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The Internet Government Networking Technology

House Passes Amendment To Block Funds For Net Neutrality 393

Charliemopps sends this quote from the National Journal: "The House passed an amendment Thursday that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from using any funding to implement the network-neutrality order it approved in December. The amendment, approved on a 244-181 vote, was offered by Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., to legislation that would fund government agencies for the rest of fiscal year 2011. Walden and other critics of the FCC's net-neutrality order argue it will stifle innovation and investment in broadband. "
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House Passes Amendment To Block Funds For Net Neutrality

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:07PM (#35245786)
    Thank them again if years down the road you have to pay another $50 a month just so you can stream youtube and netflix to your computer.
  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:08PM (#35245810)
    The Senate won't pass this so it's merely symbolic on the part of the House. Way to manage your time well, boys and girls. Now get back to work on real problems!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:08PM (#35245816)

    Now why would politicians do something that makes corporations more powerful at the expense of individuals?

    I thought this was a democracy. (Taaaa haaaa ha.)

    Politicians thrive on anything that gives them more power. Here is just example #724,249,196 this month.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:08PM (#35245822)

    Because that has already happened, in the absence of regulation to stop it?

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:14PM (#35245908) Homepage Journal

    Don't be so sure they won't pass it. It's an amendment, not a bill; IIRC, that means they would have to vote specifically to strip the amendment out before they vote on the entire bill, and I'm not at all confident that enough members of the thin (and historically spineless) Democratic majority in the Senate have the will for that fight. Adding riders to "must-pass" bills is a time-honored technique for sneaking all kinds of looniness into law.

  • by commodore6502 ( 1981532 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:16PM (#35245948)

    Monopolies need to be regulated Mr. Congresscritter.

    Jeez. Maybe we can appeal to our Member State Legislatures to regulate the Comcasts, Verizons, and other monopolies inside their borders.

  • Re:The usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:18PM (#35245968)

    Sneaking an amendment into an appropriations bill. Everyone says it's an underhanded cheat, but it's just too *useful* to prohibit.

    It's only an underhanded cheat when the other party does it.

  • by commodore6502 ( 1981532 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:22PM (#35246052)

    The Democrats did the same thing. How fast was that Bailout Bill passed? 20 days? I think the Stimulus Bill was rammed through even faster, within two weeks of the president taking the oath (in order to beat the Feb 11 Analog TV cutoff). That's 1500 billion spent in less than two months, for legislation none of them had time to read.

    It's about time people learn: Both Rep and Dems suck ass.

  • by poity ( 465672 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:26PM (#35246114)

    Implying that by not allowing ISPs to charge Google or Netflix for disproportionate use of bandwidth, those ISPs would give up their pursuit and absorb the costs themselves rather than pass it on to subscribers. The "you'll be paying more money if we don't get Network Neutrality right now" is an unrealistic argument, a canard, I'd even call it FUD.

    You want a good argument for Network Neutrality, you can talk about providing an even playing field for new small media with little money and old entrenched conglomerates alike.

  • Innovation! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grapplebeam ( 1892878 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:28PM (#35246156)
    It's the new old synonym for completely unregulated capitalism!
  • Real Problems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tmack ( 593755 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:31PM (#35246208) Homepage Journal
    Like making sure "Obama is a one term President!" Yeh, gotta get priorities set right, cause thats what the people want! Conflict and inaction to make sure someone else is elected, not any actual work on any real issues... ugh, makes me sick


  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:32PM (#35246214)

    And once the Republicans repeal the health care reform bill, they'll be replacing it with a new reform package, right? Just because the current idea sucks, does not mean that if it gets repealed we're guaranteed something better. At least with what we have we can fix it and adjust it as needed, whereas if we repeal it then we have to start over and every interest group and corporation is going to be eyeballing it to see what they can get slipped in.

  • Re:Seems Legit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:34PM (#35246246)

    jeez the op was so ripe with sarcasm that I think I got some of its juice on my desk, and yet somehow, someone had a woosh, good job

  • Exasperating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:34PM (#35246256) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone else just feel worn out by all political BS in the U.S these days? I mean, it seems like Congress is nothing more than a group of professional trolls at this point. They never, ever seem capable of doing anything useful, or beneficial for the citizens of this country anymore. It's exhausting. Every single time a story pops up (on Slashdot or anywhere else) that involves politics or a political decision, you can basically just assume that it's going to screw over everyone in the country that isn't already a politician.

