Techdirt's Comments To The FCC On Net Neutrality And Preserving An Open Internet

from the speak-up dept

While the FCC has thankfully extended its deadline for filing comments on the net neutrality issue through Friday after its site melted down (again), I also wanted to share with you exactly what it is that we're submitting to the FCC. In short: we support reclassification under Title II in combination with clear forbearance, to limit the regulatory power of the FCC to just the specific issues dealing with keeping the internet free and open for competition. We note how important this has been to us on a variety of levels. For example, as a small company, we've been able to effectively compete against much larger news organizations. That would be much more difficult when those organizations could negotiate and pay to be on "fast lanes" while smaller operations like ourselves would be unable to do so.

Furthermore, we note the harm that this would cause to free speech. Given that we are frequent critics of the major broadband players, it's likely that even if we were able to afford to pay for "priority access," those companies would make it difficult for us to actually do so, using some sort of pretense to limit the ability of vocal critics to get access to the "fast" internet.

In addition, we urge the FCC not to ignore the interconnection issue, by which broadband access players have "shifted" the debate away from the last mile, but have effectively achieved the same result: getting big internet companies to pay double for the bandwidth consumers already thought they were paying for. Beyond that, though, we hope that the FCC will actually do what it's been promising for the better part of a decade and encourage actual competition in a variety of ways: knocking down barriers to entry, increasing (vastly) the amount of spectrum available and exploring possibilities to encourage competition at the service level, rather than just at the network level. You can read our entire comment below. While some friends in Washington DC have promised to deliver our comments by hand today, we'll keep trying the electronic way as well. Hopefully we'll get them delivered by the end of the week.

PS: If you like our reporting on net neutrality issues, please consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign, which will allow us to put even more resources towards reporting on this key issue.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Adrian Lopez, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:05pm

    Let's play a game of "spot the shills on the FCC's comment page". Here's my nomination:

    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521380183

     

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

  2.  
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    Mike Liveright, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:06pm

    net neutrality.. got-ya

    One factor that I have not seen discussed.

    Assume that Comcast (for example) owns the cable and offers TV and Phone service. Does the proposal prevent them from charging more for Internet services than they charge to their own services, thus reducing competition?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:18pm

    I think you have ignored the elephant in the room, many broadband companies are also cable companies, and cable cutting is hurting their bottom line. Will they try and and charge the Internet based competitors out of business, or at least to a level to more than replace the income (and not just profit) they are losing from cord cutting. Also, if the charges are not fixed, how will Youtube and the like fair, especially as they also cause significant reverse traffic?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    jackn, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    Spot the shill, I think?

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:23pm

    Re:

    Wow. That's a good one. How did you find it?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    The broadband companies didn't used to be the cable companies, and somehow they did just fine before.

    I expect that the dinosaurs will die, and in their place real innovation will finally take place.

     

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  7.  
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    Adrian Lopez, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Sheer luck. I'm sure there are others, though.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 2:53pm

    Re:

    That is a straight copy and paste from something else. They even kept the footnote annotations without the footnotes.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, iwas not clear, By Intrenet competitors to the likes of Comcast, I mean Netflix, Hulu, YouTube etc. That is content providers, and content hosts, that use the Internet to deliver their Content.
    Also for final mile Internet, the choice has been DSL from the telcos, or cable broadband from the local Cable company. As a result broadband delivery has become dominated by cable companies, who thought that the Internet would be an auxiliary service to their customers, but are now finding that it is cutting into their cable TV subscriptions. They are losing subscriptions to extra packages, even if they are maintaining basic subscriptions by packaging it with broadband service.

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 15th, 2014 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I wish there were a decent search through the comments...

     

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  11.  
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    sorrykb (profile), Jul 15th, 2014 @ 3:58pm

    It's not a great system, but I've found a few more interesting entries by going to the full-text search http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/solr/search and searching in proceeding 14-28 for keyword "rural" (given that the astroturfing campaign has used the "rural folks will be ruined" form letters before).

     

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  12.  
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    sorrykb (profile), Jul 15th, 2014 @ 4:09pm

    BTW, the anti-net neutrality comments I found using this search are still vastly outnumbered by people supporting an open internet and/or calling for reclassification under Title II. Apparently RFD-TV has called on its customers to contact the FCC, and they've not limited their comments to the proposed Comcast-TWC merger.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 4:41pm

    Re:

    This makes me confused on whether submitting satire would help or hurt.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe they shouldn't offer internet service then if they can't compete.

    If they didn't want to play the internet game, then they shouldn't be an internet participant. EVERYONE ELSE has to serve internet traffic the same way that everyone always has. Why should they get special exception just because their profits are being hurt?

    Isn't protecting companies because their profits are hurting the opposite of the free market approach we've always pretended to adhere to in America?

     

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  15.  
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    Timothy Karr, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 5:45pm

    Re:

    Lines like this should be the tip off:

    "If the FCC successfully reclassifies broadband under Title II, private 
    investment an d important innovation would come to a standstill."

    It's often repeated by the shilling class, even though we have shown the opposite to be true historically: Internet service providers invested more in network improvement and build out when they were classified under Title II.

