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FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Posted

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-can-they-be-trusted dept.

Government 270

ArmyofGnomes writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski delivered Monday on President Obama's promise to back 'net neutrality' — but he went much further than merely seeking to expand rules that prohibit ISPs from filtering or blocking net traffic by proposing that they cover all broadband connections, including data connections for smartphones. Genachowski stated: 'I understand the Internet is a dynamic network and that technology continues to grow and evolve. I recognize that if we were to create unduly detailed rules that attempted to address every possible assault on openness, such rules would become outdated quickly. But the fact that the Internet is evolving rapidly does not mean we can, or should, abandon the underlying values fostered by an open network, or the important goal of setting rules of the road to protect the free and open Internet. ... In view of these challenges and opportunities, and because it is vital that the Internet continue to be an engine of innovation, economic growth, competition and democratic engagement, I believe the FCC must be a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet.'"

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270 comments

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29494577)

wow

analysis please (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494603)

for the folks who have read this in detail, can anyone spot any omissions or areas that they might have failed to cover in their ideas? Does it open anything up to exploitation?

It sounded good to me but for some reason I got a vibe of "they'll use this to exclude things not covered" in some way. I'm thinking about the promises of "up to" as one thing that's not touched upon, or the forcing of people to purchase certain bundles by financial incentive (such as being cheaper for internet + cable than naked internet - aka comcast again).

Server vs. client (5, Informative)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494633)

As a web hosting provider, I feel that they've left an important part of it out, the server side. At what point does net neutrality apply to me? They need to define this before they make any laws. Otherwise rules could be applied to things that they shouldn't.

Re:Server vs. client (4, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494685)

I'm curious how services like ESPN 360 will be affected being that they are the content provider and not the ISP. They are still blocking content to you unless you are on the "right" ISP.

Re:Server vs. client (5, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494843)

I'm curious how services like ESPN 360 will be affected being that they are the content provider and not the ISP. They are still blocking content to you unless you are on the "right" ISP.

That is a great question and a very good example for US people in particular. My guess is ESPN 360 won't be covered. Companies create website all the time with restricted access where only employees are allowed in. I'm sure that ESPN 360 would be seen the same way. If the website creator wishes to restrict access, even on an ISP basis, that is their right to do so. If ESPN 360 doesn't want to let me in, it's hard for me to argue that my rights are violated. If ESPN 360 wants to let me in but my ISP deliberately slowed down the connection, that's another thing.

Re:Server vs. client (3, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495371)

I agree with this. The issue is over the connection between you and point b, not whether point b wants to cater to you.

Re:Server vs. client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29494899)

They can't make them open up. What they could do however is make it unlawful for Disney to tie subscription of the internet tier to a television tier. Which is how Disney forced their channel into the basic tier in the first place and how ESPN360 gets smacked into the bill. They would hold back granting re-broadcast rights to local channels unless the cable company buys whatever they are selling.

Re:Server vs. client (1)

strstr (539330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495221)

The services people offer over the Internet are completely up to the people, this is about defining and enforcing what the Internet is, an open/public data type network/utility and protecting how it should be operated, making all data and service transferred over the actual network equal and prevent discrimination. People are allowed to transfer what ever they want to whoever they want, or not.

Re:Server vs. client (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495243)

ESPN 360 is a greater threat to openness than any of the other things that the FCC is worried about. If all of the popular websites start charging the ISP a per subscriber fee, subscriber fees will go up. So instead of paying for what you use, you'll be paying for things you don't use. Disney wants to cablefy the Internet.

Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (4, Interesting)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494787)

I live in Canada.

Does this mean, if this passes, that I'll be able to watch services such as Hulu, which are otherwise blocked to ISP's outside the USA?

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (4, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494849)

No, because that isn't a case of net neutrality but a case of copyright silliness.

Net Neutrality (proper net neutrality) means that Hulu should Hulu ever be 'allowed' to service Canada, you won't have to worry about still not being able to access it because Hulu chose not to pay grift to the five telcom/ISP companies between Hulu's hosting provider and you.

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495005)

Actually, he is making a good point. Depending on how they define the "network discrimination" things such as copyright could be considered as network discrimination.

This is exactly what I was concerned of in my post, but also on a good level, that it sounds like interpretation will say a lot.

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495055)

copyright could be considered as network discrimination.

Leaving the door wide open for the rules to be challenged in court.

FCC, tread lightly.

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (2, Insightful)

strstr (539330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495321)

You're all off base; net neutrality is in regards to how the data being transferred over the Internet itself is handled (the pipes) and what ISPs are allowed to do with it. As a user (computer connected to the internet) you have control of to whom and what is sent, what connections are allowed; we want to keep this open and unrestricted with net neutrality.

