Over 190 Engineers & Tech Experts Tell The FCC It's Dead Wrong On Net Neutrality

from the that's-not-how-any-of-this-works dept

There's now 11 million comments on the FCC's plan to kill net neutrality, a record for the agency and a significantly higher output than the 4 million comments the FCC received when crafting the current rules. And while many of these comments are fraudulent bot-crafted support for the FCC's plan, the limited analysis we've seen so far suggests the vast majority of those organizations, companies and individuals prefer keeping the existing rules intact. And most people generally understand that removing regulatory oversight in the absence of organic market competition doesn't end well for anybody not-named Comcast.

One of the more notable recent filings (pdf) from this tidal wave of opposition comes from a collection of engineers, technologists, professors, current and former IETF and ICANN staffers, and numerous network architects and system engineers. Collectively, these experts argue that the FCC is not only making a mistake in killing net neutrality protections, it doesn't appear to understand how the internet actually works:

"Based on certain questions the FCC asks in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), we are concerned that the FCC (or at least Chairman Pai and the authors of the NPRM) appears to lack a fundamental understanding of what the Internet's technology promises to provide, how the Internet actually works, which entities in the Internet ecosystem provide which services, and what the similarities and differences are between the Internet and other telecommunications systems the FCC regulates as telecommunications services.

This shouldn't be particularly surprising to you if you've watched FCC boss Ajit Pai wage a facts-optional assault on net neutrality, ranging from claims that the rules actively encouraged dictators in Iran and North Korea, to claims that ISPs are utterly innocent of anti-competitive behavior, but Netflix was violating net neutrality simply by running a content delivery network (CDN).

But the engineers single out numerous technical mistakes in the FCC's Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), including incorrect assessments and conflation of the differences between ISPs and edge providers (Netflix, content companies), incorrect claims in the NPRM about how the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 functions, how firewalls work, and more. But the engineers and architects also warn, as countless others have before them, that not having meaningful rules in place will result in an "balkanized" internet that will be nothing like the one that drove decades of innovation:

"If ISPs could engage in this sort of blocking, throttling, and interference (which would no doubt occur in the absence of the light-touch, bright-line rules in the Open Internet Order), it would transform the Internet from a permission-less environment (in which anyone can develop a new app or protocol and deploy it confident that the Internet treats all traffic equally) into one in which developers would first need to seek approval from or pay fees to ISPs before deploying their latest groundbreaking technology. Developers and engineers would no longer be able to depend on the core assumption that the Internet will treat all data equally. The sort of rapid innovation the Internet has fueled for the past two decades would come to a sudden and disastrous halt.

Well, not that sudden. It seems likely that if the rules are killed, large ISPs like Comcast will try to remain on their best behavior for a short while to give the impression that axing the rules was a good idea. But with no meaningful regulatory oversight (keep in mind the goal here isn't just killing net neutrality, but nearly all oversight of ISPs), and no meaningful competition, they're simply not going to be able to help themselves. If the ability to act anti-competitively without repercussion is presented on a golden platter, they will take full advantage in their unyielding quest for improved quarterly earnings.

Of course this isn't the first time Ajit Pai and the FCC have been informed that they're wrong on this subject, and are gutting meaningful, popular and important consumer protections solely to the benefit of a handful of massive (and growing) telecom and media conglomerates. They just don't care. And while Pai and pals will still likely ignore this cacophony of opposition and vote to kill the rules anyway, with all of the recent examples of shady behavior at the agency on this subject, you'd like to think that something vaguely resembling accountability will wander in their direction... eventually.


Reader Comments

The First Word

I'm one of the signatories

I don't agree with every last nuance of the letter, but my disagreements are unimportant quibbles, no more. I'm proud to have my name attached and humbled to have it in the company of so many that I consider mentors.

Let me observe that the debate here should not be about whether government should meddle in the Internet: government has ALWAYS "meddled" in the Internet -- and its predecessor networks. It created some of them, which is about as high on the "meddling" scale as you can get. So did academia. So did business. So did nonprofits. Everybody had a hand in building the 'net, doing everything from laying cable to writing code to crafting standards to figuring how to justify the long-distance bills for UUCP connections.

It all worked pretty well: look at the results. I think an argument can be made that the 'net is the largest and most successful engineering project ever. Not bad for making it up as we went along and doing a lot of it on handshake agreements.

