FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Are Reportedly Going To Be Brutal

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FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Are Reportedly Going To Be Brutal

FCC Tom Wheeler 310x

FCC Chairman Wheeler wants "significant expansion of the agency's authority to regulate broadband providers."

While we're still waiting to see exactly what broadband-focused rules and regulations the FCC proposes, last night's report by the Wall Street Journal gives us some insight on what to expect from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

The ruleset being crafted by the FCC will "fully embrace the principle known as net neutrality," and the move would bring ISPs in line with how telecommunications companies (cellular service providers) are regulated by the government. Most important? The rules would not allow providers to alter Internet traffic in any meaningful way -- no blocking, no slowdown, and no fast lane access across the board.

Another area that would come under regulation would be "paid-peering" deals, or agreements that allow content provider and network middlemen (like Netflix) to negotiate network access deals with ISPs. These deals will not be banned by the new ruleset, but the FCC will have oversight to ensure the deals don't clash with approved regulations. These deals aren't the fast lane access referenced up above, either; instead, such deals ensure that massive bandwidth users like Netflix don't completely swamp a network management, ensuring network stability on one end, and no bandwidth throttling on the other.

All of these new rules would effectively come via reclassification of ISPs under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. This plan, pushed by President Obama, was initially shot down by the FCC, but the commission has seemingly come around to the President's thinking.

The FCC is expected to announce its new rules on Thursday, as the battle between content providers and ISPs comes to its latest head. On one side, there are ISPs and hardware manufacturers arguing that reclassification is too aggressive and restrictive. On the other? Content providers and distributors like Google and Netflix, who fear that a lack of regulation could lead to a pay-to-play internet of sorts.

If the rules are indeed announced on Thursday, it's not going to be the end of the story. Expect at least one court battle, spearheaded by the cable companies, as was the case in early 2014.

Source: WSJ

Permalink

At this point, I'm just waiting for this moment to happen:

They may just be neurotic! Or possibly psychotic! They're the fellas at the freakin' FCC!

Scars Unseen:
At this point, I'm just waiting for this moment to happen:

Good manga. It just ended though :(

OT: We'll see. I'm cautiously optimistic though.

Scars Unseen:
At this point, I'm just waiting for this moment to happen:

What's that from? Looks good.

RaikuFA:

Scars Unseen:
At this point, I'm just waiting for this moment to happen:

What's that from? Looks good.

It's from the manga Liar Game. And it is very good. Just finished this last month, too.

Have I managed to derail this thread in the first post?

image

As someone who stuck my neck out on here for the FCC, I do hope they live up to what they've been saying. Net Neutrality is a must-have, especially in a country that tends to shy away from regulation and yet banally shrugs when the telecoms spend tax-payer money to build monopoly infrastructure.

I wonder if the CRTC will follow suit in Canada. I hope so... And now for the first time, a phrase is going to be used for the first time in a positive connotation...

Thanks Obama!

The devil is, as ever, in the details. But here's hoping. At least it sounds like they're saying the right things.

And if the SCOTUS screws this up, by God...

aceman67:
And now for the first time, a phrase is going to be used for the first time in a positive connotation...

Thanks Obama!

Eh. I can think of at least one time...

Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

Edit: This moves makes sense for them since they just decided to redefine Broadband on what seemed like a whim. clearly it wasn't a whim.

Baresark:
Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

there may be two or more, but there has been instances where ISPs have colluded to not compete and charge the same high prices, which is an Anti-consumer tactic and falls under Anti-trust legislation.

Baresark:
Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

I'm not sure how the "virtually everywhere" part of your statement stands up. It may be true that there are at least two ISP choices available to most Americans but those two ISP choices are usually not comparable. It'd be like saying most Americans have access to two competing Hospitals for their medical care when one is Johns Hopkins and the other is Lucky Larry's Sub Sandwiches and Surgery. According to what sources I could find, only 1/3 of Americans have two or more choices for internet over 25mbps. Over 100mbps, only 8-9% have more than one choice.

Given the extreme differences is what different ISPs provide, it's sort of like claiming AT&T didn't have a monopoly in the 80s because you could string two cans together and have a chat that way. Other than that I generally agree with you.

I'm not looking forward to when the ISPs start tacking on more fees to the bills because everyone else under title 2 does it. However, I'm glad to see the FCC coming around after their recent waffling on the issue.

