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FCC Vote Marks Effort To Take Greater Control of the Web

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the why-yes-I-would-like-more-pie dept.

Government 323

GovTechGuy writes "The FCC voted today to open an inquiry into how the broadband industry is regulated, the first step in a controversial attempt to assert greater regulatory control over Internet service providers. In a 3-2 vote the Democratic members of the Commission voted to move forward with the FCC's proposal to reclassify broadband as a telecom service, increasing the regulation it is subject to. The move also has large implications for net neutrality, which FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski has made a focus under his watch."

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323 comments

Take Control? (3, Insightful)

jornak (1377831) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606392)

Yeah, the headline on this one is a bit sensationalist. The FCC is for prevention, not takeover.

Re:Take Control? (3, Insightful)

jnaujok (804613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606404)

Because no government program, started with good intentions, has ever led to making it worse.

Re:Take Control? (3, Insightful)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606430)

And it's not like the current administration has talked about installing kill switches for portions of the Internet.... just to protect the internet right, not to control it...

Re:Take Control? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606506)

And even if they did install them (unlikely) they would be sued into oblivion the first time they were used. Especially if it blocked a foreign embassy or other diplomatic presence. Besides, the economic hit would mean political suicide to whomever was responsible for the switch being flipped.

Re:Take Control? (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606576)

A few months ago Congress did pass a law giving the sitting president power to "kill switch" the internet. It's supposed to be used in the event of a security attack

Re:Take Control? (0, Offtopic)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606822)

Ok, so, what would be the scope of this "kill switch"? All routers in the US? All top level domains with servers in the US? Or is he talking about some kind of global thing? Other nations not even involved in any attack against anyone might have something to say about that.

Re:Take Control? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32607086)

A few months ago Congress did pass a law giving the sitting president power to "kill switch" the internet.

Bullshit.

Re:Take Control? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606514)

You need to dins someplce beside /. to get your information.

Kill switch. please.

Re:Take Control? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606862)

dins = find?

Re:Take Control? (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606570)

And it's not like the current administration has talked about installing kill switches for portions of the Internet.... just to protect the internet right, not to control it...

That's not the "current administration", that's one nutty congresscritter who's been trying to do that for a while now.

Re:Take Control? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606482)

You know, I hear this a lot.

Name... Five.

I mean, go ahead and call me a troll, but I just want to know what government programs started with good intentions (besides perhaps, wars) have made things worse.

I'm sure there are some, I'm just ignorant to what they are.

Re:Take Control? (4, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606554)

I don't know about five, but how about the CIA

Re:Take Control? (1)

knavel (1155875) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606606)

Care to be a bit more specific than that?

Re:Take Control? (3, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606700)

A little bit, but it's too big for me to type a post that can encompass it all.

The CIA has a long history of organizing all the terrible things that no president actually wants his name attached to. Basically if you're brown and live in a third world country you likely have been subjected to death squads, bribery, torture, or disinformation for the sake of assholes in Washington meeting their own goals. William Blum's Killing Hope can fill you in on the details.

Re:Take Control? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606626)

Prohibition
War on Drugs
Japanese Internment Camps
National Security Letters
Register for Sex offenders

Hmm, I'm sure someone could object that one or perhaps all of these programs didn't cause any abuse... but that's just from atop of my head, and I'm not even American (as you can no doubt tell from my spelling).

Re:Take Control? (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606656)

and I'm not even American (as you can no doubt tell from my spelling).

You are correct. The fact that you spelled all those words properly instantly gave you away as someone who didn't go through the American public school system ;)

Re:Take Control? (0, Redundant)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606774)

You are correct. The fact that you spelled all those words properly instantly gave you away as someone who didn't go through the American public school system ;)

Zzzzzzzzing!

Re:Take Control? (1)

IshmaelDS (981095) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607084)

Why is this flamebait? he was answering a question that was asked above him, and I happen to agree with quite a few of those.

