FCC Turns Around On Net Neutrality With "Faster Lane" Rules - Update

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FCC Turns Around On Net Neutrality With "Faster Lane" Rules - Update

Tom Wheeler

The Federal Communications Commission is about to propose new rules that will allow internet providers to offer faster connections into customers' homes for companies who are willing to pay for it.

Update: In a statement released last night, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said critics of the proposed rule changes are "flat-out wrong."

"There is no 'turnaround in policy.' The same rules will apply to all Internet content," he said in a statement reported by the Los Angeles Times. "As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court's decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted."

An anonymous FCC official told the Washington Post something rather different, however. "Broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers," the official said. "In all instances, broadband providers would need to act in a commercially reasonable manner subject to review on a case-by-case basis."

Wheeler's statement, "Setting the Record Straight on the FCC's Open Internet Rules," can be read in full at the FCC website.

Original Story:

The concept of net neutrality, in a nutshell, is that all content is treated equally; the connection comes into the home and the user does with it as he or she pleases. But a U.S. appeals court ruled earlier this year that the FCC cannot impose restrictions upon broadband providers that enforce net neutrality, effectively opening the door for large companies like Time Warner and Verizon to begin offering preferential treatment to content providers willing to pay for it. And although FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said shortly after the ruling that he would "fight" to restore net neutrality, today it has come out that he's actually done the exact opposite.

The FCC will in fact soon propose new rules drafted by Wheeler that will allow internet providers to offer a "faster lane" to companies willing to pay for it, according to sources briefed on the proposals, and to negotiate the terms of those deals individually. Those costs would presumably then be passed on to consumers, either as increased prices for content subscriptions or as added costs at the internet provider level for access to optional, specialized service tiers - an extra $5 or $10 per month for Netflix access, for instance.

The proposed new rules come to light less than a month after the European Parliament adopted a proposal to "enshrine net neutrality in European law." While it must be ratified by individual EU members, Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake said the proposal "creates safeguards to ensure that players without deep pockets, such as start-ups, hospitals or universities, cannot be pushed out of the market as a result of deals between Internet service providers and content providers to offer faster services at a higher price."

Prior to his appointment as head of the FCC, Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry and held positions including president of the National Cable Television Association and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. The final vote on the proposal will take place on May 15.

Source: New York Times

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Somehow, I'm not actually surprised by this.

Actually no, I lied. I'm surprised it took Wheeler this long to do what he was pretty clearly planning to do all along. This is several different flavors of disgusting, and I really hope this gets shot down. I'm not nearly naive enough to truly believe it will, but I can dream.

The fucking shit that goes on in this country of mine. I guess benefits for the average citizen have become a secondary concern haven't they?

Ah it had to happen some time.

Some of the internet companies decided that they would really like a big fat pay check so they climbed up on the desk of the FCC executive in charge and spread their cheeks and out came a big fat roll of cash. Now suddenly the FCC is totally okay with companies gouging people for internet speed.

It really is disgusting how american politics isn't even trying to look impartial any more. They just straight up told the public to go fuck itself and have set up a corporate-oligarchic system of election. Where a fucking cable company lobbyist can somehow gain a position as head of the commission in charge of regulation that kind of stuff.

Wheeler should life up to his name sake and wheel himself out of the fucking door into oncoming traffic along with the entire government body.

Welcome to the free market I guess... the worst part is this will impact EU net access as the drop off in numbers for certain services will see a price hike for us. :(

erttheking:
The fucking shit that goes on in this country of mine. I guess benefits for the average citizen have become a secondary concern haven't they?

Oh that's where you're wrong. That would require the circumstance of 98+% of the population to be a concern in the first place.

If your annual income doesn't have seven zeroes after it, your opinion is irrelevant and you should clearly be grateful for whatever scraps the real human beings let drop off the table.

erttheking:
image

The fucking shit that goes on in this country of mine. I guess benefits for the average citizen have become a secondary concern haven't they?

"Have become?" Where have you been living this past century? Or more accurately, since the dawn of civilization? The average citizen has never been anything more than a resource to those in power, and only when large groups of average citizens angrily band together for a common goal do they ever rise above that distinction.

Hey, guys? Remember when at least some parts of the government worked in favor of citizens rather than corporations?

Yeah, me neither. Well, get ready to shell out an extra twenty bucks a month for the "YouTube tier", and maybe another ten a month for the "Escapist access plan".

Shocking how much work the government is doing to ensure that ISP shareholders will see dividends that return slightly higher percentages.

The FCC will in fact soon propose new rules drafted by Wheeler that will allow internet providers to offer a "faster lane" to companies willing to pay for it, according to sources briefed on the proposals, and to negotiate the terms of those deals individually. Those costs would presumably then be passed on to consumers, either as increased prices for content subscriptions or as added costs at the internet provider level for access to optional, specialized service tiers - an extra $5 or $10 per month for Netflix access, for instance.

