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Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the they-can-tell-which-way-the-wind-is-blowing dept.

The Internet 208

Presto Vivace writes with news that the FCC's suggested net neutrality rules are facing opposition in Congress. "FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took the hot seat today in an oversight hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to testify about current issues before his agency, including net neutrality. The overriding theme of the day? Pretty much everyone who spoke hates the rule the FCC narrowly approved for consideration last week — just for different reasons." Wheeler himself made some interesting comments in response to their questions: "[He said] the agency recognizes that Internet providers would be disrupting a 'virtuous cycle' between the demand for free-flowing information on one hand and new investment in network upgrades on the other if they started charging companies like Google for better access to consumers. What's more, he said, the FCC would have the legal authority to intervene. 'If there is something that interferes with that virtuous cycle — which I believe paid prioritization does — then we can move against it,' Wheeler said, speaking loudly and slowly. A little later, in response to a question from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Wheeler cited network equipment manufacturers who've argued that you can't create a fast lane without worsening service for some Internet users. 'That's at the heart of what you're talking about here,' Wheeler said. 'That would be commercially unreasonable under our proposal.'" Here are instructions for how to send your comment to the FCC for those so inclined.

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Low will they stoop (-1, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#47052445)

Low will they stoop,
The FCC, but like hair
On the Blue Man Group,
Internet RF spectrum AIN'T THERE!
Burma Shave

Re:Low will they stoop (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 5 months ago | (#47052773)

Low will they stoop,

The FCC, but like hair

On the Blue Man Group,

Internet RF spectrum AIN'T THERE!

Burma Shave

The FCC like butt hair?

Re:Low will they stoop (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#47053013)

They especially like butthair on popcorn.

We can still win this one. (5, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 5 months ago | (#47052475)

The cards are stacked against us, but if enough people ask them to reclassify Internet broadband as common carriers the FCC will cave and do the right thing.

Re:We can still win this one. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052739)

FYI, When filing these comments, choose your words carefully as they will be publicly posted online under your real name for anyone to read in the future.

mods, please mod parent up! (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 5 months ago | (#47053045)

excellent point, all comments to the FCC are part of the public record.

Re:We can still win this one. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#47052813)

The cards are stacked against us, but if enough people ask them to reclassify Internet broadband as common carriers the FCC will cave and do the right thing.

Nonsense. Since when did the "people's" views make a difference in this (and many other) issues? The fact is that broadband providers and other big Internet interests simply haven't yet ponied up enough cash. It's like Government X tooting about how they are going to dump Microsoft for some Linux distro and OpenOffice... It's usually a thinly veiled request for financial consideration.

Re:We can still win this one. (4, Informative)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 5 months ago | (#47053399)

Nonsense. Since when did the "people's" views make a difference in this (and many other) issues?

In the current political climate, it is very easy to become discouraged. Please don't let that keep you from letting your representatives know how you wish to be represented. Occasionally, it opens doors that were previously closed.

You CAN influence FCC rules, I have (5, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47053431)

Your post pretty well covered the popular meme on Slashdot. In fact you really CAN influence FCC rule making, I have. I had the opportunity to observe several rounds of 2257 rule making and participating in one around. The FCC does in fact incorporate well reasoned comments into their rules. Chairman Wheeler KNOWS that the proposed rules have problems. He testified it has problems. The problem is, there's not currently a better proposal. "Pretend that they are telephone companies, call them common carriers" is the common refrain on Slashdot. Unfortunately regulating the entire year United States Internet is a little bit more complex than a headline. There's a REASON he isn't categorizing ISPs as telephone companies. If you want to participate directly, you will l need to find out what the problem is, why it doesn't work to just call them common carriers and think that's going to solve anything. What problems does that cause? It does cause real problems, that would really affect you. If you come to understand what those problems are then you can file comments and make a proposal to actually solve the problem. As I mentioned I've done the same with 2257. Actually understand the issues -understand why common carrier status is not by itself an answer and then you can propose actual solutions. The FCC does listen to actual solutions, they listened to mine. Mindlessly repeating a slogan doesn't help them come up with rules that actually work, though.

Re:We can still win this one. (3, Funny)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 5 months ago | (#47052843)

The cards are stacked against us, but if enough people ask them to reclassify Internet broadband as common carriers the FCC will cave and do the right thing.

That's only if "people" mean George, Abraham, Alexander, Andrew, Ulysses, and Benjamin.

Re:We can still win this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053451)

That's only if "people" mean George, Abraham, Alexander, Andrew, Ulysses, and Benjamin.

You forgot Jefferson (on the $2 bill).

Re:We can still win this one. (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 5 months ago | (#47053549)

You missed McKinley, Cleveland, Madison, Chase and Wilson.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

You already won, this was the prize (-1, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47052909)

You all wanted control of the internet to go to a government tightly coupled to large corporations.

Congratulations, you got what you wanted.

