The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

Summary: There's a lot happening this week in the net neutrality argument.

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There's a lot happening this week in the net neutrality argument. The FCC is takng another run at trying to impose some regulatory sense over the Internet -- which could be good and bad for Internet users and site providers.

There's a lot of both informed and inflamed discussion on the topic you might find interesting.

In addition, both the UK and Venezuela (Venezuela?) are getting into the Internet regulation act this week:

So, what do you think?

[poll id="64"]

As you can see, this is a very hot issue. Stay tuned.

Share your thoughts below.

Topics: Browser, Government, Government US

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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30 comments
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  • RE: The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

    xvcxvx
    skjfhdkf
    • RE: The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

      @skjfhdkf Could this be an act of governmental regulation because of the problem posed with Wikileaks recently?
      I agree if it is, however, if the intent of the government is to limit the abillity to post opinion, get email that shows prejudice or any other mode associated with the freedom of speech I disagree.
      Just where do we draw the line in government regulation. I think our US Constitution makes a very good graph by which to allow and disallow governmental regulation.
      Maybe we should pay more attention to what it says!
      susannah184
  • Power to the FCC

    The Techcrunch article by Borthwick sums up the historical, actual and potential scenarios perfectly ...
    ... "There is a natural evolutionary path through which a large company becomes less likely to let edge-based innovations flourish and more likely to preserve the status quo. There is currently an over-representation of the center in Washington DC and the edge needs a louder voice."

    M$'$ idea of a 'natural path' is to destroy all competitors in their current market and then milk a monopolistic position. Then move into new markets and repeat.

    Apple's idea of a 'natural path' is a silo of expensive, non-interoperable products and services.

    INTEL's idea of a 'natural path' is INTEL INSIDE (EVERYTHING) ... often abbreviated for user convenience.

    "We can support the FCC in putting in place ?rules of the road? to enforce basic tenants or we can continue down a path that de-facto leaves these decisions in the hands of large companies with limited oversight, no transparency, and no means of enforcement. "
    One of the best articles on ZDNET this year was by Mirchandani who argued for a restoration of balance in the IT sector ... the vendors have way too much power.

    I vote POWER to the FCC, the only way to balance the growing stranglehold of a small number of greedy global corporates.
    jacksonjohn
    • Power ... or CHOICE

      The principal difference between Apple's censorship of adult material ... and the opt-in/opt-out scheme being proposed here in the UK ... is that the 'edge' has a choice.

      If we leave it to the corporates then it's ... Hobson's choice.
      jacksonjohn
    • No immunity

      It is a fantasy to think that a large government bureaucracy is not subject to exactly the same forces that propel corporations. There is, therefore, "a natural evolutionary path through which a large bureaucracy becomes less likely to let edge-based innovations flourish and more likely to preserve the status quo." Anyone who remembers "the good old days" when Ma Bell was a heavily-regulated monopoly that had to petition the government just to sneeze knows that "innovation" in that environment takes huge leaps every fifty years or so, like allowing people to rent phones in colors other than black.<br><br>Government is ultimately about laws and lawyers, and these are not the forces you want operating your technological progress. Demonize corporations all you want, but the government is usually worse.<br><br>The good news about corporations is that eventually they always get up-ended. Microsoft topples IBM, Apple is in the process of toppling Microsoft, Google will probably topple Apple, and somebody will ultimately overtake Google. But once the government gets involved, there's no getting rid of them. Look up the Railroad Retirement Board: they're still at it, spending your dollars and mine on a cause that was obsolete by 1950.

      As for "regulation" helping anything, there are no fewer than nine federal agencies charged with regulating the banks, Wall Street, and other financial institutions. The SEC couldn't even see Bernie Madoff, let alone the coming melt-down. Regulation is a placebo that makes people think they're being protected... until they find out The Hard Way that they weren't. Whether it's junk bonds, the Savings and Loan scandal, or the recent banking collapse, your government was on the case... doing nothing.
      Robert Hahn
  • Snake oil

    Only communication via radio waves is net-neutral. Pushing communication through a hose instantly creates the business of stepping on the hose and then taking bids on the price of lifting one's foot. (Notice how well "network neutrality" worked even before cable TV went digital? Digital communication via protocols and packetized networks raises stepping on the hose and demanding payment to reopen it to a fine art, the first-line ham-fisted practitioner of which is the lout with a home router. Don't want anyone downstream to see pages with the words *utter* and/or *nonsense*? Just type, point, and click.)<br><br>Network neutrality is snake oil and the biggest boon to the legal profession since the breakup of AT&T.
    TriangleDoor
  • Just do it.

