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FCC to toughen internet rules
06-18-2010, 10:56 AM,
FCC to toughen internet rules
Quote:The stage has been set for what many predict will be an ugly fight over broadband plans for US citizens.

The Federal Communications Commission has taken the first formal steps towards tougher rules for broadband.

It asked for public comment on three different plans, igniting an expensive lobbying campaign by all sides.

The looming battle follows a court ruling questioning the FCC's right to regulate internet service providers after one throttled traffic to users.

That court ruling dealt a major blow to a central plank of the FCC's broadband plan called net neutrality which demands that all data traffic be treated equally.

The five commissioners on the FCC board were split 3-2 in putting out for public comment proposals on new regulations for the broadband industry.

'Third way'

One of the three plans the public is being asked to comment on, and which is favoured by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, is called the "third way".

This would involve reclassifying broadband so it went from being a lightly regulated service to one with more vigorously oversight.

In return for this tightening up, Mr Genachowski has proposed the new classification would not regulate on how much people pay for their broadband. It would also shy away from overseeing internet content, services, applications or electronic commerce sites.

The other two options include leaving the existing regulatory framework in place or imposing the full force of stricter regulations.

ISPs, such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, prefer the status quo and have come out against the "third way" proposal.

"This is impossible to justify on either a policy or legal basis and we remain confident that if the FCC persists in its course - and we truly hope it does not - the courts will surely overturn their action," said Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs.

Verizon said the FCC's move was "a terrible idea".

By contrast, web giants such as Google and Amazon extol the value of free-flowing web traffic and an open internet.

"Broadband infrastructure is too important to be left outside of any oversight," said Richard Whitt, Google's telecom and media counsel in a blog posting.

'To the death'

The political dynamics of the FCC board, two Republicans and three Democrats, imply that the "third way" looks almost certain to be the plan it adopts.

Some suspect this will provoke more lobbying and may draw legal challenges.

"There is a very big fight brewing and it's the carriers versus everybody else," said Erik Sherman, analyst with, part of CBS's digital business network.

"There is little doubt it's going to be a right data Donnybrook and I am not sure the consumers are winners in any circumstances. These companies are not fighting for the little guy. They are fighting for themselves and higher profit margins."

That view was echoed by Public Knowledge, a Washington based public advocacy group.

"It's a tough road ahead and the telcos are going to fight this to the death," communications director Art Brodsky told BBC News.

"AT&T in the first quarter of this year spent $6m on lobbying. That is one company. One quarter. Compare that to Google which spent $4m in the whole of last year."

The Computer and Communications Industry Association said the "third way" option is the only realistic option.

"Without deliberate FCC action, consumers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits will be left completely powerless against the corporate commercial interests of their unregulated internet access providers," said Ed Black, association president.


A research paper released ahead of the FCC vote warned that net neutrality rules could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the USA .

The report argued that a 10% reduction in investment by broadband providers would cost more than 500,000 jobs before 2015.

"These regulations severely restrict the ability of network companies to manage their own network traffic, what technology and what techniques they will use to get a robust service and will close off important new business models in this new world we live in," Bret Swanson, president of technology research firm Entropy Economics told the BBC.

Fellow author Charles Davidson of the Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School said: "With the US economy still in a fragile state, imposing restrictive regulation on one of the country's most dynamic sectors is misguided."
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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06-18-2010, 06:05 PM,
RE: FCC to toughen internet rules
thanks for the update
[Image: conspiracy_theory.jpg]
06-21-2010, 05:06 AM,
RE: FCC to toughen internet rules
If people want an internet that is free and they don't like the way that AT&T, Qwest, NTT, GBLX, Sprint / Nextel or whoever provides their access. A move can and can should be made to create an alternative teir 1 network not under corporate rule. Government / FCC regulation will only choke internet content, raise prices and forstall ingenuity. The only laws that should be enforced are the ones preventing collusion and monopolies (anti-trust) that are already on the books. The same ones they used against Microsoft and take them over on several fronts the 90s.