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495381)

You and I understand that concept. However, how they interpret it, as said, matters.

Degradation of things due to copyright is something that the RIAA does when they put bad/false seeders on a torrent to make it look popular and track people/make it harder to download. So the question of is what they are doing net neutrality, etc, blurs these ideas quite a bit.

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495577)

They are pretty specific about "lawful content" so presumably if transfer of the content is prohibited by any other law (copyright) then the neutrality rules wouldn't apply.

Seems kind of weak to me. ISPs can screw you over first and make a half-assed attempt to determining if it was legal content or not afterwards... if they get called on it at all.
=Smidge=

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (2, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495661)

If they attempted to call it that, they'd have a revolt in less than 20 seconds. Every 'pay' site out there would be guilty of "net discrimination" then. The only difference between Hulu and them is that 'someone else' is paying for your membership to Hulu.

Re:Hulu outside the USA without proxies? (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495201)

It's not your ISP (or Hulu's ISP) that is prohibiting you from viewing Hulu. It's Hulu themselves (at the behest of content creators). That's not a network neutrality issue.

Re:Server vs. client (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494823)

As a web hosting provider, I feel that they've left an important part of it out, the server side. At what point does net neutrality apply to me?

Network neutrality principles apply to the people providing the pipes. Both "servers" and "clients" are users, not providers, in the context of the network neutrality rules, and so are not the subjects of them, just the intended beneficiaries. While the new speech adds two new principles, and discusses extending application of the principles into providing mobile internet as well as traditional providers, there is no indication of any change of focus.

They need to define this before they make any laws.

Congress makes laws. The FCC, within the area of regulatory authority granted by Congress, makes regulations.

Re:Server vs. client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29494839)

This was a speech, not laws, but I think your issue was addressed broadly by the "non-descrimination" principle and the "transparency" principle (two of six to be adopted):

The fifth principle is one of non-discrimination -- stating that broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications.

[...]

The sixth principle is a transparency principle -- stating that providers of broadband Internet access must be transparent about their network management practices.

Why does the FCC need to adopt this principle? The Internet evolved through open standards. It was conceived as a tool whose user manual would be free and available to all. But new network management practices and technologies challenge this original understanding. Today, broadband providers have the technical ability to change how the Internet works for millions of users -- with profound consequences for those users and content, application, and service providers around the world.

To take one example, last year the FCC ruled on the blocking of peer-to-peer transmissions by a cable broadband provider. The blocking was initially implemented with no notice to subscribers or the public. It was discovered only after an engineer and hobbyist living in Oregon realized that his attempts to share public domain recordings of old barbershop quartet songs over a home Internet connection were being frustrated. It was not until he brought the problem to the attention of the media and Internet community, which then brought it to the attention of the FCC, that the improper network management practice became known and was stopped.

We cannot afford to rely on happenstance for consumers, businesses, and policymakers to learn about changes to the basic functioning of the Internet.

Re:Server vs. client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495171)

I am curious about the same. Does this mean that now the ISP's will open outbound ports 80 and 25 for all users, not just "premium/business"? After all it wouldn't be openness if some ports stayed closed :)

Re:analysis please (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494665)

Does it open anything up to exploitation?

Everything the Government does is open to exploitation. It's the regulatory equivalent of playing whack-a-mole. The question is will these purposed regulations do more good than harm.

Re:analysis please (1, Redundant)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495033)

I rather rely on government regulation than the 'self-regulation'-scam the industries are brainwashing america with for the last 3 decades.

Re:analysis please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495475)

I rather rely on government regulation than the 'self-regulation'-scam the industries are brainwashing america with for the last 3 decades.

But without self-regulation, how can the Invisible Market Fairy make everything work?

If companies are not allowed to screw their customers over and cause death and enslavement, the world will collapse and there will be socialists everywhere!

Re:analysis please (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495563)

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence my friend. It's no mistake that the most liberal/regulated/taxed states are the ones that are hurting the most right now. Here in NYS we've been hemorrhaging jobs and young people for the last two decades because businesses have been taxed and regulated to death.

It'd be nice to find a middle ground between the two extremes but our political system doesn't seem to be structured to lead to that result most of the time. More's the pity.

Everything the government does . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495451)

Is open to whining by partisans, no matter what it is or how good it is. Nothing new there.

Re:analysis please (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494777)

for the folks who have read this in detail, can anyone spot any omissions or areas that they might have failed to cover in their ideas? Does it open anything up to exploitation?

