FCC Hopes Its Phony Dedication To Rural Broadband Will Make You Forget It Killed Net Neutrality

from the misdirection dept

The FCC and its large ISP allies are trying to change the subject in the wake of their hugely unpopular attack on net neutrality. With net neutrality having such broad, bipartisan support, the FCC is trying to shift the conversation away from net neutrality (which remember, is just a symptom of a lack of broadband competition), toward a largely-hollow focus on expanding broadband to rural areas. The apparent goal: to convince partisans that net neutrality is only a concern among out of touch Hollywood elites, and the FCC is hard at work on the real problem: deploying broadband to forgotten America.

This attempted pivot was exemplified in a statement last week by FCC boss Ajit Pai, when he tried to argue his attack on net neutrality was already magically paying dividends for broadband expansion:

"The draft report indicates that the pace of both fixed and mobile broadband deployment declined dramatically in the two years following the prior Commission’s Title II Order. However, the draft report also discussed how, over the course of the past year, the current Commission has taken steps to reduce barriers to infrastructure investment and promote competition in the broadband marketplace. Taken together, these policies indicate that the current FCC is now meeting its statutory mandate to encourage the deployment of broadband on a reasonable and timely basis."

As we've noted repeatedly, the idea that net neutrality stifled sector investment is a lie, and the claim that axing popular consumer protections somehow "encouraged competition" is laughable.

Pai has long paid entirely-empty lip service to the task of "closing the digital divide," despite the fact that most of his policies have made this particular problem notably worse. From propping up business broadband and prison phone monopolies to killing attempts to bring competition to the cable box, Pai has made it clear his top priority is the protection of incumbent ISP revenues from anything even vaguely resembling disruption. While he's busy prattling on about his dedication to the digital divide, he's busy dismantling broadband programs for the poor and killing policies like net neutrality, driving up costs for everyone in the internet ecosystem just to please a handful of extremely unpopular telecom giants.

Of course you're not supposed to notice this chasm between rhetoric and reality when Pai pops up on Twitter to pat himself and his recently-formed "Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee" for their unparalleled contributions to closing the digital divide:

In his speech before the FCC's shiny new broadband advisory panel (which has been widely criticized as being a who's who of telecom industry lobbyists, executives, and other policy cronies), Pai again doubles down on his supposed dedication to closing the digital divide:

"First, the BDAC’s work is critical to my top policy priority as FCC Chairman—closing the digital divide. I’ve long said that every American who wants to participate in the digital economy should be able to do so. And the plain reality is that if you live in rural America, you are much less likely to have highspeed Internet access than if you live in a city. If you live in a low-income neighborhood, you are less likely to have high-speed Internet access than if you live in a wealthier area."

Yes, what better way to fix the broadband market then by letting uncompetitive duopolies like Comcast effectively dictate both federal and state telecom policy from stem to stern? It's worth noting that the ambiguous quest to "close the digital divide" has always received endless lip service from politicians and regulators from both parties, many of whom are comically incapable of admitting that a lack of competition is what's actually driving this problem. Limited competition also drives privacy and net neutrality violations, but fixing the core problem would require standing up to deep-pocketed telecom campaign contributors.

One creative way to finally drive more accountability and competition (especially in low ROI rural markets) is community broadband or public/private partnerships. But as we've long noted, Pai has consistently supported letting ISPs like AT&T and Comcast literally write state laws banning your town or city from even considering the option, even in instances where private ISPs won't deploy service. It's ironic then, when one of Pai's fellow FCC Commissioners points out that the broadband advisory panel's "findings" covertly malign such community-run alternatives:

The section in question (pdf) argues that community broadband is nice and all, but it should never exist without what's effectively the express permission of private ISPs:

"If, and only if, the Rural municipality receives no reasonable and credible proposal from a private Communications Provider to build a Broadband network and otherwise determines that none of the first three options in Article 12(b) are viable and if, and only if, the Rural municipality makes a positive determination of costs, feasibility, sustainability, and that the action is in the interest of the general public may the Rural municipality invest in a Fully Public Funded and Operated Network and/or engage in Public-Led Contracting.

