Broadband

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
ajit pai, fcc, net neutrality



FCC Releases Net Neutrality Killing Order, Hopes You're Too Busy Cooking Turkey To Read It

from the nothing-to-see-here dept

As we noted yesterday, the FCC is trying to use the Thanksgiving holiday to distract the press and public from its blatant handout to one of the least liked and least competitive industries in America. As we also noted yesterday, trying to bury such an epic middle finger to consumers behind the cranberry sauce is an obvious underestimation of just how unpopular this plan is, and the policy, political, and cultural backlash it's going to generate for years.

That said, all six of you not currently driving long distances, buying turkeys and potatoes, or otherwise distracted by holiday preparation can now read a fact sheet provided by the FCC (pdf) explaining what Ajit Pai and his lobbying friends in the telecom industry have planned for you.

To Ajit Pai's credit (and I'm using that term loosely here), the rules do pretty much everything he promised they would, including rolling back the Title II classification of ISPs as common carriers that gives the FCC its ability to enforce net neutrality. Without that authority, the FCC can't really protect you as giant broadband providers abuse the lack of competition in the last mile (a lack of competition Ajit Pai refuses to acknowledge, much less actually fix). ISPs have been very busy trying to claim that gutting this authority doesn't kill net neutrality protections, though we've already explained at length why that's nonsense.

Throughout the order, the FCC repeatedly tries to claim that the very real harms we've seen in the broadband sector thanks to a lack of healthy competition are entirely "speculative" and "hypothetical":

"Because of the paucity of concrete evidence of harms to the openness of the Internet, the Title II Order and its proponents have heavily relied on purely speculative threats. We do not believe hypothetical harms, unsupported by empirical data, economic theory, or even recent anecdotes, provide a basis for public-utility regulation of ISPs.428 Indeed, economic theory demonstrates that many of the practices prohibited by the Title II Order can sometimes harm consumers and sometimes benefit consumers; therefore, it is not accurate to presume that all hypothetical effects are harmful."

You know, speculative instances like that time AT&T blocked customer access to Facetime in order to drive them to more expensive mobile data plans. Or the time AT&T throttled users then lied about it (something AT&T's still fighting a lawsuit over). Or that time Comcast applied arbitrary and completely unnecessary usage caps and overage fees to its broadband service (again, thanks to a lack of competition), then exempted the company's own content from those caps while still penalizing competitors. Or how about that time Verizon blocked competing mobile wallets from even working on its phones to give its own payment platform an advantage?

There's plenty more very real, very non-speculative examples where that came from, and the problem gets worse if you look at the bad behavior by ISPs on the privacy front (also caused by a lack of competition). Like when AT&T decided to charge users hundreds of extra dollars a month just to opt out of snoopvertising, or the time Verizon was busted covertly modifying user packets to track users around the internet without telling them -- or letting them opt out.

If you think these very real market harms are "speculative" you've been in a coma for the last decade. Yet this argument that net neutrality is an entirely theoretical problem sits at the heart of the FCC's order. It's an order that makes it abundantly clear that the real goal is to completely dismantle the FCC's authority over broadband mono/duopolies, then shovel any remaining authority to an FTC that's technically incapable of actually policing abuses in the sector. Anybody framing this as anything other than a grotesque example of crony capitalism is either viciously misinformed -- or intentionally lying to you for personal financial benefit.

One thing of particular note in the Orwellian-named "Restoring Internet Freedom" order is the fact that the FCC wants to ban states that try to protect net neutrality and consumer welfare in the wake of the federal handout to industry. The agency doesn't specifically spell out how it intends to do this, but it's something ISPs like Comcast have been lobbying for for several months. ISPs have similarly been lobbying the government to ban states from protecting your broadband privacy after the GOP and Trump administration rushed to kill fairly basic broadband privacy protections earlier this year.

For years, ISPs have quite literally been allowed to write awful protectionist state laws that prohibit towns and cities from building their own broadband networks, or even striking public/private partnerships with companies like Google Fiber. Even in cases where the private sector refuses to. When folks pointed out that maybe giant uncompetitive duopolies shouldn't be allowed to write shitty state law, ISPs and their pay-to-play allies insisted this was an assault on states' rights. But when these same states try to protect consumers, you'll notice these concerns magically disappear.

Another thing to note: the FCC's original net neutrality order contained some very useful transparency rules that required that ISPs be entirely candid about what kind of traffic management they're using on your connection. And while Pai and his friends at Comcast have made a big deal about how they'll be retaining some of these protections, the order itself makes it abundantly clear that they intend to strip out most of the enforcement mechanisms that actually make these transparency protections work. For example, the order proclaims:

"Our enforcement changes will ensure that ISPs will be held accountable for any violations of the transparency rule.

But then proceeds to point out how it intends to eliminate most of the safeguards in place to ensure these requirements are actually adhered to:

"We eliminate the formal complaint procedures because the informal complaint procedure, in conjunction with other redress options including consumer protection laws, will sufficiently protect consumers. Additionally, we eliminate the position of Open Internet Ombudsperson because the staff from the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau—other than the Ombudsperson—have been performing the Ombudsperson functions envisioned by the Title II Order. We also eliminate the issuance of enforcement advisory opinions, because enforcement advisory opinions do not diminish regulatory uncertainty, particularly for small providers. Instead, they add costs and uncertain timelines since there is no specific timeframe within which to act, which can also inhibit innovation."

The FCC's order also makes it clear that it wants to do away with protections governing interconnection. You'll recall that as people got wise to how ISPs were trying to throttle or otherwise hamstring competitors, ISPs got more creative -- and began intentionally letting interconnection points with transit operators and companies like Netflix get congested. Why? ISPs like Comcast and Verizon hoped to 1) kill the common practice of settlement-free peering, and 2) force companies like Netflix to pay an additional toll if they wanted video packets to reach subscribers on time, and intact (aka "double dipping" or more bluntly, extortion).

