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Government Communications The Internet United States

New Jersey Governor Signs Net Neutrality Order (thehill.com) 60

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: New Jersey on Monday became the latest state to implement its own net neutrality rules following the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the Obama-era consumer protections. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order prohibiting all internet service providers that do business with the state from blocking, throttling or favoring web content.

"We may not agree with everything we see online, but that does not give us a justifiable reason to block the free, uninterrupted, and indiscriminate flow of information," Murphy said in a statement. "And, it certainly doesn't give certain companies or individuals a right to pay their way to the front of the line. "While New Jersey cannot unilaterally regulate net neutrality back into law or cement it as a state regulation, we can exercise our power as a consumer to make our preferences known," he added. Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey's attorney general, also announced on Monday that the state would be the 22nd to join a lawsuit against the FCC.

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New Jersey Governor Signs Net Neutrality Order

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  • A plot twist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:26PM (#56074167) Homepage

    For your consideration, I submit the following (hopefully sarcastic) theory:

    By enacting the most ridiculous federal policies while projecting a personality of being complete and utter assholes, Trump's administration is opening the political path for states to invoke their own contrary policies while their governors are hailed as heroes, thus ultimately fulfilling the Republican stated goal of empowering states.

    The only question, then: Is Trump intelligent and self-aware enough to pull off such a plan?

    • by sabri ( 584428 )

      Republican stated goal of empowering states.

      No. Although I do think this is the correct way to do things, it is for a different reason. As I've said on /. before: I believe that the government has no business meddling with an ISP's class of service configuration. The government does not own the infrastructure, and does not pay for the operations. Most importantly, if there is a market for a certain business model where one stream of traffic gets priority over another: let the market handle it.

      And that is exactly what this legislation does: as with

      • Yea, remember that now in 2018 half Trillion usd that we Americans gave to ISP [reddit.com]? They now have stolen half a trillion dollars. Maybe this eli5 description will help you understand that companies will just fucking steal the money by socializing the costs and privatizing the gains. No, dumping more money on these asshats will make it worse. To make it end, hold each and every one of these criminals responsible, up the regulations several orders of magnitude to the point of bringing felony criminal char
      • Re:A plot twist (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @06:20AM (#56075539)

        I believe that the government has no business meddling with an ISP's class of service configuration. The government does not own the infrastructure, and does not pay for the operations.

        Actually, the bone of contention here is that the ISP's lines go through (government-mandated and controlled) public easements [wikipedia.org]. Without the government clearing the way for the easement, each ISP would have to negotiate with thousands if not millions of private landowners for rights to send their wires through their land. You might not be able to get any cable or phone service because the homeowner at the corner of your street refused to let any companies lay down wire through his property.

        Since it's the govenrment which allows ISPs access to all customers, the government also has the power to regulate it.

        Most importantly, if there is a market for a certain business model where one stream of traffic gets priority over another: let the market handle it.

        The market can't handle it because in most places there isn't any market. The local government has granted the cable and phone companies local monopolies. There is no competition. Customers cannot make their displeasure known by switching to a different ISP if both of them decide to throttle services which don't pay them. Like you, I think this is something better left up to the market to decide. But for that to happen, we first need to get rid of the local monopolies so that there's actually competition. Barring that, net neutrality is a good alternative.

        I do prefer the way it's happening now - each state is deciding for itself how it wants to handle this. That's kinda the whole point of having states instead of a single Federal government deciding everything like in most other countries. We can try multiple solutions in different states, and get a better idea which ones work and which ones don't. Then we can pick the best solution and implement it at the Federal level. That's a far better process than some Federal official deciding all by himself, without evidence nor data to back him up, based solely on philosophical or ideological grounds, that net neutrality is the way to go, and forcing the entire country to go along with his decision.

        • > We can try multiple solutions in different states, and get a better idea which ones work and which ones don't.

          You're naive, the monopolist ISPs already know what they want to do, they don't need to test and find out. They want exactly what they lobbied to do.
          • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

            Yes, of course the infrastructure monopolists know what they want. Using states as a test bed will actually produce some data, if anyone still cares about that. It's not a bad idea for getting data on internet regulation, and it is really coming into its own regarding cannabis regulation. If anyone is looking for information, it could inform future decisions.

            But you are correct that right now, everyone has their heels dug in and it has nothing to do with data. The top level net neutrality overturn was a

            • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

              Also: the net neutrality executive order seems open to subversion by some shenanigans involving shell companies, but assuming that this doesn't occur or is punished if and when it does, it's absolutely the type of thing that your standard voting Republican should get behind.

