1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

The FCC's plans to end net neutrality could be killed in court

By midian182 · 48 replies
Nov 27, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. Mike89

    Mike89 TS Booster Posts: 53   +23

    The more I read about pros and cons of net neutrality, the more confused I get. I have no idea which side to be on. Seems like that's what the plan is. Confusion. As many on one side as the other and as usual a lot of people seem to want to make it political. When major liberal corporations start piling on one side, that's when I start thinking is it about doing whats right for the greater good (and just what does that mean anyway), or is it about how much money can be made. Follow the money. Dazed and confused.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,006   +1,492

    So you get the FTC to enforce antitrust and anti-monopoly laws by rescinding net-neutrality? How about just getting the FTC to do their job? According to Pai and his version of net-neutrality, the ISPs can pretty much block any web site as long as they post that this is their policy on their web site. It is also Pai's vision that if they are not doing what they say, then the FTC should step in. So this means, in short, ISPs can do whatever they want if they clearly disclose it on their web site. This appears to include monopolistic practices, and if it says so on their web site, the FTC will also have no power to do anything.

    Either Pai is ignorant, or he truly believes that ISPs will not selectively block access to sites out of their sense of public charity, in which case, I suggest he is insane.

    According to my understanding, there are laws that were put in place over 100-years ago that were intended to protect the business of telephone companies. It is my understanding that ISPs have figured out how to abuse those laws such that they are legally able to monopolize areas they serve. This may not be the case in all areas, but in areas where this kind of abuse is legally possible, the FTC will have no power at all to prevent such practices. The only recourse is for those laws to be rescinded or modified such that this abuse is not possible..
    SikSlayer likes this.
  3. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 326   +83

    I wouldn't disagree, but when they lobby for less competition and less governmental control over the public pipe, while taking contract payments and government payouts to help areas that need better internet availability without actually doing that, then they bring this on themselves.
  4. shortlist404

    shortlist404 TS Rookie

    Because we pay them for their services. We also paid for them to upgrade their pipes, they used to money on lube to jack each other off instead. They were given a multi-billion dollar grant to upgrade the infrastructure and never did so.
  5. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,137   +134

    You're reading too much into my comment. I didn't say that to get the FTC to do their job we need to rescind net neutrality. I WANT the FTC to do their job regardless, and they haven't been doing a damn thing for far too long. The government being involved in the internet only makes things worse. There isn't a single thing the government has gotten involved in that isn't completely fubar.
  6. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow TS Addict Posts: 244   +77

    Net Neutrality was more garbage from the Obama Administration. More pandering to the United Nations. Yes, it needs to go.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  7. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow TS Addict Posts: 244   +77

    It's not too difficult to figure out. Obama worked for the New World Order. Just about anything he did was in to serve their interests. If Obama was for Net Neutrality, I'm against it.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  8. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 870   +393

    Imagine if CNN/FOX bought all the internet companies and decided to ONLY broadcast CNN/FOX content and CNN/FOX steams.
  9. Robert Petrusek

    Robert Petrusek TS Rookie

    I don't understand why eliminating government regulation of the Internet is depressing. It should be liberating! And a relief.

    Do you know who regulates their Internet? China! North Korea! Cuba! Authoritarian regimes regulate their Internet, along with free speech.

    Just learned today that cellular technology was invented in 1945! But US government regulators and politicians squashed it for 40 years because they were getting paid off by lobbyists from Ma Bell.

    Regulation will do nothing that it promises, but will do a great deal to thwart innovation, reduce availability and increase cost - just exactly like occurred with Obamacare. Insurance is now so expensive that the government has to hand out our money as subsidies for people to afford it.

    When will this generation wise up and realize they are being played by the government who imposes laws and restrictions on us while exempting themselves?

    Thomas Jefferson said it best, "Government governs best that governs least."

    Give into government regulation and give up your freedom. It's as simple as that.
    p51d007 likes this.
  10. dickdon71

    dickdon71 TS Member Posts: 40   +22

    +1 to that electricity regulation analogy. I'm in Australia and electricity prices are insanely high. Many of us are struggling because of the increase in electricity charges due to the the Australian government deregulating electricity companies.

    The PR spin from the electricity companies here claim that deregulation allows customers to shop around for cheaper prices. But every year, electricity prices are climbing up so much that what ever discount we get doesn't cover the increased charges.

    SikSlayer and Jules Mark like this.
  11. hrowder

    hrowder TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +11

    I think you should do a little reading about "Let the Buyer Beware" or Laissez Faire (Leave it Alone) Capitalism which you seem to be advocating. The problem is that it produces monopolies which completely stifle innovation and competition, which is precisely the problem we have in most areas of the country with ISPs. They were granted monopolies to insure their investment in those areas so that they would provide service to ALL the people in the areas they were allowed monopolies in. They were supposed to continually improve their services and make sure no one was excluded in exchange for those monopolies. They did NOT do that. They took the grants and the monopolies and lined their pockets. Those monopolies should be rescinded, and other companies allowed to operate so there might be at least a chance that competition could force net neutrality. Since that is not happening, then we need to make sure they are regulated like a utility... which is a service that is vital to the people and progress of the Nation. If you think we can be a great country without all the people having access to the World Wide Web, let alone AFFORDABLE access, then sure... your argument has at least a semblance of merit. Otherwise, it does not. Under the circumstances we have now, net neutrality has to be imposed. We, the People, own this country. We allow businesses to exist as long as they service US. When they do us a disservice, then they get regulated or forbidden to do business. It's that simple.
    SikSlayer likes this.
  12. Jules Mark

    Jules Mark TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +9

    Here is a brief timeline of ISP abusing their powers. IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN ONCE NET NEUTRALITY IS GONE. courtesy of wccftech.

