Net neutrality ends June 11, Senate Democrats force last-minute vote

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 10
A "Restoring Internet Freedom" order ending net neutrality, approved in a 3-2 vote in December, will finally take effect on June 11, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday.

fcc-neutralityvote


Spearheaded by chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican with ties to Verizon, the order will undo Title II limits ushered in during the Obama administration.

"The Internet wasn't broken in 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure and imposed heavy-handed Title II rules on the Internet economy," Pai said in a statement. "It doesn't make sense to apply outdated rules from 1934 to the Internet, but that's exactly what the prior Administration did."

The public has been promised protection by the Federal Trade Commission, but critics -- including activist groups, and corporations such as Apple -- have worried that without the internet being treated as a Title II utility, providers will feel free to preferentially throttle bandwidth, or even force people to pay extra for reasonable access to specific websites and services. That could have a severe impact on startups unable to make deals with ISPs.

Opponents of net neutrality, including Pai and the administration of President Donald Trump, view it as unnecessary government regulation that stifles innovation. They believe that consumers can flee a misbehaving ISP, and that the Federal Trade Commission, and not the FCC, should be used to punish internet service providers who abuse open access.

Supporters of net neutrality fear that without protections in place up front, service providers like Spectrum or Verizon will be able to create a tiered internet, where certain services, like Apple Music or the App Store, could see their speeds throttled or even blocked. Customers, in this hypothetical situation, might need to pay more for true access to various services. Supporters also point out that consumer choice will prevent ISP misdeeds -- a key argument used by Pai to promote the repeal -- isn't viable, because of the lack of actual choices for consumers across a large area of the country.

Opposition has been strong enough that using a discharge petition, Democrats in the U.S. Senate have forced a vote on reinstating net neutrality. Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey told CNN and other news agencies he hopes a vote can take place next week, and that it must happen by June 12 under terms of the Congressional Review Act.

While the measure appears to have enough momentum to pass the Senate, it must also make it through the Republican-dominated House of Represenatives, and survive a possible veto by President Donald Trump.

Apple has opposed the net neutrality repeal because of the potential impact on its devices and services. A person might be less likely to use Apple Music or buy the latest iPhone, for example, if they expect their online bandwidth to be hampered.

"An open internet ensures that hundreds of millions of consumers get the experience they want, over the broadband connections they choose, to use the devices they love, which have become an integral part of their lives," the company wrote in an August letter to the FCC.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    We're keeping this conversation open -- for now. Before you delve, read the commenting guidelines, conveniently linked below.

    Be civil, don't instigate, and don't escalate.
    edited May 10
  • Reply 2 of 76
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 167member
    “...They believe that consumers can flee a misbehaving ISP...”

    This is the fallacy of the ‘market’. Yes, it’s true, but what is more true is that consumers are lazy and usually pick the easier way out. Consumers don’t want to have to work to get what they want, and if a ‘misbehaving ISP’ can make gradual changes in ways that don’t annoy a consumer too much, which is what companies try to do all the time, the internet will change at the hand of reluctant and lazy consumers. That’s exactly what’s going to happen here. Just because it hasn’t happened already doesn’t mean it won’t. It’s a miracle it didn’t happen before the net neutrality laws.
    chasmlolliverfrankiejony0
  • Reply 3 of 76
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,664member
    "Apple has opposed net neutrality because of the potential impact on its devices and services. A person might be less likely to use Apple Music or buy the latest iPhone, for example, if they expect their online bandwidth to be hampered."

    I don't think Apple has anything to worry about, but lots of smaller companies without leverage could be impacted.

    I wonder what Verizon would say if Apple refused to let them sell the iPhone? Say, in late August when the next iPhone launches.
    cornchiplolliverAlex1Nfrankiebshank
  • Reply 4 of 76
    paul turnerpaul turner Posts: 196member
    Im buying comcast, att should mean more  profits over time
  • Reply 5 of 76
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 317member
    I literally have a choice of one ISP.  Great choices.
    melodyof1974berndogfrankie
  • Reply 6 of 76
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,197member
    Everyone has a choice of ISP. All you have to do is uproot your life and move to a completely city, state, or country. Easy peasy¡
    melodyof1974chasmberndogtyler82lolliverJaiOh81Alex1Njony0
  • Reply 7 of 76
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,684member
    Soli said:
    Everyone has a choice of ISP. All you have to do is uproot your life and move to a completely city, state, or country. Easy peasy¡
    Where you will likely still have only one choice even if it is a different company, which of course will then be bought out by your original provider.
    lolliverJaiOh81Alex1N
  • Reply 8 of 76
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,481member
    Was there an actual problem that caused Net Neutraliy to be enacted or was it enacted because of fears of a potential problem?
    designr
  • Reply 9 of 76
    redraider11redraider11 Posts: 130member
    Funny, true freedom is the free market. Not the government regulating it and picking winners and losers. How about getting rid of the regulation that states only ISPs are aloud to hang cables on telephone poles so as to allow Google to distribute their fiber in more places thus creating more competition. 

