back to article FCC chairman to rethink controversial net neutrality proposals

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now planning to rewrite its controversial rules in regards to net neutrality. The Commission on Monday confirmed earlier reports from the Wall Street Journal that chairman Tom Wheeler is looking to change the proposed net neutrality policies guiding how firms can negotiate and …


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  1. ratfox

    What is a controversail?

    Is it an invention of the Oracle team for the America's cup?

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Rule #1) Hands off the Internet

    Rule #2) There is no Rule #2.

    1. JeffyPoooh

      Rule #1) Hands off the Internet

      I think that you DON'T want Laissez-faire free market. You do want 'hands on' regulation where the government takes an active role to make sure that the playing field is kept assiduously level.

      Define "Internet".

      The last mile (or 4km) to my house, and a lot more, is all private property, owned by the local telco. It's literally their fibre, and their central office. Since it's their fibre, they can provide a Triple Play of phone service, Internet and television, all over the same fibre and all using Internet Protocol.

      It's a very fine line between the Telco doing a triple play, and them also allowing Netflix into their CO.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Arse about face

    If they want to charge for the rate we draw data/media that seems reasonable, as all content providers are on a level playing field, but to allow big players to pay for a fast lane is quite wrong and can only result in a multi-level internet, and contrary to what users actually want.

    1. joemostowey

      Re: Arse about face

      We already pay to receive the content.

      Tommy the Lobbyist's new plan is the same as his old plan, just shifted a few words around, a typical lobbyist trick.

      He was put into this office for one reason only- to give the monopolies more power, more money and devil take the consumer!

      Obama should be red with embarrassment. George W. Bush did essentially the same screw-over of the consume when he decided (he was after all THE DECIDER) to let the free market dictate who got Cable, and access to the internet, putting America in the ranks of the third world countries as far as speed and accessibility went.

      Now, most of us have only one ISP, one provider.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Arse about face

        I don't know about over there, but here we pay for the total quantity of data, not the rate we receive it. As I understand it the ISPs (questionable) argument is that high speed data costs more to deliver.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: I don't know about over there

          Over here we tend to pay for speed not quantity except with cells where you typically pay get reamed for both.

          I don't actually have a problem with a multi-tiered internet of different speeds and capacity. I think it would lead to a more efficient internet. My only concern is that the pipes at a given speed are available without monopoly restriction. That is, if Comcast introduces a streaming only pipe with 20 times the speed of the text pipe, if it offers itself that pipe for $100/unit it can't charge Netflix $1000/unit for the same pipe, although I might see $150/unit.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Limp Noodle

    would be a possible characterization of Tom Wheeler's FCC Leadership.

    The only thing the FCC has to do is classify Internet service as a Public Utility, such as land-line telephone service or electricity have been for a very long time. That would not preclude the ISP's from charging each other for packets crossing their networks or some such - these types of deals exist today between land-line telephone service operators, or electric grid operators, and have existed for a very long time. It would only preculde the Telephants from punishing consumers for their own inability to make those deals.

    But no, can't have that. AT&T, Verizon and Comcast would be very upset about it. No wonder the US ranks 28th worldwide in quality and availability of Internet service.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Limp Noodle

      The FCC is always a limp dick for consumer advocacy. It's kind of like how the FDA is for bent scientists, the FCC is for bent engineers.

      Expect nothing and you'll always get less with the FCC.

    2. asdf

      Re: Limp Noodle

      You make it sound so easy when our limp noodle Congress can't even pass a farm bill. Large vested interests do very well for themselves in DC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Limp Noodle

        This has nothing to do with Congress. Congress at least has the lame excuse that they need 217 votes in the House and 60 votes in the Senate to pass a bill.

        The FCC already has the statutory authority to classify Internet service as a Public Utility. They only thing they have to do is do it. It doesn't require Congressional approval.

      2. dan1980

        Re: Limp Noodle


        "You make it sound so easy . . .."

        Actually, it is easy.

        National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) V. Brand X Internet Services is the relevant case and the findings were that:

        • The Telecommunications Act (1996) is ambiguous about whether ISPs and cable providers are 'common carriers'.
        • The FCC therefore has the authority to classify providers as it sees fit as per the Chevron Doctrine.

        Short version is that the supreme court has ruled that the FCC has the authority to classify ISPs as common carriers.

  5. Don Jefe

    Reconsider Proposals or Reconsider Offers

    I like the 'Public Comment Period' for policy issues. They should work on the name though. Maybe 'Private Employment Consideration Period' or 'Consulting Contract Consultation Window'.

    Don't know really, naming stuff isn't my thing. But it should certainly reflect the anticipated flight path of the lead balloons that go up for comments. It's exceptionally rare that 'reconsidering' ends with something better for the consumer. Sometimes it's like they ask what would suck the most, just to make sure they work that in too.

  6. asdf

    feel bad for the guy

    Tom Wheeler needs to be very very careful here. If he doesn't tiptoe into pretending he cares about the public while still giving the keys to the kingdom to the incumbents then that 7 or 8 digit a year salary and associated do nothing job in private industry won't be waiting for him.

  7. DerekCurrie

    Thomas Wheeler: Puppet Pawn Of The Media Oligarchy

    As puppet pawn of the media oligarchy, we know exactly what Thomas Wheeler wants to do, exactly how he wishes to warp and ruin the Internet. Everything else is noise… until we throw the bum out and get someone who actually SERVES We The People's interests and NOT the corporate oligarchy interests.

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