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FCC responds to Obama's net neutrality statement: "I am an independent agency"

By Himanshu Arora · 34 replies
Nov 12, 2014
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  1. Just a day after U.S. President Barack Obama publicly came out in support of net neutrality, asking the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify Internet service as a utility, its chairman Tom Wheeler has indicated he'll likely move in a different direction, according to...

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  2. "This is particularly interesting given the fact that the two have long been allies -- Wheeler campaigned for the President during his election campaign, and was selected to his transition team in 2009."

    It isn't interesting that a man might put his responsibilities above his personal allegiances. What's interesting is when people in positions of power abuse those positions to make their friends look good. Frankly, it's a bit refreshing that a regulatory chairman has come out and said "That's a nice agenda, Mr. President, but I'm going to try and perform my job properly."
    cmbjive and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. Spoken like a true cable company lobbyist!
    falcon269, SalaSSin and Jim$ter like this.
  4. there we go, I fixed that for you davislane1 - just wanted to make sure we quote what Wheeler really meant.
    falcon269 and SalaSSin like this.
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    I disagree with this:

    "thinks that the President's approach is "too simplistic"."

    I'm sorry but if the rules are that simple aka, ISP's can't throttle data based on what the content is and everything has to be treated equally. Then there is no agruements, no petty money grabs from ISP's where your bill has an "overcharge" on it because they noticed you went to Netflix and they charged you extra to have a faster connection to Netflix.

    I wonder how much money Mr Wheeler is being given by the ISP's to try and make something like that legal...

    P.S. I am all for net neutrality. I'm sat here, at home, I have a Mail-Server, FTP and most my content is streamed or bought through legal means like iTunes etc... I like having custom Left4Dead servers and being able to host teamspeak for my gaming sessions with friends. It would SUCK if I had to pay more to my ISP just so my friends could connect to my teamspeak server and actually have a reliable connection.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    independant my ***, nothing the ISP's want to do favor the consumer. Bandwidth caps, censorship, tiered access plans, throttling all of it is garbage. I'd love for someone to make the case that comcast, time warner, or AT&T have my best interests at heart. Comcast and AT&T have been bending me over backwards for over a decade and since they are the only real game in town I don't have a choice but to pay up. I'm sure that's exactly how they want it too.
    Jim$ter likes this.
  7. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 175   +47

    Talk about a conflict of interest, this guy is a former cable company lobbyist. I don't see this benefiting consumers considering who he is.
    falcon269 and Jim$ter like this.
  8. Broke is more like it. You think everybody involved with NN isn't on a corporate money list? As stated in the previous thread, just like the ACA, all of you pro-NN folks think the regulation will work according to the legislation's title, as if the impact of all other industry regulation exists in a wholly separate universe. Every other regulation meant to "protect the consumer" by providing some form of uniformity has without fail resulted in more expensive products, poorer service, and, in the companies themselves, wage reduction and outsourcing (compounding the problems one and two). Yet, net neutrality is supposed to be different. Because promises of equality.

    It would be humorous if it didn't have so many implications.
    MilwaukeeMike and cmbjive like this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +2,292

    And the other way, BB being in control that is, my bet is that they will eventually shoot themselves in the foot. I'll be happy when that day comes, because the direction that BB is headed in is not in the least consumer friendly, and as I see it, giving BB the reigns is like leaving the chicken coop door open for the wolves. Even with all this supposed hurtful regulation in the past, AT&T in particular, has been like the energizer bunny. They found all the loopholes they could and have managed to stay in business and thrive...
  10. Let the market decide. Promote competition among ISPs. Make it easier for new providers to move into areas. Someone is always willing to sell for less. There need to be less regulations for this to sort itself out.
  11. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,534   +421

    Not sure if that's paraphrasing Wheeler or not but I digress. Verizon stopped/severely slowed its Fiber rollout years ago. Comcast is spinning it wheels like it always does. I cannot comment about Time Warner as I am not in their service area. These three companies amount to a majority of high-speed broadband accounts in the US, and they are doing what For-Profit companies strive to do best: get the most revenue while trying to minimize cost. Innovation and growth always seems to be on the backburner of their agenda, and making sure what lets them do what they do is secured via lobbying.

