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U.S. FCC Repeals Net Neutrality Rules

     
6:44 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, that's it, it's a done deal.

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences.

The agency scrapped so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone services.


[nytimes.com...]

Earlier Report: FCC Head Plans to Overturn U.S. Net Neutrality Rules [webmasterworld.com]
6:46 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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it's a done deal.

Not sure... The vote is done but now the legal battle will start in courts. So this is only just begun!
6:48 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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hehe, well, that's true
7:07 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This will be tied up in the courts for years or at least until we get a Democratic Congress in 2018 and/or a Democratic president in 2020. Then it will switch back.
8:00 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Talk of bundling services like the social networks for a price are some of the things I've heard. We may end up having to subscribe thru our ISP for things like Facebook and Twitter -- Oh the horror -- Just think, folks that refuse to pay just might start their own groups and forums as a result -- They may even ramp it up a notch and start their own website, or revolutionize the whole social networking industry -- This just might be the boon the internet needs in order to kick start innovation -- who knows
8:13 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mcneely yes that is true, except that none of these new sites will be able to reach the size needed to survive as a viable business. Not to mention that all these small businesses will be running on throttled networks to begin with, so they wont be able to compete where bandwidth is essential. Yes, who knows?
8:53 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is NOT a done deal.

We e can still get Congress to stop this—by passing a Resolution of Disapproval to overturn the FCC vote. We can win. Write and call Congress now!

[battleforthenet.com...]
8:55 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So the Internet is going back to being the distopia it was before 2015?












Oh wait, it wasn't! Nothing to see here, move along.
9:35 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Can the FCC now be considered a captured agency [en.wikipedia.org] by special interest groups?
10:09 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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New York AG to sue FCC over net neutrality repeal
[thehill.com...]

Let the fight begin!
10:19 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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New York AG to sue FCC over net neutrality repeal

That didn't take long...
10:40 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I still don't get it. Why would anyone want their internet to operate like any other public utility (water, gas, sewage, electricity)? When was the last time you saw any innovation or outreach for new customers/services from those quarters?

There's been too much misinformation/hysteria/teeth-gnashing. Simple economics will provide all the answers, but only if one is willing to look at this from an economic pov.

Title II (net neutrality) chokes off incentive to build bigger better infrastructure to handle the coming (and it is coming) leaps in data/servicing to keep all the glitz and glamor, end points of revenue, etc. able to be delivered to the customer (your dollars, which all of the parties involved CRAVE with an obsession). Title II simply means ever larger chunks of data going over the same (existing) pipes will slow down all by itself, or ISPs will have to turn folks away (or into a tier) just to keep up with the demand.

Net Neutrality does not mean free access, never has. Bandwidth has a cost. You pay it every month with either an internet bill or a phone bill (an ALL OF THOSE have some limitation on them, including the so-called "unlimited" versions).

Title II would turn your ISP into your local cable company. An unregulated, or lightly regulated, internet will provide options, even in areas where there is only ONE option. Why? FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will be back in control of customer/business relations (Title II removed that customer privacy and fairness safeguard). In areas of ONE provider, and that provider charging outrageously, will be investigated by the FTC (which has REAL TEETH in the law), and would have to show cause for such pricing.

No one was hurt before 2015, actually, no one was really hurt 2016-17 .... though some areas did not see any growth (in fact, infrastructure expenditures were DOWN those two years). It's not the end of the world, and it might be the beginning of getting back to innovation, growth, and other fun things.
11:01 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When was the last time you saw any innovation or outreach for new customers/services from those quarters?
During the past few years of California's drought, there was a lot of outreach to get people to conserve water. Now there's a lot of outreach to try to spin the new high rate increases (to make up for the lost revenue from people actually using less water).

Does that count? :)
11:06 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It comes down to whether you trust big telecom companies in a situation of oligarchy not to abuse their power and stay neutral on their own accord and not block applications or content that compete with their own, or favor those with big pockets that strike a deal with them over the little guys. I wouldn't, and Net Neutrality made sure of that.
11:14 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@tangor
I think you are the one that is confused, here.

Net Neutrality does not mean free access, never has. Bandwidth has a cost. You pay it every month with either an internet bill or a phone bill (an ALL OF THOSE have some limitation on them, including the so-called "unlimited" versions).

No one is claiming otherwise.

The issue is not about bandwidth. In a net neutral world if you have bandwidth you can consume it from any source with any content all at the rate that you paid for. In non-net-neutral universe your ISP can throttle or cut-off service from specific end-points. Say you like to watch Netflix, but your ISP wants you to pay for and watch M-ISP-CSS (My ISP's Crappy Streaming Service) then they have the right to block or throttle Netfilx thus forcing you to either forgo streaming or watch a second rate service you don't really want. Your ISP can now control what you see. Where is the ISP's motivation to innovate. The only innovations will be on how best to squeeze the most money out of its customers, many if not most of which are locked in by the fact that live in area with only one ISP.
11:45 pm on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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During the past few years of California's drought, there was a lot of outreach to get people to conserve water. Now there's a lot of outreach to try to spin the new high rate increases (to make up for the lost revenue from people actually using less water).


The innovations in water reduction have largely come from non-utility companies - because they have an economic incentive to produce products which lowers water consumption (and their customer's water bills). The utilities.... the drought has been going on for 10+ years and it wasn't until last year they started rolling out their smart meter program.

Take a look at ATT before their telecommunications were deregulated. Slow to innovate, costly long distance, etc. As a regulated entity they were required to roll out the features to be available to everyone, at the same time. For instance, they couldn't roll out touch tone service much sooner in areas where it was economically viable, because they had to wait until it became viable in all the areas they serviced. This is what you get with over-regulation - a disincentive to innovate.
1:53 am on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"So the Internet is going back to being the distopia it was before 2015?

Oh wait, it wasn't! Nothing to see here, move along."

I am currently writing a horror novel about the internet pre-2015 before net neutrality regulations were put in place.

I love that in past discussions of net neutrality people made arguments about shutting down speech that people disagreed with. Since that is already happening now we have this "netflix is going to be more expensive". Which is pretty silly.

Personally I watch a lot of movies on netflix. If I am clogging up the pipes I have no problem paying more. Because I should probably pay more than some grandma that checks her email once a day.
4:22 am on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In non-net-neutral universe your ISP can throttle or cut-off service from specific end-points. Say you like to watch Netflix, but your ISP wants you to pay for and


The FTC would handle that. After first line of defense is the Sherman Act, and/or the Clayton Act. All three of these deal with antitrust, monopolies, and unfair business practices, consumer protection and personal privacy. Net Neutrality, as regulated to Title II in 2015, moved EVERYONE (us, too!) into a single PUBLIC MONOPOLY, thus removing those safeguards. As written the FCC would "regulate" and that, IMHO, is too much power to place into a single agency.

Returning to pre-2015 (the net as it was), makes all the protections listed above ENFORCEABLE once again.

THAT SAID, no ISP in their right mind, with or without net neutrality ... an oxymoron if I ever heard one .... would screw the pooch so obviously that even under Title II (nn) the Sherman Act would come into play. The result of that would be the bust up of the offending companies/players.

Identifying the USERS of the GREATEST BANDWIDTH and charging appropriately that small set up users, and leaving everyone else alone, is the proper way to deal with saturation of networks.

Under NN there was no incentive to expand services, infrastructure, or chase new customers/markets because Title II made everything the same (OR ELSE!), so why bother---as in 'where are the profits?

As I said, there's too much bad information out there!
12:26 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Talk of bundling services like the social networks for a price are some of the things I've heard.


What I have seen in other countries (I have linked to examples on WW before) is that the cheaper services offer access only to certain sites, or have unlimited bandwidth for certain sits (typically Youtube or Facebook).

THAT SAID, no ISP in their right mind, with or without net neutrality ... .... would screw the pooch so obviously that even under Title II (nn) the Sherman Act would come into play.


