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FCC Chairman Will Reportedly Revise Broadband Proposal

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the new-plan dept.

United States 105

An anonymous reader writes "FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he will revise proposed rules for regulating broadband Internet, and is offering assurances that the agency won't allow companies to segregate Web traffic into fast and slow lanes. From the article: 'The new language by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to be circulated as early as Monday is an attempt to address criticism of his proposal unveiled last month that would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down websites but allow them to strike deals in which content companies could pay them for faster delivery of Web content to customers.'"

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105 comments

More of the same likely; (5, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#46978043)

The language is too carefully chosen. I expect the same old sheet.

Wheeler seems too anxious to move fast."won't allow companies to segregate Web traffic into fast and slow lanes" is a matter of interpretation. If you insist the slow lane is really not a slow lane, it is a meaningless statement.

Its disengenuous bullshit (5, Informative)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 3 months ago | (#46978117)

And we all know it. Nobody gets to be head of the FCC and is so stupid they cannot understand how ANY PAID PRIORITY invalidates the whole concept of network neutrality. We need to keep hammering on these fuckers until we have (at least) retail ISPs under Title II and that's ALL there is to it.

are you saying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978987)

that if I am willing and able to pay for higher priority I cannot be given it?

Re:are you saying... (0)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#46979375)

"that if I am willing and able to pay for higher priority I cannot be given it?"

If you are paying for a private point to point link, sure.

If you are paying for a 'fast lane' on the public network, no, you cannot. That would defeat the entire point of the internet.

Re:are you saying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46980021)

Can you pay for your car to have higher priority on a public road?
There you go.

Re:are you saying... (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 3 months ago | (#46980663)

Yes, you can:
http://arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpo... [ca.gov]

Re:are you saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46980987)

Yeah, the diamond lane is not any faster.

Re:are you saying... (2)

spitzak (4019) | about 3 months ago | (#46984609)

Can UPS pay extra so their trucks can use the carpool lane? And thus deliver faster than FedEX unless they also pay?

Re:Its disengenuous bullshit (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#46981045)

He knows this. And he was just hoping that if the title of the regulations say "net neutrality", people would be fooled into thinking that it actually puts across net neutrality. for some time the gov't would use titles like "the patriot act" to get votes and fool the public [politicians know they can't stand in front of a camera and say "I am against the Patriot Act" without a whole bunch of people who voted for them thinking they are against the US in general...ie not a patriot].

Re:More of the same likely; (4, Informative)

wooferhound (546132) | about 3 months ago | (#46978157)

The language is too carefully chosen. I expect the same old sheet. Wheeler seems too anxious to move fast."won't allow companies to segregate Web traffic into fast and slow lanes" is a matter of interpretation. If you insist the slow lane is really not a slow lane, it is a meaningless statement.

From what I'm reading, it won't be the Fast & Slow lanes anymore. It now becomes the Fast & Faster Lanes. He is just changing the wording.

Re:More of the same likely; (4, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 3 months ago | (#46979429)

It now becomes the Fast & Faster Lanes

That sound you hear is all of South Korea laughing.

Re:More of the same likely; (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46982503)

And if that doesn't work, it will become fast and furious...

Re:More of the same likely; (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#46978251)

Wheeler seems too anxious to move fast."won't allow companies to segregate Web traffic into fast and slow lanes" is a matter of interpretation. If you insist the slow lane is really not a slow lane, it is a meaningless statement.

Yup. It will be the super-fast (>50 kbps) and ultra-fast (whatever you actually paid for) lanes!

Re:More of the same likely; (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978307)

If you read the article on the Wall Street Journal's site, it's blatantly obvious that this IS the same policy, just with a flimsy promise that "The FCC will scrutinize the deals to make sure that the broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage".

The only good news is that Wheeler said they'd open comment on the idea of reclassifying ISPs as Title II Common Carriers. This is where people need to make their voices heard. I know for certain that the minute that comment opens up, I'm sending in another letter.

Re:More of the same likely; (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#46978483)

Exactly. Reclassify ISPs as Title II Common Carriers.

Re:More of the same likely; (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 3 months ago | (#46978913)

IMO what really needs to happen is a decoupling of ISPs from monopoly or near-monopoly last mile communication providers.

Shell game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979077)

Agreed. This new offensive against Net Neutrality is a diversion, albeit a dangerous one. The real goal here is to avoid having these carriers reclassified as common carriers -- which by the way should be a no-brainer. Back when cable was CATV, Community Antenna Television, concessions were made to encourage the delivery of TV signals to rural and other under served households. One of those was that cable operators wouldn't be classified as common carriers. The other was to allow them to operate as monopolies, a single provider only for each area. Local government functionaries got to hand out these valuable monopoly franchises to whomever they chose. Cue the bribery, corruption and revolving door. Today there are very few truly local cable operators. Most are local governments, although they're being quickly killed off by state legislatures that have sold out to the big cable companies like the one here in my home state of North Carolina. The democratic (with a lowercase "d") answer here is to reclassify all these companies as common carriers and apply the same rules regarding infrastructure access to them that we do to the big telephone carriers, making it possible for others to compete with them on a more level playing field. While we're at it we should revise the law to preempt states from barring local governments from competing with these private monopolies.