Unnoticed by many in the lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Charter over slow speeds was the fact that Charter executives were busted candidly discussing this strategy to drive up costs for competitors and transit operators. When the FCC passed its 2015 net neutrality rules, this behavior mysteriously and magically ceased. Not surprisingly, the FCC is eager to eliminate any protections for this kind of anti-competitive behavior, insisting said protections were "unnecessary" and could magically be resolved by "market forces":

"We believe that applying Title II to Internet traffic exchange arrangements was unnecessary and is likely to inhibit competition and innovation. We find that freeing Internet traffic exchange arrangements from burdensome government regulation, and allowing market forces to discipline this emerging market is the better course. Indeed, the cost of Internet transit fell over 99 percent on a cost-per-megabit basis from 2005 to 2015.

In short, the FCC's plan to dismantle net neutrality rules is every bit as bad as most people expected it to be, and potentially a little bit worse. It opens the door to all manner of anti-competitive behavior by AT&T, Verizon, Charter and Comcast, while mindlessly dismissing the very real harms a lack of broadband competition is having on numerous industries. It tries to ban states from stepping in and filling the void in the face of obvious federal regulatory capture, and opens the door to giant, unaccountable ISPs to do pretty much whatever they'd like as they take full advantage of the broken residential and business broadband markets.

It's easy to be disheartened by this grotesque handout to duopolists, but users should take heart in the fact that this FCC order is so aggressively vile and obnoxious as to be potentially legally indefensible. In court, the FCC will have to prove that the broadband market has changed so substantially in the last two years as to justify such a brutal reversal of consumer-friendly policies. It will also have to defend the fact that it ignored 22 million, largely oppositional public comments on the FCC effort, and turned a blind eye to numerous instances of fraud and abuse of the comment system in order to downplay the massive backlash to its plan.

Even if the FCC does manage to win in the courts, it then has to stop the inevitable political backlash that is likely to eject Ajit Pai and friends from power. That's why you'll likely see an ISP effort in the new year to try and pass a new net neutrality law ISP lackeys and sockpuppets will breathlessly claim "solves" this problem once and for all, but will be integrated with so many loopholes as to be effectively useless. It's real purpose: to prevent the FCC from revisiting this subject down the road under the guise of "putting this issue to bed once and for all."

The problem for ISP lobbyists is that we're entering an election season, and countless politicians are going to be tripping over themselves to distance themselves from the unpopular policies of the current administration. You're not going to find a more unpopular policy than this myopic assault on net neutrality and the health of the internet.

That said, it's important to remember that net neutrality isn't a fight that magically ends with the passage or elimination of consumer protections, strong, weak, or otherwise. Since net neutrality violations are just a symptom of a lack of competition in the broadband market, it's a battle we're going to have to fight in perpetuity -- or at least until somebody in the United States government discovers the fortitude and courage to actually stand up to AT&T, Verizon, Charter and Comcast and begins implementing policies that finally attempt to actually fix our obvious competitive logjam.


Reader Comments

The First Word

Something just occurred to me, and it might explain a lot, so I figured I'd ask: Are you colorblind such that you can't actually differentiate between the colors blue and black? If so do you assume that everyone else lacks the ability to tell these two colors apart as well?

I ask because for anyone else the article above is littered with links, many of them leading to other articles highlighting the 'actual problems' that you seem to be saying simply don't exist, such that you are likely fooling absolutely no-one by parroting the 'Those problems don't exist' FCC argument.

It also entirely failed to work to create new competition or to encourage new players to enter the market.

... Or cause gas prices to drop down to 1950's levels, smog to clear up in at least 60% of affected cities, and summer allergies to be reduced by at least 75%. The reason these other failures of network neutrality rules aren't often mentioned is because they, much like 'create new competition' and 'encourage new players to enter the market' are not, and were not, the goals of the rules. Rather they are designed to reign in the current players and force them to show the slightest bit of restraint when they go about screwing over their customers.

Supporters of NN seem to think it is magic, but in reality it may be nothing more than setting whatever the current situation is into stone.

Yes, curse those straw-man supporters of network neutrality rules for their naivety in thinking that the rules are all that's needed in order to foster a more competitive market and address the root cause of the problem. If only they understood that the rules are meant mostly as a bandaid, something to keep the more blatant abuses in check while the core issue is addressed through other means.

Google (one of the worlds biggest companies with a huge cash hoard) tried to be an ISP and discovered that high costs and low returns, even in their cherry picked markets meant it's not worth investing in under the current circumstances.

I find it funny that you keep bringing up Google as though it helps your case to do so. Google is a huge company, yet the roadblocks/lawsuits the entrenched players threw at them was enough to dissuade them from entering the market in any real scale. If the current players have that much of a stranglehold such that even Google struggles to make any headway, the idea that the market is even remotely open or that a company raising it's prices would provide the perfect opportunity for some competition to step in(as I seem to recall you saying in a previous article's comment section) because downright laughable.

Google's case highlighted just how bad the situation is, and how insanely difficult and expensive the current players have made it for anyone to seriously compete.

—That One Guy
made the First Word by Ninja

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:28am

    This dingo ate the baby.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:36am

    If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

    If the FCC throws us under the bus, why not throw them under the bus and refuse to use the internet for the entire Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Let's see how fast they'd walk this back when the world gets on their ass for this when the economy gets threatened.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:43am

      Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

      "Let's see how fast they'd walk this back when the world gets on their ass for this when the economy gets threatened."

      ha ha ha... go ahead and try it champ. You will lose, you have already given away all of your bargaining power in the economy for the safety of regulation.

      regulation is your ONLY recourse now, hope you enjoy the bed you helped make... snuggle up buttercup!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

        Regulation of the infrastructure is the only reasonable way of dealing with a natural monopoly. Indeed, where a duopoly exists, it is the result of what were two independent requirements being met, switched circuit phone line, and multi-drop cable television distribution. advancing technology is merging these in the form of fiber, and changing the enabling of view on demand is destroying cable; or it least it will unless the cable companies strangle it by interfering with the carriage of data over their portion of the Internet.

