ISPs Are Now Free To Discriminate Against Internet Services

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Government sanctioned monopolies are the real issue here. It's just like how they limited health insurance companies from selling over state lines. In my area I have only 3 choices for internet, Frontier, Spectrum and satellite. I use too much data and need too much bandwidth for satellite to be viable, Frontier is atrocious, so reality for me is that it's Spectrum or nothing.

They should have restored competition first...but that's government for you, putting the cart before the horse. The NN regulations were a band-aide, competition is what was actually needed.
 

shrapnel_indie

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The FCC chairman has already warned states not to try and pass their own net neutrality rules, implying that those rules will not count because the ISPs only need to follow FCC’s federal rules.

The way the U.S. Constitution reads, despite what the Feds want it to read, and have acted like it reads, The States are in charge of the Fed Gov't, NOT the other way around, which means States should and do have the right (it was never a right explicitly granted to the Federal Govt. All non-explicitly given authority was given to The States and The People.) to make any laws they wish as long as it doesn't violate The U.S. Constitution, and The People accept the law.

So yes, the States have the authority to make their own NN laws.... doubt they'll try though as, like others have pointed out they did squat about increasing competition and improving quality of service.
 


They'll just say it falls under the Commerce Clause. Which they have full control over. As it is one of the enumerated powers. Then it will come down to whether or not the Supreme Court plays ball. As they lost interest in the constitution a long time ago.
 


Once Trump can replace Ginsberg, that should help restore a Constitution based SCOTUS. But it will likely fall under the CC and the Supremacy Claus, but it will come down to whether or not they care enough to fight states.
 

pyro411

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Sadly I see a possible issue with individual states making NN laws... If the laws target the company AKA corporate headquarters, most likely the company will find a state without a NN law to plunk down in, also if they attempt to state they can't limit/shape traffic within their state to any service, there's nothing stopping said ISP from immediately starting to shape traffic 1nm past the state border for traffic on it's way to a service that crosses state lines.
 


I don't think it will be that segmented, however, they could potentially raise prices in states with their own NN laws. In this case, something like NN needs to be done as a Union or not at all.
 

urdrwho

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God I can't believe all this nonsense from people. Net Neutrality was signed a few years ago. Tell me Einsteins --- what has it changed in your life? Did we not have the Internet before Net Neutrality?

The people who are whining and pulling your chain to scream are the corps like Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc. They don't want to pay anymore $$$ for their bandwidth use and their use of it has grown exponentially. Bezo is worth $500 billion and he wants us to help subsidize his business model.

I didn't see any drop in prices after it was passed in 2015. Now Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. might start getting charged for the bandwidth they are using ---- maybe?

It may even bring competition and what a great day it would be when there are multiple ISP's vying for our business.

"There is a reason that Google backs net neutrality. As I wrote in April:

Google was in favor of net neutrality; that’s because, as Robert E. Litan and Hal J. Singer wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Absent net neutrality restrictions, entrepreneurs in their garages would devote significant energies trying to topple Google with the next killer application.”

Of course, Google became an opponent of net neutrality when it came to GoogleFiber, which the government conveniently neglected to make subject to net neutrality.
 

urdrwho

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Oh adding a pic of GWB sure makes me feel warm and cozy. The man with the administration that passed the Patriot Act. Yeah --- that's a real good argument.
 

CerianK

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News flash: Upon repeal of Net Neutrality, ISPs unanimously decide the only change will be to block auto-playing video advertisements. Available Internet bandwidth nation-wide increases 15%, so no infrastructure improvements are planned for the foreseeable future.
 

Giroro

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Don't worry guys, we can always just go back to the "innovation" of the Dial-up Era and the Net Bubble.

... Oh wait, the major ISPs also own all the phone lines, and the current FCC is allowing telecoms to abandon that infrastructure in place and switch to VOIP (and they also lifted the requirement that telecoms prove their new VOIP services are functionally equivalent). You better hope that the ground never shifts and breaks a phone wire, because an ISP will never, ever fix it. Especially now that they can legally add nerfed, censored, and legal-to-wiretap-and-data-mine-without-a-warrent "phone" service as an unregulated up-charge to your internet bill.

It's a very frustrating situation. Ajit Pai has been using "People still have the choice to get unbiased information online" as an excuse to deregulate local news, broadcast tv, radio, and newspaper - all of those regulations were put in place to prevent monopolies and preserve access to objective information, by the way. And then he turns around and destroys the guarantee that people will be able to choose what content they see online.
Net Neutrality isn't the first nail in the coffin on the destruction of free information, it's the last. Go look at the other regulations that the FCC has removed in the past few months. A company like Comcast/NBC can buy up every local TV station in a market (including your local Fox and CBS affiliates). They then can also legally buy every newspaper and radio station.
And when you get online? They also happen to be your only choice in ISP, and can censor anything they want. Try to call your congressman and complain? You can't, they can block that too because they let the Title II landlines to rot away and switched all the phone service to barely-functional VOIP.

