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Net Neutrality - Printable Version

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Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 10-21-2009

The long anticipated unveiling of what government is going to do to protect the public from the evil ISPs:

FCC TO HOLD OPEN COMMISSION MEETING
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2009
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/atta...OC-294028A1.pdf

.. this should be good

Posted below are my thoughts - contrary to the majority on digg. They really tried to rip into me on this one, the semi-informed public seems to have a short memory when it comes to government intervention. A lot of fairly informed people, including Gary Fung of isoHunt and iPower, have gotten behind this idea but fail to see where it could lead. Then again we haven't even seen the any bill drafts yet - that comes Thursday and thankfully it is subject to public scrutiny - unlike so much legislation now-a-days.

Net Neutrality is an underhanded way for governments to get their foot in the door to have total control of the internet. It might start out with a few nice gestures but if you look at the history of the FCC, they have never acted to serve the public at large. Most media (newspapers, radio and internet) is owned by 6 companies that are heavily censored and regulated. New entrants into these forms of media are left at a huge disadvantage by way of through red tape, fees and regulation. The internet, in its current state, has leveled the internet playing field for now with its minimal regulation and low entry fee (a domain and some rackspace). This mandate will likely legislate the internet in such a way to benefit the very companies / content providers that have supported (helped write) this bill.

Talks are already taking place in backrooms of some ISPs in order to come up with a subscription based model for internet 2.0 that will package together blocks of mainstream websites for public consumption like the TV media already does. A 'basic cable' package will be offered as a default and anything outside of mainstream will be packaged as extras for a fee. The FCC is on board with this since it give them control through regulation. Don't be fooled by Net Neutrality, it is a trojan horse to have government / big business control and shape the internet, leaving independent media behind in the dust of regulation.

Telcos are currently a free market force. Telcos by themselves are interested in profit and not censorship. Government intervention would only serve to legislate the internet by its very definition. Net Neutrality is a clever way to get its foot in the door and that is the very reason they are on board.

When has the government ever saved us from the corporations history dictates quite the opposite. They stack the deck in favor of those who present their point of view and the news they want you to see. I present to you the television monopolies as case and point.

At least with the web now there is an alternative content body and, unless the government steps in to censor and tax it out of reach, it will remain that way.

Free market forces will allow the public to purchase and support who they want. I would not support an ISP that goes the subscription model route. If it does happen there would be an uproar and new ISPs would capitalize on the demand for the 'old internet', there will certainly be a market for it. Government intervention may very well quash this new start up option or at least make it much more difficult. Television and radio is heavily regulated but we see this model nonetheless.

There is already laws against corporate collusion and pseudo-monopolies why add another layer of regulation just for the internet unless to censor, shape and control it to the government's whim? People may be afraid of an OPEC type model of pricing fixing and collusion by an entire industry but we are dealing with a non-renewable resource in that instance and scarcity plays a large role in the supply-deamnd curve and is easily manipulated. Ultimately the internet can be branched off or seceded with enough ingenuity and know-how and public support (demand) so if it comes to this, regulation will likely kill this option.

Announcement (pro Net Neuter)
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2009/1...-ags-mayors.ars

FCC Chairman wants network neutrality, wired and wireless (pro Net Neuter)
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/20...nd-wireless.ars

Senator DeMint writes Net Neutrality law would make the Internet less free (anti-Net Neuter)
http://news.com.com/2010-1028_3-6088253.html

Quote:As this debate moves forward, we cannot allow the confusion raised by so-called Net neutrality to be the poison pill that prevents Congress from passing long-overdue telecom reform. We must not risk the future growth of the Internet and all the benefits that this reform would bring to consumers, by growing government regulation in the name of trying to fix a problem that does not now--and may not ever--exist.



