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FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the double-secret-prohibited dept.

The Internet 182

As you may have watched live earlier today, the FCC in a protester-heavy hearing has voted to formally consider a net neutrality proposal. The linked L.A. Times story says the 3-2 vote of the commissioners represents a victory for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: 'A Democrat who took over in November, Wheeler triggered outrage among public interest groups, online activists and many liberals with a plan that would for the first time allow the possibility of so-called pay-for-priority deals. Wheeler said his plan has been misconstrued and that it would not allow broadband providers to block any legal content or slow down connections in a way that is commercially unreasonable.' As the Washington Post points out, the phrase "commercially unreasonable" is a loaded one. More good coverage at Ars Technica, too.

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This is dismaying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010199)

Can we safely assume he has been bought and the others have been made promises regarding other issues they care about? The only thing I can hope for at this point is that these older, technology illiterate politicians will die off as younger people come in and change things for the better because they understand what's going on. I seriously doubt this though.

Re:This is dismaying (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47010257)

Can we safely assume he has been bought and the others have been made promises regarding other issues they care about? The only thing I can hope for at this point is that these older, technology illiterate politicians will die off as younger people come in and change things for the better because they understand what's going on. I seriously doubt this though.

Um... I think you need to check your facts. You seem to think he's doing this out of ignorance.

Wheeler is hardly "technology illiterate". He was a lobbyist for cable companies! What he was trying to do was 100% intentional and deliberate.

The old saying goes, "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity." But if you knew the whole story, you would know that stupidity does not adequately explain Wheeler's actions. It is malice, through and through.

Re:This is dismaying (2)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 6 months ago | (#47010313)

True. He's pushing it to help out his homies.

The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010367)

I have watched the whole thing and I anticipated that the proposal would have been passed since commercial interests often outweigh public interest - Money does talk after all, especially in America.

But I thought that the Republicans would voted for killing the Net Neutrality, how wrong I was !

It turns out that all three (3) commissioners who voted for killing Net Neutrality turns out to be DEMOCRATS !!

I owe an apology to all the Republicans and I hereby sincerely apologize for doubting you guys !!

As for the Democrats, FUCK YOU !!

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47010417)

As for the Politicians, FUCK YOU !!

Fixed that for you.

They're pretty much all lying sacks of shit on the payroll of large corporations. The only difference is the issues they get bat-shit crazy over.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010719)

"As for the statist Politicians, FUCK YOU !!"

FTFY

http://washingtonexaminer.com/ted-cruz-bill-would-ban-fccs-latest-adventure-in-net-neutrality/article/2548441

Conservatives, Tea Party types, will be trying to work against the statist. I suggest you consider supporting them.

""I will be introducing legislation that would remove the claimed authority for the FCC to take such actions, specifically the Commission's nebulous Sec. 706 authority. More than $1 trillion has already been invested in broadband infrastructure, which has led to an explosion of new content, applications, and Internet accessibility. Congress, not an unelected commission, should take the lead on modernizing our telecommunications laws. The FCC should not endanger future investments by stifling growth in the online sector, which remains a much-needed bright spot in our struggling economy."

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010525)

Don't worry, the Republican Party fully supports the FCC's decision to serve the business needs of the community.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (2, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47010779)

The (R)s voted no because Wheeler's proposal didn't go as far as they wanted in the dismantling of Net Neutrality.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47011149)

The (R)s voted no because Wheeler's proposal didn't go as far as they wanted in the dismantling of Net Neutrality.

I think the Rs voted "no" because they still have some sense of political reality, and what the public wants.

In contrast, from where I sit it is looking like Obama and his fellow Democrats have been willing to push their ideas off on the public without regard to whether most Americans think they're actually good ideas.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (3, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47011273)

"Robert McDowell, a Republican commissioner of the FCC, called the net neutrality proposal a "threat to Internet freedom" in an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal. He argues that consumer protection, which net neutrality advocates say is lacking, is adequate, and government intervention into the Internet is misguided."

Freedom to gouge consumers is still a freedom I guess.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (4, Interesting)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 6 months ago | (#47010813)

The republicans actually said no because they insisted it was congresses place to handle the matter and wanted less stringent rules that what wheeler was proposing. It was a matter of three saying 'this is enough for now' and the other two saying 'this is not nearly enough to help or telecomm overlords'. So don't go congratulate the republicans on their sense.

This was not a partisan fight as some sources make it sounds. It was both sides wanted to help their 'friends' and screwing over the american people along the way.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (4, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 6 months ago | (#47010841)

"Tom, I'm sorry, we can't support this proposal. You're not fuckin' the public hard enough. Gotta do it hard, deep, no lube or go home." - Repubs.

Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011251)

Uh, the 'Pubs voted against it because they think even this is too much regulation.

Re:This is dismaying (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47010385)

Wheeler is hardly "technology illiterate". He was a lobbyist for cable companies!

Wait ... what?

Is being technology literate a requirement to be a lobbyist for the cable companies? Or is willingness to follow the official line and recite buzzwords more important? It seems like a lawyer with good connections is a more effective lobbyist than someone with a technology background. God knows the people they're lobbying don't know anything about the technology.