As others have said, I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop and see the following press conference where the FCC chairman dances in a circle whilst smacking his butt and chanting "fooled you!"

Baresark:
Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

Lol. Oh man, that's funny!

With the new classification of High Speed Internet? Guess how many providers in my area there are?

Here's a hint. It's less than 2.

Anywhere NOT in a big city is pretty much in a similar situation.

Baresark:
Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

As noted by others, that's usually not the case for much of America. You'll get some areas with some legitimate competition, but even then you won't have enough competition to really drive improvements. So treating them more like utilities really does make sense, given the alternatives.

The interesting part will be the details.

Us Americans spend more money on average for internet access than most of the developed world, while getting some of the worst internet access for our money. And I'm supposed to feel sorry for ISPs because they'll no longer rake in so much money with so little effort?

See how much I cry for them and all the "innovations" their PR bemoan.

Scars Unseen:

RaikuFA:

Scars Unseen:
At this point, I'm just waiting for this moment to happen:

What's that from? Looks good.

It's from the manga Liar Game. And it is very good. Just finished this last month, too.

Have I managed to derail this thread in the first post?

image

That anime was so weird...
Pretty fun though.

I'm also waiting for the "but wait, there's more" in this story because come on. This guy is a former lobbyist for the telecoms industry. He has taken millions of dollars of telecom money over the years. You're telling me he doesn't have a vested interest in keeping his donors and former employers happy? I mean, we're talking American politics here. Those guys all have more sponsors than a NASCAR driver.

SlumlordThanatos:

Eh. I can think of at least one time...

I have to trade my elegant steel mechanized death machine improved more and more over these long years of war for some primitive knives?

image

No thanks, Obama. ;)

OP: Cautiously optimistic like everyone else. I can't dispel the thought though that we're just exchanging one evil for another.

Ah. The Trey and Matt method. Give brutally tough proposals and get middle-range compromises. If anyone is familiar with this technique, it would be the FCC - it was used on them for years.

Nothing like the Democratic party model of politics. If at first what you do is illegal, rewrite it again and again.
Remember this? http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/14/5307650/federal-court-strikes-down-net-neutrality-rules

You can't argue that only having one provider in your area makes your ISP a monopoly. When Bell Telephone was the ONLY telephone provider... that was a telecommunication monopoly.

These new rules will not break up or bring in new ISPs, it's only going to saddle your existing ones with new regulations that they will raise rates in order to satisfy.

DoctorM:
Nothing like the Democratic party model of politics. If at first what you do is illegal, rewrite it again and again.
Remember this? http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/14/5307650/federal-court-strikes-down-net-neutrality-rules

You can't argue that only having one provider in your area makes your ISP a monopoly. When Bell Telephone was the ONLY telephone provider... that was a telecommunication monopoly.

These new rules will not break up or bring in new ISPs, it's only going to saddle your existing ones with new regulations that they will raise rates in order to satisfy.

If ISPs did raise rates in this scenario, that would prove the regulators didn't do their jobs. Utilities in this country do have regulations on how much they can charge us.

Say, didn't you read what I said earlier? (as if I was the first the ever point this out) We're paying some of the highest ISP rates in the developed world, yet we get some of the shoddiest service in the developed world in return. We're being exploited! Hosed! Bent over a barrel! It's that simple.

Also, didn't you just acknowledge they are already monopolies. Yet you think ISPs being more tightly regulated instead of being 100% private will make their services more expensive? Are you saying they've been cutting corners and passing the savings onto us? Seriously?

Edit: And if you really want to drag party politics into this, here goes. **ahem**

Nothing like the Democratic party model of politics. If at first what you do is illegal, rewrite it again and again.

It takes alot of nerve for a republican to say such a thing after fifty failed attempts to outright repeal the ACA instead of attempting to amend it more to their liking. (you know, a goal that's actually still plausible) Not to mention the countless attempts to circumvent, or even openly violate, Roe vs Wade.

Oh, and reclassifying ISPs as public utilities wouldn't violate the SC's decision.

EiMitch:

DoctorM:
Nothing like the Democratic party model of politics. If at first what you do is illegal, rewrite it again and again.
Remember this? http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/14/5307650/federal-court-strikes-down-net-neutrality-rules

You can't argue that only having one provider in your area makes your ISP a monopoly. When Bell Telephone was the ONLY telephone provider... that was a telecommunication monopoly.

These new rules will not break up or bring in new ISPs, it's only going to saddle your existing ones with new regulations that they will raise rates in order to satisfy.

