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Wheeler Denies His Neutrality Rules Will Be The Flimsiest Yet
by Karl Bode 08:16AM Thursday Apr 24 2014
Yesterday anonymous sources told several news outlets that the FCC was crafting new neutrality rules that would try to utilize at least some of the somewhat flimsy legal justifications that got the FCC in trouble with the courts to begin with. Worse perhaps, sources claim that at best the new rules are simply a rehash of the already flimsy rules the FCC already tried to pass (which were largely crafted by industry).

At worst, according to the Wall Street Journal, they'd allow some fairly broad new leeway for traffic discrimination. It's also pretty clear Wheeler doesn't intend to wade into the new growing interconnection tensions between content companies and large ISPs.

Apparently hoping to nip some of the hysteria in the bud and avoid another SOPA-esque Internet community response (it might be too late), FCC boss Tom Wheeler issued a statement to the media proclaiming there's absolutely nothing to worry about:
quote:
"There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule. They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of net neutrality consistent with the court's ruling in January. There is no 'turnaround in policy.' The same rules will apply to all Internet content. As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court's decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted."
Granted the FCC claimed the same thing about the original rules, which contained all manner of loopholes at the behest of major carriers, while omitting wireless services from meaningful protection almost entirely. A draft proposal of the rules are to be circulated to other Commissioners today (with a conversation with media occurring this morning at 11 AM), but it's unclear how soon the public will be allowed a look. You will in the coming months have an opportunity to comment on them if you have an interest in them becoming even marginally useful.

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pandora
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We seem to be redefining what the internet is

We seem to be redefining what internet is, apparently it's going to become a toll road, and regulated entities will be permitted to control how much of whose traffic we can reach.

This seems inconsistent with my understanding of peering between networks.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.

funchords
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The FCC--brought to you buy Comcast, Verizon, CenturyLink, Charter, AT&T...

I think we should stop pretending that the FCC is an agency that works for the people and the common good. Instead, it works for the biggest players in the field that it regulates. Who -- WHO? -- is asking for paid preferential treatment? Not the websites. Not the consumers who pay too much for Internet already. Not the little ISPs who aren't big enough to demand the toll. Only the big ISPs will benefit.

And it's totally unnecessary. Right now, all bits travel at the speed of light. AN ISP CANNOT MAKE TRAFFIC TO GO FASTER THAN LIGHT. So to give preferential treatment, they can only artificially slow down non-preferred traffic at congestion points -- at the point where the structure of the network is already backing up traffic. Non-preferred traffic above a certain amount or traffic experiencing a certain level of delay will be dropped -- it must be dropped because forwarding buffers are limited in size and it doesn't take much delay before your network stack starts reacting to what seems like dropped packets.

The only preference that is Network-Neutral, allowed and ought to be allowed is the one of shorter distance. This locates the data closer to the customer requesting it. It is a natural preference -- one that is not granted by the network programming but it is granted by the fact that it takes less time to go shorter distances. We see this today as CDNs. CDNs also make other traffic on the net go faster because they reduce congestion over long-haul routes.
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Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Surprised?

Does this actually surprise anyone? We all knew that Wheeler is the pocket of the corporations that he used to work for.

FastiBook

join:2003-01-08
Newtown, PA

No more revolving door.

The revolving door that is federal and state oversight needs to be stopped. No one that worked for an industry should be allowed to be on a regulatory body except as an industry representative.
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pandora
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Re: No more revolving door.

said by FastiBook:

The revolving door that is federal and state oversight needs to be stopped. No one that worked for an industry should be allowed to be on a regulatory body except as an industry representative.

Once upon a time I voted for a guy who promised to stop it, he promised hope and change ... then he got elected.
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MyDogHsFleas
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Net Neutrality is just a stalking horse

and is a typical way you see issues getting pushed in the Internet community. No one ever says what they are really trying to do. Rather, they come up with some phrase that sounds reasonable to everyone. Network Neutrality? Sure, I want to have no restrictions on my Internet access! I'll sign up for that!

What they are really trying to do is push government regulation of ISPs as utilities, or further to be government-owned public services, rather than for-profit businesses. Now, if they said THAT, many people would say "no, I do NOT want the government to run my Internet connection. They'd probably do just as good a job as they do running my mail service, my auto license and registration, and my post offices." Thus it is never said that way.

However, those with this agenda view the for-profit ISPs as evil businesses, and imagine that heavy handed regulation as "utilities" or government takeover will make unicorns dance in the skies and hand out cotton candy for all.

Ironically, what people THINK network neutrality is ("Stop the ISPs from blocking or throttling my access to anything I want!") is actually the EXACT OPPOSITE of what its core proponents want it to be ("Stop the ISPs from IMPROVING service to favored content providers, in return for payments!")

Please stop and read that last paragraph again. It is key to really understanding what's going on here. What Net Neutrality advocates really want is to REGULATE ISPs and STOP THEM from optimizing their services for some content owners, in return for payment or other considerations.

In fact, some Net Neutrality advocates would go even further and make all peering agreements regulated, and free of charge. Because, after all, everyone should open everything and the pipes are free.

So, people, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.

funchords
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Re: Net Neutrality is just a stalking horse

said by MyDogHsFleas:

What Net Neutrality advocates really want is to REGULATE ISPs and STOP THEM from optimizing their services for some content owners, in return for payment or other considerations.

There is no such thing as optimizing service for some content owners without de-optimizing the remaining service for the others.

To be extreme, those that pay the toll get the fast treatment. The rest struggle in the digital ghetto.
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MyDogHsFleas
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Re: Net Neutrality is just a stalking horse

said by funchords:

There is no such thing as optimizing service for some content owners without de-optimizing the remaining service for the others.

Clearly false. It's not a zero-sum game where a winner means a loser. Given additional revenue, ISPs can add capacity to optimize service for the payers, without degrading service for others.

And, it would be in the ISP's best interest to do so. Competition, and the threat of FCC regulation or Congressional action, act to disincent ISPs from this "slow lane" red herring we are all being fed.

funchords
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Re: Net Neutrality is just a stalking horse

So we move the incumbents from upgrading for everyone to upgrading for those that pay. Either way, you get a broadband ghetto.

IowaCowboy
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Get rid of the FCC

Turn regulation of cable, ISPs, and telecom over to the states. Some states (particularly Massachusetts) have been forcing telcos to meet certain performance standards. Verizon ain't shutting their landlines down anytime soon here. And they use proper parts to fix things, not duct tape and trash bags. And their pedestals have the covers on them.

If they didn't I'm sure the CEO would find himself in the Suffolk county jail. This is a state that will throw you in jail over not renewing a dog license (actually happened in Holyoke).
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fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Are the critics psychic?

They must be, in order to criticize proposed rules they haven't even seen yet.
rfrooney

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Antioch, TN

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What happened?

... years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new communication medium, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all internet traffic is created equal.

What happened to that idea? Oh yeah, corporate profits got involved.