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Verizon Challenges FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the lock-both-in-the-same-room dept.

The Internet 179

GovTechGuy writes "Verizon filed an appeal on Friday asking a federal court to strike down the FCC's net neutrality rules, which are scheduled to take effect on November 20. A federal judge tossed the FCC's previous attempt at enforcing net neutrality against Comcast last May, and more legal challenges are expected in the coming days."

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Evit Cartel Opportunity (2)

mikepost (2462284) | about 3 years ago | (#37588490)

I think that all of the net neutrality challengers should get together and head over to http://www.privateislandsonline.com/oceania.htm [privateislandsonline.com] , where they could buy a volcanic island. Perfect for the super villain that has everything except an evil lair!

Once set up, /. readers could petition the local government to allow multi-tiered internet provision and drop all evil enterprises to the bottom of the list, throttling them back to dial up speeds! Mwha, mwha, mwha!!!

Re:Evit Cartel Opportunity (2)

Twinbee (767046) | about 3 years ago | (#37588570)

Sites like that seem slightly surreal, almost on the level of "buy your own planet" from the HHGTG or something.

Seems reasonable (1)

paiute (550198) | about 3 years ago | (#37588502)

Verizon asserts that it is committed to an open internet. Verizon believes the Federal Communications Commission has no business regulating communications. Verizon reports that the turd floating in the punchbowl is a Baby Ruth bar.

Re:Seems reasonable (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 years ago | (#37588574)

They ALL assert that they are committed to net neutrality. The problem is, they want to define what neutrality is. When you've cut away all the verbiage, to get to the heart of the matter, the telcos only want their monopoly to remain unchallenged, so that they can continue to rape the consumers. To them, "neutrality" means "anything goes, as long as WE approve of it, and it increases profits".

Re:Seems reasonable (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 3 years ago | (#37588692)

Umm... you just described any average company. They all want to maximize profits.
Companies have a commitment to their shareholders/investors to maximize profit... if they don't do that, the investors would be stupid to invest.

We've defeated the old communists so that this system can dominate the world. Don't complain now.

Re:Seems reasonable (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 years ago | (#37588850)

Nope. Capitalism was never meant to give industry ownership of everything. Fact is, a lot of that infrastructure, over which the telcos have been given a monopoly, has been paid for by the taxpayers. We paid for a lot of it with taxes, and we're forced to pay again through all the various fees.

Don't get me wrong - yes, I agree that the corporations have an obligation to maximize profits for their shareholders. That's fine. But - politicians, judges, and regulators like the FCC have an even greater obligation to represent taxpayers, voters, consumers, and/or citizens. And, those politicians have basically sold out to the corporations under discussion.

Balance is what I'm looking for here. Yeah, we owe the corporations a profit, if they are going to be responsible for running things. But, they owe it to US, to give us what we want, in exchange for those profits. Ever heard, "The customer is always right"? Hey - there's not one sleazy sumbitch on Wall Street that believes that anymore. They look at us as a farmer looks at cattle. We're an asset to be exploited, nothing more, and nothing less. They owe us nothing - not even the service they promise, and most certainly not good service!

What is your internet speed? First, the advertised speed, then your real speed? The telcos are infamous for over subscribing, then throttling. Hey - if I'm paying for 56k, I WANT my 56k. If I'm paying for 56MB, then I WANT my 56MB. And, if I happen to be filthy rich, and I'm paying for 56GB, then, by god, I WANT MY 56GB download speed! And, it's none of the telco's business how I might be using all of that bandwidth - I paid for it, it is mine.

The telco is most certainly NOT the enforcement arm of RIAA, MPAA, or any other alphabet agency.

Let's just say that I'm very unhappy with the way things are going in this country, and that I support those protestors who are "occupying Wall Street" this morning. I just wish they would get their act together, and tell both Wall Street and Washington what is wrong, and that it's time to fix it.

Communism? Nope. Under communist rule, corporations lose, but so do the citizens. Take another look at what I'm bitching about - as well as those protesters.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

said213 (72685) | about 3 years ago | (#37589006)

"Yeah, we owe the corporations a profit..."

You don't owe any corporation a god damned thing.

Re:Seems reasonable (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 3 years ago | (#37589080)

Don't get me wrong - yes, I agree that the corporations have an obligation to maximize profits for their shareholders. That's fine. But - politicians, judges, and regulators like the FCC have an even greater obligation to represent taxpayers, voters, consumers, and/or citizens. And, those politicians have basically sold out to the corporations under discussion.

So, don't complain about the companies. Instead, complain about the politicians, judges and regulators who sold out to them.

Companies just do their part of the deal: to get as much money as possible for as little effort as possible... and get away with it without losing customers.
Customers should switch to another company if the current internet provider seems a bad deal.
Governments should make sure you have a choice - that there is competition rather than a cartel where all companies basically offer the same product at the same price.

It seems to me that the companies do their job: they're earning money.
It seems to me that you're doing your job too: you're an angry customer and you want change. Me too, btw.
It seems to me however that there is no choice, and that means that some regulators are screwing up and letting the companies get away with being a cartel or a monopoly, and getting away with throttling.

