Obama: FCC Needs to Reclassify Internet as a Utility - Update 2

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spartan231490:
classifying providers as utilities gives them, as all utilities have, legal license to monopolize markets.

They already have monopolies. It's provided by local governments:

http://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-companies-and-blame-local-government-for-dismal-broadband-competition/

That's the cause of the problem to begin with. If we took away a cable company's monopoly status, they would have to provide the services we want, rather than dictate to us what we should be interested in. As it is, cable companies treat their customers like shit. In some places I've lived, the cable went out every time the wind got above twenty miles per hour. In others, the cable would go out daily. Comcast refused to send someone to check the infrastructure. When I moved to a location where there was competition from AT&T, all of a sudden they were very interested in checking to make sure everything works.

The above article does not really get at the truth of the matter though. As a cable television provider, these companies were given monopolies on the condition that they carried channels like c-span and the weather channel along with the major news networks like NBC and CBS. This provided a public service. When they started introducing broadband internet, they provided this as well - with the same government provided monopoly status. These companies have actively been introducing bills into state legislatures to ban competition:

http://hothardware.com/News/Crushing-Competition-Cable-Companies-Try-To-Outlaw-Google-Fiber-ATT-Attacks-Net-Neutrality/

It's true that cities themselves need to improve:

http://crosscut.com/2014/03/04/business/118993/google-fiber-never-come-seattle-broadband-internet/

but the point is that cable companies already have monopolies in most markets and those monopolies are being enforced.

Mr.Mattress:
Yeah, no. Being a Libertarian, I'm not a fan of the FCC, but I can at least understand why they exist for Television and Radio. The Internet is a completely different beast, and all the FCC would do is destroy a majority of independent Websites or Websites people would find "offensive".

Keep the Internet AFAP (As Free As Possible).

ISPs are poised to start charging their customers more for connections that aren't horrible, and the FCC reclassification is meant to stop that. Where did you get "Government wants to censor the entire internet" from?

Mr.Mattress:
And if the FCC ruled over the internet, how could it be private? The reason cable and satellite have these private channals in the first place is because The FCC doesn't have control over Cable and Satellites. So if they gained control over the Internet, as President Obama is asking them to do, there would be no private Channels, as all of them would be ruled by the FCC...

Ah. I think I see now. You're equating "regulation" with "iron-fisted stranglehold."

Mr.Mattress:
And if people have to pay $3,000 dollars every time they say a swear word on the Internet, that would be insanity.

The internet is wildly different from TV and radio. What evidence do you have that it would be treated the same way?

Gorrath:

I'm from Ohio but I"m not sure where you get the idea that insurance rates only went up in states that rejected the ACA.

Well, damn, click one wrong link and lose all your posting progress. LEt's try a short version.

I'm not sure why people miss words like "seem."

Ah well.

As for the Vermont bit, I even googled it and the only sources I see are from unsourced conservative sites who insist with no evidence all sorts of things that don't seem to bear out in evidence. Thing is, all the averages I can find right now are comparable to 2003, something few states can say. I'm not sure this is a jump as much as people are claiming. We've been a high cost of living, high median income state for at least most of my life, and part of that cost of living has been...health insurance. It was before ACA. It was before we went socialist. It was something Dean campaigned on in this state.

Zachary Amaranth:

Gorrath:

I'm from Ohio but I"m not sure where you get the idea that insurance rates only went up in states that rejected the ACA.

Well, damn, click one wrong link and lose all your posting progress. LEt's try a short version.

I'm not sure why people miss words like "seem."

Ah well.

As for the Vermont bit, I even googled it and the only sources I see are from unsourced conservative sites who insist with no evidence all sorts of things that don't seem to bear out in evidence. Thing is, all the averages I can find right now are comparable to 2003, something few states can say. I'm not sure this is a jump as much as people are claiming. We've been a high cost of living, high median income state for at least most of my life, and part of that cost of living has been...health insurance. It was before ACA. It was before we went socialist. It was something Dean campaigned on in this state.

I didn't really miss the "seem" part, it just seemed unnecessary for me to spend time on that particular qualifier. It was not an attempt to twist your words, we're both just speaking from what we know or have seen. I acknowledge qualifiers like "seem" and "I believe" the same way, they are inherent to anything we don't state as objective facts. No underhandedness was intended on my part by leaving it out.