Re:You already won, this was the prize (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#47053141)

1. Who is this "you all" which you're referring to?
2. What makes you think that "you all" want a government which is "tightly coupled to large corporations"?

Actions Speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053483)

2. What makes you think that "you all" want a government which is "tightly coupled to large corporations"?

Slashdot these days mostly pumps candidates that do exactly that. So do you; therefore it is what you want. Even if you will not admit it.

The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052491)

The internet should not fall under their purview. The FCC can regulate radio... we need something for that. We don't need them regulating the internet at all.

What we need are market forces. Competition. If the big ISPs had some they couldn't play games without threatening their market share.

That is how you regulate them. By letting customers vote with their feet.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (5, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47052535)

You can NOT have competition without regulation. What you have is a single monopoly.
This isn't selling 10 dollar t-shirts, it's infrastructure. How do you propose the market would solve thins? how would you want to ahve everyone who want to compete to have to dig up your yard and street?

You idea is foolish and naive at best. It flies in the face of history. There has NEVER been a similar situation that when unregulated goes well fore the consumer.
Read more history and less Fox.

TO anyone who has read the history of the markets, you statement look stupid.. no not stupid, fucking stupid.

*cough*Rent control*cough* (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#47052709)

There has NEVER been a similar situation that when unregulated goes well for the consumer.

Basic economics [amazon.com]
Regulation is like salt in the food. Maybe a little, if the ingredients aren't bringing enough on their own.

Re:*cough*Rent control*cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052795)

Rent control in San Francisco works. San Francisco rent control doesn't drive up rental prices as much as you think. For one thing, any building built after 1978 is not subject to rent control. Rent control works to help low- and middle- income people a stable living environment. It's a tax on the young for the benefit of the older. And it's a good thing, IMO. If a city only has a bunch of rich young people, most of whom will move to the suburbs eventually anyway, you'll end up with more crime as neighborhoods go through vicious boom and bust cycles. Empty streets breed crime. If you want families, you need to ensure they're not going to priced out of their home in 5 years.

The real problem in San Francisco is that it's difficult to build new apartment buildings. And that's not merely because of zoning (which is a major hurdle), but also because of transparency laws and very, very liberal due process laws regarding community input. That means activist groups (aka NIMBYs) can drag projects out for years and years.

Re:*cough*Rent control*cough* (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#47053003)

AC. . .Thomas Sowell. . .AC. . .I think you lose. Markets do not benefit from regulatory distortion.

Re:*cough*Rent control*cough* (-1, Troll)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 5 months ago | (#47053559)

Anyone who hates regulations, please move to Somalia. That's your Utopia. Stop stinking up over here with your pseudo intellectual drivel.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052767)

Venetian traders competed with Greek traders and there was no effective regulation between them besides mutual interest and some treaties.

I am not saying have no law or regulation of any kind. I am rather saying the regulation should be there to ensure a few basic features that if maintained ensure all other features that would be harder to manage.

Here is the regulation we need:

1. State and local governments must be required to allow communications cables to pass through their territory and connect to their residents without interference. A reasonable tax on those cables and leasing of the poles/underground pipes is acceptable however those taxes must not be so excessive that they cause companies not to lease the space in at all. This is the BIGGEST reason we don't have more competition right now. Leasing fees are very high and largely unaffordable for smaller companies.

The fee structure must scale with the business that leases the space. So if I want to put cable on 20 poles and I have 5 customers, I shouldn't be expected to pay AT&T rates for leasing every god damn pole in the city.

Furthermore, ISPs should be encouraged to both maintain their own cables and maintain the poles. As such, local governments would incur no expense because the ISPs would be paying for all upkeep.

2. Establish an internet integration cooperative that has two rules. First that anyone can join the network. Second that anyone inside the network must allow other groups in the network to connect to their network.

If a given organization doesn't want to allow a competitor to connect to the network then they're in breach and everyone else in the network can disconnect from them at will.

This system would self regulate. Yes, if any network became large enough then no one could afford to disconnect from them. However, if there are always lots of networks then no one can afford to disconnect.

3. Allow alternatives to the internet itself. Part of the reason we're getting this fast lane talk is that some organizations would like to bypass the internet entirely. Allow them to do that. The finance industry for example would likely like to have much of their communications flow over private proprietary cables. Same for the military. Same for the universities. Allow it. The more people running cable the better.

This includes private networks. Imagine if your neighborhood wanted to set up its own network that connected all the homes in your neighborhood together. The information and resources not being accessible outside your network. Allow it. Encourage it. The costs are meaningless. The cost of running a Cat5 cable around town with some weatherized switches spread about.

4. Require ISPs to cite the terms of their contracts in their advertisements. If they're slowing down traffic, then put that in the advertisement. Then customers can decide if they want to do business with them.

5. As to slowing down the traffic of other ISPs and not your own customers... that goes back to the trade organization I said we'd need. If a given ISP started filtering other member's traffic then they could have the same done to them in turn or other punitive actions.

