Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

July 19, 2010 -

If the FCC was looking for some consensus building dialogue from the public comment phase of its proposed "third way" to net neutrality, it will be sadly disappointed. The public comments show that, depending on what side of the issue they are on, stakeholders refuse to budge in inch from their stated positions.

AT&T calls the "third way" to net neutrality the "wrong way," with the sentiment echoed by broadband and telecoms companies like AT&T Time Warner Cable and Qwest offering similar negative comments. Wireless carrier trade group CTIA calls the third way proposal a "radical change," "unnecessary," and heavy regulation under a different name. Communication companies continue to say that net neutrality rules will lead to a decrease in investment, which in turn will jeopardize implementing the Administration's ambitious National Broadband Plan.

Meanwhile on the other side of the issue Google says that the opposite will happen if the "third way" is implemented; "Google says that it will "promote legal certainty and regulatory predictability to spur investment."

The Open Internet Coalition (it represents the positions of eBay, PayPal, Facebook, Amazon, and others) agrees with reclassifying broadband under Title II because consumers don't subscribe to ISPs to get "information" - rather they subscribe for speed and pricing. The American Civil Liberties Union agrees, adding that it thinks the "government should create strong, clear policies that will prevent speech-restrictive abuses by companies that are fundamentally profit-seeking rather than civic-minded."

The American Library Association mostly agrees with the ACLU, but says that Title II classification should only apply to networks "available to the general public" and not private networks.

Other public comments on the "third way" are ridiculous, self-serving and having nothing much to do with net neutrality; the Motion Picture Association of America says that "whatever" the FCC decides, its new rules should not undermine "the willingness of broadband providers to take the measures necessary to address the online theft of creative works." The Consumer Electronics Association says that, while " the Title II question is important," the agency needs to focus more attention on getting additional spectrum licenses to the wireless industry.

At the end of the day, the same voices are saying the same things. The Motion Picture Association of America's comments, on the other hand, are like Rain Man talking about "Wapner" and "Kmart." 

Source: Ars Technica


Comments

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

Why does there have to be only one way?

I think we would be much better served by a set of rules for ISP's and a set of rules for content providers and a third set of rules for individual users using connections provided by ISP's.

The big concundrum here seems to be that one set of rules that one group likes messes things up for a different group. That makes sense since from each of these groups perspective they want/need something different out of proposed net neutrality rules. So I say again, why create just one set of rules?

If we are going down this path, it needs to be done correctly.

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

The irony is, this was done correctly at one point (or at least better) but then things got messed up via a run of deregulation.

This proposal would essentially bring ISPs back under (most) of the same rules that cover phone companies... and last time I checked telephones have done VERY well since regulation.

The irony of all this is, if the phone companies can be used as an example, this type of regulation ends up resulting in more absolute profits for the carriers, but less feeling of control over customers.   ISPs in a way are trying to trade real profits for percieved control... or more accurately, money for pissing rights.

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

Wasn't it the Bush administration that pushed all that deregulation crap?

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

The FCC is not looking to create rules that effect content providers or internet consumers. They are seeking to make rules that effect only the ISPs. They are seeking to make a set of rules that tell all ISPs to treat all the content from content creators the same. They are creating a set of rules that tell all ISPs to allow all their customers to do whatever they want on the internet without interference.

The FCC has no jurisdiction over content creators or customers.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

I agree and understand exactly what you mean but the net effect is that ISP are trasitively applying net un-neutrality back on us consumers under the pressure of the MPAA/RIAA. It is this MPAA/RIAA pressure we consumers are wanting the ISP's to remain neutral on when the content owners and consumers get in a fight. And thats how it should be. The court battle should only be between the content owner and the consumer in court. The ISP, their connection sold to us, should not be in contention unless modified by the ruling in a court case.

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

Right now, when you put your page on the web anyone can see it (but you'll have to pay to raise your location on some search engines). I believe that ISPs want content providers to pay just to have the website accessesable at all (which means paying each ISP and not just the one that's hosting your domain). That way the ISPs can squeeze more cash out of it's traffic. The result will be that sites that can't afford to pay will not receive any traffic.

At least that's what I've been told.

Re: Public Comments on FCC’s Third Way Mostly Partisan

You're right.  That's what you've been told.

Note how NOBODY's been told they'd have to do that by an ISP.  This was a tactic made up by the FCC and net neutrality supporters to get people behind the idea of government regulation of the internet.

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