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FCC: No More Closed-Door Neutrality Meetings
Didn't create 'robust framework' of openness. No kidding?
by Karl Bode 05:06PM Thursday Aug 05 2010
Over the last few weeks the FCC has been taking heat about their largely closed-door meetings with the nation's largest carriers over network neutrality. While some argued these meetings weren't a big deal, they flew in the face of previous FCC statements claiming an extraordinary dedication to transparency, public participation and documentation. With a small firestorm created by leaks from within the discussions, the FCC has responded with a statement insisting that there will be no more private meetings about neutrality:
quote:
"We have called off this round of stakeholder discussions. It has been productive on several fronts, but has not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet – one that drives innovation, investment, free speech, and consumer choice. All options remain on the table as we continue to seek broad input on this vital issue."
Closed-door meetings have "not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet.
-FCC
Largely non-transparent meetings with primarily the wealthiest stakeholders didn't generate a robust framework of openness? Really? Did the FCC today also discover that placing toads in sealed jars fails to create a "robust framework" for breathing oxygen?

The FCC previously brushed aside criticism of these meetings, but this week's leaks appear to have placed too bright of a spotlight on the rather cozy nature of the proceedings. Said leaks not only suggested a fairly wimpy deal was nearly finished after some high-level political pressure, they also suggested that Google (protecting a very profitable Android partnership) has largely joined Verizon in arguing against strong neutrality rules in favor of a toothless self-regulatory regime that wouldn't even apply to wireless.

So the question then is: is the FCC seriously responding to public pressure and broadening participation (which is certainly what the FCC's suggesting, and what most in the press will run with), or are they simply engaged in damage control, and shutting down these discussions after most of the details have been settled privately with carrier lobbyists? We should be able to tell by the quality of the FCC's final rules, whenever they're finally unveiled.

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gatorkram
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LOL?

Now that all the secret talks are over, lets tell everyone we are done being secretive, and will be public and open now..

Did anyone else read it like that?
--
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MSauk
MSauk
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join:2002-01-17
Sandy, UT

Re: LOL?

what else is new, welcome to the US of A gov't.

sick and tired of this BS
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FFH5
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join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit
said by gatorkram:

Now that all the secret talks are over, lets tell everyone we are done being secretive, and will be public and open now..

Did anyone else read it like that?
I read it like there was some disagreement in the direction the negotiations were going within the FCC itself and that an FCC insider kept leaking in order to derail the nearing agreement. And my bet goes to it being Commissioner Copps or 1 of his staffers. He is the 1 Commissioner within the FCC that has a hate on for big corporations and will do anything to turn the FCC in to some socialist do good agency.

»www.politico.com/news/stories/08···711.html
The secretive talks also excluded the other FCC commissioners and left some in the tech community feeling as if major companies were defining the future of the Internet without their input.

The collapse of industry talks also could put the agency on a collision course with Congress. More than half of the House and a considerable number of senators have urged Genachowski to stand down on the “third way,” and still others have implored him to halt action until they return from recess.

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Karl Bode
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1 recommendation

Re: LOL?

Yes, clearly this entire, complicated system of dysfunction and everything that has happened is all the fault of the one FCC staffer you don't like for partisan reasons.

Steve B
Premium
join:2004-08-02
Auburn, WA

Re: LOL?

said by Karl Bode:

Yes, clearly this entire, complicated system of dysfunction and everything that has happened is all the fault of the one FCC staffer you don't like for partisan reasons.
Agreed. Also maybe the FCC should be the socialist do-good agency. I mean, obviously the pure vaunted capitalistic ideals aren't happening. There isn't true competition when the major carriers almost do everything together lock step...of course I'm mainly referring to wireless with that particular statement. With broadband...you got cable and "MAYBE" good DSL. That leaves a lot of people with only one decent broadband provider and even then....the prices show the lack of competition. While I'm for "free market" in theory....in practice...its not working. There isn't enough true competition to keep greed in check. Greed is out of control allowing the kind of behaviors we are seeing.

