FCC Votes To Accept Revised Net Neutrality Proposals

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FCC Votes To Accept Revised Net Neutrality Proposals

FCC Logo

The FCC has voted to accept revised changes to net neutrality rules and is now seeking public input on the matter in a process that chairman Tom Wheeler said could last for the rest of the year.

The FCC has voted to move ahead with plans to overhaul the way it regulates the internet, which could see preferential treatment granted to major media companies and others willing to pay for a "fast lane" into consumers' homes. The updated rules would prevent internet providers from blocking access to content by mandating a "minimum level of access," which on the surface sounds like a positive step, but it also allows them to operate within the limits of vaguely-defined "commercially reasonable" practices, which may allow them to provide preferential access to those who can afford it.

Wheeler, however, insisted that his aim is to ensure the internet remains open and accessible to all. "There is one internet. It must be fast, it must be robust and it must be open," he said in a statement. "The prospect of a gatekeeper choosing winners and losers on the internet is unacceptable."

The FCC will now seek input from the public on the matter, including how to define what qualifies as "commercially reasonable," whether "paid prioritization" should be banned outright and even whether the internet should be classified as a common carrier service - essentially a utility - which would give the FCC much more authority over it. A reclassification would face stiff challenges from House Republicans, however; a letter sent to Wheeler and signed by House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and others says that classifying the internet as a utility "threatens to slow job creation and jeopardizes our economic recovery."

Regardless of the approach taken, Wheeler insisted that the intent is not to create fast and slow "lanes" for specific types of content, saying that nothing in the proposal "authorizes paid prioritization."

"Personally, I don't like the idea that the internet could be divided into haves and have-nots, and I will work to see that does not happen," he said. "As a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I know the importance of openness. I will not allow the national asset of open internet to be compromised. I understand this issue in my bones. I have scars from when my companies were denied access in pre-internet days."

The public consultation process will begin with a 60-day period for public comment, followed by another 60-day period for response.

Sources: The Verge, The Wall Street Journal

Permalink

"Public input" in this matter being a mere formality.
I imagine them sitting around in their suits going "Man, I wonder what I'm going to spend this year's kickback bonus cash on."

Well this is...something. At least they're saying that they care what the public wants. Now to wait and see if they're full of shit or not.

So when will the amended Bill be released for public viewing, as I take it we will actually be allowed to examine it as part of the public consultation, and not just expected to use our psychic auras to remote view it.

Those revisions were the smallest fig-leaf in the face of overwhelming outcry from pretty much the entire population of the world able to grasp these issues who wasn't the CEO of an ISP. They won't do a thing in practice to prevent anti competition practices and further tighten the U.S. ISPs ability to gouge and control.

The bullying threats from the ISPs also leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. They havven't been investing for the best part of a decade, look at their speeds as compared to the entirety of Europe. Here in the UK ISPs couldn't threaten to stop investing because then their competitors would eat them alive. In the past year the speed of my broadband has been doubled, DOUBLED without extra cost simply to try and prevent me from switching. My download speed is 18Mb/s even at peak times and i think goes as high as 24Mb/s. This is just one of their more basic packages too, At my other house It's 60Mb/s.

The U.S, average is 8.6Mbps and those mostly have usage limits which to me seem archaic. I've not heard of UK broadband with usage limits for many years. I'm pretty sure it's almost disappeared. In the UK that figure is now close to 15Mb/s average speed. (this is all in bits not bytes)

Actually, public comments on proposed regulations are a bit more than a "formality." The agency must formally address all substantive comments (beyond "this is stupid" type comments) before the rule can be made final.

Watch www.regulations.gov for the comments period to open if you wish to submit a comment.

is anybody else sick to death, of everytime something isn't going their way control-wise "D-d-DON'T! Job creation and recovery and think of the children!" XP BS, if anything a less restricted and less bought out of an internet would HELP because more people could utilize it to help their smaller businesses AND MAKE MORE GODDAMN JOBS!

Scrumpmonkey:
The bullying threats from the ISPs also leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. They havven't been investing for the best part of a decade, look at their speeds as compared to the entirety of Europe. Here in the UK ISPs couldn't threaten to stop investing because then their competitors would eat them alive.

That's what happens when the free market isn't really a free market. In the UK the govt want internet to be as fast as possible and as cheap as possible as it helps the economy, etc etc. We can enjoy cheap, fast and reliable internet access as there are about 50 different companies offering a wide range of services so people can demand the best.

By contrast in the US (and I'm not entirely sure how the political system works there) the best way to stop competition seems to be to lobby to get restrictions on the competition. Mr Wheeler is likely being offered a senior position with one of those ISP's a few years down the line. People there like to tout the free market but it isn't really free, it's a crony capitalist system that doesn't help anyone but a select few.

