Lawmakers Propose Banning ‘Paid Prioritization’

Lawmakers are not happy with the FCC's proposal to allow broadband providers to charge content providers extra money for faster access to their customers. This supposed fast lane approach has rubbed lawmakers the wrong way, according to The Wrap, prompting them to push legislation that bans "paid prioritization."

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) – a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – proposed identical legislation Tuesday in the House and the Senate, saying that they are deeply concerned that a failure of the FCC to act could be "detrimental to the Internet," and to businesses who do business there.

“Americans are speaking loud and clear: They want an Internet that is a platform for free expression and innovation, where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider,” said Leahy in a statement.

Matsui said a free and open Internet "is essential for consumers, both to encourage innovation and competition in the Internet ecosystem. Our country cannot afford ‘pay-for-play’ schemes that divide our Internet into tiers based on who has the deepest pockets."

The legislation, "The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act," already has the support of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) – all of whom are cosponsoring the legislation.

"Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic must be treated equally," Sen. Franken said in a statement. "And that's the way it should be. Since the FCC's rules for net neutrality were struck down earlier this year, I've been fighting hard to make sure that the internet remains an open marketplace where everyone can participate on equal footing. Our bill would be a huge step towards preserving the internet as we know it."

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Source: The Wrap

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  1. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    The ISP's sell you access at a certain speed.  If they can't actually provide you that speed when you go to use it, then they are failing to meet their obligations.

  2. 0
    Sleaker says:

    "No one in that mass of wires and DNS servers should be allowed to make the judgment call that my request for a movie from Netflix is less important than my neighbor's request for her Facebook timeline."

    Why not?  netflix will gobble up bandwidth (3mbps or something currently or more), if too many people do this on a network all at once either no one gets to netflix, everyone gets reduced speed to netflix, or in poor scenarios, people not even trying to access netflix are affected.  Are we suggesting that regardless of speeds you should be able to get to a specific service as fast as data can be pushed? 

    And I think this is also where you show a bit of a naivety.  Currently there's no limitation on your request to netflix. Throttling has nothing to do with blocking the request.  What gets limited when throttling is in place is how quickly you can receive the video once the request has been received.  When you say 'netflix is less important than facebook when it gets throttled' you're trying to compare loading a static webpage once that does not continually send large amounts of data to the exact opposite of that.  In addition, even if throttling is in place, you're still receiving the content, the only difference is how long it takes to load.  So now you're trying to argue right of speed, not right of access. 

    So realistically, someone needs to clarify, is 'open internet' about Right of speed, or right of access?  Cause right now we have neither.  Carriers can both block access on given services (verizon blocks irc, smtp, etc).  And Carriers can obviously perform QoS/rate throttling on traffic.

  3. 0
    Sora-Chan says:

    Ok, my question is simply this: How are they going to screw this one up?

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  4. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Under true net neutrality, it only applies to the connecting networks between the person making a request and the server providing the request. So As a consumer, me choosing which websites to visit and which internet connected apps to use, is not violating net neutrality. On the other end, the service provider, such as Facebook or Google, is free to choose to only allow port 80 access or to choose to allow only certian API calls from certain hardware to access its servers without violating net neutrality.

    Where net neutrality comes into play is in the mass of wires and DNS servers that connect that user to a service provider like Google or Facebook. No one in that mass of wires and DNS servers should be allowed to make the judgment call that my request for a movie from Netflix is less important than my neighbor's request for her Facebook timeline.

    Of course, how any of this plays out once Congress get's its greased palms on it is anyone's guess. They have a tendency to take something simple and straightforward and messing it up to the point of not having anything to do with the original point. Or they twist it to actually do harm to the original point.

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  5. 0
    Sleaker says:

    Finally this is going through congress, where it should be done to begin with.  I think we need to stop pushing the FCC to regulate or do whatever with the internet and actually have our elected officials make decisions/laws or not make decisions/laws based on their votes.  

    However, I don't think lawmakers understand technology enough to actually draft an applicable law on this subject without causing harm or being completely ineffective.  The underlying 'all data needs to be treated the same' generality has nothing to do with 'we are only going to allow a certain amount of traffic per second to this specific server because of the costs associated with upgrading and maintaining it.'


    The problem with 'all internet traffic must be treated equally' argument is who it affects.  If I have my own server and I explicitly choose to ignore, block, or otherwise limit specific types of access to my server would I be in violation of 'open internet.'  Also, are we really saying we want ALL internet traffic? It could potentially result in problems of DoS attacks since we can't rate limit or nullroute specific people or types of datasend anymore?

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