Re:Shell game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46991705)

Ugh, the real crime is the vertical integration that favors the ISP's content over "outside the network" content. Remember "mobile to mobile" calls on AT&T Wireless. THAT was the "giving preference" to AT&T's customers over non-AT&T customers.

Everyone that provides internet connectivity, be it Comcast, Level 3, Hurricane Electric, Verizon or TATA, should not be allowed to own both the content and the pipes. The entire reason for that vertical integration to exist is lower their own costs by making it expensive to use content outside the network. Thus denying Netflix and Youtube equal access, and thus have to actually upgrade the connections instead of artificially throttling them.

Japan and South Korea laugh at us in North America because they get Gigabit connections to their front door, even in their heritage buildings. Here? screw you unless you live in a condo downtown. In Japan they pay for their pipes and their internet connectivity separately.
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=South+Korea&city=Seoul
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 27,222.22 (26.63USD)
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Japan
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 3,816.66 ¥ (37.34USD)
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=United+States
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 46.32 $
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Canada
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 49.17 C$

There's a full 20$ gap between Korea and United States. Effectively double the cost.

Re:More of the same likely; (5, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46979153)

It will be the "Liberty" and "Justice" lanes. Who could object to being in either of those unless they were a traitor?

Changing adjectives to nouns makes everything easier to swallow.

Re:More of the same likely; (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#46979211)

LOL.

Of course, they'll change the phrase to "Liberty OR Justice, for all" to match.

Re:More of the same likely; (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 months ago | (#46979525)

I'd argue a better outlook is "This is a positive response: it shows that pressure being put on the FCC is working, they're not invulnerable to criticism, so double down on whatever efforts you are taking. If you aren't calling your washington representatives, do so."

Wheeler didn't issue this statement because he was simply concerned that the american people were unhappy. This is basic PR: "I have a real problem, so throw the critics a bone, make it look like I'm open minded, and hope that calms them down enough to just do what it was I wanted to do." If there had been no response, then that would be an indication that Wheeler, the FCC, and the Obama administration were unconcerned about the feedback they were getting and we would be wasting our time.

I mean what did you expect? That the FCC would jump right to "Oops, we were completely wrong about what you wanted and will do a complete 180, thank you for your feedback, no need to fire me for being so very very wrong, please!"

I don't know how much harder people will have to push to force a complete reversal, but this is a positive sign. Your cynicism is justified, but lets not be so cynical as to conclude that the battle is lost; I see this as quite the opposite.

Re:More of the same likely; (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#46979631)

I agree. I don't see the battle is lost, and the attention and pushback does provide hope. But the red flags are popping up.

Re:More of the same likely; (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46982359)

Actually its simply delaying the instigation of slow lane.

All they need to do it leave the existing bandwidth alone, as more customers try and use it, it will slow down all by its self.

Where as customers who "pay up" will get their bandwidth increased, each and every year.

But it IS effectively creating a Toll Lane... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978061)

And, in our current climate of lax enforcement, who is to say that the hum-drum everyday internet is going to get the proper amount of attention when the "paying" customers need more? If there wasn't a more damning reason for true Net Neutrality legislation, then this is it. In the end, the service providers should be legislated away from providing content and JUST be concerned with delivering the fastest and most reliable service to their customers, no matter what content is coming over the pipes.

We aren't stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978073)

They can pay to provide "their" content faster... but there is no fast lane... so uh, then what exactly are they paying for?

Re:We aren't stupid... (1)

SpockLogic (1256972) | about 3 months ago | (#46978183)

"We aren't stupid..."

The chairman of the FCC and the other content cartel lobbyists hope you are wrong.

Re:We aren't stupid... (4, Funny)

StatureOfLiberty (1333335) | about 3 months ago | (#46978409)

Revised proposal from FCC:

We have heard your concerns and being the responsible and responsive agency that we are, we have revised our proposal. Companies like Netflix can now pay companies like Comcast to degrade data delivery for everyone else. See, we've completely reversed course. Thank you for expressing your concern. See what a difference you can make when you stay informed and involved?

Re:We aren't stupid... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#46978515)

An 'accelerated pathway.' Totally different from a fast lane.

I thought this was already possible.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978075)

If a business wants to get "fast lane" access among specific providers, why no co-locate servers at one of that provider's data centers or central offices?

Re:I thought this was already possible.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978099)

Cost. Both in time, staff, AND duplication of equipment.

Now if it is done as an alternate/backup site, then it can usually be justified on that basis. But the duplication of staff/equipment (even if payed to the ISP) is still more expense than what is needed for just a normal throughput. It still needs administrative support (just to ensure it is having data copied to it properly and is working properly).

