FCC Announces Plan To 'Gut Net Neutrality'

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dstarr3

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Trump & Co. are doing this in the name of keeping government regulation out of business, which isn't entirely braindead at a glance, except for the fact that the government has had to intervene with its recent regulations because corporations have made a habit of excessively and severely negatively exploiting the nation's citizens for profit. And this is just another instance of the swamp trying to roll back on every protection citizens have from corporate exploitation.
 

toadhammer

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FCC Myth: We'll let ISPs do whatever they want, and somehow consumers will benefit.
FCC Truth: We think you're all stupid, and money is more important.
 
"Many Americans simply don't have access to broadband internet. The FCC said in January 2016 that 10% of all Americans lack access to a 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up connection. Pew said in December 2015 that many Americans can't afford broadband access or are in "hard-to-reach" areas that won't get broadband any time soon."
So what? If you live out in the middle of nowhere, you have limited medical care, grocery shopping and retail shopping options too. Why should internet access of any speed be any different than that? I am a co-owner of a mountain cabin in western North Carolina. We have barely 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. That's a heck of a lot faster than what we had 15 years ago *anywhere*. That has nothing to do with the original root intent of NN which was to stop throttling and unfair trade practices. Like the complaints of "fast lanes" where some could pay more and get certain services not available to others (same complaining we hear about HOV toll payers who get to use them and just pay more for acces driving as a single driver).

"It's also easier for them to charge whatever they want for their service if there's no alternative. In a statement released by Common Cause, a rights organization, former FCC commissioner Michael Copps said {blah blah blah}:"
Since when is high speed internet or internet access at all a "right" like a civil right or something? Who says so? The Constitution sure doesn't. Oh sure, the "promote the general welfare"and all that, but the last time I checked, people can live without the internet in their home. There's free WiFi out there just about everywhere and even free computers at public libraries (where public transportation can take you in larger cities if you don't have a car).



First it was whining about internet access at all is limited, now it's that not everyone can get "cheap" high speed internet. Thank GOD we don't have the federal government taking over our ISPs now. Want a glimpse into the crystal ball what that would have been like: just look at the rollout disaster of the Affordable Care Act. They couldn't even keep the website up, lol.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Since people have redefined and exploited parts of the Constitution to include things that were never intended to be issues, let alone covered, by it. So called rights defined by happiness and all that.

EDIT: I guess by the down-votes, I've hurt someone's feelings... they now need to hurry to their safe space.
 

WRXSTIGuy

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You are correct. The constitution was written to limit the power of a central government, not to give them additional powers.
 

Giroro

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You've heard of trust busting? Get ready for trust... Trusting. The practice of somehow increasing competition in the marketplace by giving monopolies unlimited power to LITERALLY BLOCK THEIR COMPETITION FROM THE INTERNET.
Not just competition either, big telecom companies can block out any idea they disagree with. Netflix, hulu, bittorrent, Tor, VPN services -all gone.
Do you want to cancel your AT&T landline and go mobile? Get ready for Tmobile.com to permanently redirect to at&t wireless.

Do you want to support a candidate who will fix the laws? Good luck doing that when that candidate's website, Facebook, and twitter feed each take 4 days to load (and are covered in extra ads that comcast injects over the old content, ads that even include your name, home address, browser history, and any files you've ever transmitted online - because all that data can now legally be saved and sold by your ISP.) It's easy to see why the government would change that though, they don't need a surveillance warrant if they simply buy that data.

Nobody I the history of mankind has done more to destroy freedom of information. The ramifications of all this will negatively affect the entire world. Ajit Pai is legitimately the worst person in America - quite possibly the worst American who's ever lived.
 

why_wolf

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I'd blame Regan more since he's the one that started this "it's the governments fault" BS that has been slowly turning the US into a Corporatocracy.
 

Giroro

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If the FCC truly wanted to deregulate the market, then they would legalize competition.

