FCC Chairman’s Proposal Will Radically Change The Rules Of The Internet

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Xenophage

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I'm sure this won't suck, because central planning by the federal government has worked so well in every other area of the economy.
 

maverickmage

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After years of being taken through the dryers by the ISPs, it's nice to see the FCC try and do something... anything... to break to status quo.
 

TheSkaBoss

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Jan 13, 2014
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If my city-provided internet is as good of quality as my city-provided water, I'm going to kill myself.

"This puts the responsibility of providing Internet service to the various city and state governments (as well as ostensibly the federal government) and away from a retail position under control of cable, phone, and wireless providers."
 

TheSkaBoss

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"Hopefully this will pass. But their will be big money from big businesses' trying to block it.
Republican donors do not want it to be passed as it will cut into their profit margins and donations. "

You're right, the company's have been lobbying for a few years now...

"The President’s re-election campaign and groups tied to it have been the largest single recipients of the company’s aid, the study found, taking in nearly $224,000."

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2013/09/05/new-study-highlights-verizons-53-million-campaign-donations-and-lobbying
 

Reepca

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So if I got this right (doubtful), the proposal essentially seeks to regulate ISPs more for the benefit of the consumer. Which is great and all, if it does what it says - ISPs have been generally hated as lazy extortionists for awhile now.

The part I have mixed feelings about is "This puts the responsibility of providing Internet service to the various city and state governments (as well as ostensibly the federal government) ". The issue with mandating certain public services is that it gets paid for by those who use it as well as by those who do not, as well as the possibility of driving services based in the free market to extinction (the idea of the only internet available being controlled by the federal government is not appealing in the slightest).

I have trouble seeing ISPs out-compete "free internet" that everyone, via taxes, is forced to buy. Only in niche cases where lots of bandwidth or security/privacy is needed could I see them surviving, which may be just as well. I guess for me it really comes down to how much it would cost to develop/maintain these public networks - if it's low enough, I could see it being reasonable for taxes to pay for it, even if I dislike the principle of someone having to pay for what they don't use.

EDIT: If taxpayer money isn't used to help municipal-ISP out-compete the alternative (and municipal-ISP is subject to the same challenges and requirements as private ISPs), then I can't really see an issue with it. Less like public schools, more like public garbage disposal/electricity/water. You pay for it, it keeps itself going, it's a healthy part of the free market, hooray.
 

gudomlig

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Dec 19, 2013
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I hope this survives in some form. I live in chattanooga and i get 100mps service for less money than i was getting 5mbs service from comcast plus best customer support you could hope for. Affordable, awesome high speed isn't that freakin difficult and the only reason companies like comcast charge you an arm and a leg for crappy service is because they can...we need new internet laws to help change that.
 

TheSecondPower

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So they want to encourage more competitive practices and maintain a free and open internet, while at the same time making cities and state governments into ISPs? How are you encouraging freedom and competition by putting internet service into the hands of the government? Competition only occurs when two or more private companies can compete.
 

junkeymonkey

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its a shame as with all the rest they claim they do rulal area folks like me that have no cable access or dsl and still as of today the year 2014 in the united states world richest most powerful nation all we got is 56k dial up [thanks AT&T] or satellite or cell phone style and that's still not up to 4g around here yet [but the bill the same as if it was ]

so I will assume this pertains only to city folks or areas that got all the best service and will now get that upgraded ???
 

IInuyasha74

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@TheSecondPower: What it is doing is saying that if an area exists which does not have access to high speed internet at a reasonable cost that it should be the responsibility of the local government to instate a network that meets that standard.

