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IPTV Providers To Pay Same Regulatory Fees As Cable Companies

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the fcc-also-plans-to-bleep-all-swear-words-on-the-internet dept.

Media 97

An anonymous reader writes "The FCC is looking to put regulatory fees on a per-subscriber basis for IPTV providers. 'We will assess regulatory fees on Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) licensees and we will create a new fee category that will include both cable television and IPTV,' says the report. What services they consider IPTV is yet to be seen; they call it simply 'digital television delivered through a high speed Internet connection.' We can only hope it doesn't affect too many internet video sites. "

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hmm? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595683)

I think this is more for "broadcasting channel 2" by the ISP in a manner that would require a "TV tuner" and not "you must pay to watch youtube/hulu/netflix" of which the latter are subscription services that have no bearing on you watching it on DSL, Cable or Satellite.

Like, if a site like Hulu were to have a "channel" that is only available with a "TV" subscription then yes it should fall under this.

Re: hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595725)

It would be interesting for those sites that only give you access if you are paying for a cable TV subscription that included them. Or for sites that disable streaming if your cable company(and internet provider) and them were having a price contract issue.

Re: hmm? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44595797)

What about Ustream, (where anyone can stream just about anything from kittens to combat, and many foreign TV News stations stream 24/7?
What about YouTube, where you can watch complete episodes of many tv shows?

There are hundreds of other examples that they have just declared that they have authority to charge fees, even when they do nothing for these sites.

Re: hmm? (1, Flamebait)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#44595839)

Obama is pushing to make streaming copyrighted material a FELONY. Have fun with your "hope and change".

Re: hmm? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44595869)

That could have serious side effects if the bill isn't ammended to allow streaming of copyrighted material under permission.

Re: hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596945)

hmmm. obviously, if you have permission, it wouldn't be illegal. does the bill go into specifics about other legal distribution methods? You might as well have said:

That could have serious side effects if the bill isn't ammended to allow pressing of discs under permission.

you don't think the bill means ALL streaming, legal or otherwise, do you?

Re: hmm? (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44595911)

Obama is pushing to make streaming copyrighted material a FELONY. Have fun with your "hope and change".

No, he isn't. You're missing some crucial piece of the story here, but there's no way that Obama's trying to outlaw Netflix, Hulu, and OnDemand.

(It's possible that you're referring to the Commerce Department's push to make unlicensed streaming of copyrighted material a felony, but that's a far cry from what you're asserting).

Re: hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596043)

How am I supposed to know if the content I'm streaming is licensed properly or not? If Netflix misses a payment to a copyright owner should anyone who watches the show before it's taken down be guilty of a felony?

Re: hmm? (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596109)

If you have a reasonable belief that Netflix has the right to stream it, then you're probably lacking the mens rea (roughly "intent") necessary to commit felony infringement. Note that "reasonable" is an important word here.

Re: hmm? (1)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#44597353)

The idea of mens rea was holding back government power grabs. So it has essentially been made irrelevant. Lots of felonies don't require intent any more.

Re: hmm? (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44597639)

The mens rea only comes into play if the law states knowingly or something to that notion. If the law simply says it is illegal to download or stream unlicensed material, then it would be the same as driving on expired tags in someone else car with no insurance. You could be cited and found guilty just for the act whether you knew the tags were expired or the insurance had lapsed or not.

The laws that mens rea impact have statements about the state of mind when the law or forbidden act happens. Without that, the act itself becomes illegal or forbidden or whatever regardless of the state of mind or intent.

Re: hmm? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#44596675)

Generally speaking, it is illegal to upload, not to download, so Netflix might be committing a felony, but you would not.

Re: hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596761)

Do you "serve" the stream out to others - they yes, be worried.
Receiving the stream is not the issue. Yet

Re: hmm? (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about a year ago | (#44596977)

pretty sure the blame would fall on them(netflix) and not you. if target/walmart/etc sold you stolen goods, you wouldn't be held accountable.