Capitalism is a fine system, but it is my belief that it requires some regulation... and that's been lacking for a while now.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589116)

I see congressional term limits as a necessity here. Politicians are motivated to represent the people until they reach Washington, where they quickly realize that power comes from corporate connections. If they knew this wasn't a career, but rather just a few years of public service then maybe they'd stick to their guns.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37589626)

And the corporations, see, they're all... corporationy.

Edited for verbosity.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 years ago | (#37589724)

Umm... you just described any average company. They all want to maximize profits.

That doesn't necessarily make it right.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37590104)

You are right, I want Ma Bell back.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#37588804)

While I support net neutrality and appose the telcos efforts, I have to correct you here. This isn't about increasing profits, it's about mitigating new costs for them. Nearly every new innovative device out there connects to your home network and streams 1080p (or some other high bandwidth content) from the source provider, often without warning the consumer at all. The result is an increasing number of the ISPs customers using 80%+ of their bandwidth for nearly all of prime time and often 24/7.

New companies see the consumers broadband connection as a free resource to exploit. The ISPs would like these companies to share in the burden they are placing on their networks. Not just because it costs the ISPs money, but because with the system as it is, these new companies have no reason to put any effort into conserving the bandwidth they use. Why bother with compression? Time of day? Who cares!

Again, I don't support the ISPs efforts, but at least understand their point of view.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 years ago | (#37588882)

As I see it, net neutrality doesn't preclude some throttling. In my house, we have a router, with Tomato installed, using Toastman's QOS rules. I can understand, and support, the very same throttling at the ISP level.

But, what I see is, the big telcos aren't interested in fair sharing, so much as they are interested in maximizing profits. How 'bout those SMS messages? They can be, and often are, more expensive than an entire data plan. Why? It's been shown many times that those messages use an insignificant percentage of actual bandwidth. Why do they cost so much? Only because the telcos can get away with it, and most consumers are gullible.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | about 3 years ago | (#37589056)

... and telcos are an oligopoly, all agreeing to do the same thing so you don't have a choice.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

said213 (72685) | about 3 years ago | (#37589064)

"I can understand, and support, the very same throttling at the ISP level"

Really? ISP throttling bandwidth? You can understand that? And support it?
That's retarded.

he can enact the same QoS throttling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589084)

you dipstick.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37590184)

Unless you are a naive moron, yes. I don't want one single jackass torrenting 24 hours sharing my connection and bringing my bandwidth down to nothing. We are both paying customers, why should I be punished becasue of someone else's behavior?I am all for throttling the top 2% of people using 50% of the bandwidth. There is no need for that nonsense.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589094)

Exactly. If the 'Telcos' want to be fair and actually compete, then the TELCO On-Demand Movie Services should ALSO count against any Bandwidth caps.

What the TELCOS are dong is to capping the band-width to COMPETING service providers, but make their own in-house services immune to the cap.

Telcos, IMHO, should be prohibited (or forced to spin off) their movie-rental and ISP businesses -- they should not be allowed to monopolize the movie-rental business because they own the last mile of copper/fiber.

Detestable wording (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 3 years ago | (#37589636)

New companies see the consumers broadband connection as a free resource to exploit. The ISPs would like these companies to share in the burden they are placing on their networks.

That, my friend, is a detestable rewording of the issues intended to evoke sympathy from the masses.

Share the burden? Exploit resources for free? That's called framing [wikimedia.org] . Was that your intent?

New companies see the consumers broadband connection as a resource the consumers have paid for.

New companies see the consumers broadband connection as a resource the consumers will use to get goods and services.

People thinking about starting new companies see an opportunity to start new business using the consumers broadband connection to deliver goods and services.

People thinking about starting new companies can create innovative new products and services using the consumers broadband connection.

Let's all go back to the pre-iPhone model where the telcos were gatekeepers of phone apps. In those days you were lucky to get Tetris on a phone. It wasn't the vibrant ecology of business we now have, but at least no one was "exploiting" the user's "resource".

Grow some integrity. Get a job working for someone who doesn't pay you to lie.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 years ago | (#37589754)

New companies see the consumers broadband connection as a free resource to exploit. The ISPs would like these companies to share in the burden they are placing on their networks.

See, the thing is... I already paid for that broadband connection. So, it really is free for me to exploit to my heart's content, since it's mine. And if the ISPs sold something they don't have, they don't get to ask more money when they're unable to deliver - they should face charges instead.

Again, I don't support the ISPs efforts, but at least understand their point of view.

Oh, sure, it's not hard to understand at all: they want to charge you and other people over and over again for the same connection.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589890)

The content providers pay their ISP for bandwidth to upload the movie. Home users pay their ISP for bandwidth to download the movie.

What's unfair about that? This is an honest, non-rhetorical question.

Each side is paying... but one of those providers is saying they should be able to double bill.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589950)

I call BS to this. The customer should be able to use up to 100% of his bandwidth 24/7, after all, HE PAID UP for it! ISPs have been lucky so far that historically the ratio of "purchased bandwidth" to "actually used bandwidth" has been high, allowing them to subscribe more customers that the system supports in paper. Now the shell game is over. All that surplus profit should have been reinvested in part to increase bandwith and keep the system going, instead they pocketed it like in a Ponzi scheme.
In a perfectly capitalistic system, people would leave those ISPs who do not deliver the promised bandwidth for another, better managed one, even if the price is a little higher (we are assuming people value performance here). The lack of choice is one of the problems here. FCC should start breaking up companies like in the original AT&T time

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

Whalou (721698) | about 3 years ago | (#37588900)

From TFA:

We believe this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.

