'In short, Title II was designed for the bygone world of
monopoly-provided telephone service. It never was
intended, as advocates of extending Title II to the
Internet now urge, to apply to services that were not
characterized by monopoly, such as Internet access'.
Breaking up the MA BELLS now ATT calling them a monopoly will occur with this recent mandate for ATT to sell its hold on telecom lines. We will see ATT fade and merge with what is now a real global telecom monopoly of Verizon and Comcast. What Clyburn did as well was to send SPRINT to JAPANESE ownership which with T MOBILE being German making that ONE WORLD ONE TELECOM multinational structure. It will be Asian nations taking over the hardware sector of telecom. All this is done to assure each Foreign Economic Zone globally allows presence of all these multinational telecom structures then merging into ONE WORLD ONE TELECOM.
Below we see the United Nations and the global neo-liberal FOREIGN AFFAIRS journal both calling for NET NEUTRALITY. Again, when global Wall Street uses these terms it is referring to global corporations and their access. When they say all this consolidation is CONSUMER-FRIENDLY they mean global industries buying global telecom products and services----NOT WE THE 99% OF PEOPLE. Yes, 5G with tri-banding is necessary for DRIVERLESS VEHICLES which will be almost exclusively used by global transportation, global factories with their robotics, and who doesn't want a SMART HOUSE with a medicine cabinet telling us we are low on prescriptions? THAT IS A MUST FOR WE THE PEOPLE! Of course none of this is for the 99% and we will not be able to access any of these increasing high-speed broadband structures outside of the workplace.
Republicans Fear Net Neutrality Plan Could Lead to UN Internet Powers
An Obama administration official dismisses any link between the FCC's rules and international authority over the Internet.
Ethernet cables lead to a server at the Rittal stand at the 2013 CeBIT technology trade fair the day before the fair opens to visitors on March 4, 2013 in Hanover, Germany. National Journal
- Brendan Sasso
- Feb 25, 2015
Subscribe to The Atlantic’s Politics & Policy Daily, a roundup of ideas and events in American politics.
The U.S. government's plan to enact strong net neutrality regulations could embolden authoritarian regimes like China and Russia to seize more power over the Internet through the United Nations, a key Senate Republican warned Wednesday.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota argued that by claiming more authority over Internet access for net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission will undermine the ability of the U.S. to push back against international plots to control the Internet and censor content.
Countries like Russia already have made it clear that they want the International Telecommunications Union or another United Nations body to have more power over the Internet, Thune said.
"It seems like reclassifying broadband, as the administration is doing, is losing a valuable argument," Thune said at his panel's hearing on Internet governance. "How do you prevent ITU involvement when you're pushing to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, and is everyone aware of that inherent contradiction?"
On Thursday, the FCC is set to vote on net neutrality regulations that would declare Internet access a "telecommunications service" under Title II. Advocates, including President Obama, argue that the move is the only way the FCC can enact rules that will hold up to legal challenges in court. The rules aim to prevent Internet providers from acting as "gatekeepers" and controlling what content users can access online.
David Gross, a partner at the law firm Wiley Rein who advises tech and telecom companies, agreed with Thune's warning.
The U.S. has consistently argued that the Internet is not a "telecommunication service" and therefore outside of the authority of the International Telecommunications Union, he explained. "If they were to find that Internet service is a telecommunications service, that would undoubtedly make the job of my successors much more complicated," Gross, a former ambassador to the ITU during the George W. Bush administration, said.
A top Obama administration official dismissed the comparison between net neutrality and UN control of the Internet.
"I don't think it's quite as stark as your description suggests, senator," Larry Strickling, the Commerce Department's assistant secretary for communications and information, replied to Thune.
He acknowledged that countries like China and Russia are actively looking for ways to claim more power over the Internet through the UN. But there's nothing inconsistent about the U.S. opposing those efforts and supporting tough net neutrality rules, he argued.
Europe and Canada already consider the Internet a telecommunications service and have joined the U.S. in opposing pushes for more UN influence, Strickling said. No one has claimed that their position is hypocritical, he said.
"I fundamentally don't think this will change matters going forward," Stickling said. "The United States is opposed to intergovernmental resolution to these Internet issues. We will remain opposed to that."
Later in the hearing, Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat and net neutrality supporter, argued that the FCC's rules will strengthen the ability of the U.S. to push for a free and open Internet on the international stage.
"I hope that our strong net neutrality rules can be the basis for an open Internet," Cantwell said.
Here is Bill Gate's Microsoft MARIA CANTWELL saying just that----when global Wall Street says OPEN INTERNET it means a global 1% open market. She says we have strong net neutrality rules as all our telecom structures are privatized to global corporations with NO REGULATION. Cantwell is of course a far-right wing global Wall Street running as a Democrat in Washington State---
'Later in the hearing, Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat and net neutrality supporter, argued that the FCC's rules will strengthen the ability of the U.S. to push for a free and open Internet on the international stage.
"I hope that our strong net neutrality rules can be the basis for an open Internet," Cantwell said'.
When each US Foreign Economic Zone acting as an independent CITY STATE tied to the global corporate tribunal as ECONOMIC COLONIES have all their air wavelength privatized to multinational corporations having the power of pushing a button to disable all energy and telcom power at a whim----you have a far-right wing, authoritarian, totalitarian governance.
The national media knows the uses of these terms geared towards the 99% of consumers is really geared towards ONE WORLD ONE TELECOM -----but they continue to allow global Wall Street pols to pretend they are working to protect WE THE PEOPLE.
AMAZON AND MICROSOFT WORKING TOWARD NET NEUTRALITY -----OH, THEY MUST BE THE GOOD BILLIONAIRES. NO, THEY ARE ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE TELECOM.
Cantwell Stuck in Neutral(ity?)
By Art Brodsky
May 24, 2006
Net Neutrality, Policy Blog
With the Senate Commerce Committee scheduled to have a hearing tomorrow (May 25) on Net Neutrality, we will have a chance to answer one of the real puzzlements of the debate:
Where is Maria Cantwell?
Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) has a long and distinguished record in the tech sector. As a member of the House of Representatives in the early 1990s, she successfully fought off the Clinton Administration plan to put an decoding device in everyone's telephone -- the Clipper Chip -- that would allow the government to have access to encrypted telephone conversations.
After losing her House seat in the Republican sweep in 1994, she went to Real Networks before her political comeback in 2000, winning the Senate seat. She's up for re-election this year. Her challenger, Mike McGavick, is a well-funded candidate with lots of business backing and support from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), with whom Cantwell fought over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
There is certainly some hometown support for Cantwell to come out in favor of Net Neutrality. Amazon has been engaged in this issue for years. Microsoft has come on as well, and both are part of the coalition working for Net Neutrality legislation.
The hometown Seattle Times on May 22 published an editorial, "Ill effects of a gated cyber world." The editorial was short and to the point. Here's a sample: "If computer-network providers are allowed to hijack the Internet, the damage will go much deeper than the consumers' wallets. Democracy will be at risk with the inevitable limiting of voices if Internet neutrality is not ensured."
