back to article Big Cable's pillow talk with FCC to forbid US states from writing own net neutrality rules

The stomach-churning love-fest between the American cable industry and FCC Ajit Pai continues apace with Big Cable now pillow talking the federal regulator into how to prevent individual US states forming their own net neutrality protections. Pai is expecting to call for a vote on dismantling net neutrality rules on December …

  1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Infatuation - No - GREED YES

    How big are the backhanders that Pai and the other FCC commissioners getting?

    For enough money, many people are prepared to look stupid.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "For enough money, many people are prepared to look stupid."

      Or, as Upton Sinclair put it. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

      He was the guy whose book was the basis for the film "Oil."

      And then there was his book on the US meat trade during the early 1900's

      Not something you want to be reading while tucking in to a Big Mac..

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Infatuation - No - GREED YES

      How big are the backhanders that Pai and the other FCC commissioners getting?

      Well - for starters they can expect to be appointed into nice lucrative low-effort Big Cable lobbying positions when the democrats get into power and the current bunch all get kicked out of the FCC.

      Somewhat akin to UK Defence Ministers mysteriously getting highly-paid Non-exec directorships with defence companies at the end of their political careers..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, good old fashioned hypocrisy

    Republicans believe in states rights - unless the states might try to do something they don't want them to do!

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Ah, good old fashioned hypocrisy

      Erm, you mean the states should have rights, unless it interferes with the puppet masters' profits.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Ah, good old fashioned hypocrisy

      Of course Republicans believe in states' rights. Except in cases of obscenity, broadcast indecency, abortion, environmental protection, and a few hundred other things. They used to believe that defining marriage was a federal issue when Bush was pushing for a no-gays constitutional amendment, but now the supreme court has decided that the 'equal protection' thing in the constitution applies they have decided it's actually a state thing after all.

  3. Keef

    And is he prepared to make a fool of himself doing so?

    He is a fool in some sense of the word, but he know's which side his bread is buttered.

    With Trump in charge he'll do well to remain a fool in the pocket of industry and the Orange Idiot.

    Consumers are screwed with these people in charge.

    And it's not much better on the RHS of the pond.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want to help protect NN you can support groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU and Free Press who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality, Privacy and the open Internet.

    https://www.eff.org/

    https://www.aclu.org/

    https://www.freepress.net/

    https://www.fightforthefuture.org/

    https://www.publicknowledge.org/

    https://demandprogress.org/

    also you can set them as your charity on https://smile.amazon.com/

    also write to your House Representative and senators http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

    https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

    and the FCC

    https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact

    You can now add a comment to the repeal here

    https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

    here a easier URL you can use thanks to John Oliver

    www.gofccyourself.com

    you can also use this that help you contact your house and congressional reps, its easy to use and cuts down on the transaction costs with writing a letter to your reps.

    https://resistbot.io/

    also check out

    https://democracy.io/#!/

    which was made by the EFF and is a low transaction​cost tool for writing all your reps in one fell swoop.

    also this

    https://www.regulations.gov/

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Such things make me glad that I don't live in the Land of the Free (to be exploited).

  5. J.Smith

    Money... talks.

  6. Alistair
    Windows

    *sigh*

    Profits profits profits, free market free market, no regulations, no regulations.

    I really don't understand how it is that anyone in government cannot understand the *reason* for government to exist. Therefor they understand why the government exists, and clearly have only one reason for being in government, and that is to scrape off as much cash, credit, ego padding, fame and glory as possible before they dance off into the sunset with a glorious pension fund and retirement home. And just plain f**k the rest of the suckers on the other side of the wall. I mean, really, what the cable industry has done in the US and what the bells are doing again is utterly transparent to anyone with a modicum of intelligence looking at the current situation.

    Oh, right. modicum of intelligence. Sorry, I'm setting my standards too high again aren't I?

    (Oddly Kieren, I don't liken what's happening here to a seduction, more like they drove into the red light district in a rented $250,000 lambo and offered the first available subject $5 for a night .....)