This kind of language, which gives the incumbent ISP the right of first refusal to offer or upgrade service in spotty coverage areas, is commonly used in ISP-written state protectionist laws. The problem is that these promises to build are routinely never followed up on, letting ISPs first deny the right of a community run ISP (or public/private partnership) to even exist, then avoid anything even resembling accountability as it turns a blind eye to its deployment promises. This is a major reason why we've shelled out countless billions to private ISPs like Verizon for fiber networks that are never fully built.

Private ISPs not only want the right of first refusal, but they often enjoy putting all manner of funding and referendum requirements on the ability to build community broadband networks, knowing full well that ISP lawyers and lobbyists can often derail these projects in the cradle -- whether with lawsuits or disinformation. Again, the goal is to ban your town and city from being able to explore creative alternatives to the status quo, without making it look like that's what they're doing.

Pai's focus on the digital divide is a choreographed effort by the industry to distract the public from the fact they're being sold down river exclusively to Comcast, AT&T and Verizon's benefit. You'll note this breathless new adoration for rural broadband runs hand in hand with not-coincidentally-timed op/eds popping up everywhere by ISP lobbying groups like US Telecom, who are thrilled by the reduction in real oversight but the expansion of taxpayer subsidies:

"This isn’t the first time that a White House has declared the deployment of rural broadband a national priority. What is yet to be determined is the concrete action — via congressional legislation, an improved regulatory environment and federal funding to critical programs — they will follow through on to ensure that every American has access to broadband, no matter where they live."

Of course this "concrete action" involves not only removing all meaningful FCC consumer protections (you're welcome, heartland America) but gutting both state and federal oversight of some of the least-liked, least-competitive companies in America. But the real goal has nothing to do with rural America, which the lion's share of these folks couldn't care less about. The real goal is to distract you from the government's recent handouts to the telecom sector's largest and most powerful players, and to dress up mindless deregulation and cronyism as an unwavering dedication to America's heartland.

Oh, and just as more and more criticism is being raised about this committee, it appears that the few non-telco industry reps who were on the committee as fig leafs are realizing they made a huge mistake. San Jose's mayor Sam Liccardo has just resigned from the panel and not pulled any punches in his explanation for why.

"It has become abundantly clear that despite the good intentions of several participants, the industry-heavy makeup of BDAC will simply relegate the body to being a vehicle for advancing the interests of the telecommunications industry over those of the public. The apparent goal is to create a set of rules that will provide industry with easy access to publicly-funded infrastructure at taxpayer-subsidized rates, without any obligation to provide broadband to underserved residents."

So, while Pai pats himself on the back for "closing the digital divide," actual people dealing with the digital divide are quitting his little consortium and pointing out that his dedication to actually fixing this problem is decidedly hollow. Whatever it takes to help the public forget he sold them out on net neutrality just to make AT&T, Verizon and Comcast happy.


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 7:39am

    Trouble caring

    You know, I just struggle to care about Net Neutrality.

    If the folks screaming about Net Neutrality and how awful it is would also complain about the silencing of any non far left voice on youtube, twitter, Facebook, maybe then I'd care. But if this is about all voices being heard on the internet, then the behavior of near monopolies in the user space should also be part of the discussion.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 7:48am

      Re: Trouble caring

      Net neutrality is not about platforms Like Facebook etc., but rather about whether or not your ISP puts the platforms you like in the slow or fast lane, depending on whether the platform pays them for use of the fast lane.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:33am

        Re: Re: Trouble caring

        Don't you get it? It's OK for his internet connection to be crippled because Twitter kicked some Nazis off their site. Or something...

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

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: Trouble caring

        >> "Net neutrality is not about platforms Like Facebook etc., but rather about whether or not your ISP puts the platforms you like in the slow or fast lane, depending on whether the platform pays them for use of the fast lane."

        OH, at long last a definition! -- That I definitely don't care about, like the first AC. WHAT is so bad about that?