Re:Take Control? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606636)

US Only for hard mode:
- Prohibition
- The War on Drugs
- The War on Terror
(I take neither to mean the same as "wars" in your comment)
- US Postal Service
- Cash for Clunkers

Re:Take Control? (1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606672)

Chronological Order:

- US Post Office (nearly bankrupt)
- The Sedition Act (jailed reporters/protesters for simply saying "We shouldn't be involved in the Great War.")
- Social Security (upside down - more checks sent out than cash coming in)
- Medicare (ditto)
- Amtrak (nearly bankrupt)
- Pelosicare (the CBO just announced it will add $110 billion to the debt, every year; not deficit neutral as advertised)

I'm sure other people can think of many more, but you only asked for 5 and I gave you 6. The second example is probably most relevant to this topic. Hope that helps. :-)

Re:Take Control? (3, Insightful)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606802)

Emmm, all government programs by definition cost money. It is not a business. It is not supposed to make money. It is there to provide services needed to society in a way that business would not provide, because it would not be profitable. However it does make economic sense, because it gives a greater benefit to the society as aa whole than the money invested into them.

Re:Take Control? (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606804)

>>>go ahead and call me a troll, but I just want to know what government programs started with good intentions (besides perhaps, wars) have made things worse.

Ooops I forgot the biggest one:

- Government School/Dept of Education (indoctrinates rather than educates - also very money-inefficient compared to private alternatives that d a better job with half as much cash, or an equal job with one-quarter as much cash)

I would also argue that it's Anti-prochoice due to it having a monopoly on money. It's akin to having to fork-over $1000 to Uncle Sam Computers each year, even if you'd rather go to Microsoft or Apple computer instead. It stifles freedom of choice by locking people (especially the poor) into the government.

Re:Take Control? (4, Informative)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606876)

  1. Prohibition: Meant to improve health and morality, it lead to vastly more organized crime, murder, and health problems from bad liquor.
  2. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the CRA: Meant to help people buys homes, they helped fuel a housing bubble and subsequent crash which caused many foreclosures. The Fannie/Freddie collapse may cost taxpayers up to a $1 trillion.
  3. Urban renewal: the destruction of poorer neighborhoods of single-family homes and small apartment buildings to build giant housing projects, which quickly turned into much worse places to live.
  4. The Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909, meant to give farmers land, led to massive soil erosion and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
  5. The Aswan Dam: To go outside the US, the dam stopped the silt from flowing down the Nile and fertilizing crops. Now much of the electricity produced by the dam goes to making artificial fertilizer now needed by the farmers.
  6. There are many more, but here's a bonus, favorite example: the Trabant. Designed and built by the East German government, this notoriously poor and polluting car holds a special place in economic history. It's not uncommon for business to lose money when the cost of making a product is less than the product is worth. But after the Berlin Wall fell and the books could be examined, something unique was discovered: the value of a Trabant was less than the value of the steel, glass, plastic, rubber, and other raw materials that went into it. AFAIK no other mass-produced product has ever been so "value-subtracted."

But to get more on-topic, here's my problem with the FCC action: what problem, exactly, are they solving? I've read lots here about net neutrality and all the horrible things it's supposed to prevent, but have any of those horrible things actually, you know, happened? If not, what's the rush? Why not wait to see exactly what the abuses are, so that we can know what problems the government is supposed to be fixing?

Re:Take Control? (4, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606920)

I've read lots here about net neutrality and all the horrible things it's supposed to prevent, but have any of those horrible things actually, you know, happened?

Comcast has been caught actually dropping certain types of traffic. High-up ISP corporate officers have been publicly claiming that they should have a right to charge the sites that their customers visit.

Re:Take Control? (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607014)

Your second example is still only talk, so it doesn't count. As for the first, sure, Comcast was throttling BitTorrent (for a while, at least; I don't know the situation now). Still, I think that's pretty thin grounds for the federal government jumping into broadband regulation.

Re:Take Control? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606884)

OK, so the right-wingers on slashdot may consider me a left-wing radical pinko socialist commie bastard... but even I can name five.

