Talk Talk

As much as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has tried to put a pretty pink bow on his plan to gut net neutrality, he’s been rumbled:

[…] That draft proposal, which offered an internet “fast lane” for bloated internet providers, was lambasted by some of the United States’ biggest investors, technology companies, senators, and even Wheeler’s own colleagues at the FCC. Wheeler himself has responded to public opposition, first in a blog post on the FCC’s own site, in which he claimed that reports stating the FCC was “gutting” the open internet rule were false, and later in a letter published by The Washington Post.

Wheeler’s denials haven’t worked, so now he’s making a second effort by allowing “a broader range of comments” on the FCC”s rulemaking notice, which, again, ain’t much.

The interesting thing about this fight is that it pits one set of powerful corporate entities, ISPs like Comcast and AT&T who provide Internet service to the home, against another set, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon and any other company that wants to send content via Comcast and AT&T’s connections. Since there are two competing sources of campaign donations involved here, I don’t understand why Democrats can’t just get behind Google et. al., especially since everyone hates the cable companies, and nobody wants to pay more for Netflix.

49 replies
  1. 1
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Now who’s being naive, Kay?

    You think this is about campaign donations? No, this is just plain vanilla corruption.

  2. 2
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Hey Mr. Mix,

    I haven’t read all of the criticism out there. Has there been a substantive rebuttal of the main problem yet – the fact that a court struck down the FCC’s previous attempt? Wheeler explicitly said that declaring the broadband providers as “common carriers” (or whatever) wouldn’t change much. Is there a substantive rebuttal to that – other than “you’re wrong1!111”.

    I dislike the cable companies as much as anyone, and Wheeler may be every bit of an industry toady as his many critics say, but at the end of the day, the FCC has to comply with directions from the courts.

    Righteous indignation is righteous, but where’s the substance?

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  3. 3
    Hawes says:

    Democrats always do the right thing after they have exhausted all other options.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    I don’t understand why Democrats can’t just get behind Google et. al., especially since everyone hates the cable companies, and nobody wants to pay more for Netflix.

    Not every Democrat gets money from both sources.

    And, unfortunately, a lot of people who get angry at Democrats for not doing X don’t turn around and support Democrats when they do X.

  5. 5
    TR says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I’d say the person who’s naive is the one who read a post by mister mix and bitched about what Kay said.

  6. 6
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Here’s what a Stanford law prof who specializes in net neutrality says the FCC ought to do:

    The FCC can reclassify Internet service as a telecommunications service and adopt network neutrality rules under Title II of the Telecommunications Act – rules that are unencumbered by the restrictions imposed by Section 706. To ensure that reclassification does not result in onerous regulation, the FCC should immediately forbear from applying those Title II provisions that are not necessary to protect consumers.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, “[t]he commission has decided for now against reclassifying broadband as a public utility […]. However, the commission has left the reclassification option on the table at present.”

    As I’ve explained, Section 706 seriously limits the FCC’s ability to adopt meaningful network neutrality rules, so “leaving the reclassification option on the table” is not enough. If the FCC is serious about protecting the Open Internet, it needs to do its due diligence and seriously explore all available options, and that requires asking real questions about reclassification in the upcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2014/04/fcc-changed-course-network-neutrality-here-why-you-should-care

    Section 706 is the section that the FCC has used to justify net neutrality rulemaking, but as you can read at that link, it’s pretty clear that any use of 706 will require the FCC to allow pay-for-preferred-access on the Internet.

    The standard rejoinder to common carrier is that Congress will immediately pass a bill to reverse the FCC’s ruling. To that I say, “great”. Then we’ll have a fight in the open, and remember who’s president? He can veto the bill.

  7. 7
    Botsplainer says:

    Netflix is too damned cheap and a time suck anyway.

    I’ve come full circle on net neutrality. If it constricts the info puke funnel by making it lag, or if people are inspired by sluggish connection to leave the house to interact in meatspace (perhaps to take up a hobby, exercise, make love to a significant other, talk to family and friends, improve professional skills), then that might not be such a bad thing.

  8. 8
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @TR: That’s a Godfather reference.

  9. 9
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix: Excellent. Thanks muchly.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    I agree that’s what should happen. The last FCC chairman gave the industry a chance to avoid reclassification, and they took him to court. The FCC has a good DC Circuit now, so the only problem is the Supreme Court. But I like the FCC’s chances there also.

  11. 11
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @Botsplainer: How about we filter you down to one troll per day unless you paypal Cole $5 per additional post?

    That’s a non-net-neutrality proposal I think we all can get behind.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    Then we’ll have a fight in the open,

    I would like this, too. I notice that Rand Paul now seems to be hiding his opposition to net neutrality.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    You know that using red text for emphasis leaves color blind folks out of the picture?

  14. 14
    Botsplainer says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    I’d probably be a shitload more productive.

    There was something to be said for the original metered AOL usage model. It kept me cognizant of time.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    Charter just notified us that they are going 100% digital in 2 weeks. I have the house totally wired for 6 tv’s and all but one are analog!

  16. 16
    Poopyman says:

    @raven: Those are links. I don’t know how well FYWP hides the ability to change link colors.

    ETA: The blockquote is from The Verge, which uses red for their hyperlinks. Dunno if EBTFMM has the power to change that.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @Poopyman: proly so, won’t load for me.

  18. 18
    dr. bloor says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    Then we’ll have a fight in the open, and remember who’s president?

    The guy who hired Tom Wheeler?

  19. 19
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @raven: Fixt.

  20. 20
    NonyNony says:

    @Botsplainer:

    You have no self-control so you want the government and corporations to take responsibility to schedule your life for you and make you go outside and play?

    I’m just going to assume that you’re joking and move on…

  21. 21
    Carolinus says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    Here’s what a Stanford law prof who specializes in net neutrality says the FCC ought to do: […]

    That’s actually touched on in the source WSJ article. Part of the draft proposal that will be put forward in Thursday’s meeting will explicitly be asking for public comment on overturning the 2005 FCC classification of ISPs as ‘Information Service’s. This is relevant paragraph:

    Mr. Wheeler’s language will also invite comments on whether broadband Internet service should be considered a public utility, which would subject it to greater regulation.

    Here’s a link to the WSJ article for anyone who wants to skip passed The Verge’s content rehosting and editorializing back to the actual source material:
    http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....MTExNDEyWj

  22. 22
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @dr. bloor: Yep, and this is his chance to fix that mistake. He’s pretty good at fixing mistakes.

  23. 23
    Citizen_X says:

    @Botsplainer:

    There was something to be said for the original metered AOL usage model. It kept me cognizant of time.

    You can also use, you know, a clock.

  24. 24
    glasnost says:

    I don’t understand why Democrats can’t just get behind Google et. al., especially since everyone hates the cable companies, and nobody wants to pay more for Netflix.

    Here, mistermix, let me provide you an answer:

    http://www.freedomworks.org/co.....ity-stance

    Yes, that headline says “Freedomworks Applauds House Democrats’ Net Neutrality Stance”.

    Because a substantial fraction of house democrats have been bought, so many that Wheeler can genuinely be said to be following the signals he’s gotten from Congress.

    It’s not easy to tell from the outside whether Wheeler has also been bought, or whether he’s simply adopted a posture of defeatism. But, seriously, fuck you, Barack Obama, for appointing someone not interested in going to the mat for what’s right. I’m not a firebagger, but everywhere I look I see vacuous, self-serving tools like Tim Geithner, John Brennan, and this clown in the administration’s ranks.

    And we have no one to blame but ourselves; we haven’t come out and found, or made, more Elizabeth Warrens.

  25. 25
    Eric U. says:

    @Citizen_X: there is a program that keeps track of how much time you spend on facebook and only allows so much of that. Of course, I found out about it when it reduced a high-end workstation to the capacity of a apple II, but that sort of thing exists.

  26. 26
    dr. bloor says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix: I will be heartened when the President categorically declares Wheeler’s proposal to be a mistake that he intends to undo. “Supporting net neutrality” while reminding everyone that the FCC is an autonomous entity is…less than reassuring.

  27. 27
    Mike E says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix: We’ll get there, Pop…we’ll get there.

  28. 28
    glasnost says:

    More:

    http://www.precursorblog.com/?.....neutrality

    And from a recent Vox update:

    The liberal advocacy group Free Press tells me that Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) is asking colleagues to sign onto a letter urging Wheeler not to reclassify broadband. “In the years that broadband service has been subjected to relatively little regulation, investment and deployment have flourished and broadband competition has increased,” the letter argues.

    Right now – even amidst this relative firestorm of popularity for the issue – House Democrats are organizing AGAINST net neutrality.

  29. 29
    C.V. Danes says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    The standard rejoinder to common carrier is that Congress will immediately pass a bill to reverse the FCC’s ruling. To that I say, “great”. Then we’ll have a fight in the open, and remember who’s president? He can veto the bill.

    Given the track history of this Congress on passing legislation, I wouldn’t be too worried about that.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @Carolinus:

    You’re destroying the meme with your information. Stop it.

  31. 31
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Botsplainer: True, dat. This might just be a blessing in disguise. When I cut the cable 4 years ago, I suddenly found my self with lots of extra time on my hands. Go figure :-)

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @glasnost:

    Right now – even amidst this relative firestorm of popularity for the issue – House Democrats are organizing AGAINST net neutrality.

    Yeah, like these guys.

    Feb 3, 2014
    Today Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Anna G. Eshoo introduced H.R. 3982, the Open Internet Preservation Act, with a Senate companion bill to be introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, to protect consumers and innovation online. Last month, the D.C. Circuit struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules preventing broadband providers from blocking or discriminating against content online. The bill would restore these rules until the FCC takes new, final action in the Open Internet proceeding.
    Original co-sponsors of the bills are: Reps. Waxman, Eshoo, Frank Pallone, Jr., Doris Matsui, Mike Doyle, Zoe Lofgren, Jan Schakowsky, Michael E. Capuano, and Suzan DelBene and Sens. Markey, Richard Blumenthal, Al Franken, Tom Udall, Ron Wyden, and Jeff Merkley.

  33. 33
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @glasnost: I see A House Democrat doing that, not House DemocratS.

  34. 34
    Mike E says:

    My new strategy is to somehow expedite Google fiber so I can haz innertoobs and stream my fave shows via hulu, Amazon prime and Netflix. Ain’t gonna be here til well into next year, so there’s that local monopoly to contend with. Boo.

  35. 35
    kc says:

    @Botsplainer:

    If it slows down your online douchery, then yeah, that would be a benefit.

  36. 36
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: They went digital here last year. It also means that you need a cable box for each tv. I now have DirecTV.

  37. 37
    lukeallen1 says:

    “…I don’t understand…”

    That is all you needed to type markymux. Blatantly obvious anyways.

  38. 38
    Morbo says:

    @raven: They did that here; have fun not being able to find any channels for the next two months. I have one extra bedroom TV that I put on sleep mode when I go to bed which is useless now of course, but thanks for making everything so much more convenient, Charter.

    I would also note that commercials for Charter Spectrum started airing within a week of the FCC decision.

  39. 39
    AnonPhenom says:

    I don’t understand why Democrats can’t just get behind Google et. al…

    Gee, ya think the fact that Wheeler was nominated by a Democratic President and confirmed by a Democratic Senate has anything to do with it?
    Nah. Thats crazy talk.

  40. 40
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Close to 79% of US businesses are using VOIP for their telephone service. VOIP usage is growing at a double digit annual rate and it’s now generating $15Bn a year in revenue. That suggests to me an easy justification for reclassifying ISPs as common carriers.

    VOIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol. It’s what you use for your telephone landline when you get an all-in-one package (Cable, Internet and Phone) from your provider.

  41. 41
    john b says:

    @Botsplainer: some (many, most) use the internet for work beyond just email. it’d be nice if i could ACTUALLY telecommute rather than the half-assed half-work I can do from home now. More reliable and faster internet would help with that.

  42. 42
    The Moar You Know says:

    Since there are two competing sources of campaign donations involved here, I don’t understand why Democrats can’t just get behind Google et. al., especially since everyone hates the cable companies, and nobody wants to pay more for Netflix.

    Because then they wouldn’t get any payoffs – er, I meant “campaign contributions” – from the telcos. This way you play both sets of suckers, erm, sorry guys, don’t know why I keep making these mistakes, I meant “interest groups” against each other and get maximum money.

  43. 43
    Berial says:

    Sadly, Net Neutrality is one of the areas that I don’t trust the Democrats anymore than I do the Republicans.

    Our best hope is that the ‘people that matter’ (ironically large powerful corporations) actually disagree with each other on this, so we ‘little people’ MIGHT, just MIGHT, get a chance to actually get our voice heard about the issue. MIGHT.

  44. 44
    J R in WV says:

    I wrote to the FCC opposing pay for play on the innertubez, and this is what I got back:

    Dear Consumer,

    Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We’re hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I’m very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.

    I’m a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.

    Tom Wheeler

    So this guy has the balls to deny to a writer what he’s trying to do…amazing! What a piece of work!

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @J R in WV:

    I wrote to the FCC opposing pay for play on the innertubez

    So you’re a free-rider and a marginal-cost denier? Good to know, I guess.

  46. 46
    Jamey says:

    @Botsplainer: Yes, this! Seems only logical that we should let Comcast bugger the Internet because Botsplainer can’t stop binge-watching “Dance Moms.”

    Just a thought, but a full puke-funnel is not the only reason socially-retarded individuals aren’t having sex with their spouses, trail-running, or dancing around Maypoles.

  47. 47
    Morzer says:

    @Jamey:

    a full puke-funnel is not the only reason socially-retarded individuals aren’t having sex with their spouses

    Let’s face it, if you were married to Donald Sterling, wouldn’t you rather spend your time watching Dance Moms*?

    *Noting here for the record that I haven’t even watched Dance Dads, much less the female version.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @Carolinus: Asking for comment? What’s next, a strongly worded letter to Comcast?

    As I understand it, that comment ask is attached to a proposed rule that does basically what Wheeler proposed in the first place, a “fast lane”.

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