FCC hopes its rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ survive inevitable litigation

“The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Friday the agency is moving ‘with dispatch’ to write rules on how broadband Internet providers treat traffic on their networks, while attempting to ensure that the rules can stand up in court,” Gautham Nagesh reports for The Wall Street Journal.

Obama “has urged the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as a utility or common carrier, and then ban them from blocking, slowing down or speeding up individual websites,” Nagesh reports. “Mr. Wheeler had been reluctant to use the common carrier part of telecommunications law in writing the rules.”

“FCC officials have delayed a vote until next year to give the agency more time to develop rules that will stand up in court,” Nagesh reports. “‘We are going to get sued, because that’s the history,’ Mr. Wheeler said. ‘We don’t want to ignore history. We want to come out with good rules that accomplish what we need to accomplish: no blocking, no throttling, no fast-lane discrimination…and we want those rules to be in place after a court decision.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Obama-appointed FCC chairman distances himself from Obama on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 12, 2014
What does so-called ‘net neutrality’ mean for Apple? – November 12, 2014
AT&T to pause fiber investment until net neutrality rules are decided – November 12, 2014
U.S. FCC plays Russian Roulette with so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner: Republicans will continue efforts to stop misguided scheme to regulate the Internet – November 10, 2014
Tech Freedom: Obama cynically exploits confusion over Title II, misses opportunity to lead on legislative deal – November 10, 2014
Obama want FCC to regulate the Internet; Cruz calls it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’ – November 10, 2014

84 Comments

        1. …wait, this just in. (tickety-tickety-tickety..)
          WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama announced in a press conference this morning that he has appointed Mr. Ed to fill the hotly contested senate seat in Louisiana. Mr. Ed, when asked for a comment, neighed, “Willllburrrrrr.” The odds-on-favorite Senate hopeful, Buttermilk, expressed her disappointment, calling the appointment a sexist night”mare” and demanded to see the photofinish.

            1. Just ignore his fascist rant. His meds were late arriving. He couldn’t pull the strap to release the arms on his white jacket fast enough to trip over Mussolini’s bust and run to the door to answer the Walmart pharmacy delivery truck. Poor loon.

            2. 1. Fascism is defined as a an authoritarian, right-wing form of government. I am a Jeffersonian democrat, the polar opposite of fascism.
              2. I take no prescription medicine.
              3. A straitjacket, by design, is impossible for the user to “pull a strap” for release,as that would defeat its purpose.
              4. A bust is on a pedestal, thus tripping over one is hardly possible.
              5. Walmart does not provide home delivery of pharmaceuticals or anything else.

              Congratulations, you have just batted .000

        2. If only we could find a truly noble and honorable person somewhere, to lead the country – someone to inspire by the quality of his character, his caring for others, his outstanding positive attitude.

          Yehhhhh! botvinnik for President!

          1. You’re right, John!

            I looked up an article on the qualities of a great leader. Some were:
            Character
            Charisma
            Communication
            Generosity
            Listening
            Positive Attitude
            Getting along with others
            Self discipline

            Who does that make you think of? Botty!!! Yeah! Botty for President.

            1. Thank you for your support, Cocoa Boy. My first executive order, as your new el presidenté, will be to appoint you as Secretary Of The Department Of Band Camps. Your vast experience in whining for mama, your mastery of “This Old Man” on the clarinet, your finesse in window peeking in the girls’ cabins, but. most of all: your magic recipe for s’mores..there simply is no other candidate for this great responsibility.

            2. A couple of BIG differences between me and you, botvijerk:
              – I don’t think I’m the holder of ultimate truth
              – I don’t act like a poisonous jerk towards just about everybody who posts here.

  1. Utilities are granted official monopoly-like access to distribute commodities like old-fashioned wired phone service, electricity, natural gas, and water. The flip side is their profits are regulated by utility boards and their profits are limited by law; often to about ten percent.

    Obama and similar libtards just can’t have it both ways; where they allow free enterprise-like competition but simultaneously erect barriers limiting how the practitioners can balance creating an appealing service to attract customers with managing finite bandwidth.