        Running multiple independent fiber networks to every home in an area is the least efficient way of solving the competition problem,

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

        Glug glug more paint!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 5:51am

        Re: Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

        ha ha ha... go ahead and try it champ. You will lose, you have already given away all of your brains, piss poor comments is your ONLY recourse now, hope you enjoy the bed you helped make... snuggle up buttercup!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 5:21pm

      Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

      1. Lets see you spread an Internet boycott without using the Internet.
      2. You seem to have confused "the US" and "the world". FCC doesn't regulate the world, and the world could not care less about your corruption (sorry, lobbying) and ridiculous rules.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 9:35pm

        Re: Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

        70% of global web traffic goes through the US. So yeah, the FCC does basically regulate the world internet.

        All of Canada's internet is routed through the US first, and all of the major internet services are run through the US.

        If the US kills net neutrality, the whole world will feel it for a good long while.

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        • icon
          tccki (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 11:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

          You're confusing ISPs with peers. Backbone providers are extremely competitive and anyone not providing fully transparent bandwidth would be shooting themselves in the foot.

          This is mostly going to affect US customers caught in the mono/duopoly areas, as intended.

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      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 24 Nov 2017 @ 11:27pm

        Re: Lets see you spread an Internet boycott without using the Internet.

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

    • identicon
      Cal, 23 Nov 2017 @ 10:35am

      Re: If there's any reason for an internet boycott, this would be it.

      Want to get rid of the FCC, and other unLawful agencies? That is easy, you see, there is no delegated authority to the federal government to regulate anything except immigration.

      Publius Huldahvia the US Constitution: “In a nutshell, our Constitution authorizes the federal government to handle the following objects for the Country at Large:
      -- Military defense, international commerce & relations;
      -- Control immigration & naturalization of new citizens;
      -- Domestically, to create a uniform commercial system: weights & measures, patents & copyrights, money based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & some road building; and
      -- With some of the amendments, secure (that means to defend them, protect them) certain civil rights.

      As stated in the 10th Amendment, all others powers are reserved by the States OR THE PEOPLE…."

      That is the ONLY LAWFUL authority those who serve within our governments have, and you can easily verify this for yourself by reading a VERY short document - the Constitution of the United States of America.

      Consider this, all it takes is the enforcement of our constitutional republic, it is all in writing.

      Dr. Edwin Vieira: “This has nothing to do with personalities or subjective ideas. It’s a matter of what the Constitution provides... The government of the United States has never violated anyone’s constitutional rights... The government of the United States will never violate anyone constitutional rights, because it cannot violate anyone’s constitutional rights. The reason for that is: The government of the United States is that set of actions by public officials that are consistent with the Constitution. Outside of its constitutional powers, the government of the United States has no legitimacy. It has no authority; and, it really even has no existence. It is what lawyers call a legal fiction.

      ... the famous case Norton v. Shelby County... The Court said: “An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties. It is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”

      And that applies to any (and all) governmental action outside of the Constitution...” (end Dr. Vieira quote) [Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School).

      For more than thirty years he has practiced law, with emphasis on constitutional issues. In the Supreme Court of the United States he successfully argued or briefed the cases leading to the landmark decisions... ]

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    • identicon
      3mesa, 26 Nov 2017 @ 9:32am

      Re: FCC throws us under the bus

      |

      ...this FCC repeal simply returns the internet back to pre-2015 rules where there were absolutely no systemic issues related to ISP throttling or blocking of sites.

      Just how did we all survive up until 30 months ago without Obama's sacred, absolutely critically essential, can't live without it... Net-Neutrality bureaucratic government whims ?

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      • identicon
        Thad, 27 Nov 2017 @ 4:36pm

        Re: Re: FCC throws us under the bus

        ...this FCC repeal simply returns the internet back to pre-2015 rules where there were absolutely no systemic issues related to ISP throttling or blocking of sites.

        No, it returns it to pre-2005 rules.

        Just how did we all survive up until 30 months ago without Obama's sacred, absolutely critically essential, can't live without it... Net-Neutrality bureaucratic government whims ?

        Well, for the most part, ISPs voluntarily followed net neutrality guidelines, until a few years ago when they started pulling stunts like throttling Netflix. The regulations were not passed until after it became clear that we needed them.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:39am

    Here is a question that I have not heard answered by Pai, the FCC in general, or people supportive of this move: What problem is killing Network Neutrality trying to solve?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      The problem of protecting you, that's what. This is just the "other" foot of regulatory capture falling on your head for the umpteenth time... surprised you have enough sensation to feel it coming down.

      regulation is not going away like you claim, it just being used to protect them instead of you... kinda like many have told you repeatedly would happen.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:49am

        Re: Re:

        The problem of protecting you, that's what.

        How would allowing the major media conglomerates and major ISPs to control all Internet traffic—up to and including the ability to control what sites we can go to and what services we can use—be a net benefit for the American people?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re:

        Yet the only people that want net neutrality gone are the ISPs. And I'm supposed to believe they have my absolute best interests at heart? Hmm.

        I don't need corporations to "protect me" when I'm online. I can do that very well on my own thank you very much.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re:

        You live in a fantasy world.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 3:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My point exactly with these libertarians who think market is just gonna play fair.It's like trusting the bully that won't beat up the little kid.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2017 @ 1:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yeah, but you can at least choose which bully beats you up in an unregulated market. So you have ALL the power as a consumer =D ... =(

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      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re:

        That's nice but the question was, "What problem is killing Network Neutrality trying to solve?"

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        • identicon
          dfgd, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:50pm

          Re: what problem

          private citizens & business cannot be trusted

          therefore, it's imperative that the totally trustworthy Federal government closely police the private sector

          but now that "FCC Releases Net Neutrality Killing Order" -- the world will end by Monday

          somehow the Federal government must have become untrustworthy

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          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:04pm

            Re: Re: what problem

            Another nob that doesn't know what Net Neutrality is.
            Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating most of the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

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            • identicon
              dfgd, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: what problem

              .


              ... you confuse the abstract "principle" of Net Neutrality with the actual "FCC Open Internet Order" of June 12, 2015.

              That FCC Order substantially restricted internet freedom by sharply increasing FCC powers.

              But we can just wait til Monday and see if the world ends, as you expect.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:16pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                Umm, no. Please actually read the "FCC Open Internet Order" of June 12, 2015.

                It does nothing to increase the powers of the FCC, merely exercises their existing powers to prevent ISPs from destroying net neutrality.

