Net Neutrality Moves Forward, Gains Foe

Yesterday, The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) five commissioners voted unanimously to move ahead with the discussion on Net Neutrality.

While all five commissioners approved the move, the two Republican members (Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker) indicated that, while they think further exploration is a good idea, they don’t think regulations will ultimately be needed.

McDowell was quoted in a Washington Post website as saying:

Today we do disagree on substance. I do not agree with the majority’s view that the Internet is showing breaks and cracks and that the government … needs to fix it. Nonetheless it is important to remember that the commission is starting a process, not ending one.

Senator John McCain expressed his displeasure with the Net Neutrality movement as well. PC World reports that McCain introduced his own Internet Freedom Act, which would “expressly prohibit the FCC from making rules on net neutrality in the simplest terms.” McCain thinks Net Neutrality will affect the job market and stifle competition.

The Net Neutrality movement will now record comments until January 14, 2010 and subsequent reply comments until March 14, 2010.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Nekowolf says:

    Yes, thank you! Fuck the FCC. Net Neutrality is good, great. But under the FCC? They’ll just fuck it up.

    The FCC needs to be completely dismantled, and a whole new regulatory body must be constructed.

  2. TJLK says:

    Some actually support allowing the FCC to "promulgate rules" in reguards to what is "lawful" content on the Internet and how the ISPs can deal with it.  Sooo….  What is with all the support to give the FCC this power over the internet?  Because they did such a wonderful job with television?  What is the rush to give the FCC more power?

  3. Magic says:

    By "elitists who ensured that their revolution devolved into a totalitarian dictatorship that was certainly never truly communist nor socialist" you mean Stalin killed off the other people at the top and twisted the revolution into his own form of despotism?

    Fill me in if Lenin didn’t achieve either communism or socialism, it’s not my main forte.

  4. Neeneko says:

    Actually, in their pure unmitigated forms, communism and capitalism become functionally equivelent, just from differnt directions.

  5. Bennett Beeny says:

    The USSR was neither communist or socialist.  It was Bolshevik, which was a ‘top-down’ movement of revolutionary elitists who ensured that their revolution devolved into a totalitarian dictatorship that was certainly never truly communist nor socialist.  In fact, the party leadership actively suppressed communist and socialist forces as ‘counter-revolutionary’.

    As for communism not working on any large scale, that is clearly false.  Catalonia was successfully run as a communist/anarchist state during the Spanish Civil War until it was undermined by… you guessed it – the so-called ‘communist’ Soviet Union.

  6. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Thats a good comparison really, communism didn’t work because to many things gets consolidated to the point the populaces suffers from the imbalance, capitalism is the same it just has a higher flash point.


    Thats a good comparison really, communism didn’t work because to many things gets consolidated to the point the populaces suffers from the imbalance, capitalism is the same it just has a higher flash point.

    both can work fine IF the system is balanced but greed tends to unbalance things.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

  7. Unruly says:

    Except that we had that back during the Industrial Revolution. Books like The Jungle were written, events like the West Virginia Mine Wars happened, AT&T and Ma Bell happened, Standard Oil happened, and there was such an insane gap in the distribution of wealth that it was almost as bad as anything the USSR(Socialism, not Communism) had going during their worst years. The list goes on.

    I’m not saying that Communism works, because it really doesn’t on anything bigger than a tribal scale, but a completely free-market, unregulated Capitalist system doesn’t work either. All it does is allow for one company to take the lead, force its competition to go bankrupt through market manipulation, buy them up, and then squeeze the consumer to death because they’re the only choice the consumer has. It happened then, it will happen now.

  8. Unruly says:

    I hate to make myself come off as really biased, but the ISPs have been given the chance by the government to improve their infrastructure, and it was even paid for with government money, and they abruptly turned around and forgot about it as soon as they got the money. And in areas where the local government takes it upon themselves to improve their network infrastructure because they asked the ISP for years and the ISP said no, the ISP takes them to court saying that it was unfair competition. So, yes, the ISPs really are villains at this point in time. They make excuses as to why they can’t run fiber to people’s homes, sue when anyone that isn’t them actually does it, and complain when someone actually uses their "unlimited" internet that they were advertised and subscribed to because they can’t handle it without spending more money.

