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Monday, March 02, 2015

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Bill

This will be a bigtime downgrade of a great service! This will do the opposite of what we are being told. What a shame ... the government will now control a truly free and remarkable resource. No good will come from this. Question, has this even been a problem? I have seen no evidence in my life. Another made up problem the agencies can now make come true.

paula

hi george, thanx for your explanation. i am surprised that big business has not managed to get what it wants for this one. hope to see you soon, paula

George

Bill:
Thanks for sharing your opinions. I strongly disagree. You seem focused upon freedom for corporate Internet service providers (ISPs) and ignore freedom for consumers (e.g., Internet users). The FCC is trying to ensure that Internet users have the same freedoms going forward that they do today.

You asked what the problem is. I could not have explained it more clearly. First, corporate ISPs want to take away the freedom Internet users have had to go online where they want to go with the bandwidth they've purchased. Consumers get to surf to any website, use any search engine, use any news site. Corporate ISPs want to make your monthly high-speed Internet bill look like your cable TV bill. With cable, they tell you which channels you can watch. You can't order only the channels you want. Instead, you have to purchase their pre-defined blocks of channels.

Is that how you want your Internet service? I don't, and I doubt that you would either.

Second, corporate ISPs want to keep your monthly high-speed Internet bills artificaly high. How? By limiting competition with local laws in 20 states. Those laws prevent cities and towns from forming their own municipal broadband networks. Why limit municipal freedom? That is a problem which you seem to either ignore or don't understand. The lack of competition from municipal broadband networks and gentleman's agreements among ISPs mean there is little competition in any single market (e.g., Boston, New York City, Chicago, etc.) to exert downward pressure on monthly Internet prices. Good for ISPs; bad for consumers.

I have been and always will be an advocate for consumers. As I explained in the above post, lower Internet prices will help BOTH consumers and small businesses; especially innovation and new-business startups. You see a problem with THAT? I don't.

Third, I mentioned above the international study where consumers in other countries get better values -- faster AND cheaper high-speed Internet service than Americans. That is a problem. We should get comparable value. In that study, the only ISPs that ranked highly in the USA were municipal broadband networks, not the corporate ISPs. That is another problem that needs solving.

Maybe you haven't read that international study. It is available in my blog:

Report: Researchers Compare High-Speed Internet Services Worldwide. Consumers In The USA Pay More And Get Slower Speeds
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/01/cost-connectivity-2014.html

You asked what the problem were. I outlined them both in this comment, in the above blog post, and in the linked blog post. If you have any data or facts to support a contrary conclusion, feel free to share in a comment below.

Have a good ay,

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Chanson de Roland

The broadband industry (Industry) will fight the FCC's new order (New Order) that reclassifies ISPs as telecommunications services, instead of as information services, so as to protect and promote net neutrality and invigorate innovation and competition in the market for broadband services, with everything that it has. Will they succeed? The thinking in the legal community is that, by reclassifying ISPs as telecommunication services, the FCC has based the authority of its New Order on a sound foundation that is likely to survive the Industry's legal challenges.

This, of course, remains to be seen, but the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order on the grounds that, pursuant to the Telecommunications Act, the FCC did not have authority to regulate a information service to require net neutrality and hinted that, had the FCC classified ISPs as a telecommunications service, its order might have withstood judicial scrutiny. Now that the FCC has reclassified ISPs as telecommunication services, the D.C. Circuit's rational for striking down the FCC's attempt to protect net neutrality is gone, and the legal basis, reclassification to a telecommunications service, which the Court's dicta suggested would prevail, is now in place.

But attack in the courts isn't the only avenue of assault. Industry will also attack politically. It will attempt to elect a Republican president to get a majority of conservative commissioners at the FCC who will revert the classification of ISPs back to information services, destroying the legal foundation for the FCC's New Order and who will vacate the New Order, either directly or by modifying the New Order or substituting an order that effectively reverses the New Order. The Industry will also act through Congress, and with a Republican President, to enact legislation, like Sen Thune's bill, that will, notwithstanding its claim of protecting net neutrality, codify into law the big broadband ISPs' anticompetitive oligopoly and that will effectively destroy net neutrality.

The bottom line is that, while it's okay to do a victory lap, the fight isn't over, nor will it be, because the Industry will persist in this fight forever, so that those advocates for net neutrality and a competitive market for Internet services must be ever vigilante to preserve what they have won and to complete the work of seeing effective competition in the markets for broadband Internet services, and, in any instances where the structure of the market doesn't permit effective competition, move the FCC to use its new authority to regulate that market to provide broadband service at prices that return reasonable, rather than excessive, profits.

George

The battle is already underway:

"US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week filed legislation she calls the "Internet Freedom Act" to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's new network neutrality rules... These rules "shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form, or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act," the Internet Freedom Act states. The legislation has 31 Republican cosponsors."

Republicans’ “Internet Freedom Act” would wipe out net neutrality
http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/03/republicans-internet-freedom-act-would-wipe-out-net-neutrality/

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

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