JimmyPage666:

Scrumpmonkey:
The bullying threats from the ISPs also leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. They havven't been investing for the best part of a decade, look at their speeds as compared to the entirety of Europe. Here in the UK ISPs couldn't threaten to stop investing because then their competitors would eat them alive.

That's what happens when the free market isn't really a free market. In the UK the govt want internet to be as fast as possible and as cheap as possible as it helps the economy, etc etc. We can enjoy cheap, fast and reliable internet access as there are about 50 different companies offering a wide range of services so people can demand the best.

By contrast in the US (and I'm not entirely sure how the political system works there) the best way to stop competition seems to be to lobby to get restrictions on the competition. Mr Wheeler is likely being offered a senior position with one of those ISP's a few years down the line. People there like to tout the free market but it isn't really free, it's a crony capitalist system that doesn't help anyone but a select few.

I'm afraid you don't grasp how bad the situation with Wheeler is. You have it the wrong way round. He is the former chief lobbyist for the cable industry. He was of the foremost advocates of these business and their stakeholders. He's their company man though and though. He belongs to the cable companies.

"I would never do what I am doing!" - Wheeler

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm afraid you don't grasp how bad the situation with Wheeler is. You have it the wrong way round. He is the former chief lobbyist for the cable industry. He was of the foremost advocates of these business and their stakeholders. He's their company man though and though. He belongs to the cable companies.

*Quick Google check* Well I'll be damned. I guess I wasn't too far off though, this looks like another case of a few companies trying to shut down the free market that made them so rich in the first place. Goddamn crony capitalists.

Atmos Duality:
"Public input" in this matter being a mere formality.

Pretty much. The guy in charge of the FCC is lobbied by the big ISPs so we know where his loyalties lie.

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens:
When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

Source.

Scrumpmonkey:

JimmyPage666:

Scrumpmonkey:
The bullying threats from the ISPs also leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. They havven't been investing for the best part of a decade, look at their speeds as compared to the entirety of Europe. Here in the UK ISPs couldn't threaten to stop investing because then their competitors would eat them alive.

That's what happens when the free market isn't really a free market. In the UK the govt want internet to be as fast as possible and as cheap as possible as it helps the economy, etc etc. We can enjoy cheap, fast and reliable internet access as there are about 50 different companies offering a wide range of services so people can demand the best.

By contrast in the US (and I'm not entirely sure how the political system works there) the best way to stop competition seems to be to lobby to get restrictions on the competition. Mr Wheeler is likely being offered a senior position with one of those ISP's a few years down the line. People there like to tout the free market but it isn't really free, it's a crony capitalist system that doesn't help anyone but a select few.

I'm afraid you don't grasp how bad the situation with Wheeler is. You have it the wrong way round. He is the former chief lobbyist for the cable industry. He was of the foremost advocates of these business and their stakeholders. He's their company man though and though. He belongs to the cable companies.

Yep, and he was appointed by Obama who seems to have a track record for giving donors to his campaign big positions like, hell, the ambassador to the freaking UK.
(Not his first snub to blighty but then the guy did have Winston Churchill's bust removed from the oval office and gave Gordon Brown (Then the PM) a stack of US region DVD's as a gift after Brown gave him a pen holder made from the timbers of the HMS Garnet (an anti-slave ship) and a first edition biography of Churchill)

So I did some digging, and found this: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/198350-comcast-time-warner-execs-have-been-big-obama-supporters

So we know Obama rewards people who funded him with positions of power and he had a lot of funding from these ISPs... What's the likelihood that he gave them Wheeler as a reward so they would have someone in the FCC to approve not only the merger but also to make it almost impossible to dig them out of their monopolies in general by this net-neutrality ruling?

Well, In any case, vague pondering on how utterly rotten the USA is in comparison to the rest of the anglosphere aside. We need to get about 32,000 more signatures on this petition which might really light a fire under the FCC in this case:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/maintain-true-net-neutrality-protect-freedom-information-united-states/9sxxdBgy

...we are so fucking fucked.

Tom Wheeler said could last for the rest of the year

They are just gonna sit on their asses until all the commotion dies down and then they'll push it through when nobody is looking or when something else has everybody's attention.

Yeah we just kind of thought we'd at least ask your opinion on whether you want no lube or no lube when we screw you over.

Wow, is Wheeler actually genetically capable of not contradicting himself? It's like everything he says is literally followed up by a slightly reworded opposite statement.

Anyway, if the door is open to public input, then everyone in the public should be standing up and speaking. I don't care if you think it's worthless or already decided, don't be silent. If you actually care about the free and open internet, you owe it to the service to speak up.