    And, by the way, unless an ISP has glass fiber all the way to houses, bandwidth is decidedly finite. There will always be freeloaders out there who want to offer $6.99 phone service with “unlimited calling to anywhere in the world” because they can just attach to the Internet and get a free ride without having to build any damned infrastructure whatsoever. The ISPs should be able to throttle the living crap out such turds if they want to. Why? Because, libtard thinking aside, there is no free lunch.

    Government works best when it uses laws and regulations to foster a competitive business environment and gets the hell out of the way to let business do what business does best: get lean and aggressively compete or die.

    To those who would assail me for thinking like—and probably looking like Rush Limbaugh—I have two things to say:

    1) Like Margaret Thatcher once said, “The trouble with socialism is you eventually run out of someone else’s money.”

    2) If you don’t already own a single stock (a bit of ownership in a company you have confidence in), go buy some. Eventually you’ll “get it.”

    1. ‘They’ will never understand this since ‘they’ are not equipped to. Way too much reality to deal with there.

      (and BTW, some ISPs do throttle/block/don’t support Magic Jack because of 911 issues)

    2. “…and gets the hell out of the way to let business do what business does best: get lean and aggressively compete or die.”

      Really? When was the last time a cable company died, or had even a semblance of competition for that matter? People like you keep talking about this fantasy world where there is actual competition in internet delivery. It doesn’t exist. It hasn’t existed since the cable and telephone companies started bundling internet service with cable TV and telephone. There is no meaningful competition. I can have Comcast or I can do without.

      And bandwidth is not finite. It’s limited only by how much infrastructure the cable company wants to build. If there were 5 cable companies vying for my business the speeds would go up and prices would go down. With a de facto monopoly prices go up and speeds go down, as they have been doing for some time now. This is the real world, not a libertarian fantasy. The end result of unbridled capitalism is predatory business practices, consolidation, exorbitant pricing, and customer abuse. Welcome to reality.

      1. I agree with you 100%, but good luck dragging these “free market” lunatics out of their utopian delusion and into reality.

        Like so many arguments from Republicans, I agree with them (somewhat) in principle/theory, but it just doesn’t work in the real world.

      2. Awe… jeez, Zeke. Try reading what you wrote and see if you believe any of what you just wrote. “And bandwidth is not finite. It’s limited only by how much infrastructure the cable company wants to build.” That’s like saying “Freeway capacity is not limited; it’s only limited by how many freeways governments build.”

        Your argument reminds me of the nonsense dolts will say who want less congestion on freeways but don’t want gasoline taxes to increase and don’t want to have toll booths; they just want ‘pleasant outcomes,’ faster commutes, and don’t want to bother their pretty heads about how any of such services are served up on users’ plates.

        The argument isn’t about whether or not you are displeased or not with your internet service and want lots more of ‘good stuff’ stacked high on your plate and want to pay much less for it.

        It’s about whether freeloader content providers who inject thousands of simultaneous video streams onto that “free” black hose called the Internet—and make regular Internet service for everyone else slow to a crawl—should be required by the ISPs to pay for the disruption they cause.

        In the Netflix/Combast case, Netflix had to pay up for exclusive access to reserved bandwidth (there’s only so much) on the cable lines that’s not used for regular Internet traffic.

        Try to stay on-topic next time you. Deflecting the argument from what this article is about (government messing with commerce) by hopping up and down complaining about how you are so very displeased with your cable service isn’t a real argument.

        And as for your proud statement that broadband capacity is not finite because companies like Comcast can just more of the stuff (all the while apparently not charging Zeke any more money per month because Zeke wants more for less) betrays you have a galactic misunderstanding of how anything works in the real world.

