As Expected, FCC Approving Net Neutrality Rules That AT&T Wants

from the not-like-we-didn't-warn-you... dept

For years, we've been pointing out that while the concept of net neutrality is important, any attempt by the government to put it into law would inevitably involve lobbyists twisting it to be quite favorable to the telcos and others. So, really, it should come as no surprise that the FCC is planning to approve a "net neutrality" plan that was heavily influenced by AT&T and from which long term supporters of "net neutrality" rules are distancing themselves. In other words, pretty much exactly what many folks had warned early on. We shouldn't confuse the concept of the end-to-end principle of the internet with the need for laws that start to regulate parts of the internet, because we've seen time and time again how the telco lobbyists will shape anything along those lines to their own advantage, and it appears this was no exception.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    waitwat, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:48am

    More importantly the FCC has ignored law & congress by continually going forward with this power grab even though the D.C. Circuit Court said the FCC does not have the authority to regulate the net as well as over 300 members of congress saying they don't like the idea. Furthermore by ignoring congress & not allowing congress to set forth any rules they have removed all choice from the American people (albeit indirectly via the house & senate) in the situation as well as effectively ruled themselves above the law

    Does anyone really want this type of organization, with no regard for law, regulating anything?

     

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      Cynix, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:58am

      Re:

      So why can't the FCC be prosecuted for illegal activity then? It beggars belief.

      I guess it boils down to the usual backhanders and corruption. Shit, money really is everything in this world.

       

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      someone (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      "Does anyone really want this type of organization, with no regard for law, regulating anything?"

      The FCC has no power to enact laws or change them, only Congress does.

      "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." --Supreme law of the land.

      Is there any case law about "regulations" being unconstitutional due to the fact only Congress can create laws?

       

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        waitwat, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re:

        you are correct but they are ignoring the constitution & deciding that they will regulate the net without an ok from congress

         

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      Maurice, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:17pm

      You repugnant troll

      You will be getting what you deserve my friend.

      One the US is run by the mob, and AT&T ( pretty much the same thing) and religious right zealots and nut jobs.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:57am

    If you got the cash!

     

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    John Doe, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:58am

    Regulatory capture at its finest

    I don't understand why politicians continually let the fox guard the hen house. Why ask the people you are going to regulate how to regulate them?

     

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      jilocasin, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:21am

      Re: Regulatory capture at its finest

      I can answer that for you.

      The reason that the politicians continually let the fox guard the hen house, is that the fox hands them large bags of cash.

      For the right amount of money, our farmers (politicians) are willing to turn the hen house (the county) into a game ranch for the foxes (vested interests).

      Until they grow some moral fiber (not likely), or make such blatant payoffs illegal (even less likely since those that make the laws are collecting the payoffs) expect it to get worse before it gets better.

       

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    Jay (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:03am

    A few things:

    1) FCC is in a BAD predicament.
    2) Everyone knows it.
    3) Getting out and remaining relevant means they bend over backwards for lobbyists.

    I can't say more than that. The FCC can't regulate, they have a history of close ties with those already in the field, and quite frankly, it's only marginally useful. If anything, they should be closed down. Seriously what CAN they do?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:29am

      Re: A few things:

      It is very likely that the congress ends up passing laws that limit the FCC's involvement to only the technical aspects of wireless delivery (frequencies and transmission modes) and keeps them away from the content side. I think congress was just waiting for them to make a move, so they can squash it.

      I also think that congress would adopt similar rules anyway. The Republicants are on the upswing, and they are pro-business, not a bunch of tree hugging socialists. It is doubtful that the US will ever get net neutrality laws that will satisfy the torrent lovers.

       

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        Greevar (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:47am

        Re: Re: A few things:

        It's not just the torrent lovers, it's anyone that doesn't want to pay the gatekeepers for access to sub-par legacy services we no longer need. The internet is fully capable of servicing our entertainment and communication needs. The ISPs just keep it under-performing to keep their phone and cable relevant.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 7:27am

          Re: Re: Re: A few things:

          I'm starting to think they're not completely lying about their bandwidth problems. The hardware can theoretically run at the speeds we want to put threw it, but the ISPs are afraid that if we go above a certain load percentage the hardware will fail. Like running a 1Gb switch with only 100 base-T hardware plugged into it because if it fries, they have nothing else.

          The Internet has become so fragile that we lost half of our internet connectivity (and no one could come in from outside) when a node more then 500mi away died (next state over). The node was only down for 20min, but we had some fairly serious backlash.