        The first and 3rd ACs also have FAR more important point which you try to reverse, which is that Facebook / Google / Amazon / Twitter are now main gatekeepers which control the MAJOR OUTLETS for speech. Yet Techdirt's position is that we must worry more about a future of local ISPs providing faster channels to content delivery corps willing to pay more, INSTEAD OF the often-asserted "platforms have a First Amendment Right" to control the speech of "natural" persons by restricting or removing access. -- Just account being cut off Twitter is already a big deal. If corporations are let run wild, they'll shunt all dissent into irrelevant small platforms.

        But "SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL". There are NO rival alternatives to the current major platforms.

        And all it takes to make fair is remove the ridiculous assertion masnicks make that corporations have "First Amendment Right".

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

          "OH, at long last a definition!"

          It's been very well defined for a very long time. Glad you could catch up!

          "which is that Facebook / Google / Amazon / Twitter are now main gatekeepers which control the MAJOR OUTLETS for speech."

          Which is utterly irrelevant to the conversation, and also less important than you having access to those "gatekeepers" in the first place.

          "Yet Techdirt's position is that we must worry more about a future of local ISPs providing faster channels to content delivery corps willing to pay more"

          Oh, I see, you're lying again. Doesn't it get boring, having to misrepresent everybody else all the time, rather than just dealing with reality?

          "Just account being cut off Twitter is already a big deal"

          Then abide by their T&Cs.

          "But "SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL". There are NO rival alternatives to the current major platforms"

          You misspelled "ISPs", but you're going to bat for their monopolies anyway.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

            >> "Oh, I see, you're lying again. Doesn't it get boring, having to misrepresent everybody else all the time, rather than just dealing with reality? -- First, what's the lie? You may not agree with my characterization, but it's not a lie, there's strong evidence right in the piece. You can show NO evidence of harm yet, just make more FUD.

            YOU ARE THE LIAR, YOU NASTLY LITTLE KID.

            >> Which is utterly irrelevant to the conversation, and also less important than you having access to those "gatekeepers" in the first place. -- I'm not being cornered into Techdirt's limited range, is all, that'd be stupid.

            >> Then abide by their T&Cs. -- So you're for corporations controlling speech of "natural" persons.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

              you're for corporations controlling speech of "natural" persons

              Hey Mr. SovCit: When you travel, do you drive without a license?

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                Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                >>> Hey Mr. SovCit: When you travel, do you drive without a license?

                Hey, Mr SERF: Do you abide by EVERY bit of statute, without ever arguing common law?

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:15am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                  Here in reality, I tend to follow the laws that are on the books. It helps me to avoid trouble with the cops. (Do SovCits have a funny name for cops?)

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

          WHAT is so bad about that?

          Imagine a world where you have to pay additional fees to access various websites that are not “ISP approved”. You may also have to pay more fees to access those sites at the same speeds with which you can access them today. Designated-as-disapproved sites would include sites that do not or could not pay for “fast lane” deals with ISPs.

          Imagine a world where you have to pay far more than you already do right now to access the Internet in the exact same way as you do right now. And imagine how there would be nothing you could do about it, seeing as how it would be perfectly legal under the law.

          If Network Neutrality is done away with for good, you will not need to imagine it; the major American ISPs will make that world a reality. How ready are you to pay an extra $20 per month just to access Techdirt?

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

            >>> "Imagine..." to "If..." -- Everything after that is your hypothetical: I'm not bothering.

            Everyday reality is that Techdirt asserts that giant corporate "platforms" can exercise total and arbitrary control over the speech of "natural" persons.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

              Everyday reality is that Techdirt asserts that giant corporate "platforms" can exercise total and arbitrary control over the speech of "natural" persons.

              They can exercise that control on those platforms, yes. They cannot stop you from setting up your own website on your own personally-owned server, sending letters to newspaper editors, or posting about how to travel without a driver’s license on SovCit forums.

