House passes amendment to block funds for FCC ‘Net Neutrality’ order

ZAGGmate iPad case“The House passed an amendment Thursday that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from using any funding to implement the network-neutrality order it approved in December,” Juliana Gruenwald reports for NationalJournal.

“The amendment, approved on a 244-181 vote, was offered by Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., to legislation that would fund government agencies for the rest of fiscal year 2011,” Gruenwald reports. “Walden and other critics of the FCC’s net-neutrality order argue it will stifle innovation and investment in broadband. The order aims to bar broadband providers from discriminating against Internet content, services, or applications.”

Gruenwald reports, “If the defunding effort fails, Republicans are pursuing a second route to try to block the FCC’s open-Internet order. Walden and other Republicans in both the House and the Senate introduced on Wednesday a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which would give lawmakers a limited amount of time to try to block the FCC’s net-neutrality rules.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Rasmussen: Just 21% of likely U.S. voters want FCC to regulate Internet – December 28, 2010
FCC cites Android ‘openness’ as reason for neutered ‘Net Neutrality’ – December 22, 2010
U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – December 21, 2010
Tim Lee on ‘network neutrality’: Libertarian computer geeks should forge a third way – December 16, 2010
Google and Verizon propose ‘Net Neutrality’ rules, but exempt wireless’ – August 9, 2010
Big win for Comcast as US court rules against FCC on authority to impose ‘Net Neutrality’ – April 6, 2010


  1. I just don’t understand how one could be against net neutrality, unless of course you work for an ISP. And I’m a conservative. Stuff like this is why I’m a conservative independent, rather than a registered Republican. It just makes no sense.

    1. If you read the control that is handed over once it comes under Title II, Common Carrier, no matter what is considered now, but the reality of what could be controlled, then you might get a better understanding.

      I work for an ISP. As of now, we don’t do any of the actions that NN wants to affect, nor do most others ISPs.

      I agree with the ‘hands off the internet’ that most people want NN to enforce, but I am NOT ready to give the FCC that much regulatory power over a system that is actually working pretty good, no matter what the scaremongers say.

      1. Yeah that’s the argument, and it’s a valid one. Some have even said net neutrality is not that big of a deal until those practices start happening, and I think there is some merit to that. My fear now is that by blocking funding, they’re implicitly saying it’s okay to begin prioritizing traffic.

        My prior post was more geared to my confusion with the high number of conservatives that are against NN; as a conservative myself, I just don’t understand it at all.

        1. Yeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaw. Block that big brother control every chance you can. Mr. MCwhatever, have you ever tried to get anything done with a government employee???? Absolute nightmare. The lowest of lowest common denominator. Keep the freaking government out of our HAIR in every way possible. Period.

          1. Conservatism?
            Giving greater control of government to business and industry isn’t living in a democracy. Put the regulations in place NOW to keep things working well. Look what happened to the mortgage and banking industries once left alone to do what they will. I’d personally rather not have yet another industry in this great country have to go through the same thing. Foxes guarding hen houses have never resulted in anything good for anyone—–except the fox.

            1. Fascism?
              Excuse me, but a centralized government controlling open commerce is fascistic.
              I admit that the way the term Net Neutrality has been bastardized by all sides that I don’t know where to stand on this latest move, but the internet is NOT government, so I don’t follow how you can conclude that by NOT allowing FCC to exercise regulatory control over the internet is “giving greater control of government to business”. It’s giving less control of business to the government, which is anti-fascistic.

            2. Sorry, but you have absofuckinglotely NO clue at all what fascism means. It’s not even close, not even in the same universe as fascism. Your are only disgracing the victims of fascism.

              Go educate yourself. Otherwise STFU, GTFO and take your fail with you.

            3. Those industries were taken over by the liberal democrats, Barney’s Frank, Dodd, Maobaman, etc. They forced the banks to make bad loans and then trade them. Where the hell do you get your news from PMSNBC???? Fool.

            4. Despite the misguided statements of Spark and Killer Cat, you are correct.

              fascism: noun
              an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

              Republicans are not to be confused with true conservatives. They are an unpopular view point that is very talented at controlling the message and duping low information, angry people into supporting them. Republican administrations are responsible for the horrible national debt situation and the growth of government.

              The anti-Net Neutrality hoax they are perpetrating now is the equivalent of turning the highway system into a collection of privately owned toll-roads. Low traffic areas won’t get much service, popular destinations will be charged a premium and some roads will only have exits at destinations owned by the road owner. Thanks Republicans, but this isn’t an Obama failure, it’s you, failing to lead, chanting an inappropriate “free market” mantra.

