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Ted Stevens Loses Net Neutrality Fight
109th Congress closes, proposed bill dies...
by Karl Bode 01:37PM Tuesday Dec 12 2006
Last summer Senator Ted "Tubes" Stevens bragged he was close to having the 60 votes necessary to pass his Communications Act of 2006. The Act contained numerous provisions, but its primary goal was to give incumbent telcos a national video franchise, something they claim will speed up IPTV (or, in Verizon's case, coax/fiber) deployment. Critics argue that a national franchise eliminates local negotiating authority, which has traditionally helped communities demand increased deployment (as well as more ridiculous requests).

Despite the fact the Senate Commerce Committee was spending tax dollars to circulate pro-incumbent editorials as educational material, Stevens had a hard time getting his Act approved due to network neutrality concerns. Opponents wanted guarantees that telcos wouldn't discriminate against competing content traffic if given a national video franchise.

"There is no way you can appease the people that say there is a net neutrality problem," Stevens complained a few months back. "It’s a fetish. It’s really something that doesn’t exist," opined Stevens. Stevens hoped to pass his bill during the Senate's "lame duck" session, but with the close of the 109th Congress, that possibility is dead -- for now.

Groups like "Save the Internet" and MoveOn are lauding the Act's death as a "Huge Victory for Real People." "Industry will be back with their money and phony grassroots groups," says Jeannine Kenney, senior policy analyst at Consumers Union. "But next time around, with a public now well-informed of what’s at stake, we hope Congress will take up broadband policy that advances consumer — not just industry — needs."

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homeshark

join:2001-03-09
Saint Petersburg, FL

I tell ya!

It's A Series Of Tubes!

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

Re: I tell ya!

YES. He was trying to send an internet, and it got delayed. It's not like a truck you know. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.
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houselog442

join:2005-10-05

Re: I tell ya!

I notice that the communist pinko website moveon.org was happy this bill died. I am sure those pro-terrorist commie pinkos would love to see all franchises die and be replaced by government run (communist run) internet system where poor people and illegal aliens get free internet, and everyone else gets bent over having to pay for it.

Trust nothing Moveon.org believe in. They are communists, and the only good communist is a dead one!

Wild Goose

join:2006-12-03

2 recommendations

Re: I tell ya!

Man, I didn't know they had time travel to the future way back in the 1960's! Welcome to the 21st century, where practically nobody really believes in communism anymore, except maybe the North Koreans and the Cubans (the Chinese may still profess it, but they are getting more capitalistic by the day, which is a totally separate issue from their human rights record).

What I think many of us WOULD like to see is large, soul-less corporations no longer allowed to run roughshod over the democratic process, because they can in effect buy laws favorable to their way of doing business. This has been a problem since back in the days of the railroad barons and oil monopolies (did those ever REALLY get broken up?) but after that we had strong antitrust legislation, that unfortunately has been considerably weakened in recent years.

I am sure that 15 or 20 years ago, it would have been unthinkable to even talk about a merger the size of AT&T and BellSouth, yet here we are with the FCC playing the role of lap dog to the very corporations they're supposed to be regulating. Something is very wrong in this nation when the largest corporations have the power to subvert the democratic process, by throwing money around that they know they can recover simply by raising rates to their customers. Business is a wonderful thing (especially smaller, efficiently-run businesses) but the larger a business gets, the less respect it seems to have for both its employees and its customers, particularly when it has the government's aid in warding off competition.
dda
Premium
join:2003-12-29
Bolton, MA

Re: I tell ya!

said by Wild Goose:

Man, I didn't know they had time travel to the future way back in the 1960's!
Um, if they have time travel anywhen it means they can go to whenever, pick up whomever and drop them whenever they like. I mean, that's the point of time travel, right?
kingdomware

join:2000-09-23
Waldorf, MD
I guess all people in greenville FL are like this! Find a new home for this crap! Why don't you treat this like a sports forum and act civil!

RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1
Thank you for that editorial Joseph McCarthy, now here's your Morphine, it'll kill the insanity.

T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX

Is it over?

Help me out here. So is the fight over? Is that the end of it? Are the ewoks dancing?

I can't believe it hasn't gotten more attention if this is the final decision. I just looked at the yahoo telecom headlines and there is no mention of this.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Re: Is it over?

said by T1 Rocky:

Help me out here. So is the fight over? Is that the end of it? Are the ewoks dancing?