Re: hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597003)

Actually possessing stolen property is a crime as well, so yeah you could be held accountable too. Though mens rhea applies - if you didn't know it was stolen and under the reasonable person standard they can't find any reason to believe that you would have known it was stolen then you aren't guilty of anything.

Re: hmm? (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#44601455)

People who can afford expensive lawyers (corporations) are not subject to any law they disagree with. And our current legal system holds the next person in line accountable when the person who committed the crime can't be punished.

Re: hmm? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#44598459)

Oh the federal penn for streaming video. Totally felony worthy.

Re: hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595921)

Because clearly the previous 30 or so odd years of conservative policy were just ducky.

Re: hmm? (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about a year ago | (#44596953)

Obama is pushing to make streaming copyrighted material, of which you are not the holder, a FELONY. Have fun with your "hope and change".

FTFY

Re: hmm? (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#44597535)

There are hundreds of other examples that they have just declared that they have authority to charge fees, even when they do nothing for these sites.

If they actually try to enforce that interpretation, there will be a blizzard of lawsuits and more than one bill introduced in Congress (at least one for each side!)

Re:hmm? (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44595761)

But the article clearly states:

The fees are designed to recover the costs that the FCC incurs in administering licenses and the like and are based on the number of full-time employees dedicated to such functions on a bureau-by-bureau basis.

And since the FCC does not regulate HULU or any other site sending video streams, it is NOT merely a money grab, but another way to shut down people streaming video of any kind, by simply declaring they failed to pay the fee. They've essentially brought the entire streaming video industry under their control by fiat!

Re:hmm? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#44595815)

But if the company just relocates to another country, is there anything the FCC can do?

Re:hmm? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#44596003)

Yup. Block their IPs for transmission into the US. A simple matter of adjusting the rules for the top level domain nameservers. That'll stop anybody that doesn't know how to find a 'dotted quad' address, like, practically nobody.

Re:hmm? (4, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596135)

No, they haven't. Read the FCC paper. The IPTV services they're discussing are essentially traditional cable services that use the Internet as their transport layer (e.g. AT&T ustream, CenturyLink Prism). They're clarifying that the exact technology used for regulated services doesn't create a loophole, not extending their regulation to Youtube or Hulu or Netflix (or ustream or justin.tv).

Re:hmm? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44597665)

Someone mod this person up then down for not only RTFA but understanding it.

I would say just mod him up but I was liking the fu fest going on about how people would rebel and move their home run box off shore and stuff,

Re:hmm? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about a year ago | (#44597961)

What I want to know is why satellite TV operators (i.e. DirecTV and Dish Network) get exempted from paying fees even though they likely cost the FCC just as much in administration costs as the cable providers do...

I cuut the cable 5yrs ago (0)

jackb_guppy (204733) | about a year ago | (#44595743)

I do not see how FCC thinks they will collect on those fees. I been watching shows for years off the net and all has been free. So 5% of $0 is $0.

Maybe they are trying to collect on ad clicks? I don't click them so again $0.

Lastly most of the sites I watch is outside the US. So they are like what? $0

To be far though, I did have Netflix, but my wife canceled that subscription after buying ChromeCast and finding out no 3mo free NetFlix becuase she bought it 30 minutes to late. Also Goolge did not document that well, seemed "bait and switch".

We actually have only 2 TVs: 32" on wife;s desk she uses as montior and 23" in bedroom w/ annena to watch late night after kids go to sleep. But then again 8 compters with screens, who needs TV.

Re:I cuut the cable 5yrs ago (3, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596165)

Netflix isn't an IPTV service, none of this applies to them (or likely to any of the sites you're talking about). It's to ensure that AT&T uverse, CenturyLink Prism, and the like (which are essentially cable/fios systems that use the internet for transmission rather than purpose-built lines) don't have a regulatory loophole simply because they use a different technology for transport.

Re:I cuut the cable 5yrs ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596693)

Ahh. Finally someone sees the light. I was wondering how long it would take for someone in this comment section to wake up and realize this was for the Uverse -type service provider, and that everyone else was panicking unnecessarily.

