FTC Commissioner: If The FCC Kills Net Neutrality, Don't Expect Our Help

from the Comcast-gets-what-Comcast-wants dept

So we've been talking a lot about new FCC boss Ajit Pai and his plan to not only kill net neutrality, but eliminate FCC oversight of broadband providers almost entirely. Reports recently surfaced indicating Pai has been busy meeting with large ISPs behind closed doors to replace hard net neutrality rules with "voluntary commitments" from ISPs (insert laugh track). This won't cause any problems, Pai and ISP lobbyists have argued in perfect unison, because the FTC will rush in to protect broadband consumers -- and net neutrality -- in the wake of the FCC's dismantling.

We've already noted how this entire narrative is exquisitely-crafted bullshit.

The FTC doesn't have any real authority over broadband without Congress passing a new law, which ISP campaign contributions will ensure won't be happening. And thanks to some lovely tap dancing by AT&T lawyers (looking to help the company dodge accountability for lying about throttling), a recent court ruling declared that broadband ISPs are largely immune to FTC oversight courtesy of common carrier exemptions. Former FCC staffer Gigi Sohn drove that point home this week in a piece over at The Verge:

"...Because of a recent decision from a Federal Appeals Court in California, the FTC can’t prohibit the vast majority of ISPs from sharing or selling your personal information at all. That decision says that if a company provides a common carrier service, the FTC cannot enforce its laws against any of its services, even if they are non-common carrier services like video or online news. So ISPs that also provide mobile or fixed telephone service — which is pretty much all of them — would be completely exempt from FTC oversight.

If people understand nothing else they should understand this: the goal here is virtually no real oversight of one of the least competitive, and most anti-competitive industries in America. But it's going to be sold as an improvement and a move toward "more efficient" regulation in an attempt to make killing net neutrality and eliminating regulatory oversight of Comcast sound reasonable.

Former FCC boss and one-time dingo Tom Wheeler had already stated Pai's entire argument is a "fraud," pointing out that ISP lobbyists want all consumer issues simply "lost in a morass" over at the already over-extened FTC. Current FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny this week effectively told Ars Technica the same thing, stating the FTC really isn't positioned to provide oversight of the broadband sector:

"We are a very hard-working agency but we’re not a very big agency," McSweeny said. "The FTC doesn't have a lot of expertise in network engineering. We're not the FCC in that regard." The FTC receives "millions of consumer complaints every year" across all industries under its jurisdiction, and "we can’t act on every single complaint."

Not only is the FTC too over-extended to provide real oversight of the likes of Comcast, Verizon and AT&T -- but McSweeny reiterates that ISPs can simply use the recent court ruling on common carrier exemptions to dodge oversight completely:

"In order to make sure that this isn’t just a no-cops-on-the-beat plan, the FTC Act would actually have to be amended by Congress to eliminate the common carrier exemption," McSweeny said.

And what, do you think, is the over-under for a campaign-contribution-soaked Congress actually doing that? There's a reason ISPs are spending millions in lobbying to roll back the FCC's Title II reclassification and shift broadband oversight back to the FTC -- and it's not to help the collective American public's complexion. Repeatedly throughout the article McSweeny makes it abundantly clear Pai's entire plan for "voluntary" net neutrality commitments is a joke, and trusting in the FTC to aid consumers in the wake of the looming neutering of FCC authority is a fool's errand:

"Moving from a clear ex ante rule around the open Internet and requirements that maintain an open Internet, and moving to this ex post enforcement kind of world is going to strongly tilt everything in favor of the incumbents," McSweeny said. "It will be harder potentially for innovators and edge providers to make sure that they are being treated fairly and in a nondiscriminatory way."

This narrative that killing net neutrality and Title II is no big deal because the FTC will rush in to save the day is a misleading canard, but you're going to see it start showing up literally everywhere over the next few months as ISPs fire up their think tanks, consultants, and other policy sockpuppets to support the push in the media.

If you're playing along at home, make sure you note how these folks will go to comic lengths to avoid addressing the elephant in the room (a lack of broadband competition). Also be sure to note how they intentionally avoid using the phrase "net neutrality" to avoid public backlash, instead focusing on the argument that FTC oversight is the one, true path toward glorious telecom Utopia (ignoring everything we already pointed out above).

It's clear the public is bored stiff with the net neutrality debate after a decade of often hyperbolic claims. But if large ISPs and those paid to love them succeed in gutting net neutrality, privacy, and FCC oversight of broadband carriers -- consumers, startups, many hardware vendors, smaller ISPs and content companies alike are collectively in for a very real, very bad time in relatively short order.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:39am

    This entire administration needs a purge starting from the top.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:40am

    So...

    I told ya so?

    I know everything thinks I am stupid, but after predicting the 'very likely' rise of Trump, the irrelevance of NetNeutering and the needful destruction of the FCC, and of course the doing nothing FTC...

    It's like I have a crystal ball and when I show it to the world you guys get bent out of shape.

    The problem is, I want what you guys want, an honest and equitable technology market.

    The problem is that you guys think you get get it through regulation. And you can't, cause it will never happen, you will always be back on your heels. Sure you will win a couple of battles along the way, but you will forever lose the war, because you hand your victories away to the enemy every time!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:58am

      Re: So...

      Regulation is a placeholder in lieu of a competitive market, which doesn't exist in the cable/broadband space. Of course the optimal solution is for there to be an abundance of competitors so the free market can work, but we don't have that so regulation is the next best thing. Throwing out one without having the other in place is a stupid venture.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:05am

        Re: Re: So...

        You are right that there is no free market, but it is regulation that killed it.

        You just pointed out that regulation killed it so all we have left is to use regulation.

        I advocate throwing it ALL out and get the free market back. Free market is the ONLY table where the consumer gets a seat at the bargaining table!

        Monopoly, Regulation, Oligarchy, are all the same damn thing for the consumer. Someone ELSE telling you what you can have, or what I call, the illusion of choice.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: So...

        The fun thing is, it's regulation that makes competition viable in so many places outside the US. For example, legacy infrastructure companies were forced to open up their last mile infrastructure, enact local loop unbundling, etc., which has led to an abundance in competition in a lot of places (though they may still have some problems with large incumbents). Left to their own devices, the legacy companies would simply have retained a monopoly on the necessary infrastructure and either refused competition or profited directly from supplying them (at reduced efficiency, of course, were regulators not there to help stop them).

        But, "regulation bad" in the US so you can't have nice things.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:28am

          Re: Re: Re: So...

          I dot not know enough about other nations to know if you are correct or not so I cannot speak to them. Like here in the US, there is a lot of competition, if you look at it the right way.

          There are a lot of umbrella corporations here that own multiple brands. We have the illusion of competition, but no in reality.

          But you are correct, if the regulations are done correction you will have a free-enough-market to allow citizens to make choices for themselves.

          The reason regulation needs to be looked at as bad is because of its nature. Just like government, you can never trust it, the moment you do, or give it any power, it can be used against you when you turn your back.

          As long as free market is your leading principal then you can cut ties with someone trying to cheat you... in a regulatory market this option is usually diminished greatly or just flat missing.

          Politicians are professionals at making citizens feel good about what they do, it is the 2nd oldest profession.

          We all know what the first one was, but momma invented the second one when she got too old to play around in the first one! Someone had to manage the next generation!

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          • icon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

            So, it slips out. You actually do understand. It is not that regulation is bad, the regulations we have are bad. That corporations have the power to control what the constituents should control is the major issue. We keep trying to solve the outcome rather than the root causes.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

              No, regulation is bad it always will be, there is no mistake about that, it's just that there are outcomes WORSE than regulation. At that point I will agree to allow regulation in.

              We have to make sure that the regulation in those cases are actually battling worse outcomes. Lets break this down.

              Regulation under a Benevolent person is great!
              Monopoly under a Benevolent person is great too!

              The problem is that we cannot guarantee that benevolent actors serve these! This means that something else is needed to serve in their places. Free-Market principles are the cure for this. The problem here is that people believe that free market will cause a monopoly, that is not true. The people participating in the economy causes these and they can happen inside either of those constructs. I see people continually blaming free-market or capitalism for these problems when they are not at fault here. They just do not have protections against them.

              Corruption causes these, and nothing protects against corruption. Free-Market might be the best thing to steer around it, but like the others are no protection against it, and neither is regulation.

              So we know that a Monopoly is WORSE than either Regulation or Free-Market, there for I will accept regulation before I accept a Monopoly. But I can never accept either of those two before Free-Market.

              If you can understand that, then you can figure me out a whole lot faster!

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                Move to Somolia. I'm pretty sure they have a free market.

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              • icon
                Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                There lies your fallacy. Wall Street might be a free market in some senses, however, their self-interest demands constantly growing investments. Which in turn causes corporations to do dastardly things to maintain quarterly growth with no perspective to the long term, or the harms those dastardly things do to countries, and people in general. The list of dastardly things is long and covers a multitude of wrongs. Regulation, for the benefit of constituents, is different than regulation for the benefit of corporations, and therefore Wall Street (as it is currently regulated, or not) is yet another symptom of the root cause. Not all regulation is bad.

                Regulation that causes a free market to be free, and in the interest of the constituents (not likely in an absolutely free market as greed is rampant), rather than solely in the interest of corporations is an example. At the same time, over regulation is bad as well. Legislative action in the interest of showing them doing 'something' usually lacks the insight to find unintended consequences. Especially when their behavior is controlled by self interested parties whose goals are different than the constituencies of those legislators, and have the financial clout to make things happen in their own and nobody else's interest. The root cause.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:13am

          Re: Re: Re: So...

          I don't get your position. Regulations can be changed very easily in this country. Hell, they changed the broadband rules before they were even implemented. How is giving the power of regulation over to a government body that is susceptible to the whims of the political parties in charge, the lobbyist's that pay for these politicians, and the corporations that are paying for the lobbyists better? Please explain.

          Real change wont happen until we fundamentally change our political system. I think we stand little or no chance of that happening in the near future. So in understanding that, would no regulation then be better than the corrupt, whimsical, wishy washy regulation we currently enjoy? At least then we know where we stand.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

            In short, bring back free market FIRST.

            Then we can look at regulation. Regulation has entirely removed the free market, therefore because Regulation is my largest enemy that is the opponent to be taken down first.

            That said, I do not agree with any of the anti-regulation rhetoric the the republicans are pushing. The are not technically anti-regulation. They are PRO regulation, just not the regulations YOU like. There is a fundamental reason to understand this. Because as long as you do not, then you cannot even properly address the problem at hand.

            It is my sincere wish that the next time a republican states we are anti-regulation, that someone in the crowd retorts with... "That is bullshit, you love regulation, you just hate the regulations that democrats create, you have no intention to remove regulations that give businesses government granted monopolies."

            I hate all regulation regardless of source. And yes, I will even hate regulation that benefits me, but I will accept it at long as it is standing against worse fate! But it will not stop me from looking for or asking for better!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2017 @ 8:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

              Regulation can be done in several ways. Mostly I would be concerned about the moral behind regulation and the way it is done, more than the concept, since it holds the society from cracking on account of different morals and in the end the inevitable race towards tribalism.

              As for economic regulation it should hold the purpose of protecting against a race towards the bottom in terms of rights of "x, y and z".

              The main problem of the simple and appealing "all regulation is bad" is the lack of perfect information and an ubiquitous rationality. Even in older philosophy/economic theories, the core concepts for those assertions are the primary problem you simply cannot deal with without some regulatory action.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2017 @ 4:16pm

        Re: Re: So...

        Regulation is for opening up natural monopolies and things that the market just doesn't do.

        For example, take health care. No amount of competition will change the fact that you need that lifesaving drug regardless of what it costs. That's the great thing about a single payer system, aside from cutting out a bunch of middlemen: The government can bargain and negotiate a better price a lot better than any individual citizen can.

        Or, infrastructure, like the internet. The walled garden thing, right? If you don't make people share infrastructure, they'll try to build a great big vertical thing by favoring their content on their tubes and blocking out the competition.

        The worst regulation, of course, is that which is bought by those who are supposedly being regulated.

        Regulation is a tool, and like any tool, it can be used for good or evil.

        Also my examples are bad, blah. I might come up with better ones later.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:58am

      Re: So...

      Yeah we need to make sure that the ISPs decide who they compete with.