          2. So, “Big Brother” can only be a government official. Seriously don’t you think it is possible for some billionare or corporation to be equally big brother? Koch brother come to mind.
            Or worse, combine government with billionaires and corporations, then big brother is really a threat.

            And I have news for you sir, that last one is what we have.
            The USA is pwned by $$$$$$ interests.

          3. Have you ever tried to get something done… like cable or dsl installed? talk about the lowest common denominator…

            and why? utter, complete, and total lack of competition.

            why be better? our customers have no where to go.

        2. Well, as long as you are getting the speed you pay for and aren’t being blocked from sites, then prioritizing shouldn’t affect you.

          If NetFlix or iTunes pays for their delivery to be quicker, and it doesn’t affect others, then you have only gained from that arrangement.

          1. But that is the problem…if either of those sites HAVE to pay for prioritization, don’t think for a second that those charges will not be passed along to the consumer. So far, none of the ISPs are hitting hard times, in fact, most are reporting record profits. Shall we allow them unfettered access to our wallets like the oil companies?

            1. I don’t buy into your template concerning oil companies.

              And regardless of all the hysteria, the internet is not a basic necessity. Is it great to have and use? Yes. Will you die without it? No.

              You can make extraneous arguments to the contrary, but millions get along just fine with little to no need for constant access.

              And as far as paying for the extra bandwidth to have something streamed faster, as many demand instant gratification, of course you should pay more.

              And for access, I look at it just as I do schools, recreation, scenery, and stores. Some areas have more of this, some of that, and the same for good, cheap bandwidth.

              Densely populated areas with decent income levels will be getting more and more choices for access as long as it isn’t over regulated.

              And please don’t make the argument that there is currently no regulating the ISPs. If you know what you are discussing, then you know how much is already in place.

            2. The government is the only one making a fortune off of “Big Oil” as you commies like to call it. Look into you effing drones! There is nothing wrong with “Big Oil”. It’s what lets sit here and type on your computer you brainwashed little sheep.

          2. Your second paragraph contradicts the first.

            Consumers pay for everything in the end either way – net neutrality sets up a framework of rules so I can prioritize my own traffic. Life is a game, games have rules. No rules your game becomes a brawl and the biggest guy wins. That’s capitalism but not democracy.

          3. I think some are confused here. TowerTone is right, as long as you get the speed advertised to you, that’s all that matters, and that’s the way it currently works. And that means big bandwidth users like Netflix and Apple will get higher speeds as they pay for them, but we all make those choices; when I moved into a new apartment a few months ago, I chose the 12Mbps service over the 6Mbps and the 18Mbps based on my needs. They each have a different cost, and that makes sense.

            Where Net Neutrality comes in is saying that an ISP cannot prioritize traffic to or from any customer. Every customer has their own bandwidth that they pay for, but once the packets are on the backbone, there should be no distinguishing between a Netflix packet and a MDN packet, they should both be handled the same way, in an “equal” way.

            What Net Neutrality is not, is legislation that says everyone gets the same access and bandwidth to the Internet. It would make no sense for MDN to get the same bandwidth allocation as Netflix, that’s just not efficient use of the infrastructure. We don’t communize access to the Internet. We provide every entity with the same opportunities for access, and once on the backbone there is no distinguishing between my packet or your packet. This is currently how it works, Net Neutrality is just supposed to codify it.

            Hopefully that makes sense.

            1. Net Neutrality opponents seem to be deliberately ignoring today’s reality. Netflix is PAYING Akamai (or similar) to deliver streaming traffic directly to the ISP’s doors (avoiding saturation of public backbones). Customers are PAYING Verizon for their 20Mbps FiOS connection. Yet, Verizon is throttling Netflix down to 1.5Mbps (so that you can’t stream movies in real time), in order to make their own OnDemant TV offering the ONLY realistic option.

              Right now, Netflix can’t do anything about this; Verizon doesn’t even offer to charge extra to remove throttling; they are just anti-competitive, because that anti-competitive behaviour is perfectly legal (i.e. no net neutrality laws exist on the books yet).

              Does the system really work well???

            2. Predrag,

              I had no idea that was going on. To be clear, I am a supporter of Net Neutrality, and, if what you say is true, rules must be put in place. However, I would prefer that the current FCC rules be amended. Having read the bill, there is a lot to not like.