Net Neutrality - SiLVa - 10-21-2009

I was talking to a friend yesterday about this. He called me up because he was emailed some Glen Beck clip, he was discussing what he thought Net Neutrality was. Beck and a guest were saying that Net Neutrality was a way for the government to get more control of the Net, also in the goal was to get everyone broadband access to the Net.
Beck and his guest were claiming that people for Net Neutrality were just being scared into believing that the "evil corporations were denying access to some sites" and other minor things like that, which in their eyes, was just fearmongering and wasnt really happening.
Yet we know that this does happen, so right there his view on this wasnt credible to me. And I explained that to this friend of mine.
I always thought Net neutrality was outside government concerns, and more involved with activist groups and internet watch dog groups. So is there a Net Neutrality Bill or something that some within the government are trying to push- maybe under the guise of Net Neutrality?
I mean, I certainly wouldnt be surprised if that were the case. I just thought that the whole point of Net Neutrality was to keep it free from the controlling hands of government and corporations.


Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 10-21-2009

Quote:I just thought that the whole point of Net Neutrality was to keep it free from the controlling hands of government and corporations.
That was the point but this grassroots movement has been raped and has had a bastard child. The full impact won't be evident at first and may even be embraced as a good thing to get public support but this ultimately gives government a foot in the door in legislating the internet. How fast they will move to make Net Neutrality a Neutered Net is unknown.

Here lies the choice, let's feel powerless to combat the evil corporation in our free market economy and have the government protect us and regulate us and censor us from ourselves. Or we can support those companies that serve the public interest or if we don't like it we can get off our couches and create our own grassroots alternative ISPs in the true spirit of democracy.

I'd trust the government more if they had even a half decent track record of protecting us from corporations but that is clearly not the case given the plutocratic oligarchy we have today.


Net Neutrality - SiLVa - 10-21-2009

Quote:That was the point but this grassroots movement has been raped and has had a bastard child. The full impact won't be evident at first and may even be embraced as a good thing to get public support but this ultimately gives government a foot in the door in legislating the internet. How fast they will move to make Net Neutrality a Neutered Net is unknown

Here lies the choice, let's feel powerless to combat the evil corporation in our free market economy and have the government protect us and regulate us and censor us from ourselves. Or we can support those companies that serve the public interest or if we don't like it we can get off our couches and create our own grassroots alternative ISPs in the true spirit of democracy

I'd trust the government more if they had even a half decent track record of protecting us from corporations but that is clearly not the case given the plutocratic oligarchy we have today.
I agree 100%
I was talking to someone I know about the possibility of providing independant ISPs focused on marketing to people that want real Net Neutrality, but Im not a technical person so I didnt know how to move that idea forward. But its a good idea. A great idea.


Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 10-23-2009

Quote:Is Net Neutrality a FCC Trojan Horse?
Commentary by Corynne McSherry
October 21st, 2009

On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to unveil draft rules aimed at imposing network neutrality obligations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the excitement surrounding the announcement, however, many have overlooked the fact that the this rulemaking is built on a shoddy and dangerous foundation – the idea that the FCC has unlimited authority to regulate the Internet.

Genachowski has announced that the draft regulations will require ISPs to abide by the "Four Freedoms" set forth in the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy Statement, as well as the additional principles of nondiscrimination and transparency. EFF strongly believes in these six principles. Our work speaks for itself: we are developing software tools to Test Your ISP in the wake of uncovering Comcast’s meddling with BitTorrent traffic, seeking a DMCA exemption to let you run applications of your choice on your mobile phone, and fighting Hollywood’s efforts to force DRM restrictions into your television.

But Congress has never given the FCC any authority to regulate the Internet for the purpose of ensuring net neutrality. In place of explicit congressional authority, we expect the FCC will rely on its "ancillary jurisdiction," a position that amounts to “we can regulate the Internet however we like without waiting for Congress to act.” (See, e.g., the FCC's brief to a court earlier this year). That’s a power grab that would leave the Internet subject to the regulatory whims of the FCC long after Chairman Genachowski leaves his post.