My question was meant to find out what you think fighting the ACA entailed and why that would lead to higher insurance premiums. I"m not at all challenging your claims here, I simply am not sure what your claims actually are. There is a ton off poorly sourced or unsourced information out there. All the information I could find for Vermont suggested that their premiums are some of the ones that have grown the most. If that's simply not true, good. I can't say I'm a fan of the ACA, not because of what it was trying to do but because it came out pretty neutered in my opinion. I'm glad it's working for some people, but it has most certainly made it harder on others.

weirdee:

Mr.Mattress:
Yeah, no. Being a Libertarian, I'm not a fan of the FCC, but I can at least understand why they exist for Television and Radio. The Internet is a completely different beast, and all the FCC would do is destroy a majority of independent Websites or Websites people would find "offensive".

Keep the Internet AFAP (As Free As Possible).

so, who do you suggest would be a suitable group for enforcing net neutrality? i'm just curious because i don't know shit about utility regulations lol

In my humble opinion: No Person, only Laws. When a person is in charge of something, they almost always botch it up or change it for the worse. Yes, Corporations probably won't follow Net Neutrality and will start charging people to go visit sites and apps, but do you honestly believe any government agency, from the same government that tried to pass SOPA and PIPA, and the Same Government that has the NSA, to be any better? I don't. In my opinion, Laws should be the only thing that enforces Net Neutrality, and anyone that violates the laws should be dealt with standard police officers, not some special task force that tries to act like a Parent. I know the Supreme Court struck down Net Neutrality, but the best way to fix that is by amending the Constitution, not by making the Internet the Property of the "Moral Guardians of Entertainment" branch of Government.

Just my opinion, though. No person or group of people should rule the Internet.

Char-Nobyl:

Ah. I think I see now. You're equating "regulation" with "iron-fisted stranglehold."

Considering the FCC is one of the most Iron-Fisted Administrative Agencies in the United States, I have reason to believe that their regulations would go too far and way out of control if they regulated the Internet.

Char-Nobyl:

The internet is wildly different from TV and radio. What evidence do you have that it would be treated the same way?

Radio is wildly different from TV, and yet the rules that Apply for TV also apply to Radio. I see no reason for them not to at least try to enforce the same rules on the Internet.

The Hungry Samurai:

I doubt that will happen. The internet will always be good for AFAP. (Sorry. I had to.)

I did that intentionally, so you're good.

Mr.Mattress:

weirdee:

Mr.Mattress:
Yeah, no. Being a Libertarian, I'm not a fan of the FCC, but I can at least understand why they exist for Television and Radio. The Internet is a completely different beast, and all the FCC would do is destroy a majority of independent Websites or Websites people would find "offensive".

Keep the Internet AFAP (As Free As Possible).

so, who do you suggest would be a suitable group for enforcing net neutrality? i'm just curious because i don't know shit about utility regulations lol

In my humble opinion: No Person, only Laws. When a person is in charge of something, they almost always botch it up or change it for the worse. Yes, Corporations probably won't follow Net Neutrality and will start charging people to go visit sites and apps, but do you honestly believe any government agency, from the same government that tried to pass SOPA and PIPA, and the Same Government that has the NSA, to be any better? I don't. In my opinion, Laws should be the only thing that enforces Net Neutrality, and anyone that violates the laws should be dealt with standard police officers, not some special task force that tries to act like a Parent. I know the Supreme Court struck down Net Neutrality, but the best way to fix that is by amending the Constitution, not by making the Internet the Property of the "Moral Guardians of Entertainment" branch of Government.

Just my opinion, though. No person or group of people should rule the Internet.

Char-Nobyl:

Ah. I think I see now. You're equating "regulation" with "iron-fisted stranglehold."

Considering the FCC is one of the most Iron-Fisted Administrative Agencies in the United States, I have reason to believe that their regulations would go too far and way out of control if they regulated the Internet.

Char-Nobyl:

The internet is wildly different from TV and radio. What evidence do you have that it would be treated the same way?

