| story continues..
Sonic CEO Dane Jasper is one of a growing number of ISP executives
who've pointed out that the FCC's new net neutrality rules -- despite a lot of hand wringing from partisans and the mega-ISPs -- are really not a big deal. In fact, Jasper has stated, the only people they really impact are ISP executives interested in anti-competitive behavior
. ISPs already have to submit data to the FCC stating they're engaged in reasonable traffic management, and if you're not doing anything anti-competitive, Title II with forbearance really won't change things for you:
Today, Internet service providers are required to publish for the FCC a disclosure of traffic management practices. So we publish a disclosure. I think it says we don't touch your bits. We don't modify, we don't filter, we don't engage in deep pack inspection.
So, I think from a compliance perspective, if the assumption is that Title II will be by and large gutted, or rather they engage in forbearance of all provisions and begin to re-enable provisions that allow them to assure the traffic is treated equally, my expectation is those of use that treat traffic equally will have a pretty light regulatory burden.
That's one of the most respected CEOs in the industry, from one of the best reviewed ISPs
in the country, unequivocally stating the circulating claims that the FCC's new rules will saddle ISPs with numerous, onerous "burdensome regulations" simply aren't true. The rules also aren't, as so many neutrality opponents argue, an attempt to "regulate the Internet," Jasper argues in a new blog post
It is important to draw the distinction between regulation of the Internet, and regulation of carriers.
The mega-ISPs have shared their thoughts on today's FCC net neutrality ruling, and you'll be shocked and surprised to learn that they don't much like it. AT&T, for example, insisted in a blog post
that the FCC's since-overturned 2010 net neutrality rules (which did little and didn't cover wireless) were good enough, and that the unprecedented public-supported effort to pass tougher rules was a horrible example of "rigidity" and a failure on the part of new FCC boss Tom Wheeler:
Every chairman in my memory, including the current one, has faced political stampedes of one sort or another.
You might recall that back in 2013, some DSLReports.com regulars, including University of Manitoba graduate student Ben Klass ( bklass
), filed a complaint against Bell
in Canada. Basically, they were annoyed by the fact that Bell's $5 a month Bell Mobile TV service -- which provides 10 hours of live or recorded TV show access each month -- didn't count against user usage caps, while competing services unfairly did.
To try and prevent the FCC from crafting tough Title-II based net neutrality rules, loyal ISP politicians in Congress have promised a slew of bills aimed at eroding FCC authority ahead of the FCC's February 26 vote on new rules. One of the first out of the gate is courtesy of Rep. story continues..
Your broadband bill will be free of additional taxes until at least October of 2015. The Internet Tax Freedom Act, which was passed in 1998 and has been extended three times since, was scheduled to expire this week. Your wallet was saved this latest go-round courtesy of an extension of the restriction buried in a soon-to-be-passed 1,603-page government funding bill
. Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) co-wrote the original bill, and says he'll push to make the restriction permanent next year.
Over the last thirty years or so AT&T has made it very clear that it absolutely loathes government regulation -- unless that regulation is written by them to protect their duopoly power. Case in point is the city of Chanute, Kansas, which is trying to offer its residents 1 Gbps connections for $40 per month, after years of getting tired of the local AT&T and CableOne duopoly. story continues..
The Electronic Freedom Foundation last week filed a petition with the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office to extend and expand six different exemptions to the DMCA, covering everything from the right to bypass car DRM -- to the right to continue tinkering with games no longer supported by the developers. In a blog post
the EFF notes the group also urged the Librarian of Congress “to extend and expand the exemption that allows you to ‘jailbreak’ your phone from those restrictions, without running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).”
In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal
after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.
Eager to expand government coffers, Hungarian politicians have pushed forward a new draft bill to be debated in 2015 that would tax Internet service providers for traffic carried. A report in Reuters
indicates that the upcoming proposal sets forth a tax of 150 forints (60 US cents) per gigabyte of data traffic, though the report also notes the laws would allow companies to offset corporate income tax against the new levy.
The news was immediately received poorly, with possible protests planned for Sunday. One firm estimates Hungary's annual traffic to be 1.15 billion gigabytes on fixed line networks and 18 million gigabytes via wireless, which would generate around 175 billion forints (around $725 million) for the Hungarian government annually.
Comcast last night filed their reply comments to the FCC as the agency considers approving the company's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The filing is filled with the sort of arguments we've seen countless times already
over the past few months, including Comcast's repeated claim that they face so much competition on every front
there's simply no way they'd ever engage in anti-competitive behavior.
Netflix has thrown their support behind cities eager to build their own broadband without interference from incumbent ISPs and lobbyists. In a filing with the FCC
, Netflix argues that the FCC can and should over-rule states like Tennessee, North Carolina and elsewhere, which have allowed ISPs to literally write the state telecom laws prohibiting towns and cities from improving their own broadband networks -- even in cases where nobody else will.
As we noted last week
, two different cities with their own broadband networks (Wilson, NC and Chattanooga, Tennessee) have formally asked the FCC to declare that laws in their states hindering community broadband aren't enforceable, giving FCC boss Tom Wheeler the perfect opportunity to back up claims that he'd take action. Such bills are written and lobbied for by companies like Comcast, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, and often restrict local citizen rights to determine for themselves what the best course of action for their community is.
The United States' largest community fiber broadband effort is Utah's UTOPIA, which has been under assault by large incumbent ISPs like Qwest
(now CenturyLink) since before the first customer was even connected. UTOPIA has for much of a decade successfully fended off both these ISPs and a good deal of managerial incompetence on their own part, and is on the cusp of securing a significant cash boost
from an Australian investment firm.
For the second time in as many months, FCC boss Tom Wheeler has hinted that the FCC may take steps to pre-empt laws written and passed by broadband incumbent ISPs that prohibit towns and cities from building their own broadband -- even in cases where nobody else will.
In a blog post
, Wheeler uses the utility-provided broadband services by the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee (see our overwhelmingly-positive user reviews
of EFB Fiber) as an example of how many of these projects can work out, despite a decade of hang-wringing from the usual folks eager to defend the status quo.
Paying off national and state politicians along with lobbyists to get your way seems like a tradition within the internet/TV business. When AT&T didn’t want competition in Wisconsin
, they paid off politicians to dress up AT&T’s view as “fiscal responsibility." When Verizon wanted to sniff out the Canadian telecom market
, they hired a slew of lobbyists to see if they could the country to change their telecom rules.
If there's one thing I've probably griped about more than any other in the now thirteen-plus years I've written here, it's probably buried below the line fees. For years ISPs have buried the ordinary cost of doing business below the line in itemized fees. story continues..
Last fall the FAA lifted restrictions on in-flight electronics use during take offs and landing, and last January the FCC began rulemaking to lift the restrictions on in-flight phone calls. Wheeler and the FCC took a lot of heat for that move
(and is still fielding mostly negative comments
on the idea).
In April of last year, wireless carriers and the government announced
that they'd be collaborating on building a new nationwide database to track stolen phones (specifically the IMEI number, not just the SIM card ID). The goal is to reduce the time that stolen phones remain useful, thereby drying up the market for stolen phones and reducing the ability of criminals to use the devices to dodge surveillance.
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors
, Karl Bode