those" would suggest) or raw geographic square miles?  Given that a substantial portion of the population live in urban and suburban areas, I doubt a "vast majority" of Americans have no options,
    williamlondonmike1connectedlivingadm1
  • Reply 10 of 174
    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    I’m always sad when I read someone say this because it is incredibly naive. Yes, in theory, the power of the market could be in consumer’s hands. But the reality is that most consumers are too lazy and are unwilling to accept sacrifice in order to produce change.

    Business, politicians, leaders, groups, etc. take advantage of this as a matter of policy. The most effective attempts at change take the form of gradual changes people don’t want but can more or less tolerate. These smaller changes combined with what amounts to propaganda convince people they actually want these things they never wanted.

    The internet is bigger than a simple commercial venture. I want a smaller government but some things should not be left to the market. 
    williamlondonfotoformatjahbladeRayz2016frankieradarthekatmagman1979stompyjony0redgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 174
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,806member
    melgross said:
    Well, here we go, just another move by the Trump administration to take more rights away from us. Now, removing these rules, which were hard fought for, will allow ISPs to decide which sites they will carry. One day, if someone at Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon and others is a Windows person, we may not be able to get AppleInsider from them. Isn’t that just great?
    What if, theoretically possible, maybe, could, might, possibility. Blathering nonsense. Net neutrality is an Obama era invention. How did we ever get along all these years without it? Before net neutrality was AI ever blocked by some Windows person at a carrier? It didn’t happen before the government’s power grab and it won’t happen after either even though it is ‘theoretically’ possible. Labeling Internet service as a utility no different than natural gas or electricity so the government could control it was a mistake and I’m happy it’s going away.

    The only restrictions I remember from the days before net neutrality was that websites told me to go away because I was a Mac user and wasn’t running IE as by browser. The government didn’t fix that, competition and innovation did.
    racerhomiewilliamlondonmike1randominternetpersonadm1
  • Reply 12 of 174
    thrangthrang Posts: 681member

    I am generally for as little regulation as possible, but in this area, I think net neutrality rules are more important than any diminishment of competition they may be responsible for.

    As it is, most of use face a monopolistic or oligopolistic choice where we live. I can go to the local supermarket and choose from 25 different tomato sauces, but for Internet, it's either Optimum or Verizon. Because of the maintenance of cabling infrastructure, it appears it will always be this way. So Pai's belief that there will be many choices for users to select from is disconnected from reality. If the changing in regulation somehow permits vastly increased competition over common infrastructure, great, but that never seems to be the case with other utilities (how many people buy their electricity from anyone other than there local utility).

    The other industry that needs increased regulation are the airlines. Again, despite the large raw number of airlines out there, there are generally two or three you can pick from given your starting point and destinations. And the impossible to understand fee structures on the same plane, excessive change fees, and other fees, are not fought competitively at all but are in fact jointly supported, greatly diminishing competition. Unspoken collusion....

    edited November 2017 williamlondoncornchip
  • Reply 13 of 174
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,975member
    melgross said:
    Well, here we go, just another move by the Trump administration to take more rights away from us. Now, removing these rules, which were hard fought for, will allow ISPs to decide which sites they will carry. One day, if someone at Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon and others is a Windows person, we may not be able to get AppleInsider from them. Isn’t that just great?
    Agreed. It allows FOX to pay more for bandwidth forcing other less well funded "liberal" voices out of the marketplace. It also allows special interests to invest in news outlets thus giving them the capital to compete on the same level as big media, while effectively silencing poorly funded voices which represent those least able to represent themselves.
    cornchipapple jockey
  • Reply 14 of 174
    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    You and many others on this site don’t seem to understand the true implications of this change.  ISPs could charge the consumer more in regions where they hold a monopoly, but most likely wouldn’t in competitive markets.
    In reality ISPs will charge the Netflix, YouTube, Apple and Amazons of the world.  In turn, these companies will pass costs on to the consumer over time, an ISP Trojan Horse.  If there’s no direct accountability, why would an ISP not charge more to these companies?  Truely consider that statement, ISPs can create new revenue streams in perpetuity without oversight or becoming the bad guy.  Think you hate how cable companies bundle channels now, apply that concept to internet accessibility....

    Alternatively, an ISP could block/slow any content competing with their own, or accelerate their own content free of charge while leaving competitors at subpar speed.

    The problem here is that we lose protections from the wizards behind the proverbial curtain.
    I for one don’t trust a single ISP, maybe Apple’s satellite initiative will save us all.
    williamlondonjahbladefrankieradarthekattechridercornchipapple jockey
  • Reply 15 of 174

    Verizon released a statement..."We are also confident that the FCC will reinstate a framework that protects consumers' access to the open internet, without forcing them to bear the heavy costs from unnecessary regulation that chases away investment and chills innovation."
    If Verizon really believes this then great. I have my doubts.

    In this article the FCC’s statements seem to indirectly have the tone of wanting the internet to be commercialised and have the data prioritised. The internet has always been clearly open, why would they want this change?