So the theory is that the ISP corporations will design, create and install a super-fast service for those companies willing to pay extra to have their content stream quicker, which will presumably run seamlessly on top of the current infastructure already present across the country?

Bollocks.

That is Utter Bollocks with a capital UB, and I'm sure Tom Wheeler knows that this will not happen.

If there's one thing we know about these types of private corporations, it's that they would rather see their industry stagnate and rot than pro-actively upgrade their services out of their own profit margins.

What will happen is that regular data will be artificially capped to a speed below the actual capacity of the lines, and you will have to pay to unlock full access to the already in place infastructure of the internet. It will cost the ISP nothing because they will refuse to spend anything on their lines, they will just cap internet speeds at the business end of the line instead of the user end.

Not surprising given the way our government works. Corporate interests rule all.

America: Where freedom isn't free.

I really hate how far my nation as fallen.

We USED to be great.
We USED to be the moral standard.
We USED to be free.

What the actual fuck. As if internet in the US wasn't bad enough with the fact that most people only have one choice in service providers, which is often expensive and/or shitty. Now these providers have even more ways to fuck over their customers. As if they aren't doing that enough as it is.

Seriously, internet needs to start being treated as an essential communications tool, because it kind of is. For example, I'm going to university, and half of my classes have at least some assignments that need to be submitted online. If I didn't have ready access to the internet, I would not be able to effectively do those assignments. Not to mention how much easier it is to actually do those assignments with the internet. Hell, ignoring school, a lot of businesses require, or would at least prefer job applications be sent online, so somebody without internet access would be at a serious disadvantage in this already extremely competitive job market.

The worst part is, everything this guy has said previously has been in favor of net neutrality. That's what pisses me off the most about this.

How about no you hypocritical fuckstick? This shit keeps going on I'm finding a new country to live in...

Prior to his appointment as head of the FCC, Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry and held positions including president of the National Cable Television Association and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.

The amount of power and influence lobbying has in the US will never fail to both amaze and slightly scare me.

Tanis:
We USED to be the moral standard.

That I sincerely doubt, considering your history.

Tanis:
America: Where freedom isn't free.

I really hate how far my nation as fallen.

We USED to be great.
We USED to be the moral standard.
We USED to be free.

Unless you were an Aboriginal.

On topic, Capitalism at it's finest. More and more I find myself supporting the idea of a world wide resource based economy. Almost all of the problems we struggle with as a species and as a planet, stem from the bottom line.

gona move me to the country , gona eat a lota peaches . they cant put peaches in the fast lane can they ?

It's shit like this that makes me want to pick up a gun and start killing cocksuckers like this in public. I am so sick and tired of our rights and freedoms being fucked over by douche-bags who worship the almighty dollar. People like Wheeler need to be made an example of. Those who do not value the lives or liberties of the American people don't deserve to live here or live period.

Oh, that's a great idea! I need to make one change though: the extra cost should come from the ISP execs paychecks. They make enough money for their family to wipe their asses with ten $100 bills at a time. This should be a nice courtesy to their customers.

Good job, Wheeler. I thought you would at least make a half-assed stance on net neutrality. Someone really needs to make a website showing links between lobbyists, corporations and politicians so we know who to trust(Well, no-one is the answer, but it would say who's first in line to get a piece of the average American's ass). But that site would probably be taken down by a network owned by an evil mega corp claiming copy write on a quote made by one of their goons when they finally pass one of these SOPA sequels they keep drafting.

So basically the internet is dead. It's been a fun couple decades. See you guys outside. I'm gonna try to ride my bike before the paths and parks get completely privatized and they start charging by the meter.

Uuuuhm... Those "enshrined" net neutrality laws in the E.U.? Yeah, they are basically just the same as this. Pretty much exactly what you've described in the article is written in the fine print of Neelie Kroes' (the commissar for the digital agenda) proposal under the guise of "specialised services".

Our stuff hasn't been ratified by the EU parliament yet and before that happens there's gonna be an election for a new one but as it stands now, net neutrality in the EU is pretty much gone.

Captcha: that's all, folks

I have to say this, I DO prefer the internet in China despite its censorship of many things (youtube, google blocking and new sites are my biggest gripe). It is however reliable, fast, and unlimited (and bypassed with proxies).

Andy Chalk:
Prior to his appointment as head of the FCC, Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry and held positions including president of the National Cable Television Association and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. The final vote on the proposal will take place on May 15.

"lobbyist" is just a word used to legitimise "corruption".

Tanis:
I really hate how far my nation as fallen.

