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It's official: the FCC has killed net neutrality

By Shawn Knight ยท 133 replies
Dec 14, 2017
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  1. The FCC on Thursday voted along party lines (3-2) to repeal net neutrality rules it put in place just a couple of years back under former Chairman Tom Wheeler.

    The vote was postponed briefly due to what appeared to be a bomb threat. The official feed was halted although some streams continued and showed the room being evacuated and law enforcement conducting a search. A short time later, the commissioners and audience returned and the process continued.

    Today’s vote faced massive opposition from Internet pioneers, technology companies, government officials and concerned citizens. Nevertheless, Chairman Ajit Pai and his fellow Republican commissioners remained determined to act on the matter and they’ve done just that.

    The FCC’s vote may be in but you can be sure that the debate is far from over.

    Those in favor of repealing net neutrality argue that it was never needed in the first place and that the Internet wasn’t “broken” in 2015 when the regulations were passed. Supporters of net neutrality contend that Internet providers will now be able to slow down access to certain sites and create Internet fast lanes or “prioritized access” in which select providers pay for faster access to their sites and services, thus giving them an unfair advantage compared to smaller competitors that may not be able to pay for such access.

    Supporters of net neutrality also argued that the FCC’s public comment period on the matter was rife with fraud.

    The FCC’s vote may be in but you can be sure that the debate is far from over. It’ll still be a few months before the changes are filed with the Federal Register but as The Verge points out, don’t expect any sweeping changes overnight.

    Internet providers will likely continue to work on subtle changes and you can almost be certain that additional legal action to bar today’s vote is coming.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2017
  2. totto2222

    totto2222 TS Rookie Posts: 18   +11

    Well it's official net fans.
    Chairman Ajit Pai has now become the most hated man in america,I hope he enjoys his millions he got from all the isp's out there.
    I also hope he has to live his life in a state of fear from all the psychos who would love nothing better than to terminate him.
  3. mattsie

    mattsie TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +32

    Yes, this is just ridiculous. Majority against it, yet it passes. The scandal behind the false identity voting. It's.just plain wrong.

    The question is will Ajit be getting jail time and returning money? How much does he make? How much does he have? Someone should do a complete research on him and turn it in.

    And they say the president doesn't have any power. Who put Ajit in this position?

    This makes me sad.
    SantistaUSA and senketsu like this.
  4. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +472

    He is trumping Donald for the title.
    nrstha, wiyosaya and Stark like this.
  5. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,752   +386

    This is disappointing news, but the fight isn't over.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,377   +3,772

    Congress still has the ultimate say and could install legislation to overturn the FCC's move. Also the FTC has the ability to regulate costs, fee's, and services .... if they wanted to. Hopefully all the elements fighting for reinstatement will mount a three pronged approach .....
  7. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 286   +204

    Honestly this is a good thing. Please don't confuse the co-oping of the term "net neutrality" with this bill. Turning ISP's into utilities has stiffed invested to the turn of a decrees of $3.6 Billion in just the last year from Tile II. The fact is this just put too much power into the hands of the FCC. The reason Google, Facebook, ETC... was that it was easy for them to influence outcomes by lobbying the FCC. This was the major IT companies will no longer have to won't be able to force ISP to use their bandwidth to carry the massive date loads that are forced on to them. That being said I don't think this is perfect. But to tell the FCC director he should watch his back and hoping he gets killed is messed up. This isn't a change worthy of hating this man for. Get a life and learn what the real issues are out there.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,717   +804

    THAT'S IT!!! I'VE HAD IT!!!!!!