Radio is wildly different from TV, and yet the rules that Apply for TV also apply to Radio. I see no reason for them not to at least try to enforce the same rules on the Internet.

The Hungry Samurai:

I doubt that will happen. The internet will always be good for AFAP. (Sorry. I had to.)

I did that intentionally, so you're good.

oh

so, what you're suggesting is that the constitution has magical parchment powers that prevent people from having "flexible interpretations" of the law, which will only be challenged if they piss off somebody with money, but other than that, if they just stay within the boundaries of that law

but, say, if they just figured out how to do that while still screwing SOME party over, one that doesn't have a lot of legal power, like it historically has been for every era of humanity, because the spirit of the law doesn't mean jack to anybody looking to make a buck in the most ruthless way possible

then the system works?

i like that your "solution" involves just trusting even more amoral groups to do better than a group you have a grudge against because of vaguely defined reasons, and having a vaguely defined group ("well, i don't know, police officers??? ferguson, what's that?") with vaguely defined inadequate funding to actually combat these massive corporations that you seem to trust so much

you seem to be so divorced from reality that you find it easy to spout things that have no grounds because it won't actually affect you because you are in a position to do so without ever feeling the consequences, and you take that as an invitation to just point out things that sound bad to you and then never actually think about them

Dietz:

Toadfish1:

Dietz:

Cruz is not against the end goal (drink more water), but the means (government edict). Just like they are not against Michelle's food program in theory (kids eating "better"), just the means (do it our way, or lose your government funding). The conservative argument against much of what Government does is based on the same thing.

PAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Oh man, this is priceless. You actually, truly beleive that shit. Oh man.

Yeah, when have Republicans ever actually offered a solution for these things they supposedly agree on the goal of and just don't like how the Democrats do, hmm? Like, ever? When havwe they dopne anything that wouldn't fall sqaurely under what a party of unrestrained primal rage and bile would do when faced with someone they don't like (for a totally rational reason, I'm sure) is in the white house, hmm?

I didn't say Republicans, I said conservatives. They are not the same. Cruz might be more conservative than most, but he still has big R Republican baggage, and has compromised his principles more than once.
As for a solution to the Federal food programs, how about we let the states hash that out for themselves, and let the Feds try to manage more important things that more properly fall into their Constitutionally delegated powers? For example, maybe a coherent, reasoned response to Ebola coming to our shores?

Hey, check it out - the US is now completely and totally Ebola free.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/dr-craig-spencer-leaving-york-hospital-ebola-free/story?id=26831620

faefrost:
Does anyone else see this as Obama nationalizing the internet and stealing private property outside the benefit of and realm of law? I support the idea of net neutrality. I think its benefits mostly outweigh its problems. (Beyond the big one that none of you fools seem to have picked up on. Net Neutrality means your rates go up. If they can't charge Netflix for using 30% of the bandwidth on the planet they are going to charge you, and give you slower service to boot.)

But I cannot see any way that this ultimately withstands court challenge. It is not simply a matter of doing the right thing, it must be done the right way. In a proper and lawful manner. The President cannot seize control of a private industry by fiat. The Dem's want to make this a campaign issue, but it likely will not last long enough for that. Court watchers are starting to notice a sharp swing on the bench's to limit executive over reach and to force lawmaking back into the hands of the legislature.

Explain how applying regulation to an industry equals seizing or nationalizing. Please temper your reply with this knowledge, broadband companies have outright stolen billions from the federal and state governments by taking subsidies for network building then lobbying to have their side of the deal voided. Every single household in the US was supposed to have symmetrical 45Mbps on an fiber network open to all companies that want to use the lines by 2006.

We paid for better lines than we have now (in most cases) and they aren't even open. Personally I would have no problem with the states (not the fed) nationalizing copper and fiber running through any incorporated area of a city/town. They then could lease the lines to whoever wants to provide services over them at just over the cost of maintenance and administration and direct the surplus toward network improvement. They pretty much already paid for them.

Source:http://www.bwianews.com/2006/01/new_book_lays_b.html

Hey, if anybody wants to get incredibly frustrated, check out this poll site apparently inhabited mostly by Bible Belt Republicans. And maybe vote on it too, because even though the results of this crappy poll will have absolutely no impact, it's depressing to look at the results at the moment. Sodahead

Bara_no_Hime:

Toadfish1:
Republicans have used what power they had to sabotage it and make people suffer. Then they turned around and said that those problems they caused proved they were right about Obamacare.