    I wonder about the timing—concerns over fake news, Russian interference, etc. What if the FCC is slyly, or even inadvertently, creating an environment where there will be more control over information dissemination? What if the ‘freedom’ they’re proposing actually results in more control which is masked behind commercial enterprise?
    williamlondonradarthekat
  • Reply 16 of 174
    melgross said:
    Well, here we go, just another move by the Trump administration to take more rights away from us.
    lol
    melgross said:
    …our protections from predatory behavior by these companies are out the window.
    Yeah, we sure fucking had those under the last bill, didn’t we. They totally existed. Infrastructure sure was built out using the taxpayer dollars they were given to do so. No one got bonuses instead of actually doing what they were told to do. There wasn’t collusion. There weren’t false monopolies. We were totally free.

    Where’s your outcry against the fact that 6 companies own all of US media? I guess that’s fine, isn’t it?
    As long as the bias is in favor of large companies it’s great, when it’s in favor of citizens, it’s not.
    You have no idea what right-wing politics are, do you?
    LordeHawk said:
    ISPs could charge the consumer more in regions where they hold a monopoly, but most likely wouldn’t in competitive markets.
    1. So… FIX THE MONOPOLY, THEN. Doesn’t that sound like a better idea?
    2. Where exactly are these competitive markets? I’d love to know, because there’s only one ISP available where I live (unless I move to a different city, and then I’ll just get a different single ISP).
    If there’s no direct accountability, why would an ISP not charge more to these companies?
    So where was the direct accountability for the money the ISPs were given to build out infrastructure?
    The problem here is that we lose protections from the wizards behind the proverbial curtain.
    The government wasn’t protecting you from themselves. Don’t be delusional.
    I for one don’t trust a single ISP, maybe Apple’s satellite initiative will save us all.
    Minimum 480ms of lag sort of makes me wary.
    mac_128 said:
    Agreed. It allows FOX to pay more for bandwidth forcing other less well funded "liberal" voices out of the marketplace.
    SURELY you are not suggesting that liberal media is less funded than conservative media. SURELY you are not suggesting that Fox is conservative media. You cannot be suggesting this. I refuse to believe it. This HAS to be simply an “example text.”
    It also allows special interests to invest in news outlets thus giving them the capital to compete on the same level as big media, while effectively silencing poorly funded voices which represent those least able to represent themselves.
    Oh yeah. That doesn’t happen now. Not in the slightest.
    edited November 2017 SpamSandwichmacseekerpscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member
    Good job FCC.
    Let the competition commence.
    The less regulation,the better.
    You guys really don’t understand this. It’s a shame.

    This kills competition, it doesn’t help it. Compition only works where the playing field is even. This uneven star playing field. 

    Seriously folks, why do you think that other than the ISPs themselves, every other company is against this?
    edited November 2017 frankieradarthekat
  • Reply 18 of 174
    What happens when public policy is written by corporate lawyers and lobbyists. I oppose this change by the FCC. It does not serve the interest of the general public, nor does it protect the general public from corporate  shenanigans.

    Verizon’s statement amounts to: trust us. Kill the regulations and protections and trust us not to be greedy about Internet fast lanes and “pay to play” access to content. Whoops, Apple didn’t pay Verizon a tithe, so we’re going to slow down your downloads from iTunes Store to a crawl. Apple Music is buffering? Aww, maybe sign up for music streaming from one of or “preferred partners” who’ve paid us for the privilege. Never trust the wolves to watch over the flock.
    Why are you forgetting that there always be someone else to offer better plans and undercut that overly greedy company? That is how disruptions occur. Uber was not mandated by the gov-t, but it surely disrupted taxi industry for good. Don't like uber? Fine, don't use it.
    edited November 2017 williamlondonrandominternetperson
  • Reply 19 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member

    I trust the ISPs to be neutral and apolitical more than I trust Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

    All those companies have gone pro-censorship. Coming from a country without freedom of speech, that's frightening.
    I don’t trust any of them. That what regulations are for. It’s too bad, but companies do what they do to push their own interest forward. If that happens to coincide with ours, that’s great, but when it doesn’t, then without a regulatory agency to keep them in line, we get predatory monopolies.
    radarthekatapple jockey
  • Reply 20 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member

    Good. Let competition for customers determine what is acceptable, instead of biased or self-interested rules pushed by Washington.
    FTA: "Pai's order relies on consumers being able to shift providers should they find conduct, promises made or broken, or pricing by the ISP intolerable. The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service."

    15 miles to the south of this chair, there is one broadband choice. And, if you live more than 5 miles from 95 in that same area, you have one wireless choice.

    Also, I'm a little unclear on "let all the data through, regardless of who it's from" is bias or self-interest from Washington.
    I'm glad you focused on this part.  I was going to ask specifically about the sentence you quoted:  "The vast majority of the U.S., especially those outside of major metropolitan areas, have one broadband provider -- or have to rely on one wireless carrier for service."  Is this from the proposal or, I expect, from AI?  I believe is inaccurate or grossly misleading.  Does "the vast majority" refer to individuals (as "those" would suggest) or raw geographic square miles?  Given that a substantial portion of the population live in urban and suburban areas, I doubt a "vast majority" of Americans have no options,
    It’s the reality, which has been shown in surveys done every year by various organizations, including the US government. And in many major metropolitan areas just one ISP, or at the most two, are operating. 
    dysamoria
This discussion has been closed.