How it encourages competition is because it doesn't outlaw private sector companies like Comcast from selling high speed internet, in fact it doesn't say anything really about their speeds or prices. What it dose say is that if you live in an area that doesn't have high speed internet at a reasonable fee, which is basically the entire United States, that the local government then has an obligation to provide that for you by developing a municipal broadband network as a city service. That new network then competes with the companies in the private sector forcing them to lower prices be competitive and not allowing them to keep extraordinarily high profit margins by giving U.S. citizens crappy service.
 

jossrik

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This is a step in the right direction. I love my country but I fear my government, especially when they have to step in because some companies are worse than the government. Do you know how hard you have to try to be worse than the lowest bidder? Every time? Year after year? This isn't recent, United States' ISPs are like a cancer. Just look at the lowest rated companies in the US for customer service. Year after year! Even when the banks were failing and the car companies were getting government handouts, ISPs still sucked worse. Hopefully this will pass. But you're right, if the big companies throw enough money at it, this problem will go away.
 

InvalidError

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The way I read the article's summary, the new rules change next to nothing: ISPs may not be able to throttle based on content but when 80-100% of a given content type (ex.: Netflix before direct peering deals) transits through a single peer (ex.: L3), ISPs can still refuse to upgrade capacity with that peer to force the content provider responsible for that traffic to arrange (and likely have to pay for) alternate transit if they wish to maintain their quality of service.
 

TheSecondPower

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@IInuyasha74: That may be how it starts, but in the end it will leverage tax revenue to be cheaper than the best private companies can offer, which will prevent private companies from even existing. People in remote areas know the cost of living away from the benefits of the city; it's expensive to run infrastructure out there. Taxing people in the city, where infrastructure is cheap, to provide internet to people in rural areas isn't fair. I live in a rural area and have lousy internet, and I think my ISP could do more. But I don't want the government to fix it. It's the government's job to require justice. An entrepreneur could fix my internet problem if the government just stopped making business harder and actually went after unjust businesses instead of putting troublesome regulation on even the good ones.
 

alidan

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the democrats burnt a lot of wall street bridges, and whats left is the tech sector, and they pay a lot... you got big money on both sides but a fairly big money contributor is for net neutrality that you cant ignore, startup investors.
 

kenjitamura

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Not sure where all these commenters are getting "free government internet" from. It's not going to be free. It's going to make them like every other municipal service: Water, Electricity, Garbage Pickup. Local governments can establish a service if they deem there does not exist competitive enough options already in existence and people will pay for the services. There can still exist private companies that compete even if there is a government run service in the area.
 

falchard

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I feel this is mostly moronic when you dig down into the effects and look at how similar strategies have panned out.
There are 2 areas that are good in these proposals. 1st ISPs cannot throttle a particular type of traffic. This is something the FCC already enforces so it shouldn't need a re-proposal. 2nd the ISP cannot spy on the users. This will pretty much neuter the NSA and MPAA. It will also allow the internet be secure because the backdoors for the NSA would not longer be necessary.

The problem with an internet that treats everyone equal is that not everyone wants to be treated equal. Most people might be like, yea I want to have the same access and Netflix or Youtube, but none would want to pay a similar bill as Netflix or Youtube. I choose T-Mobile not because they have the best internet, or because they had the greatest access. I chose them because I only need 1 GB data a month, and I don't want to pay the same as someone actively uploading to youtube. Tiered service to me is a good idea, and I would hate to see an internet without tiered service. A lot of people would lose access to the internet due to cost.
The problem with not allowing a "fast lane" is that it does not properly mitigate data. Cable companies can do something telecom companies cannot. They can offer over a hundred 30MB/s channels. Without the incentive of revenue coming from them, why would they drop TV service? It holds back cable companies from offering the full potential of their networks. By using such an approach, a cable company can offer faster more responsive service for all its customers and there is only minor infrastructure changes to route priority services like Netflix to a populated area without taking away "lanes" from other internet services.
Cable companies are not telecom companies. Note - 'tele' in the name. Last time I checked, I don't need to dial into a cable internet service. Google is also not a tele company. Telecommunication laws only apply to telephone companies like ATT and Verizon for telephone services.
Publically run utilities are across the board the worst run companies you can find in an industry. I can take a high school dropout who has never seen a computer and they will be able to run an ISP better than a public utility. Cities run out of water and electricity, but they never manage to run out of gas. Also I hate the thought of paying $100 in taxes so I can buy $10/month internet service.