Yes, I know. But, my point is, it's been a year and the plans are great! As much of a pain in the ass it was to sign up, the result once you get in is really good. So how can they keep getting away with the smear campaign when plans are so much cheaper for what you get now?

Edit: I mean, like, people can SEE how good this is. They can see it with better coverage and cheaper bills. Are Republicans just repeating the party line and hoping people can't do basic math? I don't get how they can still get away with this crap when the results have been so good overall.

I think it's a matter of a vocal minority more than anything else. Most people that are benefiting from and satisfied with something just enjoy it and don't really care enough to bother to go and sing it's praises from the rooftops, while those that are getting screwed by it take every opportunity they have to whine and whine and whine about it and Obamacare is no exception.

It doesn't help either that Republicans and insurance companies and many others are going out of their way to make sure that it doesn't work in every they possibly can. Obamacare could be the best law ever to be implemented in the history of humanity and with all the opposition it's getting there still would be plenty of people around this country for which it's not working and thus whining about it anyway.

weirdee:

Mr.Mattress:
SNIP

oh

so, what you're suggesting is that the constitution has magical parchment powers that prevent people from having "flexible interpretations" of the law, which will only be challenged if they piss off somebody with money, but other than that, if they just stay within the boundaries of that law

but, say, if they just figured out how to do that while still screwing SOME party over, one that doesn't have a lot of legal power, like it historically has been for every era of humanity, because the spirit of the law doesn't mean jack to anybody looking to make a buck in the most ruthless way possible

then the system works?

No, when did I ever say this? The Constitution and the Laws implemented by the Government are always changing, and if Businesses try to screw people over in "Legal" ways, then someone will make that illegal too. The Constitution, however, does need enforcement, which is what the Police are for.

i like that your "solution" involves just trusting even more amoral groups to do better than a group you have a grudge against because of vaguely defined reasons, and having a vaguely defined group ("well, i don't know, police officers??? ferguson, what's that?") with vaguely defined inadequate funding to actually combat these massive corporations that you seem to trust so much

Thanks for putting words in my mouth. When I said I don't trust anyone to rule the internet, I Meant exactly that. I don't want Corporations, Government, Agencies, or any group at all in control over the internet. I want it to be left alone as much as possible. So No, I don't want the Corporations to rule the Internet. And if you honestly think I trust them to be fair, then why would I suggest adding an Amendment to the Constitution to make Net Neutrality the law of the land?

And that's the Police's job, to enforce the law. Yes, many times they do do nasty and sometimes illegal things. But they are a necessary evil and one that can be cleaned and managed. Agencies like the FCC cannot (The Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of National Security and the NSA all get away with much more nasty and illegal things then the Police ever have and no one there get's punished).

you seem to be so divorced from reality that you find it easy to spout things that have no grounds because it won't actually affect you because you are in a position to do so without ever feeling the consequences, and you take that as an invitation to just point out things that sound bad to you and then never actually think about them

So I'm not on the internet right now? That's nice.

And you seem to be so divorced from reality that you have to put words in my mouth and make me look like a Kiss-ass to Corporations. As a man who mainly studies the law, Politics and History, I know exactly what I am talking about.

shintakie10:

tangoprime:

SilverUchiha:
Okay, not really much of an Obama fan, but this has certainly earned him points in my book.
Only downside is now Republicans will be against Net Neutrality simply because he's for it. Fuck, i hate the black n white nature of politics.

How has it earned him points, when he's the one who appointed Tom Wheeler, former cable company lobbyist, to the head of the FCC? I saw this article, and all I heard was "I, uh, was for net neutrality before I put a guy paid millions by big cable/ISPs in charge of regulating big cable/ISPs. Now, I'm for net neutrality again. This has nothing to do with my political party getting completely devastated in the recent election and my approval rating being at, uh, 35%"

Not sure why everyone harps on stuff like this.

Say you have someone you need to fill a spot in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Who do you appoint for that position? Probably someone who has years of experience in the field. Someone who has spent years litigating civil rights cases. Someone who knows their shit.