              - It doesn't affect what companies in the marketplace can do, it only affects how the state government makes its contracts. As such, it has no effect on the, err, "mom and pop ISPs". I have no idea if these actually are real, but they

        • - each state is deciding for itself how it wants to handle this. That's kinda the whole point of having states instead of a single Federal government deciding everything like in most other countries. We can try multiple solutions in different states, and get a better idea which ones work and which ones don't. Then we can pick the best solution and implement it at the Federal level. That's a far better process than some Federal official deciding all by himself, without evidence nor data to back him up, based solely on philosophical or ideological grounds, that net neutrality is the way to go, and forcing the entire country to go along with his decision.

          I was with you except for the last part; for the vast majority of things, they should stay set at the state level. Different geography, demographics, climate, resources, history, and culture dictate different needs and approaches from state to state. Nothing drastic, but it is after all how the country was established, sort of a modular approach. Large monolithic governments tend to be inefficient and easily grow corrupt. We're the only nation in the world that comprises separate states: states, not pr

        • by sabri ( 584428 )

          The market can't handle it because in most places there isn't any market.

          Yes, and this is what needs to be fixed. Fuck net neutrality: fix the market and NN will fix itself.

    • The only question, then: Is Trump intelligent and self-aware enough to pull off such a plan?

      LOL, no, he's not!

    • The federal government has always been so. It's just noticeable to you because of Trump.
    • I don't think that's right. The extremist Republicans don't really want to empower states, they only want to empower their own states, and only the states and never the counties or municipal governments. If they had their way they would force states to outlaw marijuana and gay marriage. Extremist Democrats would be similar, preferring that their states are independent but other states follow their guidelines.

  • How is NJ going to enforce this? Are they going to investigate complains from everyone and investigate every time someone's net access slows down?

    Does that mean you can't slow down web content in favor of VoIP?

    What about slowing down other, non-web content?

    Is caching slowing down web content, because you're speeding up someone else's web content?

    How about content filtering/adblocking? Anonymization? Technically these are throttling/blocking web content.

    • How is NJ going to enforce this? Are they going to investigate complains from everyone and investigate every time someone's net access slows down?

      I've been asking the same question about how the FCC was practically supposed to enforce NN for a long time. This doesn't seem conceptually different other than creating a lot of interesting cross-border questions about what part of an ISP's network is really slowing the traffic down.

      • Measure it (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, 2018 @10:48PM (#56074561)

        Each ISP *already* measures the bandwidth to its interconnects, that's how they enforce their own contracts.

        You cannot hide slowing down of Internet connections, as soon as Verizon slowed down 4k video to force the downgrade of youtube and netflix to 1080p, it was instantly observed and reported on. Of course Verizon also stream their own video, which is 1080p only, and in downgrading the connection, they happen to also cripple competitors down to their own level, so you'd expect the FCC to act on its Net Neutrality and stop Verizon slowing the connection, but with Chairman Pai in power, he simply didn't enforce it.

        Now the law and enforcement of the law are taken out of his hands.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Companies won't be able to hide the deals being made for special access to customers, so if those deals are rolled out in NJ, they'll sue the ISP.

      " web content in favor of VoIP?"
      Are you telling me you cannot deliver me BOTH 256kbps VOIP AND web content at the same time??
      Isn't that just a specious claim? the claim that ISP's want to 'prioritize telemedicine over Netflix' is bullshit claim design to play one customer off against another. Each customer paid for the bandwidth, the ISP has the obligation to carr

    • QoS and load balancing, which is what you're talking about, is not the issue. Even favoring certain content which requires low latency is not the issue.

      Say, for example, an ISP was slowing Skype to encourage people to buy their digital phone package. That would violate NN.

      Do you understand the difference?

  • Me too! Me too!

  • Do they understand what net neutrality means, or is it just sloppy reporting?

  • enforcing NN rules and protecting existing paper insulted NN wireline networks.
    Could have innovated with new networks, services. Now its all about having to prove to the state bureaucrats your network is NN rule ready.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Yes, the feds could have made it much easier by being a one stop shop for demonstrating compliance, but the FCC is derelict in it's duty so they'll have to deal with each state individually.

  • Warning! Shift! Shift! Shift!

    You now love states' rights and hate the feds' interstate commerce clause, or now love the feds' interstate commerce clause and hate states' rights, depending on your position on net neutrality, as opposed to how you felt about them when you got up this morning.

    [Insert sarc mark here]

    • I have mixed feelings about the Commerce Clause, fully support co-sovereignty, while also hating so-called net neutrality on the State level.

      Boom.

  • This phrase, and derivatives thereof, always mean one thing and always go one way, irrespective of the facts or context for the given issue for the given time.

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