    Why do they even care about what the industry says. Just shove the damned legislation through their throat.
    Tommy S.
    • because as far as i've heard we are still a government of the people

      @Tommy S.

      and the corporations employ people. and if those people's incomes are adversely affected, so will those of the politicians that caused it.
      wessonjoe
  • RE: The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

    If it ain't broke don't fix it...

    If Government gets involved it *will* get broken!
  • RE: The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

    Pass it alredy!! This is a realy, realy, realy, great move!!!
    eargasm
  • Oh, what the heck! Government knows best, so let them have complete

    control of the internet.

    Heck, if government is "of the people, and by the people, and for the people", it means that government is the "people", therefore, let's let them have complete control of everything on the internet, including everything we do on the internet.

    Though, initially, net neutrality through government regulations might not change things drastically, it's only a foot in the door, and "we the people" need that foot in the door in order to sneak more legislation through, little by little, until, wah-lah!, we the people, aka: the government, will have complete control. And, hey, after all, "we" (through government) did build the "internet", even if it's a lot bigger by now, so we should have complete control.

    And, hey, never mind the content, since we the people will decide what content will be, even if we the people are represented by those in government (that we elected).

    I can't wait for everything to be neutral and free, even if we have to take control from the ISPs and the content providers.
    adornoe
  • RE: The FCC's taking another run at net neutrality: good or bad?

    Is the same government that gave us TSA? Left S/S just like Rosevelt designed it, Managed to deliver mail for .05$, Reduced our cost of Telephone, passes bill to protect the unions at everybody else cost. Keeps unemployment at less than 5%, Balances the budget every year.

    It must be somewhere else becuse the US Government has fixed none of them. Think "Trust Me".
    jackf427@bellsouth.net
    jackf427@...
  • On the other hand

    Those with no other options are left at the mercy of those like Comcast and AT&T! I may not trust the government but at least when it screws things up it is usually for a more altruistic reason. Those corporations with no competition have no other motive other than greed.
    At least we can vote the politicians in or out.
    harrim47
    • If we can vote the politicians out, how come things are so screwed up?

      And, hey, for the most part, you can vote out the evil corporations from your life by using alternatives. Competition does exist in many markets for most products and services. On the other hand, there is no competition at all when government is running any aspect of your life. For example, when is the last time that you were able to decide that you didn't want government handling social security for you? While there are alternatives in the private sector for retirement programs, when is the last time you were able to tell the government that you didn't need or wanted their "retirement" program, and therefore, you weren't going to pay into the system?
      adornoe
      • More bs from the teabagger

        @harrim47 said it best, which is why I'm 100% in favor of Net Neutrality.<br><br><i>And, hey, for the most part, you can vote out the evil corporations from your life by using alternatives. Competition does exist in many markets for most products and services.</i><br><br>Well, since you're a pretty dense fellow, I'll explain it to you once again. When only one ISP provider is allowed to franchise your geographical area, then there is <b>no competition</b>. There <b>no alternative</b> to that provider. <b>NONE.</b><br><br>You can thank local government for the intransigent franchise exclusivity agreements & sweetheart deals they've made with the cable companies over the last few decades for that. They still think of cable companies as if it were 1985.<br><br>The rest of your post is your usual <b>off-topic</b>, teabag bloviation and not worth a response.
        search &amp; destroy
      • search &amp; destroy, another liberal idiot who thinks he knows best...

        <i>Well, since you're a pretty dense fellow, I'll explain it to you once again.</I>.<br><br>Oh, boy! That would be like having a two year old explain the math behind the big bang. <br><br>You lack the knowledge and capacity to explain anything. Your approach on the issues is strictly on the ideological, and not at all logical.<br><br><i>You can thank local government for the intransigent franchise exclusivity agreements & sweetheart deals they've made with the cable companies over the last few decades for that.</i><br><br>Well, dude, I wasn't arguing that point. In fact, on that point, I totally agree with you. But, your initial reaction was to try to attack and insult instead of using your head to analyze what I was actually saying.<br><br>But, it's nice to have you actually acknowledge and admit that it was government that created the problems. So, why have more government making things worse? <br><br><i>They still think of cable companies as if it were 1985.</i><br><br>It's been a long time since 1985, and government has changed hands a few times since then. But, we still have too many people, such as you, still stupidly believing that government has the answers we need to solve our problems. Yet, no matter how much worse they make our lives, there are still those, like you, who still believe in getting government involved to "fix" the problems they created. That's so illogical. But, since you're very illogical, and basically very stupid, I wouldn't expect anything less from the likes of you.<br><br><i>The rest of your post is your usual off-topic, teabag bloviation and not worth a response. </i><br><br>I'll bet that you don't even know where a "teabagger" stands on the issues. <br><br>Are you aware that, if the "founding fathers" were still around, that they would be leaders of the tea-party movement? You would be one of those referring to the founding fathers as "radical" anti-big-government right-wingers. <br><br>Guess what?<br><br>Though I'm not active in the tea-party movement, I wholeheartedly support what they stand for. So, rather than it being an "insult", I take it as a label to be proud of.<br><br>The true patriots in politics today are the "teabaggers", as you refer to them. "We" are changing things for the better and nobody in government today does anything without first asking how the tea-party people feel about what government does. With that in mind, it would seem that it is you that is out of touch with what the people in America want. <br><br>It's time that you thought about educating yourself about the realities around you.<br><br>Get your head out of your azz!
        adornoe
      • The fascist teabagger lashes back