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                • identicon
                  dfgd, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:28pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                  it reclassified the internet as a public utility under full Federal regulatory control. It was an enormous power grab by the government.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:50pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                    Considering the fact that the FCC is fully within their legal rights to classify ISPs however they wish, I don't see how that is a massive power grab since they already had that power?

                    The fact that they were ever classified as an information service is just wrong. Internet service can in no way be an information service, it is solely a telecommunications service. Thus the reclassification is a better fit. ISP's can offer information services over the top of internet service but their base offering of internet access is strictly a telecommunications service.

                    Also, please actually read the "FCC Open Internet Order" of June 12, 2015.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2017 @ 8:13am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                    "it reclassified the internet as a public utility "

                    ... and you claim it is not a public utility?
                    Perhaps this just another of those political redefinitions intended to deceive the unsuspecting public. iirc, their rational for it not being a public utility was something about people not needing it like they do heating or water (Flint MI anyone?) ... power grab - yeah sure it was - and this recent silliness is not a yuge power grab, alternative facts are fun and exciting, share with your friends and family.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 22 Nov 2017 @ 3:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                But we can just wait til Monday and see if the world ends, as you expect.

                Sorry, my browser is showing that you are replying to Baron von Robber. I think you meant to direct that reply at Strawman.

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              • icon
                JMT (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 4:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                "That FCC Order substantially restricted internet freedom by sharply increasing FCC powers."

                Do you seriously expect to win an argument with straight-up, disingenuous lies? It's almost like you think we can't all read the rules and see this for ourselves. How stupid are you?

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:19pm

            Re: Re: what problem

            Which is absolutely fascinating, but again fails to answer the question of "What problem is killing Network Neutrality trying to solve?"

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

            • identicon
              dfgd, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: what problem

              ...OK, enough game playing -- please just state the point you are so coyly trying to get to...

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:35pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                The 'point' is that you still haven't answered the question presented, nothing 'coy' about it. So once more, "What problem is killing Network Neutrality trying to solve?"

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 2:44am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                  *"What problem is killing Network Neutrality trying to solve?"*

                  According to FCC: "These regulations are burdensome to ISP's and is hindering broadband deployment in rural areas"

                  According to ISP's: "These regulations are burdensome, you can just trust us not to block or slow down certain internet traffic"

                  Reality: ISP's are currently classified as 'telecommunication service', i.e. they should allow all information services equal preference. If they are classified as 'information service' (e.g. Netflix, Google, FaceBook,...) that obligation goes away, which leaves them clear to block/slow down certain services to render them virtually unusable. They could then either charge extra for full access to those services, or give preference to their own 'competing' service, like e.g. "Comcast search" or "VeriFlix".

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

                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 3:41am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                    .. except, of course, they live in the real world and not in your fantasy hell, so they aren't going there. Why would they? All they would do is sow the seeds of competition and their own deaths.

                    Until you understand that the problem isn't "neutrality" but rather that the problem lives in the last mile that nobody wants to fix, you will never know how you got here.

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

                    • icon
                      JoeDetroit (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 4:21am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                      Not going there? They've already done it, multiple times! The following list is not mine other than the last one. Two on this list I experienced first hand. This is not fantasy, this is real.

                      A short list of shenanigans from prior to 2015:

                      2005 - Madison River Communications was blocking VOIP services. The FCC put a stop to it.
                      2005 - Comcast was denying access to p2p services without notifying customers.
                      2007-2009 - AT&T was having Skype and other VOIPs blocked because they didn't like there was competition for their cellphones.
                      2011 - MetroPCS tried to block all streaming except YouTube.
                      2011-2013, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were blocking access to Google Wallet because it competed with their own wallet apps.
                      2012, Verizon was demanding Google block tethering apps on android because it let owners avoid their $20 tethering fee. This was despite guaranteeing they wouldn't do that as part of a winning bid on an airwaves auction.
                      2012, AT&T - tried to block access to FaceTime unless customers paid more money.
                      2014, Netflix & Comcast sign a deal where Netflix will pay Comcast to stop throttling the service. The very next day, streaming problems vanish.

                      This is a short list, there are many more examples.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 2:37pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what problem

                        Mysteriously they stop replying when presented with facts that show their lies.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:04pm

      Response to: Stephen T. Stone on Nov 22nd, 2017 @ 11:39am

      I thought the problem their trying to solve is the dried up investment in US Internet infrastructure. That is they're afraid said infrastructure will break down if they don't reverse this change.

      The only problem with this argument is there's no evidence of reduced investment.

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    • icon
      MyNameHere (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:46pm

      Re:

      Alas, here is the rub: nobody can point to a specific actual problem that wasn't already getting resolved.

      The closest they get is Netflix trying to buy their way onto ISPs networks with direct connections.

      NN (as implemented) was a flea on the dog's tail wagging the dog. It's burning down the house to try to kill that flea, dog be damned.

      It's also trying to fix the real issues (how much connectivity an ISP has versus customer connection speeds) by teaching them how to stand up straight. It will never really work out.

      It also entirely failed to work to create new competition or to encourage new players to enter the market. This is the bigger overall issue. Supporters of NN seem to think it is magic, but in reality it may be nothing more than setting whatever the current situation is into stone.

      Google (one of the worlds biggest companies with a huge cash hoard) tried to be an ISP and discovered that high costs and low returns, even in their cherry picked markets meant it's not worth investing in under the current circumstances. Few others are lining up even to give it a go. The lack of competition is a real problem, one that needs to be addressed on a national, and not local level.

      NN fixes what wasn't really broken. it does seem to at least somewhat impair what was actually working. It's not a win, except on paper in a theoretical universe.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re:

        Something just occurred to me, and it might explain a lot, so I figured I'd ask: Are you colorblind such that you can't actually differentiate between the colors blue and black? If so do you assume that everyone else lacks the ability to tell these two colors apart as well?

        I ask because for anyone else the article above is littered with links, many of them leading to other articles highlighting the 'actual problems' that you seem to be saying simply don't exist, such that you are likely fooling absolutely no-one by parroting the 'Those problems don't exist' FCC argument.

        It also entirely failed to work to create new competition or to encourage new players to enter the market.

        ... Or cause gas prices to drop down to 1950's levels, smog to clear up in at least 60% of affected cities, and summer allergies to be reduced by at least 75%. The reason these other failures of network neutrality rules aren't often mentioned is because they, much like 'create new competition' and 'encourage new players to enter the market' are not, and were not, the goals of the rules. Rather they are designed to reign in the current players and force them to show the slightest bit of restraint when they go about screwing over their customers.

        Supporters of NN seem to think it is magic, but in reality it may be nothing more than setting whatever the current situation is into stone.

        Yes, curse those straw-man supporters of network neutrality rules for their naivety in thinking that the rules are all that's needed in order to foster a more competitive market and address the root cause of the problem. If only they understood that the rules are meant mostly as a bandaid, something to keep the more blatant abuses in check while the core issue is addressed through other means.

        Google (one of the worlds biggest companies with a huge cash hoard) tried to be an ISP and discovered that high costs and low returns, even in their cherry picked markets meant it's not worth investing in under the current circumstances.

        I find it funny that you keep bringing up Google as though it helps your case to do so. Google is a huge company, yet the roadblocks/lawsuits the entrenched players threw at them was enough to dissuade them from entering the market in any real scale. If the current players have that much of a stranglehold such that even Google struggles to make any headway, the idea that the market is even remotely open or that a company raising it's prices would provide the perfect opportunity for some competition to step in(as I seem to recall you saying in a previous article's comment section) because downright laughable.

        Google's case highlighted just how bad the situation is, and how insanely difficult and expensive the current players have made it for anyone to seriously compete.

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      • icon
        Ryunosuke (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re:

        There are some problems with your theory. Net Neutrality is regulation, let's get that out of the way right now. It is regulation because the markets are FUBAR. We NEED Net Neutrality in the same sense that we need Long distance and standard phone neutrality rules. We NEED Net Neutrality BECAUSE there is no competition. Having lack of competition is NOT Net Neutrality's fault, it is the fault of ISP's not wanting to invade on another ISP's territory.

        That leads us to the second point, Google found it prohibitive to invest in broadband mostly because incumbent ISP's have made it prohibitively so. By buying state laws, and buying state and federal legislatures. I do agree with your point halfway though, Competition needs to be at the local level, but also ISP's need to overlap each other and start competing for services.

        IMO, This whole problem was created in the early 80's with the breakup of AT&T/Bell. Which led to the Baby Bells, regional phone companies, all 7 of which are now part of 3 companies, AT&T being the largest, then Verizon, and CenturyLink. No the problem needs to be addressed both at the National AND Local level.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 2:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Net Neutrality is regulation"

          Net neutrality is a laymans concept of routing and switching practices implemented by carriers, whereby communications are not evaluated for switching precedence above OSI layer 3.

          The regulations in question were about classification of telecom carriers as common cairrage companies. This compels NN to be respected, buy it also subjects them to a great deal of other restrictions.

          NN is to FCC title 2 regulation, what the declaration of independence was to the Constitution.

          "it is the fault of ISP's not wanting to invade on another ISP's territory."

          Which is called racketeering, and is a class 2 felony. It didn't stop being so because John Nash discovered why it worked.

          "No the problem needs to be addressed both at the National AND Local level."

          Totally agree. First by calling extra jurisdictional campaign funding what it is: a crime. Comcast is based in Philly, Verizon shares a building with a bunch of banks in Manhattan. That these guys fund state congressional seats across the whole eastern seaboard, is a crime. The respective state Constitutions may characterize it in different ways, But I believe that most of them do address it.

          The technical concepts are difficult to articulate. But the legal ones aren't. The state is by way of neglect, bestowing authority on one private party, to interfere with the 1st, 3rd (because of iot), 4th, and 13th amendments, as they apply to another unconsenting private party. The FCC is doing this without the consent of the effected parties, without adjudication, without legislation, and without the support of the public.

          The fact that there is even a debate about this in the modern age is apalling. Ajit Pai is the John C. Calhoun of the Internet age. Make no mistake. That is the scale of this problem.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:40pm

        Re: Re:

        I and others have pointed out, in detail, why you are wrong on the majority of your points in prior postings. So let me address the new one you brought up.

        "It also entirely failed to work to create new competition or to encourage new players to enter the market. This is the bigger overall issue. Supporters of NN seem to think it is magic, but in reality it may be nothing more than setting whatever the current situation is into stone."

        We know that lack of competition is the bigger overall issue. We also know that the competition issue won't be solved any time soon. In either case, whether the market is competitive or not, net neutrality is a good thing because it prevents ISPs from deciding what we can and can't view online or from making it prohibitively expensive for small startups to break into the internet scene. Whether the market is competitive or not, net neutrality is what made the internet what it is today and we want to keep that in place, permanently.

        "NN fixes what wasn't really broken."

        Yes and no. Up to this point yes, the internet has been relatively open and free. However ISP's want to change that. Net Neutrality prevents them from doing so, it's more a preventative measure than fixing a problem.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You won't fix the competition issue if you spend all your time polishing turds.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How is this applicable?

            Net neutrality is good. There is no disputing this fact. Even ISPs "claim" they "support" net neutrality. Even if we had competition, we would still want there to be net neutrality. Competition would just be the best way to make sure net neutrality stays without any kind of regulation.

            So no, this current net neutrality regulation is not designed to to fix competition, it is merely meant to keep the status quo until we CAN fix the competition.

            Would you rather keep the internet free and open until true competition returns? Or would you rather have the internet devolve into paid for tiers where you have to pay extra just to get access to Netflix and Facebook, while new startups are shot down before they even start because they can't afford the extortion fees ISP's will charge to make sure their content actually gets to the end users?

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            • icon
              MyNameHere (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 12:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wow, a whole lot of stuff in there, but let's give it a whirl.

              if your problem is sore feet, you don't improve your walking by getting a shaved and haircut. Might make you look better, but your feet are still sore and you are limping. NN was created in no small part because nobody seems to want to advance the idea of competition. In fact, Wheeler's FCC spent most of it's time generating reports that suggested that you had a ton of options that weren't options at all. Then he raised the bar to 25 meg a second, but didn't explain how anyone should get there.