Slegiar Dryke:
is anybody else sick to death, of everytime something isn't going their way control-wise "D-d-DON'T! Job creation and recovery and think of the children!" XP BS, if anything a less restricted and less bought out of an internet would HELP because more people could utilize it to help their smaller businesses AND MAKE MORE GODDAMN JOBS!

Amen.

Basically, any time one of those guys says something about "slowing job creation", read it as "put less money in the pockets of those who support our re-election campaigns"; it would be a damn sight more accurate.

All evidence says that it's the small businesses that make new jobs, not the kinds that could afford their own personal fast lane for their Internet content. Boehner and Cantor are full of it... But what else is new?

StriderShinryu:
Wow, is Wheeler actually genetically capable of not contradicting himself? It's like everything he says is literally followed up by a slightly reworded opposite statement.

Anyway, if the door is open to public input, then everyone in the public should be standing up and speaking. I don't care if you think it's worthless or already decided, don't be silent. If you actually care about the free and open internet, you owe it to the service to speak up.

Is there any way for people not in the US to help with this, because I get the feeling it will set precedent for other countries to follow if they manage to screw the net over there.

chozo_hybrid:

StriderShinryu:
Wow, is Wheeler actually genetically capable of not contradicting himself? It's like everything he says is literally followed up by a slightly reworded opposite statement.

Anyway, if the door is open to public input, then everyone in the public should be standing up and speaking. I don't care if you think it's worthless or already decided, don't be silent. If you actually care about the free and open internet, you owe it to the service to speak up.

Is there any way for people not in the US to help with this, because I get the feeling it will set precedent for other countries to follow if they manage to screw the net over there.

A better question is if there's a way for people actually in the US to help with this. I feel powerless to stop this bullshit, and that my only hope is the big alliance between Google, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. I'm worried the ISPs will cut a deal with them. They'll certainly try to.

Well, he says one thing, but he allows another.

Hero in a half shell:
So when will the amended Bill be released for public viewing, as I take it we will actually be allowed to examine it as part of the public consultation, and not just expected to use our psychic auras to remote view it.

Didn't The Affordable Care Act teach you anything about politics? Reading and reviewing a bill before it's passed is utter nonsense and a waste of time. To quote Nancy Pelosi: "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it."

OT: The way this guy talks, I almost thought he worked for Microsoft...

Oh wait, he was a major lobbyist for big-name telecommunication corporations, that explains his language.

I'll just leave this here...
"I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists in Washington that their days of setting the agenda are over" - Barack Obama, 2007 Presidential Race.

I will continue to sharpen my Longaxe in an ominous fashion until this is fixed.

Mofo thinks he has "scars" from back when he got denied as a Venture Capitalist? I make mockey noises at your supposed "hurt"

Captcha: Hey Brother ((which I hear in Hulk Hogan's voice))

Good point, somebody needs to Choke hold him like Laura Ling, then Leg drop his ass back to Beijing!!!

Well, time for the tech lobby to step in and fuck shit up. You can bet your asses that Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix and friends already have an army of lobbyists scrambling to bring this down. Hopefully they will succeed.

You jackasses already know the public's opinion. We have sent you MULTIPLE petitions saying that this is the worst idea EVER! Do your damn jobs and restored net-neutrality COMPLETELY!

Apart from big companies and their pawns, is there anyone who wants this? Anyone at all? I cannot think of a single reason beyond plain old greed for this. I live in the UK, but even from here I can see how badly this will mess up the internet. This is the same deal we had with SOPA, a badly-worded-at-best bill that could have horrible consequences around the world and in the future that no-one who made this has even bothered thinking about.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
I will continue to sharpen my Longaxe in an ominous fashion until this is fixed.

Mofo thinks he has "scars" from back when he got denied as a Venture Capitalist? I make mockey noises at your supposed "hurt"

Captcha: Hey Brother ((which I hear in Hulk Hogan's voice))

Good point, somebody needs to Choke hold him like Laura Ling, then Leg drop his ass back to Beijing!!!

Too bad he looks like a spray-tanned banana wearing a whack bandanna.

Here's my suggestion, FCC: Always unrestricted, all the time.

Well, we can hope Google, Amazon, and Co. keep pushing against the guy. Doesn't seem like our voices mean a whole lot.

Slegiar Dryke:
is anybody else sick to death, of everytime something isn't going their way control-wise "D-d-DON'T! Job creation and recovery and think of the children!" XP BS, if anything a less restricted and less bought out of an internet would HELP because more people could utilize it to help their smaller businesses AND MAKE MORE GODDAMN JOBS!