(From an ex Uverse tech.)

Re:I cuut the cable 5yrs ago (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44607377)

Mod up. nearly this entire comment section is people not RTFA and bitching about nothing because they dont even understand what is going on.
in other words.. just another day on /.

Re:I cuut the cable 5yrs ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597759)

Considering how so much within our country has changed negatively, in the last few decades, I'm surprised that the FCC hasn't found a way to collect a fee for family members mailing DVD's to one another. That second “C”, in FCC means they can control speech if they want to. I'm surprised they haven't gone there yet – ugh, their comrades are already in that arena in one way or another.

Why regulate it at all? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44595763)

Why does the FCC need to regulate IPTV at all? It's not like traditional TV where viewers are stuck with a few providers that have an FCC granted monopoly through spectrum allocation, or a single cable company granted a monopoly by municipal contracts.

What is there to regulate with IPTV? If you don't like your IPTV provider, you can choose another one instantly.

The FTC can regulate the IPTV providers like any other business to prevent monopoly abuse, unfair business practices, etc. Why does the FCC need to get involved?

Another name for government imposed "regulatory fees" is a "tax".

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44595823)

There is no need to regulate it except the need for more tax dollars. The FCC hasn't been doing their job for 10-years, and while they don't do their job, they focus on taxing everyone. I bet you cable companies bribed the FCC to do this. DO NOT WANT.

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598789)

It is not for the tax dollars.

It is to place entry barriers to competitors that might hurt their friends.

They need friends in the business of manipulating The People.

Re:Why regulate it at all? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44596041)

Why does the FCC need to regulate IPTV at all?

Have you ever heard of any governmental organization disbanding itself because it was no longer necessary?

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598619)

20-30 years ago I heard about a low level loyal Party Member, Democrat of Republican, I can't remember. For his loyalty he was appointed to a Federal Govt. Board that oversaw a small niche overseeing standardized screw and bolt thread sizes or something like that. He said they met a few times a year, pounded the gavel that there was no business, and ended the meeting. Eventually the Board voted to recommend that there was no more work for it to do; it's function had been completed decades early, and that the board should be disbanded.

Never heard what happened to it. But, this is a rare exception that 'proves the rule.'

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601475)

Except taxing AT&T's Uverse TV just like cable TV makes total sense.

IPTV is digital television delivered through a high speed Internet connection, instead of by the traditional cable method. IPTV service generally is offered bundled with the customer's Internet and telephone or VoIP services. . . we observed that by assessing regulatory fees on cable television systems, but not on IPTV, we may place cable providers at a competitive disadvantage.

Do you have any honest disagreement with this ruling? Or is your head so filled with anti-government bullshit you can't even think for yourself anymore?

Flat out lying summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596417)

This is IPTV, not internet streaming. This is AT&T Uverse. You want AT&T to pay more taxes don't you? To pay for regulation and have someone over them keeping their greed in check right? Yeah the gov isn't doing that well right now but its gotta start somewhere.

This is broadcast over the internet where you don't get a choice of when and how to watch, you have to tune in. They are considering adding these fees to direct broadcast satellite. These are about broadcasters, not services such as YouTube.

also, from the article...

"The fees are designed to recover the costs that the FCC incurs in administering licenses and the like and are based on the number of full-time employees dedicated to such functions on a bureau-by-bureau basis."

So regulatory recapture of expenditures involved in regulating this stuff, aka a long overdue fees to cover the costs of regulating this type of broadcaster in the first place.

There is very little to see here at this time. We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast of....The Hypnotoad. *BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA*

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596947)

What they should regulate is fair access of consumers to any and all IPTV offers. When they have achieved that, I'd say they may collect fees from the largest IPTV providers.

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597153)

So why don't they just call it what it is then? I'm tired of all of these games they play with their wording - especially the current admin who swears up and down that nobody except top income earners would pay increased taxes if elected (instead they pay "fees" - promised kept, right?)