HOWEVER...the long-term success of a cooperative endeavor like this is dependent on the mutual good will of everyone involved. Back when no real money was there to be made, that really wasn't much of an issue: nobody could exploit the situation even if they wanted to. But that was then, and this is now. Real money, lots of it, IS on the table, and there are people ready, willing, and able to destroy this cooperation to grab some of it.

They don't care about the 'net: they didn't build it. It wasn't their sweat, their all-nighters, their debugging sessions. So they're willing to inflict any amount of damage as long as they can cash in. The repercussions of that damage will ripple far and wide, with real-world consequences for everything the Internet touches: politics, art, commerce, health care, investment, education, everything.

Those people aren't going to back off because we ask them nicely. We tried that. It didn't work. Someone has to make them do it, and that means government. So no matter how much you or I or anyone may dislike that approach, the alternative is to allow the systematic destruction of the essential cooperative nature of the Internet so that a few people can profit. That's the real damage: not data caps or deprioritized packets or anticompetitive QoS: those things are fixable with a router change or a bill adjustment. But the cooperation that makes the 'net work has taken half a century to build and won't be nearly so easily repaired.
—Rich Kulawiec

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  • icon
    Ed (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 5:09am

    Good argument, wrong focus

    Well, kudos to the engineers, technologists, professors etc for trying to inject some reality into this one-sided hijacking.

    Still, I feel that they are missing a small but important point. Chairman Pai's attack on Net Neutrality only applies to the USA, but the internet is a bit bigger than that. So it would be more correct to say that "The sort of rapid innovation the Internet has fueled for the past two decades would come to a sudden and disastrous halt" in the USA.

    Look for rapid innovation to come from other countries that actually have competition within the ISP sector. Especially if innovation is stifled in the USA.

    Perhaps rather than couch the argument against Pai in terms of creating an internet that limits developers and engineers, it would be better to argue that killing net Neutrality would cause the USA to lose its lead in development of new products and internet technology.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 5:17am

      Re: Good argument, wrong focus

      It would still fill the pockets of the ISPs. If the current administration was interested in retaining the lead, the vanguard it wouldn't have done quite a few things the most glaring one withdrawing from the Paris agreement which left the moron you call POTUS isolated. But his friends in industries like coal will make tons of money for sure while the country gets surpassed in many fronts by others.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:10am

        Re: Re: Good argument, wrong focus

        If the current administration was interested in retaining the lead,

        The only thing that they want to lead is the accumulation of wealth by the elite.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Good argument, wrong focus

          The neW wOrld oRder is Shitting all over America. They could give two fucks whether we sit and complain about anything.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Good argument, wrong focus

          Exactly, the rest of the work,the actual real work, they will happily leave it to someone else.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re: Good argument, wrong focus

        And what is wrong with America being "surpassed in many fronts" by others??? What is wrong with that?

        We don't need a world where America controls everything and leads everything and every aspect of life. We need more countries to have the lead in many things and tech, so no country or power is truly the only one. We do not need a unipolar world.

        Spread the wealth, spread the power. Not keep concentrating it.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 5:24am

    They should be attending the Senate hearing and explaining in detail both technically and in terms easier to understand for the average Joe topics related. Speaking to Pai is speaking to walls. Except that walls are going to be more understanding.

    There are plenty of people even among us (like the trolls here show) that fail to understand basic concepts and conflate NN with network topography stuff (remember when Pai said having a CDN violates NN even though EVERYBODY USES THEM to make the content reach people faster due to PHYSICAL proximity?).

    The very simple fact of who is paying to use whose network needs to be explained. Content providers pay the likes of Level 3 to be available to the Internet and ISP customers pay ISPs to reach the Internet and consequently where content providers are. There's no free riding. I still have some difficulties explaining this and I'm not exactly a tech illiterate.

    So yes, go to the hearing, ask Wyden and other sensible people to put them in and explain in detail both technically and in easier terms for legislators. Maybe then there will come a law that will shut down Pai and future assholes that happen to get the job on this NN issue.

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    • identicon
      Thad, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      There are plenty of people even among us (like the trolls here show) that fail to understand basic concepts and conflate NN with network topography stuff

      Yeah, I thought the phrase "incorrect assessments and conflation of the differences between ISPs and edge providers" sounded familiar.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 6:49am

    Perhaps the President could... no that won't work.
    Perhaps Congress... nah.
    Maybe Ajit will... ha-ha who am I kidding...