      2. TT you’ve got a good sense of humor, and you’ve been part of this community for a while, but let’s be clear about some of your inherent biases:

        1. You work for an ISP
        2. You oppose everything Obama supports.

        1. I’m against most of Pres. Obama’s domestic agenda because I am a Conservative. Odd that the left doesn’t scream about his foreign policy that is similar to Bush’s.

          And as far as ISPs are concerned, most would be doing better under Title II full control because it gives them a complete monopoly.

          But since I am a tech geek AND a customer, I want what is best for consumers in the long run, and that is more competition, not less.

  2. After what we’ve seen in Egypt, people should know that an open and free internet is integral to an open and free society. Any bill that seeks to block net neutrality or give the government a “kill switch” is a terrible idea.

  3. Weren’t we just singing the praises of Apple for taking a pro-consumer stance with their in-app subscriptions? Being against Net Neutrality is about as anti-consumer as you can get.

        1. If you are educated on it, then you know what Common Carrier allows the FCC to regulate.

          If you know what they can regulate, then you know they can stifle competition.

          If you know they can stifle competition, then you know in the long run, rural areas and high traffic areas won’t be served better by the one allowed delivery service.

          1. So it makes perfect sense to you for Republicans to hold the funding for government agencies hostage by attaching an amendment on NN? Let’s stop mixing up legislation like this and address each issue on its own. I’m friggin’ tired of the whiny, obstructionist, GOP thug approach to government.

            If Obama has any balls he will take a page from Clinton’s book, lay down the veto on this kind of bullcrap, and let the GOP take the heat for playing these kinds of games when they should be trying to help improve the country.

            1. But it didn’t bother you when the Democrats used tactics to go around legislation to get to this point? How convenient!

              And speaking of thugs (and the SEIU), how about those folks in Wisconsin? Looks like the GOP were trying to improve the state by lowering cost rather than lay people off.

              More thuggary for you? Check the security detail for Boehner’s house. You should be proud.

              Where were these thugs when Pres. Obama repealed there school choice?

            2. Yeah TT, Take that Queen Smell. Keep the government out of our hair. You liberals are so pathetic. You would never make it in the wild, stranded on your own. Losers. You better hope we don’t ever have a huge natural disaster you’d never make it through it. Waiting for the gubmnt to save your sorry asses.

    1. The main problem is the name. This is net neutrality in name only. The idea of net neutrality is that the net should remain open. This bill actually just regulates the net a lot under the guise of net neutrality.

      1. Yeah I don’t get what’s so complicated. Introduce a bill that says “No internet service provider may grant special privileges to any customer for any reason. Allegations of misconduct will be handled by the courts and violators will be subject to a fine equal to one day’s revenue.”

        Maybe not perfect, but you get the point. Simple right? No FCC oversight. Unfortunately I don’t think simple exists in Washington.

          1. So Saxon, it would be okay for your ISP to slow your access to Fox News, Drudge, or Limbaugh to a crawl because the owner of your ISP doesn’t like conservatives right? And woe be to you, if you don’t live in an area with competing broadband providers, that’s just the free market.

            1. Saxon has the choice to leave his throttling ISP in favor of one that doesn’t offer greater speed to different sites. The site that should load the fastest is the one Saxon wants to view. Generally a free market works this way. Consumers do have some power.

            2. Ah. Does Saxon have the right? In a great many cases the only choices are between the local telco or the local cable company. As far as cable, there is always only one choice. As far as DSL, there is really only one choice. Even CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers, such as DLS Extreme), but use the infrastructure of the ILEC (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier -whichever bell it is) to deliver DSL. So there really is no FREE MARKET and NO REAL COMPETITION, for Saxon. So as a free market anti-marxist, I want to make sure that Saxon gets what he pays for, XMb/s bandwidth, not XMB/s except in the case of this or that… blah blah.

          2. Other people already have control over your sad, little life, Saxon. It’s long past time for our federal representatives to try to work together to craft meaningful and productive legislation rather than simply attempt to block and undermine the opposition.

            Go label something so that you can sneer at it in disdain. That’s what makes you feel big, isn’t it?

            1. You libs sure are creepy and pathetic at the same time. Other people have control over our lives according to you so just roll over and give more strangers more control over our lives??? That’s how you libs think. Go to hell you aholes. No chance. We conservatives don’t think that way. Read the Net bill. If you are for it after you read it you are sick in the head you little drones.

  4. it will stifle innovation and investment in broadband.

    LOL WHAT innovation and investment?

