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The various reports swirling in the news, from the NYT to the WSJ, to Bloomberg, WaPo and Politico, all point to some kind of deal between Google and Verizon in the works. Google has a partial denial via Twitter: "@NYTimes is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet."

Note what Gizmodo points out about Google's denial:

It's notable that the Google denial says very specifically that Google has not had discussions about paying for carriage of Google and YouTube. But that doesn't mean they haven't spoken with Verizon about creating a framework that would undermine net neutrality generally. The WSJ report seems to support that interpretation.

All of which leads to one conclusion as reiterated by Congressman Ed Markey, author of H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act and the leading proponent for Net Neutrality in Congress. The FCC needs to act. Markey:

"The potential deal between two broadband behemoths underscores the need for the FCC to act quickly to protect the free and open Internet. In the absence of such action, it's increasingly clear that cozy cooperation between communications colossi will reign on the Internet.  No one should be surprised that such companies will seek to slant the playing field in their favor, a result that will stifle the next generation of Internet innovators and short-circuit the economic benefits needed to power our economy in the 21st century.  It is time for the FCC to step in to protect consumers, innovation, and fair competition."

This is not a decision that should be ceded to the telecoms. The FCC needs to act to protect Net Neutrality, and do it quickly.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:16 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We paid for their fucking lines. (12+ / 0-)

    Look, we as tax payers PAID for those carrier lines.  Comcast, Verison, and Google didn't pay for that stuff, WE did.  

    If the Democrats fail to enshrine net neutrality it will be the biggest fuckup of our time.  

    We paid for those lines, it should be part of the Commons.  

    The United States: A wholly owned subsidiary of British Petroleum.

    by Beelzebud on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:20:33 AM PDT

    •  Can you show me those "facts"? (0+ / 0-)

      We taxpayers paid for the broadband lines???

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:44:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here you go (9+ / 0-)

        Through tax breaks and increased service fees, Verizon and the old Bells reaped an estimated $200 billion since the early 1990s to improve subscriber lines in the United States. And what have American consumers received?

        Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

        by nightsweat on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:56:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, thanks.. but only $25 Billion in tax breaks (0+ / 0-)

          from the states, your article states, out of that $200B.

          Many services have very high profit margins and with a lack of examination, Bell profits (return on equity) jumped to 30%, more than double the original. The companies also received massive tax write-offs on the promise they would build fiber-optic networks (over $25 billion).

          the rest of that $200 Billion was from higher fees paid by customers.  We can argue all day whether de-regulation was a good idea..

          But you cannot say that ALL the investment in high-speed infrastructure was paid for by the taxpayers.  That is simply ridiculous.

          This article seems to be mostly talking about telcos..  I will agree that the FCC should have stipulated more profits be put into fiber in exchange for deregulation.

          Cable companies, on the other hand, were investing billions in new infrastructure.. that did not come from taxpayers..  As a matter of fact, taxing bodies reaped huge benefits from the usage fees they have tacked on to every month's bill from cable customers.  This article doesn't exactly tell the whole picture.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 12:39:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, don't undervalue the right of way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Cable runs lines on the public right of way.  Without franchise agreements from local governments, cable couldn't light up a single house.

            Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

            by nightsweat on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 01:56:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  They Were Given a Fully Operational Internet (0+ / 0-)

            Those broadband providers have all benefited from the huge and longterm public investments in creating, growing and managing the Internet that the government subsidized. The government has continued to exempt ecommerce companies from sales taxes, which subsidizes the large network fees those companies pay their ISPs.

            The public investment in the Internet is impossible to ignore. But once again, like with every post of yours I've ever seen, you are just wrong.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 02:21:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not true! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Tax payers payed for the Arpanet and the development of the initial Internetwork Protocols. But, the lines on the initial Arpanet were leased from AT&T, not bought as you imply. Comcast, Verizon, . . . all built their own networks. They were not built with tax payer dollars.

