U.S. FCC vote on ‘net neutrality’ will kick off long battle

“U.S. efforts to set new Internet traffic rules face a lengthy tug of war between big broadband providers and Republicans on one side and some tech companies and consumer advocates on the other as regulators prepare to propose the rules formally on Thursday,” Alina Selyukh reports for Reuters. “U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has expanded the issues and questions raised in his ‘open Internet’ proposal to sway his two Democratic colleagues on the five-member panel, though some consumer advocates remain unhappy. Public interest groups including Free Press plan to deliver a petition with more than 1 million signatures to the FCC and stage a protest against Wheeler’s proposal that may allow Internet providers to charge some content companies for faster and more reliable delivery.”

“Consumer advocates worry that ‘fast lanes’ for content companies willing to pay up would leave startups and others behind. They call on the FCC to reclassify Internet providers as utilities, like telephone companies, rather than the less-regulated information services they are now,” Selyukh reports. “That plan is vehemently opposed by broadband companies, which are lobbying lawmakers and the FCC against such a possibility. More than two dozen CEOs of broadband companies including AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc wrote to FCC members on Tuesday, saying reclassification of their companies and Internet openness had ‘nothing to do’ with each other.”

“Both sides foresee an extended battle, assuming the FCC votes to move ahead with the new rules. More than 100 technology companies including Google Inc and Facebook Inc have warned that Wheeler’s proposal poses ‘a grave threat to the Internet,'” Selyukh reports. “Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel have expressed doubts about Wheeler’s plan but are likely to vote in favor of formally proposing the rules as a way to launch the process of collecting public comment and more information. Republican FCC members more broadly oppose the commission’s efforts to set Internet traffic rules, which they see as obstacles to innovation and investments in already expensive network infrastructure. AT&T told FCC officials last week that reclassification would create regulatory uncertainty while still failing to prevent pay-for-priority deals.”

Read more in the full article here.

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20 Comments

  1. Money is already being spent on coming up with the next version of controls for “Internet2” if you will.

    My guess is that a lot of the net neutrality will be settled by commercial innovation. But it is a guess.

    1. No. The 1% have it hard enough. I think we need to split interstates and have half of each road as special, low-traffic, high speed lanes for the rich and their corporations.

  2. Frontline
    United States of Secrets (Part One)9:00 PM on WPBT 2, 2 hr 2014
    Part 1 of 2. The history of the massive National Security Agency surveillance program that started after September 11th, featuring remarks from intelligence insiders, cabinet officials and government whistle-blowers. Included: how the U.S. government came to monitor the communications of millions of Americans and to collect billions of records on ordinary people around the world.

  3. The Internet in the US is already crappy enough! Way behind many countries in speed and price. Downgrading what we peons have access to can only have a negative effect on massive parts of the economy — all that part which is driven by small businesses.

    1. The problem with the US being behind in high speed internet is it’s big and the population is spread out. It’s easier for small countries with most of it’s population in cites to run run new and better pipe. A better comparison would be the EU as a whole; that’s true about almost every comparison to an EU state. For those nations that are better, and worse, we should look at their laws on the ISP’s. Why do US lawmakers ignore what works, and doesn’t, in other nations?

    1. Some psychopathic biznizz bozo smells $$$, so they destroy the source in order to wring out that $$$. It’s as old as the financial gaming system itself.

      The trick is for people who are NOT psychopathic to kick the psychopaths IN-THE-BALLS and put them away in straitjackets where they belong.

  4. Tom Wheeler has expanded the issues and questions raised in his ‘open Internet’ proposal to sway his two Democratic colleagues on the five-member panel, though some consumer advocates remain unhappy.

    There aren’t any ‘consumer advocates’ who ARE happy about the denigration of the Internet Mr. Thomas Wheeler (and his puppet masters in the media oligarchy) is perpetrating.

    Thursday, May 15, may well be the day the REAL ‘open Internet’, REAL Net Neutrality, DIES THE DEATH.

    IASSOTS.

    The immediate solution: BOOT OUT Mr. Thomas Wheeler from the FCC. To hell with him and his crony media oligarchy.

  5. The government wants control,,,,nothing you or I can do about it, they will get it. All that remains to to make it look as if they care about the public. This is true not just for the internet, it is true for all things of power.

  6. Where do you think the chairman of the FCC worked before this? Where do you think the previous chairman of the FCC works now? It’s a rigged game and big money talks. This is probably the most important thing going on now. Bigger then new hardware, software or anything else. This is the future. Contact your representative and senators.

      1. Cable companies and TelCos used to be regulated and were given the right of franchise and imminent domain by local governments years ago. Now they are essentially unregulated, but want the old advantages without the responsibilities.

        Tell AT&T, Verizon and Comcast that they can avoid common carrier status by paying every property owner for the rights of way they currently use through our land. They can pay us or they can be regulated as common carriers- they can make the call.

        1. Uh…sorry. It don’t work that way.

          Utilities go in before properties are developed and get an easement (not eminent domain), which means they have access to THEIR property located on yours or beyond yours when there is no other way to access it and works that way in pretty much all of civilized society.

          *(BTW, where is your ‘social consciousness’? Why should your ownership of property keep others around you from getting utilities?)*

          -Also, cable is not Title II, so they have never been in the same regulation ‘control’ as power and phone, although they have to follow the same construction, electrical, and safety codes as phone and power PLUS they have to pay pole fees annually for EVERY attachment to EVERY pole be it power’s or phone’s.

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