    ...well I'm out of ideas...

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

  • icon
    ThaumaTechnician (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:23am

    Just watch...

    Some ISP-paid shill testifying to the Committee will read a prepared statement against Net Neutrality saying that it's too complicated to implement or something.

    As he's speaking, a Rasberry Pi with a microphone and a speaker in his lapel pocket, will echo his voice 80,000 times, in real time, with pico-second delays

    Ajit Pai will announce that the anti-neutrality-ers have it, 400 to 1.

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  • identicon
    David, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:26am

    Well, but are their arguments _substantial_?

    How many mils are we talking about for the pockets of the decision makers? Any jobs for Trump relatives? There does not appear to be an obvious reason for diverging from standard U.S. politics decision making procedures here, does it?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:32am

    "...you'd like to think that something vaguely resembling accountability will wander in their direction... eventually."

    Wishful thinking. The thief Pai will take the money and move back to his lobbying job that he has secured by pandering to these corporations.

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

  • identicon
    Matthew M Bennett, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:45am

    Some smart people think having the government regulate the internet is a good idea.

    It's not. It basically never is with anything.

    (and yeah, this is regulating the internet. Regulating ISPs, and how people interact with the internet is regulating the fucking internet)

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:06am

      Repetition does not equal reality

      No matter how many times you make that claim, it still will not be true. You might as well say speed limits are regulations on pizza parlors because you need to drive on roads in order to get to them.

      Regulations involving companies providing access to content would only be regulations of the content if they were limiting what you could connect to, setting up rules as to what the providers could and could not connect you to and/or how it was to be treated.

      This however is not the case, and is in fact dead opposite of what the rules currently do in prohibiting the access providers from making those decisions themselves and instead requiring them to treat all content equally, or neutrally as the case may be.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:39am

        Re: Repetition does not equal reality

        "No matter how many times you make that claim, it still will not be true."

        Because the current regulation is working so well? Looks to me like you have your hands full with the VERY institution you asked for. O wait... it stabbed you in the back? Well you deserved it.

        You folks are like those idiots that fall into traps and snares because someone said some bad about yo mama's. Like Custer, you will ride all the way down thinking you have the upper hand then whamo! Ajit Pai pops out and shoves it right up your asses.

        At least you have the nerve to ACT surprised. I am not surprised at all, saw it coming, told you idiots it was coming, but you called me the idiot. You are begging for a corrupt political state! Don't worry, you got one, and will keep getting one!

        Go ahead, get your next Politician in shining armor, I am sure Sir. Regulanc-a-lot won't stick that regulatory lance up your ass the first time a business buys their favor.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Repetition does not equal reality

          Did you make your own crown of thorns, or was it a gift when you hopped up on that cross and became king of the self righteous assholes?

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Repetition does not equal reality

            Is it not your guys whining and moaning about Ajit Pai fucking with NN?

            I don't care, the new rules are just as bullshit as having no rules. The problem here is that the worst rules that solidify these ISP's monopolies will remain intact and not a single one of you shit's give a fuck.

            You say we need regulation because a free market will create monopoly while looking directly at the monopolies that regulation created. You people are dumb as rocks.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Repetition does not equal reality

          One trick pony

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

      • identicon
        Matthew M Bennett, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:43am

        Re: Repetition does not equal reality

        What do you think regulating "the internet" is, exactly? Do you think it entails regulating DNS servers?

        Would you be happier if instead I said "regulating people's access" isn't a good idea? What the fuck difference would that make?

        What an insipid, useless bit of semantics to even argue on.

        Thank you for wasting everyone's time. Thank you for making the "and yeah, this is regulating the internet" comment even necessary. You have lowered the level of discourse for everyone and made us all lesser for it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Repetition does not equal reality

          "Would you be happier if instead I said "regulating people's access" isn't a good idea?"

          Yes, much happier, because now I know you are a complete buffoon and I can ignore everything else you blather about.

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      • identicon
        Matthew M Bennett, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:45am

        Re: Repetition does not equal reality

        (originally replied to wrong guy, see above)

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:03am

        Re: Repetition does not equal reality

        Agree. And lets not even call it regulation. Regulation is misleading. It is PROTECTION. Government protection for people's rights against the greedy and profit-at-any-cost actions and intentions of corporations (in this case ISPs).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:30am

      Re:

      You know, you're right.

      Let's start by removing speed limits. Everyone can drive as fast as they want, everywhere they want.

      Let's continue by dropping the onerous process of drug approval: everyone can market anything they want with.

      Let's stop requiring pilot's licenses: anybody should be able to get in a plane and fly it.

      Let's drop HIPAA and allow all medical information to be published or sold, including yours.

      Let's drop all the requirements on architecture and construction: we don't really NEED safety margins engineered into buildings and bridges.

      Let's get rid of environmental protections - it'll be okay if a filth-spewing factory gets built in your backyard.

      Yes, government regulation is basically never a good idea with anything, so let's shut it ALL down. We'll just let magic libertarian free market invisible hand pixie dust work it all out. I'm certain it will end well.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re:

        "Yes, government regulation is basically never a good idea with anything, so let's shut it ALL down."

        more of this drivel?

        Being anti-regulation is not code for anarchy and it is childish and ignorant to continue to advance the notion.

        "We'll just let magic libertarian free market invisible hand pixie dust work it all out. I'm certain it will end well."

        Looks like your snorting regulation pixie dust. The "idea" that a politician is going to look out for you is why we are in this situation. Stop running your head into the wall, things might clear up for you.

        Those giving up liberty for safety, get neither and deserve neither!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Right and no one can tell you not to eat all the paint. We've done this dance to death. You just don't remember due to the lead poisioning.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And your butt is still in the air for politicians and businesses to screw WHILE you are whining about getting screwed.

            Stop sticking it in the air, maybe it won't get screwed!

            I saw this coming, you didn't, perhaps you should switch to my lead paint chips and stop eating the cow pies your politics have been feeding you.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I am curious. What is your expertise with networking? You have such a strong opinion, I think you must be some sort of network guru. I have been a strong supporter for NN since I started managing large networks. I do a little bit of QoS on the network I run so that certain pieces always have the highest priority. Voip, email, certain programs to keep the business running. But once the data leaves the network, NN protects that my data gets the same treatment as all other data. I pay for a dedicated 1 Gbps of internet, I don't want the ISP limit my voip traffic to 1mbps because they are attempting to force us their voip system instead. While I don't think our ISPs would do that, NN makes sure it won't happen.

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      • identicon
        Matthew M Bennett, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, speed limits are mostly an excuse to write tickets and generate revenue, not about safety, so the comparison is apt.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re:

        THIS.

        Yes, even the word regulation is misleading.

        It is Protection. Protection for people's rights and freedoms, from the government (which is its mission), against the greedy intentions of corporations (ISPs).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      Net neutrality is not about regulating the Internet, but is nearer the opposite, stopping the ISPs from regulating the Internet to protect their cable business.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        It is not regulation. Is is Protection.

        Protection for the people's rights against the greed of ISPs which has no limit.

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

    • identicon
      Christian Tremblay, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      It's not having the government regulating the internet, it's preventing the ISPs from doing so.

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

      • identicon
        Matthew M Bennett, 27 Jul 2017 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        ................by having the government do so. Which, arguably, is worse.

        If you're concerned about ISPs, break them up, so that market forces actually apply.

        Then maybe you have a cheaper ISP that inserts all those ads or whatever. And other ones that don't but are more expensive. Why not? And all of them are cheaper than they are now.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 1:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If you're concerned about ISPs, break them up, so that market forces actually apply."

          This is my preferred approach.

          I also told these zealots that it was better, but they said we tried that and it failed because the "agencies" did not enforce the rules.

          So their solution? to give the very agencies that did not do their jobs right the first time more power. This whole NN thing is an epic display of insanity on both the pro-NN front and Ajit Pai front.

          The rest of us who know how to solve the problem are in the minority and stuck between two groups of sycophants raving about their currently proven non-"solution" to the problem.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Agree. The Best solution is to break them up.

          But even if you break them up into smaller companies, still some PROTECTIONS (not regulation) for people's rights would be needed. And those protections would still have to come from government, not from those smaller companies. those smaller companies would simply take all your money, if they could.

          Take any other industry where there are many smaller players, still those smaller players can and do abuse their customers, in many different ways, and for that we need protections by the government.

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 6:16pm

      Re:

      "(and yeah, this is regulating the internet. Regulating ISPs, and how people interact with the internet is regulating the fucking internet)"

      The more you claim this the stupider you look. I'm genuinely not sure if you're being deliberately obtuse because you're paid to be or if you really just don't understand the difference.

