Net Neutrality updates

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by The Wrong Guy, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    GOP targets net neutrality despite court ruling

    By Mario Trujillo, The Hill, June 22, 2016


    House Republicans are not backing down from their attempts to blunt the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, even after the rules were fully upheld by an appeals court this month.

    The lower chamber on Wednesday is slated to debate and vote on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which contains provisions targeting a number of FCC rules.

    The bill would prevent the FCC from enforcing its regulations for internet service providers until after the lawsuit challenging the rules is over.

    While the FCC prevailed in court earlier this month, critics can still appeal.

    The bill would also prevent the FCC from regulating the price that internet service providers charge and require the FCC to publish the text of its rules three weeks before a vote.

    “The appropriations process should not be used to overturn the will of both an independent regulator and millions of Americans on this vital issue,” the White House said in a veto threat.

    Aside from the net neutrality rules, the bill would also stall the FCC from completing its planned move to open up the TV set-top box market. It would delay the rules until long after a study is completed, pushing it to the next president.

    The set-top box proposal has gained a lot of pushback in Congress and even some FCC members say it needs changes.

    While the bill itself has no real chance of being implemented, it could act as a jumping off point for negotiations for a year-end spending bill.

    Seventy amendments covering a wide range of issues have been filed in what looks to be an all-day round of debate on the appropriations bill.

    One amendment offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) would prevent the FCC from enforcing its rules that regulate the privacy practices of internet service providers. Those rules are an extension of the net neutrality authority the FCC gave itself last year.

    Another amendment by Democrats would prohibit government funds from being used for action that violates a section of the Communications Act that deals with broadcast sponsorship identification.

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality to Oversee FCC Transition Team

    By Michael Nunez, Gizmodo


    President-elect Donald Trump has appointed two new advisers to his transition team that will oversee his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda. Both of the new advisers are staunch opponents of net neutrality regulations.

    Jeff Eisenach, one of the two newly appointed advisers, is an economist who has previously worked as a consultant for Verizon and its trade association. In September 2014, Eisenach testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee and said, “Net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest.” He has also worked for the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and in a blog post wrote, “Net neutrality is crony capitalism pure and simple.”

    Mark Jamison, the other newly appointed adviser, also has a long history of battling against net neutrality oversight. Jamison formerly worked on Sprint’s lobbying team and now leads the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center.

    Both Eisenach and Jamison are considered leading adversaries of net neutrality who worked hard to prevent the rules from being passed last year. For the uninitiated, the rules passed last year prevent companies internet providers from discriminating against any online content or services. For example, without net neutrality rules, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon could charge internet subscribers more for using sites like Netflix. The FCC’s net neutrality rules would protect consumers from paying exorbitant fees for internet use.

    President-elect Trump has also been a vocal opponent of net neutrality.

    Continued here:
  3. The Internet Member

    Wait, what? Net neutrality is the opposite of crony capitalism.

    Crony capitalism is when something of public value protected by government regulation is handed over to private concerns for profit at the expense of the people. Usually this doesn't happen unless corporate cronies are in government positions.

    I cannot stand when people do the oppositie thing.
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Say Good-bye to the Last Pillar of the Free, Open Internet

    By Brian Feldman, New York Magazine


    The Trump administration yesterday named Republican Ajit Pai to head the Federal Communications Commission. Pai’s appointment was a foregone conclusion, given that he is the ranking Republican on the five-member body, but it’s important for one reason: Pai is an outspoken critic of net neutrality — one of the fundamental principles of the free, open internet we’ve all been using for the past several decades.

    During the Obama administration, the commission was headed by Tom Wheeler, a Democrat who most famously used his majority to pass what is informally known as the Open Internet Order. That order classified broadband internet as a telecommunications utility, though did not subject internet-service providers to the intense regulations that other common carriers often are.

    The Open Internet Order bolsters a principle known as net neutrality (the specific term was coined by law professor Tim Wu in 2003). To understand it, we need to first understand how the internet works. The internet is literally a network of data cables that crisscross the globe. When you open your computer, say, you connect to a network most likely owned by one of a handful of private internet-service providers — the dreaded Comcast, Time Warner, and so on. (Same thing on your iPhone: Thanks to smartphones, cellular providers like Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile are also ISPs.) That network communicates with the networks owned and operated by other ISPs, and those owned by a handful of other organizations — government bodies, academic institutions, and independent nonprofits, generally — and those many, global, interconnected networks, some public, some private, make up the internet.

    The internet took off, as did the World Wide Web which rests on top of it, because it’s “open.” In other words, if you’re connected to Comcast, you can send data to someone connected via Time Warner, without issue or negotiation. Neither Comcast nor Time Warner is allowed to (or able) to slow down or speed up your connection — or, for that matter, cut it off. Unlike phone service, you don’t have things like long-distance fees either.

    Perhaps the single most important aspect of the internet as it was first conceived is that it was designed as a “dumb pipe,” or one that does not give priority to certain types of data or certain sources of said data. Video of a presidential speech gets the same bandwidth as video of a dude getting hit in the nuts.