Do the above and the internet would largely self regulate. Between the market forces and the trade organization most ISPs would understand that actions have reactions... and the ones that didn't understand would get crushed by competitors.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 5 months ago | (#47052859)

#1 is critically important. It is my understanding that getting land rights to put up poles and lay cable is the largest hurdle for many potential providers, to the point of making it cost prohibitive. And who is lobbying to keep it that way? The one provider already in the area. This must be fixed. I agree with you that a free-er (as opposed to completely free) market solution is the best. We just need some ground rules to ensure that competition can be made fair.

Too many people are looking to strong-arm the companies with strict regulation instead of looking at the situation and providing an environment in which the free market can work. We haven't really had a chance for the free market to work, and #1 is a great example of why, so we haven't seen what the free market can do in this sector.

Let's try the less-government solution first. If that doesn't work, then we can go to the more-government later. We can ALWAYS get more government later. It's excruciatingly difficult to go the other direction.

Re: The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052989)

Really? Poles and cables? The future is wireless. Actually, the present is wireless. Poles and cables for anything but electricity is archaic. Every time this topic comes up, it always boils down to the poles and cables. Get rid of the poles and cables and you get rid of 99% of this problem.

Re: The FCC has no right to dictate terms (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 5 months ago | (#47053135)

Really? Poles and cables? The future is wireless. Actually, the present is wireless. Poles and cables for anything but electricity is archaic. Every time this topic comes up, it always boils down to the poles and cables. Get rid of the poles and cables and you get rid of 99% of this problem.

Then why is Google spending so much money on fiber to the home? As RF frequencies increase (since there's only so much bandwidth available at the lower frequencies - a 100Mhz channel at 900Mhz takes up relatively more spectrum than a 100Mhz channel at 10Ghz), cell sizes decrease due to lower propagation and penetration of the higher frequencies to a point where it takes a Wireless access point at every house (or possibly in every room in the house) to provide equivalent throughput to wired infrastructure.

Re: The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053579)

You're a moron. Don't speak in this forum when you're so obviously uninformed on the topic.

Re: The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

sremick (91371) | about 5 months ago | (#47053645)

You obviously haven't lived or even traveled anywhere where there are mountains.

Newsflash: the world isn't flat, and radio signals have difficulty passing through hundreds (or thousands) of feet of solid rock.

There's no cell service where I live. Radio reception is fuzzy. I can barely get satellite TV due to the position of the mountains. My internet has to be DSL as Comcast will never run cable out here.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about 5 months ago | (#47053573)

#1 is critically important. It is my understanding that getting land rights to put up poles and lay cable is the largest hurdle for many potential providers, to the point of making it cost prohibitive. And who is lobbying to keep it that way? The one provider already in the area. This must be fixed. I agree with you that a free-er (as opposed to completely free) market solution is the best. We just need some ground rules to ensure that competition can be made fair.

Too many people are looking to strong-arm the companies with strict regulation instead of looking at the situation and providing an environment in which the free market can work. We haven't really had a chance for the free market to work, and #1 is a great example of why, so we haven't seen what the free market can do in this sector.

Let's try the less-government solution first. If that doesn't work, then we can go to the more-government later. We can ALWAYS get more government later. It's excruciatingly difficult to go the other direction.

No, you idiot, because this: http://trillastravels.files.wo... [wordpress.com]

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Maltheus (248271) | about 5 months ago | (#47052849)

Do you remember having to count your minutes on long distance calls, because it was so expensive? Even local calls were more expensive than they are today, without even having to account for inflation. And none of it came with free text messaging. Perhaps you ought to read a little history yourself.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 months ago | (#47053179)

And none of it came with free text messaging. Perhaps you ought to read a little history yourself.

I had free SMS text messaging in 1993-95, before the telcos figured out that they could charge extra for a service that basically cost them nothing after the initial installation, as it only used unused bandwidth.
Perhaps you should read a little history yourself too.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053373)

TO anyone who has read the history of the markets, you statement look stupid.. no not stupid, fucking stupid.

Who looks stupid?

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47052545)

Any ideas to get that competition thing going?

Personally, I support making the actual last mile wiring a public utility. Let ISPs share them.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052603)

If you do that then the last mile will be controlled by a government union and the actual capabilities of that last mile will be set by that union.

Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

I don't. So lets not do that.

As to competition, the real problem is in last mile delivery. Its very hard for small ISPs to get started without making extensive use of their competitor's cable.

This is because typically at the local level it is very hard to run your own cable. Not logistically or financially but legally. The local regulations on leasing poles and being able to run your own cable is arcane and often prohibitive.

There are also very high taxes either per pole or per customer or per some other metric. its very confused and the system was designed mostly by local governments to milk big ISPs and phone companies of revenue.

The issue is that while a big company can afford those taxes, a small company often cannot. Therefore the taxes effectively create monopolies because no one else can compete with them because of the leasing fees.