Hence the danger. If “ancillary jurisdiction” is enough for net neutrality regulations (something we might like) today, it could just as easily be invoked tomorrow for any other Internet regulation that the FCC dreams up (including things we won’t like). For example, it doesn't take much imagination to envision a future FCC "Internet Decency Statement." After all, outgoing FCC Chairman Martin was a crusader against "indecency" on the airwaves and it was the FCC that punished Pacifica radio for playing George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” monologue, something you can easily find on the Internet. And it's also too easy to imagine an FCC "Internet Lawful Use Policy," created at the behest of the same entertainment lobby that has long been pressing the FCC to impose DRM on TV and radio, with ISPs required or encouraged to filter or otherwise monitor their users to ensure compliance. After all, it was only thanks to a jurisdictional challenge -- ironically, by many of the same groups currently celebrating Genachowski's rulemaking announcement -- that we defeated the FCC's "broadcast flag" mandate which would have given Hollywood and federal bureaucrats veto power over innovative devices and legitimate uses of recorded TV programming.

EFF's concerns are born from more than just a general skepticism about government regulation of the Internet. Experience shows that the FCC is particularly vulnerable to regulatory capture and has a history of ignoring grassroots public opinion (see, e.g., media consolidation). That makes the agency a poor choice for restraining the likes of Comcast and AT&T.

Fortunately, there are two opportunities to reign in the FCC’s expansive views of its own “ancillary jurisdiction.” A federal court is considering this important question as part of Comcast's challenge to the FCC's order last year regarding interference with BitTorrent traffic (PFF filed a strong amicus brief in the case, arguing against the FCC's power grab). Or Congress could limit the FCC's power by authorizing to regulate only to ensure network neutrality.

So while we look forward to evaluating Chairman Genachowski’s proposed net neutrality regulations, the first step must be a clear rejection of any suggestion that those regulations can be based on “ancillary jurisdiction.” Otherwise, "net neutrality" might very well come to be remembered as the Trojan Horse that allowed the FCC take over the Internet.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/09/net-n...ils-and-promise
http://digg.com/tech_news/EFF_Is_Net_Neutr...CC_Trojan_Horse


Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 10-27-2009

Quote:Net neutrality regulations could be a bad thing
The open Internet isn't good for big ISPs
By Ian Williams
Monday, 26 October 2009, 18:25

NET NEUTRALITY might not be a good thing for users or Internet service providers (ISPs), according to business analytics outfit SAS.

The warning follows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling to protect net neutrality by restricting mobile and fixed line ISPs from discriminating against legal traffic from content providers.

According to the FCC, this is to ensure that innovation and competition is maintained and that the average end user isn't shafted by large corporations leaning on ISPs to squeeze smaller, rival outfits until they choke.

So far this may seem like the only logical way to go and we're sure most of us here in the UK would love Ofcom to take a similar stance.

But Tajinder Jagdev, head of the Communications, Media and Entertainment Practice for SAS UK warns that it might not all be sunshine and roses.

"The implications of the FCC ruling have wider ramifications, as in practice 'net neutrality' has the potential to undermine companies such as AT&T in America who want to restrict the use of Internet [by] companies like Skype on the smartphones," he said

"The ruling would benefit content companies like Skype but cut into the revenues generated by telecom providers from phone calls. This ultimately raises outstanding issues that need to be addressed in order for the interests of all parties involved to be protected."

SAS also reckons that by letting surfers run rampant over the Internet and just visit whatever sites they please, with no control from the ISPs apart from blocking illegal content, those using high bandwidth applications will slow everything down for those with less demanding requirements.

Jagdev stopped short of describing the Internet as a series of tubes, but he did conclude that it's only really the content providers who benefit from net neutrality, rather then the ISPs.

"If the FCC proposal is rolled out to other countries - especially the UK - content providers will be among those that benefit most from this proposal, but ISP's will need to review their existing services."

"SAS has already identified that a tiered billing model, in which users pay more money for higher bandwidth packages, is perhaps the most likely solution to remedy the problem of consumer inequality in the future and generate revenues."