If ISPs did raise rates in this scenario, that would prove the regulators didn't do their jobs. Utilities in this country do have regulations on how much they can charge us.

Say, didn't you read what I said earlier? (as if I was the first the ever point this out) We're paying some of the highest ISP rates in the developed world, yet we get some of the shoddiest service in the developed world in return. We're being exploited! Hosed! Bent over a barrel! It's that simple.

Also, didn't you just acknowledged they are already monopolies. Yet you think ISPs being more tightly regulated instead of being 100% private will make their services more expensive? Are you saying they've been cutting corners and passing the savings onto us? Seriously?

Telecoms are only slightly[1] less adept at screwing their customers than banks / credit agencies. As the saying goes, "Where there's a will, there's a way." While I'm cautiously optimistic about these changes and I'd like to think it's a massive leap in the right direction (for the general public, and their wallets), I have little doubt that if Providers can't shoot this down or rip enough chunks from it to effectively neuter the regulations, they'll scramble like mad to find whatever loopholes they can to make you pay even more for the inconvenience.

[1] This is debatable, actually.

Arnoxthe1:
OP: Cautiously optimistic like everyone else. I can't dispel the thought though that we're just exchanging one evil for another.

Yeah. I mean, I read the details (what little there are) and I'm like, "Huh. this seems like exactly what I was hoping for . . . so why do I suddenly feel ambivalent about it?" I guess we'll still have to wait and see. Or maybe I just always get suspicious when things happen the way I want them to.

So, I'm guessing William Murderface is going to pen the new rules? Honestly, even Dethklok couldn't make this situation much worse. In fact, I'd love for them to have a private concert for all of the ISP leaders in the US. (Just watch an episode of Metalocalypse and you will know what I mean.)

Baresark:
Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

Edit: This moves makes sense for them since they just decided to redefine Broadband on what seemed like a whim. clearly it wasn't a whim.

There are 2 (only 2, like, wow, in my country 10 is probably minimum and thats in middle of nowhere) services that conspire not to compete with eachother to the point of merging together and you dont see antitrust issues?

Broadband redefinition was less a whim and more "yeah we are finally coming into 21st century" thinking.

DoctorM:

You can't argue that only having one provider in your area makes your ISP a monopoly.

Uh, what? thats the definition of monopoly - only one provider of service.

DoctorM:
Nothing like the Democratic party model of politics. If at first what you do is illegal, rewrite it again and again.
Remember this? http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/14/5307650/federal-court-strikes-down-net-neutrality-rules

You can't argue that only having one provider in your area makes your ISP a monopoly. When Bell Telephone was the ONLY telephone provider... that was a telecommunication monopoly.

These new rules will not break up or bring in new ISPs, it's only going to saddle your existing ones with new regulations that they will raise rates in order to satisfy.

Having only one option for a service makes that service a monopoly for that region. What's more, that monopoly was likely built with taxpayer money. Businesses don't get to argue against regulation while being happy to accept taxpayer cash to build their business. This idea that private corporations get to install infrastructure with your money, monopolize regions and be free of the bonds of regulation is not sensible. It is doubly disingenuous of them when they are downright giddy about using government regulation to stomp out competition like Google fibre. I'd be behind your statements if it were as simple as a private company trying to compete in a fair atmosphere driven by best products, services and innovation but there's just no way that's the case. Even a cursory look into the issue reveals that the climate that exists around ISPs is anything but a free market. We can't defend free market idealism where none exists.

Strazdas:

Baresark:
Title 2 was never meant for this, it's intended as an antitrust measure, which no ISP's fall into because virtually everywhere in the US there are 2 or more choices for internet service. I want net neutrality as much as anyone does but doing something that extends a law to something it was not intended for is the wrong way to go about it.

We'll see what happens though. Not like I actually have any say in it.

Edit: This moves makes sense for them since they just decided to redefine Broadband on what seemed like a whim. clearly it wasn't a whim.

There are 2 (only 2, like, wow, in my country 10 is probably minimum and thats in middle of nowhere) services that conspire not to compete with eachother to the point of merging together and you dont see antitrust issues?

Broadband redefinition was less a whim and more "yeah we are finally coming into 21st century" thinking.

DoctorM:

You can't argue that only having one provider in your area makes your ISP a monopoly.

Uh, what? thats the definition of monopoly - only one provider of service.