Steve Ballmer isn't someone I'd consider to be overly technology literate. I've certainly known software sales people who aren't technology literate. And I've even known a couple of managers in either software or IT who I wouldn't consider technology literate. Those MBAs I've encountered making business decisions in technology companies, sure as hell weren't technology literate.

I'm not disputing that, as a former cable lobbyist, he was always going to be someone who came down on their side and you can pretty much say he's not looking at this from any other position than what's good for cable companies.

But, without knowing his technology background and actual level of knowledge ... I'm still not prepared to rule out stupidity. Not even a little.

Re:This is dismaying (-1, Troll)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#47010475)

Is being technology literate a requirement to be a lobbyist for the cable companies?

Well, apparently, being literate isn't a requirement to talk about technological literacy. Note that "technology" is a NOUN, and cannot be used to modify another noun (literacy in this case).

In any case, if you don't have to be literate, I see no reason why he has to be literate (technologically or otherwise).

Re:This is dismaying (0, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47010571)

Well, apparently, being literate isn't a requirement to talk about technological literacy. Note that "technology" is a NOUN, and cannot be used to modify another noun

Wow, you are actually an asshole, and apparently not familiar with the English language.

Computer is a noun. But you can be computer literate.

Technology can encompass specific things (this piece of technology) or the entire spectrum of things (technology allows us to do many things):

Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures.

So how about you take your own brand of stupidity and illiteracy, and fuck the hell off?

If you think "technology literate" is less valid that "technologically literate", you lack enough understanding of the English language.

But, hey, you can go be computerologically literate in your moms basement if you like. She might even let you stay up late and have some soda and have some friends over, assuming you have any.

Re:This is dismaying (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47010791)

Note that "technology" is a NOUN, and cannot be used to modify another noun

Oh, and "literate" isn't even a bloody noun in this context, moron.

Re:This is dismaying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010801)

Good god, aren't you a stupid one?

Re:This is dismaying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010905)

Nouns can modify other nouns. Two nouns are said to be in apposition when they are next to each other, with one noun modifying the other. For example, the phrase "My friend Bob" features a noun phrase "my friend" and a noun "Bob", with "my friend" modifying "Bob".

Re:This is dismaying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010891)

Is being technology literate a requirement to be a lobbyist for the cable companies?

I'd say so. Otherwise, how is the lobbyist to deal with facing an actual technology expert?

Lobbyist: "We need to do X, Y, and Z!"
Tech Expert: "That's bullshit and here are the reasons why."
Lobbyist: "Oh, er, um..."

The lobbyist needs to know how to respond to that. And if all they know how to do is recite buzzwords, I would imagine they would have a hard time of it.

Re:This is dismaying (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47011027)

"Is being technology literate a requirement to be a lobbyist for the cable companies?"

I'd say so. Otherwise, how is the lobbyist to deal with facing an actual technology expert?

Don't they mostly lobby politicians?

So imagine you're the one technology guy in a room full of politicians and lobbyists. Is your attempt to say he's full of shit going to be:

a) Met with sage nods and pointed questions
b) Met with being told to STFU because the big boys are talking

Given how liberally the lobbyists sprinkle around money, I seriously doubt most of them are ever directly confronted with an actual technology expert. And, in all likelihood, if they are they have someone in tow who can field the questions and still keep up the party line.

You seem to assume an honest system of debate. I'm not convinced.

When decisions flow (like shit) from the top down, the people who can actually refute the claims probably aren't ever in the same room as the lobbyists. That could set a dangerous precedent of evidence based decision making.

Re:This is dismaying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011049)

But if you knew the whole story, you would know that stupidity does not adequately explain Wheeler's actions. It is malice, through and through.

No it's not. It's greed.

Re:This is dismaying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011067)

It is malice, through and through.

While you are correct that it is not out of stupidity, you are wrong to say that it is out of malice.
br /. It is greed, through and through.

Re:This is dismaying (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 months ago | (#47010379)

Tom Wheeler is the former president of the Cable industry's top lobbyist group. We already knew where he stood on net neutrality before he was appointed or confirmed. That is how he came to be FCC chairman. You don't think they would let someone with the public's interests in mind sit in that chair?

Re:This is dismaying (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#47010487)

Can we safely assume he has been bought...

No, because you got it backwards: he's a telecom exec and lobbyist who bought his way into a government position to regulate his own industry. [sunlightfoundation.com] And it matters because, no this isn't ignorance and it won't just die off.

Democrat? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47010223)

To me, the real question is: why is this self-described (and, to be sure, described by others as) Democrat acting so much like a fascist?

Re:Democrat? (4, Insightful)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 6 months ago | (#47010255)

Republicans, Democrats, the only difference I can see between them is who they sell out to; and sometimes there is no difference there either.

Re:Democrat? (-1, Flamebait)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#47010483)

Since I favor evolution and non crazy theories of economics I am a dem. Yes they are a sell out but at least wont force kids to pray in school and be tought God created everything 6,000 years ago and climate change doesn't exist when they take science courses.

Re:Democrat? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#47010745)

Since I favor evolution and non crazy theories of economics I am a dem. Yes they are a sell out but at least wont force kids to pray in school and be taught God created everything 6,000 years ago and climate change doesn't exist when they take science courses.

/quote

Typical slashdot. I post I am pro science and against ideology over facts and I get modded down to 0 because it conflicts with someone elses ideology. Typical. Do not whine about global warming being banned from being taught in schools then? Idiots.

Re:Democrat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010859)

Probably because it was completely irrelevant. Just like you are.

Re:Democrat? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47010825)

Good example of a false dichotomy.

Re: Democrat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010261)

What makes you think either a democrat, republican, or libertarian are individually not in favor of facism?

You are part of the problem. Wake up.

Re:Democrat? (-1, Troll)

Shatrat (855151) | about 6 months ago | (#47010357)

Because Democrats favor government control of everything, because it helps them line their pockets. If you control something, you can accept campaign donations to steer it one way or another. Republicans do very much the same thing for the same reason, but have to be more careful how they phrase it to not piss off their state and local oriented base.

Re:Democrat? (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 6 months ago | (#47010447)

When making statements like this, it is helpful to mark the distinction between the political parties and the people. There are very few actually liberal Democrats, just as there are very few actually conservative Republicans.

I would argue that you've got it backwards of course. :D R's give out tax breaks like candy so they can get campaign donations. Ah well. Potato Potahto.

Re:Democrat? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010375)

Please don't confuse yourself, it's not fascism.

It's pluotcracy.

Re:Democrat? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#47010457)

Jane do not divide. As it stands it doesn't matter who said what or my party is better than you party (like 4 years old saying my daddy can beat up yours).

Write your politicians no matter who they are. My other post [slashdot.org] has the links right there including the FCC.

Be polite and email the president, fcc, your senator, and congressman and inform them. Mention different things if they have a D or an R next to his or her name. This is still open for a few more weeks. If we get enough roar both will delay the vote.

Re:Democrat? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47011037)

Jane do not divide.

Who's "dividing"? I asked a legitimate question. Your assumption that I was trying to "divide" is actually dividing.

Would you have said the same thing if I had said it was a Republican rather than a Democrat? I am curious.

My point was simply that a Democrat was blatantly pandering to corporate money. That might not be "fascism" in a genuine technical sense, but it is pretty close to the popular sense and the modern version of what is often called fascism.

And "be polite", my ass. I have already emailed and otherwise notified both the FCC and my erstwhile representatives in Congress, and told them what I think of Wheeler's idea. I was blunt and to the point. Politeness is not appropriate when regulators are guilty of such blatant bullshit.

But just for the record: no, I did not accuse him of being a "fascist" in those communications, because it's not technically accurate. Read my original comment again. I wrote that he was "acting like" one.

Re:Democrat? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#47011253)

My thought processes are if we fight among ourselves they win as people feel if they straight republican or democrat a utopia will appear if we follow ideology. Meanwhile lobbyists use tactics like this to rattle us out to the polls. They lobbyist is the mega telecom industry. I am sure they lobby Republicans as well.

yes it is true I am a democrat even if I am really pissed off right now over this.

We do have an advantage as geeks right now? It is an election year :-)

If we write to our politicians regardless of party in my other link and their script writters see +900 emails during an election year it will certainly get their attention and rethink what the snake oil lobbyist who said we are protecting innovation since we never had net neutrality so lets not rock the boat etc. I know you feel it does not help but large amounts of angry constituents is something no politician wants months before an election. In 2003 we had a bill that would require DRM to be used by all operating systems and hardware! Remember? Slashdotters emailed and it worked as senators said WHOA What the hell is this?! etc.

If we say LIBERALS ARE THE CAUSE then we debate with each other and meanwhile politicians do not hear what we have to say. Divide and conquer worked well with the Romans and survivor if you are watching the latest round? I believe that is a political ploy that I do not want to fall into a trap of.

Re:Democrat? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47010515)

To me, the real question is: why is this self-described (and, to be sure, described by others as) Democrat acting so much like a fascist?

you seem to be making a distinction between a democrats and republicans. Answer: there is none.

Re:Democrat? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47011079)

you seem to be making a distinction between a democrats and republicans. Answer: there is none.

I stated no such thing. You are reading more into my comment than what I actually wrote. It is quite rude to make such assumptions.

Re:Democrat? (1)

ks*nut (985334) | about 6 months ago | (#47010869)

He is a former lobbyist - M-O-N-E-Y

There is no Yin without Yang (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010229)

No good without evil, no fast lane without a slow lane.

Just declare them common carriers (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 6 months ago | (#47010231)

and be done with it. That's how consumers view ISPs', so that's what we should make them. Stop catering to their silly cries that they want to be something more. They aren't and will never be.

Re:Just declare them common carriers (5, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 6 months ago | (#47010273)

I loved how the ISPs were quoted as saying common carrier status would 'force them to spend less on infrastructure and be less innovative'. Uh, no, that's what a 'monopoly' does...and what most ISP are. Yes there are also generally franchise agreements but those have far less teeth than actual competition for their customers...

Force the ISPs to declare what innovation... (2)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#47010617)

...and upgrades they are currently planning that would be put on the chopping block with common carrier status. Be specific. Tell us EXACTLY what new innovations and upgrades you will be forced to cancel because of this.

I can only imagine the math is something like:

"We have Z mbits of bandwidth per customer with current infrastructure. We want to use 80% of that for our value-add services like our own streaming and on-demand services. The remaining 20% is for end-user internet access and we've already oversold that by 50%".