    2005 – North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked VoIP service Vonage.

    2005 – Comcast blocked or severely delayed traffic using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. (The company even had the guts to deny this for months until evidence was presented by the Associated Press.)

    2007 – AT&T censored Pearl Jam because lead singer criticized President Bush.

    2007 to 2009 – AT&T forced Apple to block Skype because it didn’t like the competition. At the time, the carrier had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone and even then the net neutrality advocates were pushing the government to protect online consumers, over 5 years before these rules were actually passed.

    2009 – Google Voice app faced similar issues from ISPs, including AT&T on iPhone.

    2010 – Windstream Communications, a DSL provider, started hijacking search results made using Google toolbar. It consistently redirected users to Windstream’s own search engine and results.

    2011 – MetroPCS, one of the top-five wireless carriers at the time, announced plans to block streaming services over its 4G network from everyone except YouTube.

    2011 to 2013 – AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon blocked Google Wallet in favor of Isis, a mobile payment system in which all three had shares. Verizon even asked Google to not include its payment app in its Nexus devices.

    2012 – AT&T blocked FaceTime; again because the company didn’t like the competition.

    2012 – Verizon started blocking people from using tethering apps on their phones that enabled consumers to avoid the company’s $20 tethering fee.

    2014 – AT&T announced a new “sponsored data” scheme, offering content creators a way to buy their way around the data caps that AT&T imposes on its subscribers.

    2014 – Netflix started paying Verizon and Comcast to “improve streaming service for consumers.”

    2014 – T-Mobile was accused of using data caps to manipulate online competition.
    wiyosaya, SikSlayer and dickdon71 like this.
  13. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Maniac Posts: 492   +177

    Another issue that needs to be addressed is all the spying that's being done by ISP's, content providers (managers), and government. Imagine how much broadband that's eating up and the congestion it's creating.
  14. Jules Mark

    Jules Mark TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +9

    There are similar changes in the UK postal system awhile ago. Some politicians wanted to increase competition so they privatized the mail service. Here's what happen after 3 years.

    huffingtonpost.co.uk :
    "The Post Office was split from the profitable Royal Mail business in order to pave the way for privatisation - and all too predictably it is now at crisis point. This year alone it is shedding 2,000 jobs and closing down flagship branches across the country.

    Similarly, in a privatised Royal Mail 11,000 jobs have been lost, a fifth of its mail centres have closed and 5% of its delivery offices have shut with more due to follow. These things are not just down to privatisation - but shareholders are exerting more and more influence to maximise their own profits.

    As a sign of these shifting priorities, while staff are constantly seeing their workload increase and face the threat of the pension scheme closing, Royal Mail is paying out dividends of £220m per year!!!!"

    Without regulations, those shareholders of ISP will just go after what is most important to them: PROFITS!!
    SikSlayer and dickdon71 like this.
  15. bobc4012

    bobc4012 TS Booster Posts: 95   +41

    Today, ISPs have a monopoly or near monopoly on the market. For example, if ATT is serving an area, then Verizon cannot compete in that same area. Likewise with Comcast and Spectrum. You may have ATT and Comcast compete in the same area, but their prices will be comparable (not saying its price rigging, but neither wants a price war and the customers in that area ares hosed ).
    As such, the communities need to regulate similar to the way they regulate utilities - as that is what internet use has become. Its becoming virtually impossible to do some kind of "business" (in the loosest sense) without having to provide an e-mail address - most businesses prefer it that way vs using snail mail.
    Eliminating Net Neutrality would allow the ISPs to play whatever games they wish on anyone they view as a potential competitor that requires the use of their network.
    Jules Mark gave an excellent example of what can happen without Net Neutrality. Another example was ATT was in no rush to provide FIOS until Google announced it was going to provide such service in certain areas. Then ATT made it a high priority to lay its FIOS in those areas before Google and sign up as many customers as possible to prevent Google from getting a foothold in those areas.
    What is needed is a government that prevents these mega-mergers creating huge monopolies that can getaway with whatever they wish.Years ago, they busted up ATT but in a half-assed manner. Insdtead of letting the various units compete in the same territory, each unit was essentially allowed a "monopoly" in a certain territory without competition. The cell-phone has, of course, changed this but still the competition is who provides the better service as the prices are not significantly different for comparable service.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    SikSlayer likes this.
  16. Michiel

    Michiel TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +14

    You've got it exactly backwards. Yes, China regulates their internet. To be more precise, they regulate what their citizens can and cannot see and say on the internet
    The government regulation (to enforce net neutrality) in the US (and the rest of the " free world") does EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. It prevents ISP's from doing precisely what China etc are doing, ie: deciding what customers can and cannot see, and forces them to provide free and equal access to all content.

