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9th Circuit Overturns FCC's Cable Modem Decision

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the giveth-and-taketh-away dept.

The Courts 344

Decaffeinated Jedi writes "According to this Washington Post article, a federal appeals court in California has overturned a Federal Communications Commission decision that many smaller companies claim has kept them locked out of the high-speed cable Internet business. As Chris Murry of Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) notes, 'Many consumers hate their cable companies' privacy policies and their failure to deal with spam effectively. Giving consumers a choice of Internet service providers would open the door to more competition, and let people choose services with better privacy and less spam.' As noted in News.com coverage of this decision, however, FCC chairman Michael Powell plans to appeal the ruling." Reader rednaxela provides some more insight (and a link to the ruling itself), below.

rednaxela writes "The 9th Circuit today issued a decision overturning the FCC's classification of cable modem service as an 'information service,' stating instead that cable modem service consists of both an 'information service' *and* a 'telecommunications service.' Telecommunications services are classified under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and are subject to all kinds of regulation. Information Services are classified under Title I, and are largely free from regulation. If upheld, this decision will likely require cable modem providers to open their networks to competing ISPs. Further, this is likely to derail, or at least complicate, the FCC's plans to classify DSL service (which is provided primarily over incumbent telco facilities) as a unified 'information service." Bottom line - the 9th Circuit's decision may well have preserved open access for competing ISPs on all forms of wireline networks.' Here is the 9th Circuit's ruling (PDF).

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First pr0st33z you cum guzzling whore bags! (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | about 11 years ago | (#7148974)

suck it down, bizzatch!

Love Always,
News For Turds

Re:First pr0st33z you cum guzzling whore bags! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7148985)

Witty.

You're a fag (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | about 11 years ago | (#7149034)

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I like to eat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7148975)

Lots of red meat.

How about you?

My dick is red (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149088)

I've been pounding your sister's pussy for hours now.

The joke's on you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149188)

That's a man, baby!

Now that you're officially a GAY HOMOSEXUAL FAGGOT, perhaps you'd be interested in joining the premiere organization for GAY HOMOSEXUAL FAGGOTS WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE NIGGERS, the Gay Nigger Association of America.

Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7148995)

God knows I don't want an Angel to be! :-))

Competition=good thing. (1, Informative)

dilvie (713915) | about 11 years ago | (#7148996)

I'd like some cable modem competition here.

Re:Competition=good thing. (5, Interesting)

homer_ca (144738) | about 11 years ago | (#7149029)

Yes, competition is good, but does that also mean more taxes for cable modem service if it's classified as a telecommunications service?

Re:Competition=good thing. (3, Insightful)

dilvie (713915) | about 11 years ago | (#7149141)

I didn't say that. Actually, I dislike most of the regulation in the telecomunications industry, but I also can't overlook the possibility that competition could lower my cable bill, or at least give me an alternative provider that might not screw up my billing every month

Re:Competition=good thing. (2, Informative)

Catharz (223736) | about 11 years ago | (#7149051)

I'd like some cable modem competition here.

I'd love to see something like this happen here in Australia. You'd have some pretty interesting things happening with Bigpond and Optus customers. Bigpond cable customers would be jumping enmasse to Optus for the better bandwidth policies. Since Bigpond and Optus also run different speeds, it would also be possible for people to use Bigpond on Optus' higher speed cable (and use their bandwidth limits faster).

The biggest benefit though would be for the small ISP's who can't afford to lay cable. They could piggyback onto the cable network and reach more users. Personally, I'd love to use suck my pipe [suckmypipe.com.au] (unlimited bandwidth) on Optus' high speed cable. :)

Re:Competition=good thing. (0, Flamebait)

Savatte (111615) | about 11 years ago | (#7149156)

ok. I can get 2 megs/sec down, 200/k up. Oh yeah, it's also 10 inches long and big and black.

Re:Competition=good thing. (2, Interesting)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 11 years ago | (#7149182)

My cable internet bill has increased with each aquisition (Comcast formerly AT&T formerly Mediaone) and the last time I had to order basic cable in addition to keep the bill under $60/month. Hopefully another company will now step in so I'll stop dreaming of going back to sucky DSL.

No need to worry... (4, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | about 11 years ago | (#7148998)

Dont' worry, the current Vegas Odds on the 9th Circuit Court being over turned are 21:1, based on past history alone.