Once again the consumers come in last.

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589248)

Hey, at least 'consumers' make the list. Customers and citizens don't even get *mentioned* anymore.

If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 3 years ago | (#37588514)

Who can?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588580)

No one it's, it's industy regulated and working just fine. The FCC has lost this battle once already and with any luck this time this law will be tossed out.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 3 years ago | (#37588684)

it's industy regulated and working just fine

Yes, the henhouses are perfectly safe with the foxes standing guard outside.

Moron.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37588716)

The henhouses are fine. I do however fear for the hens' lives.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37588596)

A: The customer.

Now it may be the FCC under competent leadership could enforce net neutrality.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588636)

How?

Faith in the free market, such as yours, has lead the world to a point where large corporations are able to influence laws and policies through generous contributions. You don't think really think that the consumerhas any real power any more, do you? About all we can influence is the fate of small business. Does the phrase "too big to fail" sound familiar?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (2)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37588752)

Boycotting is effective. For example, in most of North America you have a couple of satellite based competitors. Most places have both a DSL and cable-based ISP. And you can always resort to landlines.

Does the phrase "too big to fail" sound familiar?

If you buy their services and make no attempt to correct policies you don't like, then you implicitly approve of their policies. This sort of helplessness isn't interesting to me because it indicates a complaint without a serious attempt to fix the problem, ie, a whiner.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37588856)

What you are 'expecting' is unreasonable. A select few people [read: consumers] will vote with their dollars and such, but the vast majority of people are literally too busy or too stupid to understand what is going on. You might have thoughts that "they deserve what they get" except that what THEY get WE also get and it doesn't matter how we vote with our dollars in the slightest. THIS is how and why big industry screws the masses and precisely why regulation is needed.

Puppies and kittens are defenseless against big giant boots trampling on them. Does that then mean they deserve to be trampled?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37588926)

Going without internet is easy...until you find that you need it.

Internet service, with its tie-ins to keeping contact and getting jobs and doing business with the government, is fast becoming a utility as indispensable as water and electricity are not.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37589358)

You might have thoughts that "they deserve what they get" except that what THEY get WE also get and it doesn't matter how we vote with our dollars in the slightest.

I bet you haven't even tried.

Puppies and kittens are defenseless against big giant boots trampling on them. Does that then mean they deserve to be trampled?

So you're now appealing to my tender, jack-booted side? Sure, I'm willing to rule the US with a modestly iron fist (and adequate compensation, of course), but maybe that's not the appropriate solution here?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588806)

Consumer choice & competition seems to be playing out quite nicely in the tablet market (as it does in a lot of markets). Have you seen any news as to the pricing of some of the new tablets coming out, and hear the news that HTC is dropping the price of theirs $200.00, all because of competition.

Give the government free reign to own any market, you have the largest power in the world controlling everything. That's scares me a lot more than corporations having some power, and as a consumer, having a choice.

This industry doesn't have a lot of choice, but it's better than government controlled anything (anything!).

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#37589066)

How?

Perhaps like this! [occupywallst.org]
I don't know what these guys actually stand for but I know they are definitely standing up. and their numbers are growing.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 3 years ago | (#37590042)

Faith in the free market, such as yours, has lead the world to a point where large corporations are able to influence laws and policies through generous contributions.

That's the fault of a government that holds the reign of industry. If they couldn't make or break companies depending on the regulation they passed, they wouldn't be a target for bribes. If we give them MORE regulatory capacity, they will act in a MORE corrupt manner.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37588662)

The customer is limited by design. It's either play by their [ever changing] rules in order to engage with society and business or don't play at all.

These people are operating vital utilities. They require regulation. It is every bit as simple as that. When the internet was "novel" it was one thing, but now it is as important as the telephone network and will be more important than the telephone network in a short while.

History has shown the telcos required regulation after the DoJ and the courts system found them to be abusive beyond their ability to self-regulate. Only the medium is different.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37588770)

It's either play by their [ever changing] rules in order to engage with society and business or don't play at all.

No, you always have the option to play by someone else's rules. As I mentioned elsewhere, boycotts do work.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (3, Informative)

Calydor (739835) | about 3 years ago | (#37588846)

Where I live, I can use landline DSL that's too far from the DSLAM so I'm capped at 384/384 on a perfect day, often less.

Or I can pay through the nose for a 7.2 mbps mobile connection with a 5GB cap that throttles to 40 kbps after the cap is reached, effectively making any modern website time out.

Considering that nothing seems to get cached anymore, ie. Youtube videos, videos on newspaper and TV websites etc. those 5 GB are spent awfully fast through normal surfing and gaming.

Those are my options. Short of paying for a company to come out and lay fiberoptic cables all the way to the nearest large city I'm screwed. Tell me again how I have options to play by other rules?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (-1, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 years ago | (#37589374)

You live in an area so remote that you dont even have a cable company.

This isnt a failure of the market. The failure is you not understanding that you personally represent a much larger fraction of the local market than the average Joe, so you personally must bear a much larger portion of both the build-out and the maintenance costs than the average Joe.

