FCC approves net neutrality in landmark decision, broadband to be reclassified as a public utility

Satish Mallya

TechSpot Staff
Staff
... EVERYONE is because... wait for it, IT COSTS MORE MONEY. The FCC regulating ISP's, or the whole damn internet isn't going to fix that.
You realize that there are countries other than the USA, right? Countries faced with this problem, who have taken action along similar lines, and now have blazing fast internet?
How about cost per unit speed?
Take a look at this chart
http://static.cdn-seekingalpha.com/uploads/2014/9/29/saupload_national-average-cost-per-mbps-download-speed_large.png

[edit] So I misinterpreted the chart. Looks like the USA isn't as badly off as I thought. Hm.[/edit]
 
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Satish Mallya

TechSpot Staff
Staff
Because the current FCC was able to stop the NSA from wiretapping telephones and getting wireless phone records. Did you forget the "F" in FCC means "Federal"?

And always going to Fox News...of course the FCC will say that it is adopting rules to protect the open internet! Do you think it would be forthcoming in saying that it intends to turn regulating the internet - which is as much international as it is domestic - into a bureaucratic morass?
The FCC is not regulating the internet itself - it is regulating companies that sell access to the internet through their intermediate networks. In fact, the provisions of the order protect the idea of the internet as we know it today. The internet is designed to be point-to-point running through a mass of neutral network.

I could set up a fileserver - on my home computer - right now - and send you a link, and you'd be able to download from me just as easy as if you were downloading off of any other website.

When the ISPs crack down on that sort of thing, it effects my ability to communicate with you. Consider the Netflix case. Netflix threatens the ISPs entrenched content services (Xfinity, U-verse, what-have-you). The ISP throttles Netflix - essentially holding that traffic hostage - to protect it's own source of income - it's entrenched content service. If Netflix pays, The ISP wins. If Netflix gets throttled and loses business, the ISP wins.

This is in spite of me paying my ISP for internet access - an internet that includes Netflix.

Due to the behavior of the ISPs, I'm not getting what I paid for twice over - once for my internet bill, and once for my Netflix subscription.

If that isn't behavior that needs regulation, I don't know what is.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
He killed that career path when he chose not to attend law school.
I realize that. It's just that I enjoy greatly working inane bits a pieces of Taylor Swift titles and lyrics into my posts, just to see if anyone calls me on it.:p

In this case it was "we are never, ever, getting back together".
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
So now you cannot build a house unless it has internet access? I guess you can satellite nearly anywhere so his probably doesn't matter.

"The new rules also ensure that those with disabilities have access to the Internet as well as those living in remote areas."
The post office has these exact rules. They guarantee that everyone can receive mail no matter where you live. So long as they know where that is, I suppose. It costs them a ridiculous amount of money to deliver mail to someone 50 miles in the middle of nowhere. That single guarantee is one of the main reasons the post office is struggling while UPS and FedEx etc aren't. I know it sounds mean to say we shouldn't deliver mail to everyone, but if you live way out there, you have to come to town for food and supplies, nothing wrong with picking up the mail too.
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
The post office has these exact rules. They guarantee that everyone can receive mail no matter where you live. So long as they know where that is, I suppose. It costs them a ridiculous amount of money to deliver mail to someone 50 miles in the middle of nowhere. That single guarantee is one of the main reasons the post office is struggling while UPS and FedEx etc aren't. I know it sounds mean to say we shouldn't deliver mail to everyone, but if you live way out there, you have to come to town for food and supplies, nothing wrong with picking up the mail too.
well, no, the post office is struggling because congress has slowly been dismantling it since 2003. They are required by law to keep an unreasonable amount of money in reserve for employee pensions(IIRC, they have to hold 70 years of pension payments in reserve for each employee.) On top of that there have been multiple bills that increase taxes on the USPS to pay for tax breaks for fedex and UPS.
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
well, no, the post office is struggling because congress has slowly been dismantling it since 2003. They are required by law to keep an unreasonable amount of money in reserve for employee pensions(IIRC, they have to hold 70 years of pension payments in reserve for each employee.) On top of that there have been multiple bills that increase taxes on the USPS to pay for tax breaks for fedex and UPS.
So the govt has been choking off the post office via pension regulation and taxes, and you want to see more govt involvement in your internet? The shipping companies that are privately run are doing fine and the one that has to follow the govt rules is failing. And you want the govt to be making more rules for the Internet?

If you have access to the wall street journal, I suggest reading this..
http://www.wsj.com/articles/welcome-to-the-obamanet-1424998484
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
So the govt has been choking off the post office via pension regulation and taxes, and you want to see more govt involvement in your internet? The shipping companies that are privately run are doing fine and the one that has to follow the govt rules is failing. And you want the govt to be making more rules for the Internet?
The Post Office went from the "FERS" (Federal Employee Retirement system), to standard social security, more than 30 years ago. There's still a separate system within the system, but no more 30 years and out at full pop.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Well, in Bruce Springsteen's, "Lost in the Flood", (Greetings from Asbury Park), one lyric line says, "his countryside's burning with wolfman fairies, dressed in drag for homicide". So, would "wolfman fairies be the 5th or the 6th gender? Is your avatar an alpaca or a llama? How many genders do they have? (Of course, this assumes they could write in a check box).

Hey look, I'm trying to pretend I'm a libertine here, don't discourage me.
I'm actually a trigendered omnisexual alpaca in a white mans body

So the govt has been choking off the post office via pension regulation and taxes, and you want to see more govt involvement in your internet? The shipping companies that are privately run are doing fine and the one that has to follow the govt rules is failing. And you want the govt to be making more rules for the Internet?

If you have access to the wall street journal, I suggest reading this..
http://www.wsj.com/articles/welcome-to-the-obamanet-1424998484
see, you scream government like it behaves and functions like one entity, it does not. There are many sides to it and what side is likely to win can change every two years. So I would like to point out that the bills dismantling the USPS have been brought to congress and passed overwhelmingly by republicans.
 
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D

davislane1

Well, in Bruce Springsteen's, "Lost in the Flood", (Greetings from Asbury Park), one lyric line says, "his countryside's burning with wolfman fairies, dressed in drag for homicide". So, would "wolfman fairies be the 5th or the 6th gender? Is your avatar an alpaca or a llama? How many genders do they have? (Of course, this assumes they could write in a check box).

Hey look, I'm trying to pretend I'm a libertine here, don't discourage me.
I'm actually a trigendered omnisexual alpaca in a white mans body
Nice. I'm a transjewish banker.

see, you scream government like it behaves and functions like one entity, it does not. There are many sides to it and what side is likely to win can change every two years. So I would like to point out that the bills dismantling the USPS have been brought to congress and passed overwhelmingly by republicans.
If we're going to play this tired game of "my party isn't as bad as your party", at least provide some citations.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Nice. I'm a transjewish banker.

If we're going to play this tired game of "my party isn't as bad as your party", at least provide some citations.
You have access to the same information I do. If you were ligitmately interested in finding out you would have looked yourself. I'll list some of the bill numbers from the last 10 years, but it's your job to go through them. if you're interested in finding more you can find them here:
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/subjects/us_postal_service/6808?#sort=-introduced_date

Anyway, some bills you might want to look through are:
H.J.Res. 20 (110th)
H.R. 1 (110th)
H.R. 6407 (109th)
H.R. 5441 (109th)
S. 1932 (109th)
H.R. 3199 (109th)
H.R. 3010 (109th)
H.R. 2985 (109th)
H.R. 3 (109th)
S. 2657 (108th)
H.R. 4818 (108th)

Those are some bills that you can look through and see who voted for and passed what. This information is freely available to all of us. You can search for more on that site under any congress or president you want. You can look at proposed bills or only ones that were signed into law. I only gave you ones that were signed into law
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
If I weren't interested I wouldn't have asked.
I'm happy to hear that. However, giving you every bill relating to every action taken against USPS and the people voting for it is quite an undertaking. How would like it? By Bill? President? things that were slipped into bills by lobbyists? year? ascending or descending? Frankly I don't have the time, nor the will, to organize all the information and present it to you. However, I gave you a really wonderful place to start if you are actually interested in knowing who passed what. These problems with the post office have been going on for well over 40 years and there isn't a clean "place to start".

Further, if I even bothered to write out and explain that stuff to you, would you believe me? I'd be accuse to cherry picking sources or being biased. Frankly it pisses me off how much I try to stay out of politics but the moment you disagree with someone you belong to the other side. I never took a stance on what I think about the dismantling of USPS, just that it was republicans doing it. I didn't say whether it was good or bad. Merely, I pointed out that the problems that people have with the post office have been caused by republicans. Someone tried to use the fact that government regulation is responsible for the sorry state that USPS is in now. I completely agree with that statement. However, the side they were trying to defend was the one responsible for said regulation.

That's about as much as I feel like writing on this subject. I've given you the means, now it's your turn to do a little work.
 
D

davislane1

Frankly I don't have the time, nor the will, to organize all the information and present it to you.
I asked for a citation, not a dissertation. As I am sure you are aware, there is quite a difference between the two.

Further, if I even bothered to write out and explain that stuff to you, would you believe me? I'd be accuse to cherry picking sources or being biased. Frankly it pisses me off how much I try to stay out of politics but the moment you disagree with someone you belong to the other side.
Once again, I didn't ask for an explanation. I couldn't care less about the source of the information, as the subject is readily verifiable. This being a tech forum, it is valuable to know when someone is speaking from script (news summaries) or from actual knowledge. A citation is a reliable informant for myriad reasons, hence my initial response. I care about understanding the issue, not who's on the right side of it.

As for political affiliations, that is my mistake. The my party/your party bit was general in intent.
 

Billak

TS Rookie
This is nothing more than a naked power grab by un-elected bureaucrats. Anyone who thinks that this yes vote is good then they are sadly ignorant, willfully or otherwise, of the history of government meddling. One thing that can be counted on is the rate we pay based on the quality and quantity will go up. There will be more meddling - such as an internet "fairness doctrine", what content can be shown or provided, etc. Why do these big government control freaks think the average human can't do anything of think without their self-righteous government is always better attitude?
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
I asked for a citation, not a dissertation. As I am sure you are aware, there is quite a difference between the two.



Once again, I didn't ask for an explanation. I couldn't care less about the source of the information, as the subject is readily verifiable. This being a tech forum, it is valuable to know when someone is speaking from script (news summaries) or from actual knowledge. A citation is a reliable informant for myriad reasons, hence my initial response. I care about understanding the issue, not who's on the right side of it.

As for political affiliations, that is my mistake. The my party/your party bit was general in intent.
well I do not have the source material readily available as I was not arguing the point about it's truth. I'd have to source the information and due to the complexity of it that is no simple matter.

However, after a little googling for the specific issue with pensions I was thinking of, I found this PDF that explains it beautifully. It is a bit of a dry read though.
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
This is a loss for the freedoms of Americans. The government will now have the power to access, use, and do whatever they want with all the data that is stored or passed through technology in our country. As far as I'm concerned it nullifies all these "privacy terms and conditions" that many companies claim to protect. Although we all have our suspicions that these large corporations are not watching out for our privacy, despite their claims, they will now have no laws to protect their customer data. The government will be able to regulate their own rules into how the internet is used and they will have unlimited control over the American peoples use of it. As if they weren't already using NSA and CIA to spy on us right? Well maybe, but now it can be "legal" and we'll not be able to do anything about it.

