U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations

Free FedEx Overnight + Up to $700 Off Instantly “U.S. regulators banned Internet service providers led by AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from blocking or slowing Web content sent to homes and businesses, while allowing mobile phone companies to put limits on traffic,” Todd Shields reports for Bloomberg.

“The Federal Communications Commission approved the so- called net-neutrality rules by a vote of three to two today,” Shields reports. “Supporters argued that Internet providers, which also own some of the content they deliver online, may interfere with videos and services owned by others such as Google Inc. ‘Today’s decision will help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet while encouraging innovation, protecting consumer choice and defending free speech,’ President Barack Obama said in a statement released today by the White House.”

“Stephen Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc. who traveled to Washington from his home near San Francisco to attend today’s FCC vote, told reporters after the meeting that the FCC should have passed more restrictive rules,” Shields reports. “For example, Internet-service providers may block online consumers from receiving movies streamed by Netflix, forcing users to watch movies owned by the telecommunications and telephone companies, Wozniak said. ‘Every normal person in the United States knows this,’ he said.”

“Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker, one of two Republicans to vote against the regulations, called the rules an overreach. ‘There is no factual basis to support government intervention,’ she said. “The majority’s approach will inhibit the ability of networks to freely evolve and experiment,'” Shields reports. “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s Republican leader, called the vote ‘a first step in controlling how Americans use the Internet.’ Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who is to become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee when Congress convenes next year, said he would work ‘to strike down the FCC’s brazen effort to regulate the Internet.'”

Shields reports, “‘The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules,’ Robert McDowell, the other Republican commissioner at the FCC, said during the meeting today. ‘This new effort will fail in court.’ Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, said in an e-mailed statement she would ask Congress to revoke the rules, calling them ‘an unprecedented power-grab by the unelected members’ of the FCC.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Back in April of this year, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulations. Read more via CNET: Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality – April 6, 2010

65 Comments

  1. Tis merely step one toward true net neutrality.

    Anyone who believes that the ISP’s aren’t going to choke off competing services need to have their head checked.

    “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s Republican leader, called the vote ‘a first step in controlling how Americans use the Internet.'”

    Uhhhh…..an example to back up your assinine statement???

    Oh, I forgot, logic need not apply in the U.S. Senate.

    “‘The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules,’ Robert McDowell, the other Republican commissioner at the FCC, said during the meeting today.”

    FCC = Federal Communications Commission
    Yeah, NO ONE uses the internet to communicate. Makes perfect sense.

  2. Ever notice when it’s something “we” understand like net neutrality, we are able to discern all the BS and double speak. We know when “they” are full of it.

    Now just imagine how much BS is buried in something we can barely comprehend like a 2000 page health care bill.

    “We need to pass the law so we can figure out what’s in it.”
    – paraphrasing Nancy Pelosi

    The usual suspects are all over the place on this one.

    I don’t agree with Republicans. Keeping the net free and traffic neutral is vital. I don’t think they get it at all. The entertainment industry is largely ANTI Net Neutrality, they of course want the right to figure out how to charge everyone multiple times for every bit that flows through the wires and they contribute heavily to the Democratic party.

    When I read the FCC policy, I don’t see how anyone can block NetFlix, which is the popular example because of the NetFlix vs. Com cast war.

    What a mess.

  3. Cubert
    It’s not simple.
    And no, the ISPs are not planning on choking bandwidth, just raising the price of it to make up for lost revenue regardless what the FCC ruled.

    We are actually I’m the process of implementing DOCSIS 3 to add more and faster bandwidth to compete for the business, not take away service.

    That would be like a store having shorter shopping hours at Christmas to save on payroll.

    It sounds good as a conspiracy but is a stupid business move.

  4. The Democrats are at least ashamed enough to put fig leaves on this move, when the Teapublicans take power we’ll log on to Google’s Internet brought to you by Verizon. I for one do not welcome our new big money overlords.

  5. Cubert…

    You should learn to read more.

    The FCC has ZERO authority, just like the court stated. Just cause FCC has communication in it’s name, does not mean it can regulate ALL communication.

    FCC was setup in 1910 for telephone communication.
    It has been given greater control over phone, and television service. Point out to us all where it was given any control over the Internet.
    The last major change to the FCC was in 1996… And it did not include the Internet.
    The court is correct, FCC does not have the authority.

  6. @ theloniousMac
    It’s very simple when you read the policy carefully:
    – Wired (dsl or cable) internet providers cannot block or throttle certain applications other than peer-to-peer they believe is being used to violate copyright. There’s some net neutrality.
    – WireLESS providers — the kind of broadband most who live in rural areas will eventually have to buy — are allowed to regulate traffic and charge for access at both ends of the pipe; i.e. a wireless Comcast can reduce NetFlix throughput unless NetFlix pays extra and Comcast can charge you more to receive NetFlix than its own video service. Here’s net neutrality being killed.

    @ X
    Pardon me, your monumental stupidity is showing yet again.