        <i>Oh, boy! That would be like having a two year old explain the math behind the big bang.</i><br><br>Well that's what you need since you can't seem to stay on topic besides bloviating all over the place about your stupid political philosophy.<br><br><i>You lack the knowledge and capacity to explain anything. Your approach on the issues is strictly on the ideological, and not at all logical.</i><br><br>So says the teabagger who can't stay on topic. Who blathers around here giving off more neocon political speeches.<br><br><i>Well, dude, I wasn't arguing that point. In fact, on that point, I totally agree with you. But, your initial reaction was to try to attack and insult instead of using your head to analyze what I was actually saying.</i><br><br>I know what you were saying. You were ridiculing @harrim47 and the point he made, and I called you on it. Too bad. Tough. <br><br><i>But, it's nice to have you actually acknowledge and admit that it was government that created the problems. So, why have more government making things worse?</i><br><br>And it will take government to <b>un-do</b> the mess they made. And if the states and localities can't (or are unwilling to do it) then the Feds will have to do it.<br><br>And it's not going to happen because @adornoe@.. the teabagging idiot is expecting an act of god to force change this man-made situation. <br><br>And it's not going to happen because @adornoe@.. the teabagging idiot believes these evil corporations are really nice guys and be willing to voluntarily give up the cash cow they've had for the last 30 years.<br><br>No @adornoe@...the teabagging idiot, it's going to take new regulation in order to change the situation. <b>New regulation</b>. <br><br>Do you understand? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?<br><br>See? I even <b>bolded</b> it for you in case your failing eyesight didn't catch it in time.<br><br><i>It's been a long time since 1985, and government has changed hands a few times since then. But, we still have too many people, such as you...snip...snip...</i><br><br>Blah blah blah blah-blah ba blah...<br><br>Blah blah blah blah-blah ba blah...<br><br>Blah blah blah blah-blah ba blah...<br><br>More off-topic ideological horsesh!t from the teabagger...<br><br>Once again, the rest of your post is your usual off-topic, right-wing bloviation and not worth a response.
        search &amp; destroy
      • Treating the symptom, not the disease.

        @search&destroy (since I can't seem to reply directly to you)

        You're upset that there is insufficient competition in ISP providers, and you're mad that government has made crony-capitolism sweet-heart deals to ensure you don't get competition. Now, you seem to think the evils that arise from that can be handled by handing regulation of the Internet over to that same government? It seems to me that if the FCC was fighting to increase competition, the whole thing would work itself out, but that is not what they are trying to do. I'm afraid this is the proverbial camel's nose coming under the edge of the tent in terms of the government butting into regulating anything and everything regarding the Internet. Take a look at what Congress had deemed to emanate from the penumbra of the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution.
        JJMach
      • search&amp;destroy: Grow up! There are people out here who expect intelligent

        and coherent discussions, and all that you're doing is polluting the conversation with your childish rants.

        Thus far, you haven't had a single salient point to make. The only point you've made so far is the "leave it to government to fix the problem". Yet, that is so stupid on so many levels, being that, it was government that created the problems to begin with. How much more stupid can one get?!

        And then, you proceed by labeling me as a "teabagger", believing that trying to insult or label someone is going to win you the argument. Schoolyard tactics may make you feel better about yourself, but you're not going to win any argument where logic and knowledge and wisdom are necessary. You still have a lot of growing up to do. Why not come back to the discussions when you've gained more knowledge and more maturity.
        adornoe
      • Aw shaddup, @adornoe@...

        You're nothing but a ideological drip for the likes of stale teabags.<br><br>lol... :D
        search &amp; destroy