    Being a U.S. citizen today feels just like playing the role of Sisiphus [], consistently pushing a boulder uphill (trying to improve the world by being a responsible citizen, voting, jury duty, etc.) only to realize that you have to push it up again when you reach the top (Congress critters keep passing bills that fuck things up even more). It's exhausting, to keep reading about how those folks we elect to power just stumble around and fuck things up so badly....It's so consistent that it very nearly serves as a dataset to debunk that old meme of, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

    Our leaders are just fucking terrible. It's exhausting.
  • Re:whores. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore6502 ( 1981532 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:38PM (#35246326)

    >>>It is an article of their faith that the free market is always more innovative than the government

    YES competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly. That is a self-evident truth, because the many produce more ideas than the one. Problem: ISPs are not a free market and never were (except during the brief dialup era). ISPs are monopolies and just like the utility monopolies, need to be regulated. (Or even price fixed.)

  • Re:Seems Legit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:45PM (#35246424)

    You laugh.

    But of course, lurking in the back of everyone's mind is the simple possibility that it might not be possible to pay for a non-tiered, flat-rate, uniform quality-of-service internet of sufficient capacity to deliver on-demand HD video or SIP telephone from any particular content provider in the US, independent of geography and service provider, to every terminal in the United States with flat monthly or even per-byte pricing on either end. The costs of building and maintaing the system simply don't map to consumption of the system's resources. Some parts of such a price structure are really lucrative for a network operator and some of them don't pay off for decades.

    And if there were ways of doing it this way, it would require a hell of a lot more regulation than mere mandatory "Net Neutrality."

  • Re:Exasperating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:46PM (#35246452)

    Does anyone else just feel worn out by all political BS in the U.S these days? I mean, it seems like Congress is nothing more than a group of professional trolls at this point.

    Politics HAS become a profession. You work in politics for years, make 6 figures per year, then retire to the lecture circuit, or work for one of your supporting corporations as a lobbyist. Back when this country was first founded, politics was a calling, a sacrifice. Representatives were lawyers, farmers, merchants, doctors. A couple months out of the year they would give up their time(and therefore their money) to go to the capital and legislate. But politics was not how they made their living. But we've gotten away from this. People no longer see public service as a sacrifice. They see it as a tool for personal enrichment, a way to gain power for their family, and(this is the worst part) a means to an end. That end is power and influence, both while in office and once out of it.

    Basically, it's not the system that is broken. It is the people within it.

  • by sstamps ( 39313 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:50PM (#35246516) Homepage

    The problem is, though, that Google/Netflix aren't the ones "using" (as in "consuming") the bandwidth as those who are complaining about it claim. They are producers. The ones who are "using" (as in "consuming") the bandwidth are the ISPs' USERS, who are requesting the content from Google/Netflix. It doesn't make any sense to bill content providers for bandwidth consumed by users.

    Well, it does make sense if you look at it from a competitive angle.. one where the ISPs so complaining have a vested interest in competing content provider services.

    Google, Netflix, and everyone else pay for their access to the internet. They pay a LOT already. If every ISP who carries their content at the behest of the ISP's own users/consumers could charge an extra "fee" to carry "popular" content, then there wouldn't be any "popular" content, except from each particular ISP.

    This is why I believe that true "Net Neutrality" is where content providers and bandwidth providers should not be allowed to be the same entities -- they are simply an untenable conflict of interests waiting to happen. Indeed, this is why the internet grew explosively and prospered, because, for a long time, the bandwidth providers had little interest in content, and the old "walled garden" combo access/content providers died out like the dinosaurs they became (AOL/Prodigy/Compuserve/etc). That's all changed now. Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T want to go back to that model, which might be lucrative for them, but it impacts the freedom of their customers, and the free market overall.

  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:53PM (#35246564)
    As much as I agree with you politically, you are way out of line coming to a tech site and calling the participants "neck bearded dweebs" To paraphrase one of my favorite movies, why not go jack off to some snowboarding videos and let us "dweebs" worry about keeping this whole internet thing up and running for douchebags like you.
  • Re:whores. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:21PM (#35247016) Journal

    YES competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly. That is a self-evident truth, because the many produce more ideas than the one.