My solution for competition would be use interstate commerce legislation to relax and rationalize those leasing fees so they're uniform, accessible to small operators, and not so high as to bar small operators from running their own cable.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (3, Insightful)

theskipper (461997) | about 5 months ago | (#47052649)

In other words, regulation?

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#47052785)

In other words, tell the FCC to forget the regulatory creep.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052835)

most of the regulation we need is on state and cities not on the ISPs themselves. The issue is that the local governments are interfering with the ability of ISPs to run cable. The result is that only large ISPs can run cable. Which means that the only ISPs running cable to your door are large ISPs. Those ISPs generally enjoy regional monopolies and therefore do not compete. And it is that lack of competition that allows this situation to occur.

So yes... regulation... but not on the ISPs. Government must be restrained from fucking up the system. That is my point.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

Known Nutter (988758) | about 5 months ago | (#47053311)

How many ISP's would you say is reasonable to have hanging off those poles outside? There is only a finite amount of space available on those poles and they are rated to handle a specific amount of load. Who should be responsible for engineering this? How many companies do you want climbing up and down them, interfering with existing power and telco infrastructure? Who would pay for the pole change-outs necessary to accommodate all of this? The small ISP who wants to hang a cable or two?

Can the "small" ISP carry a sufficient amount of liability insurance for such an installation?

There are specific requirements for the construction and maintenance of overhead lines. In California, that's the PUC and General Order 95. [ca.gov] Who would monitor and inspect for compliance when all these "small" ISPs start hanging stuff on the infrastructure?

I agree with you in principle, but there are a number of practical considerations beyond simply un-fucking the local government, who oftentimes don't even own the poles...the utility does with right-of-way authority granted by the state. Local governments are a small part of the overall problem.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053369)

As to how many ISPs per pole... The poles obviously have their rated limits. However, as more ISPs use the same pole the ability to upgrade the pole to something that takes a bigger load increases.

So I see no reason to limit them at all. If ten or twenty ISPs are on the same pole then there shouldn't be any need for an upgrade. The poles can certainly handle that load. Now if hundreds wanted to use the same pole we might have to go with a tunnel, pipe, or a bigger pole. Either way, if you had hundreds going through there the leasing fees paid by each would collectively be enough to afford whatever you needed.

So I see no reason to restrict them at all.

I do not think you'll get more then a dozen in any area simply because the economics of running that much redundant cable should probably make that prohibitive.

However, I will let the market decide how much cable it wants to run. I'm assuming that in rural areas you'll get two to four providers, in suburban ares you might get a dozen, in urban areas you might get fifty to a hundred.

It all works out to customers per square mile. If it is practical provide access to rural customers that might only have 100 customers per square mile then what happens in an urban area where there might be as many as a 500,000 people in a square mile.

You see... customers per square mile. That's the math.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

Known Nutter (988758) | about 5 months ago | (#47053467)

With all due respect, you don't know anything about line construction. Do you want this hanging outside your house? [wordpress.com] While overstated, that is essentially what you'll end up with.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052841)

In other words, regulation?

Heh... careful all the Atlas Shrugged wielding dweebs will have their heads asplode.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (5, Insightful)

frinsore (153020) | about 5 months ago | (#47052793)

Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

People tend to hate comcast more then the Post Office, so... yes?

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053023)

Enjoy having no progress of innovation on the internet ever again then...

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 5 months ago | (#47053225)

Progress is better than regress, and you don't really need that much innovation to have dumb pipes.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 months ago | (#47053229)

Yeah, because ISPs are just blowing us away with "innovation" now.

The only place "innovation" has happened in the US TeleCom industry in the last decade has been in the legal and billing departments.

I'll take the USPS over Comcast (5, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about 5 months ago | (#47052799)

Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

To be honest the post office has been stellar in terms of last-mile delivery. In fact, UPS and FedEx rely on USPS for many hard-to-reach delivery spots. USPS has relatively low rates for postage, and price increases have been incredibly low over time.

Compared to Comcast who has every incentive to screw me over repeatedly every year in order to get more profits and blame companies like Netflix/Hulu for poor performance, I'll take the USPS. Even if it means slower rates.

Re:I'll take the USPS over Comcast (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053193)

The USPS is subsidized. If the stamps actually cost what the USPS costs then you'd be singing another tune.

Re:I'll take the USPS over Comcast (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053481)

USPS has not received any subsidy from the US government since 1982.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (5, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | about 5 months ago | (#47052823)

Wow. You really -are- stupid, that higher up post was not an anomaly. I'm sure a lot of people just passed over your comment with a sigh, but I'm going to do you a favor.

First, you seem to think that the US Postal service is somehow inept or inefficient, but you are wrong. NO ONE at the top floor of ANY competitor of the USPS agrees with you. Get some facts without page-view seeking bullshit, or Corporate Propaganda here:
http://www.rooseveltinstitute.... [rooseveltinstitute.org]

Second, you seem to think laws that prevent low-budget startups from ripping through our sidewalks are -ARCANE-. You better stay the hell outta my town.