The speech harped quite a bit (as much as it repeated itself on anything) about the need to protect legal uses of the internet, and explicitly says that illegal activity on the internet must be stopped. If you were to be paranoid (I tried to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism while reading the transcript but the last paragraph gave me a woody... that's a Debian woody, to you) then you might consider this a pledge to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, and to compel ISPs in the same direction. I don't know if I'm that paranoid, but ask me again tomorrow.

Re:analysis please (1)

Phase Shifter (70817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495109)

We still have to be watchful of the RIAA and MPAA redefining what constitutes "legal" vs "illegal" activity. Not only do we have to keep an eye on what they're trying to push through Congress, but we also need to watch hat they're pushing into shoos as well now.

Re:analysis please (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495167)

for the folks who have read this in detail, can anyone spot any omissions or areas that they might have failed to cover in their ideas? Does it open anything up to exploitation?

It sounded good to me but for some reason I got a vibe of "they'll use this to exclude things not covered" in some way. I'm thinking about the promises of "up to" as one thing that's not touched upon, or the forcing of people to purchase certain bundles by financial incentive (such as being cheaper for internet + cable than naked internet - aka comcast again).

Everyone needs equal access to naked internet.

Rad! (1)

Incudie (875860) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494609)

Rad to say the least. That's really exciting to hear ^___^

Re:Rad! (-1, Troll)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494913)

Just what we need; regulations from Congress to solve problems that don't exist yet.

I say yet because if history is any indicator, these regulations will cause the problems, which Congress will then solve by adding more regulations and set up a new Department to create even more regulations in the Federal Register.

No matter how benign these regulations seem they set the precedent for more regulations which will serve large corporations at the behest of our freedoms and their competition. This is how our government works in practice. The only way to ensure a free and open internet is to demand it from the corporations directly, which has so far worked.

Re:Rad! (5, Informative)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495081)

Before the people which you're trolling get here... 1) The department already exists, it was the head of that department who gave the speech; congress has nothing to do with it as it's already the law for the FCC to regulate communication lines and has been since its inception, oh, a hundred odd years ago. 2) The problem exists; denial ain't just a river in Egypt. DNS hijacking is just a tip of a very big iceberg if you care to look. 3) You have no idea what "behest" means; try not to use it until you do.

Re:Rad! (0, Troll)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495417)

He's obviously a republican, from his "less regulation" attitude. You expect them to know words from the SAT?

Re:Rad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495525)

He's obviously a republican, from his "less regulation" attitude.

Uh, which Republican party have you been following? Since when are they for less regulation?

Anyone who's actually for less regulation is probably libertarian.

Re:Rad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495569)

He's obviously a republican, from his "less regulation" attitude. You expect them to know words from the SAT?

I'm a Republican (not what passes for Republicanism nowadays, however) and I received a perfect score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. What's your point?

I am Shocked but not Appalled =) (5, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494643)

It is exciting to see a political figure take a stance on something important that makes sense for once. I thought a man with enough backbone to fight for net neutrality publicly would certainly have a moustache but a quick google search proved my assumption wrong.

Perhaps he had some facial hair in a past life or something...

Re:I am Shocked but not Appalled =) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495015)

wasn't that hard

http://democrap.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/hitler-obama.jpg

Re:I am Shocked but not Appalled =) (4, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495111)

I second that. It's pleasing (and shocking, yes, since it's uncommon) to hear someone with authority actually understand that the long-term benefits of an open internet outweigh the commercial concerns of the carriers. Let's hope the FCC Chairman isn't replaced with a flunky as a result of this outstanding decision.

Re:I am Shocked but not Appalled =) (1, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495133)

It is exciting to see a political figure take a stance on something important that makes sense for once. I thought a man with enough backbone to fight for net neutrality publicly would certainly have a moustache but a quick google search proved my assumption wrong.

It actually leaves me stunned. "They always fuck this stuff up. How is he fucking this up? I'm rereading. There has to be a fuckup in here somewhere."

It's like minding a retarded three-year with an affinity for eating animal droppings and one day he doesn't immediately run for the dog poo. Wait, did aliens abduct him and replace him with a clone almost indistinguishable but for the unexpected bit about not being a drooling window-licker and if so, can we make sure they never bring back the original?

Anyone care to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29494647)

Anyone care to make the argument that both political parties are indistinguishable in their policy positions, vis a vis corporate control of government agencies like the FCC? Because they aren't. There is no comparison, this being a good example, and anyone who suggests otherwise is smoking something.

Re:Anyone care to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29494815)

This instance would appear to be the very first time the Obama administration is not attempting to either gobble up the private sector (see GM, Chrysler, & the entire home mortgage market) or hop into bed with a big corporation (see GE & Waxman-Markey) or a big union plus big corporations (see Obamacare). Sorry, but your secular Jesus has still not materialized.