But that's incidental to the real problem... for this industry, are we better off with government regulation, or with service providers self-regulating through market forces? I think you'd have to be heavy on the Austrian side to think that market forces can properly regulate an industry that is dominated by local monopolies.

IMO, even IF the 'teh gubbermint' can't do anything right, it's still a better bet than having people whose interests are directly opposed to ours in charge of regulating themselves via market forces in an uncompetitive market.

Re:Take Control? (1, Offtopic)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607090)

I just want to know what government programs started with good intentions (besides perhaps, wars) have made things worse.

Depends on what you mean by making things worse. Some of us think that reducing individual liberty IS making things worse regardless of any other effects. This then includes just about all government actions (except those that protect individual liberty such as the legal system, law enforcement and defence) because they all involve physical force. As Greenspan said "At the bottom of the endless pile of paperwork which characterizes all regulation lies a gun."

But let's focus only on the government actions that made things worse in a more obvious ways.

1. Social Security
Intention: Provide seniors with material security
Result: It makes things worse. By any calculation, if the working people right now were allowed to put the same money they pay into social security (12.5% including employer portion) into an interest bearing retirement account they would receive a much higher payout once they retire, but we are not allowed to opt out.

2. Farm subsidies
Intention: Who knows
Result: Majority of payments go to the largest and wealthiest farmers. Harms developing countries by denying them an opportunity to compete fairly on cost with the US farmers.

3. United Nations Funding
Intention: "To maintain international peace and security...blah blah"
Result: It does nothing of the sort. The most it can be said about it is that it provides a discussion forum where countries with dismal human rights record can rant against the USA and western democracies in general.

4. National Endowment for the Arts
Intention: To promote arts etc
Result: Frivolously pays taxpayer money to "selected" artists with connections, while majority of artists get nothing. How would you like to be a struggling artist who pays taxes while knowing that the portion of your money goes to other, more "special", artists based on subjective and vague criteria.

5. Bankrupt and poorly managed government services: Awful public education, among the worst in developed countries. Post Office (now close to bankruptcy). Amtrak (has never been self sufficient in its history) etc etc

Can I go on?

Re:Take Control? (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606750)

Because letting corporations run completely amok has never caused grave economic consequences.

Re:Take Control? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606408)

Also it's not about the web specifically, it's about the infrastructure that brings the entire internet (including the web) to the american people.

In before... (2, Insightful)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606442)

In before the right wingers start ranting about how net neutrality violates the principles of the free market. (FYI, it doesn't)

Re:In before... (5, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606490)

Don't be silly, of course it does. And so do prohibitions on human slavery. The Free Market just isn't nearly so great as people make it out to be.

Re:In before... (3, Insightful)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606590)

Ok, well first off I have to apologize. My OP was a little flame-baitish because I didn't really know how to get started on my point. :-)

The point that I want to make is that the free market, to the extent that we think of it, has limits, or at least limits to where it's beneficial to society, something a lot of people fail to recognize. Note that I didn't say net neutrality doesn't violate the free market, only that it doesn't violate the principles of the free market, which are that free and open trade between parties produces a net benefit.

The reason it doesn't violate those principles is because the current state US broadband exhibits one of the primary market failures, which is a lack of adequate competition to keep producers from gouging their customers.

Re:In before... (3, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606966)

An even bigger reason is because all the ISPs they're trying to regulate only managed to get so powerful because the government gave them public money and allowed them to put wires up all over the place ignoring property rights, thus effectively setting them up as monopolies. Of course companies that use public funds and get special privileges from the government should be regulated.

Re:In before... (3, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607026)

You do know that it's government keeping only a few Cable providers available don't you? (ie: I can't start up my own cable company tomorrow and offer service to my neighborhood without going through my local government.) They also sign deals with cable companies to have exclusive rights to areas for certain periods of time (effectively granting a monopoly to said company.)

You want government to fix a government problem by adding more government?

Re:In before... (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607036)

Anything that uses the term "free market" without qualification is pretty much flamebait anyway. The term is so overloaded as to mean whatever the speaker wants it to mean these days, from strict anarcho-capitalism to just shy of a self-acknowledged command economy.