          That's why I think they do what they do. The hardware can handle it, but the network is so poorly put together if one thing dies, everything dies.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 7:53am

          Re: Re: Re: A few things:

          What sort of "sub-par legacy services" are you talking about?

           

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            Greevar (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A few things:

            I'm referring to copper wire land-line phone and cable TV. They are outdated and outclassed by newer technology. The internet beats them hands down. I can talk to anyone in the world with software like Skype for free. I can watch my favorite shows through torrents and streaming video for free. I can buy and download games without ever setting foot inside a store.

            The internet services all of my needs for communication and content over one line and it does it on my terms. Cable TV can do what, bring me TV? Land line phones can connect me to local numbers and, for additional fees, non-local numbers? Can either of those, on their own, bring me all of my information, communication, and entertainment provided by the internet? No, they can't. That's why the legacy services are sub-par.

            Some day, there will be no "phone" nor "TV". There will only be the internet and internet devices. Wireless "phones" will connect wirelessly over the internet like an IM client. There will be no more "minutes". Entertainment will no longer have a schedule. Content will be created and consumed at-will, without region locks. The incumbents are hindering this progress by retarding the quality and efficiency of the network in order to keep you dependent on divided services that don't integrate into nor propagate through each other.

            Imagine the wireless for a moment. If mobile phones communicated entirely through the internet instead of legacy land-lines like they do now (non-adjacent cell nodes communicate through copper land-lines). Now, imagine there's a pervasive wireless network for any device to connect to the internet. You would be able to seamlessly transition from the public network to your personal network at home or office. You could reliably use your mobile device indoors without worrying about reception because the device will automatically connect to the access point with the strongest signal it has permission to that it can find. You can be talking on your mobile as you walk into your home/office and the phone makes a quick change from public to private network with only a minor interruption. Interesting idea no? We just need the incumbent service providers to get out of the way so people can execute it.

             

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      Xanius, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:10am

      Re: A few things:

      Fine people for cursing and shows nipples on TV as well as charge the nation to use a naturally occurring resource.

       

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    waitwat, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Another question begs to be answered who is going to decide what "legal Internet traffic" & "legal websites" is? Given the recent situation with ICE sezing domains of rappers...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:25am

    Content companies hate the internet

    They want it to go away. Regardless of whether or not people are watching legimate shows or pirated copies, they don't care. It's all just competition to them, and so they want to kill it. And AT&T is pissed that other people are making money off "their" customers. So both AT&T (and Comcast and the others) and the content companies like Disney want to get the FCC (or DHS or anyone they can find) to make it impossible for internet content companies (whether legit or not) to compete.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Thank God I don't live in America.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Every news source which I can see commenting on this issue is insisting on some variation of "FCC to Approve Net Neutrality Rules" when this is patently anti-neutrality.

    Here are some better headlines:
    FCC to Pave the Way for Corporate Takeover of the Internet
    FCC Gives Up on Net Neutrality - Bows to Corporate Interests

     

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    Pixelation, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Uh, what?

    FTFA "The FCC this afternoon told the press they will not be releasing the rules to the public tomorrow alongside the vote, but will instead be holding on to "tweak" them for several days."

    So let me get this straight. They will vote on the rules and change them afterwards? Excuse me? Do I smell fish?

     

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    waitwat, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:12am

    @Pixelation
    if you mean pelosi'ish "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it" then yes you smell fish

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:47am

    So they're going to cannibalize their wired networks and force everyone to their wireless networks. Good job FCC!

    Allowing them to essentially subsidize their wireless networks at the expense of the content providers gives them something to point to when they claim they can't afford to maintain and upgrade their wired networks anymore. We'll be expected to ignore the fact that they've been able to afford those upgrades for decades and still pull in massive profits.

    In the end we'll be stuck with a bunch of wireless walled gardens where innovation and competition will cease to exist and corporate censorship is the norm (I highly doubt that is a negative in the eyes of the FCC). The wired connection will be too unreliable and too expensive to be a viable option.

     

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    letherial (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:48am

    This is exactly what Net neutrality was ment to stop; tiered pricing, fuck you...

    Thanks obama for campaigning on something and then doing the EXACT opposite.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Optional Network Neutrality

    Mike has long been a supporter of optional network neutrality. I guess this is it. Network neutrality will now officially be optional with wireless providers.

     

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