The Days Of Net Neutrality Are Numbered! Get Ready To Pay (Even More) For BGOL!

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by thoughtone, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. thoughtone

    thoughtone BGOL Supporter Registered

    source: Daily Crunch

    Circuit Court Of Appeals Strikes Down FCC’s Open Internet Order, Net Neutrality Threatened

    In a decision that could have far-reaching consequences, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down the FCC’s Open Internet Order. That Order, put into force in 2010 by then-chairman Julius Genachowski, was designed to make it so that broadband service providers couldn’t meddle with specific kinds of internet traffic – in other words, they couldn’t block certain kinds of online data transmission just because it didn’t align with their own goals and financial strategy.

    Media watchdog and advocacy agency Free Press released the following statement about the decision via President and CEO Craig Aaron, condemning it while also acknowledging that the Open Internet Order probably wasn’t the best possible solution for enforcing net neutrality:
    We’re disappointed that the court came to this conclusion. Its ruling means that Internet users will be pitted against the biggest phone and cable companies — and in the absence of any oversight, these companies can now block and discriminate against their customers’ communications at will.

    The compromised Open Internet Order struck down today left much to be desired, but it was a step toward maintaining Internet users’ freedom to go where they wanted, when they wanted, and communicate freely online. Now, just as Verizon promised it would in court, the biggest broadband providers will race to turn the open and vibrant Web into something that looks like cable TV. They’ll establish fast lanes for the few giant companies that can afford to pay exorbitant tolls and reserve the slow lanes for everyone else.

    The FCC — under the leadership of former Chairman Julius Genachowski — made a grave mistake when it failed to ground its open Internet rules on solid legal footing. Internet users will pay dearly for the previous chairman’s lack of political will. That’s why we need to fix the problems the agency could have avoided in the first place.

    New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently stated that the FCC must have the ability to protect broadband users and preserve the Internet’s fundamental open architecture. In order to do that, he must act quickly to restore reassert the FCC’s clear authority over our nation’s communications infrastructure. The agency must follow its statutory mandate to make broadband communications networks open, accessible, reliable and affordable for everyone.

    We look forward to working with Chairman Wheeler and the rest of the Commission to protect and preserve real Net Neutrality.
    Basically, the key takeaway for the above is that while the Open Internet Order was far from perfect, it was pretty much the only tattered barrier standing in the way of providers like Verizon decided what can and can’t be transmitted across its broadband data network, and now Free Press foresees providers moving to a model more like that they favor with cable TV, where content types are parcelled out and monetized piecemeal.

    Asked what’s next in terms of ensuring net neutrality doesn’t erode away forever, Free Press provided the following to TechCrunch:
    First and foremost the FCC must reassert and restore its authority over broadband. Then, we need to make Net Neutrality rules that aren’t riddled with loopholes. With the authority resolved, new rules would be enforceable.
    <!-- End: Wordpress Article Content -->
  2. thoughtone BGOL Supporter Registered

    source: New York Times

    Republicans Try to Pre-empt the F.C.C.

    [​IMG]Tom Wheeler, chairman of the F.C.C. Credit Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    Many Republicans have no fondness for net neutrality — the idea that cable and phone companies should treat all information equally as it travels over their broadband Internet networks. So it comes as no surprise that some of them are trying to throw a wrench into the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to adopt strong Internet rules.

    Republicans and large telecommunications companies are natural allies in opposing government regulations. Now, two Republican lawmakers, Senator John Thune of South Dakota and Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, have proposed a bill that they claim would achieve neutrality on the Internet without the kind of regulation the F.C.C. is expected to approve next month. But the legislation has such large loopholes that powerful cable and phone companies like Comcast and Verizon would feel almost no effect.

    Mr. Thune and Mr. Upton say their bill would forbid the cable and phone companies from giving preference to traffic from certain businesses, like Amazon and Google, that are willing to pay more for faster delivery, which would hurt smaller companies. The legislation would also prohibit such companies from blocking or slowing downloads from certain sites.

    Those are excellent goals, but there is a giant caveat in the bill: Companies would be allowed to offer “specialized services” that would not be subject to any of those rules. Conceivably, almost anything could be called a “specialized service,” which is really just linguistic sleight of hand.