        1. For you and all the other clueless Tea Partiers, you need to wake up and realize that you’ve been duped. You’ve succumbed to the politics of scarcity argument. Any scarcity of bandwidth is an artificially created situation, enabled by the fact that cable companies and telcos are the beneficiaries of government created monopolies. If there were 5 providers all vying for my business we would find out what the true price of internet connectivity is, but as it stands, I can’t drop Comcast and get my cable and internet from Time-Warner. Neither can I dump Frontier and get my DSL from AT&T. This is exactly the way the big providers like it. They are able to kill all competition for ISP services by small independents through predatory pricing of internet service because they can bundle it with phone and cable TV. They have just enough regulation to protect their monopolies, but not enough to dictate service levels or pricing. They like it this way. They claim that it would be cost prohibitive to build more capacity, when the truth is that they are providing exactly the level of service at exactly the price level that the most people will tolerate without cutting the cord to their services. If you knew as much about business as you think you know you’d understand that there’s a standard pricing/service calculus that ensures the highest profits at the lowest expense by fine tuning the services provided, and the pricing for same so that the maximum number of customers aren’t quite dissatisfied enough to forego your services. Of course, it works much better when there are either no competitors your customers can flee to, or a limited number of “competitors” with whom you can collude to informally set minimum prices. That is exactly where the cable and telco industry find themselves today, exactly in the middle of that sweet spot.

          These companies aren’t mining gold, or making smart phones, or growing crops. They aren’t selling widgets. There’s no practical finite limit to how much capacity they could provide given sufficient incentive.

          Why is it that Tea Party types are always willing to believe that lowering tax rates increases revenue, but are skeptical that competition will reduce prices, and increase speed and capacity in industries like content delivery?

      3. No kidding. Zeke’s argument that the ISPs should just make more infrastructure, not throttle data hogs, and simultaneously charge Zeke less is the argument of a 4th grader who just wants it all. If he doesn’t want “umbridled capitalism” he should just go to any number of the South American countries where things work so very splendidly. I’ve worked in the “evil American petroleum industry” down there and know what it’s like in many of those countries that provide “free internet.”

        1. No shit. I just got back from Venezuela where the Internet is free for all comers. Except because the service is offered up by the government and is artificially subsidized, the only “regular households” that can get a connection are those of top officials. You have to go to Internet cafes if you are a regular joe.

          It’s the old “You want it good, fast, and cheap? Pick two and call me in the morning.”

          It’s an illusion to say “I want it good AND fast, AND cheap and getting the government involved makes that happen because there IS A FREE LUNCH and I want it.”

          1. Canada has more oil but can’t ship it threw next decade’s pipelines because Obama says no.

            As for going out of the oil compound, most of Western Canada’s bars, motels and restaurants would die overnight if they the workers were stuck at the drill rigs.

            1. I’m an American citizen and I say “no” to the pipeline as well, because it won’t benefit our country, and comes with lots of environmental risks as well.

            2. Nice try. It won’t create very many jobs at all:

              An independent review by the agency, made public Jan. 31, found that while the project would create about 2,000 short-term construction jobs over two years (or 3,900 if construction took only a year), actually running the pipeline would provide just 50 long-term positions.

    1. On the face of it it’s a bad thing for ISPs to block or throttle particular services for commercial reasons – the whole point of the internet, and why it worked so well, was permissionless innovation. But regulating to prevent that behaviour risks all sorts of unintended consequences – the ISPs may rely on selling TV services to justify the cost of building fibre, for example, and on mobile all traffic is throttled, if only because the network has limited capacity, so it’s just a question of how you throttle, not whether. Letting lawyers set rules for network engineers is tricky.”

  2. Personally, I wish the people bitching and moaning about how horrible this is would suggest actual workable alternative solutions to the very real and frustrating problem many of us experience with ISPs that purposely degrade the quality of our internet access on a daily basis because they know they can get away with it due to lack of competition.

    1. How about starting from you paying more? I pay $100/month for 1Gbps service. Everytime I run speedtest, I get 820/820 down/up which is payload speed after overhead.

      1. There is no option to pay more to have Comcast refrain from throttling my connection down to abysmal speeds (regardless of whether it’s a standard or business class connection) if they detect an torrent activity on it. Cue the inevitable bullshit “you shouldn’t be torrenting because only people who are breaking the law use torrents” line which is both false and also completely misses the point that it shouldn’t matter what I am doing on my connection as long as it is not illegal, which it isn’t at all. I’m not torrenting movies or anything else illegal, and torrent is a nice way to offload the burden of sharing files with others; but ISPs have painted it with the “EVIL” flag regardless.

      2. Nor is there any way for me to pay Comcast more just so that i can watch Netflix. There is no such option. And it’s already been shown by those with a clue that Comcast purposely degraded Netflix activity for months on end until they finally extorted money from Netflix. Then as if by magic, things got better for pee-on customers.