Yes it sucks that in your case it would be prohibitively expensive to run some coax so many miles for so few people, but that is the reality that you chose. I dont want to subsidize you being able to live in the middle of fucking nowhere, enjoying all the benefits of it but suffering none of the consequences for it.

Propose a realistic solution or shut up and cope.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 3 years ago | (#37590192)

Keep thinking that. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley. Granted, it's probably the cheapest place within a 5 mile radius, but it is the fucking center of Silicon Valley. No cable, too far from the DSLAM to get anything more than 1.5 Mbit down. And that's after ATT fixed their noise problem that had me throttled to half that. Yes, I could move to a more expensive place. I don't want to. I can afford it, but I don't see the point. The Internet is now a utility like water and electricity. If corporations can't be arsed to provide it in one of the densest places in the US, right where it turned from a University project into the keystone of the US economy, they need to be regulated until they do. I know that makes me a dirty commie, but American society will be better off in the long run if the telecom infrastructure is regulated until the Telcoms cry Uncle.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37589402)

Where I live, I can use landline DSL that's too far from the DSLAM so I'm capped at 384/384 on a perfect day, often less.

Or I can pay through the nose for a 7.2 mbps mobile connection with a 5GB cap that throttles to 40 kbps after the cap is reached, effectively making any modern website time out.

Doesn't sound like you have a problem here. You have a DSL, probably at least two mobile providers, probably at least two satellite providers, and you're not complaining about anything that would be affected by net neutrality law or regulation.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 3 years ago | (#37590262)

Even assuming that wireless bandwidth magically expands to accommodate every American using it, a 5GB per month cap is pretty much nothing. I go through that for work in about a week. Less if I have to do some installs or backups. And satellite is only an option for consuming content very slowly. And you still need at least dial-up to issue requests.

So no, there is no competition in the Internet connection space.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37590090)

"Considering that nothing seems to get cached anymore"

Caching screws up their usage counters, and thus ad-money.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37588942)

Boycotts only work against monopolies when you'd rather suffer going without than put up with the monopoly.

This is why water barons in the wild west get so rich. You either cough up the dough or you die thirsty.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37589174)

What monopoly? The vast majority of the North American ISP market has three or more providers.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (3, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | about 3 years ago | (#37589472)

Stop using this argument. Now. This argument is fucking stupid (excuse my cursing but this irritates me). You apparently live in a different reality than the rest of us. Let's not even address the fact that most people have a choice between dial up or one provider (hell I'm not even sure I can get DSL and I live near one of the biggest cities in the country...Phoenix) and just look at the plain and simple fact that a choice between DSL or Cable internet is not a choice. This has been discussed so many times here it is ridiculous and I see this same dumb ass line parroted over and over again and it infuriates me. They have GOVERNMENT MANDATED MONOPOLIES. By DEFINITION you do not have a choice. It's a FUCKING MONOPOLY.

The free market works well in MOST situations but not every single one. For starters, this type of industry is nearly impossible to enter into unless you have billions of dollars to invest or you have government help. Guess what all the telcos had? Both (hah) but they got government help. You know what that means? That means WE own those lines. The telcos don't get to decide what we get to do with the lines that we paid for. This isn't the free market...sometimes you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Seriously though, why do people keep saying this? Is it this libertarian movement thing where people think that every single thing can be decided by the market? I really feel as if people that say this are honestly not even thinking about what they're saying and just repeating something they saw someone else say. I have to be honest...I'm definitely starting to see this a lot here. I feel strange not being a zealot to some cause sometimes...like is it that hard for some of you people to stand back and think harder on these situations? Are you so completely bound to your idealism that it like...warps reality? Some of the shit I see people say on here is honestly just brain dead. Really. They don't think about what they're saying or consider actual situations so much as they have a knee jerk reaction that suits whatever mantra they hold. It's irritating and quite frankly makes for shitty discussion. I mean there is a difference between my having a different opinion on a matter and someone just like...I don't know...not even paying attention to facts? It's like watching politicians debate. We get mad at them for this kind of retarded shit and then do it ourselves. Do you really think this or were you trying to score some free karma?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37589520)

Stop using this argument. Now. This argument is fucking stupid (excuse my cursing but this irritates me). You apparently live in a different reality than the rest of us. Let's not even address the fact that most people have a choice between dial up or one provider (hell I'm not even sure I can get DSL and I live near one of the biggest cities in the country...Phoenix) and just look at the plain and simple fact that a choice between DSL or Cable internet is not a choice. This has been discussed so many times here it is ridiculous and I see this same dumb ass line parroted over and over again and it infuriates me. They have GOVERNMENT MANDATED MONOPOLIES. By DEFINITION you do not have a choice. It's a FUCKING MONOPOLY.

Except, of course, it's not a monopoly when you have multiple providers. By definition. You also ignore cell phone modems, satellite, and even dial up (I assume your "dial up" is DSL). There's a lot of competitors out there. You just have to look for them first.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (2)

webheaded (997188) | about 3 years ago | (#37589882)

No. Some people have dial up that is not DSL. Do you think the entire country has access to multiple broadband providers because you do? Do you think that even if they DO have access to the 2 providers (whoop dee doo) that they aren't both doing the same thing? Do you know why they are both doing the same thing? Because they can. That's a duopoly and that's what most places have. There is no competition because the companies know that if they do the same shit, people will pretty much even out between the both of them.

