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Graphic displaying potential for an internet after a pay-for-play net neutrality rule.

Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler is feeling the heat from within the FCC, from internet giants and from venture capitalists to keep net neutrality. They've all weighed in against his proposed rule that would create a fast lane for privileged—and paid-for—content. As a result, Wheeler has come up with a revised proposed rule, but one that's not enough to call real net neutrality.
In the new draft, Mr. Wheeler is sticking to the same basic approach but will include language that would make clear that the FCC will scrutinize the deals to make sure that the broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage, according to an agency official.

The official said the draft would also seek comment on whether such agreements, called "paid prioritization," should be banned outright, and look to prohibit the big broadband companies, such as Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc., from doing deals with some content companies on terms that they aren't offering to others.

Mr. Wheeler's language will also invite comments on whether broadband Internet service should be considered a public utility, which would subject it to greater regulation. The FCC has so far not reclassified broadband as a utility, and providers have fiercely opposed such a move, saying it would cause innovation and investment to collapse.

That's a bit of progress, but not much. It still allows internet service providers to create a privileged "fast lane" of service for content providers who can afford to pay it. Which is still not net neutrality. The threat of the FCC playing watchdog isn't one that has a whole lot of teeth with these guys. It doesn't answer the concerns of the millions and millions of people and all of the groups and businesses that have expressed to the FCC that net neutrality be preserved.

The bit of encouraging news is that he's opening up the possibility of reclassifying broadband services as a public utility, an option that's clearly legal and makes the most sense for a future in which the FCC has the clear legal authority to regulate broadband providers. Those broadband providers say that they won't be able to innovate any more (because we've seen so much innovation from them so far!) while the entire rest of the information technology industry—and the people who provide the angel funding for new companies—make the point that there won't be investment and innovation in all internet technologies without net neutrality.

There's no question that the good guys have momentum here. The FCC will still vote on Thursday whether to move forward with Wheeler's "fast-lane" proposal.

Let's keep up the pressure. Please sign our petition to the FCC to keep a free and open internet.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 12:27:34 PM PDT

  •  New draft shows FCC is serious (8+ / 0-)

    about closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Mon May 12, 2014 at 12:37:04 PM PDT

  •  I think I got this figure out (7+ / 0-)

    Step 1) Introduce a plan so outlandish that there's a 0% chance that anyone not working for Comcast or Verizon will agree with it

    Step 2) Pretend to listen and care about public outrage concerning Step 1

    Step 3) Come up with a horrible counter proposal that won't look that bad if compared to the original plan. (Please note: Step 3 is where the REAL plan gets introduced. Step 1 is designed to make it more palatable to the average peon)

    Step 4) Receive a Medal of Freedom from President Obama, retire from public service, write a book, and go back to work as a lobbyist and savior for the cable industry.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Mon May 12, 2014 at 12:48:09 PM PDT

    •  But none of it explains why. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever, lunachickie, daeros, gmats

      Why is he doing this?  Does he have friends in high places?  Has someone offered him a lucrative job that he'll go to after he's screwed us.  I want to know why he's doing this.  No one, other than  as you said Comcast or Verizon, is on board with this.  Something smells.

      The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

      by AnnieR on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:07:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If we can investigate Benghazi for 2 years, (7+ / 0-)

        why can't we investigate this guy?

        The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

        by AnnieR on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:08:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the current model is not sustainable (0+ / 0-)

        not with netflix driving 30% of the down stream traffic and that likely to keep going up.

        It's not popular around here but generally speaking I think Wheeler is right. I also think that the ISPs need to be shaken up too along with some strong guarantees of baseline performance that actually means something. But at the end of the day the current model is simply not sustainable.

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:15:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what do you mean its not (5+ / 0-)

          sustainable

          the internet is not physical matter

          its not like going to crumble or explode or something because of netflix

          just estupido

          stuck in an alternate universe

          by Krush on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:17:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If 30% of the vehicles on a road are Toyotas, (7+ / 0-)

          should Toyota owners pay a premium for use of that road?

