Who loves the FCC’s overreach on so-called ‘net neutrality?’ Telecom lawyers

“The day after the FCC’s net neutrality vote, Washington was downright frigid. I’d spoken at three events about the ruling, mentioning at each that the order could be overturned in court. I was tired and ready to go home,” Geoffrey A. Manne writes for Wired. “I could see my Uber at the corner when I felt a hand on my arm. The woman’s face was anxious. ‘I heard your talk,’ she said.’If net neutrality is overturned, will I still be able to Skype with my son in Turkey?'”

“The question reveals the problem with the supposed four million comments submitted in support of net neutrality. Almost no one really gets it,” Manne writes. “Fewer still understand Title II, the regulatory tool the FCC just invoked to impose its conception of net neutrality on the Internet.”

“Some internet engineers and innovators do get it. Mark Cuban rightly calls the uncertainty created by Title II a ‘Whac-a-Mole environment,’ driven by political whims,” Manne writes. “And telecom lawyers? They love it: whatever happens, the inevitable litigation will mean a decade’s worth of job security. As I’ve said in technically detailed comments, academic coalition letters, papers, and even here at Wired, while ‘net neutrality’ sounds like a good idea, it isn’t. And reclassifying the internet under Title II, an antiquated set of laws repurposed in the 1930s for Ma Bell, is the worst way to regulate dynamic digital services.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The shortsightedness, be it feigned or real, coupled with a seemingly insatiable lust for power and control emanating from Washington D.C. is a recipe for disaster after disaster.

As we wrote over eight years ago: We usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for just one example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so extensive regulations can have unintended, unforeseen results down the road.

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U.S. FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ expected to unleash slew of court challenges – February 26, 2015
EFF: ‘We are deeply concerned; FCC’s new rules include provision that sounds like a recipe for overreach’ – February 25, 2015
The U.S. FCC’s Orwellian Internet policy – February 25, 2015
Democratic FCC commissioner balks at so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 24, 2015
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FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: Obama’s plan a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet – February 10, 2015
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FCC chairman proposes to regulate ISP’s under Title II – February 4, 2015
U.S. congressional Republicans’ bill aims to head off Obama’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ plan – January 17, 2015
U.S. Congressional proposal offers Internet rules of the road – January 15, 2015
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79 Comments

    1. To be fair, most consumers favour of net neutrality.

      And the fearmongering this article has is unfounded. Voice mobile communications are regulated under Title II for decades, and there were no “overregulations” about this (nor additional taxes or whatever).

  1. Google, twitter, facebook, microsoft, netflix, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (which usually fights against government involvement) have all expressed support of this FCC decision.

    So have an overwhelming majority of public statements from other internet businesses and most tech websites. We know that ISPs are against it, but strangely ISP stocks responded POSITIVELY to the FCC news. Maybe not so bad even for the ISPs.

    However, the headline to this story (“FCC Overreach”) is clearly slanting in a rightward political direction.

    1. Who among those companies you listed read all of the final 302 pages of regulations that was supposed to be released to the public before the vote, but not in Obama’s world. Not another one of those “you have to pass it, in order to know what’s in it” moments that we all know how well that worked for health care!

      1. Wrong again. Everyone who had to pass it (ie vote on it) saw it BEFORE voting on it. This is not congressional legislation. Its a ruling by the FCC, all of whom saw it before voting on it.

        As tempted as I am (and I really am) I will not respond to your obama care reference since this is, in fact, a tech site.

        1. That is not the way it works idiot. Public input is supposed to be on the proposed regulations AS WRITTEN. . . every word of them, not some amorphous idea. They are supposed to be published and available for 90 days during which the public can comment and object on every word, sentence, paragraph, page, section, or the whole thing in its entirety. . . or even file suit against it.

          1. Name calling is always persuasive. Good job and thank you very much.

            And yes this IS the way it always works. The FCC never publishes the ruling until after the vote. They take all the input before MAKING the ruling.

            1. Why do you love the centralized federal government so much when everything they touch pretty much turns to shit?

              I remember when Libs hated the government and couldn’t wait to protest whatever had their panties in a bunch that day. What happened? Why and how did you simps fall in love with a bloated, inefficient, corrupt bureaucracy? Is it because you figured that was the only way to impose your addled crap failed theories upon the rest of America?

            2. But luckily a plucky band of multibillionaires are gearing up for the next election – to make this land beautiful once again, and to increase the common good.

            3. They love in because they are in control today. Wait til the other side takes control. When both sides have had their turns at ruling, we will all be laid out like pitiful rape victims waiting for the next rapist.

            4. Supporting one ruling of the FCC is not the same as loving the federal government.

              I don’t know why you even comment, you fall into partisan mumbling every time.

            5. Fwhatever, why do you always assume that anyone who disagrees with you are either in love with the government of hate America? You are a binary person in a hexadecimal world.

