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Report: FCC Head Plans to Overturn U.S. Net Neutrality Rules

     
10:51 am on Nov 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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According to a Reuters report, the head of FCC, Ajit Pai may be planning to overturn the Net Neutrality rules.
Pai asked in May for public comment on whether the FCC has authority or should keep any regulations limiting internet providers’ ability to block, throttle or offer “fast lanes” to some websites, known as “paid prioritization.” Several industry officials told Reuters they expect Pai to drop those specific legal requirements but retain some transparency requirements under the order. Report: FCC Head Plans to Overturn U.S. Net Neutrality Rules [reuters.com]
10:55 pm on Nov 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think speaking politically people will come together if you threaten to mess with their internet or donut availability. If this does pass and effects people negatively the backlash will be stiff AF.
2:14 am on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What is net neutrality? Why does it matter?

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—"fast lanes" for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.

source: [battleforthenet.com...]
2:29 am on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And for those that think that since they have no aspirations to be the next Netfilx or Hulu, this doesn't affect them.

Meredith Corp to buy Time Inc. for 1.84B
[wnyc.org...]
So when you have players that can invest 1.84 Billion to buy magazine and associated web properties then you can be sure that they will do what ever it takes to ensure their competitive advantage. Time and other associated web-publishers will surely be requesting preferential treatment from the various ISPs.
2:59 am on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Net neutraility for who?

As a USER you pay the freight for what you can afford and is offered in your tier. That makes you a consumer.

If (eg, netflix) can't make their product fit those common tiers then they aren't doing their job right and will miss out on a lot of consumers.

ISPs, on the other hand, have every incentive to make the best offers possible if they want more consumers to sign up.

Yes, there are parts of any country/locale where only one is available, but if that ONE does not provide a reasonable service, they will have no customers.

The MARKET will dictate. Always has. All of the "nightmare scenarios" listed above can (and will) happen even if NN survives (which I hope it does not).

The elephant in the room (which no one is discussing) is the growing TRUST problem with tech companies, of which the NN is only a symptom not the disease.

NN, as implemented, is an artificial abstract which was put into place to lead to gov control over the pipes. I don't think anyone wants that. Falls into the category of beware what you ask, you just might get it.
3:07 am on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Congress can stop this!

Write your representative

Email your representative

Telephone your representative

Get their info here: [battleforthenet.com...]
3:16 am on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Meanwhile, for those who know what overreach NN actually was (and is), let's get back to the web the way it was before the previous admin tried to take over the web via a clueless mantra quasi-religious-like pile of farmer's friend. NN is the road to REGULATION, not "freedom".

I do agree that Congress needs to get involved, but only to the aspect of updating the 1934 and 1996 telecom legislation already in existence to reflect 2017 communications requirements.

Title II we do NOT need for the web! That falls into the category of beware what you ask for, you just might get it! Look to your PUCs for examples of how well that will work out (dumbing down to least denominator as provider, no competition, and less for everyone). Your local water and electricity providers are examples of how Tittle II works out.
3:29 am on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Is this more meddling into US politics by the alt-right?
A large number of messages lambasting the Obama-era regulation began appearing on the FCC's public forum with the same text. While it is not unusual for commenters to use form letters provided by activist groups, people began complaining they hadn't submitted the comments that carried their names and identifying information. They were being impersonated.
[washingtonpost.com...]

In FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s race to rollback Obama-era net neutrality regulations, it was revealed Wednesday that more than half of the 21.7 million public comments supporting the rule change were likely faked.
[fortune.com...]
3:44 am on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The right? Look at Free Press (the spearhead of the 2015 regulations) and their funding/background. One of the stated goals of their founder was no Internet private ownership and making it government controlled worldwide.

And the left has hit the FCC's FCC's site with bots as well, so let's not pretend there's only one bad side here -- both have agendas.
9:40 pm on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think we've heard enough about politics. Next post that smells even a little political gets deleted.
11:29 am on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Examples of why net neutrality is needed:

[freepress.net...]

I know tangor does not like the source, but they cite sources, including Fortune, Cnet, wired, court records etc. SO unless ALL those are also untrust worthy they have a solid case.

@lawman, I am assuming you mean irrelevant or part politics - a government decision IS politics.
1:01 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There are only a few ways a consumer can get screwed in a open market
1) A Natural Monopoly exists (often government being the natural monopoly; the company that first ran cables in a physical location may qualify here)
2) The Government restricts competition (e.g. by enforcing licensing, usually in response to special interests- cf Uber Vs Taxis)
3) Collusion (very possibly in an Oligopoly such as currently exists in the US ISP market)

In general, ISPs have high costs supporting infrastructure. Due to NN, one size must fit all. Sure, everyone here benefits from this, both as a site-owner and as a power user. The old lady reading static sites, not so much.