Re:I thought this was already possible.... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 months ago | (#46992345)

Cost. Both in time, staff, AND duplication of equipment.

If done properly, such a box can be entirely automated, choosing what to cache based on recent local usage patterns, and evicting older items when the disk fills up, based on an LRU or LFU scheme. The device can phone home every so often to verify that it is working properly, and can include a copy of its cache list. The main servers can then verify that the device has phoned home recently, and can check for I/O errors on the disk (and other errors logged by the caching daemon). In the event of unexpected errors or deafening silence, the main servers can then switch the DNS for that ISP so that their customers are directed to the main servers instead, and raise an exception so that a human being can ship the ISP a new box.

Once you've built up such an automated setup, the incremental cost to add another ISP is minimal, particularly compared with spending hundreds or thousands of dollars every month for a dedicated trunk line.

Re:I thought this was already possible.... (3, Insightful)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 3 months ago | (#46979295)

If a business wants to get "fast lane" access among specific providers, why no co-locate servers at one of that provider's data centers or central offices?

That's exactly what they do. It benefits the ISP because it reduces the data that has to flow across their interconnects, it benefits the provider as they don't need to pay for transit across the internet and it obviously benefits the consumer. The problem Netflix has is that Comcast realizes that it benefits Netflix (plus, they are competing with Netflix) so Comcast said "Yeah, we'll allow you to place caching servers on our network, provided you pay us several million dollars per month". Netflix doesn't really have a choice, Comcast is about half of the US residential internet subscribers.

Comcast's business has long been about selling access to their customers. They sell the service to the customers then they sell the customers to advertisers. They now want to sell their internet customers to providers as well. This is blatant abuse of their monopoly position but since the political system in the US is designed to reward those with the most money nothing all all will come of this, other than the FCC asking Comcast if they should apply lube to the public before Comcast reams them (the answer is "No!").

Re:I thought this was already possible.... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 months ago | (#46992367)

Netflix doesn't really have a choice, Comcast is about half of the US residential internet subscribers.

And this is the crux of the problem. Comcast is a huge monopoly ISP that ought to be treated just like Ma Bell, and for precisely the same reason.

Sad (4, Insightful)

UPZ (947916) | about 3 months ago | (#46978105)

It's just sad that we have to fight tooth-and-nail to get something right done by our lobbyist FCC chairman, or even just in general, by the lobbyist run government.

What was the tipping point that brought us here?

Re:Sad (3, Insightful)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 3 months ago | (#46978149)

When half the people stopped voting and much of the other half got so poor an education that they can't distinguish between truth and bullshit.

Re:Sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978195)

Voting has very little influence on this matter (not that it has much on other matters either). Do you elect the head of the FCC? Should you really bug the president for a problem at the FCC? Is that your definition of democracy?

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979079)

Voting has very little influence on this matter (not that it has much on other matters either). Do you elect the head of the FCC? Should you really bug the president for a problem at the FCC?

If politicians thought they were accountable to voters, and that voters were informed enough to recognize when their interests are being thrown under the bus, then voting would make a difference.

In the current system, where people show up at polls and vote against whichever name they heard worse stories about, the politicians pay attention to people who buy them advertising time. Lobbyists buy advertising time. Cronies buy advertising time. And you better believe they're telling their politicians what they think about FCC chairmen. Your opinion, without $1000 attached to it, may not count for very much, but your representatives are flying blind if none of their constituents ever say anything.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978201)

Don't forget the "I'm too cool to vote" mentality you hear around here ("both parties are the same", blah, blah, blah.)

Re:Sad (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#46978243)

Don't forget the "I'm too cool to vote" mentality you hear around here ("both parties are the same", blah, blah, blah.)

Most of those folks don't advocate not voting - they just advocate for voting for somebody who isn't associated with the major parties.

What other choice do they have? Do we think the FCC would be doing the right thing if only a Republican were president?

Re:Sad (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 3 months ago | (#46979655)

No, I've found that most of those ignorants SAY they are going to vote for a 3rd party and then usually go and vote for the Republican anyway because of Jesus and/or gay people.

Of course I live in the South and we have some very special ignorance down here.

Re:Sad (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 months ago | (#46981629)

Let's overthrow American government. :P

Re:Sad (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#46989073)

problem is there is no one else to vote for.
there is no 3rd party choice.
the greens, the independent, etc, they arent even on the ballot in most places.

Re:Sad (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 3 months ago | (#46979441)

When half the people stopped voting and much of the other half got so poor an education that they can't distinguish between truth and bullshit.

If it was just poor schooling, private groups could step in and do something about that. The problem is that politians are on the payola, and they influence public policy, education, and they can even control the public conversation. People in the US are indoctrinated into "tribes" depending on where they were born and who their parents believe politically. I use the word "tribe" because it is far worse system than having a system of political parties where one can switch or choose. The core conservative "tribe" clings to their beliefs as closely as a religion, and so do the core liberal "tribe". A huge amount of people don't belong to either "tribe" although they may associate with a particular party. The problem is that these "tribes" have gotten so large and the indoctrination is so compelling that people in one tribe won't even talk to the other tribe rationally.