      So one more time, please explain how US regulations that target the bad behaviors of US ISP's have any effect whatsoever on The Actual Internet accessible to most people all over the planet.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:51am

      Re:

      So you rather have the ISPs regulate themselves? That is even a more ridiculous idea!

      At least government has as its mission to protect you and your rights, at least in theory (I know, they can be corrupted).

      Corporations, like ISPs, do not have as their mission to protect you or your rights, their only mission is profit.

      If anything corporations and their bribing/lobbying money are the ones who offer money to government aka corruption in exchange for change in law that will benefit them and screw your rights.


      So who would you trust more?


      Again, governments exist to protect you, corporations exist to make money. Corporations corrupt governments, not government corrupt corporations.
      Who would you trust more?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      It is not Regulation, it is PROTECTION.

      Protection against greedy corporations that will not stop at anything, even at stepping over more of your rights, for their profit.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:47am

    Whoever authorized crafted bot comments should be sitting in jail for FRAUD.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      Equally whoever is sensoring youtube should be cast out of the country.. try to get a video uncensored of Phobe Cate's pool scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:26am

        Re: Re:

        Whoever is responsible for not putting in jail those who authorized the bot comments and those who allowed youtube censoring, should be in jail too.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:55am

    The FCC doesn't care

    Do these tech experts think net neutrality is being dismantled for technical reasons? What gave them that idea?

    It's being done for business reasons. They should gather statements from the executives at the companies that employ these tech experts. It would stand a much better chance of being heard.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:11am

      Re: The FCC doesn't care

      The FCC Used to care.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:13am

      Re: The FCC doesn't care

      I'm pretty sure the comments aren't aimed at the FCC/Pai so much as they are the aimed, indirectly, at the judges that will be looking at the legal challenge the FCC/Pai will face if he tries to get rid of the rules, and the politicians and members of the public who might have been conned into thinking no rules is a good idea.

      Pai has already made up his mind(he's just not honest enough to admit it), such that the odds of anything changing it at this stage is probably zero to none. Pai, or even the FCC in general however is not the final and ultimate authority here, and the others involved might still be swayed by things like having close to two hundred people knowledgeable in the field filing a comment essentially pointing out that Pai seems to be fractally wrong in his claims.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re: The FCC doesn't care

        Great points. I think we all agree this is likely to end up in court. Whether or not technical arguments against dismantling ISP regulations will change anything depends on how Pai sells this. So far, he seems to be more focused on making ISPs more profitable.

        It isn't necessarily an outrageous thing for him to be doing. Encouraging investment in infrastructure is one of the FCC's big goals. There's a pretty long history suppressing competition to spur investment and I'm not sure this is different.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:57am

          Re: Re: Re: The FCC doesn't care

          It isn't necessarily an outrageous thing for him to be doing.

          If he was honest about it I'd still be annoyed, but not nearly as much, it's his repeated lies about how he's doing this for the public, and how he's got an open mind that's got me really vexxed. If someone is going to screw you over the least they should do is be honest about it.

          Encouraging investment in infrastructure is one of the FCC's big goals.

          But that doesn't seem to be his, as from what I've gathered he's one of those that believe that the market is competitive and doesn't need outside forces stepping in. 'Everything is fine, there's no need to set rules' doesn't encourage investment, as the companies are already profitable and getting rid of rules isn't likely to encourage investment, which costs money they don't need to spend without competition forcing them to.

          Encouraging more competition(like say encouraging states that try to open up the playing field for new competitors, rather than trying to shut them down) would be much more likely to result in infrastructure investments, as the older companies would need to up their service to compete.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re: The FCC doesn't care

        "and the politicians and members of the public who might have been conned into thinking no rules is a good idea."

        So NN is the ONLY set of rules regulating the Internet.

        So if you are willing to lie like Pai, why should people listen to you more than Pai? You both lie and cheat like dirty card players that want to win at any cost.

        Anti-Trust,
        No more monopolies,
        and Truth in advertising are all the regulations we need to resolve this mess. so obviously some regulations are going to be necessary, but NN as propose are not, not even close!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Re: The FCC doesn't care

          Nobody wants internet regulation. We want regulation of ISPs (at least of the big ones).

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The FCC doesn't care

            "Nobody wants internet regulation."

            A distinction without a different. Like saying we are not regulating car speeds because we are only regulating how much gas can go into the engine. *derp*

            Additionally, why just the big ones? That is as unfair as fuck. Regulate all, and regulate evenly. That just begs for politicians to turn corrupt and to use their regulatory power to control businesses or for businesses to use their money to buy politicians. No wonder congress likes to pass laws that they exempt themselves from, you are OBVIOUSLY okay with everyone being unequal before the law.

            Our of fear of a monopoly developing naturally in a free market, you are directly assisting the creation of a monopoly that is not only Unnatural, but corrupt and entrenched with government to boot!

            We need to destroy monopolies NOT regulate them.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 11:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The FCC doesn't care

              > A distinction without a different.

              Regulation of the internet opens the door to more meddling with content by the government. Nobody wants that. What we want to regulate is how ISPs treat customers and their data.

              > Additionally, why just the big ones?

              I think people forget that there are thousands of ISPs in the United States, most of them are pretty small. Title II may not be a burden for Comcast, but it is for the ISP that has 10 subscribers.

              > We need to destroy monopolies NOT regulate them.

              You can't do that without regulation.

              Remember back in the DSL days when the phone companies had to grant access to the network to outside ISPs? Why not do the same thing today? It would be great if I could by internet access from a third party that's delivered over my AT&T gigabit connection.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 9:55am

      Re: The FCC doesn't care

      True, the levels of cynicism reached by those ISPs is unprecedented.

      Of course they are doing it for business reasons, they will every once in a while bring up technical reasons too, to also attack on that front so to speak.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:14am

    has anyone ever ignored so many comments and so much evidence as to why something shouldn't happen, simply because they can, because they are being paid by certain industry members to do so and because those who could stop this are being paid by the same industries? at a guess i would say no and i reckon Pai will go down in the history books of the USA as being the biggest ass hole ever and the one person to have done the most harm to the American people in what surely must be the shortest possible time!! what a cunt!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:53am

    never would have pulled this shit while scalia was still alive

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:03am

    Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

    "the limited analysis we've seen so far suggests" -- "we've seen" is an admission of propaganda bubble; both "limited" and "analysis" alway result in exactly what bias wants confirmed.

    "in the absence of organic market competition" -- There is NEVER and has never been any such! It's a fantasy used by "economists" to argue for letting their favored corporations run amuck. ALL markets are artificial. The poor have almost zero chance to even get into a market, neither skills nor access to capital. An adequately free market can only exist when gov't actively takes down corporations for simply becoming too large, and the rich for becoming too rich, otherwise every market is plutocratic monopoly or oligarchy at best. But requires a moral and intellectual outlook that no longer exists (though simple tests of market share can easily be done to trigger taking corporations apart).

    And skipping to in the referenced paper: "The sort of rapid innovation the Internet has fueled for the past two decades would come to a sudden and disastrous halt." -- GOOD! Let's have ANY change, then! Because that "innovation" has totally been SPYING AND ADVERTISING, BOTH INHERENTLY BAD.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:04am

      Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

      Apparently put some length limit on subject lines.

      Difficult to tell, and of course "transparent" Techdirt won't say.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:14am

      Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

      Hawt Damn!

      That was a fantastic post.

      Sorry but the idiots here can't look past their political sycophancy and Stockholm's to understand.

      They are MORE afraid of free market where they can actually have a voice, than they are of a regulatory captured market where they get NO say.

      "Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government."

      ~Henry Kissinger

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

        Sycophancy again. Do you have Tourette's from all the lead paint?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

        Yes dear ... everyone is an idiot except you.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 10:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

          So you think Kissinger is and idiot too?
          How about George Washington, or Madison, or Paine, or Adams?

          You are the idiot!
          I am not calling everyone an idiot, just most of you! Because if most of you were not idiots we would not even be discussing this problem!

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 11:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

            Ohhh bring out that one quote by Washington and be sure to call everyone sycophants! That'll definitely work this time!

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt back to old tricks. This didn't go through in over an hour:

            Do you even know what the word "idiot" means?

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

  • identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:47am

    I'm one of the signatories

    I don't agree with every last nuance of the letter, but my disagreements are unimportant quibbles, no more. I'm proud to have my name attached and humbled to have it in the company of so many that I consider mentors.