I do realize that for capitalism and free market to work properly, greed is needed. However, it needs to be kept in check to keep from corporations from running amok along with our so called govt. All that is happening is the consumers are being screwed every which way from Sunday and the corporations and politicians are sitting pretty. Its total BS.

TKJunkMail
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1 recommendation

said by Karl Bode:

Yes, clearly this entire, complicated system of dysfunction and everything that has happened is all the fault of the one FCC staffer you don't like for partisan reasons.
Truer words have never been spoken.

Farmer Ted

@above.net

-1 recommendation

If you knew what you were talking about you'd know that only Genachowski's staff were at these meetings, and that Copps' office has been very upset about not having any role at all in it. He couldn't leak anything, because he had to read about it in the press.

These meetings broke down because AT&T and Verizon don't want any rules on wireless, and the FCC has already stated that isn't acceptable. The public backlash to the Google Verizon deal that excludes wireless showed the FCC there was no fruit left to pick.

FFH5
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Tavistock NJ
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Re: LOL?

said by Farmer Ted :

If you knew what you were talking about you'd know that only Genachowski's staff were at these meetings, and that Copps' office has been very upset about not having any role at all in it. He couldn't leak anything, because he had to read about it in the press.
Just because Copps and his assistants weren't in the meetings doesn't mean he did not know what was taking place and the general info from the meetings. And what was leaked were that deals were being cut; not the details of the deals. Copps could easily have leaked that.
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TKJunkMail
Premium
join:2005-12-09

Re: LOL?

Do you have proof, or are you just bullshitting again?
caco
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Whittier, AK

Net neutrality is foremost free speech issue of our time

»www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/08/05/f···dex.html

milnoc

join:2001-03-05
H3B
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Openness? HAH!

Forget that! What will happen at every hearing is that the incumbents will pay homeless people to occupy every single seat in the hearing room, squeezing out the general public from the proceedings.
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megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO

Really?

Don't know why it matters since the lobbyists get their way in the end irregardless of what is good for people, the public or the internet community as a whole.
WhatNow
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Man with the gold

The man with the gold makes the rules. I find it interesting in that people want Government to keep Big Biz from acting like they do then the go out and vote Republican which is all for big biz.
The general public needs to get over the balance the budget but don't cut any program that helps me. If you want it pay for it or give it up. When the government regulates too much markets die because the companies can't make any money. POTS lines were kept low because that 90 year old lady can't afford higher rates and may make one or two short calls each day but the family with 2 or 3 teenagers pays the same price and tie up the equipment all the time. With cell phones this is not as true as in the past but overtime the phone company starts cutting back until everybody wants better service but don't go up on the price.
You can't keep the internet as it is. Why should the person that only does e-mail and uses static web pages pay as much as some one that runs servers and streams all the time. As a customer many of you pay for faster speeds if available why can't the content providers do the same. If the ISPs have more money they will upgrade faster and it may not make a difference if the pipe is big enough.
amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

Re: Man with the gold

said by WhatNow:

I find it interesting in that people want Government to keep Big Biz from acting like they do then the go out and vote Republican which is all for big biz.
Blink. Blink.

Isn't this a Democrat administration who appointed most of the commissioners?

I agree with the generalization that Rs are pro business. But, the difference isn't that great. Big business writes checks to D candidates too.

funchords
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Re: Man with the gold

said by amigo_boy:

said by WhatNow:

I find it interesting in that people want Government to keep Big Biz from acting like they do then the go out and vote Republican which is all for big biz.
Blink. Blink.