The editorial concluded: "The biggest loser in a gated cyber world would be American democracy. Democracy is already suffering from the effects of consolidation, especially in the media where only a handful of companies either own outright or own interests in films, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, book publishing, and any other media channel that can be devoured. Congress should think of that before funneling more power into the hands of a few."
But there are pressures on the other side. The great weapon that the Bell companies yield is that they have thousands of employees in every state. There are about 4,000 Qwest workers in Washington state, and probably a few thousand retirees also. During the debate on the House version of a telecom bill, Kirk Nelson, Qwest's Washington state president, sent a letter to all employees. Here's what it said:
Dear Fellow Washington Employee:
Qwest needs your help on an important legislative issue. Specifically, I'd like you to contact your congressional representative in support of the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement (COPE) Act, legislation that will streamline the way local television franchises are negotiated.
COPE is expected to be considered by the House of Representatives sometime next week. Passage of this bill will help Qwest and other companies compete against the cable monopolies. Because of this, Qwest supports this legislation.
The cable monopolies and their allies want to kill the bill and are orchestrating their own letter writing campaign. That's why it's critical that you contact your representative and urge a "YES" vote.
I've attached a link below that will automatically prepare a letter for your elected representative. It's easy and will only take a minute. All you have to do is enter your name, home and e-mail addresses, and click the "send" button.
In addition to asking for their support of the bill, the letter urges "NO" votes on two amendments backed by our opponents. The first will mandate build-out requirements for second-entrants to the TV market, and the second creates unnecessary laws -- termed "net neutrality mandates" -- that will prevent companies like Qwest from entering into commercial agreements with Internet content providers. I've included more details on each amendment below.
Again, please take a minute today to urge congressional support for COPE. This bill is not only important to Qwest, it's important to millions of consumers across our region who are looking for relief from soaring cable rates. Click http://qwest-cope.cmail1.com/.aspx/l/48428/28752450/www.capwiz.com/qwestoutreach here to send your letter.
P.S. I'll keep you updated on the success of our letter writing drive and the outcome of the House vote. Again, please send your letter today!
- Build-out Mandates: Build-out mandates require massive investment regardless of consumer interest or technical feasibility. Instead of promoting deployment, these mandates stymie it. If a build-out mandate were imposed, franchise areas that could benefit from some competition would see none.
- Net Neutrality Mandates: Qwest strongly supports net neutrality. However, we oppose amendments that impose other, so called, net neutrality mandates. Internet providers and carriers should not be prevented from reaching commercial agreements for network services that enhance their products without raising consumer prices. Additional net neutrality amendments are unnecessary and will stifle innovation and investment.
One doubts the message will change when the Senate Commerce Committee marks up its bill, a session now scheduled for mid-June.
At this point, Cantwell is in fairly good shape. She's got about a 10-point lead in the polls, and has raised about $8.6 million, contrasted with about $2.6 million for McGavick through the end of March. As a first-term Senator, she wants to make certain she gets a second term and doesn't want to take unnecessary chances.
But Net Neutrality should be an issue on which she takes a stand, not only for because of Microsoft, Amazon and Real Networks, but for everyone in the state.
UPDATE: Sen. Cantwell didn't make an appearance at the Commerce Committee's May 25 hearing on Net Neutrality.
When Obama and Clinton neo-liberals pretend they are fighting for net neutrality and small business integration into what is called deregulated, competition-driven privatization and then, at the very end of Obama's terms he installs an FCC CLYBURN to install every telecom policy bad for WE THE PEOPLE---we are seeing left progressive posing. We know from 2009 forward that FCC was working towards CLYBURN's policies.
While the American people were listening to national media pretend Obama's earlier appointments were worried about too much consolidation, not enough net neutrality----here is Genachowski as a VENTURE CAPITALIST no doubt out of the FCC funding all kinds of privatized, broadband corporations to his enrichment. We never expected this appointment to protect WE THE PEOPLE. So bringing an FCC CLYBURN in at the last minute was designed to make it appear Congressional pols and appointments were working for the 99%.
IT IS ALL KABUKI THEATER.
Any organization pretending that what the FCC under Obama was doing was NET NEUTRALITY FOR 99% OF WE THE PEOPLE knew this was about ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE TELECOM.
'Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson loves President-Elect Obama's choice to chair the FCC, Julius Genachowski. In a post titled, "This News Made Me Smile A Mile Wide," Fred lists 10 reasons why:
- The new head of the FCC reads [A VC]. He's heard me talk about the issues he'll now make policy on. And he's heard your views on those issues.
- He's a venture capitalist, at least that's what he's been doing for the past couple years.
- He's an internet executive, at least that's what he did for most of this decade when he helped Barry Diller assemble and build IAC'.
Failure of US to allow OPEN INTERNET with foreign corporations integrated into its global telecom structure would hamper other Foreign Economic Zones in other nations from OPEN INTERNET----ergo, ONE WORLD ONE TELECOM.
This article is long but looks at the policy issue broadly. Remember, this talk of innovations and startups are tied to global corporations and their needs----it has nothing to do with small business and individual citizens creating an internet environment.
'In the United States, both small and large providers have already violated the very principles that net neutrality is designed to protect'.
The Case for Net Neutrality
What’s Wrong With Obama’s Internet Policy
By Marvin Ammori
For all the withering criticism leveled at the White House for its botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, that debacle is not the biggest technology-related failure of Barack Obama’s presidency. That inauspicious distinction belongs to his administration’s incompetence in another area: reneging on Obama’s signature pledge to ensure “net neutrality,” the straightforward but powerful idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all traffic that goes through their networks the same. Net neutrality holds that ISPs shouldn’t offer preferential treatment to some websites over others or charge some companies arbitrary fees to reach users. By this logic, AT&T, for example, shouldn’t be allowed to grant iTunes Radio a special “fast lane” for its data while forcing Spotify to make do with choppier service.
On the campaign trail in 2007, Obama called himself “a strong supporter of net neutrality” and promised that under his administration, the Federal Communications Commission would defend that principle. But in the last few months, his FCC appears to have given up on the goal of maintaining an open Internet. This past January, a U.S. federal appeals court, in a case brought by Verizon, struck down the net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC in 2010, which came close to fulfilling Obama’s pledge despite a few loopholes. Shortly after the court’s decision, Netflix was reportedly forced to pay Comcast tens of millions of dollars per year to ensure that Netflix users who connect to the Internet through Comcast could stream movies reliably; Apple reportedly entered into its own negotiations with Comcast to secure its own special treatment. Sensing an opening, AT&T and Verizon filed legal documents urging the FCC to allow them to set up a new pricing scheme in which they could charge every website a different price for such special treatment.
Obama wasn’t responsible for the court’s decision, but in late April, the administration signaled that it would reverse course on net neutrality and give ISPs just what they wanted. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler circulated a proposal to the FCC’s four other commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, for rules that would allow broadband providers to charge content providers for faster, smoother service. The proposal would also authorize ISPs to make exclusive deals with particular providers, so that PayPal could be the official payment processor for Verizon, for example, or Amazon Prime could be the official video provider for Time Warner Cable.