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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                Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                ** "SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL". **

                If you don't mind being shunted into irrelevancy by forces beyond your personal control, with not help from the larger civil society, then why are you here complaining about "net neutrality"? Corporations and gov't have DECIDED. JUST SHUT UP AND GO TO YOUR CORNER, kid. (To be clear as you need, I'm re-phrasing your notion that people don't need access to major sites.)

                Hey, if you want to be controlled at every second, immigrate to England, where you can bow down to your superiors.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                  If you don't mind being shunted into irrelevancy by forces beyond your personal control, with not help from the larger civil society, then why are you here complaining about "net neutrality"?

                  I mind. I just recognize that I have no legal right to force Google, Twitter, etc. into hosting my speech. If they booted me from their platforms, that would suck, but it would not be the end of my ability to speak freely or find other platforms to use.

                  And I am talking about Network Neutrality because I do not like the idea of my ISP being able to legally nickel-and-dime me into having the same level of Internet access that I have now. Paying extra fees on top of my current ISP fees just for the right to access Techdirt is not something I want to happen.

                  I'm re-phrasing your notion that people don't need access to major sites.

                  Yeah, except I never said that, so I would appreciate you not putting words in my mouth that did not first come from it.

                  if you want to be controlled at every second, immigrate to England, where you can bow down to your superiors

                  I bow to only one man, sir, and he is The King of Kings.

                  I am, of course, referring to WWE personality Triple H.

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                  • identicon
                    Thad, 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:33am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                    I'm amenable to the idea that DNS registrars should be required to accept all customers, given that they're a crucial part of Internet infrastructure. As for hosting and access to social networks, nah.

                    I think I would support a requirement that ISPs allow home customers to operate servers, so long as people operating high-traffic sites are willing to pay extra for the bandwidth. If GoDaddy and Dreamhost and all the other hosting providers don't want your site, you should be able to set it up on your own hardware. If you don't know how to operate a server, well, guess you'd better learn, or hire somebody to help you.

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                    • icon
                      The Wanderer (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:44am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                      Why should the customers even have to pay extra for the bandwidth?

                      You pay for your connection, and that gives you a certain amount of bandwidth.

                      If the demands of the site you're running over that connection rise to the point where that bandwidth is not enough and the visitors experience site-responsiveness problems, that just means you need to trade up to the next tier of bandwidth. (Which, yes, will probably cost more - but it would cost more whether you were running a site over it or not.)

                      If the demands of the site you're running never rise to the point where the connection is saturated at peak, then clearly your current connection's bandwidth is enough, and why should you have to pay extra for it?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                  Hey, if you want to be controlled at every second, immigrate to England, where you can bow down to your superiors.

                  Over here the ISPs are neutral, and the nanny state porn filter is optional. Also, the last time I met a duke, he was fixing a blocked sink for the occupant on one of the houses he rented. In my experience it is the Donald Trumps of the world that expect people to bow down to them.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 5:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

                  That’s the ISSUE!! My isp isn’t deleting my post on Facebook or YouTube. The giant internet companies Facebook and google are.

                  Like the one poster above said. All the net neutrality damage is hypothetical, will the big internet companies make your packets that cross the net “freely” (with net neutrality) disappear from their sites.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

              The platforms like Facebook can exercise such control,but net neutrality is about your ability to connect to Facebook, Briebart etc. in the fist place. Quit confusing the communications network with the businesses that it connects you to. You expect your phone company to be neutral with regard to which political organizations and businesses you patronize, so why would you be happy that you ISP can decide which political organizations or businesses you patronize on the Internet.

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        • icon
          Rosie-Redstar (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 12:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

          Let's break down at least some of what your saying.

          First you bring up a point that you claim is being 'reversed'.

          "...Which is that Facebook / Google / Amazon / Twitter are now main gatekeepers which control the MAJOR OUTLETS for speech."

          This is a problem, but not part of the topic the article is focused on anyway.

          There is an often used argument to counter the 'ISP is the same as a platform like (insert social media outlet/google here)' idea.

          "People can choose not to use google or social media. The same is not usually true of an ISP."