I can't believe it hasn't gotten more attention if this is the final decision. I just looked at the yahoo telecom headlines and there is no mention of this.
The fight about "national franchising" isn't over. It will return in the new Congress. And if people think that because Dems are now in control, that things will change, think again. The only difference will be that the telcos will now be funneling their campaign cash to the Democratic Committee Chairpersons instead of Republican Committee Chairpersons to introduce a new National Franchise law. Any who think otherwise are EXTREMELY naive.
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scrummie02
Bentley
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Re: Is it over?

Chances are you won't hear the same people complain the Dems are doing it either.

Most funding usually goes to the winning party, this time it just happened to be GOP...
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T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX

Re: Is it over?

But is the net neutrality fight over?

FFH
Premium
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Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: Is it over?

said by T1 Rocky:

But is the net neutrality fight over?
No, far from it. I am sure that "net neutrality" legislation will be introduced either as a standalone bill or as part of some larger telecom bill. And the chances in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to override filibusters make its' passage a crap shoot. It may all depend on how comprehensive it is; the final wording; on which industries like or dislike what is proposed. And don't forget that Bush can veto any law that the admin doesn't like and the chances of override in the Senate would be slim.
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fiberguy
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join:2005-05-20
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Re: I tell ya!

said by homeshark:

It's A Series Of Tubes!
I thought it was all just "a bunch of mumbo jumbo"... net neutrality that is..
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kyramilan

join:2006-11-26
Pensacola, FL

He's an Idiot!

Maybe he should shove his tubes up his ....

Pirate515
Premium
join:2001-01-22
Brooklyn, NY

Re: He's an Idiot!

You beat me to it...

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Sen Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens "Tubes" got clogged...

... and that's a very good thing!

One can only hope this totally clueless, corrupt, rotten old fart will soon disappear from the nation's legislative body so this (since his "tubes' now international) disgrace he represents will be finally over.

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

Re: Sen Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens "Tubes" got clogged...

Well, the clueless SUPPORT stevens. Remember the famous quote from Retire Rich (aka TCH now).

"Debate period over; Senate now in consensus building phase

The Senate committee had months of hearings and the debate period is over. They made their decision. Further debate is wasted effort. And now they are doing what politicians also do - building Senate and public support for the decision they have already reached."
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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
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join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
said by kamm:

One can only hope this totally clueless, corrupt, rotten old fart will soon disappear from the nation's legislative body so this (since his "tubes' now international) disgrace he represents will be finally over.
The only way Ted Stevens will cease to be Senator from Alaska is if he dies in office. There is no way Alaskans will ever vote him out of office.
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scrummie02
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1 recommendation

Re: Sen Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens "Tubes" got clogged...

quote:
The only way Ted Stevens will cease to be Senator from Alaska is if he dies in office. There is no way Alaskans will ever vote him out of office.

People in Alaska don't care about Net Neutrality so much (generally speaking).

Besides why would they vote him out...he brings home the bacon!
»porkbusters.org/hall_of_shame.php --second one down...
lesopp

join:2001-06-27
Land O Lakes, FL

1 edit

1 recommendation

Can Someone Explain...

How it is a victory if the bill didn't promulgate net neutrality protections where there were none to begin with? Or if the bottom line on killing the bill is to slow down the telco's video deployment?

Shouldn't the phrase be "A huge victory for real cable companies."

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Can Someone Explain...

said by lesopp:

How it is a victory if the bill didn't promulgate net neutrality protections were not any to begin with? Or if the bottom line on killing the bill is to slow down the telco's video deployment?

Shouldn't the phrase be "A huge victory for real cable companies."
All that happened was that it will be more difficult and time consuming and expensive for telcos to rollout TV competition to the cable companies, as you say. How this is a victory for anyone but the cable companies is beyond me.

The only winners here are the local extorionist pols, and the advocates of government running and regulating telecom into the ground. And there are plenty of those. Just look at the posts earlier in this thread.
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Karl Bode
News Guy
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kudos:39

Re: Can Someone Explain...

said by Resident telecom investor talking point mouthpiece :
All that happened was that it will be more difficult and time consuming and expensive for telcos to rollout TV competition to the cable companies.
Yes, that's why Verizon themselves admit that a national franchise law is unnecessary and the existing system doesn't slow them down at all.

