FCC publishes 400-page net neutrality rules -- let the battle begin

By Shawn Knight · 23 replies
Mar 12, 2015
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  1. fcc internet net neutrality public utility net neutrality rules internet regulation

    Many considered last month’s landmark decision on net neutrality as a win for the Internet. The proposal promised to do away with things like paid prioritization and classify broadband as a public utility through selective enforcement of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

    But without actually seeing the proposal, proponents really had no idea exactly what they were championing and were more or less trusting the FCC to do the “right thing.” On Thursday, the FCC published the full text of its Open Internet Order which gives ordinary citizens their first look at the new rules.

    If you were hoping for a quick read, guess again – we’re talking about a 400-page document here. Those with a strong stance on net neutrality are encouraged to give it a read.

    Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T’s business and mobility arm, said until everybody reads the fine print and understands it, they won’t be able to comment in detail. The executive said he plans to read it cover to cover.

    The order aims to strike down some of the beliefs that opponents of net neutrality have. It states that it is Title II tailored for the 21st century and unlike the application of Title II to incumbent wireline companies in the 20th century, a swath of utility-style provisions (including tariffing) will not be applied.

    Despite the ruling and publishing of new rules, the matter is far from over as broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast are expected to sue the FCC to try and block the order. 

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,185   +1,864

    400 pages they never read? Where did they find these people? Were they cast offs from the Obamacare supporters? And trusting the FCC to do the right thing .... well, I suppose we can only hope!
  3. The amount of paper work, the legislators write is rediculus. laws don't need to be this wordy.
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    They are this long because they aren't honest in the way they handle these things.

    This regulation, as it was sold, could have been implemented in fewer than 15 pages. As I pointed out in an earlier thread, there would be a whole lot of extra BS that goes beyond the scope of what proponents were naively hoping for. Sure enough, the net neutrality they were hoping for is neatly provided for in a few pages. The several hundred other pages, on the other hand, is where the curious details lurk.

    Props to the first person who can read the whole thing and toot their own horn.
    cmbjive likes this.
  5. The actual order is only 8 pages. Most of the rest is explanation of why they made the order, likely to make it simpler for a court to understand their rationale. Almost 100 pages is statements by the commissioners, including 64 by Ajit Pai alone.
  6. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Posts: 296   +58

    FCC Cites Soros-Funded, Neo-Marxist-Founded Group 46 TIMES In New Regs
    see full article here: http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/12/f...o-marxist-founded-group-46-times-in-new-regs/

    Here is an excerpt:

    The term “Free Press” is mentioned 62 times in the regulations. Some are redundant mentions referring to the same Free Press activists’ comments in favor of more oversight. In total, the FCC cited Free Press’ pro-net neutrality arguments 46 times.

    The FCC received more than 4 million public comments as it was weighing the net neutrality initiative, but Free Press and other activist groups have received the most attention by pressuring the FCC and the White House on behalf of their cause.

    One argument made against the FCC’s regulatory push is that the general public is largely happy with its internet service. Support for net neutrality was seen as the domain of special interest groups like Free Press.

    The activist group has big money behinds its effort. It has received $2.2 million in donations from progressive billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and $3.9 million from the Ford Foundation.

    And one of Free Press’ co-founders, Robert McChesney, a communications professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has not been shy about his desire to see the internet regulated heavily. (RELATED: A Leading Net Neutrality Activist’s Neo-Marxist Views)

    But internet regulation appears to be only part of McChesney’s more radical agenda of completely revamping how the media operate in the U.S.

    “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles,” McChesney wrote in a 2009 essay.
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    This is such a blatant lie. Many people against this regulation are NOT against net neutrality. They are against accomplishing net neutrality through such overbearing regulation. Even Netflix feels this way. Their CFO David Wells Said '“Were we pleased it pushed to Title II? Probably not,” .

    Net Neutrality was just the excuse the govt used to prevent SOPA style protests and outrage. Everyone needs to stop thinking this is in their best interest. The fix the internet needed was more providers, better choice so we can drop Comcast as easy as we can drop our auto insurance. This regulation will do the exact opposite of that. It will allow the govt to make big decisions for the internet. That sounds great on paper because we think they'll look out for us. But what it really means is the only people who get what they want are the ones who can afford the expensive lobbyists.
    New companies won't be able to compete with Comcast and when Comcast raises rates to cover lobbying and lawyer costs you won't be able to drop them.

    But hey... at least thePirateBay will respond quickly... or should I say... or your Netflix will be as slow as thePiratebay. :/
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
    davislane1 likes this.
  8. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    When the Highway Act was passed, it number about 30 pages. The U.S. Constitution numbers at about 27 pages. Because of the complexity of the language used, if a law exceeds even 100 pages it should be read with trepidation because someone is about to get a huge benefit.

    But the I told you sos will start coming in once the lawyers for the web giants get their hands on the document and begin to realize that they aren't getting the "net neutrality" they were dreaming about.
    davislane1 likes this.
  9. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 2,816   +545

    "Better than nothing."

    The real issue is that there is insufficient competition. The large investment in infrastructure makes a better solution very difficult. I wish I had 4 or 5 ISPs providing 50Mbs, but I don't. I have just one providing less than half of that. It may take another 10 or even 20 years to reach a "better internet". In that interim, I think regulation is a necessary evil - to restrict market activities which are clearly predatory (blocking, throttling, etc). Perhaps my ISP is a 'good guy' and would not consider doing this to extract additional revenues (like tiered levels which have no economic sense to support the fees other than 'what the market will bear' - the cost of an incremental 10GB above 20GB @ month is tiny compared to the expense of making and maintaining the connection in the first place - my rough calculation is 2.7 hours at full throttle which translates to .7 kwh additional electricity - about 25 cents). However, we see strong evidence that several of the largest providers are predatory within their geographic monopolies.

    If anyone has a good method for getting real competition - especially in the 'local loop' - I would love to see it. Otherwise, we are stuck with 'better than nothing".
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    The regulation makes reference to a pizza analogy. I will use a (cooking) oil analogy.

    A fryer of oil is burning. In fact, it is on fire. Nobody really has an immediate solution to the problem, as simply turning down the heat won't save the oil and there is no extinguisher in the kitchen. Instead of thinking things through, one chef decides that it is better to address the burning oil immediately than stand around gawking at it. Something, he believes, is better than nothing. So, instead of covering the pan, turning the heat off, or exploring myriad other solutions, he decides to take a tub of ice and throw it into the fryer, because he reasons the cold water will reduce the oil temperature and thus kill the fire.

    Needless to say, this only causes the fire to double in size.

    Catch-all regulation is no different from this scenario. Instead of addressing the problem critically, catch-all regulations attempt to nuke industry problems without any thought given to the potential effects of the solutions.

    The philosophy of something instead of nothing is a fool's game played by people who are too (paranoid) risk adverse to appreciate the ramifications of either option.
    cmbjive likes this.
  11. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 2,816   +545

    Needless to say.. fire regulations require fire suppression - so the fire would be put out due to regulation before any ***** threw ice on it.
  12. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Platinum. Trophy.
    cmbjive likes this.
  13. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    The scenario precludes the theoretical or actual application of fire safety regulations. This was implied here:

    Note the bolded section. Not all kitchens fall under the purview of commercial fire safety standards. Therefore, not all kitchens will be equipped with appropriate fire suppression or contingency systems (I.e. a home kitchen or other non-commercial kitchen). It therefore follows that regulations wouldn't do a damn thing.

    Are you going to rebut my post or continue to point out trivialities in the analogy?
  14. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 2,816   +545

    No desire to 'rebut'. Desire better solution to real issue as I see it - lack of competition. We could debate 'the philosophy of something instead of nothing' which is not 'a fool's game' to the pragmatic. I like living in a republic (not a true democracy) and prefer it to most of the regimes in place on earth.

    Can I fault some of the specifics? Certainly. We might find we agree on some of these and together change something for the better.

    Monopolies are useful to introduce and develop a new advance. However, they can mature into economic monsters. As they get to the 'monster' stage, it has been found practical to regulate them. It is a 'stern pursuit' (vide Hornblower) and may take many years to see the results unfold.

    Of course, you are free to disagree.
  15. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    My whole point was that "something rather than nothing" isn't pragmatic at all. It is impulsive, not soundly reasoned. The Open Internet Order demonstrates this perfectly: If the problem is a lack of competition, doing nothing (maintaining the status quo) is certainly a better alternative than doing something that reduces competition by increasing compliance and legal costs (large providers can absorb this, smaller ones cannot).

    The pragmatic choice is to delay action until a precise solution can be found. In other words, doing nothing can be better than doing something, as "something" can be disadvantageous. With net neutrality, however, the gov't and techsphere played to impulse: we must act now or else consequences.

    I value a republic as much as anyone, and openly reject democracy as a political system. But the underlying philosophy justifying the OIO and other catch-all regulations is the anthesis of republican governance. It is democratic policymaking in its most ancient form. And democracy, if you recall Western history, is not conducive to any form of competition.
    cmbjive likes this.
  16. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    When the federal government forced AT&T to split up it did not introduce competition in the slightest. The Bells came to dominate different regions of the country and when the federal government introduced "competition" via the Competitive Line Exchange Carriers (CLECs) with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the CLECs could not even overcome the market power of the Bells even though all they had to do was sell the service across the Bells' infrastructure. And even with all of this competition going on, most consumers stayed with what they knew best: Service from the Bells.

    Net neutrality, as defined by the FCC, will not, repeat, will not lead to more competition. And even if it did lead to more competition, net neutrality will not lead to better service or efficient service.
  17. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 2,816   +545

    My problem with the way things are is the lack of competition. FCC addressed other problems, predatory techniques. They plan to set up some kind of 'consumer complaint' system. ACA notes this may burden small providers (URL: http://www.americancable.org/node/2859 ), but I am inclined to think most of the complaints will be focused on the larger ISPs and not have a major impact on the smaller ones.

    I agree that the FCC is addressing symptoms and not offering the 'big' solution - but I think I rather prefer that to no regulation.
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,555   +1,000

    The laws themselves do not magically make more competition. But you do need a fundations that allows for competition to emerge.
    As it stands without these regulations NA is doomed to crappy internet for the next 10 years and it will always be behind even 3rd world countries.
  19. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    No, you don't need a foundation of regulations to allow for competition. Regulations are the antithesis of competition. Lawmakers can put whatever words they like on paper, but if there are no competitors to enter the market competition is going to be limited. Competitors are only going to enter a market for one reason: If the profitmaking opportunities are there. As it stands, barriers to entry in broadband are high just based on the infrastructure costs alone. The FCC will not magically change that.

    And please, stop the hyperbole. The United States has awesome internet service and most consumers can stream music and movies without issue. The FCC is not going to magically make our internet better.
  20. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Provably false statement is provably false: http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/

    Note where the U.S. ranks in relation to the various third world nations. That is, note that the U.S. ranks at 27th globally before accounting for (a) infrastructure, (b) industry facts (number of providers, etc.), (c) legal environment, (d) user base, and (e) accessibility. Also note that the U.S. is firmly above the global average and within the upper percentile of Internet-enabled nations. But I'm sure the Democratic Republic of the Congo would have surpassed us eventually if the FCC hadn't put Comcast in its place.

    Give me more baseless rhetoric to explode. I'm bored.
    cmbjive likes this.
  21. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,555   +1,000

    I live in Romania. An east european country that is pretty much one of the poorest counties in the EU. You can buy 1 Gbps fiber connections in with just 18$ and I also get free nation wide 3G. I currently have 100mbps down and 30 up for just 9$. At this price I have 3-4 big ISPs and multiple smaller ones that offer similar speeds in all big/medium cities <> very healthy competition.

    27th in the world? Yes, the US is really behind. The UK is also behind by a lot.

    Also the ranking you have shown is heavily skewed towards higher values. It's download and upload rankings are based on the tests done speedtest.net on servers that are closer than 300 miles. Not the best way to get overall nationwide speeds. This is a good representation on the speeds you get in highly populated areas, but it leaves out a lot of people (and I don't really see normal people using speedtest.net unless someone more tech-savvy tells them about it). This also doesn't address one of the biggest problems: latency, throttling, very low upload bandwidth and data caps.

    A lot of servers are in the US so you guys improving your networks and interconnections will help the world.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  22. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    This is where conditions (a) thru (e) come into play. Unless those variables are known, differences in pricing models and relative competition are purely rhetorical.

    The point I am making is that proponents are thinking absent knowledge of the playing field. They support X regulation to bring A closer to B and to curtail the power of C over D without ever investigating the set of conditions that enable B > A and C > D in the first place. In any discipline other than finance, banking, or government, this type of feeling around in the dark would result in mass firings....I mean layoffs.

    The U.S is becoming a country increasingly controlled by an elite group of individuals and businesses. It is no coincidence that their continuing rise to power and suffocation of competition has coincided with unprecedented regulatory growth. (For justice, of course.)
    cmbjive likes this.
  23. I see Republicans
  24. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    You might want to make sure your shots are current - I'm a libertarian.

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