          Do you think the US download speeds we see now represent some theoretical maximum that can't be improved on and Internet access therefore needs to be rationed? That's clearly not the case, since faster speeds are available in Japan right now. Comcast and the other ISP giants simply don't want to invest in the technology and infrastructure to improve their service.

          Why should they, if the FCC enables them to increase profits without investing a penny in anything other than lobbyists? That's not the way capitalism is supposed to work. If widespread use of Netflix causes slower speeds for everyone, consumer pressure will force Comcast--or someone else--to invest in a better mousetrap for everyone.

          There's an obvious downside in that for Comcast, but it's an equally obvious win for the American public and for the hypothetical speedier competitors as well.

          Why would anyone other than Comcast executives or shareholders take their side? I'm not looking for an argument; I seriously don't get it.

          Fascism in the mirror is nearer than it appears.

          by PhilJD on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:37:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's not how it works (0+ / 0-)

            the whole point of the peering agreements is that the traffic is roughly equal.

            Thus it's not about connection (which frankly we need better of) though it's funny you bring up Japan. Why? Because they're having a bandwidth problem during peak hours. Granted their 'problem' is trying to maintain a 2 gbs connection, a problem I dearly wish we had.

            I'm not going to argue that the ISPs are victims here, they're not. But who started this mess (netflix) is not either. Video streaming is simply not long term viable with peering agreements.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:42:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That IS how it works n/t (6+ / 0-)

              "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

              by lunachickie on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:46:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Netflix peering (2+ / 0-)
              that's not how it works
              the whole point of the peering agreements is that the traffic is roughly equal.
              Just who is it that you think is sending network traffic to Netflix?!?  
              I'll give you a hint: no one!
              And here is what Netflix is offering:
              ISPs can directly connect their networks to Open Connect for free. ISPs can do this either by free peering with us at common Internet exchanges, or can save even more transit costs by putting our free storage appliances in or near their network.
              But that doesn't enrich the ISPs, does it? So the ISPs have largely refused Netflix's Open Connect even though it wouldn't cost them anything. Why? Because the ISPs are greedy. Period.

              +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

              by cybersaur on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:57:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting article at the Atlantic may shed... (3+ / 0-)

              ...some light on this argument.

              Here's the moment of enlightenment:

              But entrepreneurs and investors have experienced a very different world in mobile, and they don’t want to live in that kind of world again.

              They remember with horror what the mobile Internet in the U.S. was like before the advent of the app stores—back when only a select few were able to get the carriers’ blessing that allowed them to realize their idea for an application. And they got a taste of things to come in December 2011 when AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile all prevented Google Wallet—a mobile payment application that was first to market in what was predicted to be a $56.7 billion market by 2015—from getting to its subscribers.

              Those carriers’ actions not only deprived 75 percent of mobile users in the U.S. of the ability to use an innovative new payment technology; they also prevented Google from realizing its first-mover advantage. While the carriers were mostly silent about their motivations, analysts were quick to point out that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile had partnered to develop a competing mobile payment service called ISIS, which was not ready to launch. For many, this was a wake-up call. Innovators and investors were already concerned about the lack of strong network neutrality rules for the mobile Internet in the United States. If even Google, one of the nation’s largest corporations, could be blocked by wireless carriers, every mobile innovator and investor in the country was at the mercy of the carriers.

              http://www.theatlantic.com/...

              [emphasis is mine]

              Or this, from the same article:

              Last fall, many Netflix users around the U.S. started experiencing a significant drop in Netflix quality. When the highly anticipated second season of House of Cards was released in February, users around the country couldn’t finish watching the show because Netflix kept reloading and buffering and reloading and buffering. Thinking there was a problem on the access network, many users upgraded to higher-bandwidth plans, only to find the glitch persisted.

              By now, we know that many ISPs are not upgrading the connections or “ports” over which Netflix traffic enters their network because they want Netflix to pay a fee for that traffic. Thus, users who were paying for Internet service plans that provided more than sufficient bandwidth to view online video were unable to use their Internet connections to do what they wanted because their ISP was forcing Netflix to pay up.  When Netflix finally caved and agreed to pay Comcast for interconnection, Netflix’s quality quickly improved.

              [emphasis is mine]

              It's a long article, but even so, I think this is the limit I can put up without violating fair use.

              We kill or hobble net neutrality, we kill the goose that lays golden eggs. Further, we limit free speech, we harm ourselves for the benefit of a handful of big corporations.

              Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

              by rbird on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:29:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It's funny you try to derail with japan (0+ / 0-)

              http://edition.cnn.com/...

              Hong Kong is the fastest right now.

              There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

              by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 06:17:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Netflix didn't "start the mess" (0+ / 0-)

              netflix only added pressure which is good for everyone. The ISPS should invest more in infrastructure.

              This is not a case to Throttle netflix

              christ

              http://www.scmp.com/...

              There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

              by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 06:19:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  and more claims about TOYKO'S 2gbps Internet provi (0+ / 0-)

              provider "during peak hour" without ANY SOURCES demonstrating the alleged "peak hour" trouble.

              http://www.techspot.com/...

              There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

              by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 06:21:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  We gave them TAX DOLLARS (8+ / 0-)

          We gave them TAX DOLLARS to improve infrastructure…and they spent it on CEO bonuses.

          Verizon has also STOPPED the expansion of their fiber optic network (FIOS).

          So if they can't handle the traffic, how is it our problem after trying get them to expand capacity?

          I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

          by roninkai on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:39:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  SHUT.UP! (4+ / 0-)

          You are spreading misinformation on a subject you clearly know nothing about and you need to stop!  
          Netflix and the ISP's customers have PAID for that network traffic. Why is that so hard for you to understand?!?
          The current model is sustainable. The ISPs are raking in record profits!
          At this point, you're just trolling and I'm going to start HRing for it.

          +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

          by cybersaur on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:04:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this comment really should be hidden (0+ / 0-)

            hell your whole 'interaction' here has been breaking one rule after another.

            If it's so obvious I don't know what I am talking about why don't you stop your bullying and prove it?

            I'll wait because while I know you can't actually prove a damn thing you say it should be hilarious to watch you try.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:09:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Proof? (3+ / 0-)

              Are you suggesting that Netflix and ISP customers are not paying for their Internet access? Do I really need to prove that?!?  
              And from Comcast's SEC filings:  

              Consolidated Revenue Increased 13.7%, Operating Cash Flow Increased 10.0% and Operating Income Increased 16.3%
              Cable Communications Revenue Increased 5.3% and Operating Cash Flow Increased 4.3%
               High-Speed Internet Customers Increased by 383,000; Revenue Growth of 9.0% Is the Strongest Rate of Growth in Two Years
              Business Services Revenue Increased 23.9%, Approaching a $4 Billion Annual Run-Rate
              -Q1 2014 Comcast earnings report
              And some information on Netflix's Open Connect:
              ISPs can directly connect their networks to Open Connect for free. ISPs can do this either by free peering with us at common Internet exchanges, or can save even more transit costs by putting our free storage appliances in or near their network.
              https://www.netflix.com/...
              The ISPs are rolling in cash and Netflix has offered to deliver video to the ISPs' network at no cost to the ISPs!
              This crusade to eliminate Net Neutrality is about one thing and one thing only: greedy ISPs that will harm their own customers for bags of money from competing content providers.

              +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

              by cybersaur on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:47:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I suggest you either (0+ / 0-)

                reread or learn to read and then deal with my point.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:59:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  He did. (2+ / 0-)

                  Denial isn't just a river in egypt.

                  There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

                  by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:17:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Your point? (2+ / 0-)

                  Do you even know what your point is?
                  All I've seen from you is misinformation and intentionally disregarding facts presented to you.  

                  +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

                  by cybersaur on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:18:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  go read all the way back at the top (0+ / 0-)

                    either way I'm done with kiddie hour. You all have fun with your imaginary conversations and questioning basic facts like the statistical distribution of the internet.

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:23:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  " statistical distribution of the internet." (0+ / 0-)

                      Provides no sources proving the " statistical distribution of the internet."

                      Pretends that we're the intellectually dishonest party that has been "provided the facts"  and "refuses to accept them"  -> Distorts reality. replies as though we're the willfully ignorant party

                      *has essentially made a bunch of allegations without references, expects to be taken seriously in a forum where the people arguing against you would EXPECT footnotes pointing to the PEER REVIEWED ACADEMIC STUDY DEMONSTRATING the " statistical distribution of the internet." ...but you haven't provided that, but seem to be determined to reply as though the "intellectual immaturity and dishonesty is on us. You haven't even proven the allegations you've made and now you're onto  ". You all have fun with your imaginary conversations" Even though you're the one having "imaginary conversations" as it were.

                      I keep trying to point out that you haven't cited a single source at all and you think that "having made very specific allegations"  proves somehow that "claims must be true" here's a hint: It doesn't. They're wind.

                      You haven't at any point provided a single academic study analyzing the traffic patterns of the internet and yet you persist in this argument from a foundation of What I would call the Dunning Kruger effect- Confidence where they should be none because it seems you are too ignorant to recognize that you are the intellectually dishonest party here. You've also Reversed the Burden of proof and provided no proofs or backup of your claims and having done that asked everyone who is skeptical of you allegations to "prove the negative"

                      You would never survive A peer reviewed Environment but it seems having spent much time in conservative environments you realize that sometimes Confidence is 9/10s of what it takes to convince people.

                      Again. that won't work here.

                      http://www.psychologytoday.com/...

                      This is you Right now. Trying to Fake it til you make it and convince the rest of us by merely carrying yourself confidently.

                      We have Strong Democratic principles and anti conservative biases here. Merely carrying yourself and carrying on as though you know what you're talking about with an authoritarian tone will not get you ANYTHING.

                      So would you like to start over?

                      There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

                      by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:32:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Kiddie = glass house attack. the child is you. (0+ / 0-)

                      There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

                      by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:43:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Watching you trolling, is fun! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  daeros, 420 forever

                   photo jon-stewart-popcorn_zps4d8c036e.gif

                  As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

                  by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:22:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  these people are incredible. (1+ / 0-)

                    It's like "I have a way out because Rather than arguing that Thom is correct I argued that he's "generally correct"  So that I can back out on ultra technical grounds and intellectually dishonestly claim I've been Straw manned when I didn't Bother to declare a position or Specify where I disagree with Thom wheeler, but I CAN Gaslight everyone else but Pretending that I've been straw manned because I learned from south park that the best way to appear "reasonable" when dealing with two "extremist" is to declare both sides "Radical" and attack both while never revealing where I myself stand (Which is exactly what duhban is doing)  Now he appears Reasonable by Default when he's not,  He hasn't been straw manned at all he's made not only misleading but DELIBERATELY misleading statements about his own position so that he can cry "I WAS STRAW MAN FALLACIED! I DIDN'T SAY I AGREED WITH THOM I said I GENERALLY AGREED" CRY

                    This is what I mean by Pettifogging. he's a Coward. He'll never commit himself to an actual position because it allows him to look superior and act as though he's "Above the fray" as it were by deliberately obfuscating his actual positions but Feigning in the general direction of one.

                    and the worst part is he tries that shit on this form where all of us ought to be fully aware of the http://tvtropes.org/...

                    He's essentially a coward and he wants to pretend I'm immature and corner me with these little false "Gotcha" Arguments and then walk away strutting.

                    it really doesn't seem to occur to the idiot that he might be talking to someone who knows a thing or two about bandwidth, he just assumes we're ignorant as sheep and don't know anything about internet speeds

                    Also he's in essence correct , netflix and youtube do use massive amounts of internet bandwidth but the way to deal with that is not to Provide Fast lanes for other providers but to speed the whole damn internet up, There's Demand now for video Content ,Ergo it follows if the ISPS can't fill that demand they deserve to fail.

                    There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

                    by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 06:13:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Good post! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                daeros, cybersaur

                Thanks.

                Here's the link to a recent Atlantic article that agrees with you:
                http://www.theatlantic.com/...

                Not snark, good post.

                Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

                by rbird on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:39:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  because you haven't proven Your case either (0+ / 0-)

              you pulled a bunch of numbers from your ass and sighted no studies to  back them up?

              There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

              by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:41:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Wheeler's resume can answer a few of these (5+ / 0-)

        questions.

        “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

        by 420 forever on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:24:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who cares why? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie

        He's doing it.
        It's bad.

    •  Except the plan in step 3 (8+ / 0-)

      is close enough to the original that it's not really fooling anyone.

      And Wheeler has already been a lobbyist for the cable industry, which is where all this started to begin with!

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:22:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  more corporatist looting of public goods/services (9+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon May 12, 2014 at 01:04:56 PM PDT

  •  Yup ... (11+ / 0-)

     photo fusefunny140509_zps3ef28a6b.gif

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:03:57 PM PDT

  •  Well, this eliminates the possibility he was (10+ / 0-)

    stone-cold ignorant. Now we're left with "bought", "evil", and "11-dimensional chess".

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Wheeler needs to be wheeled out... (4+ / 0-)

    Toss the guy, start over. Get some random bloke off the street to run the FCC...

    Seriously... what's with a Koch-plant running the place under a democratic administration when its a hire/fire at will appointment of the President?

    Toss him already.

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:05:24 PM PDT

  •  the internet as we know it in the U.S. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb, daeros, gmats

    will disapear eventually

    it will turn into some sort of FOX broadband

    and then I will just throw myself off a bridge or something

    stuck in an alternate universe

    by Krush on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:07:37 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't the consumer already pay for faster (5+ / 0-)

    internet by paying more for 30mbps than for 1.5mbps?  If my connection to Netflix is too slow, I either wait for "buffering" or I pay for faster internet speed.  Why should content providers also pay for faster speeds--besides being another profit center for ISPs?

    "American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. " Paul Krugman

    by yippee ki yay on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:12:36 PM PDT

    •  that's not what this is about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yippee ki yay, onionjim

      people do not realize that content providers like netflix pay for their end too and that what this despite is not really the consumer end but the producer end. The networks are fighting about whom should pay for what and how much.

      Truly it should be a pox on all houses.

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Daily Kos is a content provider. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, daeros

        Does this site have rules that differ from those of Netflix or Youtube?

        "American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. " Paul Krugman

        by yippee ki yay on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:20:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it shouldn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yippee ki yay

          frankly this really in the end should only effect services like netflix or youtube (which together account for 50+% of downstream traffic) that are so large they create an asymmetrical distribution of traffic.

          Personally I'd rather Wheeler frame the rule less like a fast lane and more like additional coverage for going above and way beyond the peering agreements.

          That said I'm sure the Daily Kos pays to send it's stuff upstream to us the consumers too. I'm less than sure though about the price point. My knowledge is more theoretical and less practical.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:27:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Based on your comment, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban

            it seems to me that Netflix and Youtube should be treated as one-offs and the rest of the internet should be left  alone.

            "American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. " Paul Krugman

            by yippee ki yay on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:47:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ideally that's how I would prefer it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yippee ki yay

              I think for long term stability the best option would be to treat all video streaming separately though that might have some issues with what are now the smaller providers like Hulu and Amazon.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:51:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  We don't have (7+ / 0-)

          their checkbook.

          The fight is also about the likelihood not just of some content being preferred, but some content being purposely bottlenecked. This site seems like one that would be an easy target some day.

          "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

          by Joan McCarter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:27:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nope. (3+ / 0-)

          It doesn't, but that's about all the BS they can muster up to try and support Wheeler's "move".

          It's laughable, that "talking point", that "some providers take up more space than others". A laughable joke.

          "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

          by lunachickie on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:42:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Except that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban, lunachickie, daeros

        it will trickle down to the consumer.

        But yeah, what you said about the pox.

        "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

        by Joan McCarter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:25:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  perhaps (0+ / 0-)

          The massive problem I have though is that what started this (netflix) is far from innocent or a victim here. Thus I'm stuck looking at only a bunch of greedy assholes none of whom want to actually pay even close to a fair share and the FCC (and Wheeler) are left trying to create a solution before peering agreements go completely out the window.

          Thus the whole pox thing.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:28:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  let me add (0+ / 0-)

          that I think that if there's no  a clearly defined reasonable expectation of baseline service this proposal by Wheeler is a non starter. But if there is I'm cautiously in favor of it.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:30:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, Kudos To You (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Krotor, PhilJD, Brown Thrasher
        people do not realize that content providers like netflix pay for their end too
        It's rare for someone to outright state that their argument is completely contradicted by reality.

        The consumer pays for however mbps he uses to receive and transmit data (mostly receive). The content provider pays for however many mbps he uses to receive and transmit data (mostly transmit). If the network isn't keeping up with the performance being purchased at both ends, somebody is ripping off the customers, and the solution is not to give the ripoff artists an extra revenue stream to rebalance their cooked books.

        On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

        by stevemb on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:07:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hate sounding like a "bagger" (0+ / 0-)

    but trust the gov't with the internet??

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:14:14 PM PDT

  •  Precious little innovation at the provider (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter, Brown Thrasher

    While there should continue to be investment into infrastructure for the providing of services, there isn't a whole lot that they themselves innovate and create.  The occasional exception being how to get faster speeds w/ less cost, which they are of course incented to do now but wouldn't if given a wide new revenue stream.

    Comcast has managed a few innovations (mainly marketing) of extending wireless access points to any Comcast customer nationally, while AT&T's primary innovation was the concept of partial fiber (U-Verse) to a point of presence with DSL the last few thousand feet (at notably higher speeds than "old-school" DSL due to the short distance).  Of course what have you done for us lately AT&T?

    The bulk of "innovation" is on network management, expansion and optimization.  Absolutely required, but hardly "innovative" in any term we'd generally accept.  No true multi-network service (cellular/U-Verse), just pricing bundles.  

    Why they haven't even aggressively pursued FemToCell (or small cell as known to some) when they utilize GSM and there have been tons of hardware providers that have GSM->IP receivers available.  Although now they are likely expanding using Ubiquisys (Cisco) at present, they've had ten years to watch this technology w/o aggressively "innovating".

    Meh.  Just give me a pipe and get out of the way.  Stop moaning that you no longer have near monopolies on access.

  •  Thanks Joan (5+ / 0-)

    For your always excellent coverage of this issue, and for linking to our blog post at Free Press.  Working together, we're definitely winning here.  We just have a way to go.

    To see the lengths that cable and telcos will go to, check out our blog post from this afternoon too.

    The cable lobby is circulating a letter now in the House, trying to convince Democrats that we shouldn't treat broadband like a communications service.  It'll be interesting to see who sides with the cable companies and against Internet users.

    •  I guess (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur, mattfwood, Brown Thrasher

      we should be glad the cable lobby is treating reclassification as a possibility. That means they think it is, and that's sort of encouraging.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:28:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NN has not been the rule (0+ / 0-)

    This whole discussion is off base.  The Internet itself has never been regulated.  Network Neutrality has never been the law, though a fake FCC attempt to write intentionally-invalid rules in 2010 was enjoined and overturned.  ISPs always make private deals; that's what makes it work.

    What is missing is  open access to the facilities that ISPs require to reach consumers.  That was taken away by the FCC in 2005.  Before then, any ISP could lease telco DSL and compete.  Thus we had "functional" neutrality, where actually non-neutral behavior (blocking spammers, balancing capacity, etc.) was done in order to make it work better.  Taking away competitive-ISP access to DSL (after not giving it on cable, and taking it away from fiber before the Bells would pull any) meant there is no choice of ISP, and thus the monpoly or duopoly has room to abuse customers.  That's an easy fix, which the Court has said was allowed, but it is not what the NN crowd wants (to regulate the Internet itself).

    •  Sorry, but a lot of that is off-base (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher

      The "NN crowd" certainly does not want to "regulate the Internet itself" any more than the open access rules you rightly call for would "regulate the Internet itself."

      Net Neutrality is little more than a stand-in for common carriage on the Internet access connection that your facilities-based ISP provides you.

      Once upon a time, when the ISP was a separate entity from the telephone line provider that connected you to your dial-up Internet access provider, there was no issue here.  The same nondiscrimination principles that always applied (and that still apply) to traditional phone lines prevented telco interference when you quite literally "called" the Internet.

      When telcos started providing DSL, that too was provied on a common carrier basis -- during the same timeframe that you cite for open access requirements.

      NN advocates want to return to that understanding:  the company that provides you with the physical connection doesn't get to interfere with how you use that connection, or what you say, do, read and watch online with it.

      If you can point me to any example of the so-caled NN crowd looking to regulate content, I'll be glad to speak out against it.  If you're just making unfounded generalizations about the NN crowd instead, as I expect, please know that they aren't accurate.

      •  Not all NN advocates agree with you (0+ / 0-)

        Your version of "NN" is close to what I'm advocating, just dealing with the monopoly access connection.  But a majority of NN requests do not specify "access", or limit themselves to the monopoly portion.  They are dropping a nuclear weapon where a tactical strike is needed.

        The new Mozilla petition, for example, calls for regulation as Title II telecommunications service the "remote delivery" function that connects servers to the backbone.  This embroils the entire Internet, end to end, including facilities that do not leave buildings (data centers) and are thus not traditionally viewed as "telecommunications" at all, within the FCC's jurisdiction, where the FCC will be called upon to settle disputes over peering, access, what network management is "reasonable", etc.

        It is that kind of expansive regulation that goes beyond what is actually needed or merited.

  •  and this is different than now? (0+ / 0-)

    the ISPs can (and have been accused of) throttle traffic. It's their network. No one can stop them. Except, of course, the FCC.

    How does that process work? If someone thinks their traffic is being unfairly treated by an ISP, do they complain to the FCC? And then the FCC looks into it (aka, they scrutinize it) and then decide whether or not the complaint has merit and what, if any, punishment should be meted out.

    I'm thinking I don't know anything about the process because it never happens.

    And that brings us to the problem with nearly every diary and comment I see objecting to this proposed ruling is it assumes that the FCC can't be trusted to do
    its job while implicitly admitting that the reason we have such a successful internet is because the FCC is currently so damned good at regulating the ISPs.

    The argument runs like this: we believe that the ISPs largely follow all the FCC's regulations regarding net neutrality. But in the future, we fear that they maybe/probably/definitely wont. It's important to reject the "fast lane" proposal because even though the FCC's ruling is that the ISPs will not be allowed to slow traffic to create the "fast lane", they will do it anyways and the FCC wont be able to stop them. Unlike now, where the FCC has no regulations in effect and the ISPs are still not doing all the bad stuff we think they are eager to do.

    That argument is incoherent to me. At worst it's self-contradictory. At best it's just a slippery slope argument that could be made about any regulatory change, including common carrier.

    •  Clarification (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmats, Brown Thrasher

      Warning, this is a fairly long post.  But hopefully helps delineate the current debate.

      Prior to January, FCC rules said that ISP's could not discriminate on traffic, meaning all data was equal.  The court struck down this ruling, but told the FCC they could reinstate it by reclassifying ISP's as Common Carriers (or Title II as you'll sometimes see).

      Since January, Comcast and others have intentionally slowed down Netflix traffic to end users.  This was documented by articles that reported if a VPN was used to demand the Netflix traffic, it came through fine.  However, if the same Netflix traffic was demanded by the same client, but without the VPN, it was throttled. There are plenty of reports of this on tech sites such as ARS Techina, Slashdot, and others.

      Now Wheeler comes along, and has choice.  He can try to support Comcast by proposing garbage like "Fast Lanes," or he can preserve Net Neutrality rules by reclassification of Comcast et all to Title II (and thus open the door to real competition in the last mile ISP space).  He chose the former route,  and caught hell for it.  Now he is trying to back door it, but it won't fly either.

      Now, why would you want Comcast lines under Title II?  Because then we have a shot at getting the FCC to open those lines to competing services, which would then offer people real choices in last mile ISP services.  

      But first we have to get the FCC to a place where they will reclassify these big ISP's.  Either that, or we need congress to make it a law, but given the current climate in congress, that does not seem likely. One other possibility is anti-trust action, but that seems to be a pipe dream given the current government views.

      Some people claim Netflix traffic is a problem, and that might be true.  Regardless of how true that may be,  we are at the current point where we are asking "if Netflix traffic is causing a problem, how do we fix it and not break the Internet?"  

      Wheeler's Fast Lanes are NOT the right answer. Tiered pricing to end points (you) is not the answer either. Basically Wheeler's proposals so far appear to be straight out of the Comcast/ATT/Verizon point of view, and do not address what most of us want.   Real competition in the last mile ISP space might be the answer.  But we need to figure out how to get there, so first we have to make sure Wheeler doesn't wreck that possibility.

  •  Why worry? (0+ / 0-)

    The NSA will not allow the fast lane. It would impede their access to our computers and phones. Don't get between me and my watcher, by god.    :-)

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:32:04 PM PDT

  •  First time I saw this post... (0+ / 0-)

    The petition box failed to load and I thought that was maybe intentional to demonstrate what things might be like in a pay-to-play world.

  •  I am 100% behind Net Neutrality, BUT... (0+ / 0-)

    ...could you do something abot that 'Pay Wall' graphic heading the article?  I don't mean to be critical, but I don't understand what message its trying to convey.  And since that picture has the potential to reach thousands on social media like Facebook, its an important part of the message

    Here's a great example of powerful image combined with a clear message:

    Just sayin'n

  •  email just in: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD
    Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We're hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I'm very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.

    I'm a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.

    Tom Wheeler
    Chairman
    Federal Communications Commission

    you aren't saying Wheeler isn't sincere

    are you?

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:14:09 PM PDT

  •  So why bother? (0+ / 0-)

    If "the broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage" what would be the point of paying for the service? You pay for an advantage to put competitors at a disadvantage, no?

    Wingnuts are still hoping Hillary really did hire Ben Gozzi to kill Vince Foster.

    by ebrann on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:59:58 PM PDT

  •  does duhban know how to do anything but pettifog? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urban Space Cowboy

    There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

    by daeros on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:18:30 PM PDT

  •  Just like the SEC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreatLakeSailor, Brown Thrasher

    Yes, they will police it. Just like the SEC did with the banks, right? WHAT A JOKE!

    If anyone with an IQ above 12 believes this, please email me as I have a slightly used bridge I'd like to sell you.

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