Why are comcast and time Warner cable never both available in the same markets? Because they are granted their local monopolies by the FCC itself. By law, these companies can't compete with each other.

Theese are th only workable options: keep regional monopolies and regulate them in the same way that private monopolistic utility companies operate, or open up the marketplace so actual competition can legally exist. However the fact that most internet cable is run through public land makes an open market less than feasible.
 


Actually you can roll back to the Carter Administration and the Department Of Education creation (DoED). Ever since that happened in 1978, America's education quality has been on a slow downward spiral (yet we put more money into education ever year for diminishing returns). Same can be said for the roots of Carter's Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which was one of the root causes that led to the downfall of our financial collapse decades later. But if you REALLY want to peel the onion back on government creating a disaster in the making, there's the Central Bank (Fed) creation in 1913 under Woodrow Wilson and monetary policy artificially inflating/floating our economy. I think we all know what happened in 1929.
 

why_wolf

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Oh and for the people that think that the internet was fine without the Government, it was the Government back in 1996 that created the golden age of the internet when they enforced local loop-unbudiling which allowed anyone to offer you internet access via your local phone line. This created massive competition and significantly lowered prices for the average American.

However Cable and Fiber connections were exempt from this rule because at the time they were considered niche markets but the ruling explicitly mentions them with the recommendation that they also have loop-unbundling in the future. This recommendation has never been followed up until now when Title II was declared which is required to enforce loop-unbundiling. This is why the ISPs will do anything to kill Title II. If loop-unbundiling is enforced than their monopoly pricing will collapse over night.

Now we're back to a pre '96 where your local phone company or in this case cable company has a near or total monopoly over you choice in connection. The result is a predictably terrible service (reflected in cable co's having the lowest customer ratings every year), ever higher prices and the beginnings of them starting to tamper with flow of inter connections between networks. ie the slowing down of Netflix and other high traffic sites with demands that the ISP be paid twice for the connection that you the user have already paid for.

Ma Bell wants her empire back and Pai is her sock puppet.
 

why_wolf

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well if you want to get really technical it all goes back to when the first caveman charged the second cave man a 200% mark up for some expired mammoth meat. Greed is good so long as your not the one left holding the bag at the end.
 

Giroro

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Its not any previous administration, president trend, or attitude. One person woke up this morning and decided to cause measurable punitive harm to a minimum of 300 million people, but possibly up to 4 billion, depending on the widespread consequences.
That person is named Ajit Pai. That awfulness of what he did is only exceeded by history's great genocides.
The head of the FCC weilds more power than can possibly be described here. An ISP has control over more than just the data of their customers, but all data that travels through their network, and MOST data ultimately travels through American networks.

If the CEO of comcast wakes up tomorrow and decides to turn off Facebook or Google, or block Verizon customers from the internet - he can do that, and about 2/3s of the time IT WOULD WORK. Any major telecom can crush ANY company that they dislike with no effort whatsoever. It's unprecedented, unheard of, and disgusting.
Anyone in favor of this decision is either profiting off of it, or truly doesn't understand the issue and the powers wielded by the FCC.
 

toadhammer

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Government itself isn't good or bad. In 2007 Comcast was caught blocking torrent packets. In 2008 the govt declared this illegal. Now a different administration is proposing to return control to the ISPs. Both are republican administrations.

 


Except you left one important detail: it was the government that originally created and controlled the internet as a means for national security communication which spilled over to university research. They were the ones holding the original control.



Unless you live in a small town or an older part of a city/building with little infrastructure upgrade, that's a bunch of bunk. I've lived in several cities over the past 20 years both major and smaller satellite ones and have always had several to choose from. And let's not forget that in 1994 87% of households nationwide didn't even *have* PCs in them. Why would an ISP invest money going into a new market where there were few customers at time?