      For example, it wouldn't be fair to make Comcast compete with other ISPs that could potentially make it harder for Comcast to make money. Comcast has the right to provide the bare minimum to customers while charging top dollar. The only way we can keep that happening is if we get rid of the FCCs chokehold on these ISPs.
      Once we give them a blank check to do whatever they want free from any and all legal or regulatory consequences, we know they will start competing with each other and make the internet great again.

      I think it's important that we all keep in mind that ISPs are gatekeepers to the internet. We need to start ceding more control to them so they can optimize certain websites. Like wouldn't it be better if instead of having a ton of video services, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, etc we just had one controlled by the ISPs. Comcasts SeeSo, is the perfect example. If Comcast prioritizes the traffic of SeeSo and makes it so the other services are unusable or "less optimized" than SeeSo traffic, we will have a great quality product that a company we can trust to look out for us will be working on.

      Focusing on stuff like "equality" "fairness" and the "first amendment" is really just pointless. The sooner we deregulate a lot of these uncompetitive industries we will see the wealth trickle down to the regular people.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:15am

        Re: Re: So...

        hey!!! congratulations, another person that DOES NOT GET IT!

        Let me introduce you to the dictionary that Politicians use which is different from the ones you use.

        Politician version of Regulation is:
        The understanding that citizens no longer wish to make economic decisions for themselves, so politicians have been asked to work with businesses to establish rules on how the market should operate.

        Politician version of De-Regulation is:
        The understanding that current regulations have been burdensome to businesses and therefore we need to ease those burdens.

        In both cases NEITHER seek to protect the consumer.

        Sure you consumers have a different definition for regulation, but you are still too stupid to understand that if you want to play politics, you need to actually play them, not give a politician ammo to blow your OWN fucking asses off with! This is how you keep giving your victories up!

        So repeat after me!

        You say "regulation"
        politicians says "I am happy to FUCK YOU WITH THEM!"

        Or has recent history not convinced you yet?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:24am

          Re: Re: Re: So...

          u rite. i and donal trump no that rules and regulations r bad.

          trump gonna fix the internet cuz is so broken. get rid of the regs and we fix it. ez. ther is not even any history for company hurting customesr ever. all the rules jus make it hard to make money

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

            Why would requiring ISPs to treat all traffic the same fuck the consumer?

            Why would requiring ISPs to adhere to privacy rules fuck the consumer?

            The thing is, I don't think you get it. These rules are here because ISPs abused the system. If you're claiming that the ISPs abused the system because of other rules then you're kind of a moron.

            But hey, keep towing the line man. I'm sure you're right. Someday we can abolish the whole government and then no one has to do anything that anyone tells them.

            I'm sure you work in some sort of tech field so I'm sure you'll claim you have some kind of unique perspective that the rest of us who work in that same tech field don't have. Because you've got it figured out. That's why you're typing comments on some blog. Sharing your opinion with the world. Claiming that you're right because you know. And I'm sure you think you know. But if you knew so much, you would be writing policy for the FCC or running for office with a campaign platform built on the back of Atlas himself.

            Instead though, you're here. Writing comments, that no one cares about. Pushing points and ideas that no one agrees with. Why? Because you're too smart for politics. Too smart for rules. Too smart for all of us. It must be lonely having the whole world not notice your genius.

            Must be all the regulations the rest of us follow that don't allow us to see your side. Good luck man. I'm sure we'll all come around to your side.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

              eh haha haaaaaa....

              I guess you responded to the wrong thread, its all good I do it myself sometimes..

              "Why would requiring ISPs to treat all traffic the same fuck the consumer?"

              Well some traffic SHOULD have better QOS, like emergency or medical services for example. But other than the obvious saving human lives, yea, there should be no discrimination... however the market place should decide that because regulation still got it wrong with Zero Rating and that only lasts as long as you still have a good guy in there. My problems if giving a good guy power when the next guy might be evil and abuse that power.

              "I'm sure you work in some sort of tech field so I'm sure you'll claim you have some kind of unique perspective that the rest of us who work in that same tech field don't have."

              I do work in the tech field. I also design, plan, and deploy infrastructure at the data center and global scales. Knowing what I know, lets me KNOW that I don't know enough of anything, that is the curse of knowledge and wisdom, the more answers you receive the more questions they beg. It also lets me know that most people in my line of work like to billow smoke up peoples asses all fucking day long, especially my managers and junior inexperienced cowboys. They have a personal investment, I avoid that shit and go only for the technical.

              The problem with politics and power, is that none of it is technical, it is entirely emotional. None of you fucking get that. You think that just because you can ask a politician to do it, the corruption goes away! it does not, it actually just gets worse, that THAT is why all of your efforts fail! They act as though YOUR guys are NEVER corrupt, only THEIR guys. True to party sheeple!

              My way deals with that corruption by making YOUR ass holes have to make decisions for yourselves instead of you handing that responsibility over to a politician that laughs at you behind your backs!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

            Oh no, I hate Trump.

            the only thing Trump is doing is removing the few regulations that do have a small chance of benefiting the citizens. I fully recognize that what is going on right now is BAD.

            I am just saying that this is the end result with how WE are playing this game.

            I have every expectation that Trump will grab citizens by the pussy every chance he gets, I just wish you fuckers would pull your fucking pants up!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:05am

      Re: So...

      Do you expect the placement of poles and underground ducts to be regulated, because without other regulation, whoever controls those controls the services you can get over the wires and fibers..

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re: So...

        Excellent, finally a person willing to engage.

        Yes, I actually do agree with poles and lines to become public infrastructure like roads. They should be "shocker" regulated by the local municipalities, with the "last mile" being owned by the property owners. Which means demarcation should never be on a customers site, but instead at the road where public infrastructure ends.

        Each business using the public infrastructure should pay according to their usage and presence in the area to keep fees fairly distributed.

        so yea, one could say that I AM FOR regulation of a sort, just not for regulation of the businesses themselves. Let the consumers choose which business they want to do business with, just do not allow a business to have a monopoly or avenue to block other new or existing businesses from coming in and providing service!

        We only need enough regulation to prevent monopoly and local municipalities from allowing their creation, and not a fucking drop more.

        Right now regulation creates high barriers to entry and provides for government granted monopolies to businesses that go and "buy" them.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:38am

          Re: Re: Re: So...

          How far up the Infrastructure do you go with public property, the roadside cabinets, the exchanges, the Internet backbone? One problem is that the content providers rely on a global infrastructure, and no incoming ISP can build out at that level. Either the federal government owns and operates the backbone networks, or a federal regulatory agency ensures that the players in that market play fair with the content providers.

          Solve the final mile problem, and the cable companies will try to find a way to control the traffic into the towns that they serve. That is a local ISP may not throttle Netflix, but their backbone provider could.

          Free markets can work when independent providers can compete with each other in a local area, think restaurants, bur becomes much more problematical when lots of companies need to co-operate to make the system work, like the Internet.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

            I think this would be best.

            Last mile = property owner.
            Exchanges = ISP business.
            Everything between exchanges & last mile = Public Property.

            This should prevent the last mile problem. The solution to the state letting businesses buy corruption is for their voters to deal with. At the end of the day... if you cannot get the corruption out... you can't get a damn thing done right anyways!

            "Free markets can work when independent providers can compete with each other in a local area, think restaurants, bur becomes much more problematical when lots of companies need to co-operate to make the system work, like the Internet."

            Exactly, so we take away any private ownership of the items that must be shared! Kinda like how none of the restaurants own the roads!

            The problem here is that people think regulation will save us, it will not, it just lets the FCC pick and choose winners by carving up little monopolies here and there to create pseudo competition. The ISP's love it, they just act like they hate it for public appearances.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

              Exchanges = ISP business.

              There is a slight problem there, exchanges are where the last mile connection terminate, so unless all ISPs can put their equipment in the same buildings, the owners of the exchange controls the last mile business.

              Also you have not addressed the problem of the Backbone, who controls the carrying of traffic the exchanges and the content providers?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                We may have a different definition of the last mile.

                I see the last mile as being the line that runs from the little box on the side of the road near everyone's homes to their actual home.

                After that, it should be public infrastructure, after that, it should be ISP businesses.

                This means that an ISP business NEVER OWNS a single line that runs external to their exchanges. They only own the exchanges and HOW they connect to the Backbone.

                All technologies necessary to routing things over those public lines should be public property, even if they reside inside of the Exchanges.

                Which means that the public owns, updates, and maintains the total capacity of the backbone and never a private business.

                Right now the backbone is essentially owned by private entities and that should be stopped. I am okay with the backbone being serviced by a private company, they just cannot own it!