Obama is maybe growing a little bit of a backbone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495275)

. . . but of course this is Slashdot, so most people won't really take notice. It's much easier to shake your head and say "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss," and get modded up to +5. Here's one recent example anyway:

Obama shrugs off request to drop CIA abuse probe [alertnet.org]

priority (3, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494653)

Some protocols want high bandwidth, while others want low latency. I see no problem prioritizing like this. Anything beyond this is a slippery slope, though.

Re:priority (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29494747)

First two things come to mind:

How do you determine which protocols get which rates? The ISPs? A government board?
What happens when protocols are unidentifiable (i.e. encrypted data). Does it instantly get dropped into the slowest speed?

Re:priority (2, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494931)

Any client that requires isochronous behavior (consistent flow of data at a constant bitrate) should make its intentions clear by requesting a bandwidth reservation.

RSVP [wikipedia.org]

All such clients should specify the Type Of Service [wikipedia.org] field value as well.

Re:priority (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495063)

My download files should have higher priority than your crummy voice calls, so I'll have all my connections be high priority. I'm paying for a connection yadda yadda yadda...

Re:priority (4, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495191)

Trouble is that many (for example) BitTorrent clients will specify a high-priority ToS so they can get more upload and download bandwidth. In fact, given the choice, ANY software vendor is going to choose a ToS that gives them the lowest latency and highest bandwidth possible.

So, in order to determine which packets are P2P or other "latency tolerant bandwidth hogs", ISPs started implementing deep packet inspection, where they actually went into the contents of the payload to determine what was there. If it smelled P2P-ish, it was reassigned a "proper" ToS (or in the case of Comcast, merely dropped for a while, which is what started the whole neutrality brouhaha).

I think most people, even a lot of P2P users, would be OK with traffic prioritization if it was implemented properly - eg, if it was implemented so it saturated your allocated pipe most of the time, but differentiated your VoIP packets from your P2P ones and made sure your VoIP line worked even when you were running P2P. I, for one, would welcome that sort of prioritization. Even if it meant that during peak periods my P2P dropped considerably in speed due to overall network traffic, as long as I knew my ISP would do some upgrades within a reasonable time period to handle the traffic.

Unfortunately, Comcast's solution was too draconian, and by denying P2P traffic altogether they went too far and soured public opinion on any kind of rational Quality-of-Service (QoS) prioritization and traffic shaping.

Re:priority (2, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494763)

I would not mind if ISPs used the DoD prescribed Traffic Class/TOS/Priority mechanism as it was originally designed.

I also would not mind if TV/voice packets got the higher priorities.

In fact, I'd rather it be done that way.

Re:priority (1)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495061)

I'd prefer if the high priorities went to voice/game/TV (in that order). The number of latency-sensitive games out there are legion.

Re:priority (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494799)

I thought this issue was who defines which protocol deserves better latency and/or bandwidth?

So far every example I've seen involves treating bittorrent and gaming as low priority/noncritical simply because they are upload/latency using (which costs the providers more due to upstream agreements) instead of what really uses the most bandwidth (streaming sites).

Re:priority (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494857)

I don't know of anybody who has argued against using QoS for what it was intended for, and that is management of networks to assure stability and reasonable delivery of bandwidth. If that's all the Teloos and other big network companies had been on about, I don't think there would be anything to talk about at all.

But these guys have been using, or at least considering, QoS and other technologies in an attempt to leverage their own servies or the services of those willing to basically pay an extortion fee. One can envision scenarios in which those who do not ante up being dropped down the pole, or maybe even dropped off. Since these companies have been going around intentionally confusing the two issues, one can only presume that that, to one degree or another, is their intent.

But the whole argument has always been disingenous. They bitch about Google and other content providers somehow basically taking advantage of their networks, but with the content providers, there is little or no point for those networks. If there's no content out there, then the Internet is little more than a collection of protocols. They want to have their cake and eat it too; get the consumer to pay for the Internet connection, and then get the content providers to pay to be visible, or at least visible in some meaningful way, on their network.

I'm glad the US government is finally making it clear that this behavior is unacceptable. And why shouldn't the US government? At the end of the day, one way or the other, the US taxpayer has basically underwritten much of the networks in question. The Telcos, in particular, are very quick to forget last mile and right of ways, which have been a big fat invaluable gift to them.

Re:priority (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494905)

I'd like to see a law which prohibits granting any more monopolies on right of way &c. Any time someone wants to run a cable, they should be forced to put in enough space for two more people to run cables right next to theirs. If they don't like it, they can go find someone else who wants to run a cable in the same place, or they can go wireless. Hopefully they'd end up going wireless more often than not, and that's where we need to do research, so that we can truly cover the 'last mile'.