Keep in mind that when we think of the word "propaganda", most people imagine a the propaganda of other countries, and something which they are not susceptible to or influenced by. The more people recognize something as propaganda the less likely they are to believe it. But propaganda can be insidious and undetectable- in fact, that is the best kind. It can take the form of education, or "way of life" or nearly anything. It can originate in the marketing department of large companies, by lobbyists, or by the politicians themselves. Lobbists don't just influence politicians, that is only half their work! They also shape the national conversation and influence average people. We are all influenced by it.

Re:Sad (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 3 months ago | (#46979641)

Lots of factors are involved, but the fundamental weakness is when people haven't been taught how to THINK. Well, thinking is dangerous to the status quo so of course you can trace some things back to various parties. The truth is though, most of it is just human nature. Human society is flawed because human beings aren't well-adapted to participating in a globe-spanning civilization such as our own. Its failure seems almost inevitable really.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46981119)

Lots of factors are involved, but the fundamental weakness is when people haven't been taught how to THINK.

Agreed.

And in this case it's advocates for net neutrality that aren't thinking.

How many of them understand queuing in routers and how if affects latency? All the ridicule of the "tubes" analogy shows they have no idea that packet queuing goes on inside the network.

How many of them understand TPC's aggressive nature that, be design, exponentially throws more and more packets at the network until it overloads routers and caused packet loss? The "just add more bandwidth" comments show they don't understand that TCP consumes as much bandwidth as is made available.

How many understand that price is an effective allocation mechanism for a scarce resource? How many even realize resources are scarce? They live in a world of rainbows and unicorns.

There's plenty more, but the problem is that most slashdotters don't know how much they don't know.

Believing is not thinking (2)

bussdriver (620565) | about 3 months ago | (#46981271)

People have been conditioned what to believe. Thought has nothing to do with it. People don't think like their parents, they believe what their parents conditioned them to and the defenses etc are just conditioning; not a single thought is required, if anything they are discouraged-- child asks "why isn't there any proof of god?" daring to think something and is immediately told rationalized beliefs to discourage any further thinking. A continued line of questioning leads to "just because" dead ends where faith is the only answer and thinking is wrong. I'm only using religion as an example, it applies similarly elsewhere.

Humans do not scale. Tribalism is inherent to humanity and my theory is that humans evolved BECAUSE of tribalism. We already have most the missing links and they all have tiny brains (except the last few) and dominated the food chain-- a growing population and competition forced tribes to compete with each other for resources and that resulted in evolutionary pressure for bigger brains. (If you are not up on the topic, look into it-- packs of humanoid apes running around in the plains of Africa able to run greater distances than any animal -- just like we can -- all our biological advantages are for running in packs... except our large brains.) Also there is plenty of psychology on how humans only handle a limited number of relationships etc. You are bound to identifying with limited size group; only with the power of abstract thinking can you exceed those tribal limits (but one still tends to think in tribal terms, your tribe is just abstracted into a larger group.)

Problem is what was our advantage is now hindering us. It takes considerable mental training and education to surpass our inherent nature. We also evolved to avoid extra work; hell, even your brain avoids learning by grasping for known patterns to classify stuff under because actual learning takes the whole brain and is an expensive operation (as brain scans prove, plus education research) not to mention if you had to learn everything we'd not be anywhere near as smart. Mapping is essential. Again, this characteristic works against us as we classify others, groups, policies, systems etc. It can help too but it's a double edged sword.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46980077)

You botched your campaign finance rules.

The people who scream money == speech conveniently forgot the corollary: more money == more speech.
Oops!

Re:Sad (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#46980513)

What was the tipping point that brought us here?

There was no real "tipping point," but rather a gradual erosion:

  1. It started with the Founding Fathers picking first-past-the-post voting and then factionalizing into the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.
  2. It continued with the gradual expansions of the Commerce Clause and the Elastic Clause.
  3. People argue about the cause and purpose of the Civil War, but one effect of it was to more firmly establish Federal sovereignty (rather than state sovereignty).
  4. The 17th Amendment eroded the power of state legislatures in favor of the Federal government by removing their power to elect Senators. This was also in favor of lobbyists because now they only had to contribute to the campaigns of 100 senators, rather than thousands of state politicians.
  5. In the 20th Century there was the New Deal, the military-industrial complex (that Eisenhower warned us against), and too many other issues to even enumerate.

Re:Sad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#46982607)

...the military-industrial complex (that Eisenhower warned us against)...

Yeah, that speech would have meant something if he gave it during his inauguration instead of on his way out.

The web is not the internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978135)

Web traffic is a big part of internet traffic, but there are other protocols.

With TCP, Throttling = Dropping Packets (2)

bengoerz (581218) | about 3 months ago | (#46978139)

The design of TCP is such that the way you throttle a connection is to drop packets. Therefore, isn't throttling just a measured block?

Re:With TCP, Throttling = Dropping Packets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978419)

You can also throttle TCP by inserting delay (queuing packets), but yes, eventually your queue grows to the point where you have to drop packets.

Re:With TCP, Throttling = Dropping Packets (1)

wasteoid (1897370) | about 3 months ago | (#46978833)

I have also noticed that the more inserts I make, the larger the queue grows, and eventually I have to drop packets. It does relieve the block though.

Thank You! (5, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 months ago | (#46978141)

I choose to take this at face value, that he really has seen that We The People want net neutrality.

And that is because of you. You who signed the petition, sent letters to your legislators, sent comments to the FCC, emailed your friends, posted the issue on your social networks, wrote letters to the editor, and everything else you did. You did this. You saved the Internet from this attack by greedy cynics who would turn the Internet into TV for a few pieces of silver. You protected the most important advance our generation has built. Thank you, and congratulations!

Not yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978179)

We haven't saved it yet, but we have been heard. Don't stop now.

Re:Not yet (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 months ago | (#46978235)

We haven't saved it yet, but we have been heard. Don't stop now.

Yeah, very agreed. I meant the "this attack" fragment to imply that it will happen again, but re-reading my post it doesn't capture that very well. Thanks for the addendum.

Re: Thank You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979063)

Great we were heard, so the changed the wording in a way that it means the same thing.

Yes let's all celebrate that we were heard and ignored.

Re:Thank You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46987137)

I call shill.

"Farm Land" in Florida (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978175)

If you believe that Wheeler, former president of NCTA and CEO of CTIA, is going to revise his proposal's core objective in a way so as to protect net neutrality in any way, then I have some "farm land" in Florida to sell you.

It will be different language with the same objective. He's in the pocket of the companies he's attempting to control. What makes ANYONE think that he has the best interests of America at heart. He has the best interests of his future employers at heart, and that's it.

Re: "Farm Land" in Florida (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978511)

I'm definitely skeptical, to put it mildly. One thing I do note, at least, is that Wheeler has at least mentioned reclassification in the conversation as a sort of stick to quell complaints from the ISP side (sort of sad that even mere mention rates improvement, but that's where we're at).

The thing to watch will be what the other commissioners say/do. There are 5 in total, 2 of which are republicans. (By agreement between the two parties, the president's party gets the chairman and two others, while the minority gets the other two).

From what I've read, both Republican commissioners don't believe any regulation is necessary or helpful, and are openly anti-net neutrality. What I'm unclear on is where the remaining two stand.

Re:"Farm Land" in Florida (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978661)

Not only, but both liked him enough to put him in their halls of fame.

Hard to see how any lasting "neutrality" rules could come from FCC, where commissioners have five year terms and have 3/5 majority by the party in the White House. Any rules along those lines that might be imposed during one administration will get reversed in the next. This should have been taken care of by 2000.

If you want to hear something more extreme than Wheeler, listen to board member O'Rielly, if you can stomach it long enough.

Al Franken (2, Interesting)

techstar25 (556988) | about 3 months ago | (#46978199)

Al Franken has earned my vote for pretty much any office he ever runs for, ever.

Re:Al Franken (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978285)

The same guy who voted for Obamacare without reading the bill?
The same guy who supports the NSA spying on every US citizen without warrant?
The same guy who thinks a whistleblower like Snowden needs to be prosecuted?

Glad to see you voting to destroy the country so you can get your Netflix a little faster.
Is this common for DNC voters?

Re:Al Franken (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#46978509)

Like everyone Republican who did not read the Patriot Act and then reauthorized the Patriot Act, as well as voted to invade Iraq under the pretense Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. People in glass houses....

Re:Al Franken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978927)

The statements "Democrats == Bad" and "Republicans == Good" are not equivalent.

Your own examples disprove your point. The vast majority of Democrats voted for the Patriot Act and the Iraq war.

Here's a possibility: "Democrats == Bad" and "Republicans == Bad" could both be true.

Re:Al Franken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978935)

That shit was bipartisan; especially the first time around. Both parties are filled with evil scumbags, and I'm tired of partisan hacks pretending otherwise.

The political will is set, now it's just haggling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978213)

In the end, the net will be like cable TV.

Peering vs net neutrality (3, Interesting)

advantis (622471) | about 3 months ago | (#46978239)

It dawned on me how they could work a fast lane within net neutrality rules. They don't even need to change anything.

It goes like this: Hey, we're douchebags and like to bleed our customers dry for slow Internet. We do this by overselling our transit capacity [slashdot.org] . But, if you want our customers to be able to use your service, our peering prices are $100/MB/month.

That's why Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue [slashdot.org] I guess. But should peering be a net neutrality issue? On the Internet, different pathways have different speeds. Your LAN and ISP network are usually a lot faster than general Internet access, and nobody said Netflix can't pay a premium to plug straight into your LAN.