Let's say all the customers in Phoenix have a choice between Century Link DSL and Cox Cable (because that is in fact the case). Now if you leave Cox, where do you go? Century Link. If you leave Century Link where do you go? Cox. If they're both throttling, limiting bandwidth, blocking Hulu to make you buy cable from them, etc...what exactly do you do? Can a smaller competitor come swoop in and funnel away all their customers? Nope. Monopoly on the phone and cable lines. Is this scenario common? Yup. We aren't talking hypotheticals really...all the cable and DSL companies do the exact same things to varying degrees (it is even worse in Canada). Some (like Cox) are generally more benevolent (they don't really enforce their bandwidth caps...which is great)...but for now. Realistically, they have absolutely no reason whatsoever to continue doing this and in fact in other areas, Cox Cable are actually a bunch of bastards. We're just lucky that in the Phoenix Metro area, they're nice guys. Century Link (formerly Qwest)...no they're bastards. Or at least they have been before.

Now remove the cable or DSL provider from the scenario. You're looking at a fairly large portion of the country. What do these people do? They can't even leave one company to go to another because there isn't one. Yeah, maybe they have Comcast available but guess what? They're too far away from the phone company for DSL. Yeah sure they can get dial up internet but they can't get DSL. Great. What happens when Comcast (or say...Time Warner) institutes a 50gb bandwidth cap per month. Oh I'm sorry, did you want to watch Netflix and download games on Steam? Sorry you're going to need to pay overage charges on that. What are you going to do about it? Is that a free market? Is either of these scenarios really a free market? Is this not really just the illusion of a choice? Just because you get to pick which company is screwing you doesn't mean you actually have good choices and that's why this isn't a free market. The companies are large, embedded, and have been given monopolies on their lines. No one can compete with them BY LAW. If you are REALLY lucky you get to choose between DSL and Cable but there is nothing stopping them from doing the same thing. You start introducing 3 or even 4 companies and doing the same thing gets a lot harder.

Same with the cell phone market. Why do you think AT&T wants to buy T-Mobile? Because they're getting flak for being assholes while T-Mobile is generally just a good company. They don't try and hide things from their customers or try to screw them. What they're doing is right out in the open and they try to be as fair as possible. Do they limit bandwidth? Yes but instead of charging you overages, they knock your speed down to give you a chance to still use the service and not get raped with fees. That seems legitimately like they're trying to keep you from raping their networks rather than trying to make extra money on overages. They lower your monthly bill if you buy your cell phone outright or if you live out your contract terms and continue service with them after the contract has expired. What was AT&T planning to do after they bought T-Mobile? Raise rates. Fuck people. Look up the memo that got leaked from AT&T. This is what happens when you eliminate competition. The less players you have, the more the players left can abuse you. If the only big games in town are Verizon or AT&T, guess what's going to happen? Fuck you, that's what.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (2)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 3 years ago | (#37588618)

Whomever Congress legislates and gets the Supreme Court to agree with, can.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588696)

Right. The Congress hasn't explicitly granted the FCC the authority to make rules regarding network neutrality, so it isn't authorized to make those rules. Verizon will win this case.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37588730)

In which case the FCC will recategorize the ISPs in a way that makes it clearly within their powers. It's personally surprising that they didn't just do it in the first place.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588622)

No one until congress gives them the authority.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 years ago | (#37588652)

Why should anyone be able to?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37588738)

Because they use the public right of way and are heavily subsidised by government dollars? Or the fact that they've set themselves up as an anti-competitive cartel preventing prices from dropping and quality from increasing. Around here the speeds haven't gotten any better in a decade while the price is still quite expensive.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 years ago | (#37588768)

Any proof for anything you have claimed?

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37589414)

Actually, the burden of proof here is on you to prove that the FCC can't regulate the ISPs.

As for the subsidies the system was designed by the US government in the beginning and it still gets subsidized by tax dollars. Here's one example. http://wireless.fcc.gov/outreach/index.htm?job=funding [fcc.gov]

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589918)

That's already happened and they don't as the courts have already stated.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 3 years ago | (#37590120)

Actually, the burden of proof here is on you to prove that the FCC can't regulate the ISPs.

That's very backwards. The default assumption (thank God) is that they don't have the power to regulate unless they've specifically been given that power.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 years ago | (#37588786)

speak for yourself

in civilization in the last 4 years we went form 256kbps mobile speeds to 20-50mbps speeds depending on carrier. and i get a lot more minutes than i did just 8 years ago

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589054)

You also pay more. How about comparing your bill to the same service in other civilized parts of the world like Europe, South Korea, Japan, heck add in China too while you're at it.

Look at how you get your phone, how you're tied into devices in a single carrier and can't change willy-nilly. Look at call costs, SMS costs, data costs etc.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37589434)

Those speeds aren't typical. Also, if you're talking about carrier, you're talking about cell phones and those are heavily capped, I think that T-Mobile and Sprint are the only ones left that don't cap and T-Mobile throttles it back significantly after 5gb.

For household internet connections with a more generous cap, I have a hard time believing that the kinds of speeds your citing are common in the US.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 3 years ago | (#37588686)

Who can?