I can only imagine the "innovation" and "upgrades" they will lose out on are their own, internal revenue-generating uses designed to supplant third party services like Netflix/Amazon/iTunes.

I don't think for a minute that they are designing and planning any kind of bandwidth/capacity upgrades designed for general-purpose end-user internet access. Any increases in network capacity or bandwidth (if there are any at all) are strictly reserved for in-house high-margin media consumption services they want to sell, cap-free and un-shaped to their subscribers while they cap and shape Netflix et al into a stuttering, low-res wasteland.

Re:Force the ISPs to declare what innovation... (4, Informative)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 6 months ago | (#47010951)

I find it hilarious that they can manage to say they are innovating now on broadband. My service has gotten a faster quoted speed maximum download bandwidth over the years, but isn't even half of what you can do with DOSCIS 1 and far less than what other areas can get with DOSCIS 3 (which is actually the level supported by their provided modem). DSL is even weaker with 1 MB/512k DSL being the only competing service offered by verizon for $10 less a month than my cable internet (20x slower for $10 less a motnh, hmm that's some crazy numbers). DSL in my area doesn't even count as broadband with the FCC!

Broadband has been stagnant already for years in large swaths of the US with only big cities in areas with lots of money getting good internet service. I live just outside a city of 150k people and they couldn't give a rats ass about us. Their are no 'upgrade plans' now. And becoming a common carrier will not effect any rate of upgrades that don't exist.

Re:Just declare them common carriers (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 6 months ago | (#47011089)

Well according to Level 3 [level3.com] they refuse to upgrade their circuits now anyway so it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference to the end user.

Re:Just declare them common carriers (4, Insightful)

dunkindave (1801608) | about 6 months ago | (#47010545)

There is a major problem with this idea, namely "levels of service". Comments a day or two ago tried to build an analogy between the Net and the phone system, and how having common carrier status prevented the phone company from discriminating against specific traffic in order to benefit themselves. The trouble with this analogy is that in the telephone world either there is a connection or there isn't (give or take quality), while in the network world there are levels of how well it works.

Consider this: what if new net neutrality rules says all traffic has to be treated equality, but there are bottlenecks in the network that cause certain streams to suffer. Would labeling ISPs as common carriers legally force them to upgrade such chokepoints, or would they be able to leave these chokepoints as is and allow the result to cause the effect they desire? Now move the clock forward, and consider that networks are always growing in capacity, so even if the chokepoint doesn't exist today, it probably will naturally develop in the nearer future, so ISPs wouldn't need to deliberately create chokepoints, which would flag them as being (more) malicious, but rather just wait until the ones they want to naturally occur. Then when they upgrade equipment and/or lines, they choose the upgrades that help their interests, while leaving the ones they would like to throttle but "legally can't", to languish. It would be like discriminating against people in a ghetto by choosing to never get around to fix the potholes in their streets. You don't need to go out and make potholes, just wait and they make themselves.

So explain to me again how labeling them as common carriers will solve all the net neutrality problems? Without laws forcing ISPs to BUILD AND MAINTAIN infrastructure that treats all customers, traffic type, and peers the same, then just labeling them as common carrier only fixes a smaller part of the problem.

Re:Just declare them common carriers (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010851)

The trouble with this analogy is that in the telephone world either there is a connection or there isn't (give or take quality), while in the network world there are levels of how well it works.

Except that, for a lot of people, regarding the internet internet: "either there is a connection or there isn't".

The US has a lot of people living in extremely remote places. They've all got phones. They don't have broadband.

Re:Just declare them common carriers (1)

neoform (551705) | about 6 months ago | (#47010781)

I'm confused as to how they aren't already considered as such.

If an ISP isn't a common carrier, doesn't that mean they're liable for the illegal activities taking place over their networks?

Wouldn't that mean any piracy or other criminals using their services, make the ISP's an accomplice? Can we start putting them in prison now?

Up to... (3, Informative)

pellik (193063) | about 6 months ago | (#47010233)

Now the ISP can't throttle content below a speed which is up to what I pay for (since the contracts always specifies this). Thanks a lot FCC zero is in the list of number up to what I pay for.

The fast lanes: a parable (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 6 months ago | (#47010237)

Imagine, if you will, a crowded freeway with two lanes in each direction.

The people cry out: "Make the road wider, so traffic will flow better!"

The roadbuilder says: "Not unless we can make some lanes into toll lanes!"

The people cry out: "Anything, anything you want, just make it faster!"

The next month there are two toll lanes and a muddy ditch in each direction.

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (5, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | about 6 months ago | (#47010323)

The next month there are two toll lanes and a muddy ditch in each direction.

I wish people would stop bringing Oklahoma into these things...

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 6 months ago | (#47010615)

Good parable and succinctly describes what the issue is. As more and more of the big Internet content providers are forced to pay into this extortion racket there is going to be less and less room for anything else including actual communications. And worse... because there will be all sorts of secret content deals people won't even know why the service they are paying for sucks so bad. Bandwidth caps would be far more preferable so that customers that are actually using the service more will pay more instead of charging the content providers as some non-transparent charge on the customers.