          Let's really think about that. Say google or facebook started slowing redirection or hiding links to other social media sites (or other sites for that matter) because they didn't choose to pay them or were competing with them.

          Would that make you, as a person using the site, happy? Not likely. Well you could start using something other that google or facebook.

          Now let's try that same scenario with an ISP. Would you be happy? Again, not likely. Could you try another ISP? For many areas, no. If there even is another company in your area, chances are it is for Dial-up type service. Dial-up is known for both being slow and having a lot of causes for interference.

          Now let's get back to your unrelated, but important, point.

          "...Which is that Facebook / Google / Amazon / Twitter are now main gatekeepers which control the MAJOR OUTLETS for speech."

          One of the best thoughts is the idea that 'Bad speech should be countered with more speech'. It's a great idea, but it has a small problem.

          The problem lies in the people that ignore all speech when it doesn't fit their own message.

          How do you counter that? Well, if that person is pissing off many people, then there is a certain webcomic to explain why they are being kicked.

          https://xkcd.com/1357/

          Now for your last sentence.

          "And all it takes to make fair is remove the ridiculous assertion masnicks make that corporations have 'First Amendment Right'."

          According to dictionary.com, this is the definition for assertion.

          "A positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason."

          The problem with this is that to some degree, corporations do have 'First Amendment Rights'. It comes in the form of a concept called corporate personhood. This is part of the reason why lobbying is considered legal.

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          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 12:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

            Say google or facebook started slowing redirection or hiding links to other social media sites (or other sites for that matter) because they didn't choose to pay them or were competing with them.

            Would that make you, as a person using the site, happy? Not likely. Well you could start using something other that google or facebook.

            Not to support the position you're arguing against here, but... not necessarily.

            If the reason you're using, e.g., Facebook is to connect with specific people (e.g., your grandmother), and if those people do not and - in practical terms - cannot be persuaded to use any other service (e.g., because she barely understands computers well enough to use Facebook and certainly doesn't understand them well enough to change her habits and learn to use something else, especially when her Facebook friends won't be there), then using some other service will not accomplish what you're trying to do.

            Network effects produce lock-in, even among the technically, socially, and market-savvy.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 12:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

              True, but it's still possible to break out of network lock-in. That's what Facebook did to MySpace. There's no reason that another social media site can't spring up tomorrow offering far better service than Facebook and get everyone to flock to them.

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            • icon
              Rosie-Redstar (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 12:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

              Your point is noted and very much valid. There are point where we can be tied down by others or risk losing contact.

              But You don't have to stay there all the time. You could still use that facebook on the side, or even use one of those services that integrate all social media in one place.

              Apologies, my initial post wasn't factoring in the idea, but was more for getting the idea across on the surface level.

              Ironically, I don't really use common social media facebook/twitter/instagram/snapchat.

              Yet your idea is also a problem in video game communities. I see it come into play a lot there.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: Trouble caring

        The Title II reclassification had nothing do do with what you just wrote. But it makes a good story for weak minds and the media.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:30am

      Re: Trouble caring

      "You know, I just struggle to care about Net Neutrality."

      Judging from the rest of your comment, it's because you don't understand what it is.

      "If the folks screaming about Net Neutrality and how awful it is"

      Erm, NN is the thing intelligent people are trying to keep active. Nobody thinks NN is awful, except maybe those who have been fooled into thinking it has something to do with editorial control of websites. Those who understand it would very much like to protect it, since it's behind most of the innovation and freedom online since the internet was invented.

      "would also complain about the silencing of any non far left voice"

      When that actually starts happening, I'm sure intelligent people will complain about it. I'll bet you don't even know what "far left" means in a standard political setting.

      "But if this is about all voices being heard on the internet, then the behavior of near monopolies in the user space should also be part of the discussion"

      Indeed, but shouldn't the ability to access those voices be the first thing you need to care about? There's no point whining about what YouTube's doing if Comcast are stopping you from being able to use it in the first place.