OF course more is better, but by definition 2 is not an antitrust issue, 1 is. Also notice I put 2 or more. It's annoying to have to explain this speed thing. First, not everyone needs 100Mbps. A lot of people only use it for email, casual surfing, or business (which requires more up than down typically). But I'm not saying it wouldn't be awesome everyone had 100Mbps down speeds, that would be incredible. But we are also the first country who had internet coverage so wide as we do. And yes, though there are parts of the country that do not have access (I lived in one for two years where the only possible way to have internet was either satellite or cellular, both of which were extremely spotty). What that means is that our infrastructure is also among the oldest in a lot of places.

Lets talk about the land coverage the US has. Most places you can live. But a lot of those places conditions can be harsh (ie. In New Mexico where the lowest elevation is 5000 feet above sea level and it's extremely flat there is constant wind and the water table can be hundreds of feet below the ground making wells very expensive to dig). When I lived there, we were about 14 miles outside of the nearest town (Truth or Consequences, NM) over miles and miles of dirt roads. Now, we had electric but no one is going to run cable lines over that distance for a handful of ranches, it would take generations for them to cover their costs. New Mexico is bigger than some nations in Europe (if it were placed in Europe, it would be the 10th largest nation in Europe by area). Let compare populations. The current tenth largest nation in Europe is Poland and their population is about 38.5 Million people. New Mexico is slightly larger and contains only 2 Million people and many are spread out (though most clearly live in Albuquerque and Las Cruces). New Mexico is not the only place like this in the US. And the places that have internet have that old infrastructure I mentioned before. It's much easier and cheaper to provide fast internet and options to people who get internet later than we did (which is most people in the world).

I'm not making excuses, but I'm looking at reality rather than some magic standard that people want to define for someone or some group of people. I want everyone to have super fast internet but I'm realistic enough to look at the roadblocks that are presently in place in the US.

Okay... this sounds good, but I just don't trust Tom Wheeler. Dude was a cable industry lobbyist before becoming the head of the FCC.

Yozozo:

Lol. Oh man, that's funny!

With the new classification of High Speed Internet? Guess how many providers in my area there are?

Here's a hint. It's less than 2.

Anywhere NOT in a big city is pretty much in a similar situation.

Hey now, some of us that live in some big cities are still in the same boat.

I live in Chicagoland, and under the new classification, there is ONE High Speed Internet provider available to my home, and it just barely counts (Comcast's 25 Mbps line, which is the "best" they offer and from what I've seen that rate is very dubious at the best of times).

XMark:
Okay... this sounds good, but I just don't trust Tom Wheeler. Dude was a cable industry lobbyist before becoming the head of the FCC.

Indeed, we must not trust him. He is, after all, a dingo.

(Although he claims not to be a dingo, but that's just what a dingo would say)

Baresark:
Lets talk about the land coverage the US has. Most places you can live. But a lot of those places conditions can be harsh (ie. In New Mexico where the lowest elevation is 5000 feet above sea level and it's extremely flat there is constant wind and the water table can be hundreds of feet below the ground making wells very expensive to dig). When I lived there, we were about 14 miles outside of the nearest town (Truth or Consequences, NM) over miles and miles of dirt roads. Now, we had electric but no one is going to run cable lines over that distance for a handful of ranches, it would take generations for them to cover their costs.

That would be a valid point, if cables were the only option. But they're not. If ISPs truly become utilities, (and its starting to look like they will) then they won't need to cling to old business models. They're primary function will become providing broadband access, not selling cable specifically.

New Mexico is bigger than some nations in Europe (if it were placed in Europe, it would be the 10th largest nation in Europe by area). Let compare populations. The current tenth largest nation in Europe is Poland and their population is about 38.5 Million people. New Mexico is slightly larger and contains only 2 Million people and many are spread out (though most clearly live in Albuquerque and Las Cruces). New Mexico is not the only place like this in the US. And the places that have internet have that old infrastructure I mentioned before. It's much easier and cheaper to provide fast internet and options to people who get internet later than we did (which is most people in the world).

Again, cables aren't the only option. Also, I've believed for some time now that we're overdue for major renovations and expansions to this country's infrastructure, telecoms included.

But nope. We the people need to pinch every penny of public spending, so we can throw damn near all our tax dollars at military research instead, (while ignoring that aging infrastructure too. Nuclear launch codes on floppy discs, anyone?) which China is just cheaply stealing and reverse engineering anyway.