    I'm going to delete the internet!
    Cal Jeffrey, andrewyoung and Misagt like this.
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,709   +2,506

    There may be a silver lining here. Empowering the monolithic ISPs to gouge the most popular data creators will probably spur the Googles, Amazons and company to build out their own physical networks even faster. I could even see them joining forces to create a whole new (and vastly improved) WWW, something that's going to be desperately needed in the coming decades. It will also create huge pressure to dismantle the laws that allow legal monopolies for cable and phone companies.
    bolski, SirChocula, Stark and 2 others like this.
  10. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TechSpot Staff Posts: 189   +174

    Have...uh...have you looked at Congress lately?
    CloudCatcher, wiyosaya and Godel like this.
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,991   +3,476

    Is that you Ajit Pai? Your reasoning has been disproven time and time again.

    NN has not stifled investment. The only "study" that shows anything along that trend is the one cited by Pai and funded by the ISPs. If you can provide a link otherwise, do so.

    "The reason Google, Facebook, ETC... was that it was easy for them to influence outcomes by lobbying the FCC."

    And it's not for the ISPs? Yeah...horrid logic here, the process for both of them is the same.

    "This was the major IT companies will no longer have to won't be able to force ISP to use their bandwidth to carry the massive date loads that are forced on to them."

    Ignoring the terrible English, ISPs have never had massive data loads forced onto them. As a subscriber, you pay X amount for X speed, if you want customers downloading less you lower their speed. Of course, America already has some of the slowest internet of any first world country. In addition, ISPs have been collecting a federal tax that is supposed to go into funding network infrastructure (and yet we have no idea where this money went, which should be around 3.4 billion dollars). This is aside from the public money they have been directly given by the government to expand and improve their network. How is it that the average American's internet speed hasn't increased dramatically after these cable companies are taking boatloads of public money? So don't give me that "unfair" dataload BS. These companies aren't morons, they can defend themselfs and NN has ziltch to do with forcing ISPs to transfer data.

    I can't conjure up any sympathy for companies like Verizon, who literally said that if NN is repealed, they would "explore the possibilities" of abusing the lack of rules.
    nrstha, failquail, SirChocula and 8 others like this.
  12. mattsie

    mattsie TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +32

    I never mentioned harming anyone.and do not support it.[/QUOTE]
    bolski likes this.
  13. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,752   +386


    For what it's worth, I don't think anyone is truly advocating for hurting anybody here. I don't hate Pai, personally, but I strongly disagree with his decision making and his views.
    bolski likes this.
  14. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 146   +106

    You clearly have no clue what the purpose of Title II is in context of ISPs. All it did was prevent ISPs from treating any form of traffic differently. Whether that is a competing service like netflix vs. hulu (comcast) or cnn vs nbc, these ISPs can now throttle or block these competing services/websites and place them behind a higher pay tier in order to access them. It did not stop ISPs from expanding and improving their infrastructure or imposed any fees on new ISPs. That is all bullshit. The ISPs also do not have as limited bandwidth as they like to make out. They are more than capable of handling the traffic quite easily without congestion. They simply choose to claim such things to influence people like you into thinking that this is the best route as well as justify higher prices and now fees. It's all a ploy to benefit and profit from. To finalize my point, the CEO of Comcast admitted that net neutrality had no adverse effects on their business. All this repeal did was open the door to more sleazy practices to make more money.
    failquail, Godel and amstech like this.
  15. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,230   +1,424

    No its not.
    It's about corruption and making money, did you see how much money each state rep received to buy their vote? This is a reflection of how pathetic our society has become, how little backbone this generation of pussies has, and why people are so willing to trade privacy for convenience. It's ****ing pathetic.
    failquail, wiyosaya, Godel and 2 others like this.
  16. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 150   +114

    Once again, the word is "rife" not "ripe"
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,956   +2,270

    It sounds like an AI bot inventing its own language because it thinks the internet is filled with other AI bots!

    I have to agree with everyone, here. This destroys the common carrier status where ISPs had to treat each customer equally. IMO, it is not a good idea because what the ISPs can do, they will.
    failquail likes this.
  18. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,124   +1,617

    I know this won't be a popular opinion, but I'm taking a wait and see on this. I know in the tech world people are wringing their hands and declaring it Armageddon. But two things from my own personal observations:

    1) This net neutrality act has only been in place for two years to begin with. There was no price gouging going on prior to that as far as I can tell. Some ISP's were doing some throttling, but once that was identified, the guilty ISP's knocked it off because they were losing customers as a result.

    2) People are automatically assuming ISP's are going to start charging outrageous prices for various access and limiting access. However, when deregulation has happened in the past, more often than not, it sent competing companies into a pricing war, costs went down and more options were made available to attract consumers. Free market at work.

    And as the article mentioned, nothing is going to happen immediately anyway. State lawsuits are already being filed, so there's at least a year's worth of legal actions before it goes into effect.

    If things do go south and ISP's take advantage of it, I'll register my complaint via my vote at the next election.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  19. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,991   +3,476

    I would recommend taking a look at this video, with Paul and Wendell

    In response to your points

    1) They didn't knock off the throttling because they were loosing customers (most Americans don't have a choice when it comes to internet providers), they stopped because they were paid the extortion money they wanted.

    2) Verizon itself has stated that it would look into alternative pricing if Net Neutrality was repealed. But that should be obvious. If you have a capitalist system where shareholders demand maximum profit and you have a regional monopoly, there isn't a public company out there that won't seek to squeeze every cent they can. Also, how exactly do you expect a pricing war to occur when a vast majority of Americans only have a single choice of provider? Are they going to fight against themselves?

    I would be completely fine with deregulation if a competitive market was available first. Net Neutrality wasn't that heavy handed anyways though as the FCC choose to only apply a small section of Title II to ISPs. Really, the only rules they kept were there for transparency.
    wiyosaya and Godel like this.
  20. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 678   +487

    This is the best example of corruption of power. Nobody wanted this except those who stand to profit from it. They had petition after petition to keep it and yet none of it mattered. Comcast is THE most hated company in the US, has straight Fs on the BBBs website, and is a total monopoly and we just gave them the ability to extort money. Fantastic.
    failquail and wiyosaya like this.
  21. MilwaukeeMike

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

    Well said.

    The govt wanted to control things so they could appease the tech companies who lobbied them. Say you're adding regulation and control to the internet and people will get angry. Tell them it's 'fair' and call it net neutrality and they'll thank you for it.
    Cal Jeffrey and Misagt like this.
  22. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,124   +1,617

    "Also, how exactly do you expect a pricing war to occur when a vast majority of Americans only have a single choice of provider?"

    That's a big assumption which I don't think is close to being true. This isn't 20 or even 5 years ago. 80% of Americans live in urban areas with multiple choices. Even rural areas have multiple choices. I have a good friend who is moving to Santa Rosa, New Mexico next month - population 1,200. You don't get any more rural than that. They have two ISP options: HughesNet & ENMR Co-op. Then there's always the satellite option.

    Again, I'm taking a wait and see approach to it. I think people are throwing themselves off the cliff WAY too soon on this.
    Cal Jeffrey and Misagt like this.
  23. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Guru Posts: 401   +464

    No, they really won't. Sure, internet isn't classified as a utility, but it's pretty darn close. Limited providers and most people have/use/need it...Sounds pretty utility-ish to me.

    The type of regulation people would get upset about would be government dictating how a citizen USES the internet. The ISP's are going to have the power to do this now. Will they? I don't know. But the FCC sure as s*** isn't standing in their way.
  24. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,991   +3,476

    You do realize that Comcast and Verizon lobbied for this right? Perfect example of hypocrisy, Comcast and Verizon are perfect angles but the founders of the internet, 89% of US citizens, computer experts, and all the internet based service companies are bad guys. Please go peddle your double standard BS elsewhere.
  25. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,991   +3,476

    It's not an assumption, it's based on data


    If you have a credible link that says otherwise I'd like to see it.
    Cycloid Torus likes this.

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