Re:No need to worry... (0, Flamebait)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | about 11 years ago | (#7149052)

Let me throw out there the fact that the 9th Circus Court tried to ban the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Also, the three judge panel that tried to postpone the California recall election was from the 9th Circus Court. They are one of the most overturned courts in the country.

Re:No need to worry... (1)

dima233 (148467) | about 11 years ago | (#7149134)

I don't know if you intentionally made it sound as if they had a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance, or accidentally. But I'd like to clarify that they had a problem with the words "under God" that were put into the Pledge in the 1950s I believe. So they're not the America hating pinko-blah-blah that I think you're trying to make them look like.

What problems do you have with them trying to postpone a privately purchased recall?

Re:No need to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149181)

Um, we're not talking about the issues dima233 may or may not have. We're talking about several high-profile overturned rulings that the 9th court has had. Stick with the program, not the politics.

Re:No need to worry... (1)

dima233 (148467) | about 11 years ago | (#7149213)

Well, I was addressing the "Circuis" part.
but I suppose you have a point. :)

Re:No need to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149236)

What problems do you have with them trying to postpone a privately purchased recall?

One point six MILLION people signed those petitions, and this election is likely to have the highest voter turnout in FIFTY YEARS.

People are right fucking pissed about what's going on in California right now. How would you like to pay $700 to register a 1998 car every year?

Money buys clipboards, not signatures.

Re:No need to worry... (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 11 years ago | (#7149349)

and I though 90 bucks was high.

that sounds like a REAL NICE regresive tax there from a Democrat.

Davis has turned California into "the Commonwealth of the special intrests that will pay Davis, by the special intrests that pay Davis, and for the special intrests that will pay davis."

Re:No need to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149366)

Money buys clipboards, not signatures.

Unless of course you pay people to get people to sign the petition.

Re:No need to worry... (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 11 years ago | (#7149332)

because it was not privatly purchased.

it followed the laws and rules under the california constitution, the correct number of citizens signed the petitions, and the recall HAS to be held with in 60 days...

of course, the American Selective Liberties Union claimed that Minorities were to stupid to vote on older machines that were fine for electing Davis 1 year before and had an error rate that was between the other two options that the California used. so of course tehy were denied after the a' banc pannel decided to here the case with no petition.

Re:No need to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149310)

OK, so does that mean that the court's decisions are correct, but simply too controversial for the rest of the world to get on board with, or are they simply an inept court? It seems to me that they're well in tune with the spirit of the law, it's the ruling Republican junta which is forcing the reversals.

Re:No need to worry... (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | about 11 years ago | (#7149123)

Not overturned. The correct term is "reveresed." Overturned means that a higher court reversed them. If they reverse themselves, they can't be overturned.

Clear as mud, right? I just don't want to hear the old argument, "No, they're not the most overturned, look at New Hampshire, you insensitive clod!"

Re:circus court (1)

NeuPhate (713947) | about 11 years ago | (#7149176)

The 9th circut court is a circus. And while this may be the right descion the 9th circus court often makes the right descion for the wrong reason, weather it be politicly motivated or otherwise, leading to appeals further up the chain of command. plus, don't think that the cable companies will give up the cash cow that easily.

Re:No need to worry... (4, Interesting)

whatparadox (560642) | about 11 years ago | (#7149190)

The 9th Circuit decisions get overturned more often based on volume, but it is the largest circuit by far. By percentage, The 9th sits average ~75%. I heard this on NPR's All Things Considered; Sept. 17, 2003; "Arguments on Recall Filed with Appeals Court"

Re:No need to worry... (1)

agrippa_cash (590103) | about 11 years ago | (#7149326)

More depth here. [k12.az.us] And, of course Google. I personally think that a lot of the venom directed at the court comes from indiviuals with a **conservitive** bias. Not to mention the established activists among the Supremes.

Re:No need to worry... (2, Informative)

AEton (654737) | about 11 years ago | (#7149342)

Here's a link [moderateindependent.com] that addresses the issue with some real numbers. 75% for 9th circuit, 100% for several others. The pundits who say "most overturned court" are looking at number of cases selected by the Supreme Court, not percentages - it's about as silly as Michael Moore's use of numbers instead of percentages for gun deaths in "Bowling for Columbine", and it smacks of the same yellow journalism to report that kind of figure.