In Romania you get gigabit links within RDS - a nationwide ISP, and if you run Linux, you're in luck because they peer with RoEdu (the Romanian education network), who mirror a lot of stuff, and that peer is fast as lightning if RDS is your provider. But mirrors who are in the country but not peered get Internet speeds - which are still faster than what I generally get in the UK mind.

Look to the post office (2)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | about 3 months ago | (#46978499)

We can look to the post office to see that neutrality does not limit a provider to one tier of service.

The standard post office service will get my letter across the country to another major urban centre in a few days for the price of a first class stamp. If I want to speed things up I can pay for expedited delivery to get it there tomorrow. It's increased service for an increased price but those tiers of service are still neutral. Anyone can walk in and get the same expedited service for the same price.

For me the important thing about net neutrality is not that all data is equal, it's that data is transmitted in a uniform and non-discriminatory fashion. Hello Netflix, looking for enhanced video service? Here's the pricing chart. No, we won't block your competitors, and they'll be paying exactly the same price as you.

Re:Look to the post office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978793)

Your logic is flawed because only the sender pays in the postal system. It doesn't work if both ends have to pay - what if I as a consumer pay for "air mail", but the content provider only paid for "first class stamp" service? If the ISP doesn't throttle the content, no content provider is going to pay for faster service, so they're forced to throttle.

Bad analogy (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#46979173)

We can look to the post office to see that neutrality does not limit a provider to one tier of service.

The postal service has the price for postage regulated by congress. They have to get regulatory approval to raise prices even a penny on stamps. Internet Service Providers are under no such strict regulatory scrutiny and you can be quite sure the prices they charge would not be in the best interest of consumers or the public at large. Furthermore the Postal Service is not in the business of providing content as well as delivery. Several ISPs (Comcast I'm looking at you) have a built in conflict of interest which does not exist in your postal service analogy.

Re:Look to the post office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979219)

For me the important thing about net neutrality is not that all data is equal, it's that data is transmitted in a uniform and non-discriminatory fashion. Hello Netflix, looking for enhanced video service? Here's the pricing chart. No, we won't block your competitors, and they'll be paying exactly the same price as you.

Two points, which I can't believe you haven't seen a thousand times already. First, in a free market system, the way you get people to pay for "enhanced" service is by degrading "basic" service to the point that it's unusable. Offering a premium is exactly the same as discriminating against everything else.

Second, why on earth should Netflix, who already buy internet access from their own ISP, have to make separate agreements with every other ISP on the planet? Netflix ISP already has peering agreements that include Netflix's data. If Comcast wants more cash, they should renegotiate their existing peering agreements. I mean, I buy internet access from Comcast, which is suppose to let me access the whole internet. I've never had BigPond or BT tell me that I need to pay them if I want to request data from their networks.

Re:Look to the post office (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 months ago | (#46979419)

A better analogy would be if a 3rd party shipping service contracted by USPS decided that Amazon is shipping out too many packages and asks Amazon to pay for expedited service or they packages might be delayed. The problem with a 3rd party doing so is that they already had an agreement with the USPS on fees on shipments, and Amazon paid the USPS already. Would a 3rd party shipper charging the sender extra be fair?

Re:Look to the post office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979749)

UPS delays SDS packages if they can be delivered on the first day- because you did't pay for next day service. It can sit in the UPS distro center for an extra 24 hours.

Re:Peering vs net neutrality (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 3 months ago | (#46978573)

Peering is critical to the internet. Right now comcast and similar are choosing to over-saturate peering and paid links in a bid to have people pay them directly to get to the eyeballs they service. Effective leaving it out allows them to let all the normal links over-saturate and push companies like netflix to pay for a fast connection. It's not like they have any viable competitors in most places. A well managed network looks at trending and proactively adds more capacity before they are over-saturated. Frankly we need more oversight they should have to justify why any link in there network is over saturated apart from individual clients and pay steep ever increasing fines to insure they upgrade in a timely manner. This should be built into whatever local monopoly oversight there is in place. This would need to be coupled to no single connections to the mother ship ala AT&T where they shift the choke point to the unregulated transit provider who also owns a huge chunk of the ISP.

Standardize Caching Servers Colocation.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978259)

What the FCC should be doing is coming up with a standard that internet providers have to following that would allow service providers to setup caching servers on ISPs networks. Oblivious, the ISP should make money on the deal but it most importantly it should be uniform. So that it is easier to implement and somewhat fair. Netflix and youtube would save boat loads of money while freeing up huge amounts of internet bandwidth. One problem is that many ISP probably can't handle enough bandwidth on the last mile.

Err, Wait, What? (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 months ago | (#46978313)

From the synopsis:

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he will revise proposed rules for regulating broadband Internet, and is offering assurances that the agency won't allow companies to segregate Web traffic into fast and slow lanes.