Without NN, people will be charged for what they use. If you post here, your price will almost certainly go up. Many people's will go down.

There is a view that private companies will just jack up prices and pocket the profits, but this is not how competition works. As soon as someone is making abnormal profits [en.wikipedia.org], a new entrant will come in and undercut them.

In general, I expect the market will fragment into two categories. The first is basically the current "all-you-can-eat" model, although with price rises*. The second is a "pay-what-you-use" model, with lower entry prices but restricted services.

Much like Facebook complaining about how costly it is to exercise editorial oversight, Netflix may complain how costly it is to deliver 15Mbps per stream. Just because a company is now expected to internalise a cost that has thus far been externalised, doesn't mean they are being screwed over.

The big potential issue with NN-withdrawal is a Content Provider partnering with an ISP to the detriment of the of a competitor Content Provider. However, this can simply be dealt with using existing Anti-Trust laws.

TL;DR - End Users will just pay a more realistic price for their personal usage. Profiteering will not happen as new entrants will come in to undercut. Data heavy businesses will probably pay a surcharge, but this is just them paying a cost that was currently unfairly bourne by someone else.

*The reason there will be price rises is due to the fact that low-use customers will not be subsidising the power users. As such, the power users will be forced to pay proportionately more, as they use proportionately more.
2:55 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The 2015 FCC rules do not give net neutrality, they give more control to the FCC and more power to big players. There are loopholes in the 2015 rules big enough to sail the Titanic through.

- Under those rules if a company says they have filtered and/or edited services they can then block or prioritize services. This applies to content providers, IPSs, domain registrars, and pretty much anything else.

- True net neutrality cannot exist by US law. The First Amendment prohibits the government from telling a company they cannot engage in editorialization and censorship. That is why the loophole in filtered services exist. If the US were to pass a true net neutrality law it would not stand up to a constitutional challenge in court. This has been upheld in the US Courts of Appeals, and would almost certainly not be overturned by the Supreme Court: [apps.fcc.gov...]

- Big proponents of Net Neutrality do not practice it themselves. Google filters what appears in their search results, who is blocked, who is penalized for their site content, what they consider fake news and what they do not. Same with Twittter, Reddit, Youtube, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. These companies are not standing behind net neutrality because they care about an open internet. They stand behind it because they care about their economic power which forces IPSs to provide bandwidth to them essentially at wholesale prices.

- This cannot be discussed with completeness without bringing in politics as it is a defacto political issue. Suppressing discussion of this part of the conversation is a glaring illustration of the very lack of neutrality I mentioned in the previous bullet point. Does a company such as such as WebmasterWorld have the right to filter what is discussed, what their bandwidth is used for, etc? Yes, and this right means WebmasterWorld has the right to not be neutral.

- Prior and after the 2015 rules bad actors have existed, and its not like the 2015 rules magically fixed it. Prior to the 2015 rules bad actors were dealt with. Rolling back the post-2015 rules is not going to create a dystopian Internet. The market, court cases and anti-trust laws took care of it.
6:05 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Politics - to steal and paraphrase a quote from Justice Potter Stewart - I'm not going to try to define it, but I know it when I see it.

Displaying your advanced sophistry skills will not keep me from doing the job I'm paid so much to do, which includes enforcing the Foo Charter.

Hint for those who need a building to fall on them: Using words such as "left" and "alt-right" (not inclusive) will probably get you deleted.
7:19 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Net Neutrality is, in an of itself, a political construct. It is not the internet, merely who is in charge of the Internet (via regulation). As webmasters it is the latter which is of concern.
9:45 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, it's already starting. I guess the ISPs figure they've got the FCC in their pocket now, they can go ahead with their pay tiers.

All over Facebook I'm seeing ads from my ISP about faster speeds for more money. Up until now, there was no throttling. Everyone connected at the same speed. I wonder what other surprises are in store for us?
9:48 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have cable internet. Unless I'm not understanding something here, with MediaCom, the faster the speed, the more you pay.
9:59 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, it's already starting. I guess the ISPs figure they've got the FCC in their pocket now, they can go ahead with their pay tiers.

All over Facebook I'm seeing ads from my ISP about faster speeds for more money. Up until now, there was no throttling. Everyone connected at the same speed. I wonder what other surprises are in store for us?