Yes. It's bullshit. They say college turns students into liberals and it does a hell of a good job when it comes to social science classes. People complain when the poor stay on welfare and government services without realizing that unskilled laborers have no where to go other than jobs that earn just enough to lose government benefits but not enough to afford health care or food or rent in virtually all American cites. Getting rid of regulations is why companies can ship manufacturing jobs to Asia and big retailers can out buy any small business. It's the reason we pay up the ass for slow Internet and hd video streaming is considered "too much bandwidth" when other countries upgraded their Internet infrastructure to compensate. It would like having cobblestone highways and our ISP's are saying "well we can make one good lane for rich businesses". America has the biggest gap between the rich and the poor, high rates of stress and depression, and some of the highest infant death rates compared to other countries with more social services and all Republicans think is that we should give all the power to giant businesses like ISP's so they can sit on their ass and fuck us over

/rant

I would like to know the logic behind the idea that maintaining net neutrality would threaten the economy in any way? You can't just say something is a threat without providing a reasonable explanation as to how it is a threat unless it's patently obvious, as in that bear is a threat. You wouldn't need to tell me it's because of the teeth and claws, because, hey, it's a bear, I know what those are. Net neutrality is not a bear to man nor can I see how it could be a bear to the economy.

BreakfastMan:
Well, time for the tech lobby to step in and fuck shit up. You can bet your asses that Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix and friends already have an army of lobbyists scrambling to bring this down. Hopefully they will succeed.

And that might be the first time I ever say, "Hooray for lobbyists!"

Now if only it wasn't due to other lobbyists that we found ourselves in this situation to begin with.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first court ruling that the FCC didn't have the authority to MAKE net neutrality rules?

JimmyPage666:
Mr Wheeler is likely being offered a senior position with one of those ISP's a few years down the line.

Mr Wheeler came from Comcast. Whether or not he gets another job with them (likely though it may be) isn't relevant because he's already got a vested interest. I know Scrumpmonkey already covered that, but it bears repeating. As far as a free market goes, this is the end result of a free market. That market allowed Comcast and Time Warner to form a duopoly that could afford to set policy.

vallorn:

(Not his first snub to blighty but then the guy did have Winston Churchill's bust removed from the oval office

Yes, he snubbed the UK by returning a bust of Churchill that was on loan for the duration of the Bush Presidency.

chozo_hybrid:

Is there any way for people not in the US to help with this, because I get the feeling it will set precedent for other countries to follow if they manage to screw the net over there.

Here's a good start for our international friends. https://openmedia.org/SlowLane If you live outside the U.S. please consider that form we need your voice as well.

How many of us Americans in this thread called our reps and voiced our concerns on this? It literally takes 3 minutes and believe it or not our reps ARE listening. I hate spamming links but I feel in this case it's important to bring this up again.

http://www.reddit.com/r/blog/comments/25gszl/only_you_can_protect_net_neutrality/

Here's a quote on that thread.

"Having worked in Congress for years (I live in California now) I must emphasize to the highest degree possible that calling/emailing your Congressperson and two Senators (and getting your friends to do the same) 100% works.
Here is why.
Very few Americans, despite having a country with millions of us, ever call their legislators. 100+ phone calls per office in Congress would blow people's mind. We receive that little contact from people despite each office representing 100,000s+ citizens. This is because so many people drink the kool-aid that they have no power or that money controls everything.
This is untrue. What happens is money wins when people never complain (to their legislators!).
Right now the cable and telecom industry are depending on your complacency. They thrive when you do not act because when they meet your representatives with their campaign contributions they point out "clearly if we were a problem, you would hear about it from your voters right?"
My fellow redditors, you helped killed SOPA to save the Internet. Now the free and open Internet needs you again.
Find your House rep
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find
Find your two Senators
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
P.S. Obviously you should contact the FCC as well, but Congress has the oversight power over the agency."

Edit: fixed the links

a letter sent to Wheeler and signed by House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and others says that classifying the internet as a utility "threatens to slow job creation and jeopardizes our economic recovery."

Except that net neutrality and easy acess would actually increase job creation and quicken economic recovery. If your going to use threats at least know basic economics 101. Then again, a politician knowing economics is a rare sight indeed.

DoctorM:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first court ruling that the FCC didn't have the authority to MAKE net neutrality rules?

the ruling said that the FCC cannot force net neutrality without classifying them as common carriers. the next logical step was to classify them as common carriers. but Wheeler does not make friends with logic.

Nowhere Man:
snip

whne your copying links either delete the numbers or disable Reddit Enhancement Suite. as it is now the links are broken.

Strazdas:

Nowhere Man:
snip

whne your copying links either delete the numbers or disable Reddit Enhancement Suite. as it is now the links are broken.

Thanks for the heads up! I fixed the links.

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