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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (C) departs the Senate floor after a late-night vote rejected budget legislation from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 30, 2013. The U.S. government was on the edg
Of course he's on AT&T's side.
The lackeys of big telecom in Congress have now weighed in on the net neutrality debate, introducing legislation to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband as a utility. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has promised to introduce such a bill, and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) has dropped it in the House.
Reclassifying broadband would hurt the Internet economy, Latta said in a statement. “At a time when the Internet economy is thriving and driving robust productivity and economic growth, it is reckless to suggest, let alone adopt, policies that threaten its success,” he said. “Reclassification would heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, restricting their flexibility to innovate and placing them at the mercy of a government agency.”

The legislation would give all Internet businesses the certainty they need to continue investing in broadband networks and services, Latta added.

That's interesting, considering all of the web giants have weighed in on the side of preserving net neutrality, as have the venture capitalists who helped those web giants become giants. They seem to think the certainty they need is in net neutrality. The best way for the FCC to preserve it is with reclassification. Who is on Latta's side?
Trade groups USTelecom and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association applauded Latta’s legislation.
What a shock. To be clear, this move isn't a real effort to legislate. While there's a chance it could pass in the Republican House, it's unlikely to even make it to the floor in the Senate. This is the telecoms and cable industry pushing their weight around and putting pressure on the FCC through Congress, using Latta (who they have a healthy investment in—$11,500 from the cable group and $10K from AT&T in the last two years).

This does tell us one encouraging thing: the telecoms think the threat of reclassification is real. It is real because of the huge public outcry in the past month to save net neutrality through reclassification. We've pushed hard enough that the FCC is seriously considering it, and AT&T and Verizon and Comcast are scared. Let's keep it that way.

Sign and send the petition to the FCC: The internet is a public utility.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 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 Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:32:55 AM PDT

  •  Carnival Cruz and Cafe Latta (8+ / 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 Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:53:51 AM PDT

  •  Everything the Republican party says or does... (5+ / 0-)

    is always diametrically opposed of reality. It seems to be intrinsic.

    This is really becoming an inexplicable phenomenon.

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Fri May 30, 2014 at 11:01:05 AM PDT

    •  Wait a minute. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, cashewdrew, devis1, bryduck

      This is the Obama Administration's FCC. Obama spun the revolving corporate door to fill FCC leadership positions.

      Don't for a minute think that the FCC Chair isn't doing EXACTLY what the Obama Administration wants them to do when they eliminate net neutrality. They already tried to sneak it through but met with harsh public response. So they'll try it a few more times and maybe get the result they want while college students aren't paying attention (summertime or at the end of the fall classes is their usual "sneak-through" timing.)

      We built the Internet. We own it. Any company that has improved it with infrastructure has already made back their investment and more.

      We WILL lose net neutrality, and we'll lose it on Obama's watch because if a Republican tried to pull this kind of thing, the left would be all over it. Instead, it's going the way of the single payer option, with Obama apologists pretending their guy had no control over the lack of a public option in the "Insurance Industry Profit and Protection Act."

      Let's not be so gullible as to point our fingers at those "bad Republicans" while wearing blinders about who's really in charge. This is our side, our guy, and our Democrats trying to cheat us out of net neutrality.

      •  I wish I could disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        For some reason, a lot of DKosians are avoiding these diaries; I wonder if that's because none of Obama's supporters want to admit that he's 100% culpable here. The FCC is entirely within the Executive Branch's purview--therefore their actions are entirely exempt from rabid supporters' (not saying they all are rabid, folks!) claims that "he's not a dictator" or "he's the President of all the United States" or "he's helpless in the face of Republican obstruction" etc etc etc.
        I also wonder why few of Obama's detractors aren't here commenting either. This would seem to be a prime launching spot for a "rox/sux" fight. I can hope that once his term is over we will be able to avoid those, but if Clinton wins, I fear not.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:13:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  BREAKING: Dominionist Wants To Abolish Technology (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, daeros, Cadillac64

    Like clockwork, every time this bad idea rolls around congressional Republicans stick their noses where they don't belong & try to tie the FCC's hands (a frivolous & likely-unenforceable move in any case).

    Figures that this would come from the raving imbecile that wants this country technologically on par with Zimbabwe.

    Stop the FCC from killing the Internet! E-mail them. Call them. Tell the President & your congressmen to help save Internet freedom!

    by Brown Thrasher on Fri May 30, 2014 at 11:14:50 AM PDT

  •  dear net,expel selfish saboteurs slowly/but purely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros, Cadillac64

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Fri May 30, 2014 at 03:18:03 PM PDT

  •  Republican Congress and Obama Administration (6+ / 0-)

    both want to gut Net Neutrality?

    Dear gods, I thought they were mortal enemies! You mean they both work to push the same bad policies, which oddly benefit only a tiny fraction of the population?

    Holy Brigid, lady of light, my worldview is crashing!

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 30, 2014 at 03:34:17 PM PDT

  •  $21,500 is a 'healthy investment'? (0+ / 0-)

    Wrong century if you think that's more than peanuts.

  •  Tech companies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago dad, daeros, Cadillac64

    could easily draw attention to this by doing what they did over SOPA and having major websites "go dark" for a time.

    I suspect that would cause more than enough people to finally get on board with pestering these assholes in DC to set up proper net neutrality rules and/or laws once and for all.

    Why the big tech companies haven't started discussing doing this yet is puzzling since they know it worked so well to kill off SOPA.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Fri May 30, 2014 at 03:38:39 PM PDT

  •  Sweep the leg! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros, Cadillac64, OooSillyMe

    The last thing making money in this country and they want to kill it.

    Fucking Idiots.

    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 Fri May 30, 2014 at 03:51:33 PM PDT

  •  Free riders? (0+ / 0-)

    If, as they say, it's true that Netflix uses 95% of bandwidth after 7pm, wouldn't that be considered free riding on a public utility? Wouldn't that also be the same for someone downloading thousands of movies to their own media server? The latter is an extreme example, obviously, but where is that point where usage goes beyond maximizing utility and abusing the system?

    I'm not for or against net neutrality, just wondering a few things:

    1: What is considered a bare minimum for end user throughput(both up & down) in today's age? In 2 years? In 10?

    2: What is the mean, median & mode of current data usage(up & down) for the consumer?

    3: What are the  top 1, 5 & 10% of data users streaming downloading & uploading?

    4:What is the current capacity of bandwidth on trunk lines, nodes & end user? Where will it be in 2, 5 or 10 years?

    5: How close are we to capacity? In 2/5/10 years at current levels?

    Having answers like this would really help make up my mind better than any theoretical concept.

    •  So what if people are using Netflix? (0+ / 0-)

      We built the internet. We paid for it, many times. We OWN it.

      Let's start acting like we have a say.

    •  Nonsense, the Internet should remain a Utility (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, TexasTom, missississy

      A utility model is the appropriate answer. BTW: Since the Internet business model works, that is, there are ways to monetize the variety of businesses ranging from content provider to last mile, companies will keep growing to meet the demand.

      The key distinction is that the utilities will make very handsome guaranteed profits in predictable ways in exchange for regulation, assuring their management of good salaries and small bonuses and stock options. Whereas the avaricious hot shots such as Comcast have the goal of making ungodly amounts of money with no regulation by exploiting every possible leverage, plundering consumers and blackmailing content providers.

      It seems from your questions you don't quite understand the Internet, nor packet-based switching and the nature of the movement of packets as demand and supply ebb and flow.

      First, Netflix isn't "using" the bandwidth. Users (consumers) are using the bandwidth.  Unless Netflix is spamming people with streaming media - "We don't care that you are sitting at home reading, we're going to send you a 2 gigabyte  file with Game of Thrones whether you like it or not!" Netflix isn't using any Internet bandwidth.

      Users are making requests of Netflix for packets. Netflix is seeking to satisfy those requests as efficiently as possible. Each user/consumer is paying for their own bandwidth consumption through their existing Service Level Agreements with their ISP.

      Netflix, on the other hand, will quickly run out of bandwidth capacity at their ISP.  So they'll seek alternatives. We learned this nearly 20 years ago.

      Back in June 10, 1996 I was part of the team streaming live Metallica performance from Slim's nightclub in San Francisco's SOMA. We were literally a stone's throw from the Bill Graham Presents offices. It was one of the first times very popular content was distributed over streaming media with a combination of streaming audio as well as M-bone AV.  

      The M-bone demand literally crashed the Sonnet Ring in the SF Bay area - the fastest fiber network on the planet. The M-Bone was available around the world at major research universities - we even had a stream picked up in Japan - but most of the big bandwidth demand was from universities in the Bay Area.

      At the time there were only 250,000 dialup connections on the entire AOL backbone nationwide. Many were still 2,400 baud, most were 9,600 baud, barely adequate for streaming audio of abysmal fidelity.

      About this time many ISPs set about adding server capacity and interconnection upgrades as more fiber was lit. The smart "content providers," in those days these were the advertisers serving banner ads in high volumes, started to distribute servers to various ISPs and POPs around the country.

      Eventually companies like Akamai sprang up in 1998 to aggregate and manage the bandwidth demand at these "edge server" locations.

      Technologies such as multi-cast IP were explored, but due to the limitations of the IETF-4 existing protocol (IIRC) multicast was too easily hacked and did not provide sufficient peering across all networks.

      Embrace the Internet as utility model. It will continue to serve us well.

    •  No, they're not free riders (0+ / 0-)

      Netflix streams videos to customers who request those videos -- customers who are paying the ISPs for the bandwidth and download speed to let them receive the Netflix stream.

      As long as I'm paying my ISP for that download speed and bandwidth, it seems to me that it is my own business what services I choose receive over the Internet.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:54:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Calgary Cruz is such a corporate lackey (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros, Cadillac64

    he stands only for the 1%

  •  Any word on the Senate? (0+ / 0-)

    Even if (moderate sized "if" there) this germ of a policy idea makes it for a vote, is the Senate going to take it up?  And even if it makes it out of the Senate, what chance is there that the President will sign it?  And when the President vetoes it, what are the odds Congress can override it?

    Basically, its another germ of a concept that I can't see going anywhere.  We'll all be better off for it.

  •  reality check (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros, Cadillac64

    REpublicans, who are a minority party, therefore do all they can to limit or destroy democracy.

    In addition, because of this fact, they don't give a shit about the majority, including women, minorities, gays, etc.

    Their strategy is to suppress the vote and block any progress in Congress: that is the core of current "conservatism"e

    Genuine conservatives know that everything worth preserving in the American tradition consists in the progressive advances and reforms, from abolishing slavery to the 8 hr workday to marriage equality.  

    Fake conservatives (who are actually reactionaries) want to undo the very programs and advances which have created a tradition worth conserving.  They want to block progress, stop history, and turn things back to the good old days when white men dominated the country and slaves were happy and gays stayed in the closet and the poor were allowed to perish.

    The genuine conservative treasure in the US is the progressive tradition, which started with the Republicans before they became anti-progress.

    Today, Republicans are anti-science, anti- expanding civil rights, and anti-democracy.  They are traitors to the liberalism which arose out of the reform wing of the Republican Party.  Republicans are self-hating liberals.

  •  Obama should come out in opposition of net neut... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IdaMena2

    Obama should come out in opposition of net neutrality. Tell the republicans it's a great idea, and throw the country into chaos.

  •  Reclassification is a very drastic change (0+ / 0-)

    And will have significant repercussions that are pretty much impossible to predict (some possibilities are very good, some possibilities are very bad). In comparison, the FCC proposal that started all this barely registers as a change.

    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, TexasTom

      My reading of the Chairman's comments is that he has been doubly disingenuous.

      Even though the Internet has been operated as a public utility all along, in all but name he asserts no change and simultaneously rules out defining the Internet as a utility.

      The Internet should be regulated as a Utility. Period. All parties would benefit.

    •  No, it isn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TKO333

      Common carrier regulation is hardly something new and unknown -- it's been around since the days of the telegraph.  From all that regulatory history, I think we do indeed have a pretty good idea of what to expect out of that particular regulatory model.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:55:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's new and unknown to broadband internet (0+ / 0-)

        The FCC proposed a very minor regulatory change to address a specific issue, overuse and abuse of externalized resources by content providers.

        Common carrier would be a complete overhaul of every single aspect of the American internet.

        To my mind this is akin to proposing that the problems in DC would be solved by ripping up the Constitution, disbanding Congress and appointing Elizabeth Warren President for Life. (There's a long history of benevolent dictators, after all.)

        Calling for radical change under the guise of "preserving the internet" is just as disingenuous as those who call for defanging the FCC as a means of promoting "market efficiency".

  •  Common Carriage was the prime directive until t... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333

    Common Carriage was the prime directive until the Bush era.

    Infrastructure in the public interest was viewed as critical to the ability of the broader population to participate in the economy.

    There was a time when roads were built by private enterprise but this was a failed idea already well before 1800.

    Roads and bridges, electric power and telephone service are not different from the Internet if we are talking about the structure of the future.

    The radical change was the action of Michael Powell in leading the FCC to ditch common carriage for the Internet in favor of a bureaucratic move to designate the Internet as not subject to being regarded as critical infrastructure.

    History did not begin with the Bush era.

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