Hooray! Same thing it says at the beginning of the article, same thing that made me prematurely celebrate. You see, a bit further down in the WSJ article:

The new proposal will also seek comment on whether such "paid prioritization" should be prohibited altogether.

What? WTF do you think we mean when we say we want net neutrality? Yes, you idiot, we want paid prioritization to be prohibited altogether. ISPs should deliver every packet the customer asks for with the same diligence, without preference. Not delivering some packets faster. Not delivering some packets slower. Handing every packet the same regardless of the content or source. That is what net neutrality is. Are you stupid, or just pretending to be so you can keep doing what your lobby tells you to do?

What about prioritizing by type of content? (0, Offtopic)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 3 months ago | (#46978385)

Maybe I'm a moron, but what about prioritizing by type of content, rather than where the content comes from? Torrents and videos could have high latency without people caring too much, but with online gaming you want the lowest latency you can get. So instead of making it about specific companies, make it about the type of content. Although, then downloads for games would have to be labeled separately from actual gaming traffic to keep things from getting overly expensive.

Re:What about prioritizing by type of content? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978451)

Mod parent "-1, the stupid, it hurts".

Re:What about prioritizing by type of content? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#46978459)

You do realize there isn't a problem. Any potential bandwidth issue can be addressed by companies broadening their infrastructure, which they have not done with their massive profits and tax subsidies.

Re:What about prioritizing by type of content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46980951)

You do realize there isn't a problem. Any potential bandwidth issue can be addressed by companies broadening their infrastructure, which they have not done with their massive profits and tax subsidies.

And how do you replace TCP, which by design grabs as much available bandwidth as possible until it overloads the network?

Re:What about prioritizing by type of content? (3, Informative)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#46978845)

Instead of insulting people who ask a legitimate question, we can answer..... sheesh. This is already done. Look up QOS practices. No one has a problem with this. It is a neutral practice.

Re:What about prioritizing by type of content? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979239)

personally, i rail against any type of traffic shaping based on type.
protocol, sure. that's been around forever and works well.
but when ISP's start analyzing traffic it's a slippery slope.
one, for my money, i can't abide.

but i live in the US, in a region with a single regional monopoly and no possible alternative.
so i'm stuck with a 15 year old DSL @ 5.5m/768k and no possible alternative.

i'll echo what many others have said here:
reclassify ISP's as common carriers
open the network to competition

15 years ago, isp's offered quite a bit of "data" directly to their customers.
email, newsgroups, etc. -- that has changed.
the "data" in question has gone much further upstream and the ISP's are maintaining their status based on methods that are ancient by internet standards.
so their argument for not being common carriers was fine, 15 years ago, when it was first made.
it no longer applies.

and the regional monopoly status they were given came with the tax breaks and the requirements to improve infrastructure, which hasn't been done.
since 2001 the "improvements" have generally only happened in areas where there is competition. rural areas in the US are generally stuck with the same 15+ year old technology we started with.

so if the ISP's who were given stewardship over these areas are unwilling or unable to live up to the bargain, take it away from them.

but these are common-sense arguments, so of course will not happen.

...cause innovation and investment to collapse... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#46978427)

"The FCC has so far not reclassified broadband as a utility, and providers have fiercely opposed such a move, saying it would cause innovation and investment to collapse."

http://online.wsj.com/news/art... [wsj.com]

You mean like in New Jersey where Verizon reneged on a contract to roll out fiber to all of New Jersey after the residents paid for it???

Re:...cause innovation and investment to collapse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978949)

Well don't ya know the WIFI they already have counts as a rollout.

What a bunch of weenies.

Taunting the Bull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978615)

" ... the keynote was “Red flags on the internet”, which refers to the “Red Flag Act” of 1865, where a law was introduced in United Kingdom, which required that a person should walk in front of every car waving with a red flag, to warn pedestrians.

It turned out that this law was lobbied by the British Railways in order to secure their interests. But the result was that Germany this way got 20 years advantage for their automobile industry, so it ended by hurting Britain more than it helped. Rick went on to other examples from the history, ending with Kodak, who actually invented the digital camera back in 1976, but because their income depended heavily on their analog film products, they didn’t develop this new digital technology further and eventually went bankrupt in January 2012. So the point here is that it doesn’t help protecting/hiding information and inventions, as it will at at some point emerge anyways. ... " - http://rasmus.selsmark.dk/post/2012/10/01/GOTO-Aarhus-2012-Day-1-New-infrastructure-creates-new-types-of-companies.aspx [selsmark.dk]

vending machine pricing (5, Informative)

Virtex (2914) | about 3 months ago | (#46978749)

I'm reminded of a story about a company that made soda vending machines. The company had a new vending machine they were marketing to amusement parks which would raise prices when the temperature got above, say, 80 degrees. A lot of amusement parks liked the idea and started buying the new machines, but the word got out to the public and there was a huge backlash of people complaining about deceptive pricing and basically cheating the customers. In order to save themselves, the vending machine company explained to the public that their machines were really lowering the price of their sodas when the temperature dropped below 80 degrees. Somehow that just sounded better to the general public. This thing with fast and slow lanes sounds a lot like the vending machine company. Allowing fast lanes and allowing slow lanes are the same thing, just worded differently.