Re:priority (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495507)

I think the problem is that cable and telephone companies already have cables in the ground. They run at a marginal cost, whereas a startup would literally have to re-lay all of the cable before it could service the same area, which would lead them to providing service at a much higher cost, to they wouldn't be able to compete. Your idea would've been applicable at the moment we started laying cables all around the place, not after.

Re:priority (4, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495331)

They want to have their cake and eat it too; get the consumer to pay for the Internet connection, and then get the content providers to pay to be visible, or at least visible in some meaningful way, on their network.

It just struck me: ISPs are trying to follow the American cellphone model.

While I'm sure our European counterparts[1] have learned about it by now, a brief explanation: In America, we pay to both send and receive. It's not just that our text charges are insane, but most plans charge you both for sending and receiving a text message (in some cases, even if you don't read it you still get charged for receiving a text.) Many plans do the same for phone calls.

ISPs are trying to do something similar. While both ends already pay for their connection, ISPs are trying to make the content providers pay double. "You have access to our network, but if you want access to our clients you must pay again." It's relatively the same kind of double-dipping, which, if not curbed now, will extend to end users as well. "What's that? You want to use Pandora? Well, we offer our own 'free' music service, RealRhapsody NapsterTunes, but if you really want to use Pandora we can let you access it for an extra $1/hour."

[1] I say European because my understanding is that this kind of bullshit doesn't happen commonly in Europe

Re:priority (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495523)

We can sit and wait, now that both systems are in use, and see which one survives. Just keep the status quo until one dies out, and you have your answer.

Re:priority (2, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495223)

QoS is fine. Network neutrality only means that you throttle all high bandwidth applications the same way, regardless of who is using them.

Re:priority (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495499)

What about ones which can be either? Interactive ssh versus file transfer.

What I'd love would be if we could let users prioritize their own traffic (with sensible defaults for those who don't know what an internet is), and give them N GB high priority traffic per month and uncapped low priority.

Of course, there are tons of problems with this, but there are times I would willingly prioritize myself down (up/download I intend to leave overnight, 4 GB differential full system backup).

Never mind that with the way current userland and networking is set up this isn't feasible, I think it's a neat idea.

Nice, but you know the telcoms will fight it (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494659)

It's nice to have a chair that seems sincerely interested in consumer interests for once. But you know the telcoms will fight it, and they basically own Congress--so I don't hold out much hope. The FCC can be easily overridden by Congress at any time.

Re:Nice, but you know the telcoms will fight it (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494723)

But you know the telcoms will fight it, and they basically own Congress--so I don't hold out much hope.

The telcos don't own Congress. That's preposterous. Congress is owned by the health insurance companies, the financial companies, the military contracting companies, and the big agribusiness companies. The telcos are at most a minority owner with about 5% control.

Re:Nice, but you know the telcoms will fight it (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494911)

Congress is owned by the health insurance companies, the financial companies, the military contracting companies, and the big agribusiness companies. The telcos are at most a minority owner with about 5% control.

Couldn't you just have boiled that all down to "Congress is owned by the Jews" and saved yourself all those keystrokes? ;)

Re:Nice, but you know the telcoms will fight it (0, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495323)

Guess I should have tagged that with <sarcasm> tags for the mods with no sense of humor......

Re:Nice, but you know the telcoms will fight it (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494973)

I ain't worried by the telcos. they're not really affected by what traffic passes their lines. it's the RIAA and the likes I'm worried about.

FCC chairman (3, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494683)

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski

Gesundheit!

"lawful Internet content" (5, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494769)

In other words, they can still filter content. The ISPs' role should be nothing more than a dumb pipe. That is what we must demand. Let the police, with a PROPER warrant, handle the legalities.

Re:"lawful Internet content" (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495025)

In other words, they can still filter content.

The DMCA notice/counternotice model presents a way for dealing with potentially illegal content that doesn't involve filtering. All the speech says is that the openness principles exist to assure freedom for legal content. There is nothing to say that the rules will permit filtering by ISPs as a means of dealing with potentially illegal content.

Re:"lawful Internet content" (3, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495113)

Exactly: the problem is "who determines what is lawful?" What if it's a bunch of encrypted bits that they suspect of being unlawful? Figuring out whether those bits consist of kiddie porn or (worse) the new Hollywood movie isn't my ISP's job. Even if I'm not breaking the law, I don't want my ISP wasting resources figuring out if everyone else is either.

Just forward the bits.

This *disallows* filtering of some content. (4, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495139)

The CAN-SPAM act makes spam legal, so long as it complies with the act.

Do you want to get into the details of legal spam vs. illegal spam?

What we should be doing is requiring the telecommunications companies to declare themselves as "Common Carrier" or not. If they are, then they get protections under the law but can't discriminate. If they aren't, they can filter, but lose some of their legal protection.

So, ISPs could offer "family safe filtering" or the like, but to do so, they have to declare that they're not a "Common Carrier".

Disclaimer: I used to work for a small (3k user) ISP, and still hold stock in the company that bought it out. I'm also an elected official, and know that passing even the most mundane of laws takes months, and even then likely doesn't plan for every possibility.

Re:This *disallows* filtering of some content. (2, Insightful)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495585)

Do they lose common carrier status If they OFFER "family safe filtering" or if they FORCE some kind of filtering?

Re:"lawful Internet content" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495575)

But they can only filter it if it is unlawful. I can understand why you have a grip with that, but think it through. How are you going to do content filtering that has no false positives and has a remotely reasonable rate for true positives?

If I filter by protocol (e.g., bit torrent) then I'm also taking out legal content, and he was clear that is not allowed. If I filter based on MD5 sums (of what? the whole file? send in parts. Of pieces? send different pieces/false positive rate) that fails as well. Filtering "illegal" content should not be the role of the provider and the proposed rule doesn't sound like it would be easy to do filtering and still comply. Churches or schools that use filtering software -- show some cases where it prohibits access to the constitution, government websites, etc. and file a complaint with the FCC and make them weigh "boobies! Think of the children!" against "education, access to *public* and *government* sites"

ATT is gonna scream bloody murder (3, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494803)

So is Verizon. And all the other wireless providers.

Cable companies too.

In fact, I can't think of any provider that won't object.

Re:ATT is gonna scream bloody murder (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494935)

So is Verizon. And all the other wireless providers.

Cable companies too.

No change.

The FCC announced its network neutrality principles first in 2005 (this speech adds two new principles -- non-discrimination and transparency -- to the original four.) Major providers have complained since then. They'll keep complaining now. So what?

Re:ATT is gonna scream bloody murder (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495225)

No, the carriers are all going to respond in the way they already have. Monthly caps with significant overage charges, and an excuse of "excessive users" when their network capacity is overloaded and people can't use the network anywhere near reasonable speeds.

In other words, no changes...

 

Re:ATT is gonna scream bloody murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495343)

Great! Let them charge per bit. That's awesome.

And it's sure a hell of a lot more fair than charging $0.00 for a GB worth of their "strategic partner's" bits, $10 per GB for someone else's http bits, $30 for MPEG4 bits, and $100 per GB for your VoIP bits.

Re:ATT is gonna scream bloody murder (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495567)

You think that if we give them the overall charge, that they wouldn't then have leverage for specific charges?

Sudden Outbreak of common sence (2, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494939)

This story needs that tag or a similar one.

Re:Sudden Outbreak of common sence (5, Funny)

rjolley (1118681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495365)

...or a similar one.

How about "Sudden outbreak of common sense"

It's almost like... (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494959)

It's almost like there are qualified, knowledgeable adults making policy decisions these days. Quite a difference from the days policy was dictated by partisan fund raisers who's qualifications were decided by how much money they could raise, right Brownie? Sometimes during the dark days it was like our government was being run by Romper Room.

Re:It's almost like... (1)

uk1320 (680261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495155)

Hopefully the UK will follow in the US foot steps on this one, but I doubt it.

Re:It's almost like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495433)

YOU LIE!

(kidding! kinda ironic that Joe Wilson sat quietly and swallowed 8 years of crap and not a peep from him...)

Re:It's almost like... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495649)

I hope you aren't serious and are just trolling, but if you are, then a) you're wrong about the current government (both "qualified and knowledgeable" and "not being dictated by fundraisers" are obviously false to anyone who pays attention), and b) the government has been like that for roughly 200 years. History didn't start in January 2001.

A few points (2, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495035)

First, the principals here have needed to be made law for several years now and congratulations on moving society forward.
  1. Society should not be controlled by the pipe, the pipe is a service, we are not the service. The tail should not wag the dog.
  2. The rules call for "legal content" to be unfiltered, thats a hole big enough to drive a semi through.
  3. The rules need to have an enforcement mechanism with teeth or they will become meaningless.
  4. Reasonable management is being opened up for guidance by the very firms that would be managed. Reasonable management will become a hole big enough to pilot a supertanker through without careful vigilance.

Celebrate that the principals of network neutrality are finally getting airtime and understand that now is the time for increased scrutiny lest we give legal reasons to block the very things that they are trying to open.

