back to article What do Cali, New York, Hawaii, Maine and 18 other US states have in common? Fighting the FCC on net neutrality

Twenty-two US State Attorneys General filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to undo the Federal Communications Commission's rejection of net neutrality in America. The FCC – the nation's broadband watchdog – late last year approved rules titled Restoring Internet Freedom that free ISPs to discriminate against data as they see fit. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I keep reading how this NN thing is about "freedom," when the actual effect will be more government control. What ever happened to the idea of keeping the government's mitts off our Internet? Is it now safe to allow them to take over? When did that happen?

    1. Teiwaz

      Big John : "I keep reading how this NN thing is about "freedom,"

      I keep hearing about this 'freedom' thing too. It's a crock, turns out people have rules about all sorts of things you are not allowed to do while seeking personal advancement.

      Or doesn't any of that bother you, up in the mountains with your gun collection and your still?

    2. Comments are attributed to your handle
      Mushroom

      And the daily letters are: FUD

      "...actual effect will be more government control"

      Yes, the government will exert some control to ensure ISPs don't bend us over a barrel (in this instance at least). What's the problem? Or were you just repeating a GOP talking point without providing proof, in the hopes we wouldn't notice? Hush hush, the GUBBERMINT is not going to take away your Fox News.

      "Is it now safe to allow them to take over? When did that happen?" - A defining example of "FUD"

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

        "ensure ISPs don't bend us over a barrel"

        Like they used to 3 years ago before net neutrality?

        About the only thing any did was throttle torrents because they were responsible for high bandwidth use and wonderful NN made everyone pay for that bandwidth, not the people using it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

          Yes, to hear proponents say it, we were living in the dark ages until Obama saved us, via fiat regulations. And every time I mention that this is a job for Congress I get the same tired excuse leftists always resort to when their cause is weak. Namely constant attempts to change the subject.

          And on the rare occasion one does address it, I'm instructed that Congress 'had their chance' and so Obama was forced to 'do the right thing.' It's the same excuse they use every time they want to expand Big Daddy Government. Couldn't wait. Too urgent. Intransigent right wingers. Yadda yadda yadda.

          The fact is leftists will keep on taking power for themselves as long as no one stops them, and always "for the greater good' as defined by THEM.

          Okay, got to go tend my still. Hope that layabout bear doesn't want more...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Hey Big John

            In case you missed it, we ALREADY saw some of the bad effects of the lack of net neutrality a few years back (before the FCC declared Title II regulation to try to enforce net neutrality)

            I guess you think it was a "win for a free market" when Verizon throttled Netflix for their customers, because they wanted to extort Netflix to pay them money on top of what their customers were already paying them for internet service. And/or drive traffic to FIOS TV's VOD offerings. Win/win for Verizon either way.

            They even did that with a democrat in the White House who was supportive of efforts to institute net neutrality. Imagine what they'd do if it was settled law that net neutrality would not be enforced.

            Very few people in the US have three viable broadband options. A minority (those with a competitive fiber alternative or Centurylink VDSL2) have two options. The vast majority of US households have only one. I guess you think a monopoly being able to push customers around to pad their profits is another free market win?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hey Big John

              Precisely, DougS. I've got relatively good choices with a duopoly in my NJ town where both offering are from companies that have demonstrably abused their privilege in the past. Now they will be unleashed to throttle my video and VoIP service to squeeze me to use their own offerings. If I could choose from a dozen providers, the situation would be different. I want packets delivered by this utility, and their content is nobody's business but mine. Regulation is required.

            2. 2Nick3

              Re: Hey Big John

              "Imagine what they'd do if it was settled law that net neutrality would not be enforced"

              Imagine what they'd not be able to do if net neutrality was a legislated law and not enacted by a 3 person majority of a 5 person committee that changes what direction it leans every 8 years or so?

              Congress could end ALL of this by enacting legislation. This is obviously an important issue to most/all in the US, and is closely watched around the world, you'd think they'd be all over it.