              "Would you rather keep the internet free and open until true competition returns? "

              The internet was free and open before Wheeler stepped in. If you have been around long enough (look up history since baudot for more), you would realize that the internet has been incredibly open and incredibly flexible. More than 20 years after going commercial, it continued to operate in the same manner, all over the world.

              "ould you rather have the internet devolve into paid for tiers where you have to pay extra just to get access to Netflix and Facebook,"

              Since nobody (and I mean nobody) in the US is even suggesting to offer that, you are off the mark. I will say however if you current ISP charges you $60 a month, and you only ever watch Netflix, an option to only have access to netflix at $10 a month seems like a pretty good deal for most people.

              There is no indication, outside of hateful fake graphics, that any US ISP has any intention of offering ONLY tiered internet access.

              Most important is this: If they tried it, they would create the perfect situation for competition to come in, and for local, state, and federal authorities to take action to allow a competitor to swiftly wire up a given area. No big player ISP is stupid enough to create their own spectacular demise.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 1:00am

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

                Are you a shill, or just stupid?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 3:35am

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

                If they tried it, they would create the perfect situation for competition to come in

                Didn't Google massively scale back its Google Fiber plans precisely because it was cost-prohibitive to try competing with existing ISPs in entrenched markets where said ISPs get to write telecom laws that protect existing ISPs and either hinder or make illegal the creation of municipal broadband?

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                • icon
                  MyNameHere (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 3:45am

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

                  Good try!

                  Google gave up because the return on investment isn't there. They can make more parking the cash offshore and avoiding tax than they can building infrastructure. While they won't talk about it, I am guessing that all the fiber they did lay didn't make a notable dent on the number of searches or ads clicked from those areas which is a key metric for them (the only one, it seems).

                  If the existing ISPs suddenly stuff the internet and make it so you can only get to Facebook and their video product, people will scream, politicians (at all levels) will have no choice but to take action, and competition will appear.

                  You seem to think that the existing companies can feed you whatever they like and nothing will happen. That doesn't even start to make any sense.

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                  • icon
                    Ryunosuke (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 5:50am

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

                    the ROI was do to precisely because incumbent ISP's made it too costly to invest by buying laws to do so. Try again.

                    It's kind of funny that where Google (or local power companies) DID deploy GB fiber, suddenly ALL the ISP's could do GB fiber almost immediately where they couldn't before, imagine that.

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                    • icon
                      MyNameHere (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 12:35pm

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

                      a recent story proved that to be untrue.

                      The Lexington deal shows that, in a 350,000 city with decent population density, it's still quite expensive. When the costs per address are considered and 33% market penetration set as the goal, they were still looking at $37 per month over 5 years just to pay out the initial costs over 5 years.

                      Google's pricing (including the free 5 meg setups) was so close to that number alone, that it's doubtful they are making any real net income as an ISP for now.

                      Yes, they ran into plenty of issues, including stupid pole laws and rules. However, Google can afford to get around them, and should be patient. But when you consider that their existing "local government paved the way and rolled out the red carpet" setups were not making any real return, as soon as they hit the slightest resistance, they were done.

                      People will say "Google never reported results just for their Fiber product", and they would be correct. However, Google does highlight good results no matter where they happen. That Fiber was generally buried in the massive money losing pit of "moon shot" projects, you can tell where it landed. If it was a rousing success, Google would have broken it out and crowed about it until the ends of the earth. They did not. Clearly, being an ISP (even in the current completed install base) isn't making them enough money to bother getting up in the morning.

                      They essentially have dropped further development of their fiber network until they find a way to do the final mile in bulk, likely by a proprietary version of higher power wifi or something similar. They figured out that the costs to actually install the final mile and to actually keep it working and support the customers was well beyond their wildest dreams.

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                      • icon
                        Ryunosuke (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 4:06pm

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

                        a recent story proved that to be untrue.

                        Citation? Where is your story coming from? Last I heard, Lexington is going to get GB fiber from MetroNet, an Indiana based ISP. That was last week. Also, I would GLADLY take $35 or even as much as $50 for GB fiber as opposed to $70 for 16Mb up/1mb down speeds any day of the week.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 7:09pm

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

                          $35 is just the cost of getting thing set up paid over 5 years. You eould still have another 70 or more to pay for service.

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                        • icon
                          MyNameHere (profile), 24 Nov 2017 @ 12:37am

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

                          Yup, about 100 million dollars just to wire it up. It worked out to about $770 per address. When you consider that maybe 1/3 will take their product (over other choices) you have to amortize the costs times 3... so round figures say $2500 over 5 years (about normal run off time for this stuff) and you have just under $40 a month just in principal to pay it off, and then another $10 month or so in interest (at 5%) to make it pay off.

                          So before you even start to pay for service, they have a "nut" to crack every month. So your gigabit bill is likely to be whatever you pay now PLUS their basic cost to pay off.

                          Longer term, they may be able to lower that as they pay down the equipment, but then they get into replacement and such, and that's not any cheaper in the long run.

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                          • icon
                            Ryunosuke (profile), 24 Nov 2017 @ 8:38am

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

                            ahh okay, your wording made it sound less than that.

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                            • icon
                              MyNameHere (profile), 24 Nov 2017 @ 4:02pm

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

                              No problem.

                              it is also one of the reasons (I think) that Google ran away from Fiber. 5% return over 5 years is nothing compared to saving 25% tax by shipping money overseas as "licensing fees" or "service fees". Low return on income isn't how Google got rich!

                              I live in a place where gigabit internet is as common as house flies. I have (last I checked) 4 ways to get gigabit fixed service, and 7 ways to get LTE wireless of at least 50mbps. But much of that comes down to incredible population density (one of the top 5, 3 out of the five within a couple of hours flight) which allows for a huge number of installations for a much lower cost. If i stood on the roof of my building, I can see more than the population of Lexington within eye sight (and there are lots of mountains blocking the views).

                              The US is mostly very rural, and rural is pretty darn expensive to wire up. You also have to deal with permits and such, OSHA rules, licensed contractors, and so on. It's not cheap to wire, that is for sure. The Lexington example is in a place that is fairly dense all considered (about 150 people per square mile) with most of the residential in an even more confined space. You go out into rural West Virginia where you are wiring up 1 or 2 houses per mile, and the costs go way out of hand fast.