Third, the last mile is absolutely pulbic infrastructure just like water and electricity (do you want the post office to bring you power?) , and Tacoma Click! is a perfect example of this done right. More than a dozen ISP's to pick from.

Finally, you are trying to find ideological solutions to technical problems and that means ALL OF YOUR IDEAS ARE STUPID. Wake up to the fact that you have manipulated into the world view you hold.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

spitzak (4019) | about 5 months ago | (#47053371)

Yay, finally somebody responding intelligently to this John Galt idiot.

The idea that it is the inability to add new wires, and only due to regulations and not the cost, is what is stopping competion is so obviously blindingly wrong. He is just trying desperately to keep up his fantasy that the invisible hand always works with a ridiculous plea that somehow it is the eeeeevil gvmnt!!!!

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 5 months ago | (#47053493)

I dunno... I ordered something by 2 day mail and it was shipped via USPS. It was shipped Thursday of last week. It's still not here. This is not uncommon. FedEx and UPS don't seem to have these problems.

I know, I know - anecdotal, one person - but it's is annoying to have people scream that USPS is the pinnacle of efficiency when 2 day shipping regularly turns into 4 and 5 days.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47052853)

How do you explain the municipal ISPs (where they managed to get past the raft of lawsuits from ISPs) that are several times faster AND cheaper.

But if they go with actual fiber, the capabilities are for the most part dictated by the equipment at either end.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052991)

Why do I need to explain them? Their existence argues for my solution more then any other.

The point is that competition is good. Monopolies are bad.

If you want a local ISP to be run by your city or town, I have NO problem with that. Just don't forbid competition or force people to belong or pay for your service.

If your service is good then by out competing your rivals you will thrive.

If your service sucks or is expensive then people will drop it.

That is all I want. The ability to fire bad providers and hire good ones. Nothing more.

Let the customer decide on an individual basis what is and is not acceptable. And give them enough options that those decisions matter.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47053377)

Just so long as you know those municipal ISPs were made up of those government union people. And since they built out because the other telecoms refused to, they had no active competition (but didn't forbid it).

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053423)

My only issue with municipal ISPs is when they are subsidized by tax dollars.

If they operate entirely on customer subscription fees, then I don't mind them.

If they either forbid competition for force people to pay for their services then I am against them in the same way I would if a corporation forced people to use their service.

I do not like monopolies maintained at gun point. And when the government forces you to use their service or pay for their service they do so at gun point. Try to not pay them. See what happens. At some point men with guns will show up and shoot you.

I support the government's right to have this power WHEN it is required. But ONLY when it is required.

Establishing a municipal ISP is not something the government should have the right to shoot people over. Thus they have no right to compel anyone to use or pay for it or forbid others to come up with other systems.

The government has a right to shoot people to stop other people from victimizing people. They have a right to shoot to protect. To stop murder, rape, theft, etc.

If nothing of that nature is happening they have no right to shoot anyone.

That is my position. It is further my position that to hold any other position is to invite tyranny.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#47052903)

Because fiber is hard? A pure fiber last mile with CWDM works without letting the muni's get into speeds protocols etc. Is it a lot of glass sure but it's a one time thing fiber from 40 years ago still works.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

spitzak (4019) | about 5 months ago | (#47053359)

Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

The answer would be yes.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053655)

Okay... have fun with .5 megabits forever.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47053469)

Personally, I support making the actual last mile wiring a public utility. Let ISPs share them.

That is the wrong way to do it. The right way is to install a 6" wide publicly owned conduit. That is enough for thousands of fibers. Then let any bonded company pull fiber through it. The government should own the roads, not the trucks.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052613)

The internet should not fall under their purview. The FCC can regulate radio... we need something for that. We don't need them regulating the internet at all.

What we need are market forces. Competition. If the big ISPs had some they couldn't play games without threatening their market share.

That is how you regulate them. By letting customers vote with their feet.

What we need are market forces. Competition. If the big ISPs had some they couldn't play games without threatening their market share.

What competition? Even Google is being blocked from laying fibre. When cities have tried to break the stranglehold themselves the big ISPs tied it up in court until the attempt died.
Market forces dont work when mafia-like cartels can operate with impunity to protect their monopoly.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052929)

You contradict yourself. What blocked google's fiber?

A court case? Therefore the government.

Therefore it is not lack of regulation that is stopping google's fiber, but bad regulation enforced by the government.

Thank you for agreeing with me.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 months ago | (#47053251)

Without the government, there would be NO last mile cable. They're the ones who use "eminent domain" to stop the crotchety old man on the corner from refusing to sell access at any price, and forcing homeowners to perpetually suffer ugly PVC pipes to stick out of their front lawns.

The government is already involved at this level. All they have to do is call that "last mile" a public utility rather than handing off monopolies to whoever gives them the best blowjob.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053295)

Right because if I say regulations need to be limited it means i really am advocating total anarchy with no government at all...