    The bill would also prohibit the F.C.C. from classifying broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service, something the commission has been moving closer to in recent months. Courts have ruled that the commission now has limited authority to regulate broadband, but the telecommunications designation — which already applies to home phone lines and cellphone service — would give the commission the authority it needs to prohibit companies from engaging in unfair and unreasonable business practices. The chairman of the F.C.C., Tom Wheeler, recently suggested that the agency would vote on Feb. 26 to reclassify broadband.

    The good news is that even if Republicans in Congress, who receive big donations from telecommunications companies, can push through Mr. Thune’s and Mr. Upton’s legislation, President Obama would almost surely veto it. In November, the president called on the F.C.C. to reclassify broadband. But Republicans could try to get the proposal through by attaching it to unrelated bills the president would find difficult to veto. Democrats in Congress and President Obama should be ready to defend the F.C.C.

    COINTELPRO Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    What if I block Google from making money on advertising?

    They would jack up their Google Fiber rates to their customers, their advertising and internet connection is bundled together.

    The FCC by mandating open access to the internet is uncoupling the cable TV revenue which they charge to networks for access and internet access. We are going to see rampant increase in rates to access the internet with cable companies and put them at a competitive disadvantage to Google.

    A TV network can bypass the cable companies by going internet only in the future once internet connected TV start with ethernet jacks becoming more available.

    I think we need to allow the cable companies to allow both, one that is throttled regarding Netflix or a TV channel, but you get a better deal on internet access. They can sign deals with the cable companies to reach their customers after reaching a certain threshold. A video streaming service that represents less than one percent of an ISP would have equal access. Let say an Netflix which is 40% of the network traffic, an cable ISP could demand payment for better access to their customers.

    And one that is open but you pay a higher rate since you are accessing Netflix or a TV network through the internet.

    The FCC has given Google a competitive advantage while the cable companies will have to increase rates due to their loss of revenue from TV networks that may broadcast over the internet. The are forcing cable ISP to become internet access only companies with no revenue from TV.

    However, the upside is that cable ISP can setup an internet TV service and offer it in markets where they don't have franchise agreements.

    It is like a Costco or Walmart building a store, than a competitor just walks in and sells to their customers in their own store.

    Verizon or AT&T should setup a TV internet service than bundle that with a discounted rate on internet access, similar to Google.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  4. thoughtone

    thoughtone BGOL Supporter Registered

    source: Washington Post

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced a bill to roll back the FCC's net neutrality rules.

    Even as top Republican lawmakers vow to keep working with Democrats on a bipartisan net neutrality bill, a splinter coalition of conservative lawmakers are developing their own answer to the Federal Communications Commission's new rules for Internet providers.

    The idea is simple: Roll everything back.

    The bill, introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), has the support of 31 co-sponsors, all Republicans. It would undo the FCC's aggressive regulations that aim to prevent Comcast, Verizon and other Internet providers from speeding up or slowing down Web sites. And it would prohibit the FCC from overseeing those companies with utility-style rules in the future.

    The legislation "will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations," Blackburn said in a statement.

    It isn't likely to get very far, if only because Democrats, who largely support the FCC, are loath to play ball. But Blackburn's legislation is significant for other reasons: It highlights how many Republicans aren't convinced by — or perhaps actively dislike -- the effort by establishment Republicans to find a middle-ground approach.

    That middle-ground proposal, backed by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.), would also block the FCC from using Title II of the Communications Act, as Blackburn's bill does. But it still enshrines many of President Obama's net neutrality principles into law. For conservatives who are opposed to greater regulation on principle, this is a bit of a concession.

    Washington lobbyists have recently taken to pointing out how far mainstream Republicans have come on net neutrality in just the past year. Once opposed to any new regulations, many in the GOP now acknowledge the need for some rules of the road (just written by Congress, not the FCC).

    "Republicans are going to keep moving forward with regular order on their legislation and inviting Democrats to make their amendments," said Berin Szoka, president of the advocacy organization TechFreedom, in an interview last month. "That's Track 1, and it's not going to be rushed."

    But Blackburn's bill shows that there are still a significant number of conservative lawmakers who have their own ideas. In fact, some members may even believe Congress should pass a resolution of disapproval on the FCC's net neutrality policy, or even strip the agency of some funding. What this means for the future of the Thune/Upton bill is unclear. The more senior Republicans could try to use Blackburn's legislation as a way to draw more Democrats to the fold, portraying theirs as a moderate compromise. That would likely be an uphill battle, though; as we've already seen, liberals seem to think they hold the high ground already.

    At the same time, if efforts at forging a bipartisan deal fall through, Thune and Upton may feel tempted to move to the right and adopt Blackburn's position. If that happens, then we're talking about a near-certain veto from Obama.

    Either way, this puts efforts to craft any bill in a bit of a bind.
  5. thoughtone

    thoughtone BGOL Supporter Registered

    But Hillary Got Paid For A Speech To Wall Street!

    source: TNW

    The FCC’s reasons for repealing net neutrality make no sense for consumers


    Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai formally announced his plan to kill net neutrality and other consumer protections today as he seeks to remove the classification of home and mobile internet service providers as utilities. Although we’ve been hearing about his intentions for months now, the announcement warrants a debunking of his reasoning for the move.

    Ahead of a vote that’s slated to take place on December 14, Pai noted that “broadband network investment dropped more than 5.6 percent—the first time a decline has happened outside of a recession.” He also pointed to the FCC’s onerous rules as being to blame for slowing the introduction of new services, and older ones incurring additional expenses in their efforts to comply with them over the past two years.

    But none of this addresses the problems consumers will face if net neutrality is wiped out.

    Who in the US wants to pay differing fees for accessing different bundles of sites and online services? Which consumers are clamoring for their ISPs to be able to block and slow down traffic from sources that don’t pay them as much as larger competitors? It’s hard to imagine anyone would want that, and yet Pai is going on about the FCC protecting consumers “just as it did before 2015.”

    It’s also worth noting that Pai isn’t the only one to have done the math on spends in broadband infrastructure; Free Press, a pro-net neutrality group, noted in a report (PDF) that investment in networks has gone up since the Title II classification order in 2015, and that, “not a single publicly traded US ISP ever told its investors (or the SEC) that Title II negatively impacted its own investments specifically.”

    Regardless of whose numbers you care to follow, the truth is that the internet will not be as free and open in the US as it is now, once net neutrality guidelines are repealed. If Pai is genuinely concerned about consumer protection, he’d find other ways to smooth the path for ISPs’ growth, innovation and expansion to serve more people nationwide.
  6. muckraker10021

    muckraker10021 Superstar ***** BGOL Investor

    Without Net Neutrality your Internet access becomes a NIGHTMARE

    Why are the American sheeple so fucking passive. We just had a mayoral election here in the nations number 1 city, New York City and the voter turnout was a dismal 16%; fucking unbelievable. Now the RepubliKlans riding the Trump demolition machine want to take away the internet as we have all used it since it's inception and turn it into a "gated community" where you have to pay huge fees to have full unfettered access. Where is the outrage and blowblack from the American people against this. If there is not a massive voter turnout in the November 2018 mid-term elections to put politicos in place that will stop the Trump demolition of established policies, then the USA will just become a neo-fascist country controlled by about 1000 people. Any semblance of democracy would be optional. Elections would just become reality shows with predetermined outcomes; just an entertainment show.

    Without Net Neutrality, What Happens

    This week, the FCC is unveiling a plan to undo open-internet protections known as “net neutrality,” paving the way for, well, an internet even worse than the one you’re on right now. There are dozens of reasons to be concerned about this plan — but maybe the reason that’s simplest to explain, easiest to understand, and most important to your day-to-day life is this: It’s going to mess with your Netflix.

    First, a net-neutrality primer: “Net neutrality” is the idea that you should be able to go wherever you want on the internet, and the middleman connecting you — your internet service provider — can’t play favorites. “Play favorites” in this case means everything from blocking a website entirely to throttling bandwidth speeds to slowing sites to a crawl — or, on the other hand, offering faster bandwidth to companies willing to pay up.