    I made a much bigger post about it earlier, with citations to what I’m talking about.

    As it were, I wouldn’t mind the usage caps that Time Warner and Comcast put in place if they didn’t actively advertise their services as "unlimited" like they do. At one point within the last year, Time Warner had their cap set at 40gb per month. If I had been subscribed to them at the time, I would have been hitting the usage cap within the first half of the month because I don’t have a cable TV subscription and use Hulu and Netflix for my TV/movie needs. And from what I understand through the people that did have Time Warner then, the only way to not have the monthly usage cap was to either sign up for a more expensive tier that cost over twice as much or to get a business connection. Comcast is more reasonable, for once, in that their current cap is at 250gb/month and I would be very hard pressed to hit it, but at one point theirs was around 80-100gb/month as well.

    Anyways, what I’m getting at is that if they’re going to limit your usage, advertise it as such and tell me what exactly the limits are. Don’t advertise it as a 12mb connection with unlimited usage when the 12mb is only gonna happen if absolutely no one else is using the line and I’m right next door to the backbone and the unlimited really means "unlimited until you hit Xgb of usage, then all you can do is check your email."

  9. Arell says:

    Let me try this more simply, just in case the others were still confusing.

    Net Neutrality means that all information must be created equal by the ISPs.  Whether it’s a torrent file, an online game, porn, or a political site, the ISP must allow you to transfer it at the same cost and speed as any other piece of information.

    Without NN, the ISPs could, in theory, charge differently for different bits of info, or give priority speeds to specific bits of info.   Want your customers to get the faster speeds?  Pay extra to the ISPs.  Imagine if MMO publishers had to pay an extra premium for their game to get good speeds to Comcast customers, and another premium to get good speeds to AT&T customers, and another… you get the idea.  A company like Blizzard could pay all the ISPs their premiums, but what about a startup developer?

    They could also give preference to certain website, even blocking some.  What if your ISP is owned by the same parent company as Fox News?  That ISP could slow down connections to MSNBC and CNN, or even block them altogether.  And what happens to the millions of citizens that only have one choice of ISP in their local area?  Already, there was an incident where AOL Time Warner blocked thousands of emails from their customers that spoke badly of thier company.

    The ISPs aren’t villans, though.  They want to upgrade their networks to handle an ever increasing load of information.  They want to add charges and offer different speed packages to help pay for their overhead.  But this would, of course, radically alter the freeform nature of the internet.  It’s up to you to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

  10. Alyric says:

    Scroll down a bit on the next link for a list of arguments on both sides of the debate:

    (From the first link):

    Also referred to as "Net Neutrality," this proposal represents an unprecedented expansion of Internet regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the exact opposite of Internet freedom. It would allow the FCC to regulate the speed and pricing of traffic across public and private broadband networks. It would create a bureaucratic structure to control competition and customer service. It would mandate what data companies can or cannot prioritize. 

    Further, it raises privacy concerns because it will enable the federal government to track users. Consumers have been well-served by an open Internet system in which private sector competition and innovation has nurtured an environment that anyone can use to develop new applications and content.  This freedom will be stifled rather than "preserved" with the unbridled expansion of federal government power over the Internet that will be put in place with "Net Neutrality.

  11. Flynn says:

    Consider this:

    With net neutrality stricken down, the signal becomes as much of a product as the wire.  As it is, you pay an ISP to bring you a wire, though which you may access the Internet.  This freedom of browsing in net neutrality, that is to say, each site has a neutral or equal accessibility.

    Remove net neutrality and it becomes possible for ISP to give priority to sites, in effect, the ISP is no longer a neutral party.  So, in addition to the comments of the other replier, imagine this:

    You are a browsers, MSN and Google are the search provides available to find what you are looking for (this example works best with only two search sites, sorry Yahoo! fans).  MSN, owned by Microsoft, has deeper pockets than Google.  So, Microsoft goes to the ISPs and says "Google has offered you 10 million dollars a year so that your users can view their page quickly.  We’ll give you 100 million dollars a year, to slow access to Google to a crawl."  The ISP isn’t going to turn down a 90 million dollar profit are they?  Without net neutrality, the ISP takes Microsoft’s deal, runs down Google, and you as a user are forced to get used to the idea of using MSN Live instead of Google Mail.