Here's another "innovation" that telecoms could do with all their newfound "internet freedom": once carriers switch over from Title II landline service to unregulated VOIP, the dial-tone and the "ringback" tone you hear replaced with advertisements. Heck, they could start randomly disconnecting conversations-in-progress until both parties take a "commercial break" and verbally confirm that they have listened to the ad.


This all would have all been an unthinkable scenario a few months ago, but now its legal. Although a court may ultimately need to decide if switching phone service to VOIP will circumvent the Title II classification protecting landlines.

The FCC exists for a reason. That reason, of course, was always to protect citizens and extremely valuable national resources in the face of the monopolistic telephone company shenanigans. There's good reasons that the Communications act of 1934 has been necessary for over 80 years. The internet is far more important than the telephone ever was. Both America's and the World's economy is dependent on it. The internet needs strong legislative and possibly, constitutional protections.
 

Giroro

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" Net Neutrality was signed a few years ago."

That's not true. It is one of many lies that Ajit Pai is inexplicably parroting in order to justify his actions to an outraged public that has unified across party lines.

Here's a history lesson:
Net neutrality and broadband internet have been tied together since the market started ditching dial-up in favor of dedicated internet connections
The FCC first outlined their four principals of "open internet" in 2005.  Although this was not real regulation, the 2005 FCC was not contested when they fined a municipal ISP for blocking VOIP services.
ISPs more-or-less followed these principals at first. Whenever an isp would act too far out of line the FCC would threaten real regulations, and people generally believed the FCC had the power to enact those regulations, if they choose. But over time things had degraded to the point that the FCC established the Open Internet Order in 2010.

The open internet order is short and easy to read, by the way. It's a few easy to understand sentences that essentially says "no blocking, no unreasonable discriminating, and transparency". I recommend you read it before going off on "heavy handed" regulation.

Verizon sued almost immediately, but the Order remained in place until it was overturned in 2014.

Throttling between 2010-2014 dropped to the level of "what they thought they could get away with and not jeopardize the outcome of the court case", but it still happened. In 2011 Verizon famously blocked Google wallet in an attempt to push it's own mobile payment service (ISIS). So when people with about ISPs blocking services like Google, it's because they've done it in the past. Verizon was so bold they even did it when it was still illegal, simply because they knew that they would get the OIO overturned eventually.

I don't know if you remember what happened to internet service in 2014, but things got very bad very quickly. The most publicized example was that Netflix was forced to restructure their entire pricing scheme and prices increased by 25%. Comcast also added previously-unheard-of data caps to their landline internet service in "selected markets". All that happened to me, personally, was that my monthly internet bill doubled, but reports of services becoming unusable were everywhere. The FTC was handing out fines left and right for anti-competitive behavior and breaches of contract,. Unfortunately these fines were on the scale of tens of thousands of dollars, while the anti-competitive practices are generating in the tens of millions. The fines were a toothless joke that were just seen as the cost of doing business.

However, ISPs were still showing restraint. The FCC was threatening to reclassify the internet under Title II of the communications act of 1934, which would let them reclaim their power to protect the internet.
ISPs absolutely did not want this to happen, but they couldn't help themselves when there was so much money to grab.

So in 2015, the FCC was forced to reclassify the internet as a title II service, which essentially marked the internet as a utility like phone service. This in itself was not net neutrality, but it gave the FCC the power it needed to stop the bleeding. The regulations put into place after that point did end up being more restrictive than the original Open Internet Order, but reclassification wasn't anybody's first choice, not even the FCC. Only a portion of the regulations that are applied to phone service were carried over to the internet.

Today's repeal means that the FCC can no longer has the power to create or enforce any order to preserve an open internet. Meaning the FCC, nor any executive agency, has the power to effectively threaten or even bargain with ISPs into fair competition. This has never happened before. The situation is not the same as "before net neutrality", because that was also "back before wifi" and "back before most people had cell phones". Everything was on dial-up before the net bubble. Dial up connections were heavily regulated, as they counted as phone service.
 

IInuyasha74

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In addition to preventing companies from throttling select content, since net neutrality was passed my local ISP has doubled bandwidth speeds on all of its service plans, while simultaneously extending the data cap to 1TB on most plans. The less expensive plans that didn't get their data cap pushed up to 1TB did get their data caps doubled. Your argument that Net Neutrality has not changed anything is completely untrue.

Also, why would a website want to throttle your access? How does throttling your access help Google, Amazon or Netflix? It doesn't. Amazon would probably like you to spend all day browsing its site in the hopes that you place more orders. Anything you search for on Google is tracked by Google, who then can use that information for directed advertisements allowing the company to profit. Reduced access to either site would negatively impact both sites. Netflix may not profit from the amount of time you spend watching videos, but if video content loads slowly it may push some to cancel their Netflix subscriptions in favor of a faster service. It doesn't make sense that Netflix would want to make its own website perform worse. This part of your argument doesn't make any sense.
 

bit_user

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Yeah, by electing representatives to Congress, which established the FCC.


Good luck convincing the Supreme Court that's not a breech of Interstate Commerce clause. I know that clause has been stretched and contorted in various interesting ways, but the Internet seems a more direct application of it.
 

bit_user

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urmissingdapoint - even that sub-genius and zealous de-regulator could see the value in NN.


In addition to the points made by the article, I would just state that before NN was enacted, there was a soft deterrent effect where ISPs didn't want to do anything too outrageous that would provoke a backlash. This new change makes it more difficult to re-instate NN, meaning ISPs can now be a lot more aggressive.

The worst part is I don't think they'll actually break the internet (for the most part). Just create more friction, tariffs, overhead, etc. that makes life a little worse for US internet consumers and tech startups. Each time that happens, it makes other countries a little more competitive, and you might find the next wave of big internet companies no longer being US-based.

So, there might never be some cataclysmic event that focuses enough energy to reverse this decision, but that doesn't mean it won't be doing plenty of damage to consumers, entrepreneurs, tech workers, and possibly the economy writ large.
 

bit_user

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I'm pretty sure that's not how content distribution works, nowadays. These video files probably aren't all streamed from a central location - content usually gets cached much nearer to consumers.
 

Olle P

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Lucky bastard! So you're one of the relatively few in the US that have more than one to chose from!
In less populated areas a government sanctioned monopoly is second best only to government owned lines. Without a monopoly no ISP is willing to connect the homes at any reasonable price.
Here in Sweden there are subsidies to ISPs willing to connect less densely populated areas.

... in the USA. Most developed countries made it law long ago!

Not so distant future changes can be much more notable though.
 

Diji1

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Well, we're screwed
Hardly.

Somehow the internet survived without network neutrality rules all the way up to 2015. This is despite the internet apparently being destroyed if it doesn't have it.

Network neutrality advantages all the largest, most entrenched service providers such as Google, Facebook and Snapchat - which is clearly obvious by how much money they spent drumming up support for it after paying Obama's admininstration to implement it in the first place.
 
Oh adding a pic of GWB sure makes me feel warm and cozy. The man with the administration that passed the Patriot Act. Yeah --- that's a real good argument.
I apologize for not being more succinct.
I hope you will find this more appropriate, and better to the point, even though some may find it somewhat offensive. I'll apologize in advance for that, too, for those who may be offended.

And, just in case you might have missed it, please consider my user name, and take a close look at my avatar ...

. . .
Somehow the internet survived without network neutrality rules all the way up to 2015. This is despite the internet apparently being destroyed if it doesn't have it.
In case you have not been paying attention, the FCC under the administration of George W Bush laid the foundation for the net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC under President Obama.

That would lead a reasonable person to consider the FCC, led by its new chairman, Ajit Pai, in the Trump Administration, to be little more than disingenuous, corporate boot-licking clowns.

 

blitzkrieg316

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Why should the government dictate how private companies run their business? As long as nothing illegal or harmful is being done I don't see an issue. Sure it sucks being throttled but you live in a republic, not a socialized haven where everyone gets a participation trophy.
 

Mark RM

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We're watching from Canada, the major ISPs are ready to change peerage agreements if this impacts them. Not sure how it will all shake out but I think we're going to see the biggest users of backbone bandwidth (Netflix, Amazon etc) have to pony up some cash (where the costs are passed on to consumers, of course).
 
"ISPs will be free to invest more money in broadband expansion"
Because the law said they weren't allowed to right?
ignorant excuse...

"that it would be easier for smaller ISPs to compete."
In my life I have only lived in 1 location that had more than 1 option BEFORE net neutrality. It feels like all cable providers have been allowed to have a monopoly. A monopoly against our citizens.

We need to start a class action lawsuit. (or get even more extreme to set an example).

Was this guy bribed? Big money made this decision, not logic. This change is a PERFECT example of what's wrong with this country.

!!!---===Money has made a choice against our citizens.===---!!!
 

austintx1985

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If the internet should fall under the Commerce Clause, then shouldn't Congress be on the hook to make laws governing this instead of the laughable FCC we have at the moment? Seems like that would kinda resolve itself.
 
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