FCC votes to undo net neutrality protections despite public protests

24567

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 134
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,008member
    I’ll go ahead and repost this article from after the “net neutrality” shit was originally passed.

    The Federal Communications Commission today voted, 3-2, that the Internet will be subject to many of the Title II regulatory provisions of the 1934 Communications Act. Applying Title II laws to broadband means regulating the Internet as a common carrier, akin to the telephone network, and gives significant control of the Internet to the FCC, lobbyists, and industry players. The Title II order and new net neutrality rules have not been released yet, but the thrust of the regulations is clear from commissioners’ statements and media reports. In short, the FCC’s rules represent a giant step backwards to the days of command-and-control of markets.

    The FCC’s actions derive in part from the myth that the Internet is neutral. In the evolving online world, the Internet gets less neutral—and better for consumers—every day. Through a hands-off approach from policymakers, the U.S. communications and technology sector has thrived as a supplier of innovation, but Title II rules effectively throw sand in the gears. If the FCC’s rules are not overturned by the courts, the days of permissionless innovation online come to a close. The application of Title II means new broadband services must receive approval from this federal agency. Companies in Silicon Valley will therefore rely increasingly on their regulatory compliance officers, not their engineers and designers. If courts do strike down the FCC’s net neutrality rules for a third time, the FCC should abandon its campaign to regulate the Internet. Instead the Commission should focus on increasing broadband competition across the nation, thereby reducing prices and increasing the availability of new broadband services. There is plenty of work to be done on this front, but pursuing Title II net neutrality rules distract the Commission and Congress from spearheading a pro-consumer innovation agenda.

    In view of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote on February 26 to regulate the Internet under Title II of the New Deal–era Communications Act, it is critical to understand what these “net neutrality” rules will and will not do. Columbia Business School professor Eli Noam says net neutrality has “at least seven different related but distinctive meanings….” The consensus is, however, that net neutrality is a principle for how an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or wireless carrier treats Internet traffic on “last mile” access — the connection between an ISP and its customer. Purists believe net neutrality requires ISPs to treat all last-mile Internet traffic the same. The FCC will not enforce that radical notion because networks are becoming more “intelligent” every year and, as a Cisco network engineer recently put it, equal treatment for all data packets “would be setting the industry back 20 years.”

    Nevertheless, because similar rules were twice struck down in federal court, the FCC is crafting new net neutrality rules for ISPs and technology companies. Many of these Title II provisions reined in the old Bell telephone monopoly and are the most intrusive rules available to the FCC. The net neutrality rules are garnering increased public scrutiny because they will apply to one of the few bright spots in the US economy — the technology and communications sector.

    As with many complex concepts, there are many myths about net neutrality. Five of the most widespread ones are dispelled below.

    Myth #1: The Internet Has Always Been Neutral

    Reality
    : Prioritization has been built into Internet protocols for years. MIT computer scientist and early Internet developer David Clark colorfully dismissed this first myth as “happy little bunny rabbit dreams,” and pointed out that “[t]he network is not neutral and never has been.” Experts such as tech entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban and President Obama’s former chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra have observed that the need for prioritization of some traffic increases as Internet services grow more diverse. People speaking face-to-face online with doctors through new telemedicine video applications, for instance, should not be disrupted by once-a-day data backups. ISPs and tech companies should be free to experiment with new broadband services without time-consuming regulatory approval from the FCC. John Oliver, The Oatmeal, and net neutrality activists, therefore, are simply wrong about the nature of the Internet.

    Myth #2: Net Neutrality Regulations Are the Only Way to Promote an Open Internet 
    Reality: Even while lightly regulated, the Internet will remain open because consumers demand an open Internet. Recent Rasmussen polling indicates the vast majority of Americans enjoy the open Internet they currently receive and rate their Internet service as good or excellent. (Only a small fraction, 5 percent, says their Internet quality is “poor.”) It is in ISPs’ interest to provide high-quality Internet just as it is in smartphone companies’ interest to provide great phones and automakers’ interest to build reliable cars. Additionally, it is false when high-profile scholars and activists say there is no “cop on the beat” overseeing Internet companies. As Federal Trade Commissioner Joshua Wright testified to Congress, existing federal competition laws and consumer protection laws — and strict penalties — protect Americans from harmful ISP behavior.