        Again, I wish the people bitching and moaning about how horrible this is would suggest actual workable alternative solutions.

        1. Don’t have cable, or satellite, but s as I understand it, some city’s/areas have “agreements” making one cabal the only supplier available in their locations. Where this is the case, there is no competition, thus no reason for one company to offer better options to retain, or attract customers.

          1. No, that’s definitely not what I said. I did mention Netflix for a reason: For many months Netflix was unbearably slow here, to the point of being basically unwatchable during peak hours – until Comcast extorted money from Netflix. Then, as if by magic, Netflix started working correctly.

            And we have proof that Comcast/Verizon were purposely and needlessly doing this to extort money from Netflix: https://medium.com/backchannel/jammed-e474fc4925e4

            Completely ignoring what I said about Netflix to jump on the “torrents suck” bandwagon isn’t going to earn you many points here.

            1. First, I don’t give two shits about points.

              Second, I have had Comcast for almost three years and have never had one issue with Netflix, Amazon Prime or iTunes streaming. OK? So, when someone complains about Comcast throttling any of them, I know better and thus why I was more curious about the torrent.

              Most people have no clue how broadband works. They think just because fiber is almost instantaneous RF operates the same. It doesn’t.

              You could live in an area that had terrific throughput (which is more important than speed, although more speed allows more throughput but doesn’t guarantee it) and have a new neighborhood constructed in that same node, an ad blitz that signed up more of your neighbors, or (more likely) and issue with ANY MECHANICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN YOU AND THE NODE. Any and all of these add up to slower throughput and/or speed.

              HOWEVER, if you have been using torrents a lot, whether legal or not, the point is it ties up bandwidth. PERIOD. The way cable plants are built is for areas to share access, like most highways during regular to light traffic. When everyone gets home at night, it’s like a traffic jam at rush hour. DOCSIS 3.0 is supposed to help this by shifting bandwidth away from light areas (downtown at night) to areas that use it heavier (suburbs at night, and vice-versa). This may be slowly getting rolled out in your area, but it requires modems that can handle this traffic shifting. Getting those to a large portion of the customer base does not happen overnight.

              Now, back to torrents. You say it is your right if they are legal. No, it isn’t. Bandwidth caps are seldom used because they piss people off, but if you ever get to see internet traffic use you will see certain people who torrent and gamers who go constantly and then wonder why at some point their traffic is slowed. The answer is because they are hogging. They are driving a three lane wide-load down a four lane highway. What does this mean for you? Well, you can get all upset about it and demand the Federal government take over just so you can have more access, OR you can realize that most ISPs are upgrading their systems constantly to add more capacity. Regulations will NOT change this because it can only be done physically at a certain pace and also there are cost considerations.

              Now let’s wave a magic wand and say everyone’s speeds have been doubled overnight and your issues are over. Guess what? In a few months, people with faster computers, bigger files, more time to watch movies will catch up again because of so much ‘cloud computing’. It’s a never ending battle, and some will never be happy.

            2. of all your rational, salient points, this one stands out to me: “…Guess what? In a few months, people with faster computers, bigger files..” Like 4k video, for instance.

              Is that not the very definition of progress? The Federal Government didn’t bring users from text only 300 baud to 4k video streaming to inevitably every American consumer who wants it…competitive business and demand did.

            3. it is not a science fiction masturbation that in our lifetime, streaming holography can be made available to consumers via the miracle of digital technology. Considering the history of the last thirty years of incredible expansion and progress, it is free choice, competition and demand that allows this to happen. And not a government-imposed, bureaucratic Department Of Fucknuts.

            4. As long as cable, FIOS, DSL and LTE are competing by upping the ante, smaller systems will gain in speed by the trickle down reality, which is as bigger systems upgrade, medium systems get the used equipment to up their speeds and smaller systems get the medium systems equipment to up those speeds.

              Technology moves pretty fast, so not every new improvement gets deployed company wide. There is a fairly large market for used equipment to be moved around like this. It gives smaller companies a longer ROI on equipment bought this year for their major systems that can end up in a ‘tiny’ system in 2-4 years.

