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FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules 182

Posted by timothy
from the double-secret-prohibited dept.
As you may have watched live earlier today, the FCC in a protester-heavy hearing has voted to formally consider a net neutrality proposal. The linked L.A. Times story says the 3-2 vote of the commissioners represents a victory for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: 'A Democrat who took over in November, Wheeler triggered outrage among public interest groups, online activists and many liberals with a plan that would for the first time allow the possibility of so-called pay-for-priority deals. Wheeler said his plan has been misconstrued and that it would not allow broadband providers to block any legal content or slow down connections in a way that is commercially unreasonable.' As the Washington Post points out, the phrase "commercially unreasonable" is a loaded one. More good coverage at Ars Technica, too.
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FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules

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  • Up to... (Score:4, Informative)

    by pellik (193063) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @01:13PM (#47010233)
    Now the ISP can't throttle content below a speed which is up to what I pay for (since the contracts always specifies this). Thanks a lot FCC zero is in the list of number up to what I pay for.
  • Re:This is dismaying (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @01:17PM (#47010257)

    Can we safely assume he has been bought and the others have been made promises regarding other issues they care about? The only thing I can hope for at this point is that these older, technology illiterate politicians will die off as younger people come in and change things for the better because they understand what's going on. I seriously doubt this though.

    Um... I think you need to check your facts. You seem to think he's doing this out of ignorance.

    Wheeler is hardly "technology illiterate". He was a lobbyist for cable companies! What he was trying to do was 100% intentional and deliberate.

    The old saying goes, "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity." But if you knew the whole story, you would know that stupidity does not adequately explain Wheeler's actions. It is malice, through and through.

  • Weasel words ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @01:19PM (#47010275) Homepage

    Wheeler said his plan has been misconstrued and that it would not allow broadband providers to block any legal content or slow down connections in a way that is commercially unreasonable.

    I don't need to follow any of the links in that submission to know that "commercially unreasonable" can be construed to be "to maximize profits".

    In other words, he's laying the groundwork for them to do as they please, with the standard that seeking to gouge your customers is "commercially reasonable", and asking for extortion fees to make sure what you're already selling works continues to isn't "unreasonable".

    Same shit. Different asshole.

  • And the U.S. . . . (Score:5, Informative)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @01:29PM (#47010381) Homepage Journal

    keeps falling further and further behind the rest of the industrialized world.

    Pretty soon we'll be behind countries like Latvia and Romania.

    Oh wait. . .!

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @01:33PM (#47010421) Journal

    Ok we did this once 12 years ago and got DRM legal requirements non voted on. We can do this again.

    For American Slashdotters:

    1.) Tell the FCC what you think in polite terms [fcc.gov] and why it is a bad idea for business, consumers, and innovation?

    2) Go to to your house of representatives website and use the zip code finder [house.gov] in the upper right hand corner. If your personal representative has a (R) in his or her name mention how you worry about the government overstepping its boundaries and ruining the largest emerging economic trend in history. Mention this FoxNews article, where Republicans are urging the FCC to bud out [foxnews.com]. If you work in the IT industry mention how you will be impacted and how unregulated internet led to the greatest economic expansion in history in the late 1990s.

    If your representative has a (D) in his or her name, tell them how it will unfairly impact consumers and force unfair monopolies more power and ruin innovations with services like Netflix. Mention economic impacts as well. Use Netflix as an example of something that used to work until a few months ago and cite sources where L3 admitted it was being bottlenecked on purpose.

    Also both parites are under the assumption that the internet worked just fine without net neutrality and we still had the largest explosion of GDP growth in history. So why change (Mega Telecom sales pitch). So inform them that they were regulated beforehand and this time it is different.

    Remember it is not about adding new rules that were never needed. It is about preventing new rules that are not in your emails regardless of parties to counter the
    FUD of the telecom lobbyists

    3. Let the Obama know how you feel? [wwwwhitehouse.gov] Yes, he does read email and hand written letters every night. Perhaps seeing a large push in volume all angry about this may get his attention?
    4. Let your senator know [senate.gov]? Copy and paste the email you sent your congressman if he or she is of the same party. If not emphasize free market if he or she is a (r) and consumers and monopolies if he or she is a (D).

    Be polite and factual as possible. Yes they are corrupt, but many are inept and get all their FUD from lobbyists. Mention we never had anything like this to counter the fud this is socialism to have the same lane and this is a fast enabler not something that slows regular traffice down yada yada. Mention your IT background too to build credibility.

    If enough people whine it may delay or cancel the vote.

  • I find it hilarious that they can manage to say they are innovating now on broadband. My service has gotten a faster quoted speed maximum download bandwidth over the years, but isn't even half of what you can do with DOSCIS 1 and far less than what other areas can get with DOSCIS 3 (which is actually the level supported by their provided modem). DSL is even weaker with 1 MB/512k DSL being the only competing service offered by verizon for $10 less a month than my cable internet (20x slower for $10 less a motnh, hmm that's some crazy numbers). DSL in my area doesn't even count as broadband with the FCC!

    Broadband has been stagnant already for years in large swaths of the US with only big cities in areas with lots of money getting good internet service. I live just outside a city of 150k people and they couldn't give a rats ass about us. Their are no 'upgrade plans' now. And becoming a common carrier will not effect any rate of upgrades that don't exist.

  • "Robert McDowell, a Republican commissioner of the FCC, called the net neutrality proposal a "threat to Internet freedom" in an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal. He argues that consumer protection, which net neutrality advocates say is lacking, is adequate, and government intervention into the Internet is misguided."

    Freedom to gouge consumers is still a freedom I guess.

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @06:29PM (#47013495)

    You have big players on either side of this, but the big communication companies have probably donated much more to politicians. AT&T is the 4th largest donor to federal politicians over the period 1989-2012, for example [opensecrets.org]. Also, the big communications companies got their man on the inside as the head of the FCC. These rules could go through, and it'll start driving prices up, but by then, the voting public won't make the connection between any politician and rising prices or worse service. Most people don't understand what net neutrality is.

    Net result: Keeps the big donors happy, very little or no voting consequence, especially with responsibility plausibly divided between both parties.

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