    Myth #3: Net Neutrality Regulations Improve Broadband Competition
    Reality: The FCC’s net neutrality rules are not an effective way to improve broadband competition. Net neutrality is a principle for ISP treatment of Internet traffic on the “last mile” — the connection between an ISP and a consumer. The principle says nothing about broadband competition and will not increase the number of broadband choices for consumers. On the contrary, net neutrality as a policy goal was created because many scholars did not believe more broadband choices could ensure a “neutral” Internet. Further, Supreme Court decisions lead scholars to conclude that “as prescriptive regulation of a field waxes, antitrust enforcement must wane.” Therefore, the FCC’s net neutrality rules would actually impede antitrust agencies from protecting consumers.

    Myth #4: All Prioritized Internet Services Are Harmful to Users
    Reality: Intelligent management of Internet traffic and prioritization provide useful services to consumers. Net neutrality proponents call zero-rating — which is when carriers allow Internet services that don’t subtract from a monthly data allotment — and similar practices “dangerous,” “malignant,” and rights violations. This hyperbole arises from dogma, not facts. The real-world use of prioritization and zero-rating is encouraging and pro-consumer. Studies show that zero-rated applications are used by millions of people around the globe, including in the United States, and they are popular. In one instance, poor South African high school students petitioned their carriers for free — zero-rated — Wikipedia access because accessing Wikipedia frequently for homework was expensive. Upon hearing the students’ plight, Wikipedia and South African carriers happily obliged. Net neutrality rules like Title II would prohibit popular services like zero-rating and intelligent network management that makes more services available.

    Myth #5: Net Neutrality Rules Will Make Broadband Cheaper and Internet Services like Netflix Faster
    Reality: First, the FCC’s rules will make broadband more expensive, not cheaper. The rules regulate Internet companies much like telephone companies and therefore federal and state telephone fees will eventually apply to Internet bills. According to preliminary estimates, millions of Americans will drop or never subscribe to an Internet connection because of these price hikes. Second, the FCC’s rules will not make Netflix and webpages faster. The FCC rules do not require ISPs to increase the capacity or speed of customers’ connections. Capacity upgrades require competition and ISP investment, which may be harmed by the FCC’s onerous new rules.

    After the President’s announcement Monday morning on net neutrality, Mercatus research fellow Brent Skorup, who specializes in telecom issues, provided initial reaction.

    “It does not require a law degree to question the wisdom of imposing eighty-year-old rules intended for the government-blessed monopoly telephone network on the competitive, dynamic Internet. If the FCC—an independent regulatory agency—does what the President envisions, the change will represent a stark reversal of decades of deregulatory Internet policy pursued by Congress and FCC commissioners of both political parties. The application of Title II—sometimes called utility or common carrier regulation—would result in value-destroying government oversight of the Internet. Among other damaging effects, broadband Internet would be subject to rate regulation, taxes, and fragmented regulation by state commissions. Further, many advocates who cheer this announcement have made no secret that their aims stretch beyond economic regulation of the Internet. They also seek government oversight of media, websites, and political speech online. To that end, Title II instantly politicizes the Internet and puts significant power over this dynamic technology in the hands of unelected FCC officials, lobbyists, opportunistic industry players, and well-funded activists.

    “Market participants in Silicon Valley and at technology companies would increasingly rely on their risk-averse regulatory compliance officers instead of their creative engineers and designers. The complex Title II proceedings that ensue will be largely invisible and unintelligible to the public and their representatives in Congress. It would be a mistake to apply Title II’s stultifying provisions to one of the few bright spots in U.S. economy—technology and Internet services. The President’s announcement is puzzling because the political consensus is that the 1934 Communications Act should be retired in favor of modern, flexible laws that place consumers—not industries—at the forefront. Title II would impair the creative destruction that makes the U.S. technology sector a boon to consumers and the envy of the world.”

    Though the economy has improved only in fits and starts over the past few years, one bright spot remains constant: The technology and communications industry. Part of this success is because Silicon Valley and the tech sector aggressively develop popular consumer products before bureaucrats and lawmakers have time to delay them. Wisely, or perhaps coincidentally, Congress has treated the Internet with benign neglect. However, there is a well-funded contingent in the net neutrality movement seeking to increase Federal Communications Commission oversight of the Internet. These net neutrality proponents are – to paraphrase William F. Buckley Jr. – standing athwart the history of technology yelling, “Stop!” Their backward-looking approach would revive large parts of telephone regulations from the 1934 Communications Act. Their goal is to persuade the FCC to reinterpret the law and apply monopoly-era telephone regulations to today’s broadband providers. Net neutrality advocates conjure up a bogeyman that ostensibly threatens startups and consumers. Their cramped worldview does not see tremendous possibilities in lightly regulated broadband and they oppose the FCC’s current hands-off approach to the Internet.
    Why would the ISP raise price causing millions of Americans will drop or never subscribe to an Internet connection because of these price hikes?
    RV8
  • Reply 22 of 134
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    blah64 said:
    As for this topic, it's pretty disgusting how this went down, and a lot of people are going to regret supporting it.  As Eric said above, the telcos spent a ton of time, effort and money to lobby very hard to get this passed.  They didn't do that without a plan.  If there's one thing people need to remember, it's that.