Now you have the position of head of the FCC. Who do you hire for that position? Someone who has years of experience in the field. Someone who knows this stuff like the back of their hand. Someone who understands the whole thing. Who fits that bill in this day and age in this country? Only people that actually came from that field, which means they came from Comcast/Time Warner.

The basic gist of the problem is that we don't have any people comin into that field who actually know what they're talkin about and that don't come from the corporations themselves. This isn't like the EPA where you look for people successfully suing companies for polluting. This isn't like civil rights positions where you search for people who are successful in showing violations of peoples civil liberties. There are no people in the this field that have never worked for companies like Comcast.

That's why the head of the FCC was a former lobbyist for Comcast. Its not some super conspiracy to keep the FCC in Comcast's pocket. Its because there is literally no one who would be qualified for that position that didn't, at one point in time, lobby for companies like Comcast.

Is it a problem? Absofuckinlutely. Is it a fixable problem anytime soon? I honestly doubt it.

Last I checked, a LOT of people work for these companies and within the larger industry. Yet Obama managed to appoint the guy who helped raise half a million dollars for the president's campaign. And that guy did so out of the goodness of his heart or his staunch belief in Obama, right? Definitely not because he's a literal lobbyist trying to squeeze every last dime out of the consumer through overt manipulation of our democratic process.

Sorry, the "you gotta have someone with experience" excuse is bullshit. They always appoint someone who literally SHILLED for the industry and expect that person to actually regulate that industry. And it's usually someone who indirectly gave them money, too.

Who would be better for the job? As I said in another post, anyone with an IQ over 120 whose resume isn't literally a list of conflicts of interest.

Mr.Mattress:
SNIP

I think you are misinformed or confused about what exactly the net neutrality crowd wants. The majority of us want ISPs to be classified as a common carrier or basically a telcom utility under title II of the communication act of 1934 with forbearance of all sections but 201, 202, 208, 222, and 254. These regulations are fairly narrow in their scope and don't cede control of the internet or it's content to any government agency. I will briefly go over the sections above but if you want to read more of title II then be my guest.

SEC. 201. [47 U.S.C. 201] SERVICE AND CHARGES.
Charge your customers a reasonable and just amount.

SEC. 202. [47 U.S.C. 202] DISCRIMINATION AND PREFERENCES.
Treat all your customers the same.

SEC. 208. [47 U.S.C. 208] COMPLAINTS TO THE COMMISSION.
Complaints made to the FCC by anyone using common carriers lines will be forwarded to the carrier to address. The carrier can respond either to the complainant to resolve the issue or the commission who will then investigate if they deem it's necessary. This process can not take longer than 5 months.

SEC. 222. [47 U.S.C. 222] PRIVACY OF CUSTOMER INFORMATION.
When handling communications they may only use the content of it to complete the communication as intended.

SEC. 254. [47 U.S.C. 254] UNIVERSAL SERVICE.
Further codifies section 202 and forces ISPs to offer their services to anyone that they reasonably can.

None of these regulations controls the content of the web or allows take down of dissident opinion. The only thing it does is make sure that everyone can use the internet and access whatever they want.

Gee Obama if this is what you wanted, perhaps you could have put someone else besides a cable industry lobbyist as the head of the fcc?

killerbee256:
Gee Obama if this is what you wanted, perhaps you could have put someone else besides a cable industry lobbyist as the head of the fcc?

This. Obama is good at speeches. That's it. He's not gonna put any pressure on Tom Wheeler. And Tom Wheeler is a fuckin' snake. You can say goodbye to net neutrality unless you fight for it. And for fuck sake, fight for it. It's not a small thing to lose. It's one of the largest civil rights issues that your generation is faced with. If internet had existed 50 years ago, people would have marched in the streets in protest of the very idea that corporations can simply choose to destroy it for some extra profit. So fight for this, however you can until it's too late. Because no one else will do it for you.

Of course, this issue is a symptom of a large issue which is money in politics. Which is why I would strongly advise any Americans to get engaged in solving this issue.