      The issue is one of paying for different levels of service. I am not certain I disagree with this, but I am concerned about companies owning both the lines and the service. For example, why should comcast offer better service for CBS than other television networks. Owning them is a poor reason.

      Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

      by LWelsch on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:45:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tax money was used to build out their networks. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, dan667, wvmom, thethinveil

        If you think Comcast and Verison built their networks with no use of tax money, you're misinformed.  

        Sure they have invested their own money, but the only reason broadband is as widespread as it is now is because of tax incentives we gave them.  

        The United States: A wholly owned subsidiary of British Petroleum.

        by Beelzebud on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:53:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tax incentives and/or tax breaks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is not the same as using taxes to pay for something. Get your facts straight. Hell if taxes had be used to pay for the Internet as we see it today, a whole lot of companies would have competed for those dollars.

          Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

          by LWelsch on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 12:06:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This sounds a lot like Kyl's argument (0+ / 0-)

            that spending affects the federal deficit, but tax cuts don't.  Is there really a difference between the taxpayers' money being spent directly by the government or tax breaks given to private businesses to spend their own money?

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 02:21:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  telecoms got billions in subsities (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        US Taxpayers paid for almost all of the infrastructure of the internet.

      •  You should be certain to disagree... (0+ / 0-)

        Once telecom providers can throttle the bandwidth, you honestly don't think they'll favor political websites that are sympatico to their agenda? Really?

        FYI: Erstwhile progressive Alan Grayson is apparently in the telecoms pocket. He's got some serious 'splainin to do. Net neutrality is too big an issue to sell out on.

  •  This should be fun (5+ / 0-)

    There's no doubt that Markey is 1000% correct.

    I can't wait to see this bill hit the Senate, where I am sure many members, especially on the asshole Republican side are currently gushing over that latest technological advancement, the push-button telephone.

    Beyond the usual, "No, because I can." shit that's been going on the last two years, so many of the members have no fucking clue how the internet works or its power.


    "Sick Around the World"

    Watch it, send it along to all you know.

    by oxfdblue on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:21:31 AM PDT

  •  Open system (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You guys aren't understanding the terminology.  If they are saying that they are committed to an open system then they are categorically denying all of these reports, including WSJ.  They don't have any stronger way to say it.  They may be lying, I doubt it, but maybe, but what they are saying leaves so doubt in terms of their meaning.  Why is everybody believing NYT and WSJ more than Google?

  •  Hysterical Netroots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It seems to me the NYT and WSJ are doing exactly what they set out to do which is sowing hysteria among the netroots.

  •  THIS is the Obama Administration's policy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud, neaguy

    Don't you get it? The Obama Administration controls the FCC. That the FCC is secretly involved in brokering a deal to kill Net Neutrality between monopolies in the field is evidence that this is the outcome the Obama Administration chose. Blaming Google and Verizon ignores the rather large Donkey in the room.

    This government, and both political parties, are captured by monopolies and other corporate interests. We citizens have NO SAY in policy whatsoever. Republicans and Democrats are but BRANDS. Show me a policy difference between the two parties, from health care to the war to FCC regulation.

    •  Show me a policy difference... (0+ / 0-)

      I can't, except where Obama is worse, like education for example, with his know nothing secretary, Duncan donut.

      "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." 4-2-10 Obama's George Bush moment

      by neaguy on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:46:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have to agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, DocGonzo, dorkenergy

      ... this feels a lot like the Clinton administration's sellout on media ownership, which ultimately came back to bite the Dems in the ass but seemed like pure political calculus at the time.

      I think you'll see no action by the FCC because the administration fears making antagonists of Google and the telecoms, especially just prior to the election and in the wake of Citizens United.  Dianne Feinstein's waffling letter in response to my indignant, righteous but non-contributing e-mails was a clear indicator that so-called centrist Dems were going to cave on this one.

      It's awful but I'm not sure what I'd do in their place, what with the possibility of getting creamed in the midterms.  

      Money runs the show.  Unless that changes, we small fries -- regardless of our ideology -- are fucked.