Isn't this a Democrat administration who appointed most of the commissioners?
Yes, but the FCC doesn't really get appointed like that. If it did, it would be 4 or 5 D's right now. And keep in mind that, even though the appointments come from both D's and R's, the 60-vote senate gets to approve these appointees.
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amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

1 edit

Re: Man with the gold

said by funchords:

Yes, but the FCC doesn't really get appointed like that. If it did, it would be 4 or 5 D's right now. And keep in mind that, even though the appointments come from both D's and R's, the 60-vote senate gets to approve these appointees.
Everyone knows I'm not a fanboy of Republicans. But:

1. Three of the five Commissioners were appointed by President Obama. (See Genachowski, Clyburn and Baker.).

2. The Senate has been controlled by Democrats since Jan. 2007.

If the President believed in a significantly different FCC mission than Republicans, he could have appointed anyone he wished and force Republicans to expend political capital blocking his appointment.

Democratic Senators (controlling the Senate) could have threatened "The Nuclear Option" just like Republicans were willing to do when Democrats blocked appointments Republicans believed in.

The OP suggested the problem is with Rs. If there's a problem with the current FCC, it looks difficult to pin it on Rs when 1) a Democrat President appointed a majority of commissioners, and 2) a Democrat-controlled Senate could have fought blockage of allegedly better appointments with the same vitality Republicans have shown.

There's not that much difference between the two parties.



EDIT: Commissioner McDowell was also re-appointed by by President Obama. That's 4 out of 5 commissioners who serve as a direct result of Democratic appointment(!).

quote:
When he was reappointed to the Commission on June 2, 2009, Commissioner McDowell became the first Republican to be appointed to an independent agency by President Barack Obama.
-- »www.fcc.gov/commissioners/mcdowell/

It's silly to say this is a Republican problem (as the OP did).

funchords
Hello
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Re: Man with the gold

Again, that's not exactly how this independent agency works, and the fact that McDowell was appointed by Obama clearly shows how.
amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

Re: Man with the gold

said by funchords:

Again, that's not exactly how this independent agency works, and the fact that McDowell was appointed by Obama clearly shows how.
Maybe you could explain? The OP wrote

quote:
I find it interesting in that people want Government to keep Big Biz from acting like they do then the go out and vote Republican which is all for big biz.
4 of the 5 FCC commissioners were appointed by President Obama. And, approved by a Democrat-controlled Senate which could have invoked the "Nuclear Option" (to resist a Republican Filibuster, which we're told is the reasons Dems had to appoint less-than-desirable commissioners).

It's silly to blame Rs for the current makeup of the FCC. If Ds wanted a black-flag, throat-slitting FCC, nothing prevented them from appointing people who would accomplish that goal.

I'm not a big fan of Rs. Nor arguing there is a problem at the FCC. I'm not on board with the Net Neutrality thing. I think social progress occurs through baby steps and compromises. I'm merely addressing the OP who seemed to say there is something wrong with the FCC, and it's the Rs fault.

Read

@comcast.net
I think you haven't been reading. We're all already paying for service and if they were going to switch to metered billing, it wouldn't result in cheaper bills for grandma, it would result in even higher bill for the family with 2 or 3 teenagers. So, yea, they wouldn't pay the same price, but the low price wouldn't get lower, the higher price would just get higher...

asdfdfdfdfdf

@1dial.com

Notwithstanding easy cynicism it seems to indicate...

That Genachowski is serious about this. He isn't simply looking to give away the store and all people in government are NOT the same.
Whether the fcc will be able to resolve these issues isn't clear but it is absurd to claim that all administrations are the same. The agenda of this fcc isn't the same as the agenda of the fcc under martin and powell. People need to stop acting like who is governing doesn't matter. Changing officials in government doesn't miraculously solve all problems but it DOES matter who is running things.
pkorx8

join:2003-06-19
San Francisco, CA

Way off the subject, but....

Big corporations (yes, the big evils ones like ATT, Verizon, comcast etc....) mainly operate to the benefits of the shareholders and shareholders control corporate policies and strategies via their stake in a corporation, ie shares.

The way the system works, you can in theory buy shares in ATT, verizon, comcast, etc.... to offset how much they are ripping you off. Chances are, if you have a retirement plan, you already own stake in these evil corporations.

Com8

@comcast.net

FCC

If the meetings weren't a success then hopefully the FCC learnt something by it.