Which is MORONIC as if I suggested that because you wanted increased regulations that you wanted a police state.

Do you want a police state or was your argument stupid?

Pick one. Either it is valid to suggest you want a police state or it was foolish argument that you should apologize for making.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

spitzak (4019) | about 5 months ago | (#47053379)

Yea right, you can keep believing that.

You really have no concept of reality, do you?

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

bmo (77928) | about 5 months ago | (#47052627)

>Competition

Here in Concord NH, that Tea Potty Paradise, there is a duopoly

Expensive broadband that tops out at 15Mbps but with a company that sort-of caters to the consumer (no caps, no filtering of torrents, etc) - Fairpoint - a Verizon spinoff that was saddled with debt.

Or....

Comcast, a company that is mind-blowingly bad to deal with, has caps, will filter your torrents/other traffic, but has higher speeds.

Neither of which are really any good.

Competition? Where the fuck is it?

--
BMO

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47052887)

Just because you have a cable company and a DSL provider doesn't mean you have competition.

Most places in the US have that.

Duopoloies furthermore are quite common throughout the US. What I am talking about are multiple cable companies and multiple DSL providers and multiple fiber providers all offering last mile delivery.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052631)

Hmm, hadn't thought of that. I, for one, will be calling Karma's Cable Internet Service tomorrow so I can dump Comcast and switch to them instead. After all, regulation's not required, in a free market Comcast shouldn't have a problem sharing the only cable line to my house for a reasonable fee...

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 5 months ago | (#47052659)

The internet should not fall under their purview. The FCC can regulate radio... we need something for that. We don't need them regulating the internet at all.

What we need are market forces. Competition. If the big ISPs had some they couldn't play games without threatening their market share.

That is how you regulate them. By letting customers vote with their feet.

Are you a shill or just plain stupid? The result of letting the internet do it's own thing is exactly what is the problem. They're trying to create a two tier internet and slow down people who don't pay a premium for acceptable service.

And how is it exactly we're supposed to vote with our feet when there's like 2 internet providers (in a lot of cases just 1) available to any one location?

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 5 months ago | (#47052711)

And how is it exactly we're supposed to vote with our feet when there's like 2 internet providers (in a lot of cases just 1) available to any one location?

You can get DirecTV!

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47052889)

this is the internet you fool

you get netflix and steal the rest

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47052683)

Sorry for the flame but... are you really that much of a dumba**? Market forces are the very thing making this damn traffic prioritization bullsh*t possible. The ISPs are the ones pushing this and doing everything in their power to prevent their regulation as common carrier. The barriers to entry ensure natural monopolies and the exploitative powers that come along with that. BTW. the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) are by definition the folks that should be responsible for this.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (3, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 5 months ago | (#47053017)

Even all but the most insane Libertarians understand that some regulation is necessary to prevent bad outcomes. I once heard a speech by Ron Paul, of all people, defend environmental regulations on the grounds that one doesn't have the right to pollute their neighbor's air or water.

Network neutrality is that sort of regulation.

There do exist other sort of "gotcha" regulations like HIPAA that are so detailed as to be nothing more than a paperwork minefield designed to crank the costs of compliance through the roof for smaller players, while adding maybe the paperclip budget to the cost of the bigger ones, while generally serving little to no real-world purpose.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (-1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053073)

Right, because I must be advocating literal anarchy if I oppose any increase in regulations what so ever.

That argument is moronic as if I suggested you were advocating a police state because you pushed for more regulations.

Can you put a block on the hyperbole please... it makes it impossible to have a rational discussion.

I've come around to socialism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053085)

I have been averse to socialism, but I have changed my opinion on the last mile for housing. Ultimately, what is being paid for is a cable half a mile to several miles in length, putting that cable in the ground, and networking equipment on both ends. The market for cables, networking equipment, and ditch digging machinery is really big. One can easily go to the free market companies, and they will sell you all the cables, networking equipment, and ditch digging machinery that you need. There are even companies that have classes on how to operate that equipment, that even a high school dropout can understand.

Still, it costs money to buy the stuff, and labor put it in the ground. It takes a lot of money to do that, but not much brains. A bunch of trained monkeys could do it. The city should do it, because of the amount of money and permitting involved, but not much else on its part. So, bring on the socialized last mile.

Re:I've come around to socialism (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47053257)

Explain why the government should do that.

By your same logic, the government could mow your lawn as well or paint your house. But I wouldn't hire them to do either.

Just because the government might be able to do something does not mean they should.

To the contrary, government should only do what they MUST do... if we put government in charge of everything they COULD do then they could chew your food for you as well.

I would just assume not have that happen though.

Explain why the government MUST do this... not whether or not they can.

Re:I've come around to socialism (2)

spitzak (4019) | about 5 months ago | (#47053389)

Because it would allow competion, stupid.

Just like your fantasy that somehow the it is ok for every competitor to add a new wire running to every house in the city, and that somehow the cost to them of doing this is zero.