                              Even B4RN in the UK was looking at $6 per meter, and that was with absolutely no right of way issues and no labor of installation expenses (they did it themselves out of pocket). That means just the cabling is costing them almost $10,000 per mile to run. So when you are running a cable past 1 houses per mile in rural US, you are looking at a $5000 "nut" to crack to make money - and that is ignoring what ever other last mile costs might be related to getting from the pole to the house.

                              It's why companies from Microsoft to Google to Linksys and such are all looking for wireless solutions. Much of the US isn't densely populated enough to make running fiber reasonable.

                              The numbers don't lie, no matter how hard Karl will try to spin it. The US has a real issue that won't get resolved easily.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 10:20pm

        Re: Re:

        SOPA was apparently introduced as a fix, and yet in its absence, not only are copyright enforcers completely capable of using existing laws (and nudging judges) to achieve the same desired effect, its loss was bemoaned by critics like you.

        Apparently SOPA is hunky dory when it comes to fixing what isn't broken, but net neutrality is the fucking spawn of Satan. Whatever you think helps take down the Google-Wyden bogeyman, I guess.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      "What problem is killing Network Neutrality trying to solve?"

      The telecoms have grown to the point where they can no longer grow by means of acquisition. They are also so bloated with beurocracy they can no longer innovate to create new market space.

      The problem killing NN solves, is that these companies are at the end of the period where they can grow by acquisition. Killing NN gives them constraint over the market, allowing them to quash competitors more easily.

      They want to create market stagnation, because if THEY can't grow, then nobody else can either... Unless of course the big telecoms buy them out first. It is straight up racketeering, with Ajit Pai operating as Al Capones attorney.

      And there is plenty of concrete evidence if you look back to the 90s. These companies were overloaded with orders for private capacity, and they were playing all kinds of racketeering games with the ISP's, who weren't yet owned by the telecoms.

      Your looking at an innovation driven market sector being run by bankers and stock swindlers. They ONLY see market growth through acquisition and creative accounting. It isn't a matter of how these companies are run. It is a matter of whose running them.

      It's been 15 years at this point. Dozens of cases where we have had "petition the government for a redress of grievances." At what point does the utility of that clause in the 1st amendment become exhausted?

      From their perspective it becomes exhausted when they win. From our perspective it becomes exhausted when we are compelled to consider the utility of other amendments.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2017 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re:

        "The telecoms have grown to the point where they can no longer grow "

        Is this a requirement for an functioning economy?
        I do not think so and would be curious to see why some think this is the case.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:26pm

    Time to nationalize the ISP's.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:38pm

    Its like that episode of south park where scientists pretend to wonder why rich men with money would take advantage of their wealth to go after younger women.

    "Why would any ISP exploit a lack of competition?"

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  • identicon
    David, 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:51pm

    Net neutrality keeps ISPs from diversifying their offers

    I mean, aren't you tired of having 12 bullshit items on your Internet bill for just providing basic unfiltered connectivity?

    With diversified offers, you could have 50 actually existing items billed to you for the same service, and a 20-item bill would be just as affordable as a 12-item bill is now.

    It's like having a car with a separate gas tank for each shopping center you might want to visit.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:03pm

      Re: Net neutrality keeps ISPs from diversifying their offers

      Who will be the first to bundle Netflix with their top tier cable subscription?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 12:52pm

    So 'hypothetical' translates to 'evidence that counters my position' in FCC speak, good to know

    We do not believe hypothetical harms, unsupported by empirical data, economic theory, or even recent anecdotes, provide a basis for public-utility regulation of ISPs.

    Funny, I'm pretty sure that that's the reason anyone paying attention doesn't take Pai and friends seriously when they go on and on about how utterly devastating Title II has been to telecom companies.

    "We eliminate the formal complaint procedures because the informal complaint procedure, in conjunction with other redress options including consumer protection laws, will sufficiently protect consumers.

    Translation: "We're really tired of having all those 'hypothetical harms' pointed out to us in a manner that forces us to at least pretend to look at them, so instead we're replacing that with a system where we can simply shrug our shoulders and run you through a maze until you get tired and realize we could not possible care less. Also a formal complaint system creates records that might be problematic for the ones who own us, so that goes right out."

    Just reading the summary it sounds like the only way this could have been more obviously a handout to Comcast and company was if it was subtitled 'Sponsored By Comcast, AT&T and Verizon'.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:07pm

      Re: So 'hypothetical' translates to 'evidence that counters my position' in FCC speak, good to know

      Translated:

      Hypothetical and anecdotal harms are wrong.

      Hypocritical and fictitious justifications are right.

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

      • identicon
        Bruce C., 23 Nov 2017 @ 2:15am

        Re: Re: So 'hypothetical' translates to 'evidence that counters my position' in FCC speak, good to know

        In other words, "fake news". Even when it's real news.

        In a perfect world, FCC will ban states from regulating ISPs, municipalities will take that and build out their own networks, and the FCC can't stop it because a single town's network is clearly not in scope of federal authority.

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

        • identicon
          Sean Padlo, 24 Nov 2017 @ 12:45am

          Re: Re: Re: So 'hypothetical' translates to 'evidence that counters my position' in FCC speak, good to know

          Take a look at Pennsylvania. Cities and counties were doing just that, making their own ISPs. And what happened? Comcast sued. Verizon paid their politicians to pass laws banning that sort of thing.

          And what gets me even more about Pai is that Comcast, Verizon, and ATT were being investigated by the FCC when Wheeler was in the big chair, and they were found guilty of multiple violations of NN. Trump selected Pai and Wheeler was gone, and Pai put a stop to all investigations into those ISPs... EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE IN THE PENALTY PHASE.

          Yeah. All three were breaking the rules, Pai stopped them from getting fined, and then said that he prefers to TRUST them not to do the very things the WERE doing.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 1:38pm

    Election no problem

    The problem for ISP lobbyists is that we're entering an election season, and countless politicians are going to be tripping over themselves to distance themselves from the unpopular policies of the current administration.