Now one thing that could work is reversing the state sanctioned monopolies that prevent more then 2 or 3 ISPs to service a region. Private competition is what's missing and with more, there will be greater growth.
 

Reepca

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[strike]How do private schools compete with public schools? The answer to that question can be applied in similar manner to answer how private ISPs compete with tax-funded ISPs.

To me, that looks like "becoming very niche players". Private schools are typically used for niche reasons / by niche customers, and I imagine private ISPs will suffer the same fate - they will offer privacy or especially high quality, and that will be the extent of their market. In other words, they won't compete with them, simply find another niche. It's either that or advance unrealistically fast with futuristic tech to be able to beat the internet that everyone has to buy.[/strike]

(Let me know if it sounds like I'm misunderstanding something)

EDIT: So if I understand this correctly, only the initial cost of developing the network is paid by taxes? A sort of taking a loan from the government to start a business (in this case, a government business)? Okay, it sounds like I did misunderstand something then. People still have to pay to use that service, the capability of maintaining and developing that service is still limited by its income, and it's subject to all the normal rules of competition (if someone out-innovates, people can use their service instead).

Welp, my prior analogy is pretty useless now then. In light of my now-I-hope-correct understanding of this, I think I quite like the idea of municipal internet that can improve the quality of life for internet users stuck with awful service like me.
 

yanta

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This is a reasonable start. I foresee great backlash from the corpratocracy. The proposals will undoubtedly be "softened"

Would also be nice if ISPs could also be prevented from

1. Blocking the use of VPNs and other privacy technologies. The internet is not safe. Anyone with a shred of sense will use a VPN or other technology to assist with thir online safety and privacy. ISP should encourage this, not punish customers who want to be safer online

2. Throttling customers bandwidth at specific times of the day (I do not mean throttling when they use all their allowance).

3. Peak and off peak should be banned. How many people are awake between 1am and 8am to use their internet allowance. And leaving PCs on overnight is just plain irresponsible with skyrocketing energy prices. If you pay for 500gb you should be able to use what you pay for.

My ISP resets my connection periodically to force my VPN to disconnect. Doesn't bring down the whole connection, just enough to cause the VPN problems.

They also throttle the connection at 4pm every day until midnight, even though I am on FTTH and an unlimited plan. At night, web-browsing and online gaming is just horrible.
 

BrandonYoung

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This is a sad sad day for owners of major ISPs such as Comcast, CenturyLink, and AT&T, just to name a few. If there is serious competition, they may have to put some of their profits towards upgrading their existing services and infrastructure or risk being put out of business. So much for million dollar bonus's this holiday season.

On the flip-side, this is good news for individuals in the United States that don't currently have access to the 'top of the line' internet that many countries do presently.

One thing that I hope to gain out of this (assuming it passes), is some type of internet other than dial-up, or satellite. Unlimited, fast (5+mbps would be plenty), unrestricted internet. One would think in the modern era, living a short 5 miles from the phone company, that Internet access would not be an issue, sadly this is not the case. 20% of the country currently doesn't have access to non-dial up/satellite internet. Of course the most extreme cases may prove difficult to provide access to without spending a great deal of money in the process (20 mile private road to service one household), but surely we can reduce this number to 5%.

3 miles from my house, you can get fiber to your front door. Currently, I'm stuck with 3kbps dial up, or 10mbps (>5mbps in reality) satellite for the first 10gig, then down to 128kbps for the remainder of the month. This should not be acceptable in 2015.

Please FCC, drive these "ISPs" out of business, or force them to improve in order to survive.
 

rluker5

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I don't have a T1 line. Oh dear, let's hand over the internet to the government. They'll fix it just like everything else. It will be solar powered and care about the children's teachers.
It was like 20 years ago that you could only do telnet and unix stuff. The progress so far is awesome, but yes it isn't perfect. Show me where the government is awesome (accomplishments, not promises) before telling me they would do better.
 
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