     

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  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2014 @ 6:56pm

    PS: If you like our reporting on net neutrality issues, please consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign, which will allow us to put even more resources towards reporting on this key issue.

    Congratulations on becoming as annoyingly persistent as a squeegee boy.

     

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

  17.  
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    martyburns (profile), Jul 15th, 2014 @ 7:16pm

    Re:

    Pot...Kettle.

     

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  18.  
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    Whatever (profile), Jul 15th, 2014 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is an interesting problem though: What happens if they decide to do exactly that and shut down? What happens when nobody is doing the final mile?

    What happens if offering final mile service isn't really economically viable? Or what happens when companies like Google "buy" the file mile and then decide to filter things out or route all the traffic through their ad networks?

    Almost everyone praises Google Fiber, but I cannot think of anything less net neutral than allowing the biggest internet middleman to also control the final mile. It's hiring a drunk to be a security guard at the liquor store.

     

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  19.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 4:22am

    Re:

    Rats, there goes my Old MacDonnald joke!

    So let us rewrite it:

    My name is Sarah and I'm a sex worker in [insert impossible to spell small city name] and net neutrality harms my work. You see, if online porn is given the same priority as any other traffic it will drive business away from me. Think of the hookers!

    There. Disclaimer: I support sex workers but I couldn't help using this awesome stereotype of online nerds and hookers. Sry =/

     

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  20.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 4:24am

    Re: Re:

    I marked it funny because ti's so blatant that its comical.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 5:21am

    I fully support Techdirt's position on net neutrality. That being said, the head of the FCC is a telco lobbyist and former President of the National Cable Television Association and former CEO of Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

    It's no accident that he's been appointed chairman of the FCC. He's been given a mission which is to destroy net neutrality and usher in a new era of double dip profits for the incumbent telco players.

    We are screwed. Title II classification will never happen. Wheeler will allow fast lanes contracts to proceed, while saying he'll "monitor these deal closely for anti-competitive behavior".

    He'll then finish out his term at the FCC, and than take a job at one of the major telco companies. Just like the last FCC offical, Meredith Attwell Baker did after the Comcast/NBC Universal merger.

    Anybody taking bets on this outcome? I'll give 2:1 odds for anyone betting against the revolving door.

     

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  22.  
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    Whatever (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    He's been given a mission which is to destroy net neutrality and usher in a new era of double dip profits for the incumbent telco players.

    O'rly?

    I think the FCC will decline to get involved at all, not wanting to get suckered into taking a stance on either side that will be considered a loser. The will refer the whole thing to congress, who will fail (as they always do because the Republican't want it that way) to accomplish anything until Obama is out of office, then magically everything will happen.

    Net Neutrality is one of those red herring stories. There is no such thing currently, there has never been. You are always subject to the peering arrangements of your ISP, the destination site's hosting, and so on. There is no absolute equality either real or imagined.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Providing internet service has been INCREDIBLY profitable for the cable companies. They are making farm more money now than they were just providing cable.

    It would be a great thing if they decided to collect their marbles and go home. I would be at the front of the line investing in a company that wanted to replace them if they opted to stop providing the service - there would be a huge customer base for any company to come in and fill that last mile gap.

    The cable companies have no interest in not providing internet service. They know it is going to entirely replace their cable TV offerings at some point, but they are going to squeeze every last nickel they can out of the old business as well - and if they can manage to also pressure companies like Netflix into folding or selling to them, they can get their hands on the content portion of the business as well.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    TestPilotDummy, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:06am

    might have noticed I avoided this one....

    Ya know in intel there is awareness.

    You've been in that party, couple, two, three, five, seven, nine

    You F-in know they're making jokes down on ya.

    Ya can't pay attention though cause TOO much something, too much Awake, too much lack of Sleep, too much not eatin, too much no sex, too much shiny distractions, in the end the rake your ass over the coals, your out your money, keys, girlfriend, whatever, you just lost, cause these fine people payed attention, while you /I did not.

    By the time the 335 Million SHEEP turn, it's gonna hurt. I kno I am being both prophetic and foolish puttin this out, but I ALSO will be vindicated in HISTORY.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    TestPilotDummy, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Providing internet service has been INCREDIBLY profitable for the cable companies. They are making farm more money now than they were just providing cable."


    I can't speak to CABEL COMPANIES, but if you have just a stupid ass VPS with some balls and it get's DDoSED, your fsckin profits as you say are shitin the toilet bowl in which ever direction spins the fastest and screw the hemispheres!

    Want to talk small ISP? How many hours you fsck with customers? Why aren't they "intelligence wise" as smart as god damn fuckin general fcc license test equals? And ya know now with the NSA shiz. who would take that test but a retard? Instead, LEARN electronics, support HEATHKIT type shit, dis the Surface mount SPY fkwds, and lets SDR some tubes into the future without that CHEAP BITCH MA BELL!!

    Good God why don't comments come out like mine?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Adrian Lopez, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re:

    There is no absolute equality either real or imagined.

    Good thing nobody's asking for "absolute equality".

     

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  27.  
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    Easily Amused (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    probably because your non-english ranting makes no sense...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    uRspqF7L (profile), Jul 22nd, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    more hilarious hijinx

    more hilarity! TechDirt fights hard to prevent government regulation! who could have seen that one coming?

     

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


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