Re:No need to worry... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149234)

the current Vegas Odds on the 9th Circuit Court being over turned are 21:1, based on past history alone.

Then it must not be very likely, as a $10 bet would pay $210 if the ruling were overturned. Perhaps you meant 2:1? Or 1:21?

BTW, if you do know of a casino offering 21:1 odds, please let me know; I could use some easy money.

and Graham cracker Davis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149260)

will face a recall election. Hooooooray for the dimwits of the Ninth!

These were the clowns who wanted to take the reference to God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. They're the Microsoft of the judiciary.

I hope it's not over turned... (1)

Genjurosan (601032) | about 11 years ago | (#7149328)

If we can keep this ruling intact, I hope that this helps lower the $50 a month cost that I pay for my cable modem! I've been forced to use one company for years now, without the option of DSL in my area. What's worse, if I ever wanted to go to dish for my television service (I want Discovery HD) then I had to pay and extra $20 fee for simply not having cable service.

FWIW, I pay $130 to my cable provider each month. That's $40 more than my monthly power bill. It's that odd?

I'm in Canada (5, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | about 11 years ago | (#7149005)

I hate that Shaw is such a monopoly in my particular region. In cities, they compete with Telus - but frankly, Telus is the greater of the two evils. That's another topic for another day, however.

Out here in Ruralland Canada, Shaw Cable is the only choice for highspeed, and they charge an arm and a leg AND make you sign over your firstborn. It's very annoying. I'd like to see them put in charge of the infrastructure alone, and have mom & pop ISPs handle the cable modems, and the end-user support. They should only have to pay a small per-client licensing fee, and be given free reign to charge what they'd like above that for internet access. They should also have the option of regulating speeds at their own discretion, for various bundle offerings.

Does anyone think this is a good way to break up monopoly power, or is it just silly?

Re:I'm in Canada (2, Interesting)

eht (8912) | about 11 years ago | (#7149049)

Canada and monopolies can be a slight problem, the US allows Microsoft to operate, but they won't even let DeBeers in.

no, the entire world is going the other way (-1)

Selecter (677480) | about 11 years ago | (#7149058)

The entire movement worldwide is to consolidate and enhance corporate power by buying politicans and using their power to write law to ...well, consolidate and enhance corporate power. There is no credible movement to preserve and protect individual freedoms. At least none with any power to actually effect change. Yes, this includes the US Libertarian Party, which is so broke most of their headquarters staff are working for free becuase they cant afford to pay them a salary.

Re:no, the entire world is going the other way (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | about 11 years ago | (#7149226)

I'm beginning to think that Fight Club had it right.

Topple the credit companies, and society must start anew.

Re:I'm in Canada (3, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 11 years ago | (#7149082)

I have trouble understanding the FCC on this one. USA is a country with anti-trust laws, which basically means they know that a monopoly can kill a market, screw people, do a lot of bad things. They know it. And yet they enforce that a cable company will have a monopoly on their small (sometimes ridiculously small) geographic area.

How can you enforce something you know is bad for the market/consumer and therefore bad for the economy overall.

I used to live in Sunnyvale, CA (Not really far far away from the next city, just in the heart of the silicon valley), and where I lived, just *one* provider for cable: Castle Cable. They don't even provide internet cable!!!!!!

Guess who got my 39.99 broadband bill? SBC. No choice. Unless I rent a T1 or something...

Note that SBC is not so bad, so I'm globally happy.

Re:I'm in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149243)

A republican contribution, those anti-trust laws were too. Being reasonable, and equitable made them popular. That made them rich. When they became rich, they discovered that this was much better than simply popular. So they concentrated their efforts on becoming ever richer, equity, reason, and popularity be damned!

Small wonder they don't go back to their roots. The last thing they want now that they've entrenched their wealth is a level playing field so some clever upstart can take some of it back.

Re:I'm in Canada (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 11 years ago | (#7149367)

Because Cities no longer have the right to decided who to invite to be the cable provider in their area since the cable industry has convinced the states that they need to recoup the investment of laying the lines back inthe 70's and 80's.

Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149191)

Because you use the word should in it. Change that to "MUST, under penalty of bankruptcy" and it's a good idea.