»telephonyonline.com/home/news/ve···_092706/

quote:
Franchising is not holding us back,” said Virginia Ruesterholz, president of Verizon Telecom. “I really don’t see that as a necessity, to have nationwide relief on that.”
Odd.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Re: Can Someone Explain...

said by Karl Bode:

Yes, that's why Verizon themselves admit that a national franchise law is unnecessary and the existing system doesn't slow them down at all.
quote:
Franchising is not holding us back,” said Virginia Ruesterholz, president of Verizon Telecom. “I really don’t see that as a necessity, to have nationwide relief on that.”
Odd.
And when taken in context (said at an investor conference), it makes perfect sense. She was trying to CONVINCE investors that government stupidity wouldn't jeopardize their continued investments in Verizon and that they could soldier on anyway and still make a profit.

What she didn't have to say, because investors know it well, is that the profits will come thru higher prices. The only ones being screwed are the customers who will pay higher prices because of the government's lack of foresight.
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Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: Can Someone Explain...

quote:
What she didn't have to say, because investors know it well, is that the profits will come thru higher prices. The only ones being screwed are the customers who will pay higher prices because of the government's lack of foresight.
Feigned consumer empathy is so charming.

The point is that Fios deployment has not been significantly impeded by a lack of a federal franchise. Their relatively quick Fios deployments prove it, and her comments prove it. This, combined with their success at getting statewide franchises passed, makes the federal push largely a non-issue anyway.

Anyway, I take issue with the idea of federal or statewide franchises resulting in broad deployment and competitive utopia. I think that's a BS talking point regurgitated by investors and incumbent executives.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Re: Can Someone Explain...

And what happened to them "states' rights" advocates?

Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL
So your point is that presidents of a company will make up facts based on who they want to please. If they are talking to law makers than they will say local franchises hurt deployment and need to be removed. If they are talking to investors they will says that everything's ok, just keep the money rolling in.

If a local community wants to stall technology deployment in it's town, why should Uncle Sam and say they can't do that? Where in the Constitution is the right to tell a local community how to and not to evolve technologically given to the feds?
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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Can Someone Explain...

said by Maxo:

So your point is that presidents of a company will make up factstailor their presentation based on who they want to please. If they are talking to law makers than they will say local franchises hurt deployment and need to be removed. If they are talking to investors they will says that everything's ok, just keep the money rolling in.
Uh Yeah!! Welcome to the real world - buyer beware!!
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Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

Re: Can Someone Explain...

said by FFH:

said by Maxo:

So your point is that presidents of a company will make up factstailor their presentation based on who they want to please. If they are talking to law makers than they will say local franchises hurt deployment and need to be removed. If they are talking to investors they will says that everything's ok, just keep the money rolling in.
Uh Yeah!! Welcome to the real world - buyer beware!!
My point is that they can't be trusted. Why do you trust them when they say they can't advance technologies with these regulations. They are just saying it so they can do what they want without stipulations. The fact (by fact I mean my opinion;)) is that local governments should have the right to run their local governments the way they see fit. If they want to legislate themselves into the 19th century, that's their right.
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RJ44

join:2001-10-19
Nashville, TN
said by Karl Bode:

said by Resident telecom investor talking point mouthpiece :
All that happened was that it will be more difficult and time consuming and expensive for telcos to rollout TV competition to the cable companies.
Yes, that's why Verizon themselves admit that a national franchise law is unnecessary and the existing system doesn't slow them down at all.

»telephonyonline.com/home/news/ve···_092706/

quote:
Franchising is not holding us back,” said Virginia Ruesterholz, president of Verizon Telecom. “I really don’t see that as a necessity, to have nationwide relief on that.”
Odd.
From later in the same article:

"Though Verizon says it doesn’t need federal franchises, most observers agree they would accelerate and perhaps reduce the cost of Verizon’s video rollout. When Verizon reported having achieved 10% penetration of its video markets after six months in the second quarter, research analysis firm Ovum-RHK suggested those numbers could go much higher if federal franchising becomes a reality"

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

2 edits

Re: Can Someone Explain...

Observer's suggested? Which observers? Investors like TCH? Free-market deregulatory think tanks?