I have never heard of a US ISP in my Internet years going back to the early 1990s (even before browsers) that didn't have different speed tiers. There was dialup, ISDN and T1 available. ISDN you could get 64Kbps or 128Kbps. With a T1 you could buy a certain number of channels on the line. Then DLS was offered, at different speeds each with a different price. Same with Cable ISP's, Satellite, fiber, etc. Some IPSs you buy based on the bandwidth available, others by the bandwidth used and some by both (for instance all of AT&T's Uverse tiers have a 1 terabyte limit per month, and lower limits for some of their DSL services).
10:03 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For example here are AT&T's residential DSL offerings from 2006:

[web.archive.org...] - two bandwidth tiers, 1.5mbps and 3 mbps
10:59 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have never heard of a US ISP in my Internet years going back to the early 1990s (even before browsers) that didn't have different speed tiers. There was dialup, ISDN and T1 available. ISDN you could get 64Kbps or 128Kbps. With a T1 you could buy a certain number of channels on the line. Then DLS was offered, at different speeds each with a different price. Same with Cable ISP's, Satellite, fiber, etc. Some IPSs you buy based on the bandwidth available, others by the bandwidth used and some by both (for instance all of AT&T's Uverse tiers have a 1 terabyte limit per month, and lower limits for some of their DSL services).

I'm not talking about any of that. I have no idea what your ISP has been getting away with, but mine has been equal for all up until now.
1:45 am on Dec 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Its not my ISP getting away with anything, it's how many of them have been operating since the beginning, and that does not buck net neutrality. They didn't throttle bandwidth by content, content type or content source. Nothing in pre-2015, 2015-2017 or post-2017 regulations prevents providers selling different bandwidth tiers.

Here's a Berkely Article from 2001 discussing this:
[people.ischool.berkeley.edu...]
"The only service differentiation in the USA broadband access market is the transmission rate. ISPs offer a selection of tiered services, which differ in the maximum access bandwidth. The user has to choose one of these services in the enrollment process."

2001 article discussing DSL. Scroll down to "6.5.2. Qualifying" and they mention "And if price is a factor, having a tiered pricing structure is good also since the lower end plans are obviously less expensive. How this is structured also varies wildly from provider to provider."

Maybe your ISP is the exception, not the rule? Which ISP do you use?
2:05 am on Dec 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This goes far beyond the escalation of individual connectivity plans. It's all been discussed earlier in the thread.

And actually, your Berkely article is incorrect. There are more differences between plans besides the "transmission rate." In addition to my home internet connectivity, I have another business grade plan at my office with much faster upstream and a dedicated line.
2:14 am on Dec 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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1) Govt declares all data to be of equal value to everyone.
2) Govt doesn't get to decide the relative value of all data for everyone.

Regulation usually looks like the tax code, a million special favors covered up with complexity for the masses, high costs of compliance, and indirect kick backs in so many directions your head spins. I prefer #2.
8:28 am on Dec 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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ISPs only have so much bandwidth internally - it is a finite resource. As with most consumer economics, the Price Signal [en.wikipedia.org] is used to allocate this resource.

Compliant with Net Neutrality, you have two options as an ISP:
Limit total data consumption (e.g. a 4GB data package)
Limit bandwidth (e.g. a 8Mbps service)

Both of these allow you to control your costs, and neither means the CONTENT is prioritised depending on your price structure.

One of the major changes with withdrawing NN, is that data-heavy content providers are likely to get charged for access to the ISP's network. This will push up subscription prices for those who consume the content but will result in lower access costs for those who don't.
1:38 am on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As one that enjoys streamed movies & music, I'll be the one that get's their subscription rate pushed up. Who knows where that will end. Letting the ISPs have control of this is a momentous mistake.
6:18 pm on Dec 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As one who does not do streamed movies and music I'm not thrilled that my rates will go up to cover other's activities. (Note, I do like movies and music!)

Or paying for a F1 race lane when my little junker is good enough (and not so expensive!)
10:49 pm on Dec 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I understand data packages.
I understand bandwidth packages.

I do not understand why an ISP would feel that they can control what I do with the data/bandwidth I purchase. If I want to use the 4gb package I purchased to watch 4gbs of cat videos why should the ISP be able to restrict that? Why should the ISP be able to charge the cat video website a fee for me to be able to do that?
11:02 pm on Dec 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I do not understand why an ISP would feel that they can control what I do with the data/bandwidth I purchase
Their right to control what we do will soon be absolute.

A while back, the ISPs realized what we do online is a commodity, and one they want to monetise. Cable TV providers have been doing this all along, and possibly why they see this expansion to all online activity as ethical.

By controlling what we do with our online usage, what we have access to, they can now make deals with big content suppliers. We, the user, are sadly just a metric for them to utilize for profit. They now get to profit from both ends.

This is huge for them and why they have spent billions on lobbyists over the years to accomplish this.
7:04 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And that's that... repealed. AOL might want to start thinking about firing the CD shipments back up again, I'm sure many will soon be seeking an alternative path to the internet.
8:10 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Discussion continued here:

[webmasterworld.com...]
This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59
 

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