For the Americans of the Escapist, there is a group of people who call themselves The Wolf-PAC, and their primary goal is to pass a constitutional amendment that would prevent the corporations from donating money to political causes. That would force the politicians to listen to YOU, not the corporations, since they wouldn't gain anything from them anymore. They have a plan in place, but it's gonna tame time. And they could always use more manpower. They are doing this for you. So if you can, you should try to help them. You will also be helping yourselves: http://www.wolf-pac.com/

Devin Connors:
Update 2: After President Obama issued his stance on net neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he would attempt a solution that would cover some of that Obama wants, while not completely alienating broadband providers.

News flash: YOU'RE THE GOVERNMENT. It doesn't matter whether you alienate them or not; what are they gonna do, move their business overseas?

Devin Connors:
The FCC is an independent agency, which means Wheeler can take the President's thoughts into consideration, but Obama cannot issue orders to the FCC Chairman.

Translation: It's part of the government and as such has absolute power, but it's also not accountable to anyone, including the rest of the government. How the hell did we end up in this situation?

Wait a minute, wait a minute.... Wheeler is a former lobbyist?!?!?

I'm sorry, but isn't that a *massive* conflict of interest, or at the very least a huge bias against him as fit to oversee the FCC?

I'm open to correction and illumination on that. American politics sometimes baffle me.

Tom Wheeler:
"What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn't affect your business," said Wheeler during a meeting with the likes of Google and Yahoo!, according to The Washington Post. "What I've got to figure out is how to split the baby."

"Split the baby?" Really?
Say Mr. Wheeler, you wouldn't happen to remember how that particular story ENDS, would you?
Because I do. If that's the metaphor you're going with, Mr. Solomon wannabe, remember: there was only be one real winner.

Boba Frag:
Wait a minute, wait a minute.... Wheeler is a former lobbyist?!?!?

I'm sorry, but isn't that a *massive* conflict of interest, or at the very least a huge bias against him as fit to oversee the FCC?

I'm open to correction and illumination on that. American politics sometimes baffle me.

Uh, not to steal your thunder, but that was mentioned and discussed on like Page 1 of the comments.

Sorry folks --- this wonderful president would have loved to have put the internet into a very controlled medium, he's never liked the freedom the internet has given people nor has the people he's appointed in these kinds of departments.

You make the internet a Government Utility, it will be as streamlined as your local Gas-Light-And-Water " company". The anti-business rhetoric, though sounding very popular in emotion, would only fasten a new yolk to people's liberty.

At the same time people want to castigate companies like Time Warner and Comcast, these same people are the guys and gals who have had direct access to the President for the last 6 years, probably funded his golfing vacations, and def have a direct line and ear, not only to raise money for him but also the wonderful Crony Capitalist structure that Obama has been enjoying as well, along with GE, GOOGLE, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple.

The only thing you are going to get is probably a hand picked 3 whom gave the most and then you'll really be ***** out of luck with choices.

MirenBainesUSMC:
Sorry folks --- this wonderful president would have loved to have put the internet into a very controlled medium, he's never liked the freedom the internet has given people nor has the people he's appointed in these kinds of departments.

You make the internet a Government Utility, it will be as streamlined as your local Gas-Light-And-Water " company". The anti-business rhetoric, though sounding very popular in emotion, would only fasten a new yolk to people's liberty.

At the same time people want to castigate companies like Time Warner and Comcast, these same people are the guys and gals who have had direct access to the President for the last 6 years, probably funded his golfing vacations, and def have a direct line and ear, not only to raise money for him but also the wonderful Crony Capitalist structure that Obama has been enjoying as well, along with GE, GOOGLE, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple.

The only thing you are going to get is probably a hand picked 3 whom gave the most and then you'll really be ***** out of luck with choices.

Pessimism, skepticism, doom and gloom are cool and all but it really doesn't help anything. I think nearly everyone that had any sort of high "hope"s about Obama's message of "change" is feeling burnt, yours truly included. However, we are already in a position where there are only three major players in the broadband game (I don't think anyone here seriously considers DSL broadband), soon to be two if they have their way. How do you suggest we deal with the broadband problem?

Without regulation I don't see things changing and we will continue to fall behind the rest of the world. I personally have had less problems with all of my utilities combined then I have had with my broadband provider. Furthermore, I have yet to see any sort of coherent argument as to what the consequences of such regulation would be. Do you have one to make?