    Uh yeah, that sounds like a perfect example of what happens when you let corporate lobbyists (like the current FCC chairman) dictate public policy. So well done, you've just argued against your own position.

    Even before Obamacare, US health insurance was already way more expensive than European style mandatory-for-everyone health insurance schemes. Not to mention you can't seriously try and claim that health insurance is now LESS available when 20 million more Americans had health insurance in 2016 compared to 2010. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/insur201705.pdf)
    SikSlayer and dickdon71 like this.
  17. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +962

    I can see the (un)education systems around the world have done an excellent job of brainwashing the younger people into believing government should regulate EVERYTHING. But how can we survive, if government isn't meddling into 100% of our lives.
  18. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,012   +522

    Because the ISPs didn't build their pipes with their own money - they use government grants, contracts, and other forms of funding to build their pipes. Their pipes also only connect to the 'water mains' - the internet backbone providers, ISPs are only the middleman. The backbone providers built *all* of their pipes using government funding.

    This is not the first time we've had this discussion as a nation - and I'm not talking about when ISPs got classified under Title II. I encourage everyone to go read about the earliest days of the internet, back when it was transforming from ARPANET/DARPANET and a network between research universities, into the public utility it is today. The backbones fought tooth and nail to have control over the lines they laid, but at the end of the day - like every other government grant and contract - unless it explicitly says otherwise in the contract, you use government money, then you're building government property.
    SikSlayer and dirtyferret like this.
  19. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 104   +69

    Yes, even better if it gets smashed in by his oversized reese's mug.
  20. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 104   +69

    I can see how the "education" you received was flawed. There is a clear cut difference between regulation and complete control. There are many things that need to be regulated to protect the consumer from abusive tactics. In this case, net neutrality protects us from being charged fees that have no need to exist just because the ISP wants to slow down or outright block certain websites/online services we may want to access. All of it just to influence our opinion, profit from our compliance, or promote their own services. The government is there to protect the individual citizen, that is what it is currently doing and if the FCC passes the repeal then we are left at the mercy of ISPs.
    wiyosaya, SikSlayer and dirtyferret like this.
  21. Petalbook

    Petalbook TS Rookie

    That's because it wasn't enforced. Net Neutrality has seen very few cases of enforcement, requiring gross negligence to get feds involved. So when they price gouge like that? It wasn't enough. It had to be clear and convincing evidence of malfeasance. That shouldn't have happened but it did.

    That is a consistent problem in multiple areas. When it comes to the big guys, they get all the protection and carrot they could please. But when it comes down to those of us in apartments and normal homes, it's all stick. The DMCA and gun control laws also are like this. We have pretty good ones-but they just aren't enforced and people don't keep records for stuff the way they should.

    That really needs to change.
    wiyosaya and SikSlayer like this.
  22. Gary Amstutz

    Gary Amstutz TS Rookie

    What is the internet for and what should the goals of building out the internet be all about?

    The main goal could be to share valuable information that will improve and enrich the lives of everyone who can get access to the internet. There are a long list of benefits the internet provides from educational opportunities to quickly and efficiently paying your bills online. You can conduct charitable fundraising events quickly, cheaply, efficiently, for people who find themselves suddenly in need after a disaster. Watching movies on-line, listening to music, reading history, reading the latest news, the possibilities are endless.

    What the internet should NOT be about is letting some greedy corporation rip off consumers so they can enjoy high profits while driving consumers into bankruptcy.

    And so it comes down to a question of values – Do we really want to help people with the internet or are we just going to allow it to become another rip-off scam to make the already wealthy even richer ?

    The role of the government, those who were elected to serve the American people, should be to make sure the people receive the maximum benefits of the internet at the lowest possible cost. Consumers need government protection.

    In a real Democracy the people are allowed to choose what is best for themselves.
    In a Republic, greedy corporate interests seek to control everything and do so only for their own benefit.
    wiyosaya and SikSlayer like this.
  23. FCCShiitPie17

    FCCShiitPie17 TS Rookie

    You gotta play by the rules. Here's one for you: in many states there isn't an option to which "pipe" I can pick and choose to get the internet service. Why should the monopoly (Comcast? Verizon? You pick) do whatever they want at my expense when I do not have another option for the service I need/want? Please refrain from rhetoric BS such as "then choose to not have the internet". People attend online classes, run 100% online based businesses, and much more. Internet, today, is as necessary as having electricity. The whole "freedom" thing doesn't fly in here. Corporations are not people and the sole purpose of one is to make money, the rest is lip service. A little regulation is necessary in this case.
    wiyosaya and SikSlayer like this.
  24. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,006   +1,492

    Like I said before, if it is posted as policy on the ISPs web site, there will be nothing the FTC can do.

    Over generalization, such as saying that everything the government is involved in is fubar, is dramatic as I see it. Across the broad spectrum of government influence, it is highly likely that good influence vs bad influence is roughly 50/50.

    Here's the thing, though, what Pai and the current FCC are planning to do is government involvement.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...