Cable Companies Refuse To Put Their Breathless Love Of Net Neutrality Down In Writing

from the words-are-but-wind dept

Apparently, giant broadband providers don’t much want to put their sudden, mysterious love of net neutrality into writing. Last week, the FCC voted to begin killing net neutrality, opening the door to a 90-day comment period ahead of a broader rule-killing vote later this year. In the wake of the move, the same large ISPs that have spent a decade trying to kill meaningful regulatory oversight comically went out of their way to (falsely) claim that the killing of the rules doesn’t mean all that much — because these duopolies love net neutrality so much any hard rules simply aren’t necessary.

Verizon went so far as to publish a violently misleading video claiming that net neutrality isn’t dying and large ISPs aren’t trying to kill it. Comcast’s top lobbyist David Cohen penned a blog post claiming that the FCC was only trying to “protect the open internet” from “dangerous and inappropriate Title II.” And the day before the FCC voted to begin killing the rules, the cable industry’s biggest lobbying organization (the NCTA) took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post, pledging the cable industry’s “commitment to an open internet”:

Over in a corresponding blog post, the NCTA pushed a load of disingenuous prattle insisting that the cable industry will remain on its best behavior after the current FCC gets done dismantling all manner of consumer protections (net neutrality is only one small part of what the agency is up to):

“The cable industry is proud to be America?s largest residential broadband internet provider and we?ve always embraced and delivered a truly open internet experience to consumers. Why? Because it?s what consumers demand and what makes our business grow and thrive. It?s really that simple…No matter what happens with this new FCC proceeding or whatever regulatory model comes next, we will continue to provide an open internet experience for our customers, and we remain willing to work with all parties on ways to promote internet freedom and continued technological progress.”

Of course if you recall Comcast’s decision to throttle all upstream BitTorrent traffic, use zero rating to hamstring video competitors, or witnessed the rise of unnecessary usage caps and overage fees, you probably recognize that statement as the heaping pile of horse shit that it is.

The Consumerist amusingly reached out to each of the NCTA’s 24 cable company members to see if they’d be willing to sign a contract putting their adoration of the open internet into some kind of bonding contract with consumers. Three companies were unreachable, fourteen companies never wrote or called back, and only one company was willing to provide a statement; a complete and total non-answer from Cox Communications:

“Cox has always been committed to providing an open Internet experience for our customers and reversing the classification of Internet services will not change our commitment,? a representative for the company told Consumerist. “We do not block, throttle or otherwise interfere with consumers? desire to go where they want on the Internet. A stated pledge like that in our contracts with customers is something we are looking into as the debate continues.”

In other words, of the twenty-four cable companies claiming to breathlessly adore net neutrality, not one of them was willing to put that adoration into writing. That’s because there’s one reason these companies are pushing to gut these protections and put all telecom oversight in the hands of an overextended and ill-suited FTC: so nobody can stop them from finding creative ways to abuse the lack of last-mile broadband competition. Anything else is pretense.

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Comments on “Cable Companies Refuse To Put Their Breathless Love Of Net Neutrality Down In Writing”

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Anonymous Coward says:

You're now below using "allegations" for a piece, to just making up vague innuendo from what didn't happen.

You netwits all think you’re so important that must be answered, and that not responding to every bit of bait is a sign of deep evil intents. Sheesh. Maybe it’s just too complex to state while in flux? Exactly as that one response says.

Yesterday what didn’t happen was with the idiot reporter shouting questions in the hall, which Techdirt uses to attack the FCC. — How about just going with facts, not guerilla-style ambushes?

Since you go on what DOESN’T happen: I’m familiar with a site that won’t answer charges or respond at all FOR YEARS NOW. My home IP address is banned but you’re too chicken to state it, or whether it isn’t. No administrator has ever responded to my objections to being target of senseless sheer VILE ad hom, while no fan boy has ever even been admonished here. My comments are well within common law, but get censored, I mean “hidden”, allegedly by “the community”, but Techdirt won’t even state whether that’s by number of clicks, or an administrator okays such “hiding”. There are no written comment guidelines yet MINE go into the bit bucket before ever appear, and you’re lying that it’s “moderation”.

You have to type chicken noises at Masnick before he thinks you’ve lowered yourself enough for him to dare engaging. I don’t use that technique sheerly because he’s caught on that he just isn’t competent and NEVER wins.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You're now below using "allegations" for a piece, to just making up vague innuendo from what didn't happen.

This whole post is off-topic. This article is about ISPs paying lip service to supporting net neutrality while trying to kill it. You’re complaining about reporting on the FCC’s treatment of an established journalist and the FCC’s vote to begin dismantling net neutrality.

If you can’t even read before going off about whatever it is that’s bothering you most at the moment you deserve to be moderated and flagged to oblivion because you’re not contributing constructively. You just end up sounding like a narcissistic asshole, making everything about you.

William Braunfeld (profile) says:

Re: "...allegedly by The Community..."

Since you seem to be curious whether or not the community is actually hiding your comments, perhaps we should all announce under your post here when we have flagged it, that way you know there is actually a consensus among the community that your comments add nothing to the discourse, being little more than either trolling or a shocking amount of egotistical entitlement.

You have, at present, at least two flags on your comment; mine and Thad’s. I encourage others who flag your comment to inform you as such, as well.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

“Over in a corresponding blog post, the NCTA pushed a load of disingenuous prattle insisting that the cable industry will remain on its best behavior…”

Well, yeah. Technically this IS their best behavior. Lying, cheating, stealing, breaking promises.

You don’t want to see their worst behaviour. But be sure to hide your kids and pets. It isn’t pretty.

Anonymous Coward says:

Techdirt now to be known as "What Didn't Happen" for both topics and comments. My comments entered at about 7:10 Pacific hasn't appeared for hour now.

Oh, they may let it through in a couple hours, after the topic is dead. Techdirt is trying to have it all ways at once again: the appearance of dissent, so long as it isn’t seen.

chilling farts says:

guinea pigs

US funded NGO qualified net neutrality as “socialism” in peru. Even the “good” EFF turned evil bringing legitimacy to dirty ISP like Claro, busted doing traffic shaping, censorship and VPN blocking during this decade.

This is the consequence. They used peru and Colombia as guinea pigs and bring the results back to USA.

In fact, last december, those NGO in peru salute the death of Net Neutrality after biased and corrupt rules approved last year, in the same way that your ISP.

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