FCC makes lousy net neutrality decision

FCC makes lousy net neutrality decision

Summary: The FCC is trying to kill the very thing that made the Internet great: net neutrality. This decision can not stand.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided by a 3-2 vote that it would allow telecommunications and broadband providers to charge content providers for preferential treatment across their networks. Simultaneously, and confusingly, the FCC also stated that broadband companies could not slow down or block incoming traffic outright.

If the FCC's proposed new net neutrality rules are allowed to stand, this could be what your future Internet looks like.

Give me a break! What kind of morons does the FCC think we are? If everyone doesn't have equal free access to the "fast lanes" then the FCC has made sure that some traffic will be slower than other traffic. And, what that means is that big companies with deep pockets will dominate the Internet. Small companies? Innovators? Start-ups? They won't have a chance in hell of competing.

Internet users want fast, faster, and the fastest Internet. No company is going to use a cloud service that's not the fastest possible. No one will watch video from a content provider if their streaming slows down during prime time.

I'd been using the Internet since before there was a commercial Internet. When the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) laid the cornerstone for the modern Internet, part of the idea for net neutrality was to make sure the net wasn't censored. But, having attended some of those early meetings and been on the mailing lists at the time, an equally important part was to make sure that everyone—companies, ISPs, and users — had a level playing field.

The FCC is tilting the game in favor of the last-mile ISPs such as Comcast and Time-Warner Cable. They get to charge the Web's top companies more money, which in turn will end up passed on to us — the end users. What a great deal... for them! Indeed, else is ending up getting screwed.

What else could we expect though from FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler, the former top-executive and lobbyist for the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA)? He's taking care of his old buddies.

You want to know one really funny thing about all this. You might think that today's dominant Internet companies would favor this move as well. After all, while they'd end up paying more, this move would make sure they wouldn't have competition in the future. Guess what? The top cloud company, Amazon; the top Web company, Google; and the top Internet video company, Netflix, all oppose this change. They, under the umbrella of the Ammori Group, a Washington DC-based public policy law-firm, all want the old-style net neutrality where companies can compete fairly with each other.

Heck, even the Internet providers, such as Level 3, which provides Internet service to the last mile ISPs want good, old net neutrality and not this new abomination. When the only ones supporting the FCC's new position are the handful of companies that will directly benefit from it, is that really a fair position? I don't think so.

It's not too late to stop this. At this stage, the new rules are only a proposal. You can comment on this change by going to the FCC Comments Page and getting your say in by entering a statement of your position under Proceeding # 14-28: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet. If we make a big enough noise, these rules will not be passed.

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Topics: Networking, Broadband

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  • FCC chairman

    FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler is deliberately catering to the interests of the big media providers: Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, et. al.

    No one could be that incompetent accidentally.
    • re: FCC chairman

      Wheeler was the industry's lobbyist before he became its regulator. Who wants to bet when his term is up he goes back to working for them? This is the problem with government. It's no longer for the people.
      none none
    • The Sad Part...

      These corrupt jerks don't even pretend to be impartial or acting in the best interests of regular people. Just make up whatever lie, the more outrageous the better.
  • Tom Wheeler, preserve net neutrality or resign!!!

    If Tom Wheeler doesn't preserve net neutrality, he should resign immediately because he's not looking out for the public interest at all! The internet that we all know and love today, will be a really awful place if ISPs start charging internet based companies fees.
    Pollo Pazzo
  • Net neutral

    It is what one would suspect from a country where corporations rule the people and not the government. We have a government for corporations by corporation. They fund the campaigns, they "lobby" meaning they tell them what the want and politicians deliver like good employees. They even own the courts. We no long live in the united states welcome to the united corporations
  • Another Nail in the Coffin

    The internet as we originally envisioned it (an open communication tool) is being destroyed step by step and this net neutrality issue is just the most recent nail in the coffin.

    First came the hackers
    Then spam
    Then the identity thieves
    Then we discovered that the NSA was reading our private emails
    Then more and better hackers with denial of service attacks
    Then even more and better hackers breaching credit card security on a massive scale
    (but the NSA didn't catch any of those guys -whats up with that?)

    Then comes net un-neutrality: You'll be able to get the Playboy channel in ultra-HD faster than the speed of light but the medical student next door researching a cure for bone marrow cancer will be relegated to dial-up speed.

    The NET is dead. If you ever had something to say you had best just talk it over locally with your friends.

    I'm all for returning the net to the National Science Foundation and going back to hanging with nerds and looking up the latest Chinchilla-Fan website. It was more fun then.
  • Net neutrality

    People who support net neutrality are mistaken, they don't realize that there is nothing worst than the government coming in and enforcing stupid rules for the free and open internet. So what if companies charge more? They are what make the internet great, they are what provide all the content for us. Companies in the end will provide what there users want because if a company started engaging in stupid practices, less people will buy from them its that simple.
    • @doyouremember

      Spare me your Adam Smith corporations will do what customers want. They will do what is most profitable to them. There is "zero" broadband competition in many cities and counties due to exclusivity agreements and a pseudo fascist control of the pipes to deliver content to the home. This is terrible and needs to be stopped. Lets return the back bone back to the government and lease to ISP's. Let them compete in a true, and fair market rather than the national socialist framework it is operating under today.
      • Um, yeah they were govt sanctioned monopolies

        Typical. Calling for more govt regulation without realizing that the current problems are a result of past govt regulation.
        • How did they get to be monopolies?

          Imagine five water/sewer providers in your city, each with its own water and wast pipes, crossing each other underground, and when you want to switch, you have to pay to have your house pipes dug up and disconnected from your old water company and connected to your new one. For that reason, water works ($200 on your Monopoly board) has always been a regulated monopoly, because it is what economists call a NATURAL monopoly; it would not be profitable for ANY provider if their infrastructures had to interleave in a common area. The regulation is supposed to limit rates to customers to replace the lost price competition. This kind of regulation AVOIDED far worse problems, as long as governments acted like governments are SUPPOSED to act, in the PUBLIC interest. When they act like "businesses" and sell favorable regulation to the businesses they are supposed to be governing, this is corruption, and the public SHOULD vote them out of office, but too many voters are distracted by shiny objects like abortion, gay marriage, prayer (led by teachers and written by politicians) in schools.

          Electric companies became regulated natural monopolies for the same reason. Phone and cable infrastructure did have to interleave with electric, but this was necessary because their original technologies required different kinds of wiring, and acceptable because interleaved wires (or optical fibers) are less of a burden than interleaved water pipes; but still, only ONE phone provider and ONE cable TV (coax) provider are given franchises. They are regulated not only for the sake of holding down non-competitive prices, but in order to ALLOW competition at the sales and billing level: the company that owns the wires must lease the USE of those wires to their competitors at their cost of maintenance, so customers can choose any one on the basis of what ELSE they do besides carry the signals.

          Technically, with today's technology, electric power distribution networks COULD carry phone, internet, and TV service, partially over the power wires (utilities have been using this for years to monitor and control unattended transformers, switches, and other field devices), and conceivably also by putting optical fibers in the insulating layer around the wires. So maybe electric companies could get into the other three businesses? If they put the new enhanced cables underground, they could "undercut" the phone and TV providers eventually, after paying for the investment.

          You are partially right: WRONG kinds of regulation, particularly regulation that caters to the regulated players, is destructive. But NO regulation creates a DEFAULT situation of regulation directly by the biggest players. This does NOT enhance competition, innovation, or consumer bargains; it stifles competition (if your competitor needed to buy some of your product in order to compete with you, how much would you charge him?), prevents innovation by anyone EXCEPT the dominant players, who would sit on it and roll it out very slowly, and produces monopoly prices to the consumer.

          If you are a football fan, imagine putting total control of rulemaking, hiring and firing of officials, schedules, and the like under the current Super Bowl champion. After a few seasons, that team would ALWAYS win, not because their players and coaching were better, but because they could ensure that any potentially better team would suffer from biased officiating, which would be LEGAL, since guess who would be making the rules? THAT is what totally unregulated business, in ANY business, would be like.
          • Common Carriers?

            So what's wrong with making them common carries and they share common pipes. Trucking companies do it, they all share the same highway system? The lines are there and the building was subsidized by federal and state grants and tax incentives. No need to switch pipes every time you change to a different water or sewer setup. Power lines do it all the time. Because of the power grid, you have no way of knowing where the electrons that made your toast were from your local utility or were supplied from across the country.
          • Hmm

            What you are leaving out of this argument is that there are several types of infrastructure that can deliver internet services to a home user. In the past I used DSL, later I switched to cable. (We can also get fiber into the home for mega $$$) The reason I switched from DSL to cable is that I could get better speeds from cable where my house is located. If I were closer to a repeater or the central office in town, I would go with DSL in a heart beat. My daughter gets 20 Mb downstream via DSL for just over half the price I get 5 Mb downstream from cable. The difference? She is three blocks from the central office and I'm over a mile from the nearest repeater.

            Oh, and I should say that I "PAY" for 5 Mb downstream. Rarely does it get over 4.5 and usually sits at about 3.

            High prices, bad service and worse customer service are all symptoms of a monopoly - they don't have to try to get your business, so why try at all?
      • absolutely right

        Hallalula... We have been ripped by the cable companies for decades, but some fools continue to worship them as "free enterprise" Free enterprised died 60 or 70 years ago...lets have the funeral and quit worshipping it!
    • What?

      Companies are what made the internet great? People made the internet great by opening sharing ideas and contributing content. Companies are looking to make it into TV 2.0 and setup toll booths along the way to maximize and establish rents.

      If you just want content just get cable tv and back off the internet.
      • Already Pay for fast service

        Us customers of internet service providers are already paying for fast internet service. ISPs willfully making internet based companies pay up for faster service for their customers is just double dipping and totally wrong. We are already paying tons of money for internet and cable.
        Pollo Pazzo
        • What they want to do is even worse:

          It is reasonable for content providers to pay according to what speed of service they get on THEIR last mile, just as consumers pay for the speed they get on theirs. What these providers want to do is to put data packets of some companies AHEAD of those of other companies within the PUBLIC part of the network, if they pay extra. So even though Netflix, for example, may be paying for enough bandwidth to their location to send you your movies in two minutes, and you may be paying for enough bandwidth to get your copy in five minutes, if Comcast holds back Netflix packets in favor of, say, NBC, or a possible future purchase like HBO or Cinemax on demand, Netflix cannot compete.

          Once data is in the public routing network, prioritizing by TYPE of data makes sense (video STREAMING over audio streaming over file transfer, for example), but not by ORIGIN of the data; that leads to abuse of power, like last year's Super Bowl winner controlling the rules and officiating of games in which it is playing.
    • Wanna See What That Looks Like?

      Here's what corporate controlled media looks like:


      Get used to it. Jam Handy lives again!
    • @doyouremember:

      well you are just a blatant troll or blatantly stupid, so do remember to gtfo of here...
    • This is exactly true....

      We have enough stupid government regulations. The last thing we need is the government coming in and dictating to the ISPs what they can do. If your rates do go up just shop for a cheaper rate. You have plenty of options. What do you do if government comes in and makes bad decisions ? They have the courts behind them.

      Every time the government comes in they cause prices to increase. We can have much lower gas prices if we just use the massive resources we have in this country but this government is beholden to the environmental whackos.

      Lest we forget that a big cause of the housing crisis was the government. They own most of the mortgages in this country. Why is that ? good question.

      The "Affordable Care Act" is causing millions to lose their healthcare plans and forced to buy much more expensive plans. Why is the government dictating to us what is in our plans ? Remember the promise that we will be able to keep our plans and doctors ? Obvious lie.

      the Government can't even build a web site given a $1 billion and three years to do it. Now various states have failed to build their exchanges and web sites costing us taxpayers another half-billion (these are the blues states that volunteered to do it). who cares right ? It's only money !

      I went to file my tax return and the IRS rejected it because someone used my SS# already. Can't they check the name, the address, and other factors ? Gee if the return is much higher than normal should that not raise any flags ? Now one in three returns is fraudulent and we are losing $15 billion !

      Some of you have the mentality that we need government to come in and save the day. I ask you....what do they do right ? do remember that we are almost $18 trillion in debt !
      • You cant shop around

        That is total bull government hater....cable companies do whatever they want when the want..including jacking up cable bills sky high. Same for internet.