Word of the proposal leaked to the press and sparked an immediate backlash. One hundred and fifty leading technology companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Kickstarter, sent a letter to the FCC calling the plan a “grave threat to the Internet.” In their own letter to the FCC, over 100 of the nation’s leading venture capital investors wrote that the proposal, if adopted as law, would “stifle innovation,” since many start-ups and entrepreneurs wouldn’t be able to afford to access a fast lane. Activist groups organized protests outside the FCC’s headquarters in Washington and accused Wheeler, a former lobbyist for both the cable and the wireless industries, of favoring his old clients over the public interest. Nonetheless, on May 15, the FCC released its official proposal, concluding tentatively that it could authorize fast lanes and slow lanes on the Internet. Although the FCC is now officially gathering feedback on that proposal, it has promised to adopt a final rule by the end of this year.
Despite the missteps so far, the administration still has a second chance to fix its Internet policy, just as it did with HealthCare.gov. Preferably working with policymakers of all stripes supportive of open markets, it should ensure that the FCC adopts rules that maintain the Internet as basic infrastructure that can be used by entrepreneurs, businesses, and average citizens alike -- not a limited service controlled by a few large corporations. In the arcane world of federal administrative agencies, that guarantee comes down to whether the FCC adopts rules that rely on flimsy legal grounds, as it has in the past, or ones that rely on the solid foundation of its main regulatory authority over “common carriers,” the legal term the U.S. government uses to describe firms that transport people, goods, or messages for a fee, such as trains and telephone companies. In 1910, Congress designated telephone wires as a common carrier service and decreed that the federal government should regulate electronic information traveling over wires in the same way that it regulated the movement of goods and passengers on railroads across state lines through the now defunct Interstate Commerce Commission, which meant that Congress could prevent companies from engaging in discrimination and charging unreasonable access fees. When the FCC was created in 1934 by the Communications Act, those common carrier rules were entrusted to it through a section of the law known as Title II. Today, the broadband wires and networks on which the Internet relies are the modern-day equivalent of these phone lines, and they should be regulated as such: like telephone companies before them, ISPs should be considered common carriers. This classification is crucial to protecting the Internet as public infrastructure that users can access equally, whether they run a multinational corporation or write a political blog.
However, in 2002, Michael Powell, then chair of the FCC, classified ISPs not as common carriers but as “an information service,” which has handicapped the FCC’s ability to enforce net neutrality and regulate ISPs ever since. If ISPs are not reclassified as common carriers, Internet infrastructure will suffer. By authorizing payments for fast lanes, the FCC will encourage ISPs to cater to those customers able and willing to pay a premium, at the expense of upgrading infrastructure for those in the slow lanes.
The stakes for the U.S. economy are high: failing to ban ISPs from discriminating against companies would make it harder for tech entrepreneurs to compete, because the costs of entry would rise and ISPs could seek to hobble service for competitors unwilling or unable to pay special access fees. Foreign countries would likely follow Washington’s lead, enacting protectionist measures that would close off foreign markets to U.S. companies. But the harm would extend even further. Given how much the Internet has woven itself into every aspect of daily life, the laws governing it shape economic and political decisions around the world and affect every industry, almost every business, and billions of people. If the Obama administration fails to reverse course on net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a patchwork of fiefdoms, with untold ripple effects.
Net neutrality is not some esoteric concern; it has been a major contributor to the success of the Internet economy. Unlike in the late 1990s, when users accessed relatively hived-off areas of cyberspace through slow dial-up connections, the Internet is now defined by integration. The credit for this improvement goes to high-speed connections, cellular networks, and short-distance wireless technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth, which have allowed companies large and small -- from Google to Etsy -- to link up computers, smartphones, tablets, and wearable electronics. But all this integration has relied on a critical feature of the global Internet: no one needs permission from anyone to do anything.
Historically, ISPs have acted as gateways to all the wonderful (or not so wonderful) things connected to the Internet. But they have not acted as gatekeepers, determining which files and servers should load better or worse. From day one, the Internet was a public square, and the providers merely connected everyone, rather than regulating who spoke with whom. That allowed the Internet to evolve into a form of basic infrastructure, used by over a billion people today.
The Internet’s openness has radically transformed all kinds of industries, from food delivery to finance, by lowering the barriers to entry. It has allowed a few bright engineers or students with an idea to launch a business that would be immediately available all over the world to over a billion potential customers. Start-ups don’t need the leverage and bank accounts of Apple or Google to get reliable service to reach their users. In fact, historically, they have not paid any arbitrary fees to providers to reach users. Their costs often involve nothing more than hard work, inexpensive cloud computing tools, and off-the-shelf laptops and mobile devices, which are getting more powerful and cheaper by the day. As Marc Andreessen, a co-founder of Netscape and a venture capitalist, has pointed out, the cost of running a basic Internet application fell from $150,000 a month in 2000 to $1,500 a month in 2011. It continues to fall.
In some ways, the Internet is just the latest and perhaps most impressive of what economists call “general-purpose technologies,” from the steam engine to the electricity grid, all of which, since their inception, have had a massively disproportionate impact on innovation and economic growth. In a 2012 report, the Boston Consulting Group found that the Internet economy accounted for 4.1 percent (about $2.3 trillion) of GDP in the G-20 countries in 2010. If the Internet were a national economy, the report noted, it would be among the five largest in the world, ahead of Germany. And a 2013 Kauffman Foundation report showed that in the previous three decades, the high-tech sector was 23 percent more likely, and the information technology sector 48 percent more likely, to give birth to new businesses than the private sector overall.
That growth, impressive as it is, could be just the beginning, as everyday objects, such as household devices and cars, go online as part of “the Internet of Things.” John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco Systems, has predicted that the Internet of Things could create a $19 trillion market in the near future. Mobile-based markets will only expand, too; the Boston Consulting Group projects that mobile devices will account for four out of five broadband connections by 2016.
All this innovation has taken place without the permission of ISPs. But that could change as net neutrality comes under threat. ISPs have consistently maintained that net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem, but this often-repeated phrase is simply wrong. In the United States, both small and large providers have already violated the very principles that net neutrality is designed to protect. Ever since 2005, the FCC has pursued a policy that resembles net neutrality but that allows enough room for interpretation for firms to find ways to undermine it. From 2005 to 2008, the largest ISP in the United States, Comcast, used technologies that monitor all the data coming from users to secretly block so-called peer-to-peer technologies, such as BitTorrent and Gnutella. These tools are popular for streaming online TV (sometimes illegally), using cloud-based storage and sharing services such as those provided by Amazon, and communicating through online phone services such as Skype. In 2005, a small ISP in North Carolina called Madison River Communications blocked Vonage, a company that allows customers to make cheap domestic and international telephone calls over the Internet. From 2007 to 2009, AT&T’s contract with Apple required the latter to block Skype and other competing phone services on the iPhone, so that customers could not use them when connected to a cellular network. From 2011 to 2013, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon blocked all the functionality of Google Wallet, a mobile payment system, on Google Nexus smartphones, likely because all three providers are part of a competing joint venture called Isis.