    Market conditions change, however, and the unchallenged freedom under which the internet blossomed is now regarded as a liability for the ISPs — which are, as you probably have experienced, de facto monopolies. If we own the highway, their thinking goes, why can’t we charge tolls? To that end, some have proposed so-called “fast lanes” for companies willing to pony up for faster bandwidth.

    In practice, this could radically change our experience of the internet. For example, if Netflix cuts a deal with Verizon for a fast lane and Hulu doesn’t, Hulu loads more slowly, and users would presumably favor Netflix. More likely than that is that video-streaming services owned and operated by the ISPs themselves get preference over independent streaming services. This is a clear pay-to-play system in which an upstart little guy could easily get crowded out by industry incumbents. The most extreme scenario would be one in which businesses have to pay in order to get onto an ISP’s network at all — imagine, let’s say, SBC customers can’t access Google because the company refuses to pay SBC for access.

    Mobile carriers have inverted this concept through what is known as “zero-rating,” in which certain services don’t count toward a customer’s data cap. A choice between a service that would use up your limited data or one that doesn’t is hardly a choice at all.

    The Open Internet Order, adopted in February 2015, banned paid prioritization of traffic, as well as blocking or throttling traffic to legal internet content.

    The net-neutrality debate is about whether one class of private entities, ISPs, should be regulated in order to allow millions of other private entities, users and businesses operating online, to operate freely. Pretty much everyone agrees that they should — except for the ISPs … and Ajit Pai. Pai even wrote a 67-page(!) dissent when the order was adopted. Even Google and Facebook support the principle, in part because they often buy up the smaller startups that flourish on an unfettered internet. Imagine an internet where, rather than buying Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook instead paid for a fast lane and forced Instagram out by other means.

    The past decade has been defined by a trend of centralization — the collection of everything under the umbrellas of a few giant companies. The end of net neutrality will only increase this, as companies will be given more latitude to block services that don’t fit their revenue model.

    Soon, Pai will be in charge of the FCC, and he has said that net neutrality’s “days are numbered.” If you think your internet-service provider is horrible now, just wait until there’s no regulatory body watching them.

  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    What the end of net neutrality means for you | InfoWorld

    Trump's cable-loving crony at the helm of the FCC spells doom for the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally.


    Obama’s FCC chairman Tom Wheeler put rules in place to ensure that net neutrality would rule. Your friendly neighborhood cellular companies were already flouting the rules by offering “zero rated” streaming services, meaning that streaming on their network didn’t count against your monthly limit but using a competitor’s would. (Unfortunately, their streaming services also suck, offering mostly crap you already don’t watch on YouTube.)

    Fast-forward to 2017 and the small-handed guy with the undersized inaugural crowd has appointed Ajit Pai, who wouldn’t even have coffee with Wheeler when he was in charge, as the new chair of the FCC. Pai is a true lackey of the cable companies and opposes net neutrality. The great pumpkin himself also stated his opposition to net neutrality (along with Gwyneth Paltrow). He sees it as somehow stifling conservative media and as an unnecessary government regulation requiring relief.

    The end of net neutrality should be a boon to your friendly neighborhood cable or telecom monopolist, but what will it mean for you?

    Target 1: Netflix

    The people have spoken. At this point Netflix and other services (but mainly Netflix) are the bulk of bandwidth. Cable companies have already worked to get a bigger cut from Netflix; basically, Netflix paid to get a better connection. That was with the FCC and Netflix suing in opposition. However, with a cable friend in the FCC, I bet the price goes up. There may even be a tier that isn’t available to the market and is reserved for the services owned by the cable companies. You’re going to pay that $100 per month, and by golly you’ll get less and like it!

    Target 2: Rates and bandwidth

    My rate for bandwidth has been falling. I have 100Mbps down and 10Mbps up. It wasn’t long ago that I paid about $80 for that, but now I’m paying about $50 per month. With imminent competition from Google and the threat of redundancy, my provider was dropping rates to keep you hooked. However, there will be less pressure now. The rate probably won’t go up much, but it will probably stop dropping.

    Part of the reason my rates have dropped is that I’ve kept the same speed for a while. I’d love the 300Mbps, but I didn’t feel like buying a new cable modem, and every cable modem that Time Warner (now Spectrum) gave me was defective. I’m a second-tier home subscriber now.

    Less competition and higher profit from a vertical monopoly that owns the infrastructure, the content, and the content provider will mean fewer reasons to upgrade the bandwidth. Our only hope is the combed-over wonder will find that a YouTube video he tweets doesn’t load fast enough.

    Target 3: The great internet tax

    Inevitably if you control all of the on-ramps you can toll everyone, not only Netflix. Eventually the cut won’t be big enough and a profit-maximizing monopoly will do what a profit-maximizing monopoly does. It’ll expand its cut of the market and restrict the supply and raise the price to control costs and maximize profit. The supply is infrastructure costs and bandwidth and unique or decent content/services. Once you achieve that, horizontal expenditure (that is, making your favorite content or service providers, such as Google or Salesforce, all pay a bigger fee) is the only source of new profits (and a strategy to restrict supply).

    We’re a little ways off from the full implementation of this plan. The unraveling of the open internet is only about to begin. So sit back and enjoy the internet Trumpocalypse.

    Full article:
  6. DeathHamster Member

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