Just another chunk of freedom we are letting the government take away as things continue to get worse and worse. Within 50 - 100 years we will be China, the individual will have no power, no rights, and will be slaves to those in power.
LOL I think you forgot your meds.
 

hrowder

TS Enthusiast
I think it's a wise decision if they will pursue raising the speed standards. Otherwise, I'm not too sure. Gov. Cuomo of NY wants to make 100mb the standard, which I agree with. However, if the government allows for "legal" monopolies like they do for electricity and water utilities, we may have a problem.

I guess the only way to see whether or not this is bad is to let it play out. Hopefully it's good, but if it is bad it needs to be repealed ASAP.
The order says nothing about speed, only what kind of behavior is and is not allowed (e.g. no paid prioritization, no blocking competing services, etc), as well as forcing disclosures on things like packet loss, data caps, etc. Presumably, we'll lose the 'up to x Mbps!!!!1!' marketing bullshit they do now. Which is good.
You mentioned "legal monopolies"... I remember when Ma Bell was the only game in town. Guess who broke up THAT monopoly? Being under the Telecommunications Act as a utility is a good thing. One must remember that ALL the growth of the internet took place under a "free" internet. I see this action as a means to continue having an open internet available to all. I do agree that monopolies are much more of a danger than government regulation. The bank failures of a couple of years ago, though seemingly far from everyone's minds today, resulted from regulations written by that industry. The internet companies would have you believe they are better able to "self regulate" than have "government intrusion". Don't believe a word of it! The internet, and internet commerce, cannot grow without the knowledge that it is protected from corporate throttling and interference. Net Neutrality is a good thing.
 
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Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
So now you cannot build a house unless it has internet access? I guess you can satellite nearly anywhere so his probably doesn't matter.

"The new rules also ensure that those with disabilities have access to the Internet as well as those living in remote areas."
Well it basically will mean they will just have to reserve capacity to fulfil broadband to places they don't want to run cables. They can't say "oh we're out of satellite customer slots".
 

cmbjive

TS Booster
I said it goes out for about 4 hours everyday. And my point about them giving me money off on my bill and HBO is irrelevant because I just want my internet to work. I don't want HBO, I don't want $20, I want a product that works when I want it to work. The electric company and the water company has to, by law, fix it if we are paying them for their service. I don't care if the power lines are down, get me some electricity, I don't care if a water main is broken, I'm paying them for water. I don't care if comecast has a problem with their lines, I want them to fix it. What makes it even worse is that they are the only game in town, I can't even switch. And, trust me, I want to switch pretty bad.

And, sure as far as common house hold use, porn, torrents and facebook make up much of that. However, there is far more network traffic than what you think the average person uses it for. Any business you can think of uses massive amounts of bandwidth for things like shipping, financial information, product information. On a small scale you can think of the card machine at your gas station. If their internet goes out, they lose business.

On a larger scale, if a large warehouse cannot receive the orders and shipping information for the day, they can't much send it out. If visa servers cannot connect to the internet potentially millions of people could not use their cards.

Internet traffic is far more complicated than just Facebook and email. what we do only makes up a small portion of network traffic. People rely on it to run their businesses and receive important information. This practice of frequent outages "just being the norm" with no other game in town to go is completely unacceptable.
Again, I'm going to out on a limb and say your internet does not go out for about four hours everyday. Your internet works. You don't need hyperbole to state that every now and then, your internet slows down, but, ultimately, you still have your internet.

And you living in an area where Comcast is only available is not their fault. It's yours. I don't even understand how that line of thinking - where I live should be an excuse to regulate the internet - takes such hold over people. I chose to live where only APS is the sole provider of electricity, even though I traditionally had SRP (and they were the only company available where I lived because of rules established by the corporation commission). And the point is still relevant - you were compensated by Comcast for outages you may have suffered every now and then (and not about every four hours everyday) whereas the electric and water companies gave you absolutely nothing. They, too, are the only providers of your service, yet you still can't make the connection that more regulation does not lead to better service!

And yes, the internet is far more complicated than just Facebook and e-mail, which is further perplexing why net neuts such as yourself seem to think that slowing it through the bureaucratic morass of the FCC would make it better! You will STILL have "frequent outages" with the FCC regulating the internet because Comcast will still be managing the infrastructure that delivers you the content!
 

cmbjive

TS Booster
The FCC is not regulating the internet itself - it is regulating companies that sell access to the internet through their intermediate networks. In fact, the provisions of the order protect the idea of the internet as we know it today. The internet is designed to be point-to-point running through a mass of neutral network.

I could set up a fileserver - on my home computer - right now - and send you a link, and you'd be able to download from me just as easy as if you were downloading off of any other website.

When the ISPs crack down on that sort of thing, it effects my ability to communicate with you. Consider the Netflix case. Netflix threatens the ISPs entrenched content services (Xfinity, U-verse, what-have-you). The ISP throttles Netflix - essentially holding that traffic hostage - to protect it's own source of income - it's entrenched content service. If Netflix pays, The ISP wins. If Netflix gets throttled and loses business, the ISP wins.

This is in spite of me paying my ISP for internet access - an internet that includes Netflix.

Due to the behavior of the ISPs, I'm not getting what I paid for twice over - once for my internet bill, and once for my Netflix subscription.

If that isn't behavior that needs regulation, I don't know what is.
Yes, the FCC will be regulating the internet itself. If the FCC is regulating the companies that sell access to the internet THEY ARE REGULATING THE INTERNET. The fact that there are rules to protect the internet "as we know it today" should tell you that the FCC is planning to regulate the internet, but they are promising you that the internet "as we know it today" will still be there. However, that is patently false: The internet "as we know it today" did not have the FCC regulating it. Now, that the FCC has given itself power to regulate the internet, the internet "as we know it today" has changed, even though the FCC has yet to start regulating it.

And no, stop with theoretical hogwash. What you have described is not happening. The so-called "evidence" of ISPs abusing online consumers since the internet became so commonplace about ten years ago can be counted on one hand, and many of those so-called "abuses" I don't even consider them to be that. And the ISPs are within their rights to throttle Netflix because Netflix is using the majority of the bandwidth, even though that bandwidth still has to be used for other services, especially the telco's core service (cable and telephone). And Netflix did indeed pay to increase its downstream bandwidth, which is PRECISELY the fair thing to do. It's akin to an NFL team going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and demanding that it be able to consume 1,000 lbs of food for the same price as a couple just enjoying an afternoon lunch.

No, you pay for internet ACCESS, not for access to Netflix. If you want access to Netflix, you still need to pay Netflix for it. But of course, if you want faster access to Netflix you need to pay for it. However, there is always a condition that your access to Netflix is not GUARANTEED. The FCC regulating the internet will not change that fact.

Mind you, I pay for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crunchyroll, and Amazon Prime, plus I am a gamer and my games are constantly connecting to the developers' servers.
 

cmbjive

TS Booster
You mentioned "legal monopolies"... I remember when Ma Bell was the only game in town. Guess who broke up THAT monopoly? Being under the Telecommunications Act as a utility is a good thing. One must remember that ALL the growth of the internet took place under a "free" internet. I see this action as a means to continue having an open internet available to all. I do agree that monopolies are much more of a danger than government regulation. The bank failures of a couple of years ago, though seemingly far from everyone's minds today, resulted from regulations written by that industry. The internet companies would have you believe they are better able to "self regulate" than have "government intrusion". Don't believe a word of it! The internet, and internet commerce, cannot grow without the knowledge that it is protected from corporate throttling and interference. Net Neutrality is a good thing.
Yeah, and what innovative things came out of the breaking up of the Ma Bells? Caller ID and call waiting?

And you have it exactly backwards: ALL of the growth of the internet took place under an internet "free" from regulation.

And what sloppy logic: You agree that monopolies (plural) are much more of a danger than government regulation (singular). Never mind that the federal government is more powerful than monopolies because it gets to write laws and has the power of enforcement to punish those who don't follow them.
 

Greg S

TS Evangelist
So now you cannot build a house unless it has internet access? I guess you can satellite nearly anywhere so his probably doesn't matter.

"The new rules also ensure that those with disabilities have access to the Internet as well as those living in remote areas."
This just means that they have the right to make non-poor people pay for poor people's internet service. AKA a nice tax hike on ISPs or consumers who actually pay for their own internet services.
 

Satish Mallya

TechSpot Staff
Staff
Yes, the FCC will be regulating the internet itself. If the FCC is regulating the companies that sell access to the internet THEY ARE REGULATING THE INTERNET. The fact that there are rules to protect the internet "as we know it today" should tell you that the FCC is planning to regulate the internet, but they are promising you that the internet "as we know it today" will still be there. However, that is patently false: The internet "as we know it today" did not have the FCC regulating it. Now, that the FCC has given itself power to regulate the internet, the internet "as we know it today" has changed, even though the FCC has yet to start regulating it.

And no, stop with theoretical hogwash. What you have described is not happening. The so-called "evidence" of ISPs abusing online consumers since the internet became so commonplace about ten years ago can be counted on one hand, and many of those so-called "abuses" I don't even consider them to be that. And the ISPs are within their rights to throttle Netflix because Netflix is using the majority of the bandwidth, even though that bandwidth still has to be used for other services, especially the telco's core service (cable and telephone). And Netflix did indeed pay to increase its downstream bandwidth, which is PRECISELY the fair thing to do. It's akin to an NFL team going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and demanding that it be able to consume 1,000 lbs of food for the same price as a couple just enjoying an afternoon lunch.

No, you pay for internet ACCESS, not for access to Netflix. If you want access to Netflix, you still need to pay Netflix for it. But of course, if you want faster access to Netflix you need to pay for it. However, there is always a condition that your access to Netflix is not GUARANTEED. The FCC regulating the internet will not change that fact.

Mind you, I pay for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crunchyroll, and Amazon Prime, plus I am a gamer and my games are constantly connecting to the developers' servers.
Wow. Now to take that systematically apart.
Internet != ISP. The internet is a network, and a telecom network, the same as a phone network for the purposes of expected provider behavior.
Wouldn't you start complaining if your phone company refused to let you call say....an AT&T number, because AT&T takes up the bulk of call time?

Net, you assert that the internet 'as we know it' didn't have the FCC regulating it. That is a false statement. The FCC WAS regulating 'the internet' (ISP behavior), but under much weaker laws. When Verizon whooped them in court for not having the authority under the law applicable at the time, and continued their douchebaggery, the FCC reclassified them to have the legal teeth to force them to stop being douchebags.

As for ISPs abusing online consumers, Netflix is the biggest example. You also have Verizon injecting supercookies, various ISPs injecting their own ads, throttling torrents (there are very legitimate uses of torrents), bandwidth shaping, throttling video streams, and all kinds of other shenanigans.

As for the bandwidth being used for the telcos 'core services' that is the problem. The telcos need to deliver the bandwidth they are selling to customers, value-added services included.
If I buy a 25 mbps package, that means 25 mbps to ANY destination on the internet that is capable of delivering that speed. 'The internet' does not mean 'the internet, except for Netflix and Hulu' or similar.

As for Netflix paying to increse downstream bandwidth, that's not the same as what you think. You seem to imply that Netflix needs to pay the ISP to deliver their traffic.....but the ISP is already being paid by it's own customers for that exact job.

The traffic is requested by the ISP's customers, not Netflix.

As for the NFL analogy, nobody said that internet connections cost the same regardless of bandwidth; a 4m line will still cost less than a gigabit line.

To turn your restaurant analogy around, it's like the restaraunt advertised 'ten pancakes for five dollars! any flavor!' and then said they are low on blueberry pancakes, so they are rationing it out to three pancakes a head - charging the same as ten pancakes.

It's their job to stock what they are selling. They sell bandwidth - they should ensure they have enough to satisfy their customers.
 
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