NY Times And Washington Post Describe Yesterday's Net Neutrality Vote In Diametrically Opposite Ways

from the because...-reporting dept

As we noted, yesterday's FCC vote concerning the NPRM on "open internet" rules was really just the start of the process. A lot of people seem confused by this -- and part of the problem is really the FCC. Tom Wheeler keeps insisting that the rules are designed to protect net neutrality and the open internet, but as lots of people keep pointing out, the rulemaking he's proposing would likely do the opposite. Because of that, you get a ton of confusion, perhaps best shown by a simple comparison, put together by Drew Oden on Twitter of the summary from both the NY Times and the Washington Post about what happened:
If you can't read that, the NYT's version was:
The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to move forward with a set of proposed rules aimed at guaranteeing an open Internet prohibiting high-speed Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against legal content flowing through their pipes.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post's version was:
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of advancing a proposal that could dramatically reshape the way consumers experience the Internet, opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers."
And you wonder why so many people are confused about what's going on? Of course, that's what happens when this stage of the process is really just about opening up the floor to comments, prior to the final rulemaking likely to happen later this year. But the bizarre thing is that both of the descriptions may be accurate, even as they appear to disagree fundamentally. Wheeler appears to be sincere in hoping that these rules would guarantee an open internet, but the reality may reshape how consumers use the internet by more clearly enabling such discrimination.

Welcome to the mess that is a fight over net neutrality.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 11:58am

    Alternatively, it might be worth checking to see who owns and controls the two newspapers, and the links, if any, to companies that would benefit from the scuttling of net neutrality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 12:21pm

    This isn't about maintaining net neutrality, that boat has sailed. It is about which legacy industries get the favourable legislation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Note today's NYT opinion page (from the NYT editorial board, not a columnist) said, in part:

    "While more balanced than its earlier approach, the commission still seems to be leaning toward creating a two-tiered system that could discriminate against smaller companies and restrict consumer choice."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    ECA (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    fUNNY

    Its interesting that the MAJOR portion of the net is owned by 3-4 corps. and the Cable/phone companies keep restricting access to THEIR little kingdoms of the net.
    AND even these ISP's are owned by the guys on top.
    the ISP's are restricting speed from OUTSIDE of their controlled area of control.
    THAT, they would allow DIRECT high speed transfers, would be great. but this is as bad as 4 burger stores on a corner, they are all owned by 1 person, and they DONT COMPETE or give any better service...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    ...opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content...
    It's nice to see that very few people are buying Wheeler's statement that Netflix's agreement with Comcast is just a peering arrangement, and not an outright purchase of fast-lane access. He's not a stupid man; does he really believe nobody can project these proposed rules into a world where ISPs squat on the last-mile connections and squeeze every penny from both their subscribers and any sites they visit?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 16th, 2014 @ 12:30pm

    Let's Clarify

    What really happened is:



    The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to move forward with a set of proposed rules aimed at guaranteeing an open Internet prohibiting high-speed Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against legal content flowing through their pipes while opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers thus making it legal for Internet service providers to discriminating against legal content flowing through their pipes for profit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    NYT is dead to me. It's been on a fast decaying trend for a while. This was the last nail in the coffin.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    Indeed, how they acted with Manning's leaks and revelations only shows just how far they fell. First they ignore him when he tries to come to them with his info. Then they refuse to even send a reporter to cover his trial, just like all the other media organizations.

    The NYT that fought the government all the way to the Supreme Court over the Pentagon Papers is dead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Judith Miller

    'nuff said

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    DB (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 1:17pm

    This isn't a two-tiered system. That implies that you just need to be in the higher tier.

    This is allowing the ISP to charge based on the value of the delivered material. Pretty much like a parking garage charging more if you buy jewelry at Tiffanys than if you buy diapers at Walmart. The parking lot owner thinks that is fair, because they enabled the high dollar sale, even though their cost structure and delivered service is exactly the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 2:15pm

    Honestly, it's not just the general public that confused by Wheeler's proposal. The FCC's page for it is horribly transcribed: link

    It's 99 pages that pretty much run together, have a bunch of legalize, and probably as many loopholes or vague references for the ISPs to just ignore them anyways... IE So much for his “virtuous circle”.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    broken, May 16th, 2014 @ 2:57pm

    confusion

    Sorry to see, but anything and everything the gov or multi-nationals touch get broken. It's a tried strategy to confuse the masses so that the very select few will benefit. At least with Putin, we know he is evil, but ...

    patents, copyrights, and new laws all written up to be exploited by the few in the shadows.

    Time for everyone to wake up and do something about getting the stench out.

    Wheeler appears to be a mouthpiece at best.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    JMT (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 4:15pm

    What really struck me looking at those two images, apart form the obvious confusion between the two statements, is the font these two newspapers continue to use for their names. It may seem like a minor thing at first, but to me the very deliberate decision to use such archaic fonts just screams "We're really old!", and instills little faith that as organizations they would have a good grasp on such modern issues. Maybe it really means nothing, but it certainly gives with the impression that I should look to a more modern organizations for news on topics like this.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Whatever, May 16th, 2014 @ 6:09pm

    actually

    They both wrote the same story. However, the Post decided to write it using the scary "pay for access" part as it's underlying story, while the Times focused first on the fact that nobody will be denied access.

    Only one of them is trying to scare it's readers with unsupported hype.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    quinine (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 7:01pm

    Re:

    Neither paper uses that font. But if they did, you'd be right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    JMT (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 17th, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    Re: actually

    I don't know what you're talking about. Neither story is talking about anyone being denied access. Where's the unsupported hype?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Steve R. (profile), May 17th, 2014 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Let's Clarify

    What is "legal" content?

    The definition of "legal" seems to be a unitary corporate definition not subject to the judicial process. Technically, those asserting that content that is being transmitted is not legal would need to go to a court to get a "restraining" order of some sort. I seriously doubt that is the intent since the legal process is viewed as an impediment by the content industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    AC, May 18th, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    Fraud and Extortion

    The ISPs are defrauding their customers, by selling Internet access to them and then willfully interfering with that access; and extorting money from websites in return for not interfering with their communication with clients.

    Wheeler belongs in Alcatraz - we should reopen it for him, and for the ISP executives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 20th, 2014 @ 5:39am

    Re:

    Hmmm... you're a little off in your analogy, DB.

    Pretty much like a toll road charging more if you buy jewelry at Tiffanys than if you buy diapers at Walmart. The toll road owner thinks that is fair, because they enabled the high dollar sale, even though their cost structure and delivered service is exactly the same.

    FIFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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