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 10:37am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                  If the ISPs have their own exchanges, then each one has to connect to that little box at the side of the road, which is in practice a junction box between some of the cables or fibers in the main routing from the exchange to the individual properties. It also gives some flexibility in using spare circuits in the event of faults and sections the network for if and when a cable needs replacing.Therefore for all practical purposes, the final mile starts at an exchange and ends at a premises.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:14am

      Re: So...

      It seems so odd to me that in the face of the big ISPs consistently purchasing state-level laws, and federal level laws, that you think that any kind of marketplace is going to, y'know, actually happen.

      The problem isn't regulation —however much you want to shout at the instrument of the problem, rather than at the problem itself— it's corruption. Corruption laces up, down and through the entire state and federal level legislative frameworks.

      At least with some kind of functioning FCC there'd be a chance of addressing the many state-level problems in the telecoms industry, but even that's being dismantled due to political corruption.

      That sucks quite a lot, but it doesn't mean that anyone is about to be less corrupt, or write less corrupted federal regulations. And it still doesn't make the problem the regulations, but the corruption.

      And yet there's you, with your repeated, presumably paid-for nonsense about regulation being the problem in every thread, over and over again, generating noise for your paymasters to drown out the anti-corruption signal.

      It's quite disgusting, really.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re: So...

        "It seems so odd to me that in the face of the big ISPs consistently purchasing state-level laws, and federal level laws, that you think that any kind of marketplace is going to, y'know, actually happen."

        You make very good points.

        My problem is that the existing regulation does not block these. If you want that kind of regulation? I can get behind that, but the problem is that this is NOT what a politician hears when you ask for it. And no, its not because we do not actually describe this, they KNOW what we want. They just have the brass to lie to your face take those contributions and fuck you over anyways.

        "At least with some kind of functioning FCC there'd be a chance of addressing the many state-level problems in the telecoms industry, but even that's being dismantled due to political corruption."

        You have some version of faith in government I do not have. I leave faith for my religion, NOT human corrupted fucking beings.

        Sure they "might" but according to history they won't do shit in any meaningful way. These guys are professionals at doing a LOT of nothing! They are actually PAID to do a lot of nothing and while you are busy working your ass off and actually contributing to society, these ass-clowns are busy working against your efforts or finding ways to siphon them off towards their own ends and pork projects.

        "And yet there's you, with your repeated, presumably paid-for nonsense about regulation being the problem in every thread, over and over again, generating noise for your paymasters to drown out the anti-corruption signal.

        It's quite disgusting, really."

        I wished I was getting paid for this... I really do, and if I was I am honest enough to admit it well but what is the word of an AC these days?

        What amazes me, is people like you that think that regulation will save you from the perils of free-market & capitalistic monopolies. It literally has the same fucking problems. The only different between Regulation and free market is the presence of the Citizen's SEAT at the table. Regulation removes that seat because forces beyond YOUR control now conspire to decide what you get to choose from inside the market place.

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

  • icon
    discordian_eris (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:00am

    What Trump and his Randian allies are after is crystal clear. Do so much damage to American government that it will literally take several generations at a minimum to fix.

    Remember, John Galt = Xenu. Objectivism = Scientology. Ayn Rand = L. Ron Hubbard.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:31am

    this nation is desperately in need of an education, and anything short of full-on, depression-era, success of these monsters isn't going to do the trick. if i cheer their every success, please forgive me. i hope to live long enough to see a wiser america.

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

  • icon
    Dan (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:50am

    The problem is consumption

    The problem with the broadband market is not one of regulation or deregulation but consumption. People pay ungodly amounts for internet and video because they want to. Eventually, the price will get so high that people will come to their senses and go without [the video piece]. The cord cutting trend is the start of this. As to the internet piece, there is no way to get around the hard wired network, right now. Eventually, there will be a connectivity solution that gets rid of the start up cost of the network. That advance will change the market to allow competition. Then there will be a massive adjustment. Then, Comcast et al, and AT&T will cry to Congress for help. "We don't have the money to upgrade our network to compete with this." {sob}

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:24am

      Re: The problem is consumption

      Eventually, there will be a connectivity solution that gets rid of the start up cost of the network.