Anyways that aside, shouldn't we be encouraging alternative means of distribution rather than taxing it? I mean IPTV is a HELL OF A LOT more bandwidth efficient than cable/satellite, if they killed off traditional broadcast media in favor of IPTV, there would be a lot more spectrum (both over the air and on the coax lines) available for broadband.

What exactly is the FCC doing for the IPTV industry by taxing it? Sure for traditional broadcast they provide regulatory services (e.g. standardizing so that everything works) but the FCC does NOTHING for IPTV here. Not a damn thing.

I mean what are they just the mafia? The FCC gets to demand protection money? We may as well just permit them have a blog tax, let them tax any website that resides in the US for that matter, and every non web based service as well. What's the difference?

Re:Why regulate it at all? (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#44597523)

What is there to regulate with IPTV? If you don't like your IPTV provider, you can choose another one instantly.

I think you'll find that this new fee/tax applies to situations where that isn't true. Ie, where your cable provider switches their cable service to digital for their own physically connected cable subscribers. This isn't for services which are just generally available over the internet, like Hulu/Netflix. It's to prevent existing monopoly (or pseudo monopoly) cable providers digitising their exclusive cable service and then saying, "Oh we aren't cable any more, we're internets now. Lol.")

(That said, it's worth complaining about "mission creep" to try to resist this being used as a regulatory wedge to eventually spread into true internet-only services.)

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598675)

If you had been keeping up with the IETF WG, you would know that IPTV is nomenclature for DVB or similar broadcast systems operated over group multicast. This is essentially where your ISP or network termination provider has IPTV multicast heads and configures the ethernet/L3 switches in the last mile (or 10) to carry DVB (video) traffic to the last layer-2 hop on the ethernet/ATM network to your CPE/CE router. It is essentially equivalent to cable tv except in some technical details (using packet-switch-multicast rather than frequency+time-division-broadcast).

It has nothing to do with internet streaming video. While it does operate on RTP/IP/IGMP protocol, it doesn't operate over the internet, it operates over the private network between your CPE and your ISPs provider edge gateway. It basically comes down to being a neat way to converge two technologies and reduce infrastructure costs for the network operator.

You pretty much are stuck with a monopoly with this, unless you have more than one converged network operator in your area, though that doesn't in any way prevent you from using internet televison (Hulu, etc, as opposed to IPTV, which does not operate over the internet).

Re:Why regulate it at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44599239)

Vote parent up, he's completely correct. True IPTV works using multicast, and traditionally multicast doesn't propagate over the Internet so you may still be locked in to a single cable provider even though the stream is coming "from the Internet".

Re:Why regulate it at all? (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#44601479)

The cable companies paid good money to their government lobbyists to cure the problem of streaming video killing their business model. As with all laws, this one is aimed to fix a problem.

Re:Why regulate it at all? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44602111)

This. The FCC could get away with regulating broadcast airways because of their limited spectrum. Many felt this sophistry of an ancient birth, but there you go.

None of this applies anymore. Customers demand more and more bandwidth, and private companies rise to the occasion, grumbling aside.

There is no authority to regulate speech distribution in such an environment.

If you think so, you have allowed your mind to become infected with a meme disease making you a puppet of the power hungry, who gladly burp up reasons to violate constitutional protections. They just need people like you to give them statistical support coveragr.

Milk that cow ! (1)

hebertrich (472331) | about a year ago | (#44595765)

Do not worry , they will find a way to make all content on the internet including you tube new paid for by subscription services.
Claiming it's fair return because most of what we find there is copyrighted material being shown illegally , hence lost revenues for the majors bla bla
Dont worry .. they will milk the internet cow till she's giving powdered milk .

why licensing? (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44595783)

What justification in the world would there be for the FCC to regulate and license video transmissions over the Internet? Their job was to ensure orderly sharing of the public airwaves, nothing else.

Re:why licensing? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44595811)

That was then. This is now.

Re:why licensing? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44595879)

Yes, but the FCC has already been slapped down for this kind of action in the past decade; it's way outside their purview. This should belong to the FTC or the ITU.