    Why? Most American voters have the attention span of a gnat. A candidate could cook and eat a baby on stage in September and most of the voters would have forgotten it by November.

    And that doesn't even account for the those voters who might remember the baby eating, but would vote for the candidate anyway because, "A baby eater is better than a Democrat."

    I think we should be ready for history to repeat itself.

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

    • identicon
      David, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:51pm

      Re: Election no problem

      Wasn't much of a baby anyway.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 22 Nov 2017 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Election no problem

      While all those things are true, it's also true that the opposition party almost always gains seats in a midterm election, no President has ever polled this low this early in his administration, and Democrats have consistently outperformed fundamentals-based forecasts in elections this year. (They haven't always won, but when they've lost they've come closer than expected.)

      Most Republicans' seats are safe in next year's elections, it's true. Most. But not all.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 5:58am

      Re: Election no problem

      "politicians are going to be tripping over themselves to distance themselves from the unpopular policies of the current administration."

      "Why? Most American voters have the attention span of a gnat"




      - Interesting ... that a major political party is so concerned about it that they are committing crimes in order to stop certain people from voting.

      ... because it does not matter - lol

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      • icon
        Coyne Tibbets (profile), 2 Dec 2017 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: Election no problem

        At this moment in history, 50% of the people will vote for a candidate of either major political party, either because they have forgotten the candidate ate a baby 2 months ago or because they hate the other party.

        A 50/50 split, right down to the tenth of a percent. That's the vote. So either party that can keep a tenth of a percent of the opposition voters from voting, wins. The parties would have to be stupid to not be concerned.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2017 @ 2:59pm

    Specific Examples Where Net Neutrality Stopped or Slowed Innovation from ISPs

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

  • icon
    John (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 3:03pm

    Erosion and complete elimination of consumer rights and free press

    Great article on the erosion and complete elimination of consumer rights and the free press that are in the headwinds of a disguised "improvement" to anti-competition. Let's hope that the 22 million US citizen comments will have enough of an impact on the courts and the sanity of some people left in the government. Apparently profits are far more important for cable and telecoms companies (in a supposedly free and open society like the US) than something as "frivolous" as customer rights to a free and open internet.

    The government always knows what's best for you and me, and is insisting that we don't need a free and open internet. Instead we should just be happy to have any internet at all and open our wallets up to the cable and
    telecom companies, since we obviously haven't been paying our fair share and have been hurting those big poorly treated monopolies like Time Warner, Cox Communications, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2017 @ 7:36am

      Re: Erosion and complete elimination of consumer rights and free press

      "Apparently profits are far more important for cable and telecoms companies (in a supposedly free and open society like the US) than something as "frivolous" as customer rights to a free and open internet. "

      It's not just cable & telcoms either. There are plenty of frustrated billionaires who are in grave need of a yacht upgrade. Think of the multimillionaires for a change.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 22 Nov 2017 @ 9:02pm

    All the stories THAT already abound..

    Lets see, who is upset about the ISP's..
    New york, Chicago, MOST metro areas..
    Many Small towns NOT NEAR a major freeway...
    How many times the USA gov. PAID for upgrades?? Twice in last 16 years..

    How many small TOWNS would install Their OWN?? ALLOT.

    Most of these Corps want to NOT use the Old copper or upgrade/touch it..
    AND consider CELLPHONE INTERNET an option in many areas..Got a cellphone, then you have the internet..

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 6:18am

    For those of you STILL having trouble following this, here...

    Let's take the automobile market AS AN EXAMPLE.

    Ford and GM buys state laws to prevent any other vehicle manufacturer to sell within the state. Suddenly your only choices of Automobiles are either Ford or GM, EVERYWHERE. Busses, Vans, Semis, Cars, Trucks, all Ford or GM. (This is actually happening with Tesla.)

    Now lets say that GM and Ford make an arrangement to not sell in each others markets. Suddenly All of the State of New York is NOTHING but GM, or all of the State of California is NOTHING but Ford. Because they would also have bought laws to the effect of driving a vehicle across state lines either a) is illegal, or b) is prohibitively expensive to licence.

    No Mazda, No Toyota, No Lambos, No Porches, or Ferraris. No outdated vehicles either such as AMC, DMC, Duesenburg, or Pontiacs. Now obviously that won't fly because of anti-trust legislation.

    But here's the kicker, THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH ISP'S. Our choice is either Ford and/or GM. Not only that, the FCC wants us to buy specially branded GM or Ford Fuel as well.

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

  • icon
    McFortner (profile), 23 Nov 2017 @ 7:28am

    OK

    I'm sorry, I was busy getting Thanksgiving dinner ready. So what did I miss? Couldn't have been too important if they announced it on Thanksgiving, right?

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

  • identicon
    Serval Project, 23 Nov 2017 @ 7:43pm

    We are the Solution.

    We will be setting up booths all across the world to help people cancel their services with the companies that were complicit in this violation of human rights.

    We will be open sourcing the booth design and education material for anyone that also wants to be involved in freeing the people from tyranny of governments.

    several funds for donations will be setup to help cover the costs of printing banners and user guides for distribution at the booths.

    please contact us if you would like get involved, together we are the solution.

    “Communications should not just be for the geographically, financially otherwise fortunate — for it is the unfortunate who need it most. ”

    http://www.servalproject.org/

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2017 @ 10:28pm

    FCC LEAVE OUR INTERNET ALONE.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2017 @ 11:17am

    So where is the protest organizing?

    Been Googling a bit. I've not found anything organized in D.C. for the 14th of Dec. Looking to go and get "our fair share of abuse", as the song goes.

    Never thought I'd be asking santa for a helmet and gas mask for Christmas. I do hope its a bloody one. Yay Democracy!

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

  • identicon
    Gary Torok, 28 Nov 2017 @ 3:24pm

    wTf

    I have been working on the Internet since the mid nineties and this article is so layered with confusion I don't know what to make of it. While on one hand I know it's an infringement of free ideas over the net - I am sure if I read it super thoroughly, I would get the total jist of the industrial complexities of the corporate greed for the price of keeping the Internet free and alive to ideas not always understood by the supposed Warlords of the ongoing set of ideas...

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


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