Jagdev didn't mention that network neutrality has been a key governing principle of the Internet ever since its founding. Rather, he seemed to suggest that the FCC is proposing new regulations to impose changes.

In fact, the FCC is acting in opposition to a concerted effort by the major telecomm and cable broadband providers to implement content blocking and tiered-access 'traffic management' schemes that are widely thought to be designed to establish controls on their own terms over the presently free and open Internet. µ
http://digg.com/tech_news/Net_neutrality_r..._be_a_bad_thing
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1...regulations-bad


Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 10-28-2009

Linked here in all of its glorious detail of 128 points, is the Telecom review by this government appointed agency, the CRTC, in Canada. Since it is the first framework law to be passed on the Net Neutrality issue you can expect legislation in other countries to follow the basic framework as to work in conjunction and to legislate in lock step with world governance.

There are several references to a 2006 policy meeting (Governor in Council’s Policy Direction - P.C. 2006‑1534) that I have not been able to find concrete links to - I'm looking into it.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Review of the Internet traffic management practices of Internet service providers
Ottawa, 21 October 2009
File number: 8646-C12-200815400

Notable Sections of the document pertaining to blocking or throttling content:

Quote:36. The Commission notes that investment in network capacity is a fundamental tool for dealing with network congestion and should continue to be the primary solution that ISPs employ. However, the Commission considers that investment alone does not obviate the need for certain ITMPs, which may be used to address temporary network capacity constraints and changing network conditions, as well as for service innovation.

61. Clear and prominent disclosure of technical ITMPs on the websites of primary ISPs must be made a minimum of 30 days in advance of a new technical ITMP being implemented or an existing one being modified. With respect to housekeeping changes or changes that result in a less restrictive technical ITMP (as described below in paragraph 87), no minimum time period for advance disclosure is required, so long as disclosure is made upon implementation.

121. The Commission notes that the majority of parties are in agreement that actions by ISPs that result in outright blocking of access to content would be prohibited under section 36 unless prior approval was obtained from the Commission.

122. The Commission finds that where an ITMP would lead to blocking the delivery of content to an end-user, it cannot be implemented without prior Commission approval. Approval under section 36 would only be granted if it would further the telecommunications policy objectives set out in section 7 of the Act. Interpreted in light of these policy objectives, ITMPs that result in blocking Internet traffic would only be approved in exceptional circumstances, as they involve denying access to telecommunications services.

123. As noted earlier, there are technical ITMPs currently being deployed by some ISPs that slow down traffic generated by P2P file-sharing applications.

124. The Commission notes that the degree to which an application or service is delayed may have an impact on its performance. Furthermore, transmission delays may affect some types of applications or services more than others. For these reasons, it is important to identify which types of traffic and/or applications would be impacted by transmission delays.

125. In the case of time-sensitive audio or video traffic (i.e. real-time audio or video such as video conferencing and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services), ITMPs that introduce delays or jitter15 are likely to cause degradation to the service. The Commission considers that when noticeable degradation occurs, it amounts to controlling the content and influencing the meaning and purpose of the telecommunications in question.

126. Accordingly, the Commission finds that use of an ITMP resulting in the noticeable degradation of time-sensitive Internet traffic will require prior Commission approval under section 36 of the Act.

127. With respect to non-time-sensitive traffic, the Commission considers that the use of ITMPs that delay such traffic does not require approval under section 36 of the Act. However, the Commission is of the view that non-time-sensitive traffic may be slowed down to such an extent that it amounts to blocking the content and therefore controlling the content and influencing the meaning and purpose. In such a case, section 36 of the Act would be engaged and prior Commission approval would be required.

ITMP framework will not apply to section 36 complaints regarding ITMPs

128. The Commission notes that, according to its determinations in this decision, parties may submit complaints with respect to an ITMP that may engage section 36 of the Act, and ISPs are to seek prior Commission approval for the use of an ITMP if it engages section 36 of the Act. In such cases, the ITMP framework would not be used to evaluate the use of such ITMPs, as the matter is not one of discrimination or preference, but of controlling the content or influencing the meaning or purpose of telecommunications.

The sections in italics pertain to selectively throttling traffic and specifically single out P2P as a culprit. Real time communication is the only protocol that is exempt from selective degradation of service.

Privacy

Quote:103. In light of the above, the Commission finds it appropriate to establish privacy provisions in order to protect personal information. The Commission therefore directs all primary ISPs, as a condition of providing retail Internet services, not to use for other purposes personal information collected for the purposes of traffic management and not to disclose such information.

105. The Commission notes that ISPs use aggregated information collected for the purposes of network planning and engineering, and expects that they will continue to rely on aggregated information for such purposes.

In regards to privacy, it seems legitimate if analyzed by itself. Although these provisions can be overturned by previous legislation in the case of illegal activity. Section 105 allows ISPs to identify types of network traffic via deep packet sniffing allowing them to determine what is being downloaded, streamed and/or transmitted but cannot arbitrarily combine that data with the IP address(es) involved in the transaction unless it is being monitored for legal reasons. It is conceivable that all data is associated with packet information to some degree as it does not deny that personal information is collected and actually assumes it in the wording.

Dugg: http://digg.com/world_news/Net_Neutrality_...icy_CRTC_Canada
Source: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-657.htm


RE: Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 04-07-2010

Quote:FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality'
Federal appeals court rules for Comcast and against FCC on key `net neutrality' case
Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer, On Tuesday April 6, 2010, 5:38 pm EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission and could even hamper the government's plans to expand broadband access in the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "network neutrality" obligations on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality, including the FCC chairman, have argued that the policy is necessary to prevent broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online services, such as Internet phone programs or software that runs in a Web browser. Advocates contend there is precedent: Nondiscrimination rules have traditionally applied to so-called "common carrier" networks that serve the public, from roads and highways to electrical grids and telephone lines.

But broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. argue that after spending billions of dollars on their networks, they should be able to sell premium services and manage their systems to prevent certain applications from hogging capacity.

Tuesday's unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel was a setback for the FCC because it questioned the agency's authority to regulate broadband. That could cause problems beyond the FCC's effort to adopt official net neutrality regulations. It also has serious implications for the ambitious national broadband-expansion plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs the authority to regulate broadband so that it can push ahead with some of the plan's key recommendations. Among other things, the FCC proposes to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

In a statement, the FCC said it remains "firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans" and "will rest these policies ... on a solid legal foundation."

Comcast welcomed the decision, saying "our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation."

The case centers on Comcast's actions in 2007 when it interfered with an online file-sharing service called BitTorrent, which lets people swap movies and other big files over the Internet. The next year the FCC banned Comcast from blocking subscribers from using BitTorrent. The commission, at the time headed by Republican Kevin Martin, based its order on a set of net neutrality principles it had adopted in 2005.

But Comcast argued that the FCC order was illegal because the agency was seeking to enforce mere policy principles, which don't have the force of regulations or law. That's one reason that Martin's successor, Democratic FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, is trying to formalize those rules.

The cable company had also argued the FCC lacks authority to mandate net neutrality because it had deregulated broadband under the Bush administration, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005.

The FCC now defines broadband as a lightly regulated information service. That means it is not subject to the "common carrier" obligations that make traditional telecommunications services share their networks with competitors and treat all traffic equally. But the FCC maintains that existing law gives it authority to set rules for information services.

Tuesday's court decision rejected that reasoning, concluding that Congress has not given the FCC "untrammeled freedom" to regulate without explicit legal authority.

With so much at stake, the FCC now has several options. It could ask Congress to give it explicit authority to regulate broadband. Or it could appeal Tuesday's decision.

But both of those steps could take too long because the agency "has too many important things they have to do right away," said Ben Scott, policy director for the public interest group Free Press. Free Press was among the groups that alerted the FCC after The Associated Press ran tests and reported that Comcast was interfering with attempts by some subscribers to share files online.

Scott believes that the likeliest step by the FCC is that it will simply reclassify broadband as a more heavily regulated telecommunications service. That, ironically, could be the worst-case outcome from the perspective of the phone and cable companies.

"Comcast swung an ax at the FCC to protest the BitTorrent order," Scott said. "And they sliced right through the FCC's arm and plunged the ax into their own back."

The battle over the FCC's legal jurisdiction comes amid a larger policy dispute over the merits of net neutrality. Backed by Internet companies such as Google Inc. and the online calling service Skype, the FCC says rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from prioritizing some traffic or degrading or services that compete with their core businesses. Indeed, BitTorrent can be used to transfer large files such as online video, which could threaten Comcast's cable TV business.

But broadband providers point to the fact that applications such as BitTorrent use an outsized amount of network capacity.

For its part, the FCC offered no details on its next step, but stressed that it remains committed to the principle of net neutrality.

"Today's court decision invalidated the prior commission's approach to preserving an open Internet," the agency's statement said. "But the court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end."
http://digg.com/business_finance/US_court_rules_against_FCC_on_net_neutrality
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/US-court-rules-against-FCC-on-apf-78990100.html?x=0&.v=4

Pitting a big corporation against the government in defence of a free internet -- nice spin to drum up support for government regulation of the web. Don't like ComCast? Switch ISPs - the free market in action. This ruling will hold back the dogs for a few more minutes. Maybe they'll mix up the tactics with policing net fraud, terrorism, kiddie porn and piracy to get their foot in the door to control ISPs.


RE: Net Neutrality - h3rm35 - 04-08-2010

(via email)

The future of the Internet is in grave danger.

A federal appeals court ruled today that the FCC doesn't have the authority to protect Internet users. The decision means the agency can't stop Comcast from blocking Web traffic. It can't carry out the National Broadband Plan. It won't be able to safeguard Net Neutrality.

Let's Win Back Control of the Internet:
The FCC Must Act on Our Behalf.

I’m a policy lawyer at Free Press. They don’t usually let me send you e-mails, but today is different. Let me explain how we got into this mess:

Two years ago, the FCC ruled that Comcast could not block online content, and Comcast challenged the ruling in court. Today, the court ruled in Comcast's favor, effectively placing the Internet in the hands of big phone and cable companies.

This decision exploits a loophole in current law — the result of overzealous deregulation by the Bush administration — that threatens Net Neutrality and leaves the FCC unable to achieve the crucial goals of the National Broadband Plan.

Thankfully, this FCC can correct its predecessors’ mistakes, reassert its authority, and close the loophole. (Get ready, this is a tad complicated.)

The FCC needs to “reclassify” broadband under the Communications Act. In 2002, the FCC decided to place broadband providers outside the legal framework that traditionally applied to companies that offer two-way communications services, like phone companies.

That decision is what first put Net Neutrality in jeopardy, setting in motion the legal wrangling that now endangers the FCC's ability to protect our Internet rights.

But the good news is that the FCC still has the power to set things right, and to make sure the free and open Internet stays that way. And once we’ve done that, the FCC can ensure that Comcast can’t interfere with our communications, no matter the platform.

That won't happen unless thousands, even millions, of us take action now.

To be clear: This court decision hurts. But it’s created the opportunity for us to fix what was broken so many years ago.

It’s our Internet, not theirs. Let’s take it back.

Thanks,

Chris Riley
Policy Counsel
http://www.SaveTheInternet.com
http://www.FreePress.net


RE: Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 04-08-2010

This wouldn't be an issue if there wasn't a huge favouritism in regards that kills the competition between these entities. It is appalling that the free market system has resorted to corporate cronyism where the laws favour them and treat them as a person with no regard to any crimes or moral accountability for these soulless entities that are afforded all of the benefits of personhood when it suits them.

As I had mentioned above the only way to combat this is to have a level playing field with true competition by eliminating collusion and regional monopolies of the ISPs. That is the only way the consumer can effectively vote with their dollars and get the service they want at a price that reflect the true value of the service. A service that is becoming more of a need in this world, some countries have even gone as far as to label it a human right to have broadband access. Competition = choice = economic freedom. When everything is subsidized, given grants and publicly funded infrastructure in a system that tends to favour select companies that are chummy with the administration.

The only thing the government should be doing in this case is enforcing the existing competition and monopoly laws. If they are going to subsidize then they have to do it transparently across the board.

Government thinks they can better manage health care than health professionals and they think they can dictate to technology professionals as to how to run their ISPs.


RE: Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 04-17-2010

The initial rollout of regulation is clouded with
http://www.broadband.gov/plan/broadband-action-agenda-items.html


RE: Net Neutrality - h3rm35 - 04-17-2010

(04-17-2010, 04:08 AM)FastTadpole Wrote: The initial rollout of regulation is clouded with
http://www.broadband.gov/plan/broadband-action-agenda-items.html

yup... that's what the whole "white space" thing was about a couple years ago... I'm not cool w/ the possibility of gvt regulation and censorship of the internet - it's unconstitutional. But then again, allowing the ISP's to regulate it is the same thing - the government is run by corporations to begin with. At least with the government regulation, there's a temporary check through what's left of the bill of rights. If the constitution were completely shredded already, I wouldn't have been able to type this and have it seen on this site.

A lesser of two evils imo - the bottom line of corporations would shut down free speech a lot faster than the slowly turning gears of our bureaucracy...

It's really odd, but every once in a while, bureaucracy is a good thing.


RE: Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 04-17-2010

Quote:the government is run by corporations to begin with
The government is a corporation.

Quote:corporations would shut down free speech
Not if there was competition on equal footing, monopoly / collusion laws were enforced or free speech I'd even suggest putting a cap on market share so there is less chance of a cartel forming,

Think for a second where the internet would be today if it were run as a public service say ~1995. Would there be the innovation in technology? Would there be free speech?


RE: Net Neutrality - h3rm35 - 04-17-2010

"The government is a corporation"
much more accurate statement than mine - well said.

"Not if there was competition on equal footing, monopoly / collusion laws were enforced or free speech I'd even suggest putting a cap on market share so there is less chance of a cartel forming..."
but there isn't... corps would not only fast-track their preferred content and leave indy media that wasn't involved with commenting on the state of their business crawling along @ dial up speeds, but they'd probably outright block any critical outlets like http://www.SaveTheInternet.com & http://www.FreePress.net. on top of that, what you're suggesting are gvt regs on the internet which is what you seem to be opposed to...

"Think for a second where the internet would be today if it were run as a public service say ~1995. Would there be the innovation in technology?"
yup... (as far as I can tell in a hypothetical situation, using the rest of the computer industry as a gauge,) the hardware and software developers would drive it... without the internet growing the way it has, a lot less people would be buying netbooks and smartphones, and computer corps are no different than any other - they must have constant growth or they fail.

"Would there be free speech?"
I'd guess there'd be as much as in libraries, and libraries are the next best outlets for receiving unfettered info currently, at least in the US... and if the people in charge of the internet were anywhere near as adamant about protecting it as librarians, we'd probably be better off. They're probably the the largest group in this country that's close to unanimous in their active opposition to the USAPATRIOT act.


RE: Net Neutrality - FastTadpole - 04-29-2010

Quote:Saving the Internet from the FCC
Why the Web doesn't need a regulator.
Peter Suderman | April 28, 2010

The Internet is in trouble. And it's all George W. Bush's fault.

That's what Net neutrality proponents would have the public believe, anyway. On April 6, a federal appeals court nullified the FCC's censure of Internet service provider Comcast for degrading the bandwidth of some users of the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. Since then, neutrality nuts have worked themselves into a minor panic.