            5. Well, it WAS a good thing that the government broke up the AT&T monopoly. I wonder what we’d have today if a large and lethargic AT&T had survived?

            6. TowerTone blabbed: “I have had Concast for almost three years and have never had one issue with Netflix, Amazon Prime or iTunes streaming. OK? So, when someone complains about Concast throttling any of them, I know better”

              So because you didn’t notice or experience something, nobody else could have possibly experienced it? That’s pure bullshit. anyhow, we have definitive proof that ISPs are purposely and needlessly degrading connectivity to extort money from Netflix: https://medium.com/backchannel/jammed-e474fc4925e4

              TowerTone blabbed: “if you have been using torrents a lot, whether legal or not, the point is it ties up bandwidth”

              More bullshit. I limit my my total torrent bandwidth to 1 megabit per second. I pay Concast each month for a 20 megabit down / 5 megabit up connection – plenty more than I am using for torrents, and despite that, Concast throttles my connection down to a ridiculous 0.27 megabit down / 0.36 megabit up speed if they detect any torrent activity, regardless of the amount of bandwidth it actually uses. This clearly has little to do with bandwidth consumption, as you wrongly suggest.

              TowerTone blabbed: “DOCSIS 3.0 is supposed to help this by shifting bandwidth away from light areas (downtown at night) to areas that use it heavier (suburbs at night, and vice-versa). This may be slowly getting rolled out in your area, but it requires modems that can handle this traffic shifting. Getting those to a large portion of the customer base does not happen overnight.”

              You’re out of touch. Concast rolled out DOCSYS 3 way back in 2008 here, I have a DOCSYS 3 modem, and the Netflix fiasco hit us hard anyway. It clearly had nothing to do with that.

              TowerTone blabbed: “Bandwidth caps are seldom used because they piss people off”

              More bullshit. Everyone with a clue know when you purchase an internet plan, it is capped at a certain maximum speed.

              TowerTone blabbed: “but if you ever get to see internet traffic use you will see certain people who torrent and gamers who go constantly and then wonder why at some point their traffic is slowed. The answer is because they are hogging”

              If I purchase a connection with speeds up to 5 megabit, and I use all 5 megabits of what I purchased, I am not a “hog”, I am simply using the connection I purchased. And despite your silly claim otherwise, the connection definitely is capped at that maximum speed. And, again, any time I have torrented on Concast’s connection, I have ensured my maximum bandwidth consumption for torrents is only 1/5th of the total speed of my connection; yet Concast degrades my entire connection to ridiculous speeds anyway. This clearly is not about bandwidth hogging as you wrongly suggest.

    2. But but but but……that’s not the far-right way!!!!

      They just state their position, based in some principle or catchphrase, and then stick with it no matter how unworkable or how many times it’s been proven wrong.

    1. It is the Murdoch Street Journal published by the Aussie Reich Winger (Murdoch, a.k.a. Satan) who bought his American citizenship so he could buy TV stations to propagandize the American public with. Like a cancer, his empire of bullshit- fueled by lowbrow content and disinformation- grows and metastasizes.

            1. As I always say: Reality resides inside each person’s inner world. Good luck getting most people to actually take a good look at the REAL word and learn from it. Obviously, from my POV, this applies to BOTH dire lefties and dire righties. Why NeoCons even exist is beyond my comprehension. All I’ve ever seen them do is destroy Destroy DESTROY. I expect exactly the same in the future. Sorry to put a crack in your fragile inner world. Not.

            2. Perceived reality resides inside each person’s mind, of course. Reality isn’t necessarily truth. Truth is without guile, interpretation or vanity. It is the rock.

              Or as Aristotle once said: A=A.

            3. The classic example: Not a person here 600 years ago would argue against the sun coming up in the morning. It comes “up.” Up, by definition, is above down. But that is a perceived reality, not the truth. Occasionally, in the haphazard searching through chaos, a Galileo comes along and finds a truth. A=A. Truth never changes, no volume of countless “realities” can make it change. I should think this is the noble goal of civilization.

  3. Does anyone know if, during the time when Comcast was throttling Netflix, all users were affected evenly? I mean I’d assume if you had the cheapest service allowed, then you should have been impacted more than the folks on the higher tier accounts.