    Do you mean the innovation that has left us with a 3rd rate internet infrastructure, the one that isn’t getting any faster OR cheaper??

        1. No, you don’t. Look at the sizes of the countries with speeds faster than ours, and then look at the distribution to rural areas, and then look at the population densities.

          Also, look at the percent of population included (it is not for the entire nation, just internet users, so the more you have in rural areas that have slow connection, the more it pulls down the average in cities)

          I’ll not argue that S. Korea has great access (we give them enough aid and business), but you could compare some of the other countries to our megalopolises and see that we actually do pretty good. I know that’s not what you want to hear and it screws with your agenda (how could we we third rate if we are in the top 15?), but these studies are generally slanted.

            1. We do have the best health care in the world.
              That’s why people come here to be cured.

              We also have a higher standard of living which affords most the opportunity to buy health insurance.
              Whether they choose that or to spend their money elsewhere is their choice.

              We also have a good system to treat the poor.

              You must be pretty young and idealistic to believe what you read and not what you see.

  5. The core of a letter I sent to all my representatives and numerous others. This is a sad day for the GOP. They have confirmed that they understand next to nothing about the Internet, how it works, why it works, or how vital the end to end nature of the design is. Pathetic. As one FCC commissioner put it, “Net Neutrality is regulating the Internet like the 1st amendment regulates speech.”

    The Honoralbe Greg Walden
    2182 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Representative Walden,

    I am writing to you because numerous reports in the tech media have established you as leading the charge to stop Net Neutrality. In other words, from the perspective of the non-big-ISP tech community, you have become the poster boy for anti-technology and anti-Internet freedom. From your perspective you’re tying to keep things fair. I understand your reasoning, however I submit that you are wrong.

    Representative Walden, concerning democracy alone, I believe the Internet is quite possibly the single most important development of the twentieth century. I believe it is on track to be even more important in the twenty-first century. No other technology has done more in my lifetime to enable the average human being.

    The Internet has grown from relatively humble origins to a vast network of networks. It spans the globe, facilitates all sorts of media delivery, houses incalculable quantities of storage, and provides for the exchange of extraordinary amounts of information. So much of the intellectual and creative production of humanity is contained within the Internet that I sometimes wonder if it qualifies as a separate dimension. In my humble opinion, the Internet has become a national resource, if not treasure. On second thought, forgive my arrogance. It is in fact, an international resource.

    The Internet should not be regarded as the property of broadband service providers, mobile communications providers, content providers and especially governments. The Internet has become the preferred means by which not just the people of the United States, but the people of earth communicate, without the noise of governments or corporations intervening. It is a place with no borders. It is a place where I choose which ideas I wish to explore, with whom I wish to associate, and which products and/or services I wish to consume. It is a virtual landscape of information, entertainment, and the peripatetic souls that live there. The only limits are my intelligence, curiosity, tolerance, and choice.

    It is because of the incomprehensible value of the Internet, that I am in favor of true Net Neutrality. Without Net Neutrality, an extremely small group of corporations, i.e. select individuals, will have the ability to exercise ownership like control over the Internet. Without Net Neutrality the Comcasts, Time Warners, AT&T’s and Verizons of the world will determine which services I use or even have access to.

    Quite frankly I am bewildered as to how you can oppose giving the FCC responsibility to monitor and enforce Net Neutrality, yet effectively grant devastating Internet control to noncompetitive corporate interests.

    At the very least, the FCC is supposed to represent us, the people. Something I fear our political representatives have long forgotten, and I can assure you without the shadow of a doubt that the interests of we the people are not topping the agendas of broadband carriers! If you believe they are, I have some left over “Hope and Change” posters you might be interested in buying.

    I have heard the arguments against Net Neutrality, including your own. After consideration, I contend that people who are against Net Neutrality simply do not understand it and worse, do not understand what is at stake. I have also observed that many conservatives who speak against Net Neutrality are seeing the issue through what I can only describe as ideologically obscured anti-Obama colored glasses.

    It is the general objection to heavy handed government regulation that causes some of us to naturally reject what we perceive as FCC interference. While I normally agree with such sentiments, ironically in this case it is Net Neutrality that keeps the Internet open and unobstructed. It is the one acceptable boundary in a world built for no boundaries.

    I believe that more often than not, government regulation goes too far. I am a staunch proponent of the free market. I believe that the government’s primary responsibility is making sure there is a level playing field. Without Net Neutrality, the Internet, the most fertile field around, will be anything but level.

