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Montana fights back against FCC, new executive order requires ISPs to obey net neutrality

By William Gayde ยท 25 replies
Jan 24, 2018
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  1. This week, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order which requires internet service providers to follow the principals of net neutrality if they wish to receive state contracts and funding. This makes Montana the first state to enact official legislation directly opposing the Federal Communication Commission's massively unpopular decision to repeal net neutrality regulations.

    Many states and their respective attorneys general have previously released statements or voiced their disapproval of the FCC's decision, but Bullock wanted to actually do something concrete about it. He also released the following statement to go along with the executive order:

    There has been a lot of talk around the country about how to respond to the recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality rules, which keep the internet free and open. It’s time to actually do something about it [...] The State of Montana is one of the biggest consumers of internet services in our state. Today we’re making our choice clear: we want net neutrality.

    The new executive order specifically requires ISPs to not block web content, throttle web content, or create internet fast lanes if they wish to receive state contracts. These were all illegal under the Obama-era rulings but the FCC, Republicans, and industry executives felt they were too strict and were harming the internet. The official FCC repeal prohibited states from enacting their own net neutrality laws but Montana and many other states are eager to challenge this.

    While this is definitely the first of ( hopefully) many steps in the right direction, it won't solve the problem overnight. It doesn't expressly prohibit those practices for all providers in the state since not all have government contracts. The order will take effect immediately but also includes a six-month grace period to ensure providers are in compliance.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2018
    jobeard likes this.
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,142   +3,563

    "States Rights" in action .... good to see at least one state standing up for the rights of their citizens .....
  3. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,761   +632

    And California is going to prosecute citizens for obeying federal law. You are funny Old Al
    Charles Olson likes this.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,700   +2,070

    They are just proving that the federal government is not the only one that can prosecute in an effort to intimidate their citizens. Isn't the right all about state law over federal law? Oh, that must be unless it is contrary to the views of the right. Hypocrisy exemplified!

    BTW - there are those on the right that support NN.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,748   +1,489

    Specifically referring to WHAT?
    Charles Olson likes this.
  6. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +350

    While I'm sure my state loves the attentions, I dislike how Bullock did this. Executive order, he waited two or three weeks after the congressional session was over. There is no chance they will call a quick session to discuss this so he gets to own it for at least 6 months.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  7. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,761   +632

  8. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,761   +632

    Ya got it all wrong but I understand. You have been brainwashed
  9. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 559   +199

    Interesting. When I read Montana, I was like, oh yeah, thats a state. I remember now. Do they even have internet there?
  10. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +350

    Yes we do, we have everything every other state has, we have a decent sized city of 115,000 people in the south central part of the state. We have 7 other major cities/towns in the states ranging from 25,000-70,000 (most of them have over 100,000 people in there metro area) population wise. We have two nationally known state universities (one for business one for engineering) and have one of the best mining tech schools in the country. We have everything the rest of the country has except a few box stores. We also have people that live in excess of 3 hours from one of these major cities/towns that don't have access to everything, they make up around 30-40% of the population. But they still have electricity, grocery stores, internet and even McDonalds and USPS/ UPS and Fed ex all deliver to those areas. Yes some kids still ride there horses to school, but usually as a final day of school thing, since by law the principal/ school faculty are responsible for caring for your horse while you attend school. It's a normal US state in the 21st century, there's just a lot of space and people in the state spread out, this naturally makes getting them fast internet financially restrictive, cellular and satellite internet improvements in the last 2-3 years have really helped though, and even centurylink and frontier are upgrading lines all over the state again (though at a snails pace), Charter owns the cities/towns.
  11. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,632   +369

    Thanks for that sincere and detailed explanation - I didn't know any of that. Sounds like a nice enough place to live!
    Charles Olson likes this.
  12. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 559   +199

    Damn, I couldn't even estimate the population of my nearest city, much less quantify the number of significant cities in my state. I was joking about the internet thing, of course Montana has internet. You just don't hear them making news like this very much. That riding horse to the school thing sounds like fun and was definitely random but interesting to read.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  13. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +350

    It's a common question people ask us, since somewhere in the early days of the interwebs someone said Montanan's still ride there horses to school everyday. The joke happens more often back east in the state, less traffic to worry about and the schools are a lot smaller, you don't show up to my high school that had 1200 kids in it and expect the principal to take care of your horse, though the one I had prob would have :D. I like studying people and there habits, Urbanization fascinates me, so I study how we setup our cities and how populations in different countries live in the cities what innovations they use to make the most of space and all. It's pretty foreign stuff for us up here since there's land everywhere. I can buy 20 acres of forest for $50,000 10 miles from my parents house right now.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    Charles Olson and wiyosaya like this.
  14. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +3,183

    First, that's an article on immigration law. That's pretty different from Net Neutrality.

    Second, in many cases the actions ICE has been taking have been found unconstitutional by numerous courts throughout the untied states. State and Federal and just one of the many checks and balances we have. I would be more worried if we didn't have states using their power. In the end, what's right and what's wrong will be sussed out in court.

    You guys should push the state to open an investigation into the use of collected tax money by Charter. Every ISP collects taxes for the expansion of their network into rural areas. It's especially important in your state and every American deserves access to decent internet. We did it with roads, gas, and electricity so we can most certainly do it with Internet. The only problem is our approach was to ask companies to do it instead of public works, which is obviously much more effective.
    Charles Olson and wiyosaya like this.
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,700   +2,070

    LOL At least I no longer have to push that soap bar through my ears. That was a challenge!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,700   +2,070

    Executive order does not seem like a good thing at any level since it can be overturned by another executive order.

    I agree with evernessince - that you should push your state representative to investigate Charter.

    BTW - I used to mail order Bison from ET Farms - I don't know if he is still around, though.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  17. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +350

    Charter expands and upgrades there stuff a lot faster than the other ISP's in the state, obviously with the way cable internet works it's hard to cover customers that are miles apart from each other. The technology seems to be setup to cover denser population groups. If anything the coverage of rural customers by centurylink frontier and the local ISP's slows down there expansions and competitiveness vs charter. Charter offers 60-100Mbps in most of the cities of 3,000 or more. Centurylink offers 40 Mbps in a few towns, most are capped at 20Mbps, and most centurylink and smaller ISP customers are getting 10Mbps service ( the further out your lucky to get 1-3 Mbps). Charter seems to treat us pretty good up here, doubt many Montana's would want to open a investigation on them.
  18. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +3,183

    I don't think the technology is the issue here. Making sure every house in the US has gas lines was a heck of a lot harder than hanging lines on poles. In fact, every other utility we have was harder to install than internet lines. Electric lines didn't originally didn't have the benefit of pre-existing poles.
  19. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +350

    Most rural areas don't have gas lines, they get propane delivered, putting internet lines above grounds leads to far worse QOS from what I have read. most internet lines are buried anymore, fiber has to be buried.
  20. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +3,183

    I was a contractor for Verizon not that long ago in Vermont and fiber most certainly does not have to be buried. They hang the fiber on poles next to all the other lines. It would cost at least 5 times as much to install fiber underground as it does on poles. In addition, wires installed underground have to be insulated with concrete or thick plastic piping, which is expensive in itself and increases the cost to dig. The only time you want to put lines underground is when it's impossible to put them on them poles due to various environmental conditions. For example, you would bury the cables in areas where there is extreme wind and/or ice/snow. You would avoid burying in any earthquake ridden area, as the fiber ducts can easily be broken by movement of the earth.

    Buried lines used to be more reliable because early fiber cables were pretty fragile. Advancements in glass and light reflecting technology has allowed us to make much more flexible cables and has significantly reduced the risk of damage of pole mounted cables. They are still more reliable but not to the point where it offsets the cost. All fiber lines are run in multiple strands and it's nearly impossible that all of them break at once. 99.9% of the time, even in adverse conditions, you will only see a strand or two damaged but people on that street will still have internet access. In other words, redundancy is built-in. If anything, Fiber is even more suitable for pole mounting than cable lines, because it's immune to EMI as it's a light based technology.

    Where I live, every rural location has access to gas lines. I have yet to see a farmhouse without it. Of course, this likely depends on which state you live in. Gas is dirt cheap over here.
    SamuraiSamson likes this.
  21. jack_alexander

    jack_alexander TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    Today California has started a petition for net neutrality to be passed in the State's legislature.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  22. Charles Olson

    Charles Olson TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +15

  23. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +350

    Well extremely cold weather is rural Montana to the T for around 5-6 months of the year, extremely high winds on the east side as well. For the most part all the Fiber I know of that's going in around me is buried. Gas is very cheap out here, but again peoples houses are 10-30 miles apart and you might run a gas pipe for 150 miles and only service 10-15 houses at most. It's far more cost effective to just have a tank and have a delivery truck. Most people I know with a tank get through the winter and into the spring on one tank, that's using it for heating, cooking, and water heat. Most people have the phone lines to there houses so they should be able to get 10-15 Mbps to them if the node is within 10-20 miles, the problem has been no fiber to the node. Splitting 500Mbps between 300 customers mean some get 3Mbps, and some get 512Kbps, but they all pay the same. Centurylink was laying fiber a lot this summer, they seem to be improving there offerings in the city first and then trickling further and further out from there. Makes sense get more competitive in the money market then improve rural customers once you have secured more customers in the larger population areas. But they have major competition now in Rural, Hughes net as Gen 5 across Montana now, and Cellular has become a good option, especially back east where a tower and project really far. I think rural internet is gonna go mainly Cellular as the service get's better and better.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  24. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +3,183

    Yeah, it sounds like buried would be the best option here, especially since they don't have to dig near many buildings or existing crowded underground infrastructure.

    Rural could go Cellular but the data transmission speed is going to be just as limited. The upcoming standard 5G requires a bunch of cell towers to work unless they somehow get around it's small range and low penetrating power. In other words, it's going to require allot of investment that won't be suitable in rural areas.
  25. I'll bet this meathead has no idea what Net Neutrality is really about. Here comes the Leftist censorship!

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