Re:vending machine pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46980863)

That's hilarious, but it's definitely the sort of irrationality you see in psychology/behavioral economics studies.

Fast lanes could be great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46978763)

as long as the customer gets to choose which of his packets go there.

The ISP has a limited amount of B/W in their network.
    It could be allocated evenly (fairly) among their customers.
          Perhaps pro-rata according to each customer's access rate.
    Doing so would selectively drop some of each customer's packets.
        The packets for the heavy users in the congested parts of the network.
    Given that some of a customer's packets need to be dropped,
                the customer might want to be able to select which packets get dropped.
    This would essentially put his preferred packets in a 'fast lane'.
          Which means his other packets are in the 'slow lane'.

This would be great, it would mean the customer is getting optimal use of his Internet subscription.
    It would mean the ISP is using QOS to make more happy customers with the network resources he has.

The point here is that an ISP could use selective QOS for the good of the customer.
    This would be 'reasonable network management'.
Alternatively, the ISP could use QOS to obtain another revenue stream.
    This would be 'commercially reasonable (expected) network management'.

The first option is pro net neutrality. The second is con.
Corporate governance dictates the con.
      Which is why we need regs promoting the pro.

I fear the FCC is promoting the con while claiming it is the pro.
      Which is a whole 'nother sort of con.

Thursday should be an interesting vote.

who was heard? (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#46978813)

Is this because we all called and complained, or is it because some tech companies called and complained? Who are they listening to? I don't mean to be a curmudgeon. I called all my reps several times. In my mind, those that don't even try shouldn't be allowed to complain.... but I am skeptical about who's voice got heard.

Sounds just like credit card merchant rules (0)

ageoffri (723674) | about 3 months ago | (#46978835)

Credit card companies typically forbid a merchant to charge more than cash price. So what do the merchants do they offer a cash discount. So instead of having fast and slow lanes, everything will be slow/congested and by paying more you will get better throughput.

Can We the People just fire this clown?

meaningless lip-service (1)

IT-newb (3553351) | about 3 months ago | (#46978951)

What Mr. Wheeler is saying is most probably a lie. On one hand, he is saying that he promises that his new rules would prohibit the creation of "fast lanes" to cull the public's favor. right after that, he says that he will allow the content companies to pay for faster delivery. Therefore, he must be engaged in doublethink.

Medium, Large and Extra Large (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979389)

Chairman Wheeler has a bright future working in the fast food industry renaming the cup sizes.

no authority for his rules. Reclassify! (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#46979723)

The FCC has no authority to enforce rules on an information service. This has already come before the courts. They can make all the stupid little rules they want. They're completely shit unenforceable, and they must know this. Reclassify!

Make it a public utility like it SHOULD be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46979805)

Wheeler, make it a fucking public utility you corrupted shill.

Its called a CDN (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 3 months ago | (#46979843)

"in which content companies could pay them for faster delivery of Web content to customers"
This could be interpreted to allow Netflix (or whoever) to pay local ISPs to host content on local servers so that content doesn't need to go through the slow interwebs.
Honestly they should do some modified version of torrent format that prefers seeders on the same ISP so users can provide the hosting.

Peering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46980629)

It's shady either way you look at this. Companies have always created peering arrangements to alleviate internet link congestion. I think this should still be allowed. A couple years back Cablevision made such a deal with netflix. The end result my netflix speed was better, and their internet service became more responsive since other upstream links weren't saturated. I also don't think this was a financial deal, just a benefit for all parties involved.

ISPs breaching their duty to their customers. (1)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#46981641)

I, as an end user on the network for *INSERT ISP HERE* am paying for an unlimited connection to the internet.

By that I don't mean "X-speed no matter what", though that can be thought of as a component of the service I'm paying for.

What I'm paying for is for my provider to fulfill my internet requests in the most timely manner possible (best effort).

If they're PURPOSEFULLY sabotaging traffic to try to hold a given content provider hostage for "protection money", that's the very OPPOSITE of unlimited.
Additionally, it's technically a breach of contract with the end user.

Coming to an agreement with a content provider for a dedicated peering arrangement is one thing. But sabotaging peering points (and not upgrading permanently congested peering points IS a form of sabotage) and QOS'ing traffic to degrade such services is something else entirely. And it should not be countenanced.

Re:ISPs breaching their duty to their customers. (1)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#46981971)

And just sent an e-mail off to tom.wheeler@fcc.gov.
A printed letter that's essentially the same will be going out in the mail today.

c/o Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Translation... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 3 months ago | (#46982387)

"Yeah. OK. We'll ensure this 'net neutrality' thing is protected, except when we don't. You know, like when lots of money changes hands between entities that actually matter to us."
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