As the term is used by "the right wing"—by which I refer to the anarcho-capitalists in particular, as most others on the "right wing" have no coherent economic principles—any regulation which is not limited to recognizing and enforcing the anarcho-capitalist system of property rights does violate the principles of the free market; this includes (enforced) net neutrality. Whether a completely free market is somehow "optimal" doesn't factor into the equation; among other reasons, not everyone believe it is possible to determine whether a given state is "optimal" unless this system is already in place. Also, even if the result could be shown to somehow be sub-optimal from a material-wealth standpoint, most individuals in this category would place a higher value on maintaining the system itself, on principle, than in achieving an "optimal" state.

On the other hand, of course, you have a lot of people, "left" and "right", who believe they can determine whether an arbitrary allocation of goods is objectively "better" or "worse" on their own—based, on doubt, on their own subjective preferences, which they consider both obvious and universal—without any need for others to demonstrate their actual preferences through voluntary trade. To these individuals a "free market" is one where trade is permitted only so long as it fits their preferred pattern: a command economy in all but name. Whenever that trade deviates from the pattern they've established they cry "market failure!" and take aggressive action to change the result.

Re:In before... (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606830)

Don't be silly, of course it does. And so do prohibitions on human slavery. The Free Market just isn't nearly so great as people make it out to be.

You have a funny definition of free market. Giving one person the freedom to walk all over other peoples' freedoms is less free, not more. A system that maximizes freedom must necessarily regulate bullies, monopolies, tyrants, and the likes of Comcast. ...and I think that's easily as great as people make it out to be.

Re:In before... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606934)

Well it depends on what you mean by a "free market". Is a "free market" simply one that has not government control or regulation? Or is it one where the people buying/selling/trading on that market have free and open choice between many alternatives? I think a lot of people intend the former when they say "free market", but the theoretical economic benefits that people talk about (e.g. the "invisible hand") come from the latter.

In the latter sense, the idea of having a "free market" is incompatible with slavery, assuming that the slaves are also considered players in the market. Slaves are not allowed to exercise choice in the labor market, for example, or else they wouldn't be slaves.

It's also noteworthy that government regulation isn't necessarily opposed to a "free market" in this particular sense. For example, monopolies limit choice, so if anti-trust regulations succeed in limiting monopolies and thereby expanding choice, then that governmental restriction actually makes for a freer market.

Now free markets still aren't the be-all and end-all anyway, but they're often pretty good at allocating resources in an efficient way. That is, as long as you mean an actual "free market" in latter sense. If you simply mean "a market with absolutely no governmental intervention," then it's a recipe for abuse and disaster.

Re:In before... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606940)

Human Slavery has nothing to do with "free markets", unless you're being a dick. You're modded interesting and not Troll says a lot about left wing group think. It also says that they don't understand the concept of LIBERTY, because they think the State as a god (highest power).

Re:In before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606530)

In before the right wingers start ranting about how net neutrality violates the principles of the free market. (FYI, it doesn't)

At least no more than monopoly powers do.

Re:In before... (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606698)

But Comcast (or Cox or Cablevision or.....) isn't a free market. It's government-created monopoly and therefore the government needs to regulate the monopoly to ensure it doesn't abuse its power. Just the same way electric monopolies or natural gas monopolies are regulated.

I'm a right winger and I support Net Neutrality as necessary.

And yes I approve this message.

Re:In before... (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606718)

Well if you're just going to make my argument for me it's no fun.

Re:In before... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606778)

You could add that internet providers should be regulated the same as phone companies.

I wonder if these pseudo-conservatives are old enough to remember Ma Bell.

Re:In before... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606842)

Okay well here's something you'll probably disagree with:

- I think the existence of modern technology (fiber) means there's no longer a need for a monopoly. Let the government run 100 fibers under the street, and lease each one to a different company (comcast, cox, apple, google, time-warner, etc).

Then let each homeowner decide which fiber he wants to tap into. True competition.