    For some time now, ISPs have been wondering, what if they could play favorites? What if they charged big companies like Facebook and Google for a fast lane? What if customers who wanted to connect to websites in Europe had to pay long-distance fees like a telephone call? What if they told Netflix — whose streaming video accounts for a large portion of overall internet traffic — that there wouldn’t be enough bandwidth unless Netflix paid up? And maybe scariest to regular people, what if they started charging customers extra to connect to certain sites, the way cable companies charge for premium channels?

    A web separated by artificial and arbitrary boundaries in service of corporate greed sounds pretty bad. And, to make a long story short, that’s what the FCC is creating by stripping out all of the regulations that ensure ISPs provide equal access to the internet.

    The question, of course, is: What does a web without net neutrality look like? Is it really as bad as that? If you’re interested in one scenario, take a look at Portugal:
    In Portgual (and in Spain), mobile providers offer packages that count data differently based on the apps you want to use. Want streaming video like Netflix and Hulu? If you don’t want to pay exorbitant data fees, add on that $10 package. Want to access sites like Facebook at cheap rates? Just pay our monthly “social-network package” fee. Suddenly, your ability to do all the stuff you’re used to doing on your phone, at the prices you’re used to paying, is subject to the draconian policies of your cell-phone company.

    It’s not hard to imagine how that could get implemented for home internet service as well. Maybe a “basic” package that guarantees normal-speed access to email, Google, Wikipedia, supplemented by tiered or thematic packages that ensure access to the other sites you might want. So what happens to your Netflix? Imagine if you had to pay an extra fee to your ISP every month to ensure that you could get your Netflix streams at the quality and speed you’re used to — for no reason other than your ISP wanting to make an extra buck. This becomes legally feasible under the FCC’s new rules. And if you’re one of the millions of Americans who lack real competitive choice for internet access, you don’t have much in the way of options.

    This is, of course, an extreme scenario. In the U.S., the death of the open internet will likely be one by a thousand cuts — buffering video, pages slow to load, the further centralization under a few online behemoths with deep pockets willing to pay ISP extortion fees. You won’t likely be blocked from anything, but you might have to climb a mountain to get to it. Consider, for instance, if AT&T and Time Warner merge, a move which the DOJ is planning to sue over. That means that an ISP owns HBO. Maybe AT&T customers will be blocked from Netflix and strong-armed into using HBO as their streaming-video provider. It seems nuts, right? But that’s an internet without net neutrality.

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  7. thoughtone

    thoughtone BGOL Supporter Registered

    Because it hasn't gotten "bad" enough" yet.

    The safety nets that were created under FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society are still largely in effect. The 75 plus year republican assault on social programs has only begun to affect the middle class significantly.

    The republican right has mastered the legislative art of delaying cuts and income shifts so that each incoming voting generation that comes of age don't know what the previous generations have given up. The Millennials have no true concept of the labor union battles that have created the large middle class. The Gen X generation don't understand how Social Security has largely eliminated poverty among the elderly. And the post Gen Xers have no concept on how the Federal Government has protect their 1st amendment rights and access to mass communication.

    The assault on public school education since the late 1950s as a result of integration is part of the plan to dumb down the general public.

    As the republicans chip away at the firewall protection between total economic and social domination from the ultra wealthy, violent revolution may become more evident.

    It's no accident that the proliferation of guns has spiked in recent years. The wealthy will employee displace and out of work gun owners as paid security buffers between them and the disgruntled masses.

    You can bet the 16% of NYC voters that turned out for the recent mayoral elections were voters that understand the stakes of being apathetic.
  8. VAiz4hustlaz

    VAiz4hustlaz Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

  9. muckraker10021

    muckraker10021 Superstar ***** BGOL Investor


    Tim Wu: Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality
    NOV. 22, 2017 |

    Tim Wu is an American lawyer, professor at Columbia Law School. He is best known for coining the phrase network neutrality in his 2003 paper Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, and popularizing the concept thereafter. Wu has also made significant contributions to antitrust policy and wireless communications policy, most notably with his "Carterfone" proposal.Wu is a scholar of the media and technology industries, and his academic specialties include antitrust, copyright, and telecommunications law. Wu was named to The National Law Journal's "America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers" in 2013, as well as to the "Politico 50" in 2014 and 2015. Additionally, Wu was named one of Scientific American's 50 people of the year in 2006, and one of Harvard University's 100 most influential graduates by 02138 magazine in 2007. His book The Master Switch was named among the best books of 2010

    Back in 2005, a small phone company based in North Carolina named Madison River began preventing its subscribers from making phone calls using the internet application Vonage. As Vonage was a competitor in the phone call market, Madison River’s action was obviously anticompetitive. Consumers complained, and the Federal Communications Commission, under Michael Powell, its Republican-appointed chairman, promptly fined the company and forced it to stop blocking Vonage.

    That was the moment when “net neutrality” rules went from a mere academic proposal to a part of the United States legal order. On that foundation — an open internet, with no blocking — much of our current internet ecosystem was built.

    On Tuesday, the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, announced plans to eliminate even the most basic net neutrality protections — including the ban on blocking — replacing them with a “transparency” regime enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. “Transparency,” of course, is a euphemism for “doing nothing.” Companies like Madison River, it seems, will soon be able to block internet calls so long as they disclose the blocking (presumably in fine print). Indeed, a broadband carrier like AT&T, if it wanted, might even practice internet censorship akin to that of the Chinese state, blocking its critics and promoting its own agenda.

    Allowing such censorship is anathema to the internet’s (and America’s) founding spirit. And by going this far, the F.C.C. may also have overplayed its legal hand. So drastic is the reversal of policy (if, as expected, the commission approves Mr. Pai’s proposal next month), and so weak is the evidence to support the change, that it seems destined to be struck down in court.

    The problem for Mr. Pai is that government agencies are not free to abruptly reverse longstanding rules on which many have relied without a good reason, such as a change in factual circumstances. A mere change in F.C.C. ideology isn’t enough. As the Supreme Court has said, a federal agency must “examine the relevant data and articulate a satisfactory explanation for its action.” Given that net neutrality rules have been a huge success by most measures, the justification for killing them would have to be very strong.

    It isn’t. In fact, it’s very weak. From what we know so far, Mr. Pai’s rationale for eliminating the rules is that cable and phone companies, despite years of healthy profit, need to earn even more money than they already do — that is, that the current rates of return do not yield adequate investment incentives. More specifically, Mr. Pai claims that industry investments have gone down since 2015, the year the Obama administration last strengthened the net neutrality rules.

    Setting aside whether industry investments should be the dominant measure of success in internet policy (what about improved access for students? or the emergence of innovations like streaming TV?), Mr. Pai is not examining the facts: Securities and Exchange Commission filings reveal an increase in internet investments since 2015, as the internet advocacy group Free Press has demonstrated.

    But Mr. Pai faces a more serious legal problem. Because he is killing net neutrality outright, not merely weakening it, he will have to explain to a court not just the shift from 2015 but also his reasoning for destroying the basic bans on blocking and throttling, which have been in effect since 2005 and have been relied on extensively by the entire internet ecosystem.

    This will be a difficult task. What has changed since 2004 that now makes the blocking or throttling of competitors not a problem? The evidence points strongly in the opposite direction: There is a long history of anticompetitive throttling and blocking — often concealed — that the F.C.C. has had to stop to preserve the health of the internet economy. Examples include AT&T’s efforts to keep Skype off iPhones and the blocking of Google Wallet by Verizon. Services like Skype and Netflix would have met an early death without basic net neutrality protections. Mr. Pai needs to explain why we no longer have to worry about this sort of threat — and “You can trust your cable company” will not suffice.

    Moreover, the F.C.C. is acting contrary to public sentiment, which may embolden the judiciary to oppose Mr. Pai. Telecommunications policy does not always attract public attention, but net neutrality does, and polls indicate that 76 percent of Americans support it. The F.C.C., in short, is on the wrong side of the democratic majority.

    In our times, the judiciary has increasingly become a majoritarian force. It alone, it seems, can prevent narrow, self-interested factions from getting the government to serve unseemly and even shameful ends. And so it falls to the judiciary to stop this latest travesty.
    Mrfreddygoodbud and VAiz4hustlaz like this.
  10. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

  11. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

  12. Mrfreddygoodbud

    Mrfreddygoodbud Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    fcc just proves everything in the united states is for sale...

    there is no america anymore... just one big whorehouse...
  13. thoughtone

    thoughtone BGOL Supporter Registered

    Camille likes this.
  14. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    50,000 net neutrality complaints were excluded from FCC’s repeal docket
    FCC is "going to great lengths to ignore these documents," advocate says.

    by Jon Brodkin -
    Dec 5, 2017


    The Federal Communications Commission docket for its repeal of net neutrality rules is missing something: more than 50,000 complaints that Internet customers have filed against their ISPs since the rules took effect in 2015.

    The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) was able to obtain the text of net neutrality complaints from the FCC via a public records request but says it has not been able to convince the FCC to include them in the repeal docket. "It seems to me that the commission is going to great lengths to ignore these documents and not incorporate them into the record," NHMC General Counsel Carmen Scurato told Ars.

    This is the latest dispute between the NHMC and the FCC over net neutrality complaints. The NHMC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request in May for complaints that Internet users filed against their ISPs and for the ISPs' responses to those complaints.

    The FCC initially refused to release all of the complaints but eventually complied with that aspect of the NHMC's request and produced nearly 70,000 pages of records. The FCC still hasn't given the NHMC most of the broadband providers' responses to complaints.

    The NHMC made the documents it obtained from the FCC public at this webpage, and the FCC has posted the documents on its website. But officials at the NHMC argue that the complaints should be part of the official record in the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules. The complaints may show that the repeal of net neutrality rules is misguided, they say.

    “We hand-delivered USB flash drives”
    Of course, the FCC has all the documents and could include them in the docket itself. The NHMC and about 20 other advocacy groups filed a motion in mid-September to have the documents included, but the motion was opposed by broadband industry lobby groups and then rejected by the FCC.

    Scurato and NHMC Special Policy Advisor Gloria Tristani went to the FCC headquarters on Friday last week and spoke to an FCC employee who handles the public commenting system. Scurato told Ars:

    [We] hand-delivered two filings with USB flash drives, one of which included all of the documents that the FCC produced in response to our FoIA requests. We were told by staff at the FCC that they would not upload the documents in the USB flash drive and instead would put a note in the record saying that the flash drive was available for inspection at the commission.​

    Scurato said they also asked if the FCC has any official guidance for including such documents in the record but didn't get anything in return.

    "I asked if it would have been different had we printed out all the pages, and she said that honestly no, they wouldn't upload that either—maybe a few samples, and would have included that same note [about the documents being available for inspection at the FCC office]," Scurato said. That note about documents being available for inspection apparently isn't on the docket yet.

    Meanwhile, the net neutrality docket has 22 million filings and has been overrun by spam bots and fraudulent comments attributed to people without their knowledge. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman described this as "a massive scheme that fraudulently used real Americans' identities" in order to "drown out the views of real people and businesses."

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his staff have apparently taken no steps to prevent fraud in the docket, even when people who say they were impersonated asked the FCC to remove the fraudulent comments.

    Scurato said she requested a meeting with another FCC employee and sent another email yesterday "reiterating our ask that the documents be uploaded to the electronic record (and if not, provide the official guidance as to why not)." She's still waiting to hear back.

    Pai’s office: This has been “fully addressed”
    We contacted Pai's office today, and a spokesperson told us that "the NHMC issue is fully addressed" in the net neutrality repeal proposal, starting on paragraph 335.

    The NHMC's motion to include net neutrality complaints in the docket was opposed by lobby groups that represent the cable and telecom industries (NCTA and USTelecom, respectively), Pai's proposal notes. "The motion is opposed by several parties who argue that the informal complaint materials are not relevant to this proceeding, and that the motion 'appears to be... aimed at prolonging this proceeding unnecessarily,'" Pai's proposal says.

    The FCC agreed with the industry lobbyists who argued that the complaints themselves aren't likely to identify any net neutrality problems that advocates haven't already discussed in the docket. "We are convinced that we have a full and complete record on which to base our determination today without incorporating the materials requested by NHMC," Pai's proposal said.