I'm not making excuses, but I'm looking at reality rather than some magic standard that people want to define for someone or some group of people. I want everyone to have super fast internet but I'm realistic enough to look at the roadblocks that are presently in place in the US.

I consider myself a realist too. As I've said twice in this thread, American ISPs have been hosing us with super-expensive, yet inferior service. Your arguments might hold more water if they've been charging comparable rates with the rest of the developed world. But they haven't. They've been sticking it to us. Where has that money been going? To shareholders, marketing, shareholders, lobbying, shareholders, shareholders... You get the picture yet?

EiMitch:

Baresark:
Lets talk about the land coverage the US has. Most places you can live. But a lot of those places conditions can be harsh (ie. In New Mexico where the lowest elevation is 5000 feet above sea level and it's extremely flat there is constant wind and the water table can be hundreds of feet below the ground making wells very expensive to dig). When I lived there, we were about 14 miles outside of the nearest town (Truth or Consequences, NM) over miles and miles of dirt roads. Now, we had electric but no one is going to run cable lines over that distance for a handful of ranches, it would take generations for them to cover their costs.

That would be a valid point, if cables were the only option. But they're not. If ISPs truly become utilities, (and its starting to look like they will) then they won't need to cling to old business models. They're primary function will become providing broadband access, not selling cable specifically.

New Mexico is bigger than some nations in Europe (if it were placed in Europe, it would be the 10th largest nation in Europe by area). Let compare populations. The current tenth largest nation in Europe is Poland and their population is about 38.5 Million people. New Mexico is slightly larger and contains only 2 Million people and many are spread out (though most clearly live in Albuquerque and Las Cruces). New Mexico is not the only place like this in the US. And the places that have internet have that old infrastructure I mentioned before. It's much easier and cheaper to provide fast internet and options to people who get internet later than we did (which is most people in the world).

Again, cables aren't the only option. Also, I've believed for some time now that we're overdue for major renovations and expansions to this country's infrastructure, telecoms included.

But nope. We the people need to pinch every penny of public spending, so we can throw damn near all our tax dollars at military research instead, (while ignoring that aging infrastructure too. Nuclear launch codes on floppy discs, anyone?) which China is just cheaply stealing and reverse engineering anyway.

I'm not making excuses, but I'm looking at reality rather than some magic standard that people want to define for someone or some group of people. I want everyone to have super fast internet but I'm realistic enough to look at the roadblocks that are presently in place in the US.

I consider myself a realist too. As I've said twice in this thread, American ISPs have been hosing us with super-expensive, yet inferior service. Your arguments might hold more water if they've been charging comparable rates with the rest of the developed world. But they haven't. They've been sticking it to us. Where has that money been going? To shareholders, marketing, shareholders, lobbying, shareholders, shareholders... You get the picture yet?

I only used cable as an example. Clearly if we were to all get Google Fiber (1000 Mbps) we would all be better off. But that comes down to installed infrastructure still. We are talking about replacing the old infrastructure with new, which is going to be ridiculously expensive in America, more expensive than any other country in the world, most likely.

I too would prefer that we didn't spend so much on war. War time economics are universally bad unless you are at war. And we may be technically at war, but our military budget dwarfs everyone else's in the world pretty much (and this is independent of the false dichotomy that is the US government).

You can sit there and say what you think is happening with the money, but I don't really care for the casual assumption that business is just greedy in general and that is why it's responsible for x,y, and z. Sure, business is profit driven, but humans are profit driven. There are what's called controlled monopolies in the US and they are created by the government. One of the ways they do this is set standards that no small company can afford to uphold, which then weeds out any potential competition or chance for competition to grow. This is one aspect of what we are seeing now. One of the ways that this is going to negatively effect us that they will more than likely find a way to attach yet another hidden tax on everyone, just like they do for all current utilities.

The funniest thing I find is that we went from companies want to be able to sell fast lanes to now we have to classify it as utility which literally makes everything a thousand times more complicated than it was, when the government could have just said no from day one. Now they will force companies to adhere to even stricter rules, negating any more competition. Sure, in other utilities we have some competition, it just took about 30 years for a competitor to popup for my local electric (JCP&L), and the price difference is so incredibly negligible that it's not really worth the time and trouble to switch (we are talking about saving less than .5 cents per Kilowatt Hour).

Consider me dubious. I'll believe that the US government is actually being brutal towards corporations when I see one of them run out of business.

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