    Let me observe that the debate here should not be about whether government should meddle in the Internet: government has ALWAYS "meddled" in the Internet -- and its predecessor networks. It created some of them, which is about as high on the "meddling" scale as you can get. So did academia. So did business. So did nonprofits. Everybody had a hand in building the 'net, doing everything from laying cable to writing code to crafting standards to figuring how to justify the long-distance bills for UUCP connections.

    It all worked pretty well: look at the results. I think an argument can be made that the 'net is the largest and most successful engineering project ever. Not bad for making it up as we went along and doing a lot of it on handshake agreements.

    HOWEVER...the long-term success of a cooperative endeavor like this is dependent on the mutual good will of everyone involved. Back when no real money was there to be made, that really wasn't much of an issue: nobody could exploit the situation even if they wanted to. But that was then, and this is now. Real money, lots of it, IS on the table, and there are people ready, willing, and able to destroy this cooperation to grab some of it.

    They don't care about the 'net: they didn't build it. It wasn't their sweat, their all-nighters, their debugging sessions. So they're willing to inflict any amount of damage as long as they can cash in. The repercussions of that damage will ripple far and wide, with real-world consequences for everything the Internet touches: politics, art, commerce, health care, investment, education, everything.

    Those people aren't going to back off because we ask them nicely. We tried that. It didn't work. Someone has to make them do it, and that means government. So no matter how much you or I or anyone may dislike that approach, the alternative is to allow the systematic destruction of the essential cooperative nature of the Internet so that a few people can profit. That's the real damage: not data caps or deprioritized packets or anticompetitive QoS: those things are fixable with a router change or a bill adjustment. But the cooperation that makes the 'net work has taken half a century to build and won't be nearly so easily repaired.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 11:05am

      Re: I'm one of the signatories

      "They don't care about the 'net: they didn't build it. It wasn't their sweat, their all-nighters, their debugging sessions. So they're willing to inflict any amount of damage as long as they can cash in."

      That would be the politicians and the oligarchs that talk to them day in and day out.

      "Those people aren't going to back off because we ask them nicely. We tried that. It didn't work. Someone has to make them do it, and that means government."

      Okay, so turn to the very people poised to harm you for protection?

      "So no matter how much you or I or anyone may dislike that approach, the alternative is to allow the systematic destruction of the essential cooperative nature of the Internet so that a few people can profit."

      I am telling you that it is the regulation that has caused this! The internet has NEVER been unregulated, though you act as though it has or was, so that makes "yet another" misleading or outright lie from you guys. You and Pai are likely 1 for 1 right now.

      You guys need to read the art of war. You have been tricked into thinking that your enemy is your friend and that your friend is your enemy.

      "But the cooperation that makes the 'net work has taken half a century to build and won't be nearly so easily repaired."

      Okay, so you think big government will save us. I am telling you that it will not. Trust me, you are going to get your regulation, that is certain, but it will not be what you asked for. Those politicians you ask to save you will offer you up on a platter because they have a vesting interest in controlling you just like the business men they cavort with behind closed doors where you don't get to hear!

      Go ahead, BEG for relief from the Axeman, it's worked well for all of the others that cried out as the axe fell.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 28 Jul 2017 @ 6:50am

        Re: Re: I'm one of the signatories

        "I am telling you that it is the regulation that has caused this!"

        I'm a petulant, clueless child that wants to be heard and praised as if I was the bestest thing in the world!

        As for the rest, all I see are incoherent ramblings.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re: I'm one of the signatories

        The thing is, you keep talking about regulation... regulating internet, ISPs, etc. We are talking about protection, protection for people's rights. And that can only come from government (that is its mission) not from corporation whose only mission is profit.

        So what is your alternative? ISPs regulating themselves? The invisible hand of the economy (in a clear non-competitive, non-capitalist market)?

        So what are you saying? Government is our enemy, but corporation is our friend? Non sense. Both can gravely attack people's rights, but government, at least in theory, should be protecting your rights. Corporations shouldn't, not even in theory, their only mission is profit.

        Again, who gives money to A.K.A. corrupts government so it does not protect you and rather protects their profits? Corporations!

        Corporations gives money to government to corrupt it.
        Government does not give money to corporations to corrupt them.

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

    • icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 28 Jul 2017 @ 11:03am

      Re: I'm one of the signatories

      The EFF letter makes an interesting argument. It claims the creators of the Internet should be entitled to dictate its regulatory treatment because of their special role in the design.