    You argue that you do not wish to favor edge services over core services, yet without Net Neutrality, you are clearly favoring core services.

    You argue that you want innovation and investment at the “edge and core of the Internet.” Without Net Neutrality, you make investment less likely at the edge and unnecessary, even undesirable at the core.

    Without Net Neutrality investments in services like FaceBook or Netflix or iTunes will be less probable due to the uncertainty of how the core services, i.e. carriers, will react to success.

    If I create a service on the Internet and it becomes extremely popular, without Net Neutrality there is nothing to prevent service providers from copying my service, and coercing their captive clients to use their version via throttling, blocking, and extra charges.

    They of course will argue that they are exercising their right to do as they please with their infrastructure, as well as making sure their network performance is properly managed. The result will be increased profits for them while the growth and success of my service will be highly questionable.

    Core service innovation will be less likely because there is no competition, and no incentive to provide better service. We the consumers are locked in, and will be forced to pay more for less. Core service providers don’t have to contend with one another so maintaining scarcity of bandwidth becomes more profitable than investing in more infrastructure and generating more bandwidth. Without Net Neutrality, core service providers effectively become the OPEC of bandwidth. They become an oligopoly, essentially an uncontested and amoral traffic manipulating cartel.

    If you agree with me that the Internet is unimaginably important to the future of commerce, education, entertainment, health, life in general and especially (just ask the people of Egypt), democracy, then I must ask how you can so easily support such a devolution of the Internet as we know it.

    The growth and flow of communications and commerce on the Internet have been phenomenal to say the least. Unfortunately without Net Neutrality there is every reason to assume this expanding ubiquity will be arrested to promote the profits of only one segment of the Internet, i.e. the so called core services. The success or failure of edge services, such as Google or NetFlix will be at the whim of the core services, and ultimately the value of the Internet for the people you represent will significantly diminish. What we will be left with will look no better than the balkanized, pre-packaged, premium channeled, tiered, rights managed mess that is pay television.

    I know that core service providers have to be able to effectively manage traffic on their networks. Rationally this would mean increasing capacity as needed, however without Net Neutrality it will mean creating punitive and anti-competitive control measures to enforce preferred behavior. Service providers should control their networks, but there must be some kind of oversight by those who protect the interests of the public. Perhaps it is time to bring American competition law into the twenty-first century. I cannot prescribe the best method. I am a simple technologist. You are the legislator, and one thing I know for sure is that abandoning us to face the interests of powerful service providers with no representation or recourse is most definitely wrong.

    Representative Walden, I implore you to reconsider your position. I know that powerful core service lobbyists have your ear. I know they have much influence in Washington. AT&T is one of your contributors. I cannot give you thousands of dollars. I’m hoping to appeal to your integrity and intelligence.

  6. People who are against Net Neutrality astonish me. The Internet has evolved into the powerful force for unobstructed communication it is because the neutrality of of the core has “essentially” been maintained up until now.

    The argument that Net Neutrality is heavy handed government regulation just doesn’t apply. Supporters of this argument need to get off this camel and smell the crap around them. The only innovation a NON-NEUTRAL-CORE will encourage is new and better ways to block, throttle, re-direct, and otherwise tamper with and ration bandwidth.

    Get it through your heads, there is no competition at the core. I cannot say that Time Warner sucks and go to a competitor. *THERE IS NO COMPETITOR.* That people don’t get this is mind boggling. There is no FREE MARKET in the core services. There are artificially maintained monopolies.

    If I could simply go out and choose from a host of providers, that would be one thing. However I am stuck with a provider who signed smoke filled back room deals with local politicians that I do not have a say so in.

    Without Net Neutrality, THE ISPs DO THE REGULATION, and the only thing worse than Government regulation, is profit based regulation because once that power is bestowed upon an organization, we’re screwed.

  7. “At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Every once in a while we all get causes that effect us. Mine is Net Neutrality. At it’s core is the belief that traffic should flow freely on the Internet. That’s it.

    It just means that the “end to end” nature of the Internet should be maintained.

    “…The end-to-end principle is one of the central design principles of the Internet Protocol (IP) that is the basis of the Internet. It states that, whenever possible, communications protocol operations should be defined to occur at the end-points of a communications system…”

    This means that if I send you a packet, none of the Internet service providers in between should in any way tamper with that packet by unnecessarily redirecting it, throttling it, or blocking it. Leave it alone. The path is neutral. Only when my packet gets to you is it operated on.

    Lack of Net Neutrality says the owners of the wires are free to do with my packet as they please.

    I ask you, which is more conducive to innovation, a neutral network or one which is regulated by anti-competitive commercial interests?

    The GOP is asking us to trust the same people who blocked the answering machine for 40 years, for God’s sake. I don’t know about many of you but I remember when we weren’t even allowed to use NON-BELL-ISSUED telephones. Everyone had to have the same telephones, and we paid a charge for renting them.

    If you think COMCAST, TIME WARNER, VERIZON, AT&fuckingT, can be trusted to look out for our interests then let Charlie Sheen date your daughters. He’s a swell guy.

    1. Bravo.

      What an amazing job you have done explaining the issues and potential downfalls of these actions. As a poster previously stated, I don’t think anyone has been able to as clearly illustrate the issues and points as you have here.

      I wonder if you will get a response.. I hope you do.

      1. TowerTone, Theodore, Spark, Wlsic1975a, Kestie & praus speak up! (You can’t because you know you are wrong.)

        Thelonius Mac… thank you so much for your insight. I know my stance now on this issue. I’m glad someone is rooting for the people instead of big industry greed.

        1. “I don’t know about many of you but I remember when we weren’t even allowed to use NON-BELL-ISSUED telephones. Everyone had to have the same telephones, and we paid a charge for renting them.”

          Exactly my point. Bell was allowed to do this under Title II.
          This is what the FCC wants to use to enforce NN. Once they are allowed to do that, they can then begin to enforce other aspects of Common Carrier, and my problem, no matter how eloquently argued, is THAT becoming the end result.

          “TowerTone, Theodore, Spark, Wlsic1975a, Kestie & praus speak up! (You can’t because you know you are wrong.)”

          Like I have said since this debate started, I am not against most aspects of keeping the internet open while allowing ISPs to use excess bandwidth as they please, but not through Common Carrier. It is the Pandora’s Box, Commerce Clause, and Herpes of regulation. Once it’s done, it’s hard to go back.

          Don’t be blinded by what could occur with your access versus what will almost certainly occur if the FCC gets more involved.

          1. Well, if you have Verizon FiOS (at least 15Mbps bandwidth — great service!), and want to use Netflix’s streaming service, you will discover that you can’t get real-time streaming. None of that fat pipe you’re getting from Verizon (and paying for) is allowed by Verizon to be used for Netflix. The best throughput you can hope for, when watching Netflix streaming, is about 1.5Mbps — not enough for a real-time streaming. This is not “what could happen in the future”. This is today. I am paying Verizon for my fat 15Mbps pipe. Netflix is paying Akamai (or other delivery company) to deliver traffic directly to Verizon’s back door, avoiding public pipes. All Verizon is supposed to do is get that Netflix traffic from their back door to my own front door. But no, Verizon wants to make sure Netflix doesn’t look more attractive than their own (way overpriced) TV and On Demand offering.

            If I were an American, I would rather take that problematic Net Neutrality legislation than let Verizon (and others) choke off anyone who dares compete with their own offerings.

    2. Dear Representative Walden,

      Please keep your hands off the Internet and tell the FCC they should back off. This Net Neutrality idea sounds good on paper. Also people like theloniousMac makes great compelling arguments for Net Neutrality. And I personally like some of his ideas.

      However, we have too much government oversight on too many things in our lives. We look to Washington DC to solve too many of our problems. The federal government is our problem! You tax too much, spend too much and over regulate! By the way, if you didn’t know, we are 15 trillion dollars in debt and climbing. Not a good time to add more government regulations and cost!

      Some would say I’m looking at this issue with, “Ideologically obscured anti-Obama colored glasses.” They are wrong. I apposed net neutrality long before Obama was president, so please; don’t listen to the guys in the peanut gallery.

      The President could not get this Net Neutrality passed as legislation. So like many pass presidents, Obama resorts to executive order or a directive with the FCC. Now we have NON-elected people creating an FCCNetNeutrality bill. Who knows that that will bring? Maybe the FCC will filter my responses on places like this blog?

      Can you also tell theloniousMac that he needs a little history lesson on things like the breakup of MaBell? A conservative GOP president (Reagan) broke-up the Bell Company, that led to innovation and opportunity. Liberals complained all the way.

      Thanks for listening.

      Nice talk.


      1. @wmd 4

        Believe me, I was knee deep in the ma bell break up, listening to my father (a bell employee) explain why it was going to be a good thing.

        This is not a partisan issue to me. I am only criticizing the GOP in this case because I am know that they are voting on party lines, and not really considering an issue that most do not understand. I am embarrassed as a tea party supporter.

        Conservatives, above all others, should support the concepts of Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the foundation upon which a competitive Internet can exist. As it stands there is NO COMPETITION, NO FREE MARKET in the service provider space. They are pretty much fee to gouge us, the end users either directly or indirectly through smaller providers. (See the Canadian situation). We have no CHOICE. Last night I finally got sick of my poor performance from Time Warner and so they dinged me for an additional $20/month to bump up to their “turbo” service, so far it’s no better. I can’t pick up the phone and switch to Comcast. When they are in a free market, I will be all for letting the free market govern them, but right now my only power, as a user, is through some form of oversight, and the FCC is probably better than anything else. For the moment.

        In addition, Net Neutrality does not say they cannot charge whatever they want for what I purchase, BANDWIDTH. Net Neutrality does say that they cannot reshape the nature of the traffic on the Internet, after I’ve already purchased bandwidth.

        I completely agree with you that government is too large, trying to do too many things, and not doing a very good job at it. However it is my contention that rather than saying the corporations can do whatever they like, government should first look at the situation and using the lessons of the ma bell break up, create a free market in the service delivery space.

        Even George’s Bush’s FCC team was in favor of Net Neutrality. Michael Powell, Colin Powell’s son speaks in favor of it. He became a freaking champion of it and one of the most articulate speakers for it when Madison River Communications started blocking VOIP traffic.

  8. i’m at a loss to follow this post as it is, by far, the most cogent, clearly stated analysis i have yet to see anywhere in print, on the net, on tv or in public discussions i have heard.
    it just seems like NN is one more thing that some, not all, but some people who are committed to GOP regaining representation in our government, will use any means possible to yell “government takeover”, “communist/socialist mentality”, “giving up my rights” or other “talking points” that people, often well intentioned people, use to support their political beliefs.
    except in this case, an appeal like the one from theloniousmac is attempting to look at what history has proven with private corporations who have created, as he said, “artificial..monopolies”. it just seems some people are targeting an effort, not based on facts or history, and not just history the last two years, but history going back 40 years or more, to support what they think their ideology as a party member should be.
    to me this is not about party ideology, it’s about thinking through facts and there is very little of that which i have seen, certainly not

        1. Actually, it’s OK to jump off a mile-high cliff…so long as you have a parachute.

          The problem here is that there is a body of opinion that says everyone should have a parachute, another that says that everyone can have a parachute so long as they pay the market rate, another that says you can have a parachute for $9.99 or you can have a parachute that works for $999.00.

          Your real problem is that someone wants to push you off a cliff and let the methodology of parachute distribution be discovered as a result of the forces of empirical proof.

          Two things are certain:-
          1) In this argument, gravity isn’t your friend.
          2) It’s not the fall that kills you, but how you stop.

  9. too bad none of you have actually understood what the FCC was trying to do. They tried to fix a problem that does not exist. No ISP is throttling traffic. The FCC regulation would give wireless operators full power to throttle traffic. Is that what you guys want?

    Once you give the FCC the power to regulate, yhey will.

    Currently the open and free market is working well and any efforts to get government involved will break that system.

    1. You must be from a different planet. On this planet, in the US, current carriers have already been surreptitiously throttling traffic (“traffic shaping”). This has been already reported in many places. I don’t understand how can any anyone argue against net neutrality regulation by using THIS as their argument, when it is simply not true! Comcast, Verizon and few others have been found to have consistently throttled Netflix traffic in the recent months. Netflix has even come out publicly to complain about this! They said that they are already paying to avoid using publick back bone but to instead deliver their their streaming traffic directly to the ISP’s back doors. They were specifically angry at Verizon, which severely throttles Netflix traffic to their FiOS customers (who ordinarily get at least 20Mbps downstream, but Netflix traffic NEVER exceeds 1.5Mbps, which is too low for real-time streaming).

      I am amazed at the selective reasoning American people tend to have when engaging in a political debate.

  10. This sucks. Having Net neutrality means that we the consumers won’t get shafted by corporate control.

    Already, Google and Verzion want to control access. Good for big corporations right?

    Politics aside, the only winners are corporations, not you.

      1. Corporations are NOT elected by people. Anything they do, they do with one primary and overriding goal: to make profit. It doesn’t matter if the service they provide are some universal, common services (such as The Internet); they will do anything they are legally allowed in order to prevent competition from reducing their revenues/profits. The way Verizon throttles Netflix today, in order to make their own (way overpriced) OnDemand TV offerings more attractive (and stifle Netflix).

        In working democracies (what Americans proudly claim America is best at), gtovernment does what those who elected them want it to do. If it does something they don’t want, they vote them out and vote new people in.

        I am simply amazed by this paradox: Americans (especially conservative ones) are probably the most proud of all nations of their own democratic system of government. Yet, the same Americans (especially the conservative ones) tend to think of their own government (the one they democratically elected) as an entity that is spreading misery, wasting money, taking away people’s rights and privileges, etc. If you are so proud of your democracy, why do you so hate the government you yourself elected? Can anyone explain this paradox to me?

  11. Some of these comments are asinine. The very people who are clamoring for “Net Neutrality” here are those who are saying that the current system has worked well, and they want “regulation” to ensure that it continues to work.
    Don’t you see the contradiction in that position ? It is competition that has delivered the internet as we know it today; it is competition that will determine prices and the level of service.

    1. The current system has worked well. As I said earlier, my fear now is that by banning the new rules, rather than just amending them, they will implicitly be saying that it is okay to begin prioritizing traffic. The whole problem started because the people who control the FCC couldn’t keep their mouths shut on a problem that didn’t exist. It’s telling that some Democrats and liberals call conservatives and Republicans fearmongerers, and yet they created rules for a problem that didn’t exist, simply because they were afraid it would.

      1. Once again; a comment from some other planet. On this planet, in US, ISPs (such as Verizon) throttle Netflix streaming today. If you have FiOS, you get 15-40 Mbps. However, your Netflix stream NEVER exceeds 1.5Mbps (inadequate for real-time streaming). Verizon can’t let Netflix look more attractive than their own OnDemand TV offering.

        So, it is either the possibly problematic Net Neutrality law, or definitely useless system (already hurting Netflix, AND consumers) we have now.

        Which would you prefer?

        1. Are you sure that it is Verizon doing the throttling?

          Remember, Netflix has an interest in you using less bandwidth, too.

          Do you have an XBox, or knows someone that does? If so, try a simultaneous download with that
          and your current rig to see if there is any difference. I’d be curious to hear the results (different QoS).

          1. Yes, it is Verizon throttling, and they have admitted to it. Verizon’s ISP tech support is often very knowledgeable. On several occasions, I got to talk to an actual engineer, who knew exactly what he was talking about. One of them explained to me why I can’t configure Verizon’s modem/router for DMZ to expose one of my Macs as a web server (change to port to something other than 80 and it works, he said). And this support engineer told be that yes, I may be getting 25Mbps downstream on “normal” content, but Netflix is throttled down. “It clogs the pipes” was his excuse…

            And no, I don’t have an Xbox and don’t know anyone who does, so I can’t experiment on my own.

    2. There’s no contradiction at all. During the initial building phase there were enough competitors providing service, or rates were low to encourage take-up. As the industry matured and people became dependent on it (internet is more important than cable/sat TV), competition was reduced through buyouts and consolidation, until natural monopolies or oligopolies were formed. A free market with consumer choice is no longer possible once this happens.

      A second consideration is the network backbone, which was extremely expensive to put in place and therefore has high barrier to entry (i.e. no startup can challenge an incumbent company). Much of that backbone was taxpayer-subsidized.

      That said, while the *concept* is awesome, the current US net neutrality legislation isn’t all that great; rather than a simple one-pager, it of course included far too much lobbyist-driven crap. It’s a broken system when you can’t address one issue at a time, and legislation is hundreds of pages long, which no reasonable person could possible go through or understand (even congresscritters often don’t bother, even though they’re paid to)

  12. No matter how reasonable these things starts as, bureaucrats quickly find creative ways to extend how/what they can control, and they do it without further legislation. If they can’t, activists will find a way to suggest some extension. It is best to not start. In this case, there is no evidence anything is broken, certainly nothing that government bureaucrats have the wits to correct, so I say let it rest. Run away from it.

  13. Someone show me where the FCC has the power to implement net neutrality.

    The last thread on NN, nobody could.
    Congress has to give explicit power to the FCC, there was no law passed giving the FCC any control over any aspect of the Internet.
    Best thing anyone could do, say that “communication” in FCC meant all communication… Thus power over Internet. Lol
    Some people can’t read law… Or the opinions from the supreme court on their rulings. The last time the FCC tried this, they were shot down. Nothing changed, but the FCC passed it without any new power granted to them.
    This will be revoked when it’s taken through the courts, just like last time.

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