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: Trouble caring

        "Butbutbut Google and Facebook and Twitter!" is such a fucking transparent piece of Whataboutism.

        I would like to see some tighter regulations on websites, particularly in terms of how they're allowed to track users who haven't explicitly opted in and aren't even browsing their sites. But what the fuck does that have to do with net neutrality?

        The two things are not mutually exclusive. You can absolutely keep regulations of ISPs in place while simultaneously discussing regulations for websites. In fact, it would be a lot easier to focus on discussing regulations for websites if we didn't have to spend so much energy talking about why we need net neutrality.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

          "The two things are not mutually exclusive"

          Exactly. You can be critical of the way platforms run themselves, while also demanding that net neutrality is vital. Ignorance is abound, non ore so than in the minds of those who don't think you can address public infrastructure and private platforms at the same time.

          As ever, I'm glad I live outside the US, where this whole thing is just a ridiculous sideshow of ignorance rather than something I'll be directly affected by. There's other issues, but I don't have to worry about whether my access to view this circus will be impeded by my country's well-regulated, highly competitive and well invested infrastructure.

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          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

          >>> "Butbutbut Google and Facebook and Twitter!" is such a fucking transparent piece of Whataboutism. -- Surely "transparency" doesn't make it wrong! Your whole comment reads as more worried about the topic being raised plainly than the topic itself.

          >>> "I would like to see some tighter regulations on websites," -- You will NOT see that from Techdirt, but I'd like to see you argue for it here.

          >>> "if we didn't have to spend so much energy talking about why we need net neutrality." -- Well, for time being, there is NO "net neutrality"! You've lost that battle -- with obvious loss YET -- so just move on to what I, two other ACs, AND YOU believe is important TOO: regulating websites.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Trouble caring

          The "websites should be under NN rules too" farce has now been adopted by AT&T, which says everything necessary about its legitimacy.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 10:19am

      Re: Trouble caring

      Net Neutrality is about, and only about, your ability to connect to the internet and how fairly your packets get treated.

      Your packets should get routed the same regardless of where they are going to or coming from. (eg, no discrimination on whether I use Netflix or Hulu because one might have a "special deal" with my local ISP (which every other Netflix customer helps subsidize))

      Also your packets should get routed the same regardless of the contents of your packets. The contents of your packets is none of your ISP's business. But encryption takes care of that.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 7:41am

    it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it? You know what they say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!

    the acrimony is real!

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      "the acrimony is real!"

      Unlike most of the enemies you so proudly attack.

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:15am

        Re: Re:

        that is the difference between me and you.

        I don't see you as an enemy like you do me.
        I just see you as a misguided idiot drinking cool-aid.

        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, 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:20am

      Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

      Most concise and cogent comment here, though the first AC is good too.

      You should put your major point in the subject line: it seems to annoy the fanboys, benny.

      I note that Techdirt in last year has far more commenters with my views. It is doomed, then, because relied on controlling the message in a "walled garden". Without the automatic fawning belief in Masnick's Ivy League Pirate notions, it's mere ranting.

      And evidence is that many prior fanboys have left for good, some combination of the incessant "liberal" assertions and total lack of results, that content industries are winning, and so on.

      This piece is just ongoing FUD, without substance.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

        I note that Techdirt in last year has far more commenters with my views.

        …evidence is…

        If you can back this up with actual evidence, you should, unless you want to be considered as someone who talks out of his ass more than Ace Ventura.

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

        • identicon
          Chip, 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

          I am "real" Postaer! I agree with Whatsisface! You "leftists" are a bunch of Sycophantic Idiots! I am Right because i am very "very" Smart! You can tell I am Smart because I Say I am Smart, which is what "smart" people Do! Not like you Stupid idiot Leftists!

          The number of Smart people, on Techdirt, who are "smart" like Me, is Growing! That means that we are Right! Because the more "epople" agree with "me", the more Right I am!

          But that only works for "me". Don't bother Pointing "out" that there are actually More people who "disagree" with me, because That doesn't Matter, because all "those" people are Stupid sycophantic Leftists! Stupid! Not smart like "me".