9th Circuit (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149007)

If the 9th circuit were not a bunch of crackpots that overturn all kinds of stuff just for kicks, I'd take this seriously. However this being the 9th circuit, it will most likely be overturned again on appeal

Re:9th Circuit (5, Informative)

Quino (613400) | about 11 years ago | (#7149059)

They covered this in NPR; it's a myth that the 9th circuit gets a higher % overturned. It happens to be one of the busiest circuits (I think *the* busiest), so more cases go through and more cases later get overturned. But their % of rulings later overturned is no higher than other courts.

Re:9th Circuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149116)

The thing is, they are busier because they choose to be more active. They decide which cases they will hear, unlike local county judges who have to take anything thrown their way.

So when the 9th takes it upon themselves to adjudicate every Tom, Dick, and Harry case before them and in essence write the law on behalf of and in place of the legislators, it can only be called judicial activism.

The courts were designed to put into practice the law as it is written, and to demand clarification of those laws in cases where it is vague or contrary. It is not the business of the courts to be making law, which is exactly what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is known for.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149172)

Can you point me to any of their legislation?

Yes Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149219)

Every single ruling of the 9th Circuit Court [google.com] becomes law until a higher court overturns it.

Judicial precedence is much more binding than legislative law in cases where the two are in conflict. Judicial precedence defines what outcome a litigator can expect given a set of circumstances, and courts will more often than not defer to precedent when making a ruling. So any ruling made by a higher court (9th Circuit being the second highest court in the land, trumped only by the Supreme Court) will necessarily become defacto law.

To legislate is to make law. The 9th is wont to do just that.

Not Really (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 11 years ago | (#7149329)

The 9th Circuit Court is one of many 2nd highest courts in the land. Their rulings are only law in the.... 9th Circuit! Your statement that legislating is to make law = redundant, it might have been more meaniningful to say that, in this case adjudicating effectively makes law.

Re:9th Circuit (1)

Quino (613400) | about 11 years ago | (#7149229)

not at all, the 9th circuit (they also spoke of this) happens to preside over a much much larger jurisdiction than any other court, and that's why they are also the busiest.

Re:9th Circuit (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149323)

The courts were designed to put into practice the law as it is written, and to demand clarification of those laws in cases where it is vague or contrary.

The independent judiciary was one of the revolutionary new concepts incorporated into the US Constitution. The courts were designed to be a check and balance on the other two branches of government. The courts have the power to declare a law unconstitutional even though it may be perfectly clear. They also have the power to refuse to enforce a law.

It is not the business of the courts to be making law, which is exactly what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is known for.

That's correct. It is up to the legislature to draft the law (although these days, it's apparently drafted by lobbyists). It is up to the courts (and the Executive branch, and the voters) to keep the legislature from overstepping its bounds.

Perhaps you'd care to substantiate your claims that the 9th circuit has stepped outside its constitutionally proscribed role.

Re:9th Circuit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149363)

The judiciary defined for itself the role of final vetoer in Marbury v. Madison. Before that (it wasn't around for very long before that, of course) it was designed to be the home of justice. The common man couldn't appeal to the Executive branch and certainly couldn't appeal to the Legislative branch of government beyond his single vote at election time. The courts were designed to be the middle ground between the government and the people.

History has brought us to the point where we look at the courts as some sort of 'check and balance' which can be used to rewrite law, but it wasn't designed to be that way.

Read your Constitution again and find the article that describes the Supreme Court's ability to veto laws. You won't find it in there. What you will find is that the people have put so much trust into the courts (not necessarily a bad thing given the alternatives) that they have essentially allowed the courts to become the legislators.

Re:9th Circuit (2, Informative)

whatparadox (560642) | about 11 years ago | (#7149248)

They covered this in NPR; it's a myth that the 9th circuit gets a higher % overturned. It happens to be one of the busiest circuits (I think *the* busiest),

~11,000 cases for the 9th vs. ~8700 for the 5th, next in line. The All Things Considered story was Sept. 17, 2003; "Arguments on Recall Filed with Appeals Court"

Re:9th Circuit (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 11 years ago | (#7149348)

you're probably right about the % issue, but i think whats more important is the types of cases getting overturned. The reason we hear so much more about the 9th circuit is that Cali is progressive to the point of moving cases up the chain just to get rulings on new issues. Its probably a good things i'd say, sortof a sandbox for the lawyers to play in

Re:9th Circuit (0, Troll)

spirality (188417) | about 11 years ago | (#7149132)

Yeah, the 9th Circus is a bit of a joke. I'm skeptical of anything that comes from the court who rules the Pledge of Alliegance unconstitutional.

