Posts Tagged “fcc”

The FCC sucks at repealing net neutrality »

Karl Bode, techdirt:

… the FCC shot itself in the foot, and when it neutered its own authority over ISPs at Comcast, AT&T and Verizon’s behest, it managed to also neuter its authority to pre-empt states from filling the void. Of course this could all be moot if the FCC loses its battle in court, but it’s amusing all the same, and it’s another example of how Ajit Pai and friends didn’t really think this whole thing through.

FCC, ISPs grapple with net neutrality challenges

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica:

Twelve lawsuits filed against the Federal Communications Commission over its net neutrality repeal have been consolidated into one suit that will be heard at a federal appeals court in California.

The 12 lawsuits were filed by more than three dozen entities, including state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups, and tech companies.

Karl Bode, techdirt:

Granted having disparate state-level protections may in some ways be cumbersome, but that’s again something ISPs like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast should have thought a little harder about before killing extremely popular and modest (by international standards) federal protections. Large ISP lobbyists created this mess and, unsurprisingly, they’re simply refusing to own it.

I would’ve loved to see the FCC net neutrality repeal fail, but seeing proponents of the repeal grapple with the fallout of running roughshod over the public during the repeal process has been pretty satisfying. None of these ISPs appear to realize how unpopular they are and what they’re pushing for is. I want net neutrality enshrined in legislation, but any bill ISPs or their lobbyists are involved in writing would preserve net neutrality in name only.

California state senate passes net neutrality legislation »

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica:

The California State Senate yesterday approved a bill to impose net neutrality restrictions on Internet service providers, challenging the Federal Communications Commission attempt to preempt such rules.

This is a positive first step and one that will, hopefully, be taken up and passed through the state house before being signed into law. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with the FCC’s language preemption language includes in their original order. Ideally it’ll withstand inevitable legal challenges but, should it fail, the state government can always take the same approach other state have and bar ISPs violating net neutrality from receiving state contracts.

Fort Collins votes in favor of municipal broadband »

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica:

While the Federal Communications Commission has voted to eliminate the nation’s net neutrality rules, the municipal broadband network will be neutral and without data caps.

“The network will deliver a ‘net-neutral’ competitive unfettered data offering that does not impose caps or usage limits on one use of data over another (i.e., does not limit streaming or charge rates based on type of use),” a new planning document says. “All application providers (data, voice, video, cloud services) are equally able to provide their services, and consumers’ access to advanced data opens up the marketplace.”

I sincerely hope more cities push to create their own, neutral networks now that the FCC has abdicated its responsibility to protect consumers from abuses by private, monopolistic ISPs.

Ending net neutrality will end the Internet as we know it »

Steve Wozniak and Michael Copps:

The path forward is clear. The FCC must abandon its ill-conceived plan to end net neutrality. Instead of creating fast lanes for the few, it should be moving all of us to the fast lane by encouraging competition in local broadband connectivity and pushing companies to deliver higher speeds at more affordable prices. It’s the right thing for us as consumers and as citizens.

A vote for Pai is a vote against consumers and for Big Cable »

Sen. Ron Wyden:

Mr. Pai, has a long track record of putting big cable before consumers, big corporations above small businesses and pay-to-play over the free and open internet. Mr. Pai has betrayed the American consumer at every turn and has an agenda at the FCC that makes a mockery of the moniker: Independent Agency. He’s on the side of big cable and big business, and hasn’t done much of anything for the rest of us.

ISPs look to the Supreme Court to kill net neutrality »

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica:

The lobby groups want a ruling that the FCC exceeded its statutory authority by reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service. Such a ruling could prevent future FCCs from implementing net neutrality rules as strict as the current ones, which outlaw blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. A ruling for the industry could also prevent future FCCs from reviving other consumer protections that are likely to be overturned by the commission’s current Republican majority.

None of this would be necessary if ISPs and cable companies were capable of creating and providing services that consumers actually wanted to use. Instead, they pursue legal action to cripple competitors and force consumers to use their, at best, substandard services.

FCC continues to completely disregard public opposition to net neutrality repeal

Karl Bode via Techdirt:

Let’s not mince words: the FCC’s plan to gut net neutrality protections in light of severe public opposition is likely one of the more bare-knuckled acts of cronyism in modern technological and political history. That’s because the rules have overwhelming, bipartisan support from the vast majority of consumers, most of whom realize the already imperfect rules are some of the only consumer protections standing between consumers and giant, uncompetitive companies like Comcast. Repealing the rules only serves one interest: that of one of the least liked, least-competitive industries in America.

Jacob Kastrenakes via The Verge:

Even after millions of comments arguing that internet protections are needed, it’s entirely possible that the commission will go ahead with its original, bare-bones plan to simply kill net neutrality and leave everything else up to internet providers to sort out.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has, for the entirety of the net neutrality comment period, shown a willful disregard for public comments and interests. The FCC appears determined to repeal the rules in a decision that would only benefit companies that already occupy abusive duopoly positions in the market. Even worse, those make the decision seem perfectly willing to accept comments supporting their position that are clearly fraudulent.

Jon Brodkin via Ars Technica:

Despite a study showing that 98.5 percent of individually written net neutrality comments support the US’s current net neutrality rules, AT&T is claiming that the vast majority of “legitimate” comments favor repealing the rules.

The Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality docket is a real mess, with nearly 22 million comments, mostly from form letters and many from spam bots using identities stolen from data breaches.

FCC and ISPs begin campaign to gut net neutrality while pretending to protect it


… don’t pretend that a bill from Congress pretending to “save” net neutrality will actually do so, when it’s quite obvious that the bills being offered will undermine our internet, help big broadband screw over users, and diminish competition.

Ars Technica:

Nine Republican US senators yesterday submitted legislation that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from ever again using the regulatory authority that allowed the commission to impose net neutrality rules. The “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” would prohibit the FCC from classifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act and “from imposing certain regulations on providers of such service.”

All this amounts to is ISPs attempting to irreperably harm the internet in an effort to prop up businesses that would otherwise not be competetive. Strong net neutrality protections are absolutely vital to the ongoing health of the internet and companies that depend on it.

Trump FCC chair begins dismantling consumer protections and subsidies

Via Ars Technica

“The Federal Communications Commission’s new Republican leadership has rescinded a determination that AT&T and Verizon Wireless violated net neutrality rules with paid data cap exemptions. The FCC also rescinded several other Wheeler-era reports and actions.”

We’re barely two weeks into the new presidential administration and it looks like net neutrality will be yet another casualty of this administration’s drive to strip away consumer-friendly regulations.

If a ruling or judgement is good for telecoms or ISPs it is very likely bad for customers. This is one of those cases.

The FCC also took steps to scale back benefits provided by the Lifeline program to low income consumers:

“Regulators are telling nine companies they won’t be allowed to participate in a federal program meant to help them provide affordable Internet access to low-income consumers — weeks after those companies had been given the green light.”

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