FCC to Vote On Net Neutrality Plan

The FCC is set to vote today on a net neutrality plan.

The new regulations would prohibit telecommunications companies that provide high-speed internet service from blocking access by customers to any legal content, applications or service.

But, for the first time, there will be a policy that will allow for what has been termed "paid-prioritisation", where companies will be able to pay for a faster service.

There will be greater restrictions on cable/wired providers than wireless:

The rules would allow mobile firms to block access to sites or applications that specifically compete with a carrier's voice or video services.

Al Franken is very opposed. [More..]

Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn't nearly as good. Or a mobile provider with a political agenda could prevent you from downloading an app that connects you with the Obama campaign (or, for that matter, a Tea Party group in your area).

Franken says this is the most important free speech issue of our time:

Imagine if Comcast customers couldn't watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast's Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.

The rules are expected to pass 3 to 2.

< U.S. Executions Down 12%, Support Drops Among Americans | Tuesday Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Can't imagine... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 10:11:41 AM EST
    how an internet service provider would consider it smart business to restrict access to parts of the interent...what customer wants that?

    Then again, the American people never cease to amaze me with the corporate & government crap they bend over and accept.  

    Bottom line...If the ISP's want it, I bet the FCC will give it to them...a kickback for all the cooperation helping the spooks spy on us.

    Opening new profits (none / 0) (#3)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 11:54:38 AM EST
    US companies want profits.  This allows them to bypass end users and muddle around with contracts in the middle allowing them to suck more money from the serfs.  This will create some nice fat monopolies.

    They are zeroing in on advertisers and large contracts customers (like workers) are just an inconvenience.

    We were looking at dumping cable this year... I guess we'll be looking at whether to dump internet.


    MSNBC is on Dems side (none / 0) (#2)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 11:50:57 AM EST
    I had to peek and see how MSNBC was spinning this.... they brought on two people who support this, no opposing view.  The talking point they are pushing is if your neighbor downloads alot of videos the are bandwidth pigs and they should have to pay for it.  So MSNBC is pushing that there shouldn't be monthly packages but that you should pay by usage.  So the network that is on the side of the Dems think that policy should go backwards?  Are they going to push that phone users be mandated to pay by the minute?

    The FCC passed the regulations as expected (none / 0) (#4)
    by Farmboy on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 01:07:50 PM EST
    but there are so many questions and issues outstanding that today's announcement probably means nothing.

    First off is the idea that the FCC even has the right to regulate the internet. April's court ruling over broadband has proponents who say they don't. Congress will have to settle that question.

    This also isn't a change to the way ISPs have had to do business for years - except it introduces the term 'reasonable' into the mix. If Comcast blocks TW they have to prove that the blockage was 'reasonable.' Lawyers are the winners here.

    As for wireless, there are new loopholes, but IMO, Sen. Franken isn't coming to the correct conclusion above. Any company that blocks access to a competitors' service is inviting gov't oversight and investigation under these new rules. Not only that, if Verizon blocks Google, Google will crush them. ISPs like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc., need to be on the good side of their content providers, or they're out the door.

    New definition of the "free market" (none / 0) (#5)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 06:29:41 PM EST
    It ain't free. It's a crock. Congress needs to deal with this because it is a first amendment issue for consumers, is it not? But what's the likely outcome of congressional action when you know that your Senator is bought and paid for by the communications and media interests?

    Starting to wonder... between the ham-handedness of the corporations and the rise in surveillance of everything we touch, see, say, and do... why not just call America what it really is? The most powerful fascist nation on the planet.

    Easy to imagine. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 09:23:05 AM EST

    Imagine if Comcast customers couldn't watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast's Video On Demand service.

    Customers would fire Comcast and hire a better provider.  Apparently Franken thinks customers are too stupid to choose the best service.