Re:In before... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32607058)

That sounds a bit socialistic to me. The government shouldn't own any utility, or company, or whatever.

Re:In before... (0, Redundant)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606744)

...the government needs to regulate the monopoly to ensure it doesn't abuse its power. Just the same way electric monopolies or natural gas monopolies were regulated.

FTFY

Yeah! (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606452)

Now telcos will have an excuse to raise the prices on their broadband to "comply" with regulations. Now our broadband bills will have all those annoying and "unknown to anyone what they're for" fees.

First fee: internet portability compliance fee.

Re:Yeah! (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606502)

Just because you are too slow or lazy to find out what they are for doesn't mean everyone else is.
Your arrogance from ignorance is disgusting. Shame on you.

You get a lot of protections from the regulations. Not that you can stay focused on anything long enough to find out what they are. I mean actual facts might make it harder to have incorrect knee jerk reactions.

Re:Yeah! (1)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606866)

Just make a regulation that all fees for this service must be itemised from this list. Oh and if they are really bad, then the government can actually force a monopolic or duopolic service provider to provide fixed services to fixed regions at fixed costs with fixed service quality levels. I don't know if that has ever been done in US. but it has been done elsewhere. Another alternative is simply for the government to provide their own baseline service, such as city wide WiFi and have the private sector compete to provide something better than that if they want to stay in business.

Bad Title (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606458)

/take control of the web/take action to prevent the destruction of the web at the hands of greedy ISPs/

Re:Bad Title (4, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606510)

Yeah, this has exactly as much to do with taking control of the web, as regulating the phone company has to do with taking control of what you can say over the phone.

Tyranny (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606478)

Tyranny always rears its head under the guise of national defense, war or some sort of civil protection from the bad, ugly guys out there. The Internet is one of the last few bastions of freedom left in the world...too bad the Statists out there cannot see the Federal Government for what it truly is.

Re:Tyranny (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606558)

The Internet is one of the last few bastions of freedom left in the world...

...and since you only have one or maybe 2 ISPs to choose from, the Evil Corporations can steal that freedom pretty much however they want. Unless the FCC tells them not to, which is what this is.

Re:Tyranny (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606670)

Tyranny always rears its head under the guise of national defense, war or some sort of civil protection from the bad, ugly guys out there. The Internet is one of the last few bastions of freedom left in the world...too bad the Statists out there cannot see the Federal Government for what it truly is.

And remember when those damned abolitionists reared their ugly heads and took slavery from the free market? They really showed how much they love freedom then, didn't they? Damn Federal government! Damn them and all those who question capitalism!

How does this relate to the recent court ruling? (2, Interesting)

JJTJR (883367) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606480)

The implications of this for net neutrality are important so I'm wondering how this effects the recent court ruling that stated the FCC didn't have the power to regulate them http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15160454 [mercurynews.com] Does this coming out of committee start the process that will allow a new law which will make the court ruling moot? If so, then hooray!

Re:How does this relate to the recent court ruling (4, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606546)

The law gives the FCC several categories to put things in, and gives them different powers over each category. That ruling said they were trying to use powers from category A on ISPs while ISPs were in category B. So now they're trying to move ISPs into category A.

Re:How does this relate to the recent court ruling (2, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606936)

The law gives the FCC several categories to put things in, and gives them different powers over each category. That ruling said they were trying to use powers from category A on ISPs while ISPs were in category B. So now they're trying to move ISPs into category A.

More to the point - in the early 2000s the FCC moved ISPs from Category A to Category B, now they are trying to move them back to where they were originally.

The first (erroneous IMNHO) move to category B (aka 'information service providers') was finalized by the NCTA v Brand X [wikipedia.org] scotus ruling that said the FCC has the authority to determine which category an ISP falls into.

Re:How does this relate to the recent court ruling (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606548)

Yeah, hooray, as an Administration that has several high ranking members who are on record as saying that freedom of speech is over rated moves to give itself regulatory authority over the one place that it receives criticism.