  7. @ Backlash

    Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which “authorizes the FCC to regulate interstate wire and radio ‘commerce in communication'” states:
    “(b) POLICY.—It is the policy of the United States—
    (1) to promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media;
    (2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation;”

    The FCC actions are base on this act. It will be interesting to see how the courts interpret the scope of the FCC’s power given by the law.

  8. TowerTone,
    I can’t see any reason that Comcast (for example) wouldn’t intentionally slow down downloads to your Apple TV because they offer a competing on-demand service. The consumer’s only recourse would be to switch to Verizon FIOS (there is nothing else in my area) which sucks balls.

  9. And if you want to know how the Claimed internet authority came about with the FCC:

    In August 2005, the FCC adopted a set of principles saying “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice.” But the principles also permit providers’ “reasonable network management” and, confusingly, the FCC admitted on the day of their adoption that the guidelines “are not enforceable.”

    From the Cnet link in the article.

    “The FCC had known all along that it was on shaky legal ground. Its vote to take action against Comcast was a narrow 3-2, with the dissenting commissioners predicting at the time that it would not hold up in court.”

    from same article.

    FCC has to be GIVEN authority by Congress, and they have not. Why they lost the case against Comcrap.

    @8^þ

    Note how the 1996 Act is worded…
    “to promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media;”

    PROMOTE………. Where is the word Control… or Regulate….

    again… READ the court ruling.
    “Because the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion” of regulatory authority to an actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the power to regulate an Internet provider’s network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.”

    Failed to tie their assertion to an ACTUAL law….

  10. This crap is happening today. Welcome to the future:

    Good news: All this month Virgin America is offering free onboard WiFi sponsored by Google Chrome!

    Bad news: Google’s free WiFi on Virgin America flights throttles Apple bookstore, iTunes and app store! Literally, I could not download a *book* — yes, all 200K or whatever of it — using the onboard wifi, while craptastic Flash videos in web pages play fine…

    Tried to update a tiny app on my iPad, same deal… takes 4 tries over 2 hours to DL a 1 or 2 MB app, while everything else works great.

    Looked at the terms and conditions they show when signing in, and there it was, they reserve the right to block any and all services, companies etc supposedly to improve traffic…

    Now does anyone think blocking BOOK DOWNLOADS is going to help traffic? And how is it helpful to throttle Apple App Store downloads to the point of effectively blocking them, while letting Flash ads play at full bandwidth?

    It’s helpful to Google, no surprise, the asshats sponsoring the service… meanwhile the 1 or 2 poor losers on the flight trying to use some Fragmandroid device get a “great” Internet experience, while the 50% of passengers trying to use an iOS device get nothing but a giant Fuck You from Google.

    So much (again) for not being evil…

    Meanwhile, Obama FCC sells out to corporate interests hoping to retain this ability to wage corporate warfare at the expense of consumer interests…

    And some brainwashed libertarian chumps on MDN keep pouring the Kool-Aid that government intervention is the problem!!!

    Fsck that, what we need is a GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER of the Internet. Pay for it with tax dollars and run it by the public, for the public like the highway system.

    Conservatards need to face the fact that Gov’t provided service is the only way we’ll ever get the Dumb Pipes we know we need. Let the corporations take an inch and they will take a mile every time… Internet will become like Cable TV wars with consumer forced to choose every day between bad and worse service/content bundles full of crap they don’t need and without access to what they want, because Co’s wont settle for providing Dumb Pipes and will jump at every opportunity to make an extra buck by bundling or up-selling for certain services.

    You watch. And when Internet sucks in 10 years, think of all the Conservatard losers on MDN and everywhere else who fscked our country (again) and put us all permanently under the Corporate Thumb with their childish, impractical Ayn Rand romanticism!

  11. Was the internet really broken? I remember when comcast was trying to throttle connections, didn’t everything sort itself out? Without government help? How many have to be hired by the government to enforce new rules? Will Apple be charged for turning off tethering in the US because ATT can’t handle it? Will it make the exclusive deal void because they colluded with ATT to throttle me from using my iphone the way I want to? Can I use the government to sue Apple because I can’t use the internet on the iphone the way I want to (banned apps, other email clients, VOIP, google voice, etc ….)? It’s all internet use, can Google use this againt them?

  12. Cubert
    It’s called “PR”. Also there are more ways to access the Internet being built out. Large metropolitan areas will have much more to choose from I’m the next 2-4 years.

    And a question to those thinking the FCC will help development: Have you ever dealt with them? I have set aside 2 weeks in January just to do the paperwork and filings to drop some paths along with the towers and renew several others. I am NOT looking forward to it. They are a monstrosity that, while needed, are the typical govt. agency with varying rules and beareucratic speeds.

  13. Government takover like the highway. Every state then? The national highway started as a military project, but the states manage them now. So the states need to run the internet. I live in Maryland, I filled the pothole in the street where I live. I really hope you are joking.

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