    Pai's proposal also says:

    Under Commission rules, and as noted by opponents to the motion, "NHMC is free to put into the record whatever it believes to be relevant via ex parte letters." NHMC began receiving the documents it claims are relevant to the proceeding on June 20, 2017. If NHMC believed the documents were relevant to the proceeding at that time, it could have submitted them into the record at any time during the course of the following [four] months. It did not.​

    The FCC's online commenting system allows documents to be uploaded, but there is a limit of five files per submission and a limit of 25MB per submission. The NHMC's FoIA request turned up 67 documents totaling 326MB; some of them are nearly 25MB, and one document consisting of complaints about AT&T is more than 25MB, Scurato told us.

    "It would take multiple separate and likely disjointed uploads to get the documents in there," Scurato told Ars. "Additionally, we had asked the FCC not only to incorporate the documents into the record as part of our motion, but to also set a new comment cycle to give stakeholders adequate notice and opportunity to analyze and comment on the documents. Both of those requests were denied."

    The NHMC motion to include the complaints in the docket argued that the documents help answer questions that the FCC asked when it sought public comment on repealing net neutrality rules. For example, the FCC asked if there is "evidence of actual harm to consumers sufficient to support maintaining" the rules and the classification of ISPs as common carriers.

    The NHMC did commission a report that offers a preliminary analysis of the complaints. The analysis said that complaints "clearly reveal [that] slower than expected effective speeds and restrictive data cap already constrain the freedom of American consumers to utilize the basic broadband subscriptions they are paying for" to reliably access services "on top of these connections to the open Internet." The analysis also found that consumers perceive broadband to be a "telecommunications" service, in contrast to Pai's argument that broadband isn't telecommunications and shouldn't be regulated as such.

    In a congressional hearing in July, a Democratic lawmaker asked Pai if anything could stop the FCC from eliminating net neutrality rules. Pai told Congress that evidence of consumer harm would be taken seriously, but the FCC hasn't conducted an extensive review of the complaints.

    Putting the complaints in the record would "clearly undermine the FCC's legal conclusion that the rules are unnecessary and that concerns are 'anecdotal'" Senior VP Harold Feld of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge told Ars. "By contrast, the failure of the FCC to even accept the information in the docket raises some significant APA [Administrative Procedure Act] concerns. It is highly relevant evidence that directly rebuts one of the Order's key supporting points."

    Problems in the public comment process could end up playing a role in future lawsuits, as net neutrality supporters will likely sue the FCC in order to reinstate the rules.

    Democrats pressure Pai
    The NHMC isn't the only one calling on the FCC to include net neutrality complaints in the docket.

    There are "50,000 consumer complaints missing from the record," Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel saidyesterday. Twenty-eight Democratic senators led by Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire also called out the "50,000 consumer complaints [that] seem to have been excluded from the public record in this proceeding" in a letter to Pai yesterday.​

    The senators also complained about the extensive fraud in the docket, with bots apparently having filed "hundreds of thousands of comments."

    "A free and open Internet is vital to ensuring a level playing field online, and we believe that your proposed action may be based on an incomplete understanding of the public record in this proceeding," the senators wrote.

  15. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Net neutrality ends, today, Monday, June 11, 2018

    The Federal Communications Commission's 3-2 decision to scrap net neutrality — the idea that all legal internet traffic must be treated the same by internet service providers — takes effect Monday. Killing net neutrality is a victory for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who wrote the rules and pushed them through with the help of the other two Republican FCC commissioners, and ISPs. Without net neutrality, critics warn, giant corporations like Verizon and Comcast can throttle traffic to sites they don't own or partner with, or give customers who pay more better connections to services like Netflix. The Senate passed a bill in May reinstating net neutrality, but the House is not expected to take it up. The fight now moves to court.

    Source: The Washington Post

    thoughtone likes this.
  16. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Trump administration suing California over new net neutrality rules

    California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Sunday signed a new net neutrality law that prohibits internet service providers from slowing down or blocking websites and charging customers higher fees for faster speeds, and within hours, the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against the state.

    In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department "should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order." While Oregon, Washington, and Vermont have passed their own measures, California restored Obama-era protections that were repealed by the Federal Communications Commission late last year.

    Source: USA Today

  17. largebillsonlyplease

    largebillsonlyplease Large BGOL Legend

    Knew this was coming haha

Share This Page