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Communications Government The Internet

The FCC May Decide Not To Regulate Broadband 279

Posted by kdawson
from the outgunned-and-outmaneuvered dept.
This morning the Washington Post reported that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is leaning toward letting the telecomms have their way — not asserting greater authority to regulate the Internet by reclassifying broadband as a Title II service. The blogs are atwitter (HuffPo, StopTheCap) that not voting to apply Title II regulation to Internet carriers is tantamount to giving up on net neutrality — which has been a centerpiece of the Obama administration's tech policy. The Post paraphrases its sources, who are reading the chairman's mind, that Genachowski believes "the current regulatory framework would lead to constant legal challenges to the FCC's authority every time it attempted to pursue a broadband policy." The FCC will say only that the chairman has made no decision yet.
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The FCC May Decide Not To Regulate Broadband

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  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:10PM (#32079756) Homepage Journal

    The fairness doctrine is dead as a doornail, and as much as I'd like to see more balance in mainstream media, that's probably a good thing; it's not the government's place to decide how the news is reported. Meanwhile, advocates of net neutrality do themselves no favors by comparing the two. It is the mainly the enemies of net neutrality who keep bringing up the fairness doctrine, because they want to discredit net neutrality, a technical matter, by mixing it up in people's minds with the fairness doctrine, a political matter. Please don't fall into their trap.

  • Great. (Score:5, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:23PM (#32079856) Homepage Journal
    Now isps will be able to screw americans using the lines they built on public land with government subsidies, saying 'our network'.

    only in america. no really, only in america. there is no other example of this being let happen in any place around the world. this includes turkey. when the isps here tried to bullshit by saying 'these networks are ours', regulatory agency bitchslapped them into submission.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:36PM (#32079980) Homepage Journal

    tell me that the current way the news is reported is good for the political health of the United States

    Of course it's not. But that does not mean that for the government to decide what news can be reported, and how it will be reported, is better.

    the constitution doesn't give you the freedom to deliberately lie to the electorate about news they will vote upon

    Of course it does. The First Amendment doesn't say, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of true speech, or of the press except when they're lying." You have the right to say what you want to say, I have the right to say what I want to say, and Fox News and CNN have the right to say what they want to say even when it's apparent to you and me and a lot of other people that what they're saying is bilge. The solution to speech we don't like is, always, more speech. There is never a good alternative.

    And this is why net neutrality is so damned important: as long as we have the mechanism by which we can speak out -- and I think you'll agree that the internet is one of the greatest such mechanisms in history -- we have a chance to counter all the crap that gets shoveled at us by politicians and massive corporate media. Lose that mechanism, and we lose the best hope we have. By mixing up net neutrality with the fairness doctrine, we increase the chance of losing it all.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:38PM (#32079998)
    Net Neutrality should be politically desirable because of several reasons.

    A) It is fraud to offer 'internet' access and cut off or slow down access to the internet you are paying for.

    B) Taxpayers have a fundamental right to be able to control what happens on public land. If it is your own private land you should have the freedom to do whatever the heck you want so long as it doesn't violate the rights of others, but on public land it is every taxpayer's land.

    C) Most ISPs have received large tax payer 'donations' to 'modernize' America. And taxpayers have a fundamental right to use their tax dollars, net neutrality allows taxpayers to receive the services they pay for.

    As for your point, whenever you confuse it with the 'fairness' doctrine you lose people because many people are smart enough to realize that the fairness doctrine is damaging. Net neutrality is an issue because the ISPs have been messing with public land and public funds and the public has the right to use those funds/land the way they choose.
  • Re:Great (Score:4, Informative)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:40PM (#32080006)

    And be limited to 5GB per month - and likely subject to the same limitations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:56PM (#32080142)

    What needs to happen is taxpayers must rise against ISPs taking public land

    Now that telecoms can spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns, and Americans only find out about national candidates via the media and online, what are the chances that anything like net neutrality will ever be implemented?

    The last election cycle will have been the last one in the History of the United States where voters even had a slim chance of making a difference.

    From here on out, corporations are the government, and citizens are just customers locked in to long, long contracts..

    And it's all thanks to the "conservatives" on the supreme court, who are supposed to be "just calling balls and strikes". They turned out to be the biggest activist judges in our nation's history, literally selling out the entire American experiment for good.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:58PM (#32080152) Homepage Journal

    A) It is fraud to offer 'internet' access and cut off or slow down access to the internet you are paying for.

    Only for your private definition of internet service. Now, I might actually like that definition, but there isn't a similar definition in U.S. law where it counts, or this would not be nearly so much of an issue.

    B) Taxpayers have a fundamental right to be able to control what happens on public land. If it is your own private land you should have the freedom to do whatever the heck you want so long as it doesn't violate the rights of others, but on public land it is every taxpayer's land.

    So, you're talking about the pole plant, and the radio airwaves. But this applies to 1) how the right to build a pole plant or operate on a radio frequency is granted and 2) what right you have to operate a channel on a partially publicly supported pole plant before we get to 3) how a particular private network - and if there's more than one of them they will tend to be treated as private - is operated. I think you might better direct your efforts to 1 and 2.

    C) Most ISPs have received large tax payer 'donations' to 'modernize' America. And taxpayers have a fundamental right to use their tax dollars, net neutrality allows taxpayers to receive the services they pay for.

    I can't imagine how many trillions of dollars GM has had in subsidies through the construction of the interstate highway system, etc. (Although one of you might be able to come up with an estimate.) And we get to say precious little about GM's operation, even now that we own it temporarily. Although it would be very desirable to see fairness in many things that you spend tax dollars on - private patents driven by public research dollars is another case worthy of reform - you are not going to win any of these arguments while using a plutocratic channel to communicate with the electorate.

    As for your point, whenever you confuse it with the 'fairness' doctrine you lose people because many people are smart enough to realize that the fairness doctrine is damaging. Net neutrality is an issue because the ISPs have been messing with public land and public funds and the public has the right to use those funds/land the way they choose.

    I just happen to think that how you get information that you will vote upon is a lot more important than your right to distribute an illegitimate copy of American Idiot.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:13PM (#32080288) Homepage Journal

    But this is all assuming that the voter is willing to change the channel and explore new opinions, rather than stay on the channel that causes the least anxiety because it is closest to the voter's current opinions.

    I submit that this is not fulfilling the responsibility of the voter to be sufficiently informed, and if that's all they are willing to do I am not sanguine about their having the right to vote at all. But I don't see how we get to having responsible voters by cultivating irresponsible media.

  • by jeko (179919) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:39PM (#32080484)

    ...that was James Gaius Watt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Ronald Reagan?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_G._Watt [wikipedia.org]

    "He suggested that all 80 million acres (320,000 km) of undeveloped land in the United States be opened for drilling and mining in the year 2000.[6] The area leased to coal mining companies quintupled during his term as Secretary of the Interior.[6] Watt proudly boasted that he leased "a billion acres" (4 million km) of U.S. coastal waters, even though only a small portion of that area would ever be drilled.[6] Watt once stated, "We will mine more, drill more, cut more timber."[7]

    Watt periodically mentioned his Christian faith when discussing his approach to environmental management. Speaking before Congress, he once said, "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations."[8]"

    Now, I am a Christian -- God loves you, Jesus died for your sins, believe and be saved -- but to suggest that the impending Rapture will eliminate the need for environmental protection is ... a big burlap sack of insanity.

    And it got worse:

    "During a March 1991 dinner event organized by the Green River Cattlemen's Association in Wyoming, Watt said, "If the troubles from environmentalists cannot be solved in the jury box or at the ballot box, perhaps the cartridge box should be used."[25][26]"

    And finally got indicted:

    "In 1995, Watt was indicted on 25 counts of felony perjury and obstruction of justice by a federal grand jury.[23] The indictments were due to false statements made to a grand jury investigating influence peddling at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which he had lobbied in the mid to late 1980s."

    Of course, Watt was just echoing his boss's views:

    "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." -- Ronald Reagan, 1981.

    And Bush just dusted off the old ideas:

    "In a 2001 interview, Watt applauded the Bush administration energy strategy and said its prioritization of oil drilling and coal mining above conservation is just what he recommended in the early 1980s.[27] "Everything Cheney's saying, everything the president's saying - they're saying exactly what we were saying 20 years ago, precisely ... Twenty years later, it sounds like they've just dusted off the old work."[27"

    Hmm. Have you noticed any issues with our coal mining and off-shore drilling lately?

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