In the EU, widespread violations of net neutrality affect at least one in five users, according to a 2012 report from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. Restrictions affect everything from online phone services and peer-to-peer technologies to gaming applications and e-mail. In 2011, the Netherlands’ dominant mobile carrier, KPN, saw that its text-messaging revenue was plummeting and made moves to block applications such as WhatsApp and Skype, which allow users to send free texts. Across the Atlantic, in 2005, the Canadian telecommunications company Telus used its control of the wires to block the website of a union member taking part in a strike against the company.
Opponents of net neutrality insist that efforts to enforce it are unnecessary, because market competition will ensure that companies act in their customers’ best interests. But true competition doesn’t exist among ISPs. In the United States, local cable monopolies are often the only game in town when it comes to high-speed access and usually control over two-thirds of the market. In places where there are real options, users rarely switch services because of the penalties that providers charge them for terminating their contracts early.
Some skeptics of strong regulation have proposed rules requiring companies merely to disclose their technical discrimination policies, but those wouldn’t solve the problem either. Even in the United Kingdom, which boasts both healthy competition among ISPs and robust disclosure laws, companies still frequently discriminate against various types of Internet traffic. Indeed, wherever you look, the absence of rules enforcing net neutrality virtually guarantees that someone will violate the principle. As it stands now, after the FCC’s rules were struck down in January, U.S. law does little to protect net neutrality. As companies push the boundaries, violations will become more common -- and not just in the United States.
If the FCC doesn’t rein in U.S. ISPs, there is likely to be a domino effect abroad. Some foreign officials view the net neutrality movement as nothing more than an attempt to protect U.S. technology companies, since given their size, they are the main beneficiaries of net neutrality abroad. (Twitter, for example, does well in foreign markets only where the government doesn’t block it and carriers don’t charge extra for it.) Foreign ISPs have long hoped to exclude U.S. companies from their markets or at least charge them for access, and if U.S. providers are allowed to play similar games in the United States, it will give foreign governments the perfect excuse to give their ISPs what they want. Similarly, if the U.S. government continues to allow American ISPs to block or charge foreign technology companies, such as Spotify, which is based in Sweden, then sooner or later, other countries are likely to retaliate by giving their own providers a similar right. The result would be a global patchwork of fees and discriminatory rules.
Another danger is that if the Internet becomes less open in the United States, some forward-thinking foreign governments could enhance their net neutrality protections as a way of luring U.S. entrepreneurs and engineers to move abroad. Soon after the U.S. federal appeals court struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules in January, Neelie Kroes, a vice president of the EU Commission who is responsible for its digital agenda, asked on Twitter if she should “invite newly disadvantaged US startups to [the] EU, so they have a fair chance.” By early April, the European Parliament had adopted tough net neutrality rules. Likewise, Chile, the first nation to adopt net neutrality rules, in 2010, has sought to attract global entrepreneurs through a government initiative called Start-Up Chile, which has invested millions of dollars in hundreds of foreign technology companies, most of which hail from the United States.
LIFE IN THE SLOW LAND
Imagine if, years ago, MySpace had cut deals with cable and phone companies to block Facebook, if Lycos had colluded with AltaVista to crush Google, if Microsoft had contracted with service providers to protect Internet Explorer by blocking Mozilla Firefox. If ISPs are allowed to block, discriminate, and charge for different applications, such scenarios could become commonplace. The main reason they have not been is because the FCC, in 2005, stated that Internet access should be “operated in a neutral manner” and subsequently stepped in a few times to enforce that policy: against Madison River Communications regarding Vonage, against Comcast regarding peer-to-peer services, and against AT&T and Apple regarding Skype. The enforcement has not been completely consistent -- in-store payments from Google Wallet are still being blocked on AT&T’s, Verizon’s, and T-Mobile’s wireless networks -- but it has still largely succeeded in imposing some discipline on the market.
Without that FCC regulation, the Internet would have come to look very different than it does today -- a lot more like the cable industry, in fact. For decades, cable companies, such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and satellite TV providers, such as DirecTV, have acquired equity stakes in channels as part of their carriage deals. That arrangement has resulted in disputes over price tiers, with smaller channels claiming they get put into more expensive, limited service packages than a cable company’s own channels. In a lengthy dispute with Comcast, for example, the independently owned Tennis Channel argued that it should be placed in the same basic service package as the Golf Channel and the NBC Sports Network, two sports channels that Comcast owns and provides to all its subscribers. In May 2013, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled in Comcast’s favor; the Tennis Channel appealed to the Supreme Court, which in February declined to hear the case. Internet companies have never had to give up equity stakes as part of service deals to reach users or had to compete with firms that are owned by ISPs and thus given preferential treatment. And most of them would have run out of funding during the years of litigation if they had taken legal action like the Tennis Channel has.
A scenario in which websites have to acquiesce to ISPs in order to secure competitive access to the Internet would kill innovation. Small companies would no longer be able to reach every segment of the market at no extra cost. A new company’s rivals, if they could afford it, would be able to pay for better service, thereby reducing consumers’ choices. Many start-ups would be unable to pay expensive access fees and would simply not start up in the first place. Investors would end up putting larger sums in fewer companies, and with no clear limit on how much ISPs could charge, the potential rewards from successful investments might be smaller and would certainly be more uncertain than they are today.
It is unrealistic to expect competition among ISPs to prevent or limit such fees; it hasn’t done so in the United Kingdom and other European markets. Nor can one argue that ISPs need the money. They already enjoy comically high profit margins on broadband delivery, and their operating costs continue to decrease. In weighing the potential damage to entrepreneurship against the financial gains of a few huge telecommunications companies, the U.S. government should back the entrepreneurs.
That’s especially so since without net neutrality, telecommunications and cable companies could also stifle free expression by favoring the websites and applications of the largest media conglomerates over those of nonprofit news organizations, bloggers, and independent journalists and filmmakers. Permitting media giants to pay for a fast lane unavailable to all online outlets would raise the barriers to entry for all new publishing and sharing tools -- eliminating innovations along the lines of Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress. These tools, most of which started with extremely small investments, have helped citizens find new ways to petition and protest against their governments. New and better tools of this kind will continue to emerge only if the field is left open.
KEEPING THE INTERNET OPEN
The Obama administration needs to get the rules governing the Internet right. Obama’s initial, feeble attempts to do so came during his first term, when the FCC was chaired by Julius Genachowski, a law school classmate of Obama’s who demonstrated a distinct lack of political insight and courage on the job. In 2010, the FCC adopted a set of net neutrality rules know as the Open Internet Order, which barred providers from blocking or giving preferential access to particular websites and applications and required more disclosure about their policies. Moreover, in the order, the FCC effectively prohibited ISPs from creating and charging for fast lanes, declaring them unreasonable. But under pressure from ISPs, Genachowski punched two gaping loopholes into these rules. He exempted mobile access from the order, even though more people now go online through their cell phones than through their home computers. He also made it possible for ISPs to violate net neutrality through connection deals that they make directly with websites -- a loophole that Comcast has exploited in its shakedown of Netflix.