The usual song-and-dance from these folks is that the market will regulate it, because those customers who are unhappy with non-neutral service will go to another vendor. There are two major problems with this argument:
1. If there are only a few vendors, and new vendors can't get into the market (which they basically can't due to network effects, economies of scale, relationships with phone manufacturers, etc), then the various vendors can all provide non-neutral service and the customers have nowhere to go for neutral service. They don't have to engage in any kind of illegal communication about it, either: They can just do it, let the other guys discover they're doing it, and wait for them to follow suit. It's the same process that caused all the different US airlines to start charging for luggage within very short order, even though customers hate it.

2. Customers typically don't know that their connections are being throttled. It's sort of like how lemons get sold off to people who don't know what they're buying (technical term here is information asymmetry). If they don't know about it, they can't make buying decisions based on it.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 3 years ago | (#37589198)

Precisely. The mythical "invisible hand" makes a fundamental assumption; that "the marketplace" is populated by informed consumers. In practice this is seldom, if ever, the case. Even something as simple as buying small quantities of fresh produce, for example, demonstrates why "the marketplace" can not sort itself out. At first blush, it seems like a simple decision - buy the apples from Vendor A because Vendor B's apples have worm holes in them, but if Vendor A has used a half-dozen cancer-causing pesticides to rid his crop of unsightly pests, you won't know it. Internet technology is, by many orders of magnitude, a more complex "purchase". To suggest that such a purchase, in a marketplace that already presents a natural monopoly, demonstrates a complete failure to grasp both technology and commerce.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (0)

PKI Champion (307395) | about 3 years ago | (#37588822)

This is another ploy by unelected officials at the FCC to start regulating the internet. Plain and simple. We all know that once something like that is allowed to start, it snowballs all on its own. Just look at the "little" EPA and how it has grown up. The EPA has its hands in everything now.

The internet is not a place for U.S. government regulation. It's not a place for state regulation. It's a place for market regulation. If you don't like your internet provider, then switch providers. If you don't have any choice, take that up with your local/state government. If they cannot help you, the USPS is looking for more customers for its postal mail service....add some old media subscriptions and get a pen pal.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37588976)

The government in theory needs to allow the market to work by preventing monopolies.

However, two problems prevent this in practice:

One, corporations are big bruisers with beefy legal departments and they HAVE and WILL AGAIN sue the crap out of anyone that tries to force them to compete. For this I cite TDS vs. Monticello, a renowned case where a city begged for municipal fiber and got turned down, but then they got sued by TDS and got an injunction slapped against them. TDS built the network out under their feet while their hands had been cuffed by the court, and by the time the city won the lawsuit TDS was already entrenched and had the city froze out.

Two, politicians are renowned for their corruptibility. I think there was a case somehwere where the state legislature got pushed into making municipally provided internet illegal. That and the FCC has a big bad corrupt congress making sure it doesn't piss off special interests. If the FCC tries to do its job the way it's supposed to the politicians will intervene and pull its fangs off.

Politicians in government have veto power over regulatory actions, and corporations with an iron grip on the media they need to get elected make sure the only tune the politicians dance is theirs.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 3 years ago | (#37590174)

The problem is the FCC is not authorized by congress to do this, the FCC also wants to censor cable and satellite transmissions but can't legally. There are two things going on here the teleco's are abusing their market power to kill competition and the FCC is using this as a reason to grab power. Laws need to be written to open up competition and stop the abuse. The FCC can't and shouldn't be able to create it's own laws and enforce them.

Re:If the FCC can't enforce net neutrality... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#37588866)

Well, that would be Congress (assuming that even Congress has the Constitutional authority to do so). The FCC only has the authority that Congress has given it in the form of laws that Congress passed. In the Comcast case, the judge ruled that there were no laws that gave the FCC the authority to make the regulations it was basing its fine of Comcast on. At the time, the judge asked the FCC what the statutory basis was for their regulations and they failed to give him an answer. That means that they made the rules without looking at the laws to see if they had the authority to make those rules. Considering the behavior of several other Obama Administration departments in exceeding their statutory authority (not that this is necessarily unique to this Administration, just that it is more high profile in this Administration--other Administrations that routinely exceeded their statutory authority didn't generally issue press releases saying they were doing so) it seems that there is a significant chance that this is more of the same.

The FCC can just take back their access rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589226)

And all that taxpayer funded copper and fiber.

Re:The FCC can just take back their access rights (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#37589264)

Only if Congress has granted them the authority to do so and only for the reasons that Congress specified as grounds to do so.

Re:The FCC can just take back their access rights (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 3 years ago | (#37590236)

Only if Congress has granted them the authority to do so and only for the reasons that Congress specified as grounds to do so.

Again congress has not given the FCC authority to regulate the internet.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588646)

I thought Verizon worked with Google to get these rules in place in the first place. WTF?

The comments on that site... (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37588678)

... they scare me.

A mixture of ignorance, paranoia and just plain hate.

They start off with "The OBAMINATION Dictatorship is planning to squelch the Civil War that will come next Summer by starting to CENSOR FREE SPEECH on the Internet!" And then somehow get worse.

