back to article What network neutrality madness has happened today? Take a big breath

It may have escaped your notice but America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, will vote on Thursday on a provision that would effectively undermine net neutrality protections in the US. People are – and this may shock you – not happy about it. Yesterday, many of the internet's pioneers and early engineers signed a letter slamming …

  1. Someone Else Silver badge

    Is it just me...

    A draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the FCC and FTC was published, complete with news release, and is designed to "coordinate online consumer protection efforts following adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order."

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see that the acronym derived from the "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" is dangerously close to RICO (which folks on this side of the pond know as the acronym for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)?

    Coincidence? You decide....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is just more left wing propaganda aimed at stopping make America great again. The democrats need to get off their asses and actually help the republicans drain the swamp and do what every good American needs. We need to build walls in the internet like we need to build walls with Mexico, we need to build walls against the Muslims, we need to build walls because it stimulates growth so we can give tax cuts to the poor businesses that have had to endure high taxes while cutting pay.

    God Bless America, the land of the free.

    Just kidding, you need to drain the current swamp and stop pissing about, pronto.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Well if we could get DECENT CANDIDATES TO VOTE FOR!

      The Democratic party shat on Bernie Sanders, who was the least idiotic, and gave us the choice between Clinton and Trump, which was about as useful as a choice between Hitler and Stalin, or perhaps Stan and Oliver.

      So I voted for Trump as a "fuck you" - perhaps there has been enough pain so that when 2020 rolls around, we'll have people worth voting for, but I doubt it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So I voted for Trump as a "fuck you"

        So, in a tantrum you voted for the worst possible candidate because you dont give a shit who suffers and dies as a result of the madness, as long as you get to feel like you said "fuck you" to the Dems for not selecting a candidate you like.

        This doesnt make a huge amount of sense. Either you thought Trump was a better candidate than Clinton, in which case it isnt a fuck you, or you thought Clinton was bad but still better and didnt give a shit how much people suffer - which is a fuck you, but a fuck you to the rest of the country.

      2. d3vy

        @Gene Cash

        "So I voted for Trump as a "fuck you""

        With hindsight do you think that was the right thing to do?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, now that we know for sure Hillary paid for that evil dossier full of ridiculous lies about Trump, and that she then managed to get the FBI investigating her opponent based on those lies, and only those lies, and that this represents the biggest, ugliest political scandal in US history, I'd say the answer is FUCK YEAH. It wasn't just the right thing, it was the ONLY thing.

          And now we also know that Trump has not exploded, imploded, or otherwise harmed the economy, which the Left claimed he would do. And further, the economy is now building into a huge Trump Boom (Obama gets zero credit for this, btw). Plus he's actually going at the entrenched swamp creatures in DC and seems to be winning, something I've heard all my life could not be done.

          It would help a lot if the Left didn't so staunchly defend and support the deep state bureaucrats, who are desperately attempting to destroy Trump before he can clean them out of DC, but most of us have long given up on the Left as an honourable opponent, so we kinda expected that reaction from them all along.

          1. d3vy

            There comes a point in a discussion where you look at what your opponent is saying and decide that there's no point in trying to argue your side as they will never accept that their viewpoint might be wrong.

            Congrats Big John we just passed that point.

            PS. You share your name with a toilet for morbidly obese people.

  3. Someone Else Silver badge

    Lingua franca

    [Pai] has persistently argued that the Open Internet order, approved in 2015, has triggered a reduction in network investment by telcos – but as has been pointed out ad nauseam, those figures were arrived by carefully cherry-picking dates, and the same companies have disclosed to their shareholders that it's not the case. But Pai continues to repeat the claim at every opportunity regardless.

    But despite having argued that the FCC is "no longer an economics-free zone" this week, there was no data provided for this argument and a subsequent dig into the FCC's own figures shows that the exact same small ISPs that claim to have scaled back their investment had in fact done the opposite and expanded their networks.

    Pai is a product of Lügenführer Drumpf's administration, and the lingua franca of said administration is lies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lingua franca

      I decided to downvote you because you quoted a massive block of TFA in order to post a single line reply. I may agree that Pie is an epic piece of lying shit, but I don't agree with essentially regurgitating the article just to express that opinion in a single line.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So I voted for Trump as a "fuck you"

        I'm guessing you're not black or a woman and don't have any female children that you care about. Am I right? How's that vote working out for you?

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Lingua franca


        I decided to downvote you because you quoted a massive block of TFA in order to post a single line reply.

        It seemed appropriate to back my comment with references to what I was talking about. Chalk it up to the engineer in me.

        Facts and details matter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lingua franca

          > "Facts and details matter."

          Not when you assert them, since your use of names like Lügenführer Drumpf indicate an immature mind, throwing your supposed "facts and details" into serious doubt.

          My advice to you is to keep silent when intelligent mature people might read what you write. Save it for when the thread contains only your sort of poster, you'll do much better then.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Lingua franca

            "My advice to you is to keep silent when intelligent mature people might read what you write."

            So... much... irony...

  4. Cubical Drone

    It's about time

    It has taken a while, but we have finally jumped from plutocracy to full blown kleptocracy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's about time

      You mean we were a kleptocracy prior to 2015, and now we are again, right? ;-/

  5. Nate Amsden

    internet regulations look to DSL

    Much of the at least early complaints online about net neutrality came down to "don't throttle my netflix" (people saying that generally didn't know or care whether or not there was actual congestion on the pipes).

    But for me I keep going back to look at DSL, for a long time (I think even now) many/most/all telcos have to open up their networks for 3rd party network connections for things like DSL or even bigger lines like T1 etc(obviously not suitable for home use). I recall one of my early jobs I was dealing with 3rd party network providers on top of Qwest lines if I recall right.

    Performance of DSL based connections is obviously pretty poor compared to most cable modem connections, though it seems many people who want this regulation toss away DSL as a viable option because it is generally far slower than cable (I think an argument could be made it is that way because they lack incentives to improve it in many cases). Myself I gave up on DSL probably around 2007(1Mbps up and 1Mbps down) when the 3rd party ISP I had was sold for the Nth time and they were going to be changing all of my static IPs. I have had my "server" stuff living in co-location facilities ever since(at a higher cost of course - currently $200/mo for 100meg unlimited, and 200W of power for my 1U vmware server).

    For me I'm not really for or against net neutrality, it doesn't really matter to me. the internet worked fine for me before the rules in 2015 (first went online I think in 1993 or '94), and I haven't noticed anything different that I thought I could attribute to net neutrality that impacted how I use the internet since the rules went into effect(and no I really don't stream much of anything).

    1. AdamWill

      Re: internet regulations look to DSL

      "I haven't noticed anything different that I thought I could attribute to net neutrality that impacted how I use the internet since the rules went into effect"

      Well, no, you weren't *supposed* to. The whole point of the rules was to preserve the status quo, not to somehow magically make things suddenly better.

      There's a subtlety here which (quelle surprise) seems to be commonly missed in these arguments. One of the anti-NN faction's stock arguments is often phrased as "we didn't have net neutrality before 2015 and everything was fine!"

      But that's not really true. The US more or less *did* "have net neutrality" then. What it didn't have was net neutrality *regulation*. This might seem like nitpicking, but it really isn't, it's rather important. The main reason there was no NN regulation before 2015 is because there hadn't been any perceived need for it. For a long time, ISPs generally treated traffic neutrally just because that was the service they were providing and they didn't have any motivation to do something else. There is generally no need to enact regulation to tell entities to do what they're already doing anyway. So of course you didn't have NN regulations, because there was no *need* for them.

      The reason NN regulations showed up in 2015 - after a lengthy process of debate and review, you know, the way regulatory bodies are *supposed* to operate - is precisely that US ISPs started *not* treating traffic neutrally, and the structure of major ISP ownership changed such that now the ISPs clearly *did* now have very strong motivations to discriminate, and there were clear signs that they intended to be ever more egregious about doing so in future.