And Ovum's guessing, probably based on data from the above minded individuals. Doubt they asked the Consumer's Union....or found objective data not spun by people eager to see local voters eliminated from the profit mechanism...
RJ44

join:2001-10-19
Nashville, TN

Re: Can Someone Explain...

said by Karl Bode:

Observer's suggested? Which observers? Investors like TCH? Free-market deregulatory think tanks?
I really don't have a clue, I was just quoting the same source that you were.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
Reviews:
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said by FFH:

...
and the advocates of government running and regulating telecom into the ground....
so you think this current regime of almost no regulations (or at least no enforcement of regulation) is a huge success? If so, you must be ignorant or own lots of telecom stock.

you think monopoly/duopoly broadband and tv is good for consumers and the U.S.?

you think the U.S. dropping from 1st to 16th (or 21st or wherever we are now) in the world rankings is good?

all this and more has happened under the "no regulation is good regulation" FCC; broadband competition is non-existent and appears headed to stay that way for years to come. The longer it takes to get real competition, the further the U.S. falls behind the world leaders.

••••

Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

1 recommendation

Small government

Didn't this bill for a national franchise go against the conservative viewpoint of a smaller national government?
The power needs to lie in local communities to write it's own agreements. If the agreement is too pesky the company can reserve the right to not serve that community. In which case the community should have the option to build it themselves, or for someone else to come in and do the job the way the community wants it. Or the company can bite the bullet and agree to the local franchise. Either way, we don't need National Government telling Local Government how to act outside of what is offered in the Constitution.
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••••
finthen0

join:2004-11-28
Exeter, RI

This is surely the end of civilization as we know it!

Dangerous times indeed!

ifarrell

join:2000-08-10
Willow Spring, NC

1 edit

It's full of Tubes.....

I guess his plan went down the "Tubes".

plk
Premium
join:2002-04-20
united state

What's ahead of us.

Well, this is a good sign. The Bells will test the waters and see if they can put it through one more time. Like others have mentioned, people are watching and calling.
I called both of my senators again yesterday. Did you?

However this all plays out, the end user will be the one paying for it. Frankly, I look for a price per gig model down the road. We will all hate it, but it is by far the lesser of 2 evils when compared to what may have happened in a two tiered model.
Speaking of two tiered..... Here is how I seen the lower tier working. You try and go to Kelly shoes..... who is a small local chain..... when you do....you get a screen that says "waiting to connect"....mean while.... a pop up....it says connect to Amazon shoes right away..... flashing nice ad's on both sides of the screen while you wait.
Say that won't happen? Who says? Some say they want no regulation...... under that paradigm it would happen.

What the Internet would end up looking like is another cable provider. You can select packages but not pick and choose. You can't effectively connect to Yahoo, Ben's place etc via DSL. You can't effectively connect to your favorite game servers via cable...... So we end up with lack of choice or you need to be connected to both...cable and dsl.....and its still the same price as it is today.
The faster pipes or tubes as a senator calls it we were suppose to see......never happened....all the new cash is going to the share holders. Just as it has in the past. Especially true if they are the gate keepers.

Net Neutrality will to some degree save us from all this. Its not going to save us from higher prices down the road. The price per gig is in our future. And it isn't so bad if you think about it.....no reason to block or degrade anything.....the more data you move the More the Bells and cable make. The less data they CAN move the less they may make. Much truer market forces will keep prices in check.

I see them all wanting you to have a OC3 to the home and using it...... the more the better for them. Because the connection is 10 bucks a month and you pay per gig. Price wars will keep it in check. You can go to any site you want.....stream HDTV.....from a hundred sites. Hell..... HDTV web cams would be coming.

Anyway.....a world where the Bells and Cables etc can limit choice and limit the Internet as a whole is not the route to go. These companies have a viable model via price per gig to work with and pay for the next generation Internet. When don't need to give it to them. They should avoid providing content and focus on what they really do best....the network and selling us all we can eat.

A generation of kids who live on the net are coming of age and will be eating all the "fast content" they can eat. (you heard that term here first)like fast food...a new addiction.... joke.

feedback????
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•••••
short09

join:2006-07-21

ted stevens

doesnt know what thr real world is like. hes been in the senate for nearly 40 yres. why put some old geezer like him in charge of an internet commitee? he doesnt know how the net works. i bet hes still on them ancient dial-up modems 14.4 kps speed lmao