Re:The comments on that site... (0)

Trubadidudei (1404187) | about 3 years ago | (#37588818)

It's almost suspiciously stupid. I wonder if the tea party or any other critical mass of stupid has some indian employees typing out that guff on sites like that.

Re:The comments on that site... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588920)

It's almost suspiciously stupid. I wonder if the tea party or any other critical mass of stupid has some indian employees typing out that guff on sites like that.

No, that's how they do it themselves. Have you ever had the misfortune to talk to the Tea Party people about politics? They're more rabid that the worst Apple cult members by a long shot. It's quiet scary!

Re:The comments on that site... (1, Offtopic)

ideonexus (1257332) | about 3 years ago | (#37588912)

You have to understand that Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the 24hour corporate spin machine has told them that NN is all about limiting what you can say on the internet. They liken it to the Fairness Doctrine, the now-dead bill that once required broadcasters to give equal time to liberal and conservative viewpoints and, ironically. the same law Limbaugh used to get on the air, a law that once made sense when there was a scarcity of broadcasting outlets.

Net Neutrality works the other way. We now have limitless outlets for expressing our views on the Internet, but corporations need scarcity in order to make money. So they seek to throttle the bandwidth, creating an artificial scarcity on their product and drive its value up. Without Net Neutrality, corporations have the right to discriminate against speech they don't like or companies they are in competition with. It's the exact opposite of Free Speech, but the conservative media have convinced their followers that black is white and that this bill is double-plus bad for Free Speech.

Without Net Neutrality, the Internet risks falling into a communications war [ideonexus.com] , bad for all Americans and bad for the Corporations who are arguing against it. I don't understand how the same ideology that argues so strongly for Free Trade around the world has taken such a strong stance against the same exact principle for the Internet.

Re:The comments on that site... (1, Offtopic)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37588982)

I'd just blame it on their pathological hate of any form of regulation. I'm sure a few of them would abolish the police and just give everyone guns for self-defence if they could.

Re:The comments on that site... (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | about 3 years ago | (#37589110)

Well, since it was ruled in court that police have no obligation to protect you, only to investigate crimes, you basically are better off with a gun.

Re:The comments on that site... (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | about 3 years ago | (#37589910)

I'd just blame it on their pathological hate of any form of regulation. I'm sure a few of them would abolish the police and just give everyone guns for self-defence if they could.

please...would that it were so. An armed society is a *polite* society.

Re:The comments on that site... (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | about 3 years ago | (#37589880)

The internet is an amazing tool, but I think it needs discipline and will to use it efficiently; under the current net neutrality paradigm, it can achieve neither, so its potential can't be realized. I think a tiered internet means a controllable internet, one that would be more useful (and profitable) than the media chaos that reigns there now. Absent attribution and consequences, [wikipedia.org] the internet is an obstacle to control, in much the same way equal access and fairness doctrines impeded the usefulness of broadcast mass media in the last century, or easy and cheap access to printed mass media impeded the usefulness of newspapers and magazines in the century prior to that one. We've had a few centuries since the invention of the printing press to understand the ramifications of mass media on the population -- I think it would be irrational in the extreme to not apply that understanding to the internet.

 

On their own, if they must (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 3 years ago | (#37588728)

Let them filter and throttle their private network, but if so connection to the public one is prohibited.

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 years ago | (#37588744)

What "public one"? The vast majority of the internet is private networks and backbones - not government owned, not public owned, private networks.

Re:On their own, if they must (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588820)

Not government owner, but government paid, with our tax dollars. I don't care who, on paper, owns the networks. We paid for them to be installed/upgraded/maintained. Don't you dare tell me they have a right to mess with my (legal) use of the network, which I happen to pay for as well.

Re:On their own, if they must (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37588924)

...Don't you dare tell me they have a right to mess with my (legal)...

And there's where you mess up. By requiring that your/my/their usage be legal you open yourself up to censorship, control, regulation, and oppression.

Re:On their own, if they must (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37588904)

You have a horrible misunderstanding of the public internet.

They participate with the public internet, and in exchange for that participation, they get to charge people to access it. Charging people for access is all they should be allowed to do. Instead, they want to throttle, re-route, re-direct, inspect, block and all manner of things which is contradiction to their participation in the public internet.

But let's look at it this way.

There is no public telephone system either. There is a public telephone network. How pissed would you be to find that when you want to call your bank or your grocery store that your call quality was intentionally decreased or that your calls were blocked or redirected to the competitors of the parties you wanted to call? It's all the same damned thing. How you fail to see it amazes me.

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 years ago | (#37588974)

No, I don't have a "horrible misunderstanding" at all - its (pretty much) all private infrastructure, which various people pay to access and carry their traffic over through voluntary agreements.

There is no "public internet", there is merely the "internet" which is nothing more than a lot of people connecting their networks together - and you are suggesting that one network should not be able to connect to another network purely because of the management of the network...

I don't "fail to see" anything, I just don't share your opinion of it.

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37589928)

The public internet goes over public infrastructure which is granted right-of-way by the representatives of "we the people." There is no private infrastructure -- only the infrastructure they are LEASED.

Please provide an example of infrastructure they own where it does not require using government guaranteed and protected resources including wires, cables, fibers or radio frequencies?

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | about 3 years ago | (#37590044)

You have a horrible misunderstanding of the public internet.