Free Press, for example, is reportedly responding with a "full-court press" on the issue, which includes, among other things, an online clock counting off the days the Internet has been left "unprotected," cries from staff bloggers that we're in the midst of "a battle over the future of the Internet," and chirpy open letters pleading with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for increased federal regulation. The New York Times' editorial board, meanwhile, calls the current situation "untenable" and pins the blame on dear old Dubya, saying that it's all a result of "the Bush administration’s predictably antiregulatory decision to define broadband Internet access as an information service...over which it has little regulatory power."

Why the freakout? Because, most agree, the court's decision in the Comcast case would likely invalidate any attempt by the FCC to regulate Net neutrality. According to longtime neutrality booster Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the ruling "appears to vacate the authority of the FCC to conduct oversight over broadband service and the telephone and cable giants that own the wires." Kerry's statement may be slightly too broad, but at the very least, any attempt by the FCC to exercise regulatory authority over an ISP's network management practices—the very heart of Net neutrality regulation—would be of uncertain legality. For the FCC to push forward under the current legal regime would be to virtually guarantee legal challenges that the agency could very likely lose.

So, supporters say, it's now up to the FCC to reregulate what the Bush administration deregulated. This would entail changing the classification of broadband from an "information" service under Title I of the 1996 Communications Act to a "telecommunications" service under Title II. "Under the Bush administration, the F.C.C. deregulated high-speed Internet providers, arguing that cable Internet access was different from the kind of high-speed Internet access provided by phone companies," wrote former Obama tech adviser and University of Michigan law professor Susan Crawford in The New York Times. "It can regain its authority to pursue both network neutrality and widespread access to broadband by formally relabeling Internet access services as “telecommunications services,” rather than 'information services,' as they are called now."

Already, at least one of the FCC's Commissioners, Democrat Michael Copps, is on board. "The only way the Commission can make lemonade out of this lemon of a decision is to do now what should have been done years ago: treat broadband as the telecommunications service that it is," he told The Hill.

The solution, then, seems simple: Have the FCC undo the damage done by Bush. But there are major problems with this proposal and the political narrative it employs.

The first is that the Bush administration isn't entirely to blame. The legislation in question—a 1996 modification to the Communications Act—actually originated under the Clinton administration. And the first detailed FCC inquiry into how to treat broadband was signed by Clinton's FCC Chairman, Bill Kennard, in 1998. Here's what he wrote at the time:

The provision of Internet access service crucially involves information-processing elements as well; it offers end users information-service capabilities inextricably intertwined with data transport. As such, we conclude that it is appropriately classed as an "information service."

Nor was this a strictly technical finding—the report made the case that this classification was not only legally correct but socially good. Just a few paragraphs later, Kennard warned that any "conclusion that Internet access services should be classed as 'telecommunications'" would result in "negative policy consequences."

The second problem is that the decision about how to classify broadband providers isn't merely a matter of the FCC's whim—it would entail the FCC making a decision it may not have the authority to make. According to Larry Downes, a fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society, "nothing in the Communications Act gives the FCC authority to decide on its own what is and what is not a telecommunications service."

Instead, notes Downes, the agency is charged with interpreting Congressional statute. And it has consistently argued, starting with Kennard's 1998 report, that the Communications Act puts at least cable broadband under Title I. Indeed, in 2005's Brand X case, it actually went to the Supreme Court to defend this interpretation. And when it did, the Court agreed with the FCC's interpretation. Shortly afterwards, it expanded upon this interpretation, pulling broadband over phone lines into the Title I mix.

In short, reclassifying broadband under Title II would mean that the FCC is reversing more than a decade of its own legal arguments—and perhaps making a decision it has no authority to make. Yet that is what neutrality proponents are asking for, all so the Internet can have a proper regulator. Is there a threat to the Internet's future here? Yes, but it's got nothing to do with either George W. Bush or with any ISP. If the Internet needs to be saved, it's from the FCC.
http://digg.com/tech_news/Saving_the_Internet_from_the_FCC
http://reason.com/archives/2010/04/28/saving-the-internet-from-the-f