      Now what happens if you apply this logic to handguns? Are you OK with having the gun manufacturers write gun laws?

      I suspect some may not be.

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

    • icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 28 Jul 2017 @ 11:59am

      Re: I'm one of the signatories

      Interesting biographical detail:

      "The current owner of SPAM-L, a long-time anti-spam discussion mailing list, announced on September 3rd that long-time subscriber Rich Kulawiec's ability to participate in the list has been terminated.

      "This appeared to be in response to Rich's caustic and threatening comments made to a fellow subscriber, an employee of a company called Marketo. After receiving negative feedback regarding the comments he made to the Marketo employee, he responded with a statement, made publicly to the list, that included the phrase "summary execution." Here is an excerpt from one of his posts on August 24 (emphasis added):

      http://www.spamresource.com/2010/09/rich-kulawiec-booted-from-spam-l.html

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 1:59pm

    A nerd in name only

    Ajit Pai is really proud of his nerdiness. And his oversized coffee cup. Turns out the cup is more real than his understanding of some basic nerd knowledge.

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

    • icon
      David (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 2:01pm

      Re: A nerd in name only

      Crap.

      Sorry, this was from me not an AC. Keep forgetting to check if signed in, because I checked 'keep me signed in' and I wasn't.

      1st rule of software, always check the error codes.

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

      • identicon
        David, 28 Jul 2017 @ 12:49am

        Re: Re: A nerd in name only

        Look, I know we all make our postings in the expectation of making the "most insightful/funny" list with every single one of them and have our name praised for years.

        Somehow that happens less often than expected. So I doubt the damage to your reputation by missing out on credits for this particular posting is as large as you fear.

        Frankly, I don't consider it all that outstanding after reading it over.

        And even if the "most funny" comment happens to be "from David": it's not like it couldn't have been me as well as you.

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

  • identicon
    CHRoNo§§, 27 Jul 2017 @ 2:31pm

    pai dont care

    he's there to get this net neutrality neutered so have a nice day ..your all so screwed now

    just stop using the net on mass

    see how quickly these jerks go totally bankrupt

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 7:19pm

      Re: pai dont care

      just stop using the net on mass

      (Starting to think I should just make a default comment to respond to this clueless idea...)

      You first.

      Go without the internet entirely, both personally and with regards to any company or business that uses it, for a solid month. See how well that works out for you, and then, once you've done without for an entire month, you can come back and tell us all how feasible an idea it is.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 11:03am

      Re: pai dont care

      We should not give up more of our rights (like internet access) to restore more of our rights!

      The internet is owned by the people who through their taxes paid for the government funding to develop the internet.
      The government owns shit, less so the corporations.

      We want our internet neutral and uncensored. Simple. We don't need to demonstrate anything.

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

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 8:38pm

    https://theintercept.com/2017/07/27/steve-bannon-wants-facebook-and-google-regulated-like-utilities/

    This is a hoot. FB and teh Goog should be subject to utility-style regulation. But actual utilities should not be. The cognitive dissonance is astonishing.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:22pm

    What units?

    It seems likely that if the rules are killed, large ISPs like Comcast will try to remain on their best behavior for a short while...

    How short? Are we talking microseconds or nanoseconds?

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

  • identicon
    Robert Beal, 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:51am

    Blocking is just one problem

    "In April, under the guise of combatting “fake news,” Google introduced new procedures that give extraordinary powers to unnamed “evaluators” to demote web pages and websites. These procedures have been used to [in effect] exclude the WSWS and other anti-war and oppositional sites."

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/28/pers-j28.html

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

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 28 Jul 2017 @ 10:58am

    Weak analysis

    The EFF letter simply recycles some hokey claims filed as an amicus brief in US Telecom's challenge to the 2015 Open Internet Order. See an honest and thorough account: http://hightechforum.org/effs-engineers-letter-avoids-key-issues-about-internet-regulation/

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2017 @ 11:07am

      Re: Weak analysis

      Again, it is not regulation.

      It is Protection by the government for people's rights, against the abuses of those corporations, which by the way have a proven track and history of being abusive whenever possible.

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

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 28 Jul 2017 @ 11:53am

    Distinction w/out a difference

    The FCC is a regulatory agency and its orders formulate regulations. It is not meant to be a protection racket working on behalf of Democratic Party donors such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

    Sorry, but this is about regulation.

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


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