Re:why licensing? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44607353)

this is nothing to do with the internet or with streaming.
but hey, dont bother to RTFA or anything before speaking.

Re:why licensing? (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44595897)

Their job was to ensure enforce speech codes on the public airwaves, nothing else.

I'm sure they can come up with plenty of "justifications" on demand.

Re:why licensing? (2)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596075)

What justification in the world would there be for the FCC to regulate and license video transmissions over the Internet?

There's nothing here about regulating Netflix or Hulu or Youtube or anything else that's just video transmissions over the Internet.

IPTV refers to services like AT&T u-verse and CenturyLink PrismTV, that essentially use the internet to gateway traditional television signals. As the FCC analysis says, "[f]rom a customer's perspective, there is likely not much difference between IPTV and other video services, such as cable service".

Their job was to ensure orderly sharing of the public airwaves, nothing else.

This is false. The FCC from the outset was designed to regulate wired networks as well as broadcasts--it superseded the earlier FRC (the radio commission) which only dealt with the airwaves, and from its original charter in the Federal Communications Act of 1934 has been tasked with regulating telegraph, telephone, and other communications independent of the airwaves. From the very first section of the Act: "PURPOSES OF ACT, CREATION OF FEDERAL
COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION for the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio."

This has been interpreted to include internet & broadband communications through court decisions that have since been explicitly affirmed by acts of Congress (including the Telecommunications act of 1996).

Re:why licensing? (1)

n8_f (85799) | about a year ago | (#44596245)

FTFA: "IPTV is digital television delivered through a high speed Internet connection, instead of by the traditional cable method." They are talking about FiOS and Google Fiber (which is why people who read it also noticed a reference to a comment from a Google). Don't worry, grandpa, the guvmint isn't coming to take away your Internets.

Re:why licensing? (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year ago | (#44596295)

define "television". is it live broadcast? is it sitcoms? is it advertiser-supported movies? watching a movie thru netflix is different than at a movie theatre, although content is streamed in both instances. i prefer torrents that avoid the advertising completely, unlike netflix/hulu/movie theaters

its not television, its broadcasting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596469)

Its not the medium that is important, but the method. Broadcasting is, in this case, a channel or selection of channels of content that the viewer can receive in real time. It is not VOD, it is a constant issuance of data that the user cannot schedule himself.

That's why its regulated. Unlike VOD anyone "tuning in" to the channel receives the same datastream at the same time, regardless of location, and terrestrial broadcasting has rules and regulations and licenses to keep any idiot and his dog from blasting stuff all over the spectrum. Admittedly in this instance it technically would not apply, since broadcasting over the web is far different that over the airwaves. No spectrum to manage, no device interferences, and all the little things that come with aiming massive microwave transmitters into the sky. But then again it might. There may soon come a time when they have to discuss peering arrangements, and net neutrality because the major broadcasters start bringing their little turf wars to the web.

But that's another discussion. In this instance no, they are not going after streaming sites anytime soon, they don't want to deal with them yet, they have far too many other things to deal with right now. And there's jurisdiction to deal with as well and they really really do not want to wade into that.

Re:its not television, its broadcasting. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#44596687)

What about my local council's traffic cams? Webcams that let you look at various roads around the town.

Re:why licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598739)

define "television". is it live broadcast? is it sitcoms? is it advertiser-supported movies? watching a movie thru netflix is different than at a movie theatre, although content is streamed in both instances. i prefer torrents that avoid the advertising completely, unlike netflix/hulu/movie theaters

It's cable tv delivered over converged ethernet and IGMP. Not even over the internet.

Think DVB-IP.

Re:why licensing? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#44600541)

I've watched a lot of netflix and have yet to see a single advertisement. Where are these at?

Re:why licensing? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#44596321)

And here I thought the web was public airwaves. Maybe the media companies, less a couple telco's, actually do own the web. I sure hope that isn't the case.

Re:why licensing? (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44596363)

You thought wrong. The concept of "public airwaves" derives from the fact that there is a single spectrum that is usable everybody without investment. The FCC was created to regulate this public, free resource. "The web" is a collection of largely privately owned, privately financed cables and routers. Congress might craft laws to promote neutrality, but that's never the same as "public airwaves", and without specific legislation and justification, there is no reason for the FCC to regulate "the web".

Re:why licensing? (1)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#44597145)

The FCC has guys with guns backing them up. Justification is irrelevant. They're the US Federal Government.

Re:why licensing? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#44598137)

"interstate commerce"

Re:why licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44598709)

It's not "over the internet", it's over converged networks.

IPTV refers to private multicast services operated on provider edge networks, while it does use IETF protocols, eg. IP, RTP, IGMP, it is cable tv, except the ATSC/DVB/SCTE physical network has been replaced with IGMP over (usually) ethernet, so the provider doesn't have to roll out expensive cable headends, and can now converge everything onto the same ethernet infrastructure they use for delivering internet access. You will find in most cases this doesn't even appear on your internet connection, but is broken off to a separate ethernet port at your ONT for connecting to your cable boxes, which now talk DVBIP or some other IGMP/RTP based protocol.

This is not talking about streaming video like Hulu, Youtube, Netflix, or even live video received over the internet, it's talking about private cable networks which happen to use IP for cost reduction and convergence.

What you can be sure it will include (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44595915)

  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Youtube
  • Vimeoh
  • Veoh
  • Metacafe
  • FunnyOrDie

Internet streaming sites. Expanding the definition of cable service: the whole purpose is to get additional fees from media streaming.

MAYBE All Internet Service Providers.

Maybe other video streaming sites; and web site operators that embed streaming video from these providers ("rebroadcasters")

no fee for satellite (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44596035)

DBS is better then comcast for tv

Re:What you can be sure it will include (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44596055)

What it won't include: Pirate Sites

Re:What you can be sure it will include (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44596103)

What it won't include: Pirate Sites

It will add new ammunition to prosecute them --- suddenly they are guilty of the federal crime of evading the tax man. With the FCC; if you fail to file and pay fees, they can assess massive forfeitures.

For example mom and pop ISPs or VoIP providers that buy PSTN connectivity from a wholesalers that fail to meet the new complicated FCC Reporting [fcc.gov] requirements, about their number of customers down to the level of ZIP code and Census tract, can be assessed fines of millions of dollars a day, and thrown in jail until they pay.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44596401)

I don't think any pirate streaming sites are within the jurisdiction of the FCC.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (2)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#44597113)

I don't think any pirate streaming sites are within the jurisdiction of the FCC.

Neither are IPTV sites.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44597127)

*smacks forehead* Of course, that's what we've been doing wrong all this time, why didn't we see it? Obviously the problem with getting people to not use pirate websites is that we simply weren't using a big enough stick.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (3, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596187)

False. It includes only licensees, which are things like AT&T uverse and CenturyLink Prism. As they note in the paper, it's basically stuff that to the end-user looks exactly like cable ("[f]rom a customer's perspective, there is likely not much difference between IPTV and other video services, such as cable service") but happens to use the Internet for data transport rather than dedicated cable lines. It's not an extension to generic video streaming a la Netflix, Youtube, hulu, justin.tv, whatever.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44596253)

it's basically stuff that to the end-user looks exactly like cable

You didn't notice that with the right set top box Hulu on the screen looks just like Cable?

They are pretty indistinguishable, and you can be sure they had to license or reuse a broadcast right to that content to stream it....

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596337)

FCC licensees, not people who happen to have random content licenses with third parties.

This whole things been ongoing for a couple of years, you'll have to wait for the final report for it to be set in stone but it's pretty apparent to people who've been following it that the issues are a) Closing the loophole that allows uverse/prism/etc to avoid paying the type of regulatory fees that cable/satellite/fios providers pay; and b) Determining whether there should be a lower rate for Internet TV providers than for cable ones based on regulatory burdens. It's not at all targeted at Netflix or Hulu.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44596453)

FCC licensees, not people who happen to have random content licenses with third parties.