    I understand the opposite side of the argument, but when you start trying to bend the market to your will you just end up creating a different problems elsewhere. The ISPs provide a service and can’t ever force you to buy their product, so if it ever becomes unreasonable then just don’t buy it. The government CAN force you to give them money however. This is why I tend to heir on the side of the free market and keeping the government out as much as possible. Not to mention when you create more rules, you then have to hire more useless tax draining buerocrats to enforce those rules. 
    designr
  • Reply 10 of 76
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,684member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Was there an actual problem that caused Net Neutraliy to be enacted or was it enacted because of fears of a potential problem?
    There was some proof that a few cable companies were throttling iTunes and Netflix streams. In fact Netflix even created a tool to detect if it was being throttled.
    chasmretrogustoJaiOh81Alex1Nfrankiejony0
  • Reply 11 of 76
    Hurray, its time to go back to the way it was which resulted in the typical person seeing their internet speed increased by 1000X over the last 20 years while the price remained about the same.  NN was "solving" a problem that never existed so the govt could have more control over us.  The less Gov't interference in our lives the better. 

    Do not let them scare you into thinking this will make things worse since it didn't happen before NN was passed and will not happen once its finally gone - free markets rule. 
    designrmonstrosity
  • Reply 12 of 76
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,684member
    libertyandfree said:
    free markets rule. 
    Problem is for most of us there is no free market for broadband because the city governments are facilitating a monopoly with their choice of cable company. Without competition there is no incentive to provide better or less expensive service.
    berndogJaiOh81Alex1Nfrankietallest skiljony0
  • Reply 13 of 76
    chasmchasm Posts: 770member
    Another argument (among many) in favour of net neutrality is that not having it will put the US at a serious competitive disadvantage. While nothing much will change this June if this effort is defeated, mark my words: a year or three from now, you will be paying more and getting less than you do now.

    I don’t expect this particular effort will be successful because of all the hoops it has to jump through, but those who want to restore net neutrality can do something that will actually fix the problem: make it clear to your elected officials at the state and national level that this is an important issue to you (a simple note saying the party that supports restoring net neutrality will get your vote), and then get off your duff and register to vote. And then vote when the time comes.
    Alex1Njony0gilly017
  • Reply 14 of 76
    Funny, true freedom is the free market. Not the government regulating it and picking winners and losers.
    It's fairly obvious that the free market was broken for ISPs long before net neutrality was passed. In a healthy market, you should be able to easily find products/services for every level of consumer. You can do that with the hardware that you use to connect to the internet, but it's not really true for the internet service itself. Unfortunately, it's largely become a platform for price gouging in the United States. 
    tallest skilgilly017
  • Reply 15 of 76
    minisu1980minisu1980 Posts: 109member
    All for free market solution, if you remove the regional monopolies. Additionally, the government would need to remove the almost unassailable advantage these companies would be enjoying straight out of the gate in a competitive truly free marketplace, however that would require some sort of government intervention which I am sure the free market crowd would complain about.

    Net neutrality is needed because government assisted monopolies and provider consolidation has put the entire industry into the hands of a few who have shown over and over again they cannot be trusted to act in a manner that is compatible with the espoused values of our country.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 16 of 76
    xbitxbit Posts: 213member
    Hurray, its time to go back to the way it was which resulted in the typical person seeing their internet speed increased by 1000X over the last 20 years while the price remained about the same.  NN was "solving" a problem that never existed so the govt could have more control over us.  The less Gov't interference in our lives the better. 

    Do not let them scare you into thinking this will make things worse since it didn't happen before NN was passed and will not happen once its finally gone - free markets rule. 
    There’s two problems with this line of reasoning:

    1) Heavily regulated markets abroad provide better, faster and cheaper services - even in countries with comparable population density (e.g. Norway).

    2) There isn’t a true free market for ISPs in the US even without net neutrality. Many Americans have only a handful or even a single ISP to choose from. It only takes a small amount of collusion to completely destroy consumer choice.
    JaiOh81Alex1Njony0
  • Reply 17 of 76
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 683member
    I agree with Mr Ajit Pai. Future services like self driving cars ,will need prioritization over video or music streaming. Government regulations always have unintended consequences. If big companies like Apple & Netflix support NN ,then it must be good news for them.
    edited May 10
  • Reply 18 of 76
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    I agree with Mr Ajit Pai. Future services like self driving cars ,will need prioritization over video or music streaming. Government regulations always have unintended consequences. If big companies like Apple & Netflix support NN ,then it must be good news for them.
    They support net neutrality. They don't support the revocation.
  • Reply 19 of 76
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 654member
    I guess the hope is that 5G will make it somewhat easier for companies to offer competing internet services, since they would be able to provide competitive speeds without running a cable to your house. There are other barriers of course, like bandwidth licensing and the installation of cell towers, and probably some I don’t know about. This is no excuse for repealing net neutrality, but perhaps it’s a problem than can be overcome with technology, and a company like Apple or Google can step in and offer a competing service with a neutrality guarantee. 
  • Reply 20 of 76
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    ceek74 said:
    I literally have a choice of one ISP.  Great choices.
    Do you live in a small town or in a large metropolitan area? I'm guessing a small town.
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