    The idea of striking net neutrality only stands to benefit large companies, interest groups, and people with a large bank roll.  For example pertaining to this story: Republican or Democrat, you can’t really argue that in the most recent presidential election Obama made better use of the net than McCain did.  Without net neutrality, it wouldn’t have been a matter of who had the best site, best media, or most net savvy voters, it becomes a matter of who has the most money.  If the Republicans do, suddenly getting Internet based information on the democrats is a problem.  If it’s the Democrats, getting info on the Republicans is a problem.

    Finally, the example that most often puts this problem in view for most people: If net neutrality goes away, and access to religious information becomes a bidding war, the Vatican and Islam, as the two largest (most wealthy) faiths in the world, are free to buy favor.  If Islam wins, finding information on Christ becomes a problem.  If the Vatican wins, finding information on Muhammad becomes a problem.  Either way, Buddhists, Jews, Zoroastrians, Wickens, etc are all in the internet-available dog house.

    Net Neutrality is effectively your right to receive free speech from the Internet.

  12. Unruly says:

    Net Neutrality basically means that ISPs should be treated as Common Carriers, just the same way that phone companies are, and that they shouldn’t be allowed to throttle connection speeds just because a person is using a certain peice of software(bittorrent or whatever the latest P2P software may be is the biggest one they currently throttle) or going to certain websites.

    The biggest issue is that a lot of the ISPs are also in another area of business, such as Comcast and Time Warner with their cable TV. As it is, without net neutrality regulations, they could choose to completely block or degrade to near-unusabilty access to websites such as Hulu because it directly competes with their TV service offerings. At the same time, they could choose to enter into what amounts to nothing more than extortion by threating degraded access to certain companies offerings unless said company chooses to pay them an access fee. For instance, a major ISP such as Verizon could threaten Blizzard with degraded service for WoW, and then place the blame for the bad service on Blizzard if they didn’t pay. In that case, Blizzard would either have to pay Verizon, or risk losing a significant part of their install base.

    One of the primary reasons that Net Neutrality is such a big issue in the US is that there is almost no local-level competition between ISPs. For instance, where I live, its either dial-up internet or Comcast cable internet. In the city my dad lives in, he has the options of dial-up or Verizon DSL, and from speaking with a Verizon employee there, Verizon would just as much prefer to not be offering DSL in that city at all. If ISPs weren’t set up as local monopolies, Net Neutrality wouldn’t be such a big issue, but as it is now its a very major problem.

  13. Cerabret100 says:

    Okay, can someone get me up to speed with a non biased explanation on what exactly “Net Neutrality” entails?

    I’ve read all the reports on this site about it, and grasped a few things, but if someone could put the entire picture out there for me, i would greatly appreciate it so that i may examine exactly where i stand opinion wise on all this based on facts.

  14. DarkSaber says:

    It IS usually, right up until, as you said, they aren’t in the majority, then it’s "The majority isn’t always right, we were elected becasuse we know what’s best for them"


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. nightwng2000 says:

    "Today we do disagree on substance. I do not agree with the majority’s view …"

    Why is it that reading this reminds me of all the support for "majority rule" by various groups, such as conservatives, when THEY are the majority in various issues.  Suddenly, "Oh no!  The Majority don’t count!"  Isn’t it usually "We’re the majority, the majority rules, and if you don’t like it, get out of this country!"?



    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  16. Monte says:

     I think the typical voter tends to not to remember a politican’s stances from longer than a year or two ago, especially when it’s a politician from another party; They only pay attention to the hear and now.