Ultimately, however, it was the FCC’s 2002 definition of ISPs as “an information service,” rather than a “common carrier,” that overwhelmed the weak rules established in 2010. Last year, Verizon challenged the 2010 rules, arguing that they went beyond the FCC’s jurisdiction given the commission’s own classification of ISPs as an information service. Since they were not common carriers, they could not be regulated according to Title II of the Communications Act, which would allow the FCC to treat them like telephone companies and ban unreasonable Internet discrimination and access fees. In January, a U.S. federal appeals court agreed with Verizon and struck down the 2010 FCC rules.
In legal terms, the FCC can easily address all these issues when it adopts a new order later this year. By reclassifying ISPs as common carriers, the FCC could regulate them as it does phone companies. It should not shy away from using the authority that Congress gave it; the Supreme Court, in 2005, made clear that the FCC has the power to change ISPs’ classification. Getting the legal definition right is crucial, since the FCC’s last two attempts to enforce net neutrality were struck down in court on jurisdictional grounds, first in April 2010, in a case brought by Comcast, and then in January of this year. In both cases, rather than relying on its main authority over common carriers under Title II, the FCC attempted to impose net neutrality requirements through weaker regulatory authorities, including Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which gives the FCC the authority to regulate broadband infrastructure deployment. Each time, the court’s ruling was sharply dismissive of the FCC’s legal reasoning, as nondiscrimination rules can be applied only to common carriers.
In addition to fixing the FCC’s legal footing, the new order should close the two loopholes in the moribund 2010 rules. First, there should be no exceptions for restrictions on mobile access. That is particularly important since many start-ups now develop applications initially or even exclusively for mobile phones, such as Instagram and Uber. The FCC should also make clear that ISPs cannot charge websites for direct connections to their networks, as Comcast has done with Netflix.
But Wheeler, Obama’s FCC chair, has indicated that he prefers a different path. In late April, in an attempt at damage control after the FCC’s new proposed rules were leaked, Wheeler wrote in a blog post on the FCC’s website that he wouldn’t “hesitate to use Title II” at some undefined future date. But instead of invoking those powers directly, the May 15 proposal tentatively concluded that the FCC would again rely on Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act as the basis for its legal authority, although it did say that it would also consider the use of Title II. Section 706 is the same flawed authority that the FCC already relied on in its 2010 rules and that the appeals court in January already held could not support restrictions against discrimination or fast lanes. Wheeler appears to have chosen this path because it is easier politically; the ISPs will not complain, since they are getting everything they wanted.
Although the Obama administration and the FCC are the main decision-makers, Republicans should recognize the need to support an open Internet. Over the years, some Republicans, including former FCC Chair Kevin Martin, who served under President George W. Bush; former House Representative Charles “Chip” Pickering; and former Senator Olympia Snowe, have supported net neutrality as the best way to promote entrepreneurship, free-market competition, and free speech. Opposing an open Internet now would put the party on the wrong side of its values and on the wrong side of history.
A country’s Internet infrastructure, just like its physical infrastructure, is essential to its economic competition and growth. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, high-speed Internet is not only slower in New York City and San Francisco than it is in Seoul; it also costs five times as much. Suffering from an even more expensive, less robust, and more fragmented Internet infrastructure would put the entire U.S. economy in a global slow lane.
Washington faces a simple choice: allow the Internet to remain an a engine of innovation, a platform for speech in even the harshest tyrannies, and a unified connection for people across the globe -- or cede control of the Internet to service providers motivated by their parochial interests. The Obama administration should focus its energy and resources on net neutrality and make sure that the FCC does the right thing for the U.S. and global economies. If it does not, many online businesses will soon have the kinds of problems usually associated with certain failed government websites.
This is a good description of what REAL US FCC net neutrality for the 99% should look like. The FCC is tasked with CONSUMER PROTECTION ---that being WE THE PEOPLE. They of course see CONSUMERS as they the global 1% corporations.
The FCC under an ATT monopoly was able to assure all regions both rural and urban had the infrastructure needed to receive dependable TV, RADIO, and later INTERNET keeping these rates affordable because our Federal taxpayer money subsidized ATT in building that HARD-TELECOM WIRING. We have had that affordability until CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA now we are seeing taxes, fees, rates climbing and this is only the beginning.
WE MUST REVERSE THIS MOVING FORWARD PRIVATIZATION---IT IS ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, AND IS NOT CONSUMER-FRIENDLY. WE NEED THESE VITAL UTILITIES REGULATED.
The US has always been open to foreign journalism----foreign corporations and global markets----we can do that with keeping our US air waves sovereign and regulated for WE THE PEOPLE.
Making the Internet a utility—what’s the worst that could happen?
A cable lobby lawyer reveals the industry’s darkest fears.Jon Brodkin - 12/17/2014, 9:00 PM
The cable industry takes a subtle approach to anti-Title II advertising.
National Cable & Telecommunications Association
315 There seems to be nothing the broadband industry fears more than Title II of the Communications Act.
Title II gives the Federal Communications Commission power to regulate telecommunications providers as utilities or "common carriers." Like landline phone providers, common carriers must offer service to the public on reasonable terms. To regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) as utilities, the FCC must reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, a move that consumer advocacy groups and even President Obama have pushed the FCC to take.
Under Obama's proposal, the reclassification would only be used to impose net neutrality rules that prevent ISPs from blocking or throttling applications and websites or from charging applications and websites for prioritized access to consumers. The FCC would be expected to avoid imposing more stringent utility rules in a legal process known as "forbearance."
Although Title II offers perks that help providers build out networks, ISPs and telecom industry groups have argued that Title II would bring a host of oppressive regulations that the FCC would have a hard time not imposing. They claim that Title II will impose so many extra costs that they’ll be forced to raise prices—though customers might point out that ISPs aren’t shy about raising prices to begin with.
So what, exactly, are ISPs afraid of?
We wanted to find out what the worst-case scenario for broadband providers is. Hypothetically, assuming the FCC were to impose all possible Title II regulations (even though Obama specifically said he doesn’t want that to happen), what kinds of new regulations would ISPs have to follow and what new costs would they absorb? And would consumers pay the price in higher bills and worse service?
The cable industry has a lot to say on this subject
To get answers, we spoke with the biggest cable industry trade group, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). It represents cable providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, and Charter.
One big requirement Title II could bring is regulation of rates charged by Internet providers, either imposing a uniform limit on what all providers can charge or forcing each one to get permission for price increases and justify them based upon the amount they invest in their networks.
Theoretically, the FCC could also enforce “local loop unbundling,” which would force network operators to lease access to last mile infrastructure. In turn, this could bring a new set of competitors who would resell Internet service over the incumbents’ networks without having to lay their own wires throughout each city and town, similar to how the DSL market operated before the FCC removed the unbundling requirement in 2005.
On the plus side for cable companies, the NCTA is confident the FCC won’t enforce local loop unbundling.
“The thing that worries people the most is probably rate regulation.”
“Unbundling in the [Communications] Act, is under Section 251C, which only applies to incumbent local exchange carriers,” Steve Morris, the NCTA’s associate general counsel, told Ars.
An incumbent local exchange carrier, or “ILEC,” is a telephone company that held a regional monopoly before the markets were opened to competitive local exchange carriers or “CLECs.”