Re:9th Circuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149158)

Heh, actually, I was all for that ruling. I was cheering them on, and I still think it was appropriate.

So, say what you will, I don't use that ruling as a measure of the efficacy of the 9th circuit - except to say that perhaps they're a little more clued in than most.

And yes, I am an american.

Re:9th Circuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149217)

The pledge of allegiance really smacks of the Cold War era indoctrination of children that we used to accuse the Soviet Union of doing. I see no reason why kids should be reciting it on a daily basis.

And yes I'm an American too, ex-military and I love my country. We just have some brain-dead policies.

Re:9th Circuit (2, Informative)

applemasker (694059) | about 11 years ago | (#7149259)

This case was consolidated as part of multidistrict litigation from the Third, Ninth and D.C. Circuits. (op. at 14).

The 9th is an astute court, and intentionally "serves up" issues which the Supremes would otherwise neglect or not have before them. Please, before you critize their opinions on this or any other topic, RTFA.

Re:9th Circuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149289)

I'm assuming that when you say "serves up issues" that you mean "makes wildly outrageous rulings which must be torn down by a much more astute and reality-grounded Supreme Court".

poast number fucker! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149012)

"kIng FucKer Chicken" would be a good name for a band.

Competition (2, Insightful)

tsanth (619234) | about 11 years ago | (#7149015)

Let's say that there does come pressure for cable companies to lease their lines out to third parties. What about protections to keep those third parties from being charged exorbitant rates for their leased lines?

Michael Powell ... trying to help? (3, Informative)

zangdesign (462534) | about 11 years ago | (#7149017)

Holy cow! I thought this guy was evil incarnate. So now, it looks like he's evil incarnate, who's trying to make himself look good.

Re:Michael Powell ... trying to help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149288)

Makes you wish your dad was accomplished and acclaimed so you could, through no merit of your own, randomly monkey around with the telecommunications policy of the US, and crap yourself silly when you see a Tivo, doesn't it?

Thank God (1, Redundant)

Qwell (684661) | about 11 years ago | (#7149020)

[Insert Cable Company* Name] has a monopoly in my city right now. I'm thinking this would stop that. As it stands, [Cable Company]'s servers are down about 2 days a month, plus all the issues on their lines that affect me. It's like playing russian roulette with my internet connection. Maybe in a few months, I can drop [Cable Company] for a better service.

*As much as I dislike [Cable Company], I prefer not to talk bad about them in a public forum such as /.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149050)

Geezus christ - just post the name of the company. There's nothing to fear unless you're lying about their downtime, in which case you might be accused of slander.

Re:Thank God (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 11 years ago | (#7149068)

As much as I dislike [Cable Company], I prefer not to talk bad about them in a public forum such as /.

Ah, is that why? I assumed you were using the <generic> form of the name simply because your experience is so generic, and can be used by just about any cable company customer just by substituting in the name of their company (and city and whatever else). :)

Re:Thank God (1)

DarkSkiesAhead (562955) | about 11 years ago | (#7149150)

*As much as I dislike [Cable Company], I prefer not to talk bad about them in a public forum such as /.

Yeah, i don't like talking about Charter either.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149210)

Redundant? What, you mean this [slashdot.org] ? The one where the guy lives in Canada, and already has another provider in his city?

Re:Thank God (1)

Dead_Medic (662827) | about 11 years ago | (#7149369)

Same applies in my town, they being comcast have contract/monopoly for the town. There no room for competition, nor would the town allow it. However Comcast has had many poor stories circulating about its service around. The problem is that even if hypothetically the town allowed another cable company in, they still have to rent room off the telephone poles. Besides wasnt the 9th district court the same one the ruled the pledge of allegence was unconstitutional?

cool! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149022)

maybe now the most-technologically-advanced United States will catch up with third-world South Korea in broadband!!

Re:cool! (1)

Steffan (126616) | about 11 years ago | (#7149215)

Um, I don't think you can really call South Korea a 'third-world' country, especially since they're number 12 in the world [wallstreetview.com] in GDP, just ahead of Canada.

Re:cool! (4, Informative)

Steffan (126616) | about 11 years ago | (#7149240)

> maybe now the most-technologically-advanced
> United States will catch up with third-world
> South Korea in broadband!!