    The way i see it, McCain was a moderate conservative, but when he ran in 2000, he lost to bush in the primaries; being moderate is usually not liked amongst republicans… so in the years leading up to 2008, McCain decided to correct that "mistake" by adopting more conservative stances and telling his party what they wanted to hear… worked well enough for the primaries, but back fired during the general election. Seems many republicans did not forget how moderate he was and were not too keen on taking him… though at the same time moderates and liberals had forgotten his former stances and just payed attention to what he was saying during his campaign, which to them made him seem pretty conservative, and much less of a moderate…. things would have worked out better for him if it worked the other way around

    Part of me does think the previous 8 years would have been better with McCain than Bush… and another part of me knows i’m too damn ignorant to make that kind of call… All i can say is that much of what McCain said in 2008 was a real turn off to me, where as some of the things i heard he said back in 2000 made him seem more appealing… frankly, i prefer steering away from extremes.

    "Can John McCain please leave the Republican Party"

    Y’know i think this kind of mentality is what helps damage the republicans… As they see it, you got to be hardcore conservative, theirs no room for moderates… I mean how many people out their consider themselves right of center and usually do end up voting republican? that kind of tone alienates them and the rest of the middle ground as they like moderation.

    honestly, when i hear stuff like that i can’t help but think it sounds like "we will never compromise, negotiate, find a middle ground or try to find meet halfway on issues"… instead of working together to actually get things done, they’d rather just fight everything and accept nothing short of absolutely their way. It makes the party seem down right intolerant to anything even remotely liberal and serves as an insult to that half of the country… there are many people who consider themselves to be somewhere in the middle and would really enjoy moderate decisions; something the two parties might be able to reach if they would worked together instead of butting heads…

    i just feel that mentality serves as a reminder that the republicans have no plans to work with the democrats and would rather fight them every step of the way… Ya sure, the same can be said of democrats, but it seems A LOT less obvious since i never seem to hear much of democrats speaking that way about members of their own party.

    Truth doesn’t matter, as what people perceive becomes the truth (sad but true)… and with the way each party talks, the republicans seem more intolerant and much less willing to work together. When comes down to it, the hard right aren’t the ONLY voters, got to think of everyone and how they perceive you

  17. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Most people forget before he dared to run against Barrack Obama, he was a media favorite always going against policies and views of the Republican Party, what did they think by nominating him the media and the other Liberals would still respect him? When John McCain won the nomination, and it was still between Barrack and Hillary I always said, whoever wins a Democrat would win and all three are Democrats one way or another.

    Can John McCain please leave the Republican Party, seriously he is like a Liberals best friend to use when they say they have Republican friends and those Republicans agree with them.

    I think McCain lately is showing that he just wants to run for President a Third time. Seriously, him and Olympia Snow just need to just jump ships.

  18. chadachada321 says:

    Eh, they did a good job with it, had the right idea, just that humans are stupid/lazy/greedy =D

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  19. metroidprimegmr says:

    You were writing about how the Founding Fathers stole most of the Constitution’s wording from the writings of John Locke. ^_^

  20. chadachada321 says:

    Which is why it should be "majority rules, except when it forces people to do unnecessary things, prevents citizens from doing things, or otherwise infringing on that citizen’s rights."

    Something written along those lines. "Freedom to do what you want as long as you aren’t infringing on someone else’s rights, and the government with the inability to infringe on citizens’ rights, otherwise it should be majority rules." Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers correctly knew that the general public was far to stupid to run the federal government, which is one reason why a straight democracy was illogical. The people were supposed to vote in those that would protect their rights (it’s clear that they, the public, don’t anymore).

    But, having Representatives and Senators was necessary, because along with the protection of rights, the public wouldn’t be able to financially run such a large government. Representatives to deal with fiscal issues, and Senators to deal with international issues. There weren’t many issues besides that, and none that restricted rights that were granted by the Constitution (and thus reserved to the people/states, as per the 9th and 10th amendments). Remember, Senators used to be elected by state legislatures, not by the public. House of Representatives was supposed to be a lot closer to the public, so much so that once elected they really had to try to get re-elected. A check and balance. Keep public happy, stay in office. To keep public happy, you have to protect their rights and not make horrible fiscal decisions. However, the public today doesn’t vote based on policy, only on party alignment and incumbent status.

    Senatorial voting was changed to popular vote with the 17th amendment because of the massive amount of corruption in the Senate. States would put in horrible senators (even though popular vote decides who runs state legislatures…why the public didn’t pay more attention to that is beyond me. Then again, so is our current predicament), and those senators would stay for a very long time, working to bettering states and themselves(ever hear of pork? earmarks?) at the cost of taxpayer rights/money. Understandable, but crappy, because senators still do that without worry of losing their seat.