    Was the steel industry more innovative than a government monopoly?
    Was the oil industry more innovative than a government monopoly?
    Was the railroad industry more innovative than a government monopoly?
    I could go on and on.

    Most of the giant corporations competing with one another are left over from the trust busting era in the early 1900s.
    Maybe you meant to say that "regulated competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly"?
    Because, while it may not be self evident, history has shown that truly free markets will lead us directly to monopolies.

  • by skids ( 119237 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:28PM (#35247102) Homepage

    Most people already think both parties suck.

    It's why they don't vote.

    And it's a problem. What people need to learn is that they should pick the better party even if the difference is only marginal, and vote in that party's primaries to make that party better, and then do more than just vote to improve our aggregate level of intelligence when it comes to deciding who to give power to.

    Just sitting there and saying "everything sucks" isn't going to get you anywhere.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:47PM (#35247406) Journal

    What produced the Internet in the first place? The government or private industry?

  • by lazn ( 202878 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @04:02PM (#35247580)

    no. vote for anyone other than those two parties.

    Till we actually throw the bums out they will continue to be the bumholes they are.

    Vote libertarian, green, independent, heck communist if you must. Just get everyone to NEVER AGAIN vote for a Rep or Dem and perhaps we can change things.

  • Re:The usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @04:04PM (#35247606)

    This is a bill HR. 68 [] "To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after fiscal year 2013. "

    That seems unconstitutional. It seeks to strip the 2014 (and beyond) house of representatives of an ability that is specifically mentioned in Section 8 and clause 1 of the constitution which states "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States" not to mention clause 3 which states To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

    What I'm trying to say is how can the current house of representatives take away a future's house of representatives ability to fund anything (which in this case being the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) which is described as one of the functions of that body by the constitution without a constitutional amendment?

    I suspect they can't.

    It's well within their power to allocate the government's money during this session, but trying to dictate what a future congress can do seems like a stretch.

    Funny how the party that sells themselves as adhering to the constitution always seems to be the ones that do everything possible outside the bounds of the constitution...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:38PM (#35248846)
    Bullshit. The netflix angle is just a distraction and we ae all pretty sick and tired of fools like you who see that as a Net Neutrality issue.

    Comcast isnt trying to charge netflix any money. The reality of that story is that Comcast is trying to be treated like a peer with Level 3, asking for a traditional peering arrangement, when they know damn well that they aren't a peer.

    See, Level 3 is Comcasts ISP .. thats right, just like you are a customer of your ISP (which may in fact be Comcast) so too is Comcast a customer of Level 3. The arrangements are completely synonymous This isnt about Comcast trying to violate Net Neutrality. Its about Comcast trying to get a discount on the fee's they pay for internet service.

    Level 3 says to its customer "We would like to increase the bandwidth you get from us for free" and Comcast replying "No way! We don't want more bandwidth unless we get something in return"

    Now imagine the analog. Comcast says to its customer "We would like to increase the bandwidth you get from us" and the customer reply "No way! My shitty assed XFINITY service is way fast enough! You have to give me something in return."

    THAT is the absurdity of the Comcast vs Level 3 issue. Thats not a Net Neutrality issue at all, its Comcast refusing better service from its fucking ISP.
  • Uhhh pretty much all since there exists NO competition in a good 80%+ of the USA? I'll use myself for an example: Here I have the "choice" of Cox cable (boy did they choose a perfect name, since they are dicks) AT&T DSL which MAXES at 768k and which I've been told "tough shit, take it or leave it" because they have NO intention of upgrading the lines, or the local WISP that if you are lucky your connection works maybe 6 hours a day and who pulls your plug if you use close to 1Gb a day.

    So where EXACTLY would my "choice" come from if Cox decides to fuck me out of Youtrube/Netflix/etc? Because while you may have piles of money in the bank to afford to abandon your place of residence and start over in some other state just for better Internet, most of us frankly can't afford that. We have wives/GFs, family, jobs, etc that simply don't allow us to just walk away and without net neutrality the ISPs know they can do anything they want while sending you a bill that is crazy priced and has a full color Goatse under complaint dept and you can't do shit because you've got nowhere to go.

    So while I'm all for the free market the simple fact is there is NO free market for Internet access for the majority of us. Hell look up the broadband report article and see how many were like me complaining the numbers were an outright lie. You simply can't "vote with your dollars" if the choice is take it or enjoy dialup.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan