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U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality rules as legal battles loom

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Let us call this what it is: Unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian fascists ensure that the basic utility called the internet is available equitably only to the highest bidders and the richest among us.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

The vote fell on the side of the huge corporations who stand to make more profit. Shocker.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

CrazyJoeToday  07:12 am JST

Let us call this what it is: Unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian fascists ensure that the basic utility called the internet is available equitably only to the highest bidders and the richest among us.

Welcome to Trump's America.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

may engage in paid prioritization

haha more euphemisms. It means rich pay for better service poor get shafted with whatever the rip off ISPs want to give them.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Pai, a Republican appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules

This sums up the currrnt administration quite succinctly. Very few policy ideas beyond undoing the progress the Obama administration created.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yeah this is bad actually. The internet is a utility, not a privilege or a service. Hobbling it like this could have grave consequences.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Let us call this what it is: Unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian fascists ensure that the basic utility called the internet is available equitably only to the highest bidders and the richest among us.

What’s wrong with that?

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Yeah this is bad actually. The internet is a utility, not a privilege or a service. Hobbling it like this could have grave consequences.

Apparently Pornhub is freaking out a little. They are likely to get throttled. And that has grave consequences for all of us... I mean all of you guys!

What’s wrong with that?

If Obama, an elected official, had done it, you would have been going on about oppression and the anointed one. Instead you're going with it even though its non-elected officials, as it's what your team wanted to happen. Can't go against team right?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

We all lost on this one, both the average Democrat and the average Republican.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@CrazyJoe

Yeah, totally unlike the unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian socialists that told the ISPs how they could use their private property in the first place.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

If Obama, an elected official, had done it, you would have been going on about oppression and the anointed one.

As much as I disliked Obama and feel that he was one of The worst president ever, had he done the same thing I would have Applauded the move.

Can't go against team right?

I do, especially when they do something I think is counterproductive.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Let us call this what it is: Unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian fascists ensure that the basic utility called the internet is available equitably only to the highest bidders and the richest among us.

What’s wrong with that?

What's wrong with it is the unelected officials making the decision, as has been expressed above, the Internet is a basic tool for humanity at this point, and the internet was developed initially with public funds.

The public took all the risks and now relatively unaccountable corporations will be allowed to further control the available content. This allows further monopolization of information.

Information should not be limited to the entities with the most resources because it is the basic building block of improvement. Information is what people use to lift themselves out of bad situations, e.g., poverty, abuse, authoritarian control (DPRK).

That's what's wrong with it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The public took all the risks and now relatively unaccountable corporations will be allowed to further control the available content. This allows further monopolization of information.

At the same time you have a lot of misinformation floating around, unchecked,cont verifiable from politics to sex to a person biography etc.

I’m not so convinced that this is a bad thing really. I personally think we need more scrutiny and cautious skepticism in this day and age.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Apparently Pornhub is freaking out a little. They are likely to get throttled. And that has grave consequences for all of us... I mean all of you guys!

Come on now, Strange. Let's be intellectually honest, women enjoy porn also. :-)

Yeah, totally unlike the unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian socialists that told the ISPs how they could use their private property in the first place.

Internet = public resource.

There have been no socialist administrations in the US, but thanks for trying to inflame the discussion.

The ISPs couldn't have used their private property unless it was hooked to the internet, which is a public resource.

It's a balance that the FCC severely undermined.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As much as I disliked Obama and feel that he was one of The worst president ever, had he done the same thing I would have Applauded the move.

This runs counter to the year's of screeds against Obama's "overreach" I've read from this poster.

It was nice of the government to fund the development of the Internet.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I’m not so convinced that this is a bad thing really. I personally think we need more scrutiny and cautious skepticism in this day and age.

You must not actually know what the net neutrality issue is all about, or you would realize that your above comment has nothing to do with it.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It is a service, if you can't pay then you don't get to play! We survived until the late 90's without the high speed internet, so I don't really think that not being able to stream a video or watch YouTube will cause any deaths.

I know people who pay their cable/internet bill before rent, and whine about how they don't have money, but that does not stop them from chugging 4 soft drinks a day, and eating out everyday. You have to pick your priorities, and then live with you decision. The internet is at the very bottom on my list of priorities, but then again, I was born and raised in the era of only 2 TV Stations ( in my area) and no such thing as the internet. It is a luxury to have the internet, not a right!

The same thing can be said for Smart Phones, people will pay $1,200 for a phone that cost more than a computer, one that they will most likely drop and have repaired numerous times, but whine about a small monthly bill to use it.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

@TommyJones

Nor has there ever been a fascist administration. I was pointing out the ridiculousness of CrazyJoe's hyperbole.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Steven: Noted on that point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Washington Post, MSNBC, NBC. What claim is next?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My eyewitness testimony confirms Stranger's.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

FoxNews.com's message board is filled with comments about, "I don't know what this is about, but if liberals are angry, then it must be good," The GOP base will shoot themselves in the head if there's a chance the bullet will come out the other side and hit a liberal.

We all lost on this one. All of us. Congrats to the GOP politicians and corporate interests. They got their base to vote against themselves again.

Not much more to say than that. Get ready for the confused comments from the GOP base who aren't really sure what's going on but they'll go along with it anyway because liberals and big government and whatever.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Wonder how many brown envelopes, etc were handed over to get it approved?

From what I read let's say Fox-News can now pay to have their news delivered faster than any other news service. Or Google can beat any other search engine by paying more.

In short the big guys can get the Advantage or even 'block' some contents they don't like Netflix can pay to slow Hulu to crawling/unusable speed.

Going to be a mess and the losers are the end-users.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Not much more to say than that. Get ready for the confused comments from the GOP base who aren't really sure what's going on but they'll go along with it anyway because liberals and big government and whatever.

So you hate capitalism?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

The govt deregulates the net which will undoubtedly result in better service and more innovation.

“It is time for the Internet, once again, to be driven by engineers and entrepreneurs and consumers rather than lawyers, accountants, and bureaucrats,” Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, said before the vote on Thursday.

the usual suspects who love their socialism and lack of freedoms will cry rivers over the next 48 hours and move on to their next outrage as if nothing happened.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I support net neutrality but I can see both sides of this. If you put aside the sleazy cable companies trying to push their own content and the corruption at the FCC, there is actually a legitimate moral case to be made against net neutrality. I think most people would instinctively agree that we should have the right to charge whatever we want for the use of our own private property, whether it's our home, business, or millions of miles of cable we've laid. If our property suddenly becomes so valuable that suspending those individual rights for the greater benefit of the entire nation is seen as more desirable, well OK, but we should admit that there is alot of moral hazard in doing this.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This response:

So you hate capitalism?

to this comment:

Not much more to say than that. Get ready for the confused comments from the GOP base who aren't really sure what's going on but they'll go along with it anyway because liberals and big government and whatever.

reinforces the original comment.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Except those who argue for deregulation have explained why, Tommy Jones.

It’s much more convincing than “capitalism bad!”

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Absolutely love this:

Let us call this what it is: Unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian fascists ensure that the basic utility called the internet is available equitably only to the highest bidders and the richest among us.

What’s wrong with that?

Pretty much encapsulates 2017.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The govt deregulates the net which will undoubtedly result in better service and more innovation.

Undoubtedly, huh? When the government deregulated the financial services sector, did it result in better service and more innovation for consumers? Nope.

The idea that government is inherently bad and private industry, if left alone, would produce better product or services is simple untrue. One need look no further than right at US telecommunications sector:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24528383

"We deregulated high-speed internet access 10 years ago and since then we've seen enormous consolidation and monopolies, so left to their own devices, companies that supply internet access will charge high prices, because they face neither competition nor oversight."

Deregulation leading to better service and innovation? I doubt.

But I do miss the days when Trump came out against internet deregulation

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/532608358508167168?lang=en

5 ( +6 / -1 )

superlib:  Get ready for the confused comments from the GOP base who aren't really sure what's going on

bass: So you hate capitalism?

It's hard not to smile at that bit of logic.

The govt deregulates the net which will undoubtedly result in better service and more innovation.

It almost certainly won't. The benefits of a free-market capitalist system only occur when there is choice to consumer. (e.g. If I think one store is charging too much, I can go to another store.) Any service that is limited by space restrictions has limitations of choice. Imagine if all the roads in the US were owned by four large companies, and they could control who traveled on them and charge what they liked for it. Do you think that would be a better service?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Happy 2018, everybody! Trump and the GOP are basically doing the Democrats' campaigning for them at this point.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The idea of net neutrality is the liberal/leftist world in a nutshell. The left can not tolerate the idea that the internet could function (which it has now for many years) without their all-knowing nanny state hand guiding It.

And like clockwork, now that net neutrality is rightfully being repealed, leftists reflexively resort to the "the sky is falling" gloom and doom chapter in their playbook. . . .

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The 2015 rules were intended to give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband providers from favoring their own content.

What could be ironic is that the Republican FCC commissioners handed the Republicans a poop bag

Think about it - what do these broadband companies own, and who could afford the fees if the broadband companies start charging priced tiers for access?

Comcast owns MSNBC - and it’s going to be trivial for Comcast to prioritize MSNBC on its network, or extend that favor to Vox Media and BuzzFeed, companies in which it has taken significant investment

Verizon owns The Huffington Post

When their deal with Time Warner closes, AT&T will own CNN - it won’t take a second’s hesitation before CNN travels over AT&T’s network for free

And Disney just bought most of Fox, leaving Fox News alone in a smaller company without a media behemoth behind it for leverage and unattached to a wealthy network company to send its data along for free

Meanwhile, those who could most afford the broadband access tiered fees would be the big mainstream media companies, like Facebook and Youtube

So it's the smaller non-mainstream media that lack corporate patronage who won't be able to afford it and compete on equal footing

They could thank their Republican FCC commissioners for that

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The left can not tolerate the idea that the internet could function (which it has now for many years) without their all-knowing nanny state hand guiding It.

Totally agree. The same approach should be taken with water. How thirsty are you - and, if too thirsty - well, that's too bad.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The idea of net neutrality is the liberal/leftist world in a nutshell.

Yeah man totally! Let's look at what the uber left-wing politician, Donald Trump, had to say about it in 2014:

Obama's attack on the internet is another power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.

I believe him Donny, he knows all about grabbing things.

No, what you're trying to do is defend crony capitalism and make it out like anyone opposed to this is opposed to capitalism. I for one and am not, and I doubt anyone else is here either.

(which it has now for many years

From when to when? Do be specific.

Serious question to all in favor: Do you support competition in the telecom market place? If yes, how would repealing net neutrality further that aim? If no, do you work for and own any interest in telecom companies?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Serious question to all in favor: Do you support competition in the telecom market place? If yes, how would repealing net neutrality further that aim? If no, do you work for and own any interest in telecom companies?

By incentivising investment and new players to enter the market? If a company cannot charge more for providing capacity at higher speeds, what incentive do they have to lay down more fibreoptic cable? There is really no question that net neutrality will stifle infrastructure investment over time.

The argument in favour of net neutrality that I find most persuasive is that it's important for first world countries to subsidise internet startups like Netflix with artificially cheap internet so that they can grow into world beating companies. It's something that no government can afford not to do at this particular moment in time. Subsidising these startups with artificially cheap internet is very similar to how China subsidies manufacturing with cheap electricity and lax environmental regulation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obviously, it's worth noting that one unique problem in the US is that the cable TV companies are often the ISPs and they also happen to produce their own entertainment content which competes with the internet. They are not purely ISPs, and that seems to be a huge part of the problem here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The idea of net neutrality is the liberal/leftist world in a nutshell.

You can find some strong arguments at the link below that support this viewpoint:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/14/net_neutrality_vote_great/

If a company cannot charge more for providing capacity at higher speeds, what incentive do they have to lay down more fibreoptic cable? There is really no question that net neutrality will stifle infrastructure investment over time.

That's not my understanding of the current (old?) situation. An ISP can charge different prices for different capacities and speeds. What that can't (couldn't) do is throttle or enhance the speeds from different web sites or charge more, for example, to get faster Google search response times. I don't think content providers such as Netflix get "artificially" cheap internet. The capacity is ultimately paid for by the consumer.

In some ways, the net neutrality issue would be less contentious if there was more competition among ISPs. For example, where I live in a fairly rural UK location, there is only one infrastructure provider. But I have a choice of perhaps 50 ISP services to choose from. There is a requirement on the infrastructure provider to rent the line to any ISP. (There are also net neutrality rules in place on the ISPs, but at the moment they seem less important given the amount of choice.)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If a company cannot charge more for providing capacity at higher speeds

They already charge more for higher speeds so nothing is changing there. The question is whether I'm willing to pay more to see content A vs. content B.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The left can not tolerate the idea that the internet could function (which it has now for many years) without their all-knowing nanny state hand guiding It.

Sorry, Tex, but let me try to parse your logic. You seem to be saying that the way the Internet has heretofore flourished - which in the US has been under net neutrality - has inhibited the growth of the Internet, and because the liberal government upholds policies that blindly allow equal access to all - from huge corporations to small startups - that's a "nanny state hand"? Maybe I'm missing something, but your logic seems to be delivered on the sub-optimum web delivery channel.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@SuperLib, @albaleo

Yes, they do charge for different speeds and they have since way back in the 1990s, but there are 2 slightly different issues here as I understand it. I am not an expert on internet infrastructure so I'm happy to be corrected, but this is how I see it:

Issue #1:

Imagine a railroad which spends millions of dollars ripping up its old tracks to lay down a new high speed track. In order to recoup its investment, the passengers travelling on new highspeed trains will pay a bit extra. However, passengers who prefer to travel on the old slow local trains will still pay the old price, despite also travelling along the same new track. This is akin to an ISP laying down new fibreoptic cable and pricing various data plans differently depending on the connection speed. Those who adopt the higher speeds are essentially paying for the network improvements.

Issue #2:

Imagine that train travel becomes wildly popular and eventually so many trains start using the new track that it reaches absolute capacity. All trains, even high speed trains, slow to a crawl and can't meet their timetables. As I understand it, this is the new nightmare scenario that internet infrastructure will soon face because of video streaming. Netflix didn't exist a few years ago but it now eats up around 36% of all data traffic in the US. If people start demanding more movies be streamed in 4k, we simply don't have the capacity. Unless huge investments in infrastructure are made, we will soon reach the point where everything gets throttled whether we like it or not. The question is whether people who are willing to pay should be able to reserve some priority space on this system which has reached its limit. This is fundamentally different from the old speed pricing (issue #1) where capacity is not an issue.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Even most Republicans polled are against this. That in itself speaks volumes when even the unreasonable see reason.

It's just the Trump Swamp for big business and screw everyone else like the tax cut fiasco.

The backlash is coming. Drip....drip.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Imagine that train travel becomes wildly popular and eventually so many trains start using the new track that it reaches absolute capacity. All trains, even high speed trains, slow to a crawl and can't meet their timetables. 

I think the analogy starts to break down at this point. The Netflix data is only on the network when people choose to download, and only at the volume/speed of the consumer's setup. So if all my neighbors start watching Netflix, our speeds might drop from say 40Mbps to 5Mbps. But so long as I'm getting 5Mbps, I can still open JT, while my neighbors suffer the buffering disease. I may be over-simplifying this, but it gives a big incentive to the infrastructure providers to provide a better service to my neighbors for which they can charge more. (At least 40Mbps instead of the "up to" 40Mbps.)

One concern about the change is that the internet providers will be able to tout their own content over that of current content providers. This is what could lead to lack of choice, and perhaps more worryingly, to the big tech giants (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.) starting to take over the internet infrastructure and delivery as well as the content.

Perhaps we should also question why this seems to be largely an American problem. You don't have to search far to see how often the internet services in the US compare badly to those of other countries.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@albaleo

You make alot of good points and I completely agree. I think there are many alternatives to solving the capacity problem and all sorts of ways to incentivise more investment and better services. Scrapping net neutrality seems like it would be the last resort. But I suppose the question at the heart of this goes back to whether the government should be getting involved in the first place. Again, I support net neutrality and I'm glad we still have it in Europe since I think the benefits outweigh the costs, but perhaps that won't always be the case. I guess we have to wait and see how things unfold.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You also have the issue about how the public debate was corrupted beyong repair with the flood of fake bot comments supporting it on the FCC's website. Pai not only used comments he knew were fake as evidence of support but also stonewalled investigations into the hacks.

Just shoddy and corrupt overall. We all lose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lobbying, Lobbying, Lobbying. In US/Canada...., that's what it is called. In many other parts of the world, it will be called bribery and collusion between private companies and government policy makers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Look like Team Dem has another rallying cry.

"What one FCC does, the next one can undue. VOTE DEMOCRAT"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Black SabbathToday  03:14 am JST

Look like Team Dem has another rallying cry.

"What one FCC does, the next one can undue. VOTE DEMOCRAT"

Yup. Has the paedophile from Alabama conceded defeat yet ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The idea of net neutrality is the liberal/leftist world in a nutshell. 

And it's in Japan. Cheap and fast...and neutral. You are enjoying higher quality Internet in Japan at a cheaper price than you can in the USA.

Except those who argue

That by people who live in Japan that it works very well here.

So you hate capitalism?

How about Obama's net neutrality. Same system works well in Japan. You are using it.

All proof of hateful revenge politics against Obama.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

LOVE what Steve Bannon tweeted yesterday;

"BREAKING: Millions of Americans that tragically died after Trump pulled out from the Paris Climate Accord will now be forced to die again due to the repeal of Net Neutrality"

So much pearl clutching with leftists.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

with leftists.

It's a Trump brainwash. Trump followers in Japan enjoying superior cheaper Internet access with net neutrality while hating it just because of Obama. So funny. Internet in the USA is a ripoff and low performance on a global standard. Better than North Korea, of course. But non-Net neutrality will not help.

How is pulling out of the Paris agreement for helpful for the US?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Let us call this what it is: Unelected, bought, and paid-for authoritarian fascists ensure that the basic utility called the internet is available equitably only to the highest bidders and the richest among us.

Authoritarian governments can vary in significant ways but one thing authoritarians do not do is reduce government control over communications infrastructure.

Coincidentally, he's rolling back 1930s telephone regulations that President Obama ordered the ostensibly independent FCC to impose on the Internet in 2015. Why Mr. Obama thought that modern digital networks would be enhanced by a regulatory regime enacted the same year that Hitler achieved absolute power in Germany is perhaps a question for another day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why Mr. Obama thought that modern digital networks would be enhanced by a regulatory regime...

...because it's the same model used by other countries that provide faster, cheaper, and neutral ISP service in other countries around the world. The same regulations in Japan. Trump followers look at the politics of something Obama is not doing and have no idea about the technology- they think it's good because Trump wants it. To any Trump follower enjoying Internet access in Japan: When you return from Japan to the USA you will go back to Internet service that is ranked about number 30 in the world and pay about 2x for it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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