Re:How does this relate to the recent court ruling (1)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606622)

This is direct response to that court ruling. The court ruled that the way the FCC had classified ISPs it couldn't enforce the net neutrality rules it wanted. By reclassifying ISPs this way, they can turn around and re-enforce those rules.

First mandate DSL for everyone (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606504)

Everyone has a phone. The FCC should mandate that the phone company provide DSL to every customer that requests it. Instant broadband for everybody.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606552)

most of the people who don't live in an area where cable or other broadband is available already probably live way, way too far away from a telephone CO for signal attenuation not completely destroy any notion of broadband via DSL being usable.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606680)

You don't have to have all the DSLAMs in the CO. You can run fiber out to a remote point and put a DSLAM wherever you want. Yes, it costs money to do this. Maybe they should try using that Universal Service Fund for something real.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606926)

>>>way too far away from a telephone CO for signal attenuation not completely destroy any notion of broadband via DSL being usable.

Central Office -> Fiber Optic --> DSLAM (which hooks into the already-existing phone lines). That's how my neighborhood is wired up and we have 12 Megabit/s available here.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606614)

The FCC should mandate that the phone company provide DSL to every customer that requests it.

That would be stupid. Requiring that they provide Internet access of at least some minimum speed (1Mbps maybe?) might be reasonable, but mandating a particular technology is not.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (2, Insightful)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606904)

Just provide a country wide free WiFi/WiMax service paid for by a federal tax on all computers and devices with WiFi/WiMax receivers. Provide strict QoS on this network so that P2P traffic does not drown out VOIP and Web traffic and ... you're done. Now all private companies will need to really stretch their legs to provide a much better service than that if they want to stay in business.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607066)

Provide strict QoS on this network so that P2P traffic does not drown out VOIP and Web traffic

I've thought about that. How hard is it to change bittorrent traffic to look like VoIP traffic? If you go by port numbers (layer 4), it is pretty easy. To get around that, you're talking about Deep Packet Inspection [wikipedia.org]. I'm not sure I want the government running that on every access point into the Internet.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607030)

>>>mandating a particular technology is not.

Good point.

I suppose the law could be written, "The phone company must provide DSL (or similar broadband alternative) to every customer that requests internet." - Then the companies would have a choice: DSL, FiOS, or some other technology. BUT let's be honest - DSL is the cheapest route because the wires are already laid-down under the earth, or on top of poles. I suspect 99% of phone companies would choose the DSL to hook-up Farmer Joe in Nowhere Wyoming, or Sister Sue in Cowsville Montana.

Which is fine - the goal is to offer something faster than Narrowband 56k and DSL certainly qualifies. Also I don't agree with mandating it MUST be 1 Mbit/s. Some of us prefer half that speed, because it's cheaper ($14). We should have the option of choosing slower to save money

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606660)

There's a hell of a lot of people that do not have a POTS phone anymore.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607070)

Really? I thought the Universal Access Fee (tax on your monthly bill), plus Congressional law mandated that companies MUST provide phone service to anyone who requests it. I know SOME people have gone completely cellular, but I bet 99% of America still has the wires running to their house and those wires could be upgraded from Narrowband Dialup to Broadband Internet.

Re:First mandate DSL for everyone (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606874)

Everyone has a phone. The FCC should mandate that the phone company provide DSL to every customer that requests it. Instant broadband for everybody.

(Score:-1, Offtopic)

Why was a post about FCC providing access to everyone, on a topic about FCC providing universal access, marked offtopic? As Spock would say, "Illogical"

Corporations against freedom (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606522)

1 out of 10 government systems fail, and of course they will. The government puts out a lot of ideas per year. Medicaid was the one that worked. Social Security was one of the ones that didn't.

I find it amazing that corporations are overstepping their bounds and people complain that net neutrality with negate the ability for companies to regulate your internet. In short, they want to take away your freedom unless you give them more money.

Why is it people think the government doing absolutely anything is infringing upon rights but when a corporation does it then it's okay?

Re:Corporations against freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606600)

Social Security was one of the ones that didn't.