              People other than you can reason and decide for themselves. The answer is not to hate and not to polarize every situation as the people against the government.

            6. The FCC is a commission created by Congress. The commissioners are unelected and frankly give Congress cover so that we don’t blame Congress if everything goes south. As for the (U)ACA, please note that BCBS and all the insurance companies loved it because they were in on writing the legislation. We were the “stupid voters” to quote its architect. Congress got to see it? Do you mean the Dems who were behind the doors during its writing or the Reps who were the shut-out opposition? And how many of those thousands of pages do you think they were able to read in those few days??? But out of those pages, numerous commissions and panels and administrations are established. And out of those pages and associated commissions, panels and administrations have already come regulations that affect your life and mine. And it doesn’t stop there. For years to come, many interpretations will be made of the law and commissions behind doors will draw up new regulations. Do you see the spiral? Net neutrality is a doorway to the future of what you have in healthcare. At some point do you not think, “Hey, the politicians lie. And I tell my kids not to trust them. What am I doing?” The government is made up of people who generally have the best of intentions – and we know where all good intentions lead us. Hopefully, you will live to see the day that your children lose their freedoms because you and people like you waved the banner to make a federal case of everything. The government is the most inefficient means of accomplishing ANY goal. It has proven that throughout the life of the country. It’s reach is broad and its care for the individual is nonexistent. And when you stare into the eyes of one of its bureaucrats in any of its agencies, you should always be aware of that. If your old, you know how social security has disappointed. It’s only one of numerous well-intended programs. As you see content on the net come slowly more and more under the control of the government, you will have only yourself and those who share you view to blame. Come back here and I’m sure someone will give you a mirror.

            7. Why should the internet be special? Why should government absolutely leave the internet and its management up to the whims of the private sector? The internet has become highly important to the economy and to our lives, and there is nothing wrong with establishing a good set of rules to guide its evolution.

              Net neutrality has simply become the latest chess piece in the partisan game, along with immigration reform, minimum wage, health care, etc.

            8. This is NOT a ruling, idiot. It is the creation of a new regulation. That REQUIRES exactly what I outlined for you. That is why I called you what you are. The FCC can make rulings on organizations that are in violation of existing regulations, but this is NOT that. In fact, they do not have authority to do what they are doing here. Congress is the only governmental body that can legislate. . . and they did in 1996 when they explicitly excluded the Internet from FCC regulatory oversight. The FCC is making an end run around that 1996 law by arbitrarily deciding that Internet service providers and other certain other internet providers are “NOT PART OF THE INTERNET” by the FCC’s own new definition. . . as part of their new regulation which they are now passing. That is circular reasoning to end all circular reasoning. . . and patently illegal for an appointed executive department’s regulatory body to define a clearly defined private entity into its authority contrary to obvious legislative intent to thwart the clear intent of the law.

        2. Everyone who had to vote on?myou mean the thre democrats and two republicans…. Like the ACA you don’t want to talk about, it’s a bullshit politically motivated takeover of free enterprise. How the Democrats can call themselves that when Marxism is their core value is beyond me.

          Oh, yeah, that doesn’t sell well with the American public who like to think their free…..

        3. @petelp Everyone except i.e. the people’s ELECTED representatives who put the call out for this Wheeler guy to make the 300 page regulations public prior to the vote that went unheeded. This from the most transparent administration ever! Why would they not release it prior? What harm would there have been in doing that. Just don’t come crying when Net Neutrality becomes something it wasn’t thought or supposed to be. Especially, when this is just part one from what I read. More of this BS to follow, especially with the competency that is government. THAT is where the Obamacare reference comes in even though this is a tech site. Obamacare may have gone swimmingly well for you and others but not for me AND ESPECIALLY MY 87 YEAR OLD FATHER, BUDDY! So don’t go there, I don’t care HOW TEMPTED YOU ARE!!! I WILL RIP YOU A NEW ONE WITH MY EXPERIENCES AND THE SHIT I HAD TO DEAL WITH BECAUSE OF THAT DAMN LAW AND THIS FUCKING GOVERNMENT. I hope I have made myself clear! Have a nice day.

          1. There’s a HUGE difference.
            On the one hand, we have the use of “overreach” in a sentence preceded by “sounds like”.
            On the other hand, we have the heading at top of this page which PRESUMES it IS overeach and asks who loves it. This is a construction on a similar level of intellect as, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

      1. I have *personally* talked to senior management of several mid size ISPs and a couple small ones about the country. (I didn’t talk to any senior people at COMCAST, TWC or any of their ilk because their stance has already been publicly stated.)

        Literally NONE (yes, NONE) of them had any objections to the new rules. And yes, they had gotten their hands on the full document. I explicitly asked.

        A couple even went so far as to say they expected to be able to provide better service, increase services, and maybe even decrease some of their fees based upon the new rules. (Though I doubt that last part.)

        How many ISPs have you personally talked to?

        1. Bullshit.
          And I work for one.

          Neither of those have ANY bearing on assigning Title II for one regulation, which is tantamount to passing Obamacare just to insure a few million people.
          Oh, wait……

          Now explain to me how ANY of that will provide faster access, better service, competition, lower fees, cheaper medication, cheaper hospital stays….(and good luck)

            1. If you can’t see the parallels then you are as clueless as the rest of the left.

              The basic plot is; spot easily fooled, build up resentment with half-truths, drop something shiny…..

            2. Yet you can’t answer my ‘simple-minded’ question.
              What does that say about you???

              Again, how SPECIFICALLY will this change anything for the good?

              You don’t walk through a desert on the chance there might be water on there other side. Go back to where you know it is, fool.

              Figure it out.

            3. Then Obama is absolutely CLUELESS as he had to use Bush all the time to explain his predicament on why things didn’t go great after HE was elected!

        2. They don’t know how much the litigation will cost until the regulations affect them. Litigation is an expense that goes to the bottom line. Companies exist to make a profit. As litigation expenses increase and bottom lines begin to decrease, they will still have to make a profit, hence raising the price to consumers on top of the taxes that will need to be collected to execute this regulation. Uncertainty is the name of the game right now and any executive of any ISP who tells you differently today is feeding you a line of bs. Until the regulators have their way with the law and the market, nobody can predict anything.

        1. “out of context quote” is Democrat for ‘shit, I didn’t mean to admit that’.

          NetFlix will not gain from this, and they decided NN wasn’t worth it in Australia.

            1. I have. Have you never heard of Mitt Romney or Bill O’Reilly.

              You’re still arguing this but already lost the argument. My later link makes it clear they still support N.N.

              All they said in YOUR link was that they would have preferred to get to net neutrality without the FCC having to resort to title II. EVERYONE would have preferred that ISPs agree to NN without title 2. BUT THEY WOULDN’T

              you’re beating a dead horse.

            2. Yup, even the FCC chairman wanted to avoid using Title II, but the cable companies go that shot down in court.

              The partisans here don’t have a clue, and don’t propose better solutions.

            3. Wow. So you’re a dead horse?
              Finally something I agree with.

              I’m not going to school-child argue with you about who’s article said what.

              Just riddle me this: How will Common Carrier help make your browsing faster, cheaper and give access to more people?

              I have all week for you to be specific.

            4. TowerTone,

              If carriers are not allowed to prioritize data based on where it comes from or what kind of data it is, then new start ups on the Internet don’t have to pay a toll to get equal access to customers who have already paid for that bandwidth.

              That is good for economic growth for everyone but consolidating ISPs who would like to use their gatekeeper status to double charge for bandwidth customers have already paid for.

              Nobody thinks Title II is the best solution, not even the FCC. They have already crossed off over two dozen Title II regulations as not appropriate for achieving net neutrality, including any control of prices or bandwidths, etc. The FCC is making this as narrow a ruling as it can.

              If you have a better way to keep the Internet unbiased despite the market consolidation then suggest it.

            5. It is already prioritized, nevermark.
              And this does not change that.
              Think of all the different charges for upload speeds and data caps.
              That is a form of prioritization.

              Nor will it change the exemptions this administration will give as favors as it did with insurance waivers.

              Do you REALLY think the parent company of NBC will ever get in trouble as long as it covers Barry’s ass on issues such as this one?

            6. Towertone Wrote: “How will Common Carrier help make your browsing faster, cheaper and give access to more people?”

              (I know I’m winning an argument when the name calling begins.)

              You must have heard these arguments before, but I’ll respond as requested.

              1) Wheeler said, and I agree, that for the most part, nothing changes. The goal is to keep things as open in the future, as they’ve been in the past.

              2) These new FCC rules prevent ISPs from charging content providers an additional fee for delivery to our homes. (Peering charges, such as netflix pays comcast for connection TO the ISP –not FROM the ISP to the customer–, might not apply to this rule) If ISPs DID start to charge more to certain content providers, those content providers would likely have to pass THOSE chargers on to their customers. So this prevents the internet from getting more expensive, in that case, or prevents our loss of access to those content providers that failed to survive these charges.

              ISPs have been openly threatening to do this for quite some time. Without NN they are doubly incented to do this since they are themselves competitors to every video content company. Does it sound good to you for your ISP to have the right to charge extra fees for every competitor’s content?

              3) Local municipalities that wish to develop their own local ISPs to provide actual competition to existing ISPs can not now be barred by their states from doing so. This adds additional access and competition, and should derive all the expected benefits of such competition where applicable.

              There’s more but I’m stopping here.

              Any argument that these things will not be needed because they would not otherwise occur simply means that the FCC rule will do nothing and no harm occurs.

    2. Net neutrality equals interstate highways. We *all* need em, and no one should be able to lock up preferential access. Very simple.

      Plus, in an upgrade for free market fans, you already have monopolies like Comcast and TWC owning and making barely regulated zillions on the Internet highways, net neutrality or not (read their shareholder communications if you think they’re really worried).

  2. This article is so wrong, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s the typical conservative position, whatever the big ISPs/telecoms want, they should get. Screw everyone else, and try to pretend it will help them.

    1. Don’t worry, melgross. I’m sure the big telecoms only have our best interests at heart, and letting them have their way can only result in everything being better for us.

      For example, just look at our great Internet speeds. (uh, maybe don’t look at that). And great rates, where companies are obviously vigorously competing with each other. (uh. okay. Well maybe don’t look at that either.)

      Never mind! I’m sure that it’s the best.

      1. Since “the big telecoms” are so evil, then the massively profitable Apple, which is destroying all competitors with its greedy practices, is evil too, right?

        Why is Apple any better? Remember your talking points. Big corporations are bad and must be tightly regulated by the very well intentioned and omniscient Federal Government. Which has proven itself with the excellent performance of all it ventures.

          1. Oh I forgot, you are Democrat. You don’t know anything. Now remember, Apples most recent net margin is 24.2%. Comcast’s net margin was 11.26%. That means Apple is ripping off its customers at twice the rate as Comcast. Apple made $18 billion, taking that money from people who have far less than Apple executives, particularly in China where the people are much poorer than in the US. So, Apple needs a whole lot of government regulation since it is so clearly screwing its customers, way more than even the evil Comcast. Barack Obama better get his Harvard henchmen to put together a document nobody gets to read to tell Apple how they will be permitted to do business going forward. Until I checked the numbers I did not know Apple was screwing its customers at double the rate of Comcast.

  3. I come here for Mac news, not one-sided political commentary. That, and a junky looking site overrun with ads that often hijack my iPad and send me to the App Store are making every visit progressively less enjoyable.

  4. Like all government power, this would not be necessary in an ideal world. However, as the Founding Fathers agonized over while establishing this country, some government powers are actually necessary because they are the least terrible method of actually protecting people’s rights to freedom, equality, and prosperity.

    If entrusting the FCC to regulate Net Neutrality isn’t the right decision, then what is? What’s the better alternative?

    Just trusting Comcast and Verizon to do the right thing is beyond stupid. Colluding, and lying and betraying their customers is how these cartels do business.

    Telephones actually haven’t been that bad under FCC regulation, and the Internet today has many correlations to where phones where back then. (they’re both global electric communication platform that businesses and people generally rely on.) I don’t know of any another organization more fit for the role. Congress and telecoms seem like the only plausible alternatives: I’ve already told you what I think about about telecoms, and you can probably guess how I feel about Congress.

    There are potential problems: lawmakers, lobbyists, companies, and politicians will try to litigate and bully the FCC into making rules to so that the Internet works in their favor. It’s possible that under this pressure, the FCC may betray the principles of Net Neutrality they are now required by law to uphold. That’s a legitimate possibly, worth concern and vigilance.

    It’s also possible, FCC might do just as good of a job as protecting the Internet as they have done with telephones, in avoiding politicized influences and power overreaches.

    So what is the better alternative to the FCC upholding Net Neutrality?

  5. Whatever the tech-flavor-of-the-week, our nation has always had some role in facilitating open, swift communication between all points… Section 8.7 of the U.S. Constitution: “To establish Post Offices and post Roads…”

    Not to mention 8.3, the Commerce Clause.

  6. This shows the silliness of the right wing agenda. It does not matter how good a plan may be, if the democrats are for it then they must oppose it.

    Do You WANT to pay more to your ISP to get netflix? Do you WANT to have MDN blocked or slowed down because they cannot afford to pay for extra bandwidth? Do you really want freedom? or just for the wealthy?

    So the right wing pundits oppose it ONLY because it is a Democratic issue. Ridiculous!

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/02/fcc-votes-net-neutrality-big-win

    1. Ok, answer this, since I am only a low life righty…..

      If this is about equal access to Netflix, or any other site, because it guarantees equal speed, no one needs to pay more…then why do I have a slower upload than Netflix?

      Why is it that I have to pay more for a faster upload to get my home videos sent to my kids? Why shouldn’t my ISP give me as fast an upload speed as a fiber-connected hospital?

      Why are my bits not as valuable as NetFlix’s?

      As with others, I’ll wait as long as I need for an answer.
      Be specific. Remember, you are addressing a righty, so vagaries are not accepted.

      (and if you think Title II will change this, or anything else you demand, you are as big a fool as ‘Tech Overlord’ Currie)

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