What comes to mind then is that ATT could just create a new company who won't be a FCC licensee. Transfer the content licenses to the new company

Setup an exclusive agreement with a cross-marketing deal and a piggybacking arrangement.

Update the uverse product and the fine print -- so you have uVerse including a broadband service provided by ATT

An IP (Internet protocol) service provided by an exclusive contracter of the other company using ATT's broadband network; with a cross-marketing deal for the IP service, and a service level assurance (A percentage of each subscriber's broadband connection reserved for IP traffic exclusive to the provider).

And finally, the product includes video service on top of the IP network; again with a company that has a deal with the company buying the IP service from ATT.

And through some complicated network of contractual framework, a 3rd party "service company" provides the installation services for the product on behalf of all 3 companies.

And most of the benefits get transferred back to ATT shareholders.

Thus you wind up with a video service that looks exactly like cable: provided by a company who is not a FCC licensee.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596597)

If that subsidiary's doing something that requires an FCC license (E.g. simulcasting networks) then they're going to need a license and to pay regulatory fees. Going 15 shell companies deep doesn't change that.

If they're not, there's no reason they can't operate a Netflix/Hulu-style subsidiary that does internet streaming without licensing.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44596553)

FCC licensees, not people who happen to have random content licenses with third parties.

The FCC licensees include everyone that the FCC has demanded have a licenses.

In other words, you arent saying much.. even though you thought yourself clever.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44596627)

The FCC licensees include everyone that the FCC has demanded have a licenses.

Which is a wildly different set of people from "Everyone who's licensed content from a third party," which is what I was pointing out (and is certainly important given the conflation of the two on the part of the post I was replying to).

In other words, you arent saying much.. even though you thought yourself clever.

If you don't think there's a massive difference between the set of people who license copyrighted material and the people who are FCC licensed, I don't know what to say.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44602121)

If you don't think there's a massive difference between the set of people who license copyrighted material and the people who are FCC licensed, I don't know what to say.

Have you ever observed the FCC reduce its regulator scope, or has it always been increasing its regulator scope?

Thanks for not accepting reality.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44606005)

Have you ever observed the FCC reduce its regulator scope, or has it always been increasing its regulator scope?

That's completely irrelevant to question at hand.

One last time: there's a set of people who are FCC licensees. Those people are potentially affected by the IPTV regulations. There's a different set of people who license copyright from third parties. These sets are distinct but not disjoint. Members of the latter set are not affected by the IPTV regulations, except insofar as they happen to overlap with the first set of people. There is absolutely nothing clever or insightful about this, it's plainly obvious and I only pointed it out because the post I was replying to conflated those two sets of people.

Re: What you can be sure it will include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44599275)

Wow you're an idiot. You honestly believe there is ZERO difference between sitting in front of an idiot box, having content shoved in your face vs. launching an app and choosing exactly what content you want to see at that moment? None? Sheez.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597351)

I just had lunch last week with someone from a mom and pop telco, but who is also heavily involved in the regulatory side of things. During our conversation, I pointed out that data isn't regulated. And their reply was "Yet".

I'm assuming this is the fruition of the "Yet" statement.

Don't underestimate the importance of this. This is the next step in the FCC's determination to extend it's regulatory reach into the Internet/data networks. In recent years, VoIP providers have come under the gun--even those who don't connect to the PSTN, and only go host to host. (https://www.tmcnet.com/voip/features/articles/234390-future-voip-regulatory-storm-clouds-the-horizon.htm) This is the next step, and the first in corralling video. First is the regulated services (CATV) which have been packetized and are now IP-based. Next will be the subscriber video sites (NetFlix, Hulu, et al). Then the free ones.

Now to vent.

Make no mistake. The cable and telco operators want the Internet regulated for a variety of reasons. The main one is they're watching their cash cows die, and this will slow that a bit. The other major reason is they are really ticked off at data usage. You have no idea how much so until you sit in several different meetings within the past month and hear the same thing said with dripping disdain. The statement? "70-80% of our monthly bandwidth is used by 20-25% of our users."