          Eery Nation eats the Paint chips it Deserves!

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

            next time try to save some paint chips for the rest of us. if you keep eating them all before we even get there you wind up being the only idiot in the room.

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

          • icon
            orbitalinsertion (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

            IKR? That silenced group just keeps showing up everywhere more and more. They have voice and reach far exceeding their numbers. I feel so bad that they are shut out of every conversation.

            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, 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

              Hey, do you make that same sarcastic comment to the minority causes who also make the same claims of feeling silenced and often preach from a platform where they still seem to show up in numbers as well?

              Like I said earlier, you just bitch and whine when folks take a page out of your own play book.

              I guess I should have said the "hypocrisy" and "acrimony" are real.

              Look, just be happy that folks are starting to use your own tricks against you, it seem to work for you, I think you deserve to have it back!

              You get what you give!

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

          • icon
            Rosie-Redstar (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 12:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

            You keep putting quotes around single words. I get you're trying to emphasize them, but you have over done it.

            It kinda feels like I'm reading a speech bubble from All Star Batman & Robin. It really doesn't go with your idea of being 'smart'.

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

            • icon
              The Wanderer (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 1:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

              FYI? That's "Chip"; he's an intentional parody.

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

              • identicon
                Thad, 26 Jan 2018 @ 3:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

                It continues to amaze and disappoint me that people have so much trouble figuring out that the guy who keeps talking about eating paint chips may not be 100% sincere.

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

                • icon
                  Wolfie0827 (profile), 27 Jan 2018 @ 10:04am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

                  That's because of all the paint chips they have eaten.
                  DUH!

                  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, 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:35am

          Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

          And the point of getting you evidence would be?

          It has been my experience around here that facts, history, and especially evidence are viewed through a certain lens. If someone fails to provide the evidence with the "correct spin" and/or "source" you disregard it.

          In short, getting evidence is often a waste of effort because you have already made your decision and now you are just baiting folks.

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 1:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "it sucks when these guys start to take notes from the democratic/leftist play book doesn't it?"

            The point of providing evidence would be to prove that you can craft an argument worth an almighty goddamn instead of an argument that relies on people not seeing your bullshit for what it is. If you make a claim that you say is a fact, you need to prove that fact or your claim has no merit. I can claim that Donald Trump ate fetal tissue left over from the abortions he paid his wives and girlfriends to have; unless I have the proof to back my claim up, it is baseless and disgusting bullshit that no one should ever believe.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Is this getting beyong hilarious??

    hilarious

    A gov agency, telling the Gov that Corps will be the best things for the Cities, states, and the Gov.
    This agency is for REGULATION CONTROL and enforcement.
    They may make suggestions..but NOT allot more.

    The FCC is supposed to be monitoring WHAT those corps is doing, and Keeping them from becoming Monopolies..

    When I moved tot he country, we had 1 Cable company, then they got bought by another company WHO installed Much of the Internet/cable system, then SOLD again..(all in 5 years)
    Most of the Dialup services went away.. The Towns and cities had Full access, after ALLOT of line replacement..At this time, 10 years later, the OUTSIDE areas are getting Wireless setups..Smaller companies are setting up(2 so far) to cover all the outlaying areas.

    I really find it interesting that it is taking THIS LONG to get the larger cities COVERED, VERY WELL..with systems worse then what I have..(100mb/5mb, almost never fails)

    Trying to tell the states, what they CAN/CANT do...is stupid.
    A CORP trying to tell the STATE, to do something is STUPID ALSO..as the STATE can install the systems themselves..AND make JOBS FOR THE STATE.

    Iv said before, that the Fed has backed every advance in this country..the Corps never do things willingly..
    They want to STAY and do things, 1 way..Improvements COST PROFITS.. Some one might have to loose a few wages..

    For all that they SPEND trying to keep things AS THEY ARE..the only people impacted, ARE THE CUSTOMERS, because they get the INCREASE'S..

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


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