I'm getting what I'm paying for. Downtime is at most twice a year (AT&T Uverse). Prior to AT&T I had Comcast/Xfinity and was happy with them too. In fact, the only reason I switched to AT&T is because they offered a better tier price in a three-way package. If you live in an area with older infrastructure like a neighborhood built in the '50s-'70s with little infrastructure upgrade, that's not the ISP's fault. That's the government's fault. What was all that talk about the previous administration and infrastructure investment needed anyway?

The Rural Utilities Service promised to use its share of the 2009 $860 billion stimulus money to provide internet access to 7 million Americans who didn’t have it (no word on actual speeds). However, the GAO discovered in a 2014 report that the program largely failed. An estimated fewer than 200,000 rural residents actually benefited from the RUS federal funds. Makes you wonder where all that money went huh?


In any event, I'm one of those who believes in a balance in the middle somewhere. No run-amok companies, and no out of control overreach government.
 

why_wolf

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So your in the middle position is that the government should have no authority over ISPs? Because that's what Pai is trying to do.

 


When it comes to the federal government (or state or local for that matter), I'd prefer to see "monitoring" than "control over." Take the SEC for example. They monitor Wall Street with regulations. They do not *control* Wall Street. What Obama's FCC wanted to do was control ISPs.

It would have been a Trojan Horse to completely control everything from what is being posted on internet forums to what news websites print. Claiming throttling and remote access (which I've stated has already failed once in government dollars) was just an excuse. The FCC would have deemed what is "offensive" well beyond what they already do.

Kind of like what we are already seeing today with GoogleTube, Facebook, and Twitter doing the deciding on what is "hate speech" and "offensive" and censorship (ie: individual opinions and media pundits they do not agree with that have zero to do with hate or offensive speech). We are not China (yet). China = control. America = monitor.
 

falchard

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Nice balanced writing this time unlike the last 3 articles on the subject.
I am personally on Pai's side of this. The FCC in the current era has had a hands off approach with the Internet for the last 2 decades allowing the markets to self-regulate. I don't think people really understand how cumbersome title 2 is and why it enforced a telecom monopoly. A hands off FCC approach is the best for expanding Internet infrastructure, reduce monopolies, and reduce prices as it did when Cable and Fiber providers entered the consumer market in the 90s.
For people who blame monopolies and duopolies, you should be looking at your local government not the federal. They are the ones reducing competition.
For those who complain that ISPs will do outlandish things just because they can, please grow a brain. That's like saying I will build a massive uranium refinery facility because regulation doesn't prevent me from doing so. Just because people can does not mean they do. They are still businesses and you can only get so far screwing your customers over. It's not like they are the government where people have little power when the government screws them over.
 

ravewulf

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"Government regulation is not the friend of free speech, but an enemy."

Talk about 1984 doublespeak. This goes back to corporate "free speech" ("corporations are people, my friend" - Romney, etc) through endless bribery of government officials and representatives. Government regulations are required to protect citizens from the abuses of corporations.
 


And who is regulating the government to protect we the people from abuse by them? NOBODY. What corporation forces everyone to buy their product like the government forces us to buy health care? Big Government knows what's best for everyone, right? When was the last time our US House Reps did something for our state's district in getting a bill passed for our district instead of sitting like a fat cat in Washington drawing six figures rabble rousing in Congress? I can guarantee you 90% of Americans have no clue. Probably 75% don't even know who their US House Representative is.

Oh by the way: government regulation and free speech tied in with the ultimate goal of what Net Neutrality was about. How do I know that? I proved it in a post comment above in one of the excuses they used for Title II:

"The Rural Utilities Service promised to use its share of the 2009 $860 billion stimulus money to provide internet access to 7 million Americans who didn’t have it (no word on actual speeds). However, the GAO discovered in a 2014 report that the program largely failed. An estimated fewer than 200,000 rural residents actually benefited from the RUS federal funds. Makes you wonder where all that money went huh?"

^^Net Neutrality had nothing to do with granting millions of citizens in rural areas better ISP access. Nothing at all. Numbers do not lie.


 
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