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47010663)

A better analogy would be:
5% of people are driving RVs that take up both lanes and they drive like old ladies.
The road builder doesn't want to tick anyone off so they went to the RV manufacturer and asked "Could you keep the size of your RVs to a single lane so people can pass them and not get stuck behind them?" to which the RV manufacture said "Yea, no"

So then other road builders built parallel roads, that only had one lane and were cheaper. All the people that didn't have RVs (average facebook user) moved over to those roads if they could to get away from the RVs

The road builder was then stuck with all the RV people, and 5% of the revenue and still having to maintain 2 lane roads. They panicked and begged the government to let them put in a bypass so the non-RV people had a way to get around the RVs and the road builder wouldn't lose ALL of their customers over night.

Now the road builders roads are congested by hippies with picket signs yelling "Fascist" and "We are the 99%!!!" Rather than do something about the totally uncooperative RV manufacture flouting industry standards, they expect all the road builders to expand all the roads to 8 lane highways for free, and not raise the price. They cite the Autoban as an example of how "all of Europe" is better than what we have. Meanwhile the road builder is accepting offers on the road and quietly trying to buy a chain of pizza places because this is just to infuriating to deal with anymore.

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47010911)

umm... I don't get it? who is building the competing parallel roads in this case?

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011093)

Wait, what? Are you suggesting that, if someone offered internet service that excluded netflix, people would flock to that ISP?

Is that supposed to be because your average consumer doesn't want to use any of those streaming services? I guess they're all paying for high speed connections because they want their facebook pages to load really, really fast.

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010913)

Except this is already a thing, and it didn't turn out like that. In Utah, there are lanes that you have to pay to drive in (unless you're carpooling - gotta handle that horrible air quality somehow). They're the exact same as the lanes next to them, they just have fewer people on them.

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 6 months ago | (#47011007)

The people cry out: "Make the road wider, so traffic will flow better!"

Here's another parable: the hamburger analogy [greatergre...ington.org] :

Let's give everyone free McDonald's hamburgers. Let's put 10,000 hamburgers a day on a table in front of the Capitol (or wherever).

What would happen? People would take and eat the hamburgers, and once word got out, all 10,000 hamburgers would be taken very quickly every day. We may thus infer that because people need food and they really seemed to like those burgers, McDonald's hamburgers are an important public good.

A city planner might notice a problem: those 10,000 hamburgers just aren't enough. They get taken very early in the morning, so not everybody has a chance to get a hamburger. The obvious solution -- because burgers are a highly-valued public good -- is to provide more free burgers. So the city planner starts to provide 20,000 hamburgers a day.

You can see where this is going. People start going out of their way to get the free hamburgers, and planning their day around that trip. The city has to keep providing more and more free burgers -- eventually millions a day -- to keep satisfying the demand for free hamburgers. The competing food markets crater, because who would pay $2/lb for apples when you can get as many free burgers as you want (although maybe you have to wait in a 30-minute line). Public health goes to hell, because everybody's eating six burgers a day. And yet, everybody likes their free burgers and the Hamburger Department is an untouchable political powerhouse. Proposals for a 10-cent hamburger fee to cover the huge costs of hamburger provision get shot down by public outrage.

What's the problem here? The problem is that food is indeed a necessity, and yes, people seem to like McDonald's hamburgers -- but the fact that people will take free burgers does not prove that they are "highly valued" by the market. We are not seeing actual demand for burgers. We are seeing induced demand for a good which is being provided at artificially low prices.

But for some reason, replace hamburgers with roads and everybody goes nuts.

In short, the fact that a new lane or road immediately fills up with traffic does not "prove" that there was a high demand for that road -- it proves that people will use way too much of something that's free.

So making the road wider won't make traffic on the freeway flow better in the long run. On the other hand, express tolls (because they are priced at market equilibrium) permanently eliminate traffic congestion, at negative cost to the owners of the road (usually taxpayers) without overcharging anyone (except the types who complain of being overcharged whenever they win an eBay auction). Permanently eliminating traffic congestion and lowering our tax burden are both good things, right?

My question is, will Internet subscribers who don't need Netflix get the opportunity to lower their costs by refusing to pay for the "fast lane"? We all want a la carte cable, don't we?

Re:The fast lanes: a parable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011181)

So making the road wider won't make traffic on the freeway flow better in the long run. On the other hand, express tolls (because they are priced at market equilibrium) permanently eliminate traffic congestion, at negative cost to the owners of the road (usually taxpayers) without overcharging anyone (except the types who complain of being overcharged whenever they win an eBay auction). Permanently eliminating traffic congestion and lowering our tax burden are both good things, right?

And then you try some of those express lanes, and you realize...it was all a conjob. Maintenance isn't done properly. Tolls are excessive. Services are nil.

And you can't get out of the screwing of the public without paying them off again.

Because they wrote a contract that says they have no obligations.

Comcast is waiting with open arms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010243)

Dear Tom,

Money is in Swiss bank account and your job here is assured. Don't let us down!

Love
Your Comcast Overlord.

Good old USA (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010247)

Quickly going downhill to the bottom of the list of third-world countries.

The real culprit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010249)

It's all Bush's fault!

Re: The real culprit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010295)

I'm going to blame this one on Lincoln.

How pyrrhyc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010259)

So, basically, the FCC has rejected the notion of classifying ISPs as common carriers and is instead moving forward to adopt Wheeler's plan which allows ISPs to charge companies for faster service under the guise of "net neutrality"?