    Because, if EVERYONE was impacted, then folks paying more then and now are likely getting no better than the same level of access to Netflix.

  4. I highly recommend this article for everyone that thinks the Netflix-Comcast issue is a Net Neutrality problem.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/comcast-vs-netflix-is-this-really-about-net-neutrality/

    And don’t let the C/NET moniker fool you, it is explained in depth very well.

    Now, be forewarned….this article is only for those that REALLY want to understand.

    For some of you die hard uber leftist that insist on constant complaining, don’t waste your time…..Or ours

    1. It a so called net neutrality so called problem… perhaps 😉

      Found this in the article:
      “The other option is to distribute its traffic more evenly among other CDNs that are delivering traffic to Comcast”

      Found this in the article the writer linked to:
      “Prior to our agreement to interconnect directly with Comcast, Netflix purchased all available transit capacity into Comcast’s networks from multiple transit providers”

      The article he linked to is from May 8th and indicates that Netflix had performed one of the remedy actions that she described and still saw poor connections for their Comcast customers. Now it COULD be that in October 2013 Netflix saw meteoric growth but that growth was primarily limited to Comcast. Thus, from October until January 2014, there may have been enough combined stress on Comcast’s network to cause the degradation described (did Netflix have some deal go into effect that might yield lots of new customers specifically over Comcast?)

      She _does_ do that bit at the end where she indicates that, ok, maybe THIS thing wasn’t net neutrality related (as she’s described net neutrality), but what it WAS could still do with some regulation. She seems to be in favor of Interconnect Negotiation Neutrality 🙂

      1. So did it help you understand the difference?
        The vagueness of what is actually occurring vs what many describe as being fixed by Net Neutering is the point I am trying to make.

        Obama will use this and his low-info supporters to move on badgering to FCC to install NN when it in fact has no bearing.

        Whether a separate type of agreement or regulation for CDNs is needed is another discussion altogether.

        1. Yeah, but you almost wonder if Comcast maybe should have let “treat all content the same” to just pass, maybe even support it because it would have kept the government out of the area where they actually wield power, those “interconnect agreements”.

          If people pick up on what she’s saying, they could just pile that onto the whole “net neutrality” thing and that could hand Comcast a far more onerous situation than if they had accepted content neutrality.

    2. I think the fact that TowerTone automatically labels anyone who disagrees with him an “uber leftist” says everything we need to know about the quality of his character. 😉

  5. The source article is ACTUALLY entitled:
    FCC Hoping Its Net Neutrality Rules Survive Inevitable Litigation
    Agency Moving ‘With Dispatch’ to Write Regulations on Equal Treatment of Internet Traffic”

    So: What is MDN’s stake in INVENTING re-titles that state”
    SO-CALLED ‘NET NEUTRALITY’
    Hmm?
    Is this Neo-Con-Job speak? AKA twisted propaganda designed to screw with the heads of MDN readers?

    I thank myself for not keeping in touch with any of the propaganda teets. No left lunacy. Nor right retardation. So, perhaps someone who pays attention to the insanity mills can tell me what this ‘so-called “net neutrality”‘ bullshit is all about?

    Come on! I want some really good flaming here!

    1. MDN headline is perfect.

      It casts a skeptical eye on the Orwellian wording pumped out by the current administration for six years running.

      It is NOT a Neo Con job. It IS a PC Far Left con job.

      But based on your poli-tard posts, I don’t believe you will ever see it for what it really is.

      The rest of us simply have to live with mindless masses of presidential voters repercussions that know nothing about truth in labeling or what they are voting for.

      So, you can blame everyone and anyone except the party you support. Traveling that noncritical path will not help much in the long run.

      1. I never went political about ‘so-called’. But I have been pointing out Obama’s hypocrisy about Net Neutrality.

        The problem with poliTardism is the knee jerk assumption that everyone else lives on the 1dimensional poliTard spectrum. I don’t. I live in 3D! I don’t like either of the worthless political parties! I’ve stated this fact so often I’m sick of it and so is anyone else who can think in 3D.

        So please: Know what you’re talking about before you flame someone. Your flaming arrow just landed in your own hair. You’re on fire. I’m amused. 😛

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