“Our preliminary view is that there’s no way you could find that an ISP is an incumbent local exchange carrier, so those provisions should not apply to ISPs,” Morris said. Landline phone companies that also offer Internet service, like AT&T and Verizon, are still ILECs and could theoretically be subject to unbundling. But this isn’t likely given that the FCC abandoned unbundling nearly a decade ago.
While other Title II regulations wouldn’t necessarily apply to Internet providers because of the FCC's forbearance powers, industry groups argue that forbearance is a highly complicated process that will make it difficult for the FCC to avoid imposing common carrier rules that go far beyond net neutrality.
“I think the thing that worries people the most is probably rate regulation,” Morris said.
There are multiple markets in which the FCC could regulate the rates charged by Internet providers. The most obvious one is the prices charged to residential and business customers who subscribe to broadband. The NCTA doesn't seem worried about that.
“Most people seem to say the commission could forbear from that,” Morris said. “The president seemed to say there was no need for that sort of regulation.”
More likely, though, is regulation of the interconnection deals Internet service providers strike with other large network operators such as Level 3 and Cogent and online content providers such as Netflix. Netflix and others have called upon the FCC to mandate “settlement-free peering,” interconnection deals that happen without payment. Traditionally, payment-free interconnection has only been available in cases where the ISP and the entity it connects to exchange a roughly equal amount of traffic. Netflix wants free network access regardless of whether the traffic is balanced, and the site could get its wish with Title II.
“Netflix and Level 3 and Cogent have all been pushing for mandatory, settlement-free interconnection and traffic exchange,” Morris said. “Well, that’s rate regulation. You know, saying that someone has to do something at a zero price, that’s rate regulation.”
The primary goal of net neutrality advocates is to outlaw paid prioritization deals in which online content providers pay to have their traffic sped up over the so-called “last mile,” the path from the edge of an ISP’s network to a consumer’s home. (ISPs have not struck any such deals yet, but they could because the FCC's prior net neutrality rules were overturned in a court order in January 2014.) Interconnection is different from paid prioritization; it occurs only at the edge of an ISP's network where it connects to the rest of the Internet and would not be affected by most net neutrality proposals.
The FCC is reviewing interconnection deals but hasn’t said whether it plans to regulate interconnection rates. With Title II, it could insist on reasonable rates without necessarily requiring that interconnection be free. “Reasonable” would be left open to interpretation and decided on a case-by-case basis when there are complaints.
Harold Feld, an attorney and senior VP of the pro-Title II group Public Knowledge, pointed out that Section 251A of Title II requires telecommunications carriers to interconnect with other carriers. A requirement like this could have helped force Comcast’s hand when it was demanding payment from Cogent in exchange for upgrading links used to carry Netflix and other traffic. That dispute was settled indirectly when Netflix paid Comcast, but customers suffered from worse performance in the meantime.
Assuming Cogent was also considered a telecommunications provider, “the FCC could say, ‘look, you’re not allowed to sit there and do nothing when you’re faced with capacity constraints,’” Feld told Ars. “‘There has to be some way in which you upgrade to meet the capacity demand when it’s clear there is capacity demand.’ They could even say generally, ‘your pricing has to bear some relationship to cost.’”
Under Title II, Netflix could also complain to the FCC if it believed Comcast and other ISPs were charging unreasonable rates for interconnection, because Netflix would be a customer of a common carrier, Feld said.
But rate regulation isn't something the FCC does lightly. The commission has spent years gathering pricing data on the special access market, in which businesses such as Sprint and T-Mobile buy bandwidth from the likes of AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink, without making any final decision.
New taxes or just scare-mongering?
Although rate regulation on the consumer side could involve a mandate to keep broadband affordable for ordinary people, anti-Title II groups are arguing that utility status will bring new taxes that would cost customers billions of dollars a year.
“We have calculated that the average annual increase in state and local fees levied on US wireline and wireless broadband subscribers will be $67 and $72, respectively,” economists Robert Litan and Hal Singer argued in a policy brief by the Progressive Policy Institute this month. “And the annual increase in federal fees per household will be roughly $17. When you add it all up, reclassification could add a whopping $15 billion in new user fees.”
This analysis has been met with skepticism. For one thing, the US government bans state and local taxes on Internet service, potentially wiping out a large portion of the charges Litan and Singer predict. The moratorium has been in place for 15 years, and Congress just renewed it again. (Singer argues that their analysis focuses mostly on fees that are not outlawed by that moratorium.)
On the federal level, the hypothetical new fees would come from the Universal Service Fund (USF), which pays for broadband infrastructure in underserved areas with money collected as surcharges on phone bills.
Enlarge / FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former NCTA CEO himself, speaking to the cable industry in April 2014.
Pro-Title II groups disagree with Litan and Singer, saying that the FCC wouldn’t have to impose USF charges on broadband. “On the matter of new federal and state USF fees, the FCC could decide to waive the requirement for providers to contribute a portion of their retail broadband revenues to the federal USF,” wrote Matt Wood, policy director of consumer advocacy group Free Press. “The Commission could do this because a cost-benefit analysis might show that the additional fees would depress overall broadband adoption among poor and elderly communities—which would go against the USF’s very mission.”
Besides that, Wood argued that the Universal Service Fund could remain the same size, so that surcharges on broadband would be offset by reductions in surcharges on wireless and wired phone lines.
Singer made a point-by-point response to Wood’s rebuttal, and the NCTA claims to be convinced that Title II will bring some onerous new fees. Litan and Singer supplied “an important analysis which demonstrates that consumers will be on the hook for billions of dollars in new taxes and fees under a Title II regime,” an NCTA spokesperson told Ars. “The significant increase in consumer taxes further demonstrates why Title II should be rejected. If connecting all Americans to broadband service is a true national priority, imposing billions of dollars in new taxes on this service is a perplexing way to accomplish that goal.”
Big Cable's multi-faceted argument, continued
Here is a summary of a few other concerns raised by the NCTA:
The right to stop service
Broadband providers classed as common carriers might need to seek permission to discontinue service in unprofitable areas.
“For the most part that has not been a problem for our companies,” Morris said. “Usually we get into a business because we want to be in the business and we’re not planning to get out of the business. But those issues are coming up much more now on the telco side as they try to move to IP [Internet Protocol] and move to more fiber. It may not be as big a concern as some of the other things we’ve talked about but if there are a lot of hurdles we have to jump through to get out of a business or a service, it makes you have to think a lot harder about getting into it in the first place. If you have a service and you think there’s consumer interest, but you’re not really sure, you may be hesitant to try it if once you offer it you’re not going to be able to stop offering it.”
Rules affect small ISPs, too
“Every article you read about this, it’s always Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, and certainly a significant percent of customers get their service from those big companies,” Morris said. But there are hundreds if not thousands of small ISPs serving small areas. The American Cable Association alone represents 900 smaller operators.
“We have some small members," Morris said. "Not only do they not have the ability to charge Netflix, Netflix doesn’t even come to [their facilities]. These guys have to go somewhere to meet Netflix and pay to get there. These are companies that serve a few hundred or a few thousand customers… They’ve invested private capital in places that are hard to serve. They’re sometimes family businesses. They’re working to bring the people who live in their community good Internet service and the idea that they’re going to need to hire lawyers and other specialists to make sure they’re in compliance with a whole new set of regulations when everybody is fine with the way they offer service today, it’s crazy.”