Weasel words ... (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47010275)

Wheeler said his plan has been misconstrued and that it would not allow broadband providers to block any legal content or slow down connections in a way that is commercially unreasonable.

I don't need to follow any of the links in that submission to know that "commercially unreasonable" can be construed to be "to maximize profits".

In other words, he's laying the groundwork for them to do as they please, with the standard that seeking to gouge your customers is "commercially reasonable", and asking for extortion fees to make sure what you're already selling works continues to isn't "unreasonable".

Same shit. Different asshole.

Re:Weasel words ... (1)

thule (9041) | about 6 months ago | (#47010641)

Ummmm... peering is how the Internet works. If the traffic is not equal both directions, then someone pays. This is the way it has always been. Why is everyone so worked up about it? NOTHING NEW HERE!

Yahoo! did this YEARS ago. They had their own national network for their own traffic. They would directly peer with large ISPs so their content did not have to travel over transit connections. It was stated that Yahoo! only payed for half of their total bandwidth because the peering reduced the cost of their transit.

Netflix is doing exactly the same thing. Only their bandwidth requirements are much bigger than Yahoo!'s.

Re:Weasel words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010855)

Comcast's customer is on the side demanding bandwidth from the Internet. Comcast needs to pay. Not Netflix. Go back to school.

Re: Weasel words ... (1)

thule (9041) | about 6 months ago | (#47011173)

Ummm... No. Peering agreements have always been setup that the party that sends more than is received, pays. If they are almost equal, then it is settlement free. Netflix is doing nothing new. The article even states that the Netflix case will be looked over at a later time.

Re:Weasel words ... (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 6 months ago | (#47011215)

Except that the consumer ISPs are the ones who should be paying and certainly Netflix was already paying their ISP (Level 3 primarily) for the bandwidth they needed. The problem here is that the consumer ISP customers want what is on the other end of Level 3's links and Consumer ISPs don't offer anything except end users that anyone else wants.

The problem is large consumer ISPs can through the weight of having all the consumers in the face of other entities like netflix and force them to pay even though there is absolutely no reason to. The traffic is decidedly one sided and it's all requests from Comcast and other consumer ISPs for data held on other networks by other companies.

Support a commercial free internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010297)

Believe it or not, I can get DSL service through the ages old SDF. They support a commercial free internet and that's starting to look mighty fine about now.

Where can I protest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010303)

I'm guessing writing my local representative and simply saying "I don't like this" isn't very convincing. Is there a petition?

Re:Where can I protest? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47010901)

There are several. I believe one had over 1 million signatories. The problem is, they just don't give a shit.

"Commercially unreasonable" (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#47010307)

That term means anything goes. There are things which are physically impossible and/or morally reprehensible that are far from commercially unreasonable.

Re:"Commercially unreasonable" (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 6 months ago | (#47010623)

what means 'anything goes' is the effective Monopoly these ISPs have on their customers. Until we provide actual competition in the local ISP market, nothing is going to change.

Re:"Commercially unreasonable" (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47010981)

maybe the "last mile" is a utility, and internet companies like comcast and att and charter step in at the main hub and compete for business

actually, my last building signed up with WiLine, a bay area provider that I think used a microwave dish on top of the building for communication. It got around teh comcast etc. I paid $20/mo for 20 up / 20 down. that was the set price, not promotional, and there wasn't a contract. super satisfied.

The problem is having Lobbyists at the wheel (3, Insightful)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about 6 months ago | (#47010329)

Sign and share this petition. [wh.gov]

let the White House and politicians of any party know that this is not acceptable. we need ACTUAL Net Neutrality. the ISPs and Cable/Telcos have had their free ride and now they want to take advantage of everyone. this cannot continue!

Eliminate the FCC (2, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | about 6 months ago | (#47010715)

At this point I think we need to just go ahead and eliminate the FCC and Congress needs to legislate these regulations directly. We are beyond the point of just needing to play some BS game of musical chairmen to appoint another industry lobbyist to regulate their own industry. From no longer licensing new radio stations to this idiotic spin the wheels and do whatever you want as long as you hire the right lawyers as lobbyists kind of bullshit regulation the FCC is a farce

Re:Eliminate the FCC (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 6 months ago | (#47010915)

Ah, the joys of regulatory capture...

Re:Eliminate the FCC (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 6 months ago | (#47011255)

I doubt congress would manage better, in fact I can practically guarantee that any legislature on regulating telecommunications would looks worse after congress is done with it. After all many lobbyists write the bills that their paid congress critters then present as their own. Most never even read what they submit. To many big words and such for them it seems and to many babies to kiss to keep their cushy jobs to do that sort of work themselves.

Re:The problem is having Lobbyists at the wheel (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47010917)

Too many action items on that one, needs to be broken down into 3 separate petitions.

You were expecting what else? (3, Insightful)

some old guy (674482) | about 6 months ago | (#47010341)

The real insult to this injury will be when Comcast et al raise their subscriber rates to pay for the new fast lane resources that Amazon and Netflix will already be paying for. Ka-ching!