From a business standpoint, the business people I've dealt with personally the past month+ hate NetFlix, Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, and other streaming sites (although they may use them personally), and really wish all people did with their 20 Mb/s connections was look at static text sites. Maybe Facebook would be ok. In other words, pay for the bandwidth, but don't use it. High speed, low drag.

Others may have similar or different experiences. But spending the past 6-8 weeks dipping my feet back into the telco environment in my neck of the woods after a seven year absence has been shocking. The old data vs telco (or cable operator) antagonism is worse than I recall--mainly from the telco/cable side--and almost hostile.

Re:What you can be sure it will include (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597733)

I love how you're so hooked on your millenial trough that you missed the only true live broadcasting service that pays no licensing fees to anyone.. Aereo.

Dear FCC (5, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#44596139)

The Internet is not only in the USA - it is also in the rest of the world and outside your jurisdiction

Re:Dear FCC (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year ago | (#44596303)

gotta' teach that to Congress too you know, the guys whom Comcast and AT&T pay...

Re:Dear FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44599785)

I think you mean President Obama and Executive Branch, of which the FCC is a part.

Congress wrote the laws, the President reinterprets them for his own benefit, and that of his lobbyists, er I mean constituents.

Re:Dear FCC (1)

Lost Race (681080) | about a year ago | (#44596777)

The Internet is ... outside your jurisdiction.

FTFY.

Re:Dear FCC (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44607359)

at what point did this have anything to do with teh internet?
oh right, you didnt read the article before posting.

New tech same old story (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44596555)

This is at the behest of somebody to use government to twist somebody else to their advantage. End of story.

Am I the only one that wants this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597395)

As an AT&T Uverse subscriber, I definitely want the FCC to start regulating my IPTV. To the end user, the services provided by Uverse are identical to those provided by Comcast except that Comcast is more strongly regulated by the FCC. Perhaps the most immediate concern to me is that Uverse requires all subscribers to indefinitely rent their equipment. There is no rent to own for AT&T, and there are no 3rd party options. You must rent their DVR. You must rent their set-top boxes.

With Comcast the situation is not much better, but it _is_ better. You can purchase a TiVo, or an HD Homerun Prime, or a Ceton InfiniTV and use a CableCard. This was mandated by the FCC because they are allowed to regulate cable TV. I would definitely like the FCC to begin regulating AT&T, and force them to allow 3rd party devices such as PC tuners and TiVo-like DVRs.

Obviously their jurisdiction would have to be properly limited, but I definitely see benefits to allowing the FCC to regulate IPTV offerings.

samething for DBS use the smartcard like an cable (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44598193)

samething for DBS use the smartcard like an cablecard and let me buy my own DBS box.

PEG TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44597867)

Will this carry the same PEG (Public/Education/Government) requirements that cable has to follow? If so, I needs to be better implemented. That would be pretty nifty though.

FCC has no right (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#44598207)

The FCC was created to regulate radio.

It shouldn't be regulating cable tv and has no right to regulate internet communication.

Re:FCC has no right (1)

profplump (309017) | about a year ago | (#44598981)

No. The Federal Radio Commission was create to regulate radio. It was supersede by the Federal Communications Commission which is empowered to regulate both wireless and wired networks. To quote 47 USC 151: "Federal Communications Commission created for the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio"

Hey buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44599793)

Prisoner 1 - "hey buddy, whatcha in for?"
Prisoner 2 - "smokin a joint, what u in for?"
Prisoner 1 - "Streaming a video of my cat."
Prisoner 2 - "My god man, you got some serious balls."

Shut down the FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600217)

The FCC exists for the sake of the FCC. Get rid of those bums.

I think this is about Aereo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44602781)

Which is an excellent service, BTW.

Mission Creep (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44607629)

The main reasons for an FCC are to prevent monopolization of the existing infrastructure and to determine the usage of wireless frequencies. IP-based services do not fall in either category. The FCC just wants to seem relevant.

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