Um, I don't think you can really call South Korea a 'third-world' country, especially since they're number 12 in the world [wallstreetview.com] in GDP, just ahead of Canada.

Re:cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149283)

Um, I don't think you can really call South Korea a 'third-world' country, especially since they're number 12 in the world in GDP, just ahead of Canada.

But who said Canada was a first world country? :)

Re:cool! (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | about 11 years ago | (#7149340)

"Third-world South Korea"? You're talking about one of the most advanced countries on the planet.

Can't have it both ways (3, Interesting)

perimorph (635149) | about 11 years ago | (#7149023)

People are complaining about ISPs not doing enough about the spam problem, and yet people also complain about how on-line privacy is being erroded..

Now, someone please explain to me how these two "goals" (less spam and more privacy) can co-exist with each other. I just really don't get it.

Re:Can't have it both ways (2, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | about 11 years ago | (#7149104)

Now, someone please explain to me how these two "goals" (less spam and more privacy) can co-exist with each other.

Well, just off the top of my head, these companies could respect their customers' privacy by NOT selling the names and addresses to spammers... :)

why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149108)

My ISP has a setup where you can select from a couple different spam filtering tools and set the thresholds to your own taste. They are also very responsive to their abuse email address. And if something is going on that affects my internet connection, I can usually call them and get it resolved in about 10 minutes.

I have my DSL line through Verizon, but I changed my circuit to go through a 3rd party ISP. I pay ~$12 more per month but it is *well* worth it. Dealing with Verizon's customer support is an exercise in futility.

Re:Can't have it both ways (1)

FxChiP (687923) | about 11 years ago | (#7149272)

Now, someone please explain to me how these two "goals" (less spam and more privacy) can co-exist with each other.
Certainly. Less spam = more privacy.

To me, privacy is both the ability to do something that isn't truly dangerous or anything without people looking at it/knowing about it (for example, making a hex to ascii conversion), because you know as well as I do that someone is going to get the wrong idea. That kind of privacy avoids the need for questions and being bothered for "creating the world's next terrorist threat" when you were really just "making a hex to ascii converter for the hell of it". Which somewhat leads to this: privacy is also the ability to NOT be bothered with trivial things if you don't want to be bothered with such trivial things (like spam).

Spam e-mails do invade privacy because they're turning something you can keep to yourself into something they can use to make a quick buck or two, at the price of your convenience.

Finally, spam filters don't contradict user privacy, because the user usually sets them. Besides, if the server is as trustworthy as you think, it'll only filter out spam. If a human doesn't do the filtering it's fine. If a computer does it, it's still fine as long as the computer doesn't also flag e-mails as being suspicious. But that's just my opinion.

Anybody care? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149025)

anyone?

PPPOE? (1)

myov (177946) | about 11 years ago | (#7149026)

Wil this force cable modem users to authenticate through PPPOE?

BOTH GOOD & BAD (3, Interesting)

exhilaration (587191) | about 11 years ago | (#7149072)

This is good for those of us that already have access to high-speed cable Internet. The investment has already been made which pretty much means that it can only get better. (Note the optimism)

This is bad for those that lack access to high-speed cable Internet, perhaps because they don't live in highly metropolitan areas. As it becomes more likely that a cable company will have to share its infrastructure, the cable company becomes more likely to drag its heels. For example, Verizon held back the deveopment of DSL in the northeast because they were forced to share their network.

Any thoughts?

Re:BOTH GOOD & BAD (1)

The Warlock (701535) | about 11 years ago | (#7149163)

Waht, are you kidding? Cable internet is at its best in rural areas. While DSL is always at a limited amount (usually 256 Kbps), a cable connection is 10 Mbps shared between everyone else in your ring, which, in a rural area, is like nobody.

Re:BOTH GOOD & BAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149235)

This is bad for those that lack access to high-speed cable Internet, perhaps because they don't live in highly metropolitan areas. As it becomes more likely that a cable company will have to share its infrastructure, the cable company becomes more likely to drag its heels.

This would be good if it encourages rural communities to develop their own fiber-optic networks. Major infrastructer (roads, water, power lines, communication lines, etc.) should be owned by the community anyway, since they have a tendency to become a monopoly.

RIAA (2, Funny)

dolo666 (195584) | about 11 years ago | (#7149086)

Why not open a company that taunts "free P2P sans RIAA risk!", and just lock the P2P to the network only, thus preventing anyone outside from identifying you or snagging your stuff?