      So the whole point of introducing the regulations was simply to try and require that ISPs stop the slide towards discrimination and behave the way they had all been behaving anyway up until about 2007 (the gap between 2007 and 2015 being exactly the period in which the concept of NN was formalized, propagated, formulated into proposed regulations and debated). Despite what Pai keeps trying to claim, there was never any intent to start suddenly making demands for ISPs to behave differently than they had before they started experimenting with discrimination; it was purely about requiring them to stop doing that and go back to how they had been operating previously.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: internet regulations look to DSL

      My experience of supporting around 200 offices across the US was that choice of Internet broke down into a few key types:

      - a great choice of multiple providers. This was very rare.

      - a selection of two providers and their leased line/cable/DSL selections. Usually one of the providers would only have last mile access via the first provider and other telcos were only interested in leased line options.

      - a single provider where pretty much all options were expensive relative to services where there was competition.

      - no choice due to location and we had to install a new circuit from the cheapest provider.

      Outside of state capitals, the single provider option was very common.

      In my experience, across the US as a whole, the issue isn't with net neutrality, it's with a general lack of competition preventing the market working. Often the lack of competition is mandated by local or state government.

      Net neutrality is only needed (IMHO) because of the lack of competition. The fight SHOULD be over more competition between the telco's rather than deciding whether telco's can abuse their monopolies even more...

      1. Paul Wagenseil

        Re: internet regulations look to DSL

        That's absolutely right. I just wrote about that (shameless plug),news-26251.html

        I do want Title I to stay, but net neutrality will do nothing to get Americans the kind of choices that Europeans have for broadband. Forcing the cable companies to open up their lines (often the only broadband infrastructure around) would do that. So would greater investment in modern DSL service.

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge

    The Big Lie

    This goes far beyond the matter of the USA's internet business. It's really about the fact that people with power behind them are now apparently able to redefine reality, ignore fact, truth or logic and offer up spurious reasons for doing whatever they want and can simply get away with it. And that is quite scary. Or rather, what is scary is that apparently democratic politicians are prepared to vote for policies based on these outrageous lies knowing that there is no logic or reason behind them because they can be confident they will get away with it.

    I'm not an American. Don't give a monkey's about their internet. But I do care that there or here we've removed the foundations of reason and accountability.

  7. dan1980

    Whatever anyone feels about net neutrality, it is clear that this particular push is based on dogma and not any kind of analysis of the benefits to subscribers and the general public.

    If your main, public arguments are demonstrably false and you keep repeating them despite being shown to be in error then it is clear that, whatever your reasons for the policy, they are rather different from what you are willing to admit.

  8. jmch Silver badge

    Red Herring

    This whole anti-Net Neutrality shebang is a bit of a red herring from the part of the big cable companies masking just how crap Internet connectivity is the US is. If the carriers had enough capacity and with low enugh latency running to their customers' homes, they wouldn't need to think about throttling some packets to promote others.

    I do understand that carriers are concerned about their relationships with large providers such as Google or Facebook from where a lot of the rtffic on their networks originate (I remember some very illuminating articles on The Register from a couple of years back going into the technical/business details), but that's what peering agreements are for.

    But I guess paying Pai and chums to get the rules changed their way and blocking competition to lock in their customers is more profitable than providing a proper service

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what about net neutrality in the UK?

    Three provides go binge (removing services like NetFlix from eating up your data) and Virgin that openly admit to throttling specific types of traffic (previously throttling gaming traffic sometime being throttled because it looks like P2P traffic?). Interestingly the bit of EU law ( paragraph 8) states:

    "When providing internet access services, providers of those services should treat all traffic equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender or receiver, content, application or service, or terminal equipment."

    Cases like GoBinge are supposed to be allowed by reviewed on a case-by-case basis. I am sure this one got passed because of the relatively large number of ISPs here in the UK (compared to the shocking monopolies of the USA) but it seems like a slippery slope

  10. MT Field

    All this fuss?

    Seems like your typical day in the new America. Why bother, just let them get on with it.

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