Obama, Rosenworcel, Clyburn (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 6 months ago | (#47010365)

Tom Wheeler is a cable lobbyist, so I get it. He's doing his (evil, sociopathic) job. He's a bad person,, and is acting in bad faith, and he should be fired. The Republicans are idiots, they think that lack of regulation means a closer approximation of the ideal free market (even though almost every single one of the biggest commercial successes of the Internet era said the opposite, and the ISPs depend on regulation in rights-of-way, easements, and spectrum). They're ignorant true believers, and should be fired.

But Obama, Rosenworcel, and Clyburn have some 'splainin' to do. They claim to understand the issue, they claim to support net neutrality. But you can't vote to kick a puppy and then say you oppose puppy-kicking. We can't keep accepting their bullshit theatrics; "It's not so bad, because we're only kicking the puppy a few times." No more death by a thousand cuts. Stop voting to kick the puppy, or we have to stop believing your lies.

Re:Obama, Rosenworcel, Clyburn (4, Insightful)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 6 months ago | (#47010497)

Obama has proven to be a wolf in sheep's clothing when it comes to telecom policy. He has pushed ACTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership, and kept a low profile on SOPA/PIPA without actually coming out against it. I honestly don't think he cares that much about Net Neutrality. It was just another empty promise that helped get him elected. As for the Republicans, they have turned everything into a witch hunt. A lot of people are afraid of government overreach(not without good reason), but that has created an environment where all a corporation has to do is say "Help, big government is picking on me!" and they will immediately summon bleating hordes of conservative sheep who don't even bother to research the situation.

Re:Obama, Rosenworcel, Clyburn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010517)

Tom Wheeler is a cable lobbyist, so I get it. He's doing his (evil, sociopathic) job. He's a bad person,, and is acting in bad faith, and he should be fired.

Or shot. Seriously.

Re:Obama, Rosenworcel, Clyburn (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47010949)

Out of a cannon, in to the Sun, preferably.

What the ISPs will hear (4, Interesting)

mfh (56) | about 6 months ago | (#47010377)

The big vile ISPs are notorious for not listening. Rules will exist meant to ensure that everyone has a fair business model for ISPs and then the big guys will keep looking at the model to squeeze more and more money out of it because fair business isn't enough for those guys... they have to squeeze every last nickel out.

What we need is a global competitor to big ISPs that can deploy anywhere. Google could be that new hope, but so could a DIY off-grid group. Google's baloon experiment [google.com] could be what we need but it doesn't have to stop there and also it is important to note that Google's closeness to NSA is problematic.

There are other better answers [slashdot.org] to big ISP. Teleporation could destroy the ISP business model and place the power directly in the hands of each individual. No more government spying. No more ISP bullshit.

Re:What the ISPs will hear (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 6 months ago | (#47010933)

Teleportation would be a huge disruption to just about everything. What it would do to everything else would make what it did to ISPs pretty much trivial.

And the U.S. . . . (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#47010381)

keeps falling further and further behind the rest of the industrialized world.

Pretty soon we'll be behind countries like Latvia and Romania.

Oh wait. . .!

Net Neutrality backroom: (2)

swschrad (312009) | about 6 months ago | (#47010389)

1) no priority tag, data is at priority 0

2) no lower "trunk cost" to preferred customers. trunk costing used only to route traffic to the cheapest/fastest/lease congested route .

3) due to latency and jitter issues, VoIP could be set midrange, at priority 3.

4) one price for all at a specified bandwidth.

that's all the regulation you need, and you need an iron fist to maintain it, considering the number of fat weasels out there.

Throttle the FCC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010403)

It's clear that the FCC no longer cares about true net neutrality. At this point, the most effective way to send them a message is to throttle their connection to as many sites as possible. Maybe then, they'd actually understand what 'fast lane' means for the rest of us.

Neocities throttles fcc [neocities.org]
FCC script [github.com]

Get off your butts slashdotters (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#47010421)

Ok we did this once 12 years ago and got DRM legal requirements non voted on. We can do this again.

For American Slashdotters:

1.) Tell the FCC what you think in polite terms [fcc.gov] and why it is a bad idea for business, consumers, and innovation?

2) Go to to your house of representatives website and use the zip code finder [house.gov] in the upper right hand corner. If your personal representative has a (R) in his or her name mention how you worry about the government overstepping its boundaries and ruining the largest emerging economic trend in history. Mention this FoxNews article, where Republicans are urging the FCC to bud out [foxnews.com] . If you work in the IT industry mention how you will be impacted and how unregulated internet led to the greatest economic expansion in history in the late 1990s.

If your representative has a (D) in his or her name, tell them how it will unfairly impact consumers and force unfair monopolies more power and ruin innovations with services like Netflix. Mention economic impacts as well. Use Netflix as an example of something that used to work until a few months ago and cite sources where L3 admitted it was being bottlenecked on purpose.

Also both parites are under the assumption that the internet worked just fine without net neutrality and we still had the largest explosion of GDP growth in history. So why change (Mega Telecom sales pitch). So inform them that they were regulated beforehand and this time it is different.

Remember it is not about adding new rules that were never needed. It is about preventing new rules that are not in your emails regardless of parties to counter the
FUD of the telecom lobbyists

3. Let the Obama know how you feel? [wwwwhitehouse.gov] Yes, he does read email and hand written letters every night. Perhaps seeing a large push in volume all angry about this may get his attention?
4. Let your senator know [senate.gov] ? Copy and paste the email you sent your congressman if he or she is of the same party. If not emphasize free market if he or she is a (r) and consumers and monopolies if he or she is a (D).

Be polite and factual as possible. Yes they are corrupt, but many are inept and get all their FUD from lobbyists. Mention we never had anything like this to counter the fud this is socialism to have the same lane and this is a fast enabler not something that slows regular traffice down yada yada. Mention your IT background too to build credibility.

If enough people whine it may delay or cancel the vote.

Re:Get off your butts slashdotters (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010827)

Just remember, people with cancer who complained about how Obamacare was hurting them and their treatments were called dirty filthy liars and then were audited by the IRS. I'm sure the same won't happen to you, after all they got away with it last time.

Re:Get off your butts slashdotters (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47011033)

Just remember, people with cancer who complained about how Obamacare was hurting them and their treatments were FOUND OUT TO BE dirty filthy liars and then were audited by the IRS.

Fixed that for you, you fucking AC shill.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ri... [forbes.com]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

Math, it's what for dinner.

commercially unreasonable!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010543)

Just what the hell is "commercially unreasonable" thought the whole point of a commercial company was to make as much profit as possible.

This article talks nonsense. (1)

Qwertie (797303) | about 6 months ago | (#47010637)

I don't think the author of this article has a clue:

But if you buy, say, a 35 Mbps broadband plan, your ISP will be required to deliver all content to you at at least that speed.

No, if you buy a 35 Mbps plan means that under no circumstances will you receive content faster than 35 Mbps. It's the maximum, not the minimum, and who doesn't know this? Boo "Brian Fung", technology writer for The Washington Post.

It's not physically possible to guarantee 35 Mbps transfer rates, since the theoretical maximum speed is always the speed at which the server can send out the data, which could be 35 Mbps or 1 Kbps. 35 Mbps would merely be the last-mile speed, with all kinds of unadvertised potential bottlenecks elsewhere in the network.

Net neutrality isn't about guaranteeing a minumum speed, it's about having ISPs do their job--providing approximately the service advertised by building enough capacity at both sides of their network, both at the homes and at the connections to other ISPs, backbones, and popular data sources. Without net neutrality, ISPs in a monopoly or duopoly situation have an incentive to neglect that other side of the network, to NOT build more capacity but just give existing capacity to those that pay.

TOECDN solves mostly all of your problems (0)

fredan (54788) | about 6 months ago | (#47010767)

Your ISP sells you a product which they know is oversold in capacity. Instead of fixing their capacity problem they now try to get you a their consumer to not use their product (the cap limit).

The concept of TOECDN solves the distribution of static content on the Internet. NetFlix, Youtube, Steam and whatever you are using to go over your cap can and should be fixed by TOECDN.

TOECDN place the cache server as close as possible to you as a consumer - even with the possibility to have your own cache server at home!

If you place cache-servers within the ISP networks, they, as a benefit, don't have to upgrade their networks connection to be able to push out more data to their consumers.

Before anyone reply and say: it won't work, it will never work, I will make sure its not going to work, I have invested heavenly in CDN companies stocks so your solution can not see the light, etc...

I would like to ask you: How does _your_ solution looks like to be able to let anyone on the Internet to cache their content on cache-servers within a ISP?

http://www.toecdn.org/ [toecdn.org]

TOECDN solves mostly all of your problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011095)

No thanks. I'd rather have the Internet work instead.

How to destroy net neutrality in three easy steps (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | about 6 months ago | (#47010921)

  1. Get the FCC to allow ISPs to make sweetheart deals with content providers, but subject to FCC supervision. (Done)
  2. Starve the FCC of resources so that supervision becomes impossible. One way to do this: refuse to appoint FCC commissioners, so that they can't form a quorum --- just as happened to the FEC in 2008 [washingtonpost.com] .
  3. Profit! (Literally!)

lame (0, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47010925)

Lets regulate netflix instead.

99% of slashdot doesn't even want to admit there's a problem.

Netlfix (and yes, this is entirely about netflix and almost no-one else) has no finacial reason to be responsible with how they transmit data. Every ISP out there hates them. Not because they compete. Netflix is one of the few reasons people haven't gone entirely to their cellphones for the internet. What they hate is that Netflix is completely irresponsible when it comes to how they handle transmitting their data. No Cache. No real peering. They switch networks seemingly at random with no notification. All at tremendous detriment to the ISPs network.

The ISPs don't want to end net neutrality. Quite the opposite. Traffic shaping and bandwidth caps are expensive. You need equipment and people to deal with that. But they have to make Netflix poor network decisions hurt netflix. It's the only way they can see to reign them in. The FCC's answer is what you see here. I think it's a terrible idea.

What I'd suggest is something a bit more reasonable. Why is it that Netflix is unregulated? They're basically a broadcaster right? Why not get the ISPs together with Netflix and come up with some industry standards? If you're going to supply 34% of the content during peak usage, why shouldn't you be under some obligation to do it in a way that wasn't going to harm the network? Wouldn't that be more reasonable than the insanity they're suggesting now?

Or are we going to continue to pretend there's this vast ISP conspiracy to stop you from using the internet because losing customers is somehow possible?

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