Sorry, what? Did I miss the news that Social Security had collapsed? Last I heard it was still running, albeit in trouble if it's left to continue to run like it is now.

Re:Corporations against freedom (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606800)

Social Security's biggest problem is that it's money constantly gets raided.

It's like a corporate retirement plan that gets abused by the CEO and underfunded.

Re:Corporations against freedom (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606740)

If Government's success rate is around 90%, with 1 in 10 failing, I have way more faith in my Government than any corporation or business.

Re:Corporations against freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606816)

Corporate decisions generally aren't backed by (para)military force. I say para-military because that is what the police have become. I still remember the Blue Knight.

Control??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606610)

Control or censorship. I thought only the Australians in the OECD controlled their net.

Well, it's not like we didn't see this one coming. (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606620)

With the FCC being smacked down with regards to "lol you can't regulate us" the first step has been done to regulate the industry, not because of some wild-eyed's bureaucrat's fantasy, but because it needs to be done.

The days of the mom-and-pop ISP are over and done with. The lack of regulation let these thrive, but the large telecoms and cable companies have gobbled up every single one of these since the dot-bomb. They are gone, never to be seen again.

Now everyone is left with either a local monopoly or at best a duopoly of broadband providers, who are increasingly out to screw the customer, like Comcast has been shown to do. Comcast wanted to play hardball. Well, here it is, guys, the big-time. Don't say we didn't warn you.

--
BMO

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606702)

The days of the mom-and-pop ISP are over and done with. The lack of regulation let these thrive, but the large telecoms and cable companies have gobbled up every single one of these since the dot-bomb. They are gone, never to be seen again.

Weren't the mom-and-pops thriving under the original rules, back when broadband was classified as a telecom service and hence subject to regulation? It seems that those all died when broadband was deregulated as a telecom service in the past decade.

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606810)

They did well when everyone used dialup, because as ISP was basically no different from any other company with lots of phones.

I think they also did OK when there were line-sharing regulations, so the phone company was required to rent phone line loops to them at cost. But not as well as in the age of dial-up, since the phone companies could generally get away with providing horrible service, taking weeks to do things that they'd do in a day or two for lines going to their own customers.

Now you have to either lay your own wires (in the face of an incumbent that's been granted a monopoly) or get the government to subsidize your wires (really helps to be big and have a big marketing department). So there's no competition.

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606922)

"Weren't the mom-and-pops thriving under the original rules, back when broadband was classified as a telecom service and hence subject to regulation?"

No, the mom-and-pops were never classified as telecom carriers. They sure as hell weren't classified common carriers. They fell under the information provider rules.

I'm guessing you're talking about the deregulation of the pricing rules for the "fat pipe" telecoms that the mom-and-pops bought bandwidth from where previously the telecoms couldn't price them out of existence. At that time, the large telecoms weren't dealing directly with the end users - that was up to the individual ISPs, however they wanted to divide up the bandwidth they bought.

Those pricing rules went away (deregulation) as the fat-pipe providers decided to serve the end user (how convenient), and could then charge the ISPs a rate that would make the telecom's choices cheaper for the end users. But the end-user service regulations were always the same (information provider rather than telecom). Since it's the telecoms now directly servicing the end user, it only makes sense to bring telecom rules into the game.

--
BMO

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606900)

Just curious - What do you think of recent comments from Obama's employee Cass Sunnstein, that the FCC should mandate equal representation? i.e. If democrats.org has a posting about some political event, then they must also insert a popup window that links to republicans.org. Like a Fairness Doctrine for the web?

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606978)

I'm pretty sure there's nothing that would give them the power to do that; you don't need a FCC license to run a website like you do to run a radio/TV transmitter or a phone/cable company.

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607040)

You got something substantive that isn't from Free Republic?

--
BMO

Re:Well, it's not like we didn't see this one comi (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#32607032)

Now everyone is left with either a local monopoly or at best a duopoly of broadband providers

One of the proposals that always sounded good to me: Forbid the company that provides the physical infrastructure from offering any service. So for example, if Verizon builds the FIOS network, then they can sell access to ISPs (and voice/television providers) but they cannot act as provider themselves. Further, make it so that they cannot negotiate special/exclusive deals with anyone, but have to offer the same terms/prices to all comers.