We USED to be great.
We USED to be the moral standard.
We USED to be free.

if it helps i hate it too and i'm not even an American.

let me rephrase that...

it makes me sad.

when i was a kid the US was genuinely idealized here in Scotland.

my grandparents were very big on extolling the virtues of America...and it's not like they didnt know it...they had met more than a few Americans during the war and went there to holiday with them long and often (and often returned the favour also).

the really sad part is that despite all the cap dockers saying "it's always like this" all its really taken is 30 years of "neoliberalism" which was invented in the mid 70s...before that the balance of Capitalism and Democracy generally actually worked for the common good as originally intended...since then...not so much...even statistically...and still people are psyched into thinking making only rich people richer is a good, even "the best", idea...

Class action lawsuit by 97% of all companies in the US in 3, 2,...

In all seriousness though, this will never hold up in court the moment someone brings it up, and it probably will be before it even gets in the first stages of implementation. Say what you will about corporate control over things, this is one of those cases where the interests of most corporations and those of the citizenry are in the same place. If we're lucky, a few heads will roll, namely one that has to do with wheels.

Won't someone think about the poor corporations? Capitalism rocks and people shitting on it need to stop holding tight to their small paychecks and start giving more to corporations.

Yes, I am kidding. The truth is that I am hating capitalism more all the time.

Rellik San:
Welcome to the free market I guess... the worst part is this will impact EU net access as the drop off in numbers for certain services will see a price hike for us. :(

This isn't really the free market, it's big business greed destroying the free market. The government sets up regulatory bodies, corporations get their men in place, and use laws to force out competitors. It's why just about everything in America is messed up and getting more messed up. Use the law to fight competition and change the rules in your favor.

Well, here comes praying that Wheeler doesn't get his plan to fruition.

This coming on the heels of Time Warner, the second biggest internet provider, being bought by Comcast the biggest internet provider. Comcast will be the only option in many areas which will not only raise prices and now they can throttle bandwidth to any company that doesn't pay up without threat of people jumping to another internet provider. On a related note, Princeton just did a study that found that America is no longer a democracy. But rather an oligarchy where the land is ruled by the rich and powerful with everyone else having no say in policy. http://www.policymic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy You can bet your ass that Tom Wheeler has the CEOs of Comcast on speed dial.

LOL

So he was a rat all along.

Welp, that's it, game over. Kiss your shitty Internet goodbye America because its about to get even worse.

Man am I glad I live in Holland.

Lol. America... Best Government Money can buy,

You know what the really sad thing is? These guys are able to make these decisions because we all agree they can. It is hypothetically possible for everyone to just decide at once to make Wheeler and people like him homeless and penniless where they belong. Unlikely, but possible. Instead, we continue to agree to let them have this effect on our lives.

Don't worry. Everything will work out just fine. Especially if that Comcast/Time Warner merger goes through. ... Right? *Weeps bitter tears*

WeepingAngels:
Won't someone think about the poor corporations? Capitalism rocks and people shitting on it need to stop holding tight to their small paychecks and start giving more to corporations.

Yes, I am kidding. The truth is that I am hating capitalism more all the time.

what you are talking about isn't actually Capitalism.

Capitalism is supposed to make "the middle" rich...that "the rich" get slightly richer in the process is merely the carrot that makes them invest capital...or in other words "place a bet"...

look...just trust me on this: it makes much more sense if you think of it all as a bookies but with "the people who actually get their hands dirty" as "the house"...

Adam Smith wasn't rich...he was of the mercantile (ie "middle") classes back in the days when there was just slightly more of them than were needed to service the needs and whims of the rich.

Capitalism is a vast institutionalised (via banks/stock markets and other such institutions) con trick to spread their money (and resultant political power) around and put most of it at any given time collectively in the hands of the middle classes as the rich pursue profit via investing capital in business ventures...and it worked spectacularly well...until about 1976 when a couple idiots came up with "shareholder value capitalism" and supposedly making the rich richer became the most important thing ("shareholder value capitalism" is not and has never been "the law" btw and if you think it is...grats...now you know what its like to be brainwashed by propaganda and find out i guess).

they're also supposed to lose money (which still ends up in the hands of "the middle" aka "the house") if they fail btw...

ie simplistically if you start a business venture, pay people and suppliers etc for while but it goes nowhere and folds the people and suppliers etc have still been paid and what was previously your money is "out there" even though you made none.

you might care to note than when the rich place a really bad bet nowadays it comes out your pocket not theirs via being added to government debt rather than letting the company involved fail and the replacement/refinement process take place in the market (which is the "survival of the fittest" bit people often talk about but put in the wrong place)...

i dunno what name someone might give this system but "Capitalism" IT IS NOT.

and if you think "US sub prime mortgage debt" is the last really bad bet rich people will make...*shudder*

I don't see the issue... the dude is being totally fair.
/sarcasm

You have to laugh or you will cry.

Tanis:
America: Where freedom isn't free.

Hey you can have freedom of speech on the internet.

It's only gonna cost you $19.99 a month

Well, that didn't take him long to change his mind.

Anyway, I agree with those calling bullshit on the whole "pay to get a faster service" thing. What's going to happen is that you have to pay money just to get the current maximum rate.

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