Except it would work. The startup would only have to connect to the shared end of the fiber.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (1)

qeveren (318805) | about 5 months ago | (#47053247)

What you need is the gov't to come along as say "Hey our nation's telecommunications infrastructure is critical to the nation's security, so we're nationalizing it," and then they take it away from the telcos and sell access back to them. Job done.

Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (4, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#47053475)

The 'market' is trying to destroy the internet by owning it all under one umbrella and dole out tiny bits to consumers for as absolutely much money as they can squeeze out of us. I have to wonder, do you actually know what a free market is? The ISP market is nothing like a free market situation. Neither is cable television, but although that is a different subject, it is still related due to the cable companies being major broadband players in this water sprinkler. (Not extensive enough to be called a pool.)

There's basically a few ways to handle this.
One: Let the companies do what they want. That will be an utter nightmare for consumers, and due to the growing necessity of the internet and all it's related data services, it would totally screw all of the populace of this country. Dumbest choice possible.
Two: Regulate the companies properly. Let's face it, they are really providing a necessary utility these days, just like power and water. Make them toe the line. The companies would hate this, but they get to stay in the game.
Three: Since it is a utility that the corporations have already shown they can't be trusted to manage, have it become ran by the government. Although the government isn't the most efficient organization, they also aren't trying to suck every last cent out of your cash anemic self as they don't have a profit motive. Expansion and improvement are likely to be slow, but then again, the corporations were already given massive bonuses in tax exemptions or write offs and many other ways by the government, and they still haven't delivered the very things they agreed to as a requirement for receiving that aid. For that matter, they've demanded several more times the previous largesses just to do what they were already supposed to have done. Looks like the government won't do any worse for the consumer than the companies are already screwing up.

What's the right choice? I couldn't really say, but the status quo of #1 has already proven it's a failure, so it at least is NOT the right choice. For the other two, I guess it really depends on how it's done.

The concept of "Natural Monopoly" (2)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about 5 months ago | (#47053641)

"Natural Monopolies" are an economic concept. [investopedia.com] These are industries in which the barriers to entry are so high that new competitors are blocked from entering. Infrastructure is commonly cited - power lines, power stations, the last mile infrastructure. The same goes for most infrastructure - telephone lines, cable lines, oil and gas pipelines, railroads.

So, there's no way to let customers vote with their feet in natural monopolies. There are no competitors. Hence the need for regulation to avoid the problem of monopolies, which is "monopoly pricing." [wikipedia.org]

also (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47052499)

send your comment to your elected officials in congress.

Sure... (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#47052857)

send your comment to your elected officials in congress.

...Along with a stack of non-sequential Ben Franklins... You just might get their attention.

Thats Fixable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052509)

We will cheer Congress right up with a few friendly visits from your local neighborhood lobbyist and some campaign contributions.

The fat airbags in congress.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47052559)

Will do nothing but flap their lips. They cant even pass a bill they ALL agree on.

Re:The fat airbags in congress.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052907)

Plenty of bills have passed the House. Its the Senate that can't seem to even get a vote on anything. Any guesses on who is in charge of that?

Re:The fat airbags in congress.... (2)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#47053133)

Since a) It takes 3/5 of the Senate to vote for cloture, and b) there are 53 Senators with the Democratic Party and 2 Independents that caucus with the Democrats, the answer is "a group of at least 5 Republican Senators".

Re:The fat airbags in congress.... (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#47053585)

Since a) It takes 3/5 of the Senate to vote for cloture, and b) there are 53 Senators with the Democratic Party and 2 Independents that caucus with the Democrats, the answer is "a group of at least 5 Republican Senators".

Technically the answer is "whichever Senator said (s)he's going to filibuster [legislation]"

In other words, the Senate would be humming along just fine with 51 votes if mostly Republican Senators didn't keep filibustering everything.

But what do cars have to do with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052629)

Obligatory analogy
Its like if cars were driving on sidewalks killing people... wait no. If cars exploded, darn. If GM bought the road into your neighborhood and wouldn't let you drive a Toyota on it. Its not that far fetched as some roads and major bridges are in private hands.

The solution is you split to company. Data line owners are not allowed to provide content.

Re:But what do cars have to do with this? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47052713)

Nice. Campaign contribution reform would remove some of the idiocracy, but so would your solution, much the same as telephone industry regulation that forced ATT to divest itself of the network of poles to level that playing field.

Re:But what do cars have to do with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052807)

Campaign contribution reform would help immensely with a LOT of problems beyond this. Lets face it, its just a different name for bribes so everything is A-OK! How the hell else did (for example) copyrights go from 20 to 17,000 years.

Sorry for the AC posts I am too lazy to log in

Re:But what do cars have to do with this? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 months ago | (#47053513)

I am as much in favor of net neutrality as anyone, but I totally disagree with this decision.