    They don't need "the threat of Net Neutrality" to slow down any of that, they're perfectly happy where they're at in terms of infrastructure costs. From my flawed point of view Net Neutrality would create artificial competition as the playing ground would be wrought even, and so to keep up with each other they would have to improve QoS or lower price, or both (innovate and grow). That costs time and money that Services Providers do not want to pay for, or at least that what it seems. On the Flip side, with Internet classified strictly as a utility, it would also potentially make it more difficult for start-up ISPs to get off the ground, buffering the much larger ISPs from local competition which brings us back to oligarchy problem and lack of choices.

    Net Neutrality is a good thing, a great thing. I will champion it. But I think applying it as a black and white concept in the current commercial-political landscape just won't work because the powers that be (lobbyist mostly) will make sure it won't happen. The President supporting it openly is great but it's effectively an empty promise. There's way too much entangled in this mess for such a simple and elegant answer solve everything, though the four steps The President outlined really are simple common sense, but only handles the access protection half of the overall problem, which is what most people seem to only care about.

    Now time for me to be reamed by people who will pick my post apart. XD
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    Anytime I read the terms, "former lobbyist", I'm pretty sure there's little to no good in said, "former lobbyist's", policy for me.

    This, quite a bit more than little outburst, is no more than Mr. Wheeler, "spraying to mark his territory", while reassuring the current lobbyists, he's hanging on every word they say.

    After all, the Obama administration is fast approaching, "lame duck" status, and I'm sure Wheeler isn't going to retire after it ends, just collect his pension, while he's moving on to greener pastures..

    Even if there's no government perks involved, I'm sure his knowledge gained as FCC chairman will guarantee him a six figure salary in the private sector. It seems to me, you have to know the system, to be able to game the system.

    Once upon a time, telephone wasn't a utility either. Maybe it is time to declare the internet as such.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  13. Littleczr

    Littleczr TS Guru Posts: 441   +92

    It is not too simplistic, this is total BS, when you find out where to complain about this Tom Wheeler guy let me know.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    Sadly, you would have to be a lobbyist for a huge telecom to have your opinion heard.

    This is what's known as a conundrum, since a Telecom wouldn't pay you to say anything bad about Wheeler or his stance, even if hell froze over.

    So, basically this is one of those, "good luck with that", paradigms.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  15. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +139

    Except...Obama hired him.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    Oh stop. You're not still hung up in the election hype, are you?

    You know, "the great society" wherein, "all men are created equal", there's no such thing as, "owing political favors"......., "and the meek shall inherit the earth". Oh wait, that's from the Bible. But then again, there's another bunch of BS, "advertising for the soul", as it were.
  17. Jim$ter

    Jim$ter TS Booster Posts: 162   +32

    Less regulation got us in this mess. These companies don't do what's best for the people they do what's bests for the company. For us to get any benefit they need regulated. I think history proves my case. Sure if your a company you don't like it but when profit is #1 over yor employees, customer service, and innovation then you need help. So we regulate your *** to do what is right. We should all have fiber but now but we are stuck with this horrible broadband slow *** speeds and worst customer service ever. Now they want to make the Internet into more profit without doing 1 thing to help consumers. I saw throw this ******* out. He is clearly in the companies payroll.
  18. Exactly. You think without having actually read the history. "The gov't stepping into force what is right because companies only care about money" is the same argument that was used by the Communists, the Socialists, and the Fascists in Europe and Asia in modern history that lead to their violent, impoverished pre-90s conditions. One needs only look at Argentina now to see how utterly fantastical this type of thinking is. It's like some type of perverse Robin Hood politic, take from the greedy and give to the incompetent!

    The USG, everywhere from the Oval Office down to the DMV has plummeted in both management approval and effectiveness over the past 50 years. Yet, while leftists complain that we can't maintain our infrastructure and schools, the right wingers complain about how the Fed and POTUS can't handle the economy, and while everyone complains about stagnating wages, taxes, and labor participation, you want us all to believe giving the same people who have so predictably and consistently failed more authority over the Internet is somehow going to be a net positive?

    That's almost as great a leap of faith as expecting elected Republicans to grow a pair.
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    Sorry, but yours is a very truncated and adversarial view of governmental control. Government intervention makes your food safer, makes it possible to deplane from a commercial airplane after a 3000 mile journey in one piece. I suppose I could go on. Have you gotten your MDR of inhaled asbestos today? There's something you should be hating on OSHA for their clumsy intervention by having it outlawed and removed.

    For certain, "work expands to fill the time allotted", and this rings absolutely true in all of our bureaucracies .

    However, a massive portion of America's woes have to be blamed on the American people. After all, why shouldn't generations of entitlement factions, who pay absolutely no taxes whatsoever, feel they should be able to jamb our school school systems full of their illegitimate progeny, then have them get a free ride to college on top of all of that. Now I ask you, why shouldn't the children of parents who have never paid one penny in taxes, not be entitled to , "parity in education", in the public school system, which after all, runs on taxes?

    Nobody is willing to talk, (and surely no politician), about the "azzaphant" in the room", (elephant-donkey hybrid), also known as "China's industrial revolution". After all they're supplying everyone with their toy smart phones for the NSA to tap. It's really become beneath the average American's dignity to get his or her hands dirty. Meanwhile, a river of currency flows across the Pacific, with none coming back. (AKA "trade deficit"). Then there's our increasingly prevalent drug problem, which results in billions more American dollars flowing toward Latin America and other points around the globe. The new trick is to send, "all these poor displaced children" to our Southern border. "These "poor things would be killed by (drug) gangs should we send them back". So what money doesn't flow out via cocaine purchases, the drug cartels milk out of us in social entitlements for their underage illegal aliens.

    If the average American is completely incapable of admitting to his or her shortcomings, why in God's name would you expect someone trying to get themselves elected, to point those same shortcomings out to them?

    The Republicans have trousers packed full of iron, at least when it comes to blocking Democratic initiatives. And I might add, vice-verso.
    madboyv1 likes this.
  20. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    Agreed. And given Obama's track record of prioritizing politics over any sort of improvement in anything he's touched, I can't believe now he's all of a sudden looking out for the people he's been using as pawns for votes for the last 6 years. Obama has 1 priority now... making himself look good so he can save his legacy and put the Dems in the best possible spot for the 2016 election. The fact that he has no authority over NN only proves this. He may as well hold another beer summit for all the good it will do.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    I'm not exactly sure why anybody is, or has been, expecting anything other than a run of the mill politician from Barack Obama.

    If you look back, you'll see Obama never finished is first term in the senate, before going all world domination and campaigning for president. That last job was unfinished, as will be his current job. I'd still take ten more terms of Obama, as compared to another 2 years of Wubba.

    This issue of what is needed in the way o governmental oversight, and what its scope should be, are apples and oranges compared to the singular issue of net neutrality. I would ask that you exercise reasonable restraint in your attempts to lump them together.
  22. I had thought about giving token mention of capitalism's failings resultant from poor regulation to avoid this. Being a derivatives trader, I'll tell you that I am acutely aware of what happens every single day as a result of dated or absent regulation. Alas, I was lazy and have paid the price.

    Even so, each of these points is irrelevant. There are no safety hazards involved with the Internet. If Comcast cuts corners to increase their margins, throttles clients, or any other manner of managerial shenanigans, nobody is going to develop lung cancer as a result. Nor will their computers spontaneously explode (tough to cram that much information into a machine when being throttled).

    You also seem misinterpret my opposition to NN. Regulation in itself is not a bad thing in my eyes. It prevents exploitation of lesser citizens by those with superior connections, skills, and resources. Even so, this necessity does not make regulation automatically good in a given situation. In the case of net neutrality, the only detail that isn't completely vague is the idea of classifying the service as a basic utility. The implications and risks of this outweigh the alleged benefits. Moreover, the basis for rejecting the proposition is far more demonstrable than the alternative.

    Net neutrality, as currently proposed, makes rhetorical sense. But it does not reasonably follow to a better Internet.

    Blocking an opposing party's legislation is about as iron-balled as slapping a physically belligerent woman. Sure, it makes headlines and it will probably get you tagged with a misdemeanor, but is it really that difficult to end an exchange you couldn't lose to begin with?
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    I'm reluctant to concede that the internet couldn't benefit from a bit of governmental oversight, even if it isn't physically dangerous. The FCC, does a lot of good managing the OTA broadcast industry. And really, just because someone thinks that taking their TV away from them would likely kill them, it won't.

    I live in a city where Comcast already has the largest building. Add to that they are planning a larger one, along with a half mile underground concourse to 30st Station. Comcast would much benefit from government regulation. And especially if they had to report to authorities while maintaining the rights of their customers incumbent on that of a utility

    I guess we'd have to find out. Allowing the telecoms to regulate traffic according to their financial benefit doesn't now, and can only get worse without some sort of intervention.

    I can tell you haven't experienced the very masculine, belligerent, "women" that I have.
    madboyv1 likes this.
  24. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 505   +334

    This thread hurts.. it just hurts.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,005

    madboyv1 and Burty117 like this.

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