  •  This is a simple WIN for Pres Obama ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and he should direct the FCC to act and act decisively, now.

  •  Where is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud, marina, Terra Mystica
    Genachowski and Obama on this travesty?

    No way no how will any casual internet user agree to this.

    No toll booth on the Information Superhighway !

    Non Violence is fine... so long as it works. - Malcolm X

    by Dr Marcos on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:28:12 AM PDT

  •  Is Google considering the acquisition of Verizon? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica, dorkenergy

    The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

    by Agent Orange on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:28:19 AM PDT

  •  I work with this stuff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica, davewill

    and my gut instinct is that Google are on the level with this.

    Haven't got much to support this statement other than it doesn't really mesh with Google's business strategy and that they have a lot to lose if they get it wrong.

    I am not saying that I don't think the companies talk to each other but I'd be surprised if it were about destroying NN.

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:28:58 AM PDT

  •  Am I remembering correctly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skeptical Bastard

    that the FCC's power was limited somewhat by a recent court decision?

    •  The court decision (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveW, chuckvw, marina, Terra Mystica, Anima, neaguy

      essentially impelled them to act one way or another on reclassification of broadband, and it is well within their power to give it strong, Title II classification. So, no, the Comcast decision didn't limit the FCC's power. The problem is they're trying to use the "third way" approach to deciding the issue, which now seems to include allowing the telecoms to decide how they want to carve up access.

    •  This decision (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dorkenergy, Anima, thethinveil

      Two weeks ago, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC does not have authority to regulate broadband Internet service providers, granting Comcast the ability to shape its consumers’ use of certain web applications.

      This is the most recent development in a string of court battles that stems from Comcast’s practice of delaying or blocking certain types of Internet traffic without disclosing the details to its customers. While other companies may also engage in the same practices, Comcast, as one of the biggest and most powerful ISPs, sets the standard for the industry.

      So Congress is key, and many have already been fooled into opposing net neutrality.

      We need a campaign that explains the issue in clear, plain, succinct language that anyone can understand. Even people who only use the web for superficial things should be able to understand.

      •  that's the key -- language (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, marina

        see, e.g., Sen. Franken's diary: The most important post you’ll read all day for some key memes.

        richmonds and I were iterating on framing of this in the discussion there, focusing on freedom and information.

        Picking up on Sen. Franken's:

        If no one stops them, how long do you think it will take before four or five mega-corporations effectively control the flow of information in America, not only on television but online. If we don’t protect net neutrality now, how long do you think it will take before Comcast/NBC Universal, or Verizon/CBS Viacom, or AT&T/ABC/DirectTV, or BP/Halliburton/WalMart/Fox/Dominoes Pizza [audience laughs] to start favoring its content over everyone else’s? How long do you think it will take before the Fox News Web site loads five times faster than Daily Kos?

        It's like they're saying, "We [your friendly information cartel] have all the information you'll ever need, why go anywhere else?"

        ambiguity is okay--if you know what I mean

        by dorkenergy on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 01:26:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No worry - Google tagline - Do No Evil (0+ / 0-)

    don't ya trust 'em? (Especially their video collecting street cars with secret WiFi data gathering devices on board)

    2010: corporate owned Republicans versus corporate owned Democrats. Vote!

    by anonymous White House source on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:30:47 AM PDT

  •  It's always been about the money. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveW, marina, dirtdawg, dorkenergy, neaguy

    The broadband providers revenue growth as slowed. They are charging nearly monopoly prices and their customer base is no longer growing significantly. This is all about trying to get their fingers into the revenue pie that the content providers are creating.

    The broadband providers can already provide competing services, and have the advantage of being able to host them at their own facilities to create a natural speed advantage without doing anything overt to network routing. They problem is that even with that, they still can't compete in the content arena, so they want to use their local monopolies to pressure Google and company to cut them in.

    It's as much a problem of anti-trust as it is network access.

    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

    by davewill on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:31:29 AM PDT

  •  A one day boycott of Google Search (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (use an alternative) would be a message Google would find very easy to interpret.

  •  Be nice if Obama had our back. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    On this issue, like practically all others, it's like having Bush in the WH.

    Except that corporate profits are even higher than under Bush...with wages down.

    "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." 4-2-10 Obama's George Bush moment

    by neaguy on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:45:00 AM PDT

  •  Can the prez direct the FCC to do anything? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or are they at the mercy of Congress?

    Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

    by nightsweat on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 11:55:05 AM PDT

  •  Obama's Catfood Comission becoming PR disaster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, marina, thethinveil

    Read this report on TPM, and if you avoid wretching, you deserve a medal.

  •  Google makes money from internet usage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anything that slows down the usage of the internet as a whole hurts Google so I have a hard time believing Google would be so short sighted.  Everything public still shows Google fighting for Net Neutrality so this may just be wishful thinking by the NYT as newspapers are a dying business and they would love anything that slows the adoption of the internet.

  •  Suggest we find a lever to move FCC (0+ / 0-)

    I just hate reading all these Daily Kos stories without being given some positive action to take.

    I'm disabled so I can't do it all.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 12:39:35 PM PDT

  •  Watch out for the Las Vegas-Review Journal (0+ / 0-)
    They hired a lawyer LLC, and they go after anyone who prints information from their articles.
    They claim it takes away their ad money.
  •  There is no such thing as a good corporation (0+ / 0-)
    With all of the telecoms re-consolidating in recent decades, and the attempts to demolish net neutrality, we need to pass sweeping new regulation and anti-trust laws to protect the flow of information in this country. Leaving it up to the good will of profit-driven entities will only bite us in the ass later on.
  •  Grayson against Net Neutrality? (0+ / 0-)

    I was surprised by HuffPo's headline and article on Grayson's position. I went to the Hill to make sure HuffPo wasn't exaggerating Grayson's opinion, but it appears Grayson is against Net Neutrality.

    You know you're on the wrong side of an issue when Brietbart is cheering for you.

    "Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it." -President Theodore Roosevelt

    by DemHikers on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 01:51:11 PM PDT

    •  Hmm, maybe not (0+ / 0-)

      He doesn't want net neutrality by regulation, but by law. HuffPo did it again.

      "Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it." -President Theodore Roosevelt

      by DemHikers on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 02:11:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which has a snowball's chance in hell (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Gosh darn that Senate.  They just won't let us have net neutrality! We really, really tried really, really hard.

        The telecoms have been and are spending tens of millions on this.  And Breitbart and redstate are hearting Grayson for his position. - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 02:38:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's ridiculous... (0+ / 0-)

        The FCC has the authority by law.

        It's not just a regulation, it's a regulation promulgated by the entity that was created to regulate.

        Grayson is wrong about this.

  •  Request for briefing information (0+ / 0-)

    I've been following the net neutrality controversy for some years now, but I have never had a clear understanding of the issues at stake. On one side there are a lot of people claiming some sort of right to low-cost internet service. On the other side are large corporations seeking to maximize their profits.

    I have not drawn any conclusions because I don't believe that I understand the issues clearly enough. My first impression is that there is no reason why the providers of communications services shouldn't be able to set any price structure they desire. I certainly reject the claim that these services are somehow public property. And I do see some benefit if those people who consume large amounts of bandwidth are required to pay for such use, while people who consume less bandwidth save money. Otherwise, you end up with people who sip data subsidizing people who gulp data.

    On the other side, I understand the fear that this will lead to poor performance for many people. It does seem likely that big consumers of data will elbow out those who are unwilling to pay as much. But I'd like to see this argument developed more fully.

    I'll therefore ask for one of two things:

    1. A clear and even-handed synopsis of the arguments on both sides of the issue.


    1. A link to such a synopsis elsewhere on DKos or the Web.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

  •  Here's what I just did I used Google to find Bing (0+ / 0-)

    and added Bing to Favorite clicked it and typed in "Google Betrays Net Neutrality",take that Google.Next I'll go to Yahoo and then see what other Search Engines there are out there.

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