If enough privacy could be designed for such a system, I have a feeling people would flock in droves to it. The only problem is the obvious lawsuit that the RIAA would hit you with.

My opinion is that you could win the case based on the internet's ability to remain private, and if the ISP got a radio broadcasting licence, in which case they could effectively bypass any copyright nonsense.

Re:RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149133)

Why not open a company that taunts "free P2P sans RIAA risk!", and just lock the P2P to the network only, thus preventing anyone outside from identifying you or snagging your stuff?


Uhm, how are you going to know whether or not the people signing up work for the RIAA?

Re:RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149155)

Have them sign a release.

Classic contradiction (2, Insightful)

Dr. Transparent (77005) | about 11 years ago | (#7149096)

Regulation inherently leads to less competition in the long run. Forcing ISPs to share infrastructure leads to localized government monoplies because companies can't afford to offer their lines up to everyone and still keep them up and compete with service. This might have short-term benefits, but long term this will be destructive. You will see local government sponsored monopolies on ISPs.

Regulation != Choice

-------
Just leaving some blood in the water.

Re:Classic contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149145)

In general this is true. But the cable and phone industries are *already* heavily regulated. This ruling in court is about creating competition within the existing regulations.

Competition will not flourish on its own in either of these industries because of the "last mile" problem. There's usually just one set of lines going to a given home. If the incumbent is not forced to share it, there is no way for new businesses to enter the market to compete in the first place. I'm speaking from a U.S. perspective, but I imagine this applies to other countries as well.

Re:Classic contradiction (0, Troll)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 11 years ago | (#7149157)

Dude, just because your right-wing Econ 101 Prof says so, doesn't mean it's true.

Argh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149122)

I hope they lose the appeal.. it took 3 mins to load this reply page and im on cable.. my connection has been horrible all day, and last night, and its like this multiple times a week (cox)

Question? (5, Interesting)

TnkMkr (666446) | about 11 years ago | (#7149137)

It was my understanding that the phone companies had to open their lines up because their infrastructure was in part funded by the government. And a lot of the initial capitol to build a reliable phone system was provided by the taxpayers.

I thought the cable companies totally funded the construction (or purchase of pre-existing) system, and had no government assistance financially or otherwise? If this is the case is it fair to force a private company to allow competitors to use the fruits of their labor?

I picture a similar case being United Parcel Services being forced to share it's truck fleet with the competition, just because no one else can afford to buy their own trucks.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Re:Question? (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | about 11 years ago | (#7149177)

UPS doesn't have to dig and bury wires on government owned property the way that the cable company does.

Don't you think it'd be a bit of a problem if there were eight cable companies in your area and eight cable lines running to every house?

The sides of roads would look like battlefields as each company digs, accidentally breaks the other guys lines, and repairs their own lines.

And who knows how many homegrown cable networks might exist that way...

Re:Question? (1)

abertoll (460221) | about 11 years ago | (#7149360)

Yes, I think it can be "fair" to force them (and maybe provide compensation) IF there are laws (legal or physical) prohibiting competitors from laying lines, connecting, etc.

I'm not sure if it's just "very difficult" to lay new lines everywhere, or if they just have laws restricting more than one company to maintain lines.

Taxes and Fees (1)

mitcharoni (222957) | about 11 years ago | (#7149146)

Look to get taxed and fee'd to death if this ruling stands, just like your land line and your cell phone. With the "telecommunication service" distinction comes a WHOLE lotta baggage.

Re:Taxes and Fees (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 11 years ago | (#7149256)

I'd rather pay the price I was paying 2 years ago, plus $5 in taxes, than DOUBLE the price I paid two years ago. It's cheaper for my cable company to provide internet serveice than for my local phone company to provide DSL. Yet DSL prices are cheaper, as predicted by Obvious Consequences of a Monopoly 101.

Re:Taxes and Fees (0)

Negativeions101 (706722) | about 11 years ago | (#7149299)

eat a dick asshole... competition... that's what it's all about.

Re:Taxes and Fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149324)

YOU EAT THE DICK you fucking son of a bitch!!!!!!!!

Don't they see? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149180)

People have the numbers right in front of themselves, yet they still can't make the right decisions. They clearly state that 60% of all internet access is coming from cable. DSL has been so handcuffed by the 1996 legislation that they cannot compete with cable. The answer isn't to overregulate cable just like DSL. It is to do what the FCC was going to do, deregulate DSL.