It would completely stifle creativity - one of the big reasons you have the great content on cable TV is because those "data line owners" (like Comcast, Time Warner, Verison, AT&T, DirecTV, etc) have invested a lot of money in the independent cable channels. Which makes sense - it's in their interest to encourage content that is only available with a premium monthly fee on their service. The future of TV content is going to be premium monthly subscriptions or pay per episode/season/etc. The OTA networks are screwed now that there are so many ways so avoid watching the commercials that support them...

"Virtuous Cycle" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052661)

Gotta make this a dirty word, like "Too big too fail."

Did anyone in the meeting ask if these rules will help the US not have one of the worst performing and most costly internet in the developed world?

Message your congress people (4, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 5 months ago | (#47052831)

I messaged mine. Back with SOPA, I stated it was a free speech issue. Hollywood shouldn't have the right to censor people. My senator sent out a form letter to everyone,"SOPA is not a free speech issue" after I messaged him. But later he recanted and messaged everyone that SOPA was a free speech issue.

incorrect title (0)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#47052949)

Lobbyists Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

Unfortunately... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#47053061)

A minority are opposed to the FCC's proposal to turn the internet into cable TV. The remainder are unhappy that the FCC's proposal doesn't directly sell everybody into indentured servitude to their local monopoly ISP.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 5 months ago | (#47053495)

Indeed. Everyone who has come out against net neutrality has proven to be grossly ignorant about the situation, and they use extremely vague terms without providing specifics. The saddest part is that net neutrality started out with a lot of non-partisan support; then the big Internet monopolies greased the right wheels with copious amounts of cash and BAM. Opposition to net neutrality is now the official party line for republicans. What a joke.

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053657)

The wheeler proposal is interesting because it allows market forces* to work it out, like some liberal "come at me bro". I can't figure out who is shilling anymore but who I can sure tell who is spending to much time watching the ball to know how the trick works.

*Oh and by the way states can no longer pass laws preventing municipal FTTH

easy to pass net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053317)

Democrats (love regulation) generally like it but Republicans (hate regulation) don't. So:

1. Obama appointees pretend to be against net neutrality, going so far as to propose rules against it.
2. Republicans, who hate anything Democrats are in favor of, even if they used to like it (cap and trade, Obamacare which is a copy of Romneycare, etc), suddenly love net neutrality.
3. Democrats fight enough to make it look good, then give in as they always do.
4. NET NEUTRALITY

Wanna hear my plan to balance the budget by raising taxes on the rich?

English please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053433)

Someone summarize that mess.

Who said what? What was the ruling the FCC approved? Which side is pro-NN?

They want the free market to decide? (1, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 months ago | (#47053449)

Ok, if they want to play hardball, I say let the free market decide - by the companies who are against it putting their money where their mouth is.

Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, etc should announce that any company demanding a fee for preferred bandwidth on their service will no longer be supported at ALL. If, say, Comcast starts charging for premium access, imagine how fast everyone would switch to AT&T or Verizon. Make the providers tout it as a feature instead of a weakness. They are all making money hand over fist as is (Comcast made $1.9B in net income last QUARTER) so gaining customer with the status quo would beat losing tons of slightly more profitable customers any daay.

DISH/Echostar is a good example of a company that plays this game well. They honestly don't give a shit about their customers (or employees) beyond the bottom line, but they do actually have the lowest prices because they are not afraid to play chicken with content providers (by dropping their channels during disputes) and haven't blinked yet...

market force: Let customers decide. (1)

lenski (96498) | about 5 months ago | (#47053567)

I tend to favor light regulation to ensure a level playing field, or alternatively a way to ensure a large enough pool of providers that customers have choices.

I really HATE the idea of reducing the market power of the end customer. It is my opinion that the current stream-of-consciousness rulemaking from the current FCC chair has that goal in mind. As things are progressing, with large content-providers being stuck with paying priority upcharge fees for the bandwidth and connectivity that THEY ALREADY PAY FOR, the ISPs (Comcast, TW, etc.) have another set of partners to collude with, without the need to satisfy the paying customers.

A plan that gives local ISPs a revenue stream other than their end customers is yet another erosion of the power of the customers in the marketplace, which is already so weak that we pay double or more for equivalent access than our international counterparts. Our market power is already severely limited by the lack of ISP choice in most communities, linked to the fact that there are only a few large providers nationwide.

I propose a rule requiring that an ISP's only source of income must be its customers. Is this "government regulation"? Or would it pass muster for the free market fundamentalists out there?

Camel's nose in the tent (3, Informative)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about 5 months ago | (#47053605)

Say there's a pesky blog that keeps posting pointed, critical commentary at NBC-Comcast or at a cause they support. If you allow prioritizing of data, shockingly, that site's traffic might receive the lowest priority possible, or intermittent blockage. The Internet is the last bastion of the free flow of ideas. That should be protected, strongly. Because if there's an opportunity to abuse the privilege of prioritizing data, in order to increase profit or stifle dissenting voices, it most assuredly will be abused.

Here is an informative 3 minute video highlighting some of the ways to abuse data prioritization. [youtube.com]

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