      That would require a new law of physics. The problem is one is what can be be described as signal containment, or channel packing. A bundle of optic fibers, or even copper wires has orders of magnitude more bandwidth of any medium and long range 'free air' transmission system. This is because every fiber, or wire pair, can use the same frequency bands. With any 'free air' transmission system, you cannot have a receiver see two or more transmitters on the same frequency, and so repeat use of frequencies has to have a wide spatial separation. Even then, in high density dwelling, there can be throughout problems due to interference between routers.

      Mobile phone system have to increase the number of cells as bandwidth demand in an area increase, so that it is split into smaller cells. Also the carefully allocate frequencies to avoid interference between adjacent cells.

      While WiFi may serve your and your families needs when attached to a fixed line, it becomes woefully inadequate when it has to relay the video stream of several of you neighbors families as well at the same time.

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re: The problem is consumption

        We have learned and found new laws of physics in the past. What we know today may be very different than what we know tomorrow. I agree that the more we know the less likely it will be that we overturn current physics laws, but it is not impossible. Not being a physicist I am not sure where the opportunities lie, but in the half century plus that I have been around, things have changed.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 7:53am

    and anyone who thinks Pai the asshole hadn't already discussed this with the FTC and didn't know what they would do, ie, NOTHING, must be on drugs!

    this is a complete, prepared plot by Pai to give back to ISPs everything they previously had, even though, under the changes made by Wheeler, they were better off! while doing this, he has taken from the customers, particularly the old the unemployed and the low earners the ability to use the internet and given Trump another way of helping his 'friends' in business! why people still think he is doing a good job as president, baffles me. perhaps the attitude will change when a new war is started, all in the name of 'protecting Americans'!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:17am

    Misleading Congress

    Any way to get Ajit Pai for lying to congress? literally all of reality is being ignored. Why can't someone call him out the next time he repeats his lies to get him for perjury?

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

  • identicon
    zippy, 13 Apr 2017 @ 9:37am

    Attack the secrets

    Pai needs to be told to his face that he's a corrupt liar. Also, he needs to be told that if he doesn't roll back all these proposed changes immediately and begin dismantling the telecom oligopoly, all his secrets will be exposed. Everything he doesn't want others to know. All his bank information. Every illicit deed. Every private thing from his life. Since him and people like him are so technologically inept, they'll believe this can be done without question. Drop a name like Anonymous or something to scare them even further. They'll come around the moment their secrets are openly threatened, because these people have so many skeletons in their closet they could fill a graveyard, and even the mere thought of them all being exposed may be enough to turn them around.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 11:50am

      Re: Attack the secrets

      Pai doesn't care that he's lying through his teeth, as dishonesty pays quite well(if not now then when he 'retires'). Congress doesn't care that he's lying, because more than a few of them are in the same pockets of the ones who own Pai, so it's in their best (financial) interests to go along with his lies.

      As for the parts after that, that would be extortion and/or blackmail, and would backfire spectacularly on the one(s) who did it, allowing Pai to make himself out to be a 'tragic victim' of people fighting against his valiant efforts to best serve the public(to the corporations that own him).

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: Attack the secrets

        Hey, if it works for the NSA, why not us? And you're assuming the person making the threat would disclose his or her identity or even make the threat in person. An anonymous message would be enough. Make him fear the unknown. And any claims of being a victim could be countered by exposing his lies and broadcasting them on every channel. Do to him what Bryce Wayne did to the Penguin. Jam the sound system for his speeches and replace his prepared words with recordings of his private conversations showing his true nature and disdain for the people.

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

  • identicon
    NaNonamous Coward, 13 Apr 2017 @ 4:22pm

    We've got separation of religion and state; now we need separation of Corporation and State

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

  • icon
    Curtis (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:12pm

    Pai Should have no options.

    The nternet has ALWAYS been computers connected by wire/radio connections. The nternet was never "a unique and wholly new medium for worldwide human communications", but was usage of computers to pass 47 USC §153 ¶(59),wire communications, as sometimes was/is merged with radio communications, 47 USC §153 ¶(50).

    2 + 2 = 4 and Chairman Pai can't change facts or the U.S. law that requires net neutrality.

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

  • identicon
    Cleo, 7 May 2017 @ 6:14pm

    Account request

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


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