    I also agree that we won't see it all at once.  In the same way that facebook and google slowly and insidiously push their limits all the time, the telcos will carefully test the waters around the edges, and slowly push their ability to price-discriminate in as many ways and as much as they can get away with before their customers revolt.  The problem is, as many have already said, without adequate competition in a given market, there really isn't any effective way for the customers to revolt.  They can't just take their business elsewhere, and they can't do without.  That's the definition of a powerful monopoly right there.  Certainly at some theoretical level there is always the possibility of competition, but it's infeasible in reality in many markets for another company to come in and "save the day".
    Agree almost 100%.
    jahbladeGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 23 of 134
    I'm just STUNNED by the sheer ignorance and stupidity on display by so many of the posters in this thread, not realizing just what has happened and what WILL now be allowed to happen... This repeal has opened the door for all the corporations to start gouging the consumers and smaller companies.

    This is the WORST thing to happen to the Internet since it's inception.
    StrangeDayscolinngjbdragonviclauyycGeorgeBMacjSnivelydasanman69
  • Reply 24 of 134
    Here are some documented instances of ISPs abusing their power from 2005 - 2013:

    https://np.reddit.com/r/KeepOurNetFree/comments/7ej1nd/fcc_unveils_its_plan_to_repeal_net_neutrality/dq5hlwd/?sh=45a33b81&st=JAA62V5F

    ...theyve done it before, they'll do it again. Basically, if Verizon wants it and Apple & Google don't, it's a good sign that it's not something that's good for consumers.

    Dumb pipes. That's all these bozos should be. Just like my power company.
    edited December 2017 jbdragonwonkothesaneroundaboutnowcgWerksRayz2016GeorgeBMacjSnively
  • Reply 25 of 134
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Hey FCC - die in flames.
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 26 of 134
    I'm just STUNNED by the sheer ignorance and stupidity on display by so many of the posters in this thread, not realizing just what has happened and what WILL now be allowed to happen... This repeal has opened the door for all the corporations to start gouging the consumers and smaller companies.

    This is the WORST thing to happen to the Internet since it's inception.
    To be fair, this issue is far from over. This will be going to the courts now. 
    magman1979GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 27 of 134
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,062member
    bells said:
    Check back in a year to see if the sky has fallen.  I predict that the doom and gloom predictions will not come to pass.  I hope I'm right, but time will tell.
    Doom and gloom is not the appropriate analysis. Whether or not Innovation is stifled would be a more appropriate. For instance, examples like ATT preventing FaceTime. Comcast throttling Vonage. Further, services like Netflix raising prices so they can pay tolls. 

    If ATT blocks FaceTime or there is throttling, consumers are going to revolt.  Netflix can charge whatever it wants.  This wasn't a problem before 2015, so I don't see why it would be one now.  
    tallest skilmagman1979
  • Reply 28 of 134
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,062member

    blah64 said:
    As for this topic, it's pretty disgusting how this went down, and a lot of people are going to regret supporting it.  As Eric said above, the telcos spent a ton of time, effort and money to lobby very hard to get this passed.  They didn't do that without a plan.  If there's one thing people need to remember, it's that.

    I also agree that we won't see it all at once.  In the same way that facebook and google slowly and insidiously push their limits all the time, the telcos will carefully test the waters around the edges, and slowly push their ability to price-discriminate in as many ways and as much as they can get away with before their customers revolt.  The problem is, as many have already said, without adequate competition in a given market, there really isn't any effective way for the customers to revolt.  They can't just take their business elsewhere, and they can't do without.  That's the definition of a powerful monopoly right there.  Certainly at some theoretical level there is always the possibility of competition, but it's infeasible in reality in many markets for another company to come in and "save the day".
    Net Neutrality did nothing to help competition, though.  It's not about carving out markets, which already was happening for years.  It's about letting Netflix have faster speeds.  Or letting Verizon say that video doesn't count for data caps.  You're not going to bring back competition, such as it ever really existed.  
    tallest skildasanman69
  • Reply 29 of 134
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,020member
    I’m willing to wager the first thing that happens is that people who do not have a cable subscription, but do have an internet service will see their service plans skyrocket to the point that there is no reason NOT to also get cable.