So what do you think they plan to do? They lobbied hard for this, why? There are plenty of examples of net neturality violations from before this so its pretty clear what they will do.

Identifying the USERS of the GREATEST BANDWIDTH and charging appropriately that small set up users, and leaving everyone else alone, is the proper way to deal with saturation of networks.


Agreed, that is why we need net neutrality.

Under NN there was no incentive to expand services, infrastructure, or chase new customers/markets because Title II made everything the same (OR ELSE!), so why bother---as in 'where are the profits?


On the contrary, by commoditising what can be accessed, it increases competition (that is half the definition of a perfectly competitive market - undifferentiated products and large numbers of both sellers and buyers). It means that ISPs cannot differentiate their product by what services can be accessed, so they can only differentiate by offering more bandwith, usage or similar.
1:47 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What a hoax...the internet worked just fine for 20 years, in fact it was awesome. Ever since "net neutrality" was put in place, the web has died off for most user for a galaxy of reasons. I've called it "Net Neutering" because it stifles competition. All you Chicken Little's out there who think the sky is falling are as wrong as Chuck Schumer and his former TV comedian and now late night show host, turned political puppet and know-it-all Jimmy Kimmel.
The government does NOT need to be micro managing the web. The only effects of net neutrality I've seen is that big companies keep getting bigger while small companies go under. I for one want the free internet back! Better competition will bring better services and lower prices, not the reverse. Too much government is NOT a good thing, but don't worry, the FCC and FTC will still be there to do their job in protecting consumers.

If you think the big companies are dumb enough to start charging ala cart for specific services, then you must watch a lot of late night TV. Competition will be waiting to eat their lunch for them. IMHO It's a great day!
1:54 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In TV, the big networks like Discovery and Disney charge the cable companies to carry their signals; if you're not one of those, you have to pay to get on. Not sure what will stop Facebook and Google from charging the ISPs to carry their services, or what will stop the ISPs from charging just about everyone else for access.
3:11 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I find it strange that many of the those hailing the fall of net neutrality are the same people who are constantly complaining about how evil Google is, how they are destroying small business, and ruining the web. I see this a sort of schadenfruede. The perception is that those with the most to loose are Google, FB, Amazon and the likes. But the irony is that the big players will be able weather this storm with relatively little impact, but it is the small independent website that are actually going to suffer the most. Without NN, the internet is going to be forced into a land of walled gardens, where the little guys will be left out.

It is like getting cut off in traffic and then getting so mad that you ram the car that cut you off. Great, you got mad because the car that cut you off could have damaged your car, but didn't. So then, out of rage you smash you car into his.
4:25 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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since net neutrality was put in place the web has died off?

seriously? this is wrong on so many levels it almost seems brainwashed. i really wonder why as a citizen or consumer you would still vote for further commercialization of our personal environment. it should be clear that net neutrality is indeed relevant and i'm not sure, are some people ill-informed, masochistic or senile?
5:57 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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How about no more name calling for those with whom we disagree?
8:49 pm on Dec 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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All the above is indicative that much of the "debate" is emotional, not reasoned.

What is clear is that Title II (net neutrality as put forth in 2015) made the internet a public monopoly. What that truly means is lowest common denominator ... everything to the lowest standard possible because it is "unfair" that some can have it better and others can't, so those who COULD have it better have to be satisfied with a performance based on what those who can't have must endure. That's a public utility (hence the ensuing lack of innovation, product, or services).

Why would g and fb (among other tech giants) like this? Milk the cow with what they have, seek rate increases along the way (every PUC does this, look at your electricity, gas, water, sewage), and when questioned will fall back on NN. As to why the other fun stuff is not available: everyone can't get it so no one else can have it.

(note: the pipes the tech giants use between each other are not the "internet", those are different networks and not subject to net neutrality)

All public utilities work the same way: lowest effort required to meet minimal standards. However, even under NN, the DOJ, FTC, and Congress (Sherman/Clayton acts in particular) have meaning, so unfair competition can still be addressed, just not as easily as with an open, free, and unregulated./lightly regulated internet. Why? Monopolies are recognized as being, by definition, unfair to competition. The best the government can do is keep those monopolies from gouging the average citizen.

