Posts Tagged ‘net neutrality’

If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

July 12, 2017

If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

The Internet is a utility, a vital public asset in a free society. Who could disagree with that? The Trump Administration. Learn more here:

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Net Neutrality Neutered?

May 3, 2017

Net Neutrality Neutered?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to roll back government oversight of high-speed internet providers and pretend internet service is not a public utility. His plan would end “net neutrality” and enable broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast to give special treatment to their own streaming videos and news sites, throttling competing content to slower upload speeds unless those content providers pay a premium to enter the “fast lane.”

Of course, as 73-year-old Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI, 5) says,  “Nobody’s got to use the Internet,” right? Right?

More:

“F.C.C. Chairman Pushes Sweeping Changes to Net Neutrality Rules,”Cecilia Kang, New York Times

“The Worst Lies From Yesterday’s Anti-Net Neutrality Speech,” Libby Watson, Gizmodo

“Here’s What Comes Next in the Fight to Save Net Neutrality,” Klint Finley, Wired

“Why the FCC’s Plans to Gut Net Neutrality Just Might Fail,” Klint Finley, Wired

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Court Upholds Net Neutrality

June 15, 2016

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

In a 2-to-1 ruling,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld new FCC rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing some sites and services and speeding up favored ones, observing:

“Given the tremendous impact third-party internet content has had on our society, it would be hard to deny its dominance in the broadband experience. Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie.”

ISPs had argued that they provide luxury “information services” and should be lightly regulated, but the court upheld the FCC’s new rules classifying them as “telecommunications services” or utilities, which are more strictly regulated. Expect this matter to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

More:

“Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality,” Brian Fung, Washington Post

“Tom Wheeler defeats the broadband industry: Net neutrality wins in court,” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

“Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong,” Micharl Copps, BillMoyer.com

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Internet Neutrality

February 27, 2015

Internet Neutrality

“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” —  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted to adopt stronger Network Neutrality rules on Thursday. Network Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services or set aside a “fast lane” to allow ISP-favored content to load more quickly. Broadband providers will now be regulated as public utilities, and it is this “Title II reclassification” move that will give the agency broader authority to establish network neutrality rules.  Expect resistance from ISPs, in the form of PR campaigns and lawsuits.

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Net Neutrality: Obama Observes the Obvious

November 11, 2014

Net Neutrality: Obama Observes the Obvious

The USA, which invented the Internet, is 43rd in world Internet speed, behind Estonia. High-speed broadband access costs three times as much in the US as in the UK and France, more than five times as much as in South Korea. There are only a few broadband providers in the US, and 30% of Americans can only choose one due to monopoly local access rules. So naturally, instead of upgrading their networks to world standards, American Internet Service Providers plan to selectively slow down Web access unless customers cough up even more dough.

The FCC has been considering allowing the “Internet Fast Lanes” and opened proposed regs for public comment. 4 million outraged citizens told them to shove it.

President Obama has reasonably observed that Web access is a basic utility today and should be regulated like a utility. Naturally Comcast, VerizonTime Warner Cable, and AT&T are foaming at the mouth. They argue that regulation would stifle innovation, as if their strong-arm tactics haven’t clearly done that already (see “Estonia,” above). Republicans are raging against the Net Neutrality proposal, partly because big corporations fund campaigns but mostly because Obama is for it. But the FCC is an independent agency, theoretically insulated from presidential and congressional pressure, but a few protesters sat at the foot of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s driveway, blocking his car, so he’d have a better understanding of bandwidth throttling.

More:

“President Obama Urges FCC to Implement Stronger Net Neutrality Rules,” Ezra Mechaber, White House Blog

“Obama’s big net neutrality announcement, explained,” Timothy B. Lee, Vox

“Tim Wu says Obama’s net neutrality plan is ‘bold, courageous, and just obvious,'” Nilay Patel, The Verge

“Ted Cruz’s Net Neutrality Take Isn’t Just Dumb, It’s Dangerous,” Kate Knibbs, Gizmodo

“The legal arguments against a leading net neutrality proposal are weak,” Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Obama to the FCC: Adopt ‘the strongest possible rules’ on net neutrality, including Title II,” Brian Fung , Washington Post

“President Obama urges FCC to ban paid internet ‘fast lanes,’” Anne Flaherty, AP via PBS

“Obama calls for more regulation of Internet providers, industry fires back,” Fox News

“Obama’s Net Neutrality Push,” Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly

“Obama’s Plan to Save the Internet,” Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo

“Barack Obama’s support for net neutrality sets precedent for the rest of the world,” Alex Hern, The Guardian

“The FCC Fires Back At the President’s Net Neutrality Plan,” Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch

“Obama’s Net Neutrality Statement Will Start a War on K Street,” John B. Judis, The New Republic

“Why the Public Utility Model Is the Wrong Approach for Internet Regulation,” Larry Downes, Harvard Business Review

“By Backing Net Neutrality, Obama Delivers Blow to Corporate Giveaways,” Rebecca Leber, The New Republic

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Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’

September 22, 2014

Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’

 

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, recently spoke with the Washington Post‘s Brian Fung about proposed FCC rule changes that would allow Internet Service Providers to charge content companies for higher speed access to consumers, so-called “fast lanes.”

 “If businesses are to move here and start here rather than start in Europe or Brazil or Australia — they’re going to look around and make sure, ‘Oh, does the power stay up?’ And they’ll look for other things. ‘Is the Internet open?’ Will they have to effectively bribe their ISPs to start a new service? That’s what it looks like from the outside. It’s bribery.”

— “World Wide Web inventor slams Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’” Brian Fung, Washington Post

Related:

“We Can Win the Fight for an Open Internet — If We Keep up the Pressure,” Michael Copps, Moyers & Company

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Owners of the InterWebs

April 7, 2010

Owners of the InterWebs

Thanks to the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, corporations now control the Internet, not Web-using citizens.

The DC Court ruled that the FCC cannot prohibit the Comcast Corporation from interfering with subscribers’ access to websites. Net Neutrality? Kiss it goodbye. Look for metered Net rates, a concept pioneered by Time Warner Cable. Look for cable companies to block streaming video sites and Netflicks. Look for that bright Broadband future to screech to a halt as incumbent ISPs dig in their heels.

Can the FCC regroup and reclaim jurisdiction? Maybe, but it won’t be pretty.

Think the Supreme Court will overturn Tuesday’s ruling? The Supremes already granted corporations the rights of flesh-and-blood citizens.

 

Appellate Court fans can read Judge Tatel’s opinion here. 

Suggested reading: “Is Net neutrality dead? (FAQ),” Marguerite Reardon, CNET News.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.