They participate with the public internet, and in exchange for that participation, they get to charge people to access it. Charging people for access is all they should be allowed to do. Instead, they want to throttle, re-route, re-direct, inspect, block and all manner of things which is contradiction to their participation in the public internet.

But let's look at it this way.

There is no public telephone system either. There is a public telephone network. How pissed would you be to find that when you want to call your bank or your grocery store that your call quality was intentionally decreased or that your calls were blocked or redirected to the competitors of the parties you wanted to call? It's all the same damned thing. How you fail to see it amazes me.

Dude, you have a horrible misunderstanding of reality. On a tiered internet, and none of the dire things you outline can ever happen. In fact, it becomes in the best interest of the service providers on a tiered internet to not let any of that happen. How you fail to see this is because you believe governments and corporations exist to benefit you, the citizen or consumer. I can assure you that you are living in cloud cuckoo land, if you are that ignorant of economic and political reality.

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37590102)

Two questions for you then:

1. Do you believe the restrictions and limitations placed on the Telcos are appropriate? I speak of the ones where they can't route people through poor quality channels when they don't like one or both parties, where they can't block connections to parties they don't like and so on.

2. Assuming you support these limitations on Telcos, why do you support the opposite for "data telcos"? And assuming you don't support limitations on Telcos, why do you think they should be allowed to go back to what they once were?

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#37589038)

Ok so you claim the cable company is a private entity with their own private network. Why the hell aren't they paying me for having their equipment on my property and why then as a private property owner am I legally prevented from going out and renting a ditch witch and digging up all of their equipment on my property and selling it as scrap since obviously they have abandoned it. They seem to get an awful lot of government granted benefits, but unlike the power or gas company they are not a regulated monopoly. Those companies also have equipment on my property that is legally protected but they have various government regulations. If the various ISPs want to be treated as private networks then we should revoke their right of ways and force them to negotiate a lease with every land owner who's land their lines cross and they also can't have any equipment on public land. Then it really would be a private network and they could go do what ever they wanted.

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 years ago | (#37589620)

Why the hell aren't they paying me for having their equipment on my property and why then as a private property owner am I legally prevented from going out and renting a ditch witch and digging up all of their equipment on my property and selling it as scrap since obviously they have abandoned it.

Because your local government decided that these companies could do these things.

They seem to get an awful lot of government granted benefits, but unlike the power or gas company they are not a regulated monopoly.

They are regulated locally, by either utility commissions and/or town/city/state representatives. Probably its both.

Dont ask the federal government to fix your locally fucked up shit with federal laws that apply to people outside of the influence of your locally fucked up shit. The problem is your locally fucked up shit and the solution is fixing it locally.

Get involved in your local government and stop looking to the federal government to micro-manage your local situation.

Re:On their own, if they must (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | about 3 years ago | (#37590228)

I don't know about your area, dude, but the the cable and telphone infrastructure (along with the roads, sewer, and airport facilities) in my location were bought and paid for by the tax payers via construction bonds and tax write-offs for the cable and telcos. They lease the lines from we the people. Those lines belong to the community; selling them off as scrap would be just as criminal as scrapping a fire station or police station and selling the bits to a junkyard.

Your naivete would be stunning if it wasn't so depressing.

Glass Half Empty (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 3 years ago | (#37588970)

The courts (pretty much all of them) don't understand the issue and will get it wrong, handing the carriers a huge gift and the public an ass-reaming like they have never had.

Congress Passes Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589314)

Net Neutrality aside, the issue here is the US Constitution. Those of you who are quick to grant the Executive branch of government that much far-reaching authority while you cheerlead the current president need to imagine that power in the hands of someone like Rick Perry.

Worse yet, Congress voted on Net Neutrality and voted it down. They said no. Like it or not, that's law, folks.

The FCC has abused power and this needs to be thrown out, and Julius should be frog marched out of his office.

If you want to go back and discuss the benefits and pitfalls of Net Neutrality, please do so without violating the word and intent of the rule of law.

Re:Congress Passes Laws (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 3 years ago | (#37590172)

Right. It's a bit like gun control... like it or not, freedom to bear arms is in the constitution, and no matter how sensible it might be to forbid private ownership of guns, the danger from circumventing constitutional restrictions is FAR worse than guns ever would be. If congress said no to the FCC, and you don't like it, don't advocate the FCC doing an illegal power grab; instead, lobby congress.

Wow (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37589540)

The fact that Verizon's unhappy with the very weak net neutrality legislation that has loopholes big enough to drive an aircraft carrier through sideways tells me Verizon has some SERIOUSLY evil plans in store...

Price Gouging for Tethering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37589690)

The only reason Verizon even cares to get this struck down is that they want to charge extra for tethering. If you can connect any device to their network, and that device just happens to support tethering, than they can't charge you or ban you for doing so if the open regulations can be enforced. If they're not enforceable, Verizon, et al., can go on price gouging their customers for features where they add no value.

What net neutrality boils down to (5, Insightful)

radaghast (1672864) | about 3 years ago | (#37589776)

Imagine if your power provider wanted to charge different prices for your power based on whether you used it for toasting bread or watching TV; even further, what if it charged more for your toaster power if you used a brand of toaster that has not paid the power company for 'better' rates. The courts would never allow such a business practice.

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