back to article Net Neutrality? Hold my coffee, I got this: FCC says it's still considering all options for Open Web

The Federal Communications Commission says that – despite immense pressure from all sides – all options are still on the table for implementing its grand Open Internet scheme. That's the scheme that may or may not end up enforcing so-called net neutrality rules on the internet, and has had millions of comments from the public …

  1. Mark 85

    <rolls eyes>

    Oh we are going to be so screwed.... and now that the CongressCritters are getting into the fray it may be worse than anyone ever thought once they start adding riders to bills with "exclusions".

    And yes, they do this exclusion crap all the time... for example: add a tax break for a company that appears anonymous ( as in "incorporated at 8:57 on June 15, 1955 in the county of XXXX and the state of XXXX.") and attach it to a funding bill for highway maintenance or an NASA request.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: <rolls eyes>

      The least you could have done was told us who that congressman or senator was.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: <rolls eyes>

        Depending on the stage at which it is added to the bill it can actually remain anonymous, so not only can they do crap like this (or at least something similar) they can do it without being found out.

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: <rolls eyes>

        But can I trust him, will he stay bought?

    2. BlartVersenwaldIII

      Re: <rolls eyes>

      Congress are bundling unrelated and unwanted content along with wanted/required content and creating one huge bill?

      That sort of thing would never fly in the world of cable TV and internet. I don't see how comgress and Concast could possibly get along with one another.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think they can read all of the comments between now and the meetings. Even if they have google (or anyone else, for that matter) index them and sort them by in-favor/neutral/against.

    One thing I do wonder is if anyone, from any of the major ISPs, wrote a script to send an opposition email from every registered address that was unused.

    1. Eguro

      That would seem like one of the riskiest strategies you could use.

      I mean... surely there's some serious federal offences involved in identity theft on such a massive scale?

      And you think the ISPs have bad PR now?

      Also sending that many emails would only prolong the process, risking further publicity for the issue, and possibly more pressure on the FCC to actually protect the people of the United States.

      Much better to do it as quickly as possible, and then deal with the fallout once the law has been boug... passed!

  3. Ole Juul

    Considering all options

    For certain values of all.

    1. silent_count

      Re: Considering all options

      "Considering all options"


      "The pro and anti bribes are about even and were still accepting offers. And my aren't the Caribbean islands are nice this time of year. I'd like one of those, thanks."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FCC : trying really hard to grow a pair ...

    ... without anyone noticing

    1. Vociferous

      Re: FCC : trying really hard to grow a pair ...

      No, they're trying really hard to avoid having to grow a pair. FCC is under intense pressure to revive net neutrality, and is desperately looking for options allowing it to not do so.

  5. dan1980

    It is important to note that ISPs were not inherently one or the other. It's not that they were ISs (information services) to start with - they were unclassified. The Act provides some definitions as to what an IS is and what a CC is but these definitions are ambiguous and did not (indeed do not) serve to clearly put these ISPs into one category or another. Due to this, under the Chevron doctrine*, the FCC can determine which category a service should fall into.

    Regardless of any other arguments, the historical fact is that the FCC made the decision to classify ISPs as ISs rather than Common Carrier Services because they believed that that would be the best way to generate competition and provide a good level of service and choice for the most Americans possible.

    That, clearly, has not eventuated.

    Taking off my fact hat (and the preceding paragraphs are indeed fact), what has happened here is really no different to what happens with any form of regulation.

    Regulation is used, essentially, as a way to ensure that unrestrained capitalism does not work against the interests of the people - or at least not unduly so. The battleground is around what is in the best interests of the people and whether regulation will work for that or against that.

    Those on the right believe - in general - in less regulation. They believe that 'market forces' will act to make everything the best it can be - choice, competition, quality, affordability - whatever the optimal solution is, 'market forces' will find it.

    Those to their left believe - in general - in more regulation. It is a misrepresentation, of course, to say that they believe in regulation for its own sake, though that could be said of some specific exponents. They are wrong, but I digress.

    The simple fact is that neither option can be exclusively relied on to produce a satisfactory result across all industries and markets and the best option is to utilise both in differing mixes depending on the specific circumstances and the goals to be achieved.

    To do that, you must first identify exactly what the goal is. The FCC already did that and the mix of market forces to regulation they chose has not achieved that goal. The question that must be asked is it that goal still the one being aimed for? And, if so, given that the current mix has not worked, what mix will work?

    In short, relying on market forces and pure capitalism has just not provided the end result that was planned and if we still want that end result, unregulated market forces alone will not achieve that in the future any more than that method has in the past.

    * - Essentially, that where a statute is ambiguous, interpretation of the statue should fall to the relevant federal body. This is one of the reasons why many want the Act amended - one way or another - to settle the argument.

  6. Vociferous

    Net neutrality is currently dead.

    I don't expect an FCC headed by a cable company lobbyist to do anything but obfuscate and try to keep paramedics from trying to revive it.

  7. Mikel

    After carefully reviewing millions of public comments

    We are going to go ahead and sell the public down the river, as we promised the Administration's loyal cable industry donors we would do before we were appointed to these positions at their request from our lucrative jobs on their staff. Now if you will excuse me public service is a horribly tedious burden and it is time to take my government paid sabbatical before returning to my position as a highly paid cable industry lobbyist.

  8. earl grey


    it's as if millions of comments had suddenly been deleted...

  9. Oninoshiko

    I don't think what is needed is net nutrality

    I think what is required is a seperation of content and delivery. Each of these companies, comcast, mediacom, cockscable, need to be declared what they are, a monopoly. They need split into a content company and a delivery company, and the delivery company needs to be required to change the same to all who want to use them for last-mile delivery.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like