On a side note This may very well kill FreeNet with regulation and the costs and fees that run alongside it.
There are no others, there is only us.
06-21-2010, 05:55 AM,
RE: FCC to toughen internet rules
so you found an alternative? had you posted about this before?
[Image: conspiracy_theory.jpg]
06-21-2010, 09:02 AM,
RE: FCC to toughen internet rules
Quote:so you found an alternative?
Only in my mind, I started floating out the idea getting together a design and engineering team together. So far I have a few locals on board with minimal VC. We're still in the brainstorming phase considering different backbones. Thing is the internet is corporately controlled, the on/off switch is at the hands of government. The best bet we came up with is radio technology (HAM looks good) since it inherently has low start-up costs. But I'm working on a lot of things, feeding my kids being one of the bigger ones.

Quote:had you posted about this before?
Yup, in a couple of places. Freedom of information is of paramount for any chance of a free and open society. It's one of my smaller pet projects/ topics.

Allow me to re-iterate, sorry for the re-run if you've heard this b4.

Most of it is posted here:

Net Neutrality

I'll summarize the juicer parts:

Movement Hijacked and Spun

Creating a free internet via legislation 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.

Fear is a main component in garnering support.

There is a very real threat in having a internet that emulates a cable model, the media is playing on that fear.

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.

Competition is key to combating this. If you don't like the service go to some company that can better provide it. I get more into this later.

A Manufactured Battle on Two Fronts

The FCC and Congress are creating a simulated battle with the end result already wrapped up and ready to go. It is nothing but a PR campaign and to support the illusion of democracy like every 5-4 Supreme Court ruling or close vote in the House.

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.

ISP Monopolization and Corporate Cronyism are the main Issues

Telcos are currently a free market force. Telcos by themselves are interested in profit and not censorship. Unless censorship is legislated or profitable. Maybe the government could make it illegal for sites to pay ISPs to favour certain types of content or limit certain protocols. 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.

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.

Competition is the Solution

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.

The sector has quite a bit of competition right now in some regions. The end user can choose what they want and how they want their service delivered. Bigger companies that want to take censorship funds from corporations and make deals with RIAA. The consumer can pay less and support this or not if there is adequate competition in the industry.

This applies to search engines as well. Google and Yahoo/Bing control much of what is indexed on the internet and control the lions share of the revenue and customer base.

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.

The Government will Save Us from the Evil Corporations!

Government thinks they can better manage health care (they played the evil insurance companies card on that one) than health professionals and they think they can dictate to technology professionals as to how to run their ISPs.

Any time there is regulation there is a cost involved in setting up the system, installing the technology and enforcing the legislation. It will cost us either on the tax bill or on your ISP bill, either way we're paying for it.

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.
There are no others, there is only us.
06-23-2010, 10:22 PM,
RE: FCC to toughen internet rules
Quote:FCC Declares It Has Right to Regulate Internet
Posted by Adam de Angeli on 06/23/10 09:49 AM

via the Heartland Institute:

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's announcement the FCC intends on applying what he calls "Third Way" net neutrality regulations to the Internet after a period of public comment has sparked renewed debate over whether the FCC should be allowed to assume such authority over the Internet...

Scott Cleland, chairman of, says close to a majority of Congress opposes federal regulators' attempts to regulate the Internet and these federal regulators may be violating U.S. law...

"The bottom line here is the FCC cannot do anything it wants; it has to operate within the bounds of legal authority and general political consensus. If the FCC proceeds with regulating the Internet and imposing net neutrality, there will be a race to the courthouse to see who can sue first and fastest. [The federal regulators] are creating a circumstance which will lead to enormous litigation and regulatory uncertainty..."

Here's the best part: this is after a decision two months ago in which a federal Appeals court explicitly ruled that the FCC did not have a right to regulate Internet neutrality.

It seems that the FCC is disobeying a court order. What happens when the government ignores its own courts? I suppose we'll find out.
There are no others, there is only us.

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