Pole attachment rates
Cable companies typically lease pole space from electric companies and sometimes phone companies. If cable providers were classed as telecommunications carriers, “there’d be the possibility of significant increases in the fees we’d have to pay the utilities for the exact same attachments that we have,” Morris said. “How you’re classified affects what you have to pay. It’s not a logical regime but that’s how it works.” (Google has since pointed out that Title II reclassification might help its own Internet service, Google Fiber, secure access to "poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way owned or controlled by utilities.")
Common carriers have to post tariffs stating the terms and conditions and rates for the services they offer, and the FCC can object to the terms and ask for changes, Morris said. The FCC has generally held that advertisements can count as a carrier’s tariff, according to Feld.
“If all the commission said was, ‘residential broadband Internet access service is subject to Title II,' everyone would have to work through what does that mean, which statutory provisions apply, which rules apply, and in some cases it’s not necessarily going to be clear, which will lead to disputes or at least the need for clarification,” Morris said.
Morris pointed to how the FCC used Section 201 of Title II, which prohibits unreasonable charges and practices, to levy a $10 million fine on TerraCom and YourTel America in October for privacy and data security violations.
“Even though there was no actual rule governing how they would secure data, the enforcement bureau said, ‘the way you did it was unreasonable, we’re fining you $10 million,” Morris told Ars. In fact, the FCC's decision cited both Section 201 and Section 222, the latter of which covers privacy and data security violations.
Still, Morris worried that Section 201 could be applied “in the context of network management. Engineers are trying to block spam, they’re trying to worry about cyber security, and they manage the network to keep it all working, and you could see a network management practice that in the heat of the moment seems totally fine, but six weeks later a bureau chief says, ‘that was unreasonable, you shouldn’t have done that, I’m going to go after you for that.’”
Although Morris was confident local loop unbundling won’t be enforced under Section 251C, he speculated that 201 is so broad that “you could get a bureau chief who says, ‘I think it’s unreasonable to not provide unbundling, even though there’s no rule that [requires it].”
The case that maybe Title II won’t be so bad
Now that we’ve been through a worst-case scenario, is there any reason to think that Title II won’t trigger the apocalypse for ISPs and their customers after all? In fact, yes—if we take ISPs themselves at their word. While broadband providers typically offer doom-and-gloom scenarios when arguing against Title II, sometimes they go off script, especially when talking to investors.
AT&T called Title II an “unqualified regulatory success story.”
Verizon Chief Financial Officer Francis Shammo told investors at a conference last week that Title II would not affect how the company invests in its wireline and wireless networks. At the same conference, Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus noted that even Title II proponents are not pushing rate regulation.
The argument that the FCC would have trouble forbearing from imposing the strictest Title II rules was shot down by Charter CEO Tom Rutledge. “Obviously forbearance done properly could work, and we think that the fundamental objective seems reasonable," he said. In another moment of candor, AT&T last year told the FCC that Title II with forbearance is an "unqualified regulatory success story."
This is in line with arguments made by Feld. “Title II forbearance is actually so easy it makes me want to puke,” Feld wrote in one blog post, countering the industry’s argument that the process of forbearing from enforcement of specific Title II regulations is complicated and unpredictable.
In another post, Feld described the last time the FCC classified a service as Title II, when the FCC made cellular voice roaming a common carrier service in 2007. “This took remarkably little effort,” Feld wrote. “The FCC explicitly rejected the requirement to do rate regulation or a requirement to file tariffs with the prices and did not need to engage in any extensive forbearance. They just said ‘nah, we’re not gonna do that.’ The final adopted rules are less than a page and a half.”
Besides forbearance that applies to a whole industry, there are also forbearance petitions in which individual telecom companies request relief from specific regulations; one such petition from CenturyLink has already dragged on for more than a year. Here is the NCTA's take on forbearance:
Feld acknowledged that reclassifying broadband would be less straightforward than reclassifying voice roaming was. But he also pointed out that cellular phone service (voice, not mobile Internet) was put under Title II in 1993, with forbearance from many regulations that applied to landline phone service, and “the wireless industry seems to be doing OK.” Wireless Internet service could also fall under Title II if the FCC opts to reclassify.
Although Feld argues that forbearance from rules not related to net neutrality won’t be too difficult, we asked him which parts of Title II could apply to broadband providers if the FCC doesn’t use forbearance and tried to apply all possible rules.
Feld agreed with the NCTA that local loop unbundling is highly unlikely even with Title II reclassification. The FCC could enforce unbundling on incumbent phone companies that offer DSL like it used to, but there’s a question of whether they should be considered “incumbent” in the case of broadband since cable has greater market share, Feld said. The FCC also decided to forbear from imposing unbundling rules on fiber in 2003 to encourage deployment, he said.
“On the whole, I agree with NCTA on this. Structural separation—modeled on the old DSL resale model or similar to what they do in France or England—is not a real risk for any ISP,” Feld said. “That's unfortunate, in my view, but that's the reality.”
US states have largely abandoned rate-of-return regulation on phone service in which carriers' expenditures are scrutinized by the government to make sure they’re necessary, with profits then calculated based upon allowable expenditures. Price caps that aren’t tied to profits and expenses are simpler and could actually be imposed on Internet service by the FCC without reclassifying broadband. That's because of the commission’s powers under Section 706, which requires the FCC to encourage deployment of broadband and specifically says that price caps are one measure the FCC could use to achieve that goal.
Feld sees complications with price cap regulation, though. The FCC would either have to set different price caps in each market based on cost of living and other localized factors, or settle on a national price cap that would be so high as to not be meaningful in most cities and towns.
On the other hand, the FCC could use its Section 706 powers to force all broadband providers to offer an entry-level Internet package for a small fee, say $10 a month, if it believed that would encourage deployment of broadband, he said. State governments could get involved, too, though most have already deregulated telecom markets.
Sections of Title II that are likely to apply to broadband providers include 201, 202, and 208, the ones applied to cellular voice, Feld said. Those include the requirement for reasonable rates and practices; a prohibition against unjust or unreasonable discrimination in rates and practices; and the establishment of a complaint process.
Back in 2010, the FCC considered reclassifying broadband and forbearing from all provisions except 201, 202, 208, 254, and possibly 222 and 255 (see page 56). Notably, that list did not include Section 251 on interconnection or Section 203 on tariffs. Section 222 covers privacy of customer information. Section 254 lays out universal service requirements guaranteeing access to all, including rural residents and people with low incomes, while 255 ensures access for the disabled.
The discrimination and reasonableness provisions should provide the commission enough flexibility to ban discrimination against websites or applications and paid prioritization, Feld argued. That would satisfy most network neutrality advocates. A useful complaint process would be particularly important as well, because imposing Title II on broadband could strip the Federal Trade Commission of some of its powers to bring action on behalf of customers against Internet providers.