Power and Control (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32606632)

This is all about power and control. You have to ask yourself, what percentage of my life do you want the government to control. Pimps control about 97% of a working girls life. They provide health care, a place to live, help getting to work, encouragement at work, working location, working hours, spending money, holiday planning, friends and so on. Already the government is checking in at 40%+ of the economy. Just how much do you want them to control. More, or less. If more, vote for every bond measure, every tax increase, every spending increase that comes along. If you don't understand what power and control looks like, check out a documentary on pimps. Study history. America can be as prosperous as Africa is, if we want. All we need to do is destroy capitalism, kill 500k-5million people and hand over more power and control to those that know better. They choice is ours.

If you don't understand why killing 20 million people is considered bad, study history. It is replete with stories of people that wanted power and control, and got it.

Re:Power and Control (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606838)

This is all about power and control. You have to ask yourself, what percentage of my life do you want the some wire monopoly to control.

"the Web" is not "the Internet" (4, Insightful)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606658)

In general media it's forgivable, but can't we make an effort at technical accuracy on Slashdot? I didn't see anything in the summary or in the article itself about "the Web".

Re:"the Web" is not "the Internet" (1)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606952)

The Web is a subset of the Internet. Exercising greater control of the Internet implies exercising greater control of things that fall under the heading of the Internet.

Incredibly misleading headline (5, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606676)

This headline and summary blow and are almost exactly contrary to the facts. The FCC's position, as outlined here [broadband.gov] is that the FCC is identifying *only* the transmission component of broadband as a telecom service. In practical terms, this means precisely that they will *not* pursue net neutrality-based oversight at this time, and will ignore content-related matters in favor of simple access and transmission oversight.

In other words, the "web" itself is exactly the thing they are not trying to take greater control of.

Re:Incredibly misleading headline (2, Funny)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606720)

You don't understand. It has something to do with the Obama administration, and therefore its a naked power grab moving us closer to socialism and the end of The American Way of Life.

Why mess with it when we're Number 47? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606796)

I mean, just because Romania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania have four times the internet speed and pay one-twentieth the cost that we do for Internet speeds and storage, doesn't mean we need to get the government involved, right?

What do you want - service?

At a reasonable price?

That's only for corporations and research universities - they get 1000 Gbps while we crawl around at 8 ... if we're lucky enough to live in a big city.

One good thing from all of this... (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606832)

I suspect that a large part of this was due to their desire to go after and shut down providers that peddle spam, child porn, warez, and other services that aren't legal. I'm all for that. To be honest, the net has been a little too free and "wild west" like - to the point where the bandits and claim-jumpers have all but taken over.

And it's not like they don't scan and know everything already that you or I do online anyways. This just gives them the means to regulate the service providers and force them to do their job properly.

What the FCC is trying to do... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606912)

The FCC is trying to move broadband providers from class a to class b. They don't want regulatory control over all aspects, just want to make sure that every website gets "equal bandwidth opportunity". Think of the internet as a series of tubes...

Grass Roots Movements Need To Be Stifled (1)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606954)

With the internet giving everyone a voice, that is a threat to the monopoly of broadcasting. Just like they took control of the airwaves in the 30's, and have controlled elections that way, they are looking to do the same with the internet. I'm sure the masses will fall for it since Idiocracy has long been in effect. Get ready to pay way more for internet access. The same way they said they've gotten involved with Health Care and Education in order to "help the poor"; but instead have driven prices up to unaffordable levels, they will now do the same to the internet. Too bad it's the poor that are stupid enough to believe these guys have their best interest at heart, and there's way too many poor who receive handouts...so the stupid cycle will continue.

Misleading Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32607082)

That should be "FCC Vote Marks Effort To Take Greater Control of How You Get to the Web".

No one controls the Web! To post otherwise is false.

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