  7. chazman409409

    I don’t get it. Why would you want to turn the internet into a government controlled utility. Once you put our government in controlled you stifle free enterprise. Please explain. Just because the word 'neutrality ' is used in the title doesn’t make it any more neutral that the word 'care' is used in Obamacare,or the word 'Affordable’ In the Affordable Care Act,or ‘Parent’ in Planned Parenthood(you can’t be a parent if you abort your baby).

    1. Suricou Raven

      It's more a matter of 'choose your tyrant.' Would you rather government-managed regulation, with all the risk of over-regulation that comes with it, or would you rather corporate control eager to squeeze every penny from customers while denying access to competing companies? Neither is really ideal, but at least the government has some level of accountability.

      A market of healthy competition would be best of all, but as broadband service is both a natural monopoly and in many counties a state-granted franchise monopoly, that isn't going to happen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Corporate vs Government

        I would go the other way in that I would choose the corporate control. The reason being that under corporate control I at least know their underlying motivation of squeezing every penny out of the product, but under the government control who knows what the underlying rationale of their control will be. Most likely it will still be money, but instead of profit the money will be in the form of graft and bribes. I am certainly not naive enough to actually believe that they will do it for public good as history shows otherwise. As to accountability, governments are only accountable when they WANT to be, and they only want to be when it looks good.

        1. The Boojum

          Re: Corporate vs Government

          In other words, you choose the option of "I know I'll get screwed" as opposed to "I might get screwed."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Corporate vs Government

            "I'm with the government and I'm here to help you" is one of the most often repeated lies. With the government in charge you WILL get screwed. No "might" or "maybe" about it, it is a statistical certainty backed up by mountains of empirical evidence.

            With the free market (also known as corporate profit interests) in charge we have gone from nothing, to dialup, to broadband.

            Is your Internet connection faster and better than it was 10 years ago, then you can thank the business interests which you so despise which "screw you over" because they are giving you more for less money.

            The free market isn't perfect, but it is far better than the alternatives.

            1. Denarius Silver badge

              Re: Corporate vs Government

              "I'm with the government telco and I'm here to help you" is one of the most often repeated lies.

              FTFY

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Corporate vs Government

              The free market isn't perfect, but it is far better than the alternatives.

              I think the rest of the world disagrees (except for the UK - being the US lap-poodle)

            3. strum

              Re: Corporate vs Government

              >"I'm with the government and I'm here to help you" is one of the most often repeated lies.

              It was a lie when Reagan put it into the mouths of millions of low-paid, conscientious government workers.

              For every politician or appointee found with his hand in the till, there are thousands who actually do want to help.

            4. strum

              Re: Corporate vs Government

              >With the free market (also known as corporate profit interests) in charge we have gone from nothing, to dialup, to broadband.

              It was gummint that took us from nothing to dial-up, and set up the internet as we know it. The 'free' market would have strangled it at birth (and, indeed, tried to).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Corporate vs Government

                It was gummint that took us from nothing to dial-up, and set up the internet as we know it.

                I don't know where you live, but in America (since this article is about the FCC and US States) the government was never involved in providing dialup Internet access. The government WAS involved in setting up dedicated links between universities and defense contractors, but it was strictly private enterprise that took that network and extended it to the public.

                You can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts.

                As for what took us from nothing to the Internet as we know it, I think just everybody who has studied it has come to the same conclusion - that it was PORN that really funded it, as it was the only content that anybody was willing to pay for in the early days. Now that porn is for all intents and purposes free, it is Netflix that composes more than half of the backbone traffic in the evenings in the US

        2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: Corporate vs Government

          You sound like the kind of person who bought a Pinto and didn’t mind that its petrol tank would explode in a collision.

    2. User McUser
      Devil

      Dear Internet Service Subscriber;

      Say, we all enjoy Netflix, right? And the Facebook? And Spotify sure is swell these days! Wow, those sure are popular sites... It would be a real shame if someone were to, say, slow down your access to those websites and services! Why someone in the right position could reduce bandwidth and/or latency to those sites and there would be nothing you could do about it!

      Well, we here at Your Internet Service Provider are proud to announce our newest line of easily payable fees! For just $14.99 a month*, you can guarantee that those "hypothetical" ne'er-do-wells won't reduce your bandwidth and/or latency when you try to access these extremely popular websites and services! Yes, you'll enjoy the exact same performance you're already getting with the added benefit of knowing that you're now paying extra money each month for it!

      Of course you could decline our generous offer and take your chances, but we don't recommend it! Don't forget, only 6% of the country has access to more than two high-speed Internet Service Providers and only 46% have more than one, so good luck finding another ISP that isn't going to do the exact same thing.

      --Your Internet Service Provider.

      *For now, we'll see how high we can get that later. Additional website and service packages available soon!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Internet Service Subscriber;

        It doesn't take a bellends like Pai to introduce traffic shaping. It is live and well for the "benefit of the majority"... every ISP throttles your bandwidth unless you pay their top tier package.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Dear Internet Service Subscriber;

        I'm waiting for the sites to do the same to the ISPs.

        Hey verizon, you pay for the rights to show HBO, ESPN, etc on your cable network. Well if you aren't going to play nice with us then the same deal applies to youtube/google/gmail/facebook/twitter - lets see how many customers you have if you only have the rights to the AOL homepage and Bing

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I don’t get it. Why would you want to turn the internet into a government controlled utility. Once you put our government in controlled you stifle free enterprise. Please explain. Just because the word 'neutrality ' is used in the title doesn’t make it any more neutral that the word 'care' is used in Obamacare,or the word 'Affordable’ In the Affordable Care Act,or ‘Parent’ in Planned Parenthood(you can’t be a parent if you abort your baby)."

      Nothing turned the internet into a government-controlled utility. Net neutrality set rules that prevented companies from abusing their customers (using their de-facto monopolies).

  8. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Hang on a sec...

    ...no fan of big cable, Pai, or big gov't...

    But regulation of interstate commerce - later found in 1883 to include commerce within a state to have significant bearing on interstate commerce - is actually a legitimate power of the US federal government. See article 1, section 8, clause 3. Of all the stuff the fed claims to be lord of, commerce actually seems legit.

    Now here is a question for you that I cannot figure out: article 1 powers belong to the legislative branch. That's why FCC is an independent agency. Why the hell does it seem completely beholden to the orange one, then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hang on a sec...

      The problem is that anything can be said to have an effect on interstate commerce. It's like having laws that are void in the case of national security and then defining campaigning against an oil pipeline as a threat to the national interest.

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Hang on a sec...

        @AC, you make a good point. The term 'national security' has been overloaded far, far beyond the breaking point.

        I'd argue that the genesis of our defense-industrial-congressional and intelligence-industrial complexes stem from decades of chief execs of both parties exploiting fears of nuclear war and a "need for an immediate response!" to grab ever more power for the executive branch. Without the Cold War fears to exploit now we bend ourselves in knots over terrists.

        Silly me, I thought article 1 section 8 of the Constitution gave the legislative branch the power to declare war or peace. So little backbone left in those chambers all they can do now is bend over...

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Hang on a sec...

      That's why FCC is an independent agency. Why the hell does it seem completely beholden to the orange one, then?

      Because politics. The reigning puppet-of-big-business gets to nominate 3 out of the 5 comissioners. And choses the ones who are least likely to actually do their jobs and look after the consumers - instead looking after the people who have bought them lock, stock and barrel.

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Hang on a sec...

        3 of 5 plus head? Sounds like a pretty solid lock.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First Law of US Politics

    If it looks like a twat... its most likely to be an utter corrupt twat

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That Ajit Pai is turning out to be a bit of a c%8w%aq#tK£cQRb"

    NO CARRIER

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