Wasn't Tom Wheeler some big wig at Comcast or something before becoming FCC chairman? Didn't Obama APPOINT him to that role?? This sounds to me like putting a hungry tiger shark in a fish tank and only after the fact trying to tell it to not be a shark.

I've heard classifying internet as a utility would impose some limitations that nobody wants, so I'm not sure it's the best idea, however it's still a better idea than what Comcast wants. Google Fiber needs to get a move on.

This is relevant. Some further explanation of who Tom Wheeler is, and how and why net neutrality will probably be killed if you don't do something about it:

Adam Jensen:
For the Americans of the Escapist, there is a group of people who call themselves The Wolf-PAC, and their primary goal is to pass a constitutional amendment that would prevent the corporations from donating money to political causes. That would force the politicians to listen to YOU, not the corporations, since they wouldn't gain anything from them anymore. They have a plan in place, but it's gonna tame time. And they could always use more manpower. They are doing this for you. So if you can, you should try to help them. You will also be helping yourselves: http://www.wolf-pac.com/

I like The Young Turks and cenk, but I personally feel like the united states is a lost cause at this point.

Go Obama! Doesn't really affect us much in the UK but it would be a big step for all to see if he gets this through. Pretty much confirms my opinions about Obama being a basically decent guy.

killerbee256:
I personally feel like the united states is a lost cause at this point.

Thinking like that leads to inaction. Inaction leads to further deterioration of society. That will inevitably lead to more violent society and ultimately a violent revolution. It may take 10, 20 or 40 years, but it will happen. I don't think it will take even 10 years. Another economic crash is just waiting to happen because the banks are doing the same shit again. Unless you prevent it now by fixing the system. It can be prevented if people act timely. For once in human history, realize that you can do something before it's too late.

Thanks Obama!... wait it can be said without sarcasm. Weird.

Regarding the second update, what exactly is the middle ground here? I'm not really seeing any here.

In the end, I'm glad I live in one of the fairly rare competition areas for internet service. If they want to keep customers, they have to not fuck with our service.

bluepotatosack:
Hey, if anybody wants to get incredibly frustrated, check out this poll site apparently inhabited mostly by Bible Belt Republicans. And maybe vote on it too, because even though the results of this crappy poll will have absolutely no impact, it's depressing to look at the results at the moment. Sodahead

The funny thing being that since they're on a smaller website, they might not be able to pay for the "premium" service. All they're doing is shooting the thing they obviously like in the face.

O maestre:
Thanks Obama!... wait it can be said without sarcasm. Weird.

Not really. Obama's not going to force the FCC to do anything and he's the one that appointed Tom Wheeler, a former president and lobbyist for various telecom groups, to be chairman of the FCC.

Spaceman Spiff:

O maestre:
Thanks Obama!... wait it can be said without sarcasm. Weird.

Not really. Obama's not going to force the FCC to do anything and he's the one that appointed Tom Wheeler, a former president and lobbyist for various telecom groups, to be chairman of the FCC.

Hey you gotta take what you can get, at least now he has taken a stance, and it wasn't Wheeler's

Danny Ocean:
I'm starting to think this guy was right...

I wouldn't say he was 100% right, but much like how we sometimes look back to magazines from the 1950s when they write about the year 2000, he was a lot more right than he was wrong. I lean more toward Eduard Bernstein's version of socialism than outright communism, though.

Kolby Jack:
Wasn't Tom Wheeler some big wig at Comcast or something before becoming FCC chairman? Didn't Obama APPOINT him to that role?? This sounds to me like putting a hungry tiger shark in a fish tank and only after the fact trying to tell it to not be a shark.

I've heard classifying internet as a utility would impose some limitations that nobody wants, so I'm not sure it's the best idea, however it's still a better idea than what Comcast wants. Google Fiber needs to get a move on.

Well in the eyes of a politician, that makes him the most qualified. The hard part then is steering him in a favorable direction. But that's the problem the government has with all agencies and bureaucracies. They are allowed to act on their own, but that comes around to bite them in the butt because said agencies start to do things that are either poorly planned or just a thinly veiled power grab.

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