    If the public payed more attention, then most (almost all, I’d say) of Congress would be replaced within 6 years. But, whatever.

    Thus, I propose a solution (amendment-worthy, in my belief) that could alleviate some of the problems with having a federal government that meddles in rights when it’s only supposed to dwell in money, army-raising, and other nations. Allowing for straight-voting on some issues, like the propositions that many states have. If, say, a certain fraction of the House or the Senate (or both) vote to make an issue open for public voting in the next voting period, then it will be in the form of a proposition. Or, like the way that states do it, there could be a system where a citizen works to get enough signatures on a petition within a certain amount of time, and if those signatures are obtained, then that thing would be put onto the next ballot.

    This could only be used for certain things, as the federal government doesn’t legally have the power to make marijuana growth illegal (I’ll quote the Constitution right now to prove it), along with other things that the government is doing unConstitutionally…

    For the Constitution quote, I give you Article I, Section 8.

    "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To coin Money, and regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standards of Weights and Measures (the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional, per this part);

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever [in Washington DC]…
    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constituion in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

    That’s a lot to read, and I left out the stuff in between that has nothing to do with it. Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes. Check. Power to regulate trade with other countries? Check. To regulate commerce "among the several States"? Yes. However, "among the several States" was written to say interstate commerce, not commerce within a state. It was Wickard v. Filburn that gave Congress the "right" to regulate commerce within a state, saying that intrastate commerce that could alter national commerce was still applicable under "among the several States." From there, it was a slippery slope to the government banning the growing of marijuana, even if grown for home use. Granted, the US has the right to ban interstate marijuana sales, but not intrastate sales, which is what most marijuana growing is. Also, home growing is completely unrelated to interstate commerce, and is also unconstitutionally illegal.




    …What was I even writing about again?

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  21. Adamas Draconis says:

    No, he’s fighting to somehow place himself in a position of power in his party. Which he pretty much lost after the presidential election.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  22. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Ya all the lines need to be opened up so that companies have better access to them between a tax on the service and reg fees it would easily work but the current setup is nearly unchangeable since the gov dose not want to hurt thier reg fee rev and the companies don;t want to share.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

  23. Unruly says:

    You know what stifles competition? The government giving unique control over taxpayer-funded infrastructure to a handful of corporations. The government grants right-of-ways to companies like Comcast, AT&T, etc. in order to lay cable that has been paid for with $200billion that was given to them by the government expressly for the laying of said cable. Then, the companies take those right-of-ways, which go through either publicly or privately(but not by the company or else they wouldn’t need a right-of-way to begin with) owned property, and turn around to charge others for their use.

    And if someone wants to go around the established companies because they refuse to lay more cable for better service despite the demand for it? Well, they’ll just take you to court after you’ve started working on it. Then, while your project is being held up by a court injunction, they’ll come in and roll out their service that they previously told you they wouldn’t do because their wasn’t enough demand for it. That is exactly what happened when Monticello, MN got fed up with their local monopoly of a telco refused to install fiber-optic cable throughout the city and they took it upon themselves to set up a municipal fiber-optic network that could then be leased out to a telco of their choosing.

    Its almost impossible to start a new ISP/Telco because of how things have been set up. The telecom industry is an oligopoly where price fixing is the norm(all cell phone carriers raising texting costs within a month of each other to double what it was) and excuses flow like water. There’s no direct competition with each other and they’re happy with it, because that means that when Comcast decides to raise their prices and lower their service, or Time Warner decides to throttle their customer’s internet connections, the consumer is stuck with it because there’s most likely no other option in that area.

  24. Neeneko says:

    I really get the impression that a lot of the ‘free market’ congressmen really have no idea how free markets work.  The classic ‘invisible hand’ requires open competition.   If the government does not step into keep competition open, power consolidates until what you have are essentially mini-governments.

    In a very real way, these ‘free market’ proponents are actually moving things twards communism….

Comments are closed.