If Title II becomes reality, Internet providers can blame Verizon
The fact that Title II is being considered at all is largely due to decisions made by Verizon, which successfully sued to overturn net neutrality rules issued in 2010 by the FCC without Title II. Verizon’s victory may backfire, since federal appeals court judges said the FCC couldn't impose the restrictions it wanted to without reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service. The new proceeding could revive Title II as well as impose equally strict rules on wireless Internet service, whereas the previous rules applied the most onerous conditions only to fixed broadband.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is taking his time on making a final proposal, saying he expects to be sued and wants something that is legally defensible. He argues that Title II has not harmed the cell phone market, and he has good reason to be skeptical of industry arguments. AT&T argued in May that not even Title II would allow the FCC to ban paid prioritization; as the threat of Title II became more real, AT&T and Verizon began claiming that the FCC could ban paid prioritization without resorting to Title II after all.
A “hybrid” proposal the FCC is considering would reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, but only with respect to their relationships with content providers, instead of their relationships with consumers. No one on either side of the debate seems to like this idea. Morris said a hybrid approach would bring more regulatory uncertainty; Feld said the hybrid approach “adds to the litigation risk” because it relies on a complicated theory “instead of the well-known and clear path of Title II.”
The dispute will continue for another month or so while the FCC makes up its mind, perhaps for months after that if more lawsuits are filed. Separately, the FCC has also not yet decided whether Voice over Internet Protocol should be Title II, an important matter as the traditional circuit switched phone network is being replaced by the IP-based voice services sold by broadband providers.
For now, ISPs are trying to convince the public and the FCC that they have Americans’ best interests at heart.
“There’s no one who provides Internet access who said, ‘you know, I would invest more under Title II, this would help me introduce new services,’” Morris said at the end of our phone interview. “It’s clear we’re talking about levels of bad and there’s no upside… For what consumers are getting today, they’re not going to get anything better under Title II, but it will get worse because their prices are going to go up, our cost of providing it is going to go up, our incentive to invest in it is going to go down. Let’s leave with that thought.”
THE DANGERS OF MOVING FORWARD CYBERNETICS CREATING THAT UTOPIAN TECHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
This video is a great documentary of not only the history of computers but cybernetics driving this industry and it began and is still about creating virtual realities blending art and technology to create that utopia of technology for that select global 1%. The documentary provide real information-----interviews movers and shakers in these efforts and it is to WE THE PEOPLE to find whether this technological virtual existence for those 1% MOVING FORWARD is worth reversing with rolling protests for weeks and months. The amount of mineral needed to maintain these SMART CITIES AND BUILDINGS in Foreign Economic Zones around the global will be MASSIVE---lots of planetary mining slaves living their own virtual reality with brain malleability.
This ends this week's discussion on FCC AND INTERNET public policy by global Wall Street designed to create this ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE TELECOM ---net neutrality for those global 1%.
Our favorite far-right , authoritarian oligarchy----Saudi Arabia building from scratch what will be a model Foreign Economic Zone. Here we see a graduate from far-right neo-conservative global IVY LEAGUE Stanford in the region of CA where this video starts MOVING FORWARD COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY.
'The Net - The Unabomber. LSD and the Internet'
Published on Mar 16, 2012
Full version of Lutz Dammbecks 2003 documentary.
Highest quality on YouTube.
"This fascinating German documentary explores the bizarre life story of Ted Kaczynski, using it as a prism for the often unexamined history of the Internet. Director Lutz Dammbeck takes an unorthodox approach to the material, speculating about the darker side of technological innovation, and touching on subjects as diverse as terrorism, the CIA, acid, Ken Kesey, and utopianism."
Do we really think this is all about middle-class housing? REALLY??
We see here the goal of OPEN GLOBAL CYBERNETIC SYSTEMS
May 11, 2015 @ 08:02 AM
The Little Black Book of Billionaire SecretsSaudia Arabia: Home Of One Of the World's Largest Planned Smart Home Cities?
Patrick Moorhead ,
The Internet of Things (IoT) has certainly been a hot topic of discussion over the past few years, and some would argue it’s an over-used buzzword, reconditioned from the embedded world while adding big data analytics. All of the talk is turning into reality in many areas, though, and is emerging in some areas much more quickly than some would ever think. My firm does a lot of analysis in both the Human and Industrial IoT space and are introduced to some very interesting case studies of those who are deploying IoT today or intend to deploy in a big way.
I had a very interesting discussion this week with Fahd Al-Rasheed, Group CEO of Emaar Economic City (EEC), developer for one of the largest private projects on earth, the $100B King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), located in Saudia Arabia. Al-Rasheed intends to turn KAEC into one of the largest smart cities on the planet and I believe has the vision, circumstances and capital to pull it off.
King Abdullah Economic City Rendering (Credit: EEC)
Al-Rasheed and EEC over the last nine years have literally been developing a 65 square mile (168 km) city for 2M people….. from the grounds up…… with private funds. It’s a $100B project that will fund what you would expect to find in a city- businesses, schools, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, public transportation, ports, and of course, homes. Al-Rasheed wants KAEC to serve as a “hub” to the Red Sea areas, giving access to Africa, the last new frontier on the planet. EEC estimates that by 2050, over 1.5B people will have access to goods produced or shipped through the city, up from 620M people in 2010. Western companies Pfizer PFE -0.21%, Johnson Controls JCI -0.55%, Toys R Us Inc., IKEA , Volvo, and Renault apparently see the opportunity and are already tenants in KAEC.
KAEC is interesting enough, but as a technology industry analyst, what EEC is doing with the 400,000 resident’s homes related to IoT is more interesting to me. Al-Rasheed has a vision for what he calls the “Perfect Home”. While details are limited, these smart homes are targeted to middle income families with homes ranging from $250-300K, and designed to be high in aesthetics, sustainability, and high-tech. Naturally, I want to spend time on the high-tech side of the equation.
Al-Rasheed is focusing right now on four areas related to IoT: home automation platforms, smart lighting, security, and intelligent energy consumption. This doesn’t mean areas like entertainment are “dumb”, but the other areas are their focus. To start with the home automation platform makes sense, as it has to be the glue that connects everything together in the IoT world. As I’ve documented ad-nauseam, the lack of these devices talking to each other is a major inhibitor to adoption. Today we have disconnects between AllJoyn, OIC, Apple's AAPL -0.22% HomeKit and Google's GOOGL +3.94% Nest. While I expect AllJoyn and OIC to come together and play nice eventually, I don’t hold out near-term hope for Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Nest to play well together.
These are just some of the issues that Al-Fahd and his team are going to need to figure out. As he got his MBA from Stanford, Al-Rashad is connected to Silicon Valley and knows how it operates. Al-Rasheed told me that if vendors can’t play nicely together, he’ll build a technology team to do it for them. You can afford to do that with a $100B project like KAEC. It’s very possible to do this as Revolv (now Google's) and Nortek's NTK +% Elan showed us, but not the optimal path as it’s a lot of work to make all the different wireless schemas, lower level protocols and APIs work together reliably and consistently. Revolv was filled with brilliant people, but they were acquired by Google. Net-net, Al-Rasheed doesn’t want to go down this path and he is spending a lot of time in Silicon Valley talking to the leaders in the space.
Emaar Economic City Group CEO and Managing Director (Credit: EEC)