    The telecoms biggest fears have been cable cutters... The FCC just gave them the ability to penalize them. IF you think that’s not going to happen, you live a very sheltered existence.


    Wanted to add...

    I also see ISPs moving towards “premium” internet packages... pay extra for access to the internet’s most popular sites, Facebook, YouTube, etc. This is already happening on several other countries.
    edited December 2017 jahbladejbdragon
  • Reply 30 of 134
    just what has happened and what WILL now be allowed to happen
    So… “the same as before it passed”; got it.
    This repeal has opened the door for all the corporations to start gouging the consumers and smaller companies.
    So… “the same as before it passed”; got it.
    This is the WORST thing to happen to the Internet since it's inception.
    I, too, think the Internet was a mistake sometimes.  ;)
    mjtomlin said:
    The telecoms biggest fears have been cable cutters... The FCC just gave them the ability to penalize them.
    Why/how?
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 31 of 134
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,701member
    I'm just STUNNED by the sheer ignorance and stupidity on display by so many of the posters in this thread, not realizing just what has happened and what WILL now be allowed to happen... This repeal has opened the door for all the corporations to start gouging the consumers and smaller companies.

    This is the WORST thing to happen to the Internet since it's inception.
    Spare me your holier-than-thou predictions.  Net Neutrality was only around since Feb, 2015.  The Internet and the access to it did quite well prior to that.  Don't get me wrong, I don't trust companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc at all but then I question whether adding additional government regulations and bureaucracy and handcuffing companies was ever a good idea.

    When AT&T blocked FaceTime back in the day, it wasn't Net Neutrality that brought it back.  It was pissed-off users and bad PR, and other companies providing it to counter AT&T and steal its customers that brought it back.  

    Considering how loud and vocal today's Internet users are, I suspect that any company that does shady stuff to their Internet will feel their wrath, as well they should.

    All we can do is play the wait and see approach.  I'm genuinely curious to see what will happen now.

    SpamSandwichindyfxRV8
  • Reply 32 of 134
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    rwx9901 said:
    If one doesn't like it then don't buy it.
    Great, I just won’t have Internet access at all, then. And neither will 90% of Americans, as ISPs get together, collude, cut up cities into areas of service, and refuse to compete with each other. Because the government facilitates these ISP monopolies, which is the real problem behind this shit that the false dichotomy of “net neutrality” is designed to obfuscate.
    Cellular carriers are offering some pretty fast speeds right now and they will definitely be much faster in the future with new LTE-A so you sort of do have a choice of ISP and cellular carriers definitely do not collude. In fact quite the opposite. They are constantly undercutting one another to get customers to switch. LTE-A could possibly offer up to 300 Mbps which is faster than cable at the moment, but we still don't know what price plans are going to be offered. I only have cell data at my vacation home because I don't want to pay the cable month in and month out when I'm only there a few weekends a month. Works pretty well for my needs but I don't stream any music or movies. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 33 of 134
    Nobody really knows what the telecoms are going to do with this ruling,
    Of course we know what they wanted to to do and have been doing for years. Telecoms are upset that tech companies were profiting transmitting packets over "their" equipment and wires. 1, Comcast throttled bandwidth from Netflix until Netflix agreed to pay. 2, ISP's were "injecting" ads over traffic (i.e. banner ads on Apple's websites) 3, Verizon has its own streaming network called Go90 where its content does not count toward the monthly cap Telecoms and Cable companies will find new ways to raise prices. They will also hijack and prioritize traffic based on their partnerships and "pay to play" models. My prediction: Google will buy Sprint, Apple will buy T-Mobile, Comcast will buy Netflix. AT&T and Verizon will be forced to cut prices as they lose customers to Apple and Google.
    jahbladecgWerks
  • Reply 34 of 134
    pakittpakitt Posts: 156member
    I wonder how and if this will affect services offered by USA companies outside of the USA when they don’t have copies of their data e.g. in Europe...

  • Reply 35 of 134
    ISP,  publicly traded companies. #1 goal, produce for the share holders. That's the job, can't blame them for using there resource to influence FCC / government, which is not illegal (blame the politician). I would move to fire any CEO if there is no "creative" plan to maximize profits & influance overtime. Capitalism, classic double edge sword, not perfect, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.... So yes, cost will increase creatively, overtime... "The house always win". 
  • Reply 36 of 134
    rwx9901 said:
    If one doesn't like it then don't buy it.
    Great, I just won’t have Internet access at all, then. And neither will 90% of Americans, as ISPs get together, collude, cut up cities into areas of service, and refuse to compete with each other. Because the government facilitates these ISP monopolies, which is the real problem behind this shit that the false dichotomy of “net neutrality” is designed to obfuscate.
    Yeah, that's gonna happen. ISPs will allow ninety percent of their income to go away because the service is crap and the ISPs will do NOTHING to make it better. Please.

    If you believe these companies are all about the bottom line, then you must also believe they will do what it takes to acquire and retain customers. 

    Eventually, all internet service will be wireless. Until then, terrestrial-based ISPs are doing what they can to stay faster and more reliable than mobile phones. But until then, the wireless providers are rapidly making progress towards speeds that are faster than the quickest DSL. The reason we have a modern internet AT ALL is because companies designed faster and faster infrastructure to compete with other companies doing the same thing. If you really think these companies all have monopolies, then why on earth would they bother to update any part of their systems? That costs money and adversely affects the bottom line.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 37 of 134
    rwx9901 said:
    If one doesn't like it then don't buy it.
    Great, I just won’t have Internet access at all, then. And neither will 90% of Americans, as ISPs get together, collude, cut up cities into areas of service, and refuse to compete with each other. Because the government facilitates these ISP monopolies, which is the real problem behind this shit that the false dichotomy of “net neutrality” is designed to obfuscate.
    You mean like you did prior to 2015?  Gimme a break.  Hyperbole in it's highest form for God sakes.  Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 38 of 134
    Good Lord it's amazing to me the amount of passion people here have with internet providers.  You all ever get outside?  Is the next step jumping off a cliff because prices might go up or down?  You sound like the same folks who said Obamacare was gonna tank.  Oh wait.....  God forbid social media (digital heroin) takes a hit.  Oh the humanity!!!  
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 39 of 134
    bellsbells Posts: 131member
    rwx9901 said:
    Funny how some who are for net neutrality seem to believe they are somehow entitled to a service that somebody else provides.  Those businesses are not charities, they are businesses with a bottom line and responsibility to their shareholders.  They're job is to make money.  So, they will do so and if that means tweaking speeds to get there then so be it.  If one doesn't like it then don't buy it.  Simple concept.  And the sentence in this article that says "potentially radically reshaping the nature of the U.S. internet." is complete horse hockey and hyperbole.  All this essentially does is revert back to the way it was before this nonsensical policy was put into place to begin with.  It wasn't called "radical" back then now was it?  Now all of a sudden it's "radical".  Give me a break.

    Here is the thing. These companies didn’t develop the Internet. The government did using tax payer dollars. So the public should absolutely have a say in what happens with the internet. 

    Further, these same companies spend tons of dollars so that they don’t have to compete fairly. For instance, laws attacking municipalities from creating internet services or passing laws that only allow one ISP provider.


    StrangeDaysjbdragoncgWerks
  • Reply 40 of 134
    sflocal said:
    I'm just STUNNED by the sheer ignorance and stupidity on display by so many of the posters in this thread, not realizing just what has happened and what WILL now be allowed to happen... This repeal has opened the door for all the corporations to start gouging the consumers and smaller companies.

    This is the WORST thing to happen to the Internet since it's inception.
    Spare me your holier-than-thou predictions.  Net Neutrality was only around since Feb, 2015.  The Internet and the access to it did quite well prior to that.  Don't get me wrong, I don't trust companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc at all but then I question whether adding additional government regulations and bureaucracy and handcuffing companies was ever a good idea.

    When AT&T blocked FaceTime back in the day, it wasn't Net Neutrality that brought it back.  It was pissed-off users and bad PR, and other companies providing it to counter AT&T and steal its customers that brought it back.  

    Considering how loud and vocal today's Internet users are, I suspect that any company that does shady stuff to their Internet will feel their wrath, as well they should.

    All we can do is play the wait and see approach.  I'm genuinely curious to see what will happen now.

    That attitude is EXACTLY what allowed the current administration and mafioso to infest your country now. You obviously have NO CLUE what the big telco companies were planning to do just prior to the 2015 net neutrality rules went into effect, which is exactly why the FCC enacted them then, because they saw what was going to happen.

    All the BS spewed by Shithead Lying Pai is just that, flat-out LIES, that can be easily proven.

    Holier-than-thou predictions? Wow, ignorance in the face of overwhelming facts of what is about to start happening couldn't be better illustrated with yours, and similar commentary.
    singularity
Sign In or Register to comment.