A lightly regulated internet blossomed into this incredible thing. Why hobble it with a one size fits all regulatory process that is not needed and can be quite harmful?

(note: if Twitter started charging $14.99 a month, how many users do you think will remain?)

(note: if FB started charging $1.99 a week, how many "friends" would there be?)

Twitter and FB are not essential services like electric, gas, water, sewage, housing, yet this immense emotional (political) hysteria has elevated things we DO with things we NEED and that's the bonkers side of the arguments.

The internet did not die yesterday!
9:53 am on Dec 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What is clear is that Title II (net neutrality as put forth in 2015) made the internet a public monopoly.


False premise.
10:28 am on Dec 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It would be naive to think now that the 10 most powerful companies in the US have been handed total control of the internet, they will keep it open without milking it for every cent possible.
4:52 pm on Dec 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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How about no more name calling for those with whom we disagree?

Sorry, but my heated post was in reply to a late night talk show host who described the FCC chairman as a "jackhole"...not anyone here in particular....just those "out there".
8:17 pm on Dec 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Been randomly talking about this on social all week.

I just think the whole idea of "bundled tiers" was a false premise. Google, Microsoft, and Apple could all route traffic through browser vpn's or proxies. Just imagine if all traffic to Google Docs, G search, YouTube, G images, and Android services was routed through a single chrome vpn with a Google.com address?

What about Android? Google could mess with every ISP on the planet that dared filter, throttle, or charge for it's services.
What about Windows? Does Microsoft brick desktops on Comcast when they start to throttle Office 365?
What about Apple? Do iPhones suddenly stop working on Verizon when they start to filter or throttle or charge for iTunes access?
What about 5G? Do you really need a home internet connection when you have 5G in your pocket (that will seamlessly turn on your wifi hot spot when you walk in the house. You won't even notice you canceled Time Warner).
Verizon Fios? AT&t Uverse?
What about Google Fiber? How many cities does it roll out in?

I guess we get to see what competition can do and history is on the side of competition:

o The first cable modem service over 50mbs was in San Diego in 1997. Most people in the US are barely there twenty years later.
o In 1997 Altavista was bragging about it's huge 200milliion page index. Today, Google says they have seen well over several trillion urls.
o Bag phones were still popular in 97. Today, I have a comparative main frame in my hand with the Samsung S8+.

While tech and tech services have jumped several orders of magnitude, our plain old net connections have not (in most parts of the country).

o Why have they not increased in speed?
o In most parts - the last mile is a monopoly: Why is there so little competition for your monthly connection fees?
o Why did Google start an ISP? Google fiber was introduced before the original NN rules.
o Why hasn't Apple started an ISP? Microsoft? Amazon?
o Why do we not have an order-of-magnitude faster connections? Comparatively we should be somewhere well north of 10gig connections right now.

Why are all these super weathly companies just setting on their freaking hands doing nothing about the last mile? Seriously get off your asses and get to work giving your customers high speed connections. Google started to do it - why aren't the rest?

Could it be because of "net neutrality" that they have zero incentive to get off their asses and help innovate in the hardware and software space?

What about 5G? That's 1 gig connection wirelessly. Wait - who wins that? What does that do to ISP's?

Again, please consider the ramfications of 1gig connection on your phone. That starts to roll out next year. What if it had seamless switch over when you walked in your house to give you a wifi hotspot for all your home devices? That's where we are headed.

I do not believe NN rules were about protecting consumers. it was about locking the status quo so that no one could disrupt Verizon, Google, and the other few companies that first wrote the NN rules (better to share the monopoly with a small group, than with thousands)

You know how to tell a major international corporation is lying when it says it wants to protect consumers? There are words coming out of their mouth. Their job is to earn money, not protect consumers.
9:16 pm on Dec 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Exactly! :)
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