Re:A few points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495235)

<grammarnazi intensity="82%">
"Principals" run schools, are pieces of loans, and are parties to contracts.
"Principles" are the tenets of a particular philosophy or idea, in this case, net neutrality.
</grammarnazi>

finally, brains. (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495107)

there has been an awful lot of nonsense about how this outfit must be protected, and that outfit has to serve all its competitors, and the wireless joint doesn't have to talk to anybody. data is data, transmit corridors are transmit corridors, and the name on the company's door should not get into it. the same rules for all would be a wonderful thing all the way around. regulate all or deregulate all, but do it at the same time all the other rules for an open network are promulgated. it's overdue to end the confusion and protectionism.

Julius Genachowski (1)

robvangelder (472838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495195)

+5 Insightful

Funnier title needed (3, Funny)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495215)

I think the title would have been a lot funnier if it were: "FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Available on Pay-Per-View"

Bandwidth whores (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495227)

It's one thing to say that an ISP should content regardless of the content provider. It is another thing to say that they should not be able to prioritize traffic. Real time applications (VOIP) may need priority over non-real time applications; protocols with smaller packets, no connection, etc might be prioritized while the bit-torrents could (and should) be degraded.

There is a huge difference between the content and the protocol. If you want efficient networks that allow everyone to access teh common resources you will allow ISPs to filter based on protocol but not based on the content within the protocol.

But this entire conversation is deceptive... Do bit-torrents have legitimate purposes? Sure. Can they be accomplished by another protocol? As long as you aren't downloading 20g/day of stolen movies/music. I for one beleive that those who funded, built, and maintain the networks should have both the right and the responsibility to manage their networks so that all users can access resources and preventing this will cause the degradation of the internet in favor of a few greedy users.

This entire statement does not use the word "torrent" once and it is clear that it does not address the core issues involved... bandwidth whores.

Please let CNBC know this is good (3, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495241)

Every time this issue gets brought up on air, those jackasses (Dennis in particular) cover the story like "net neutrality" means is some socialist takover of the internet.

They think it means that ATT will have to build it and then give it all away for free.

If they REALLY understood it, they would realize the ground rules for building the internet are one of the greatest successes of CAPITALISM in the past 50 years.

It encourages innovation, calculated risks, and investment towards long-term gains by corporations.

But, without net neutrality rules in place, there's nothing to stop your ISP from directing you to BING.com when you typed GOOGLE.com, because Microsoft threw some promotional money at them, and that's a massive problem.

Re:Please let CNBC know this is good (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495401)

Nothing to stop them except all their customers leaving.

Re:Please let CNBC know this is good (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495465)

Nothing to stop them leaving 'cept two year contracts and service fees.

Some of us think companies should be able to. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495495)

screw their customers, because that allows for natural selection of successful businesses/management. What do I mean? I have this theory which I've yet to see fully dis-confirmed, that company's create their own competition. What do I mean by that? If you are a company, and you are providing good quality products or services, with good customer service, at reasonable rates, then (as long as you are of a large enough size to not just be clobbered by outspending by the competition), you could be a 'monopoly' and nobody would care. Put another way, if you are large enough, and your customers are happy, there is no opportunity for competitors to grow - you 'consume' that market.

But, when a business like an ISP does something like restricting people's internet access, it creates a vacuum of customer satisfaction, an opportunity for a competitor to step in, and grow.

Of course, when it comes to internet access, the problem is that, while it's not a true monopoly, the extremely limited number of cables that can be run to people's homes/businesses, and the limits of available spectrum for wireless services, means that there can never be more than maybe 10 ISPs in any area, and more importantly, it means there are high barriers to entry. Even though the market opportunity would otherwise be there for a new competitor in the ISP space, new competitors can't arise because it's impossible (or prohibitively expensive because of the extreme scarcity of spectrum or rights-of-way to run cable) for them to run cable or use spectrum.

Which is what this comes down to. While, as I stated above, in the general case of an open market where there are no artificial barriers to entry, I'd be very libertarian, but the capitalist/libertarian "model" simply fails when it comes to something like telecommunications, so there is a very reasonable argument for government regulation - because it is only by the power of the government that companies can run cable or use spectrum, so this IS NOT capitalism/a free market).

So, I have no problem telling people who panic about a 'socialist takeover of the Internet' that the Internet is not capitalistic to begin with. As long as the government isn't saying *what* data you are allowed to send over the Internet, or *who* you can send it to (as in the China/Iran model), I don't see government regulation as a threat to freedoms.

I don't like this... (2, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495249)

I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC. If I don't like the way a company is routing their traffic I can at least switch companies. If the FCC gets involved and they do something stupid there is no alternative. The worst case for a business blocking/routing traffic is that someone else creates a competing ISP.

Re:I don't like this... (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495445)

In many, if not most, parts of the US, you can't switch companies, because there's no competition. The worst case for an ISP not routing traffic the way you want is that nobody creates a competing ISP, because there isn't sufficient economic benefit, and you're stuck with whatever your current ISP feels like. The best case with the FCC is that people convince their political representatives to change the FCC regulations.

Re:I don't like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495511)

Sounds like a great idea ... then when all companies limit your bandwidth to specific sites or block it out right. What are you going to do then ? If we allow any companies to fuck with connections the end result will be all companies will do it.

Maybe you should think things out a bit before you say its not a problem.

Re:I don't like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495629)

What competing ISP?

Sounds Good! (0, Troll)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495251)

Net-Neutrality, that sounds like a swell idea by golly gee whiz!

I like being Neutral and if the FCC is behind it then I am all for it. I trust the government to do the right thing because they are all saints no matter what party is in power.

Re:Sounds Good! (1)

bostonkarl (795447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495457)

Puleeze The ZOMG the government said it so it must be bad paranoia is so last year. Perhaps it might be a good idea to listen to what is said rather than who is saying it. Novel concept.

I hope this means... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495389)

..no more ISP automatic bans on home servers, or forcing you to pay "extra" for that "privelege". The promise of the net is that it is a full two way street for data sharing (basically), and they keep trying to turn it into a combo cable TV and cellphone "plan", with restrictions and locked down features up the wazoo.

Principles are good, we must wait for specifics (1)

Michael G. Kaplan (1517611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495423)

The speech states "Network operators cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, nor can they prohibit users from attaching non-harmful devices to the network."

Specifics are forthcoming: "I will soon circulate to my fellow Commissioners proposed rules prepared by Commission staff embodying the principles I've discussed, and I will ask for their support in issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking. This notice will provide the public with a detailed explanation of what we propose to do and why."

-

We will need to wait for specifics, but I hope that in part this means that cellphone service providers will have no say over what devices can access their networks. I'm curious to know the answers to the following questions:

Will the FCC invalidate existing exclusivity agreements with cellphone manufacturers? Obviously it wasn't Apple's decision to restrict the iPhone to just AT&T. Will the iPhone (and every other 'exclusive phone') be available in unlocked form for all carriers?

If exclusivity agreements are eliminated will cellphone service providers still be able to force you to pay for their "subsidized" phones even if you don't want to? Example - Will Verizon force all of their subscribers to continue to pay the same inflated monthly fee so that a "subsidize" Blackberry Storm is "free" while a non-preferred smartphone costs $500 to purchase?

Will cellphone providers be able to change you differently based on the type of data sent via a cellphone instead of just charging you based on bandwidth? What I am really asking is will they be able to selectively charge price-gouging rates for SMS when it effectively uses no bandwidth? Can cellphone providers ban VoIP over 3G and other cellphone frequencies? I hope the FCC specifically bans them from discriminating based on the type of data transmission.

I can go on and on, but hopefully the specific FCC rules will turn cellphone providers into the mindless provides of bandwidth pipe that they should be.

espn360.com (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495459)

Isn't this a blatant example of violating "net neutrality" that's been going on for awhile now? AT&T customers can use this site while comcast's can't (been on both sides of that fence and it wasn't 360 that made the decision for me).

I use it, but it bothers me that AT&T is engaging in payola to bring me that service.

YET MORE DEMOCRAT INTERVENTION IN BUSINESS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495601)

YET MORE IDIOT, MORON, DEMOCRAT INTERVENTION IN BUSINESS!

The FCC, now headed by democrat greed and corruption, proclaim the Internet to be free and open! With unfettered access or restriction.

Facts:
1) The Internet is NOT FREE. There is a cost for transporting it, connecting to it, consuming it, etc.
2) In order to provide RELIABLE, BUSINESS CLASS, Internet access, carriers can restrict the type and volume of traffic that is carried on any segment of their network. These new FCC recommendations state that is not appropriate.
3) If these recommendations become policy, ALL Internet access is at risk, including but not limited to: business services we have all become accustomed to like VoIP, email, web sites, remote support tools, etc. These business services, which benefit from reliable communications, would be subject to the same Internet congestion as non-business, wasteful, traffic such as: YouTube, Hulu, FaceBook, videos of michael jackson as well as the next celebrity the democrats kill off.
4) To build additional infrastructure to support the unrestricted bandwidth mandated by the government, the carriers will increase the charges for the service provided to business, mobile and residential subscribers.

LESS GOVERNMENT! Keep the government out of business. The government proves time and time again, they are not any good at operating a business. This latest from teh FCC is yet another bit of proof!

Remove all democrats from: congress, whitehouse, czars, white house, cabinet positions, government advisors, etc.

Deport all illegal aliens!

No taxpayer funded health plan!

No government option health plan!

No cap and trade!

Repeal all bills that have been signed into law since the innaguration!

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