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Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality 208

Presto Vivace writes with news that the FCC's suggested net neutrality rules are facing opposition in Congress. "FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took the hot seat today in an oversight hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to testify about current issues before his agency, including net neutrality. The overriding theme of the day? Pretty much everyone who spoke hates the rule the FCC narrowly approved for consideration last week — just for different reasons." Wheeler himself made some interesting comments in response to their questions: "[He said] the agency recognizes that Internet providers would be disrupting a 'virtuous cycle' between the demand for free-flowing information on one hand and new investment in network upgrades on the other if they started charging companies like Google for better access to consumers. What's more, he said, the FCC would have the legal authority to intervene. 'If there is something that interferes with that virtuous cycle — which I believe paid prioritization does — then we can move against it,' Wheeler said, speaking loudly and slowly. A little later, in response to a question from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Wheeler cited network equipment manufacturers who've argued that you can't create a fast lane without worsening service for some Internet users. 'That's at the heart of what you're talking about here,' Wheeler said. 'That would be commercially unreasonable under our proposal.'" Here are instructions for how to send your comment to the FCC for those so inclined.
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Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

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  • by Presto Vivace ( 882157 ) <> on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:12PM (#47052475) Homepage Journal
    The cards are stacked against us, but if enough people ask them to reclassify Internet broadband as common carriers the FCC will cave and do the right thing.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:22PM (#47052545) Homepage Journal

    Any ideas to get that competition thing going?

    Personally, I support making the actual last mile wiring a public utility. Let ISPs share them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:32PM (#47052613)

    The internet should not fall under their purview. The FCC can regulate radio... we need something for that. We don't need them regulating the internet at all.

    What we need are market forces. Competition. If the big ISPs had some they couldn't play games without threatening their market share.

    That is how you regulate them. By letting customers vote with their feet.

    What we need are market forces. Competition. If the big ISPs had some they couldn't play games without threatening their market share.

    What competition? Even Google is being blocked from laying fibre. When cities have tried to break the stranglehold themselves the big ISPs tied it up in court until the attempt died.
    Market forces dont work when mafia-like cartels can operate with impunity to protect their monopoly.

  • by theskipper ( 461997 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:37PM (#47052649)

    In other words, regulation?

  • by frinsore ( 153020 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:01PM (#47052793)

    Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

    People tend to hate comcast more then the Post Office, so... yes?

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:01PM (#47052799) Homepage

    Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

    To be honest the post office has been stellar in terms of last-mile delivery. In fact, UPS and FedEx rely on USPS for many hard-to-reach delivery spots. USPS has relatively low rates for postage, and price increases have been incredibly low over time.

    Compared to Comcast who has every incentive to screw me over repeatedly every year in order to get more profits and blame companies like Netflix/Hulu for poor performance, I'll take the USPS. Even if it means slower rates.

  • by visualight ( 468005 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:04PM (#47052823) Homepage

    Wow. You really -are- stupid, that higher up post was not an anomaly. I'm sure a lot of people just passed over your comment with a sigh, but I'm going to do you a favor.

    First, you seem to think that the US Postal service is somehow inept or inefficient, but you are wrong. NO ONE at the top floor of ANY competitor of the USPS agrees with you. Get some facts without page-view seeking bullshit, or Corporate Propaganda here:
    http://www.rooseveltinstitute.... []

    Second, you seem to think laws that prevent low-budget startups from ripping through our sidewalks are -ARCANE-. You better stay the hell outta my town.

    Third, the last mile is absolutely pulbic infrastructure just like water and electricity (do you want the post office to bring you power?) , and Tacoma Click! is a perfect example of this done right. More than a dozen ISP's to pick from.

    Finally, you are trying to find ideological solutions to technical problems and that means ALL OF YOUR IDEAS ARE STUPID. Wake up to the fact that you have manipulated into the world view you hold.

  • Sure... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:07PM (#47052857)

    send your comment to your elected officials in congress.

    ...Along with a stack of non-sequential Ben Franklins... You just might get their attention.

  • by maz2331 ( 1104901 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:32PM (#47053017)

    Even all but the most insane Libertarians understand that some regulation is necessary to prevent bad outcomes. I once heard a speech by Ron Paul, of all people, defend environmental regulations on the grounds that one doesn't have the right to pollute their neighbor's air or water.

    Network neutrality is that sort of regulation.

    There do exist other sort of "gotcha" regulations like HIPAA that are so detailed as to be nothing more than a paperwork minefield designed to crank the costs of compliance through the roof for smaller players, while adding maybe the paperclip budget to the cost of the bigger ones, while generally serving little to no real-world purpose.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:53PM (#47053135)

    Really? Poles and cables? The future is wireless. Actually, the present is wireless. Poles and cables for anything but electricity is archaic. Every time this topic comes up, it always boils down to the poles and cables. Get rid of the poles and cables and you get rid of 99% of this problem.

    Then why is Google spending so much money on fiber to the home? As RF frequencies increase (since there's only so much bandwidth available at the lower frequencies - a 100Mhz channel at 900Mhz takes up relatively more spectrum than a 100Mhz channel at 10Ghz), cell sizes decrease due to lower propagation and penetration of the higher frequencies to a point where it takes a Wireless access point at every house (or possibly in every room in the house) to provide equivalent throughput to wired infrastructure.

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:10PM (#47053225)
    Progress is better than regress, and you don't really need that much innovation to have dumb pipes.
  • by the biologist ( 1659443 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:54AM (#47053863)
    you've missed a teaching moment here.
  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @01:11AM (#47053903) Homepage

    Poles and cables? The future is wireless.

    I just bought my house three years ago and wired it with cat 6. Wireless is for mobile devices, temporary connections, and people who want ease-of-install more than they want reliability or speed. I do this for a living; dropped connections cost me and my clients money. Wireless will probably not be the right answer for my workstations in my lifetime.

  • by ExecutorElassus ( 1202245 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @01:54AM (#47054021)
    I don't think you understand how monopolies work. The majority of Comcast's customers have no alternatives. Where are they going to go? Back to dial-up? There are at best one or two other providers in any given market for internet service, and *none* for cable television. So, Google, Facebook, et al say they won't accept connections from Comcast servers, then ... what? Comcast's customers stop using those companies' services, but don't switch providers. In retaliation, the peering providers that used to trade back all that traffic that those sites were generating stop doing that, so those companies lose even more traffic.

    This is the point of a monopoly: they control access, and so they can control how the market functions.
  • by whistlingtony ( 691548 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @02:26AM (#47054121)

    yeah! Like in the old days before regulation, when railroads were free and people could vote with their dollar! Oh wait, that turned out REALLY BADLY.

    You sir, are repeated a mantra, an idealogy, which sounds good on paper and absolutely sucks when it hits the real world. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market is invisible, because it is a fairy tale. I repeat myself: Great Idea, Doesn't Exist In The Real World. The ISPs are GIGANTIC. The Free Market is dead. Taking away regulation would let them get WORSE. It would be a nightmare, on par with the railroad barons of old.

    Funnily enough, in other civilized countries that actually regulate their ISPs and cell phone companies, they have a plentitude of choice, service is good, and people are really happy with the competition. You should go overseas, where you can just pop down to the store, buy a SIM card, pop it in your phone, and go forth with cheap cell service. Or you actually have more than one ISP to choose from and the speeds are decent.

    Seriously, look where we are ranked in the world in speeds. Fucking Latvia and Lithuania are kicking our asses. Northern Europe is amazing... Why? Because they FUCKING REGULATE. So sick of hearing this deregulation free market Econ101 simplistic no context or real understanding bullshit.

    Link, so you can look for yourself: []

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI