Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

FCC doubles down on Net Neutrality

FCC doubles down on Net Neutrality

Rollout begins…unless a judge acts

If activists want to stop the rollout of the new net neutrality rules, they’re going to have to use the courts to do it.

Since the FCC first announced that it had approved a new set of regulations governing internet providers, those providers have been trying to find a way to block the rollout, which is set to happen on June 12. They’re attacking both the FCC’s intent to classify the internet as a utility, and provisions that would prevent providers from self-regulating internet traffic.

Yesterday, the FCC denied petitions from eight of these providers asking the Commission to hold off on implementing the rules until the court battles settle themselves. The denial comes as a shock to absolutely no one, and ushers in a new round of court challenges in addition to ones already brought by AT&T and other providers.

More via The Hill:

The FCC’s decision on reclassification was meant to give the commission broader authority to police net neutrality, the idea that no piece of Internet traffic should be prioritized above another. The order included rules against blocking or throttling traffic, and paid prioritization. The commission also implemented a broader conduct standard for determining abuse.

In its denial of the petitions, the FCC argued that rolling back the conduct standard and reclassification would “eliminate these important regulatory backstops against the harms to consumers and innovators.” The commission also argued the challenges are not likely to succeed because the Internet rule falls “well within the commission’s statutory authority, is consistent with Supreme Court precedent, and fully complies with the Administrative Procedure Act.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is “pretty confident” that requests to delay the rollout will fail; according to net neutrality supporters, the fact that challengers will have to bring new arguments to the table if they want to challenge the Commission’s rule making authority could mean the end of the opposition:

When asked if he expected as many challenges as he got, Wheeler was blunt. “Sure,” he said. “The Big Dogs will sue on the things they don’t like and it’s their right.” Still, he doesn’t seem all too worried about the matter. Wheeler explained that the Verizon decision that overturned the 2010 Net Neutrality rules was based on the concept that the FCC tried to impose Title II-like requirements without actually coming out and saying these companies are Title II common carriers. Even with parts of the Telecommunications Act subject to forbearance here — meaning some things just won’t apply to keep regulatory meddling to a minimum — there’s just no ambiguity anymore. That extra bit of legal specificity is enough to keep Wheeler awfully optimistic about the Open Internet’s chances, but you know its opponents are going to throw whatever they can at the plan in hopes that something icky sticks.

There’s plenty of icky here, even if the progressive tech community doesn’t want to admit it. Regulatory overreach has found a home in the FCC, and small government activists aren’t going to let a true free and open internet go without a fight.

We’ll keep you posted on the challenges to the new net neutrality regulations as they surface (and die and surface again.)

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

Bruce Hayden | May 9, 2015 at 7:57 am

I have never understood what is wrong with getting more bandwidth by paying for it. Originally, this was mainly a commercial dispute between Comcast and Netflix, on how much the latter was to pay the former for access to its network. Which really means that we are talking about back end speeds, and not front end. Someone has to pay for the bandwidth that Netflix users use when streaming movies (which, of course, is what the bulk of their business is). Some of it is paid on the front end, and some on the back. They were initially negotiating a contract renewal and Netflix thought that they were paying too much.

In any case though, the Obama Administration is doing here, what it always does – not letting a (real or imaginary) crisis go to waste. They really don’t care that much about the economics here. Rather, their goal is to control content. Because, there is a lot of misinformation coming out of right wing sources like this, and notably Drudge. And, you can’t control the population, as any group of socialists think they need to, without controlling the public’s access to information. You can’t redefine language, implement Newspeak, etc., without controlling the means of transmission.

The FCC, of course, voted on “Net Neutrality” long before ever seeing the proposed regulations. Another example of having to vote on them so that they can see them. So, now that the regulations are bubbling up, a number of the corporate players pushing it are starting to get cold feet. ObamaNet is looking more and more like ObamaCare.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Bruce Hayden. | May 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Originally, this was mainly a commercial dispute between Comcast and Netflix, on how much the latter was to pay the former for access to its network.
    This statement is complete and utter bullshit.
    The Net Neutrality debate began when Comcast got caught throttling bittorrent traffic. At that time I’m not even sure Netflix existed.
    If they did, they were more in the form of rent DVD at kiosk company, rather then a stream over the internet company.

    Now I am aware that much of the use of bittorrent is for illicit purposes ie “sharing” of copyright material, but that is a side effect of the usefulness of torrenting– allowing people to upload large files with less cost. Whenever I have to download something that is large ( and that I do have the legal right to ) I choose to use bittorrent to reduce the burden on the senders.

    Furthermore there were other attempts to violate net neutrality, after that first attempt.

    Which really means that we are talking about back end speeds, and not front end. Someone has to pay for the bandwidth that Netflix users use when streaming movies (which, of course, is what the bulk of their business is). Some of it is paid on the front end, and some on the back.

    Outright lie. The initial proposal included back end language, Google and one of the commissioners complained. The back end stuff was removed. This law strictly applies to the front end.

    The debate was never about the back end. It was always about the front end. The back end is a large conglomeration of networks, including one run by Netflix, essentially merged into one. Comcast traffic runs over Netflix lines, Netflix traffic runs over AT&T lines etc. . If traffic crossover is nearly equal, then no one pays, but if there is an imbalance the side that consumes more pays. BTW the back end has been heavily regulated since day one.

    The FCC, of course, voted on “Net Neutrality” long before ever seeing the proposed regulations. Another example of having to vote on them so that they can see them.
    Another lie. The FCC commissioners did see the proposal before they voted on it.

    True the public did not see the exact language, but they were given a summary. Can you show one thing in the regulations as passed that differs significantly from the summary?

    So, now that the regulations are bubbling up, a number of the corporate players pushing it are starting to get cold feet.
    Name one. Specifically name a corporation that supported net neutrality before the vote that now is “getting cold feet”.

    I have never understood what is wrong with getting more bandwidth by paying for it.
    I have never understood what is wrong with being able to use the bandwidth that I paid for.

    For those who are really interested in what it’s about, here is a short but very dense and fast video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAxMyTwmu_M

    Here is a longer one with a more liberatarian bent where he gets it mostly right.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z_nBhfpmk4

Bruce Hayden | May 9, 2015 at 8:13 am

The reason, of course, that this is really, really, bad is that the FCC is apparently using this dispute about bandwidth to get a start on regulating content. And, of course, progressives, statists, fascists, and other socialists, love/need to control content in order to control the facts that their public has access to. I should add that much of the organizing that has been done on the right over the last decade, or at least since the election of Obama, has been over the Internet. What could go wrong if government employees are allowed to control or filter content? Does anyone here think that it would be managed even handedly? Like the IRS was delaying tax exempt status for left wing organizations, like it was for the right. Or, investigated the $.10 per dollar that the Clinton foundation has spent on charity. Government employees, and, esp. those with power, tend to be leftists (and Democrats) because they believe in what they do, which is work in the government. So, no, I don’t want the same people who screwed up healthcare with ObamaCare, screwed up the economy with the Stimulus (and free money at the Fed), and tried to sway elections by manipulating the IRS, FEC, etc., determining what content we can see, and how much we should pay for it.

Amain, Amain, tell it Brother Bruce!

We need to get militant about moving Congress to explicitly FORBID the FCC from dicking with the interwebs. That’s the only thing I can think of that will turn these fascists around.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Ragspierre. | May 9, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Actually with today’s technology, the FCC should be dissolved by Congress.

    With today’s technology there is ZERO need for the fatuous FCC.

    Maybe just shove the FCC into the FDA and let them regulate home-made soap – but only home-made soap of those dirty Leftists!

    Snark!

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Ragspierre. | May 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Ok so Congress should prevent the FCC from dicking with the internet. Who should prevent AT&T/Verison/Copmcast/… from dicking with the internet.

    You know the companies that didn’t invent the internet [1]. The companies that were given the internet in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and then proceeded to take US internet service from number 1 to middle of the pack. The companies that argued to the FCC that they should not be classed as Title II, but then argue in court that they are Title II to get easements.

    [1] See what you’ve done now I’ll have to take about ten showers to get the Obama off me. Still the guy is right once in a while. Oh the agony of saying that!

PoliticiansRscum | May 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Unfortunately, as long as the masses get their porn-sports-soaps, they will consider the Internet free enough.

Biggest problem is that the unwashed masses will see the friendly-looking wording of “Net Neutrality” as being a good thing.

Who would be against Motherhood? Apple pie? Net neutrality?

See, it just sounds like something desirable (sort of like The Patriot Act.) So only bad, nasty, right-wing (redundancy alert!) people could be against it.

What’s odd is that groups like Anonymous support the FCC takeover. Odd since they are mostly anarchists.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to genes. | May 9, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Anonymous doesn’t support the regulation. Anonymous is amorphous. A large segment of Anynmous does support.
    Like “Dr. Johnny Fever” they fear “the phone police”.

    That segment of Anonymous fears AT&T more then they fear the FCC.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend