back to article FCC boss Wheeler talks tough on net neutrality with Title II threat

Just days after being accused of gutting net neutrality provisions in the US, the head of the US Federal Communications Commission is vowing to take any measures necessary to prevent a multi-tiered internet. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Tuesday that the commission would continue to enforce an open internet policy, even if …


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  1. btrower

    What a novel way ...

    for the U.S. government to extend their influence over the Internet.

    We have simply got to get people, including most techies, to understand this stuff. Rather than tightening down the way network service can be provided by the completely self-serving incumbents they should be opening up the provision of bandwidth to competition and freeing up all the wasted EMR spectrum captured by rent seekers.

  2. Mark 85

    Sargent Schultz lives!!!!!

    Quoth the Reg: "If the proposal before us now turns out to be insufficient or if we observe anyone taking advantage of the rule, I won’t hesitate to use Title II."

    Nothing... I see nothing..nothing at all..... <nudge><wink><wink>

  3. JeffyPoooh

    Think about "Triple Play" last-mile infrastructure...

    The brand-new FTTH service recently connected to my house carries 175 Mbps Internet (dedicated bandwidth!!), my home telephone, and I could even include "Cable" TV too if I wished. All this is carried along one fibre, reportedly shared with up to 16 other houses. This is called the 'Triple Play' (Internet, Phone, Television). What's slightly different about this FTTH versus Cable TV's 'Triple Play' is that the fibre carries IP data at several Gbps, and this data includes VOIP phone service (from the old friendly Bell-derived telco), VOD mimicking Cable TV, and Internet. It's the local telco using "the Internet" to deliver prioritized and dedicated services for money.

    Obviously the telco owns the fibre (they just invested millions to install it), and they can do with it what they wish (for example, offering the 'Triple Play'). They can even - gasp - make use of Internet Protocol while going about their daily business. That is obviously A Very Good Thing.

    Akamai, Facebook and/or Netflix could install servers in my ISP nearby Central Office, and those tenants would have to pay the telco rent. That is also obviously A Very Good Thing.

    Follow the logic and see where it takes you. Take as much time as you need... I consider this to be very, very obvious. Apparently it isn't to some; perhaps because they don't have the FTTH Triple Play so-recently installed.

    1. JeffyPoooh

      Re: Think about "Triple Play" last-mile infrastructure...

      So many thumbs down; I guess some readers need more time to let this situation sink in.

      The complex situation is especially clear with the FTTH 'Triple Play' projects. The 'last mile', or up to about 20km actually, of "The Internet" *is* privately owned. The FTTH telco is literally using "The Internet" to also deliver prioritized VOD and VOIP services over the EXACT SAME NETWORK. The only remaining distinction between "The Internet" and these other private and prioritized / dedicated services on the same network are which time slice they've been assigned. It's a very tricky distinction to define what "The Internet" actually is, especially given FTTH and 'Triple Play' services.

      Proponents of 'Net Neutrality' have their work cut-out for them, just to clearly define what exactly they mean when they say 'Net'. The definitions need to be crystal clear, and they will find themselves backed into a semantic corner by FTTH and 'Triple Play'. Mark my words.

      This point is perhaps too subtle for some.

  4. beep54

    'slap down'

    I do hope that Wheeler well think about slapping down hisownself. Arsehole.

  5. Tom 13

    Two problems with this article.

    "Notwithstanding this, all regulatory options remain on the table. If the proposal before us now turns out to be insufficient or if we observe anyone taking advantage of the rule, I won’t hesitate to use Title II."

    Except the FCC doesn't have that power, which is what the Verizon case was all about. That power is reserved to Congress. Which has refused to implement the so called net neutrality plan.

    The proposal was widely panned as a concession by the FCC that would gut net neutrality in the wake of a decision against the commission in its case with Verizon.

    The FCC didn't gut net neutrality, it was never legally enforceable in the first place. Congress didn't pass it. The court rightly struck down the FCC's unconstitutional overreach.

    We have separation of powers over here and a process by which laws are made, changed and implemented. If you want a new law you have to follow it.

    1. Uncle Ron

      Re: Two problems with this article.

      The FCC in the US -does- have the power to reclassify. It could do this today under it's current authority. Yes it could. Of course, tomorrow, Congress could do whatever it wants, like change the authority, re-word it's authority, whatever--eliminate the FCC if it wanted to. But, Congressional approval is -not- required for the FCC to reclassify the internet as a telecommunications service. And it should.

      1. Cubical Drone

        Re: Two problems with this article.

        Totally agree they should use Title II immediately and reclassify them.

        What bothers me is that if they didn't have the balls to do this yesterday, and don't have the balls to do it to day, why should I believe that they will have the balls to do it tomorrow.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two problems with your understanding of the law

          You seem to be obsessed with testicles. It has nothing to do with their cojones.

          The FCC cannot reclassify because it does not have the power to define markets (Congress has to), and it cannot be "arbitary or capricious".

          It's all in the '96 Act. Try reading it.

          1. Uncle Ron

            Re: Two problems with your understanding of the law

            I don't know which '96 Act you're reading, but you are wrong. The FCC can re-classify without any further authority and the courts would sustain the action. A corrupt US Congress is another story. Of course this is the excuse the FCC is using. It is corrupt as well.

            1. Irony Deficient

              Re: Two problems with your understanding of the law

              Uncle Ron, I’m looking at the text of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 on the FCC Web site — would you point me to the section of that Act which authorizes its ability to reclassify? My understanding of the Verizon v. FCC DC Circuit case opinions was that the FCC might be able to do a “back door reclassification” via Title VII, §706, but that it could not do a straightforward reclassification of an ISP from a Title I “information service” (non-common carrier) to a Title II “telecommunications service” (common carrier).

    2. LosD

      Re: Two problems with this article.

      They have that power. It was exactly what the courts told them: They must reclassify as common carrier if they want to enforce NN.

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