back to article FCC mulls two-speed internet, axing net neutrality ... unless you convince it otherwise

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set the ball rolling on new rules that could allow companies to pay for prioritised internet traffic. Tom Wheeler, the watchdog's chairman, put forward a proposal [PDF, details] "seeking public comment on how best to protect and promote an open internet". Two of his fellow …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much for ...

    So much for backing down and `listening to the public`.

    Guess who's preparing a do nothing job with a 7 figures salary ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for ...

      Don't count on a 7 figure salary doing the motivating. Millions probably passed between the isp's an the FCC chairman

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Devil

    Out of my way oik!

    A Zil lane for the packets. Inevitable, I suppose.

  3. Roger Stenning
    Flame

    And the..

    ...backhander of the year goes to...

    THE FCC!

    Fuckwits. They just broke the internet.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Kind of figures....

    Leave it to the US Government to load up the handbasket to Hell. I guess it's not surprising that Wheeler is going ahead with this. Since his master will be out of office soon he's got to protect his income. What better way to protect it than to do something for the special interests.

    I apologize world, we Americans are idiots and have elected idiots who will ruin the 'Net in name of greed.

    1. johnnytruant

      Re: Kind of figures....

      So here's the thing - has the internet been ruined? Or is it just those bits of it which reside within the last few miles of US connections?

      I mean, obviously I'm all for neutrality and I'll sign petitions and so on if I think it will help you guys - but how will this FCC decision affect me, here in the UK?

      I'm not trying to be facetious, I'm genuinely not sure.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Kind of figures....

        The problem with this comes from the president the USA would set, and other ISPs around the would would start eyeing up the opportunity to charge twice for their pipes.

        The real problem is not the ides of prioritised data based on type - that is already a known technical solution - but that the payment by source of data becomes the factor. Added in to this the race to the bottom on ISP prices, they won't invest in making better back-hauls unless someone big and rich pays them to.

        If ISPs are forced to treat all data sources equally then of course they may have to adapt thier billing model (and maybe, just maybe, be forced to honestly advertise their quality of service) and charge some end users more, but it would keep a level playing field so you don't get a few big media players delivering usable video and anyone else being throttled in to oblivion.

  5. Jim 59

    FCC

    Wrong decision.

    In other news, small companies will now not be allowed to use motorways/freeways or other major roads, which will be reserved for megacorps only.

  6. Jon Smit

    Time to dust off that old V90 modem

    As I don't pay to watch films and the like, I'll living in the slow lane. I'll also be putting the expensive fibre connection on a very long hold.

  7. chris lively

    Making sure I understand this correctly:

    Big companies, like AT&T, comcast, etc chose to advertise their services based on bandwidth (amount of traffic you can utilize at any given moment). They sold this to millions of people, then later complained that their infrastructure couldn't handle it. Rather than tone down the amount of bandwidth they make available to each of their subscribers (or build far more access points), they decide to put caps on the total amount of data transferred in a given month.

    Okay, fine.

    However, that apparently isn't good enough either. Now they want to charge a premium to those people who actually want to use the internet for the things they were told about: movies, visual phone calls, games, etc. Basically all of the things that every single advertisement for yet another mobile device says you can do.

    I tell you what. Go ahead and implement the two speed internet. At the same time though I want every single advertisement about the devices sold by these companies to be perfectly clear. It can even have a positive spin. Something along the lines of:

    "You can watch an entire movie once a month with this device!";

    "Allows you to take 50,000 pictures, and even lets you back those up to your cloud provider each month at the rate of 3 pictures per day."; or even

    "10,000 games available for download, you can even play them for 15 minutes each day!."

    Now that I think about it: hell no. If a company wants to advertise bandwidth or speed, then the FCC should force them to provide that bandwidth 24 hrs/day, every day of year. The amount of data any individual device transfers over the course of a month shouldn't matter one bit.

    That would "promote competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities" far more than allowing companies to screw consumers over even more with way too complicated plans.

  8. Rick Giles
    Pirate

    The answer is so simple...

    Everyone needs to cancel their internet service for 3 months. And cancel or put on hold things like Netflix and TiVo's that get there updates over the 'net.

    Go to the theater.

    Go to the library.

    Go to a park.

    Meet people the old fashioned way.

    Build a wireless mesh network.

    1. DropBear
      Trollface

      Re: The answer is so simple...

      No go. How will we ever find out when the protest is over?!?

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Re: What bothers me most about all this

      I do understand how the internet works. I also remember that a lot of backbone upgrades during the dot-com boom in the late 90's was said to be underused and a couple of telcos went bust for that. So technically, all those ISPs should just fire up that extra bandwidth and get more phat pipes for free. Instead, they're simply upping what they charge for and simply don't even upgrade their backhaul, then use "not enough pipes" as a reason to pull off this stupid tiered internet.

      No, the ISPs aren't going to upgrade their backbone links unless they are forced to do so by regulation, and that's what the FCC should be doing. Not appeasing them with these stupid things!

      1. Combat Wombat

        Re: What bothers me most about all this

        The back bones are fine, the issue is that the ISP's in the US have a "Last mile monopoly" In a lot of places in the US you have a choice between 2 isp's or worse no choice at all.

        Those two ISP's are are about to merge in a lot of places, so there will be no choice at all.

        When cities and municipalities have tried to break the monopoly by installing their own, publicly funded, publicly run fiber networks the established ISP's have sued the pants off them to stop that happening.

        There is effectively no competition in the US, until Google gets its fiber rolled out on a bigger scale.

        This is the established ISP's trying to get paid twice for every bit they push across their network, and pocketing the profits, rather than updating the last mile services

        1. 404

          Re: What bothers me most about all this

          +1

          I've been on a waiting list for DSL for 7 years now - AT&T DSLAM is antiquated and essentially somebody has to die to free up a DSL port. Which is why I'm on satellite for $80/month with a 15GB monthly cap... I reckon we're lucky to have POTS lines...

  10. bozoid

    Great. "Content providers" can pay for fast lanes. How much do you think Comcast will charge NBC Universal (which it owns) for a fast lane?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      they'll charge...

      Whatever they want, depending on the tax structure. It will be like listening to an ad for a Jeep Cherokee on the radio, where at the end, the voiceover says 'Jeep is a trademark of Chrysler Group LLC.

      If they can shift costs, it may only cost $0.01/year, or it may be $100.00/bit.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Let the Circus ... begin!

    Monopolists who will press their monopoly advantage and good congressional connections on one side, socialistic "the same price for everyone and everyone gets the same shit" rainbow-colored hippies who think technology grows in bionic garden sheds and is a "human right" on the other.

    Fschk that, give me multi-speed internet, but let competition reign!

    1. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Re: Let the Circus ... begin!

      I don't think the Net Neutrality dudes are asking "same price for everyone and everyone gets the same shit". ISPs charge for bandwidth, they should either up their infrastructure to match what they're actually offering, jack up their prices to do the aforementioned upgrade, or simply lower their advertised data rate to match what they can actually serve.

      As it stands, the ISPs want to double-dip everyone, increasing their profits without actually having to upgrade their infrastructure.

  12. Eguro

    "His proposal will ask citizens "if paid prioritization should be banned outright" "

    Since I'm not a US citizen I don't fell I should directly meddle... but can we assume that Reddit et. al. are mounting campaigns to answer this asking with a resounding "Yep, it should. kkthx"

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