The last mile problem has only been made worse by this forced infrastructure sharing. Companaies have little incentive to upgrade their networks when competitors get to ride off of it too. It gives them little advantage. The phone companies have had so little incentive to upgrade networks, that the courts tried to force them to. AT&T accepted the fines imposed by the court since it made better business sense to be fined at the time then to build networks for all their competititors.

This is fucking nuts. You don't regulate a growing industry. Regulation should only be used on mature industries. Besides perverting the market for such a young technology and risking dampening it, you also cannot tell in which direction these things are going to go. Regulating them artificially holds back the development of new forms of internet access since companies can just ride on cable and phone lines and they have no need for new forms of data transmission.

Competition may be good, but these infrastructure sharing provisions regulate to the point that the good from competition is swamped. Just look at how DSL has been slow to improve.

Re:Don't they see? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7149261)

Do you really think the cable companies would invest in upgrading their networks if they had no competition? They haven't so far. In fact, most of them have been *limiting* their upload speeds lately, rather than improving. Monopolies breed stagnation.

Maybe you're too young to remember how things were with Bell in charge of telephones.

Michael Powell is getting bribed ?????? (1)

zymano (581466) | about 11 years ago | (#7149189)

What's the deal man ? Are you with the people or

against them ?

This is kick ass ruling !

Look at this idea.

New Isp's offering high speed broadband using Wi-Fi at frequencies the cable companies never use.
And they would never have used them anyways because of their Michael Powell protected monopoly.

How much has the Bush administration been Bribed, I mean campaign financed ?

I am guessing our friend at TimeWarner/Cox/another cable company have given
a nice sum .

Michael ! give up the look of being independent and acting as though you want whats right for the average consumer. You have messed things up and set broadband back years .

What the hell!? (2, Interesting)

Negativeions101 (706722) | about 11 years ago | (#7149195)

You can't even find a decent ISP anymore. You hear people talking about how this and that company is a monopoly, customer service sucks, they don't deal with spam properly, service inconsistent, etc. Why is that? What the hell is going on!? Why can't there just be a high-speed ISP that does what it's supposed to do? Is it that they just don't give a crap or what? Remember back when Microsoft said that high speed internet was going to take a couple of years longer to come to the mainstream then anticipated? I think there's something fucked up going on. Fuck high-speed internet, fuck technology... fuck computers. The whole industry makes me sick to my bloody stomach.

Cable gouging (1)

The Gline (173269) | about 11 years ago | (#7149220)

Where I live, my cable modem and cable TV are both provided by Cablevision / Optimum Online. My combined bill to these guys for one modem and no premium channels, and their shiny new digital channel box, is over a hundred bucks a month. This is with the "discount" I get for having a cable modem and a cable box both in the same household, and it's done nothing but go up since I moved here.

Some of the money is probably being diverted into building new infrastructure. They've moved all the analog cable TV to a digital system, but the channel guide they provide is so clumsy and awkward that I wound up never using it, and I just break out the dead trees channel guide instead when I do watch TV (which isn't often). I'm guessing they're trying to get money to upgrade everything to allow Hi-Def signals in the future, but right now I feel like I'm paying for nothing, and the only reason they get away with this is because there's essentially no competition in the area.

As far as data goes, I could go with DSL, but after my horrid experiences with the mishmash of competing infrastructures that we laughingly call DSL here, I decided it was better to pay for the devil I did know.

sharing, competition, and service (1)

brenn (204691) | about 11 years ago | (#7149359)

so far, even when another isp 'shares' the cable infrastructure, they aren't supplying the network access ... all they get to do is host (mail, news, webspace), supply branded software & support (os & apps, otherwise power-cycle & transfer network/hardware issues) & pay the cable co. ... i do software support in this situation, so i have mixed interests ... but in the larger view this is just another kludge as we wait for real open networking competition & service (shouldn't be that much service involved if done well) ... my 4/25 bit

Could cause reluctance for infrastructure upgrades (1)

-tji (139690) | about 11 years ago | (#7149364)

There was an article in 'IEEE Spectrum' this month taking about some technology improvements that would allow broadband to the house at around 20Mbps.

One of the drivers they mentioned for this was this FCC regulation limiting access to their infrastructure.

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