              1. Eddy Ito

                Re: Hey Big John @2Nick3

                Well said, nail squarely struck. Hopefully they'll get back to trying to do it right. I say get back to because they were mostly all over it with at least seven bills, most with bipartisan support, being presented between '06 and '08, albeit in typical governmental fashion like many bills they died with the close of the congressional session before being voted on as fundraising for the next election takes precedence. Then a funny thing happened and the only thing that was reintroduced was one bill in '09 that still could have ended it but didn't.

                The newly elected President, stop me if you've heard this one, went rogue and sidestepped the legislative process. Could he have used his position to press the issue with congress and do it properly? Sure. Did he, even with his own party in control of both houses? Nope, easier to just direct the FCC do play sock puppet and be done with it.

                It's kind of like DACA when you think about it. Shoulda, woulda, coulda done it right the first time with legislation but why bother when it's so much easier to avoid that whole mess and kick the can down the road. Meh, typical government, we've been kicking the social security can down the road for a while now and still nobody seems concerned that in just 16 things are going to get very interesting.

                We need a 三匹の猿 icon. I suppose a pic of the US Capitol building will do in a pinch.

                1. Eddy Ito
                  Facepalm

                  Re: Hey Big John @2Nick3

                  ... still nobody seems concerned that in just 16 years things are going to get very interesting.

                  FIFM. 16 years, damn it, 16 years! I even previewed and reread it before posting and still managed to screw it up.

                  Hey, that means I'm qualified to run for office, right? Hmm governor is tempting, but is it high enough?

                  <WHACK!!!, Wife slaps back of head>

                  Whoa! That was close. I think I just had a senile moment.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hey Big John

                Congress SHOULD be the one to do this yes, but this and a lot of other far more important things (like say, budgets) no longer get passed by congress, so I'm not holding my breath for them to act on net neutrality.

                Politics is broken because it is too partisan. I saw an interesting poll last month where they asked Americans "do you support net neutrality" and about half the self-identified republicans supported it. Then they asked the question again, after stating that republicans wanted to eliminate this Obama era rule and half of the republicans who supported it the first time they asked changed their answer. That's tribalism in a nutshell. Its not just republicans of course, I'm sure with a different question you could get as many democrats to shift positions for the same reasons.

                As for why it is so partisan now I blame the internet, because everyone can cocoon themselves in a safe little bubble where they hear only one side, which normalizes extreme viewpoints. They vote for a like minded extremist in primaries and we end up with tools in office who think compromise is a bigger sin than rape or murder.

          2. sprograms

            Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

            The most pathetic thing Pai's change of the regulation accomplishes is this; It passes actually monitoring and regulation of internet services from the FCC to the FTC. The FTC has essentially no expertise in communications and its infrastructure. As for the notion that users of high-bandwidth-consumption net services make others pay for their high use: No. Under the NN regulation the Title II common carriers are permitted to charge for bandwidth consumption. They are simply forbidden to discriminate on the basis of which service the consumer is accessing. There is no reason the content delivered over the fiber matters, as opposed to the Gigs, is there?

          3. CrazyOldCatMan

            Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

            we were living in the dark ages until Obama saved us, via fiat regulations

            I've news for you - you were. Of course, he couldn't fix the primary problem - that in a lot of places, your ISPs have monopolies and can put in place any extra costs they feel like.

            Of course, in properly-run economies, things like internet access are subject to intense competition. So, despite the fact that I live in a mid-sized town in the west of England, I can take my internet service from about 80 different ISPs, with varying rates, costs and bandwidth capabilities.

            Which is still fairly backward compared to some countries where FTTH is commonly available, but still better than having to pay whatever the only ISP available wants to charge me and accept their TOS - even if it means losing the right to take them to court if they screw up..

          4. CrazyOldCatMan

            Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

            The fact is rightists will keep on taking power for themselves as long as no one stops them, and always "for the good of the Dear Leader' as defined by THEM.

            There. Fixed that for you.

        2. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

          The only thing they did was to throttle torrents? Did you RTFA? They blocked them and Google Pay to start with. There are other examples of them blocking (SIP internet phones), or throttling services that compete with their own offerings (video on demand).

        3. Criminny Rickets

          Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

          "About the only thing any did was throttle torrents"

          Other that block Google Wallet, as it competed with their own, or blocked video sharing sites as it competed with their own, or throttled online radio station as it competed with their own.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

          Did you read the article?

    3. Criminny Rickets
      Facepalm

      Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

      Government is not taking over. The Net Neutrality rules do not regulate the Internet, they regulate the providers of said Internet to do just the opposite of net regulation. Net Neutrality says that providers cannot do anything to discriminate against internet traffic, be it VOIP, video sharing, file sharing, gaming etc. It is basically telling the providers that just as the government cannot, they also are not allowed to regulate the Internet.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

        "providers cannot do anything to discriminate against internet traffic"

        Which prevents them providing a better service as much as it prevents providing a worse service. Left alone ISPs would provide the service customers want to pay for. The only problem is abuse of monopoly which net neutrality encourages by preventing suppliers competing with different offers.

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

          “Which prevents them from providing a better service”

          Utter tripe. They have carefully maneuvered things so there is little to no competition in the market, put up as many barriers as they can find to stop new entrants and are making money hand-over-fist milking their aging infrastructure. Nothing about NN prevents them from charging the user more for a better service. What they can’t do is charge different rates for the type of data rather than the quantity used, nor can they charge the provider of said data to service their users.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

            > "They have carefully maneuvered things so there is little to no competition in the market, put up as many barriers as they can find to stop new entrants and are making money hand-over-fist milking their aging infrastructure."

            Who is this they of which you speak? The carriers? Last time I checked, they had no legislative or police powers at all. You must be thinking of the corrupted local politicians who improperly allow some carriers to enjoy de facto monopolies within their sphere of influence.

            Would it not be better and more effective to go after that corruption directly? That is, assuming the end of the monopolies is the actual goal? Is it? NN may end the monopolies, but at the cost of removing free market forces. That's quite a side effect.

            Hmmm, perhaps striking a blow against the web's free market paradigm IS the actual goal of the NN proponents, eh? Whether they know it or not!

            And who wins when free market forces are removed from the carrier market? Why, it's Big Bandwidth, that's who. And strangely they are maintaining a very low public profile on this issue. Certainly no proponent ever mentions Google or Facebook in this context, except to wave off my assertions by claiming G+F are, quote, "the lesser evil" (I kid you not).

            1. CrazyOldCatMan

              Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

              Who is this they of which you speak?

              The monopolist ISPs. You know, the ones who have taken over the FCC via their puppet Agit Pai. The ones who have bribed^W bought protectionist laws in various states to prevent cities or states putting in publically-owned ISPs (even though the majority of the populace wants them - lets not allow the will of the people to be overridden by the corporations eh?).

              In other words, the *real* government in the US - the will of the corporations as expressed by their bought-and-paid-for politicians.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

            > "What they can’t do is charge different rates for the type of data rather than the quantity used, nor can they charge the provider of said data to service their users."

            Seriously, I thought it was exactly the other way around, that NN would prevent high bandwidth users from being charged more than low ones. Is this not a thing?

            And this "data type rate' issue you talk about does sound a bit shady, but isn't it really a separate issue that could be addressed separately?

            All very confusing.

            1. Steve Todd

              Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

              “I thought that is was the other way around, that NN would prevent high bandwidth users being charged more”

              Nope. Nothing in NN prevents an ISP charging based on available bandwidth and/or data usage. What it prevents is charging differently depending on where the data comes from, or blocking access to services. It even allows throttling of data like bit torrent, providing that it is done to preserve network integrity and it is applied in an even handed manor (e.g. you can throttle streamed video if capacity is getting tight, but you must throttle ALL streamed video, not just that from a competitor).

            2. InNY

              Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

              Let's make this simple for you. Large ISP without net neutrality: I see you are trying to access Limbaugh. To get better access, instead of waiting 3 hours to download his latest podcast, why not sign up for our Talk-Show package? less than the price of a cup of coffee per day, $4.99 a month, plus taxes and fees, for a 24 month contract). It's the only way you can access the great content on Rush Limbaugh podcast site...

              I also see your wife is accessing the local volunteer-for-whatever site. Why not make the experience better? Sign up for our "you are the backbone of our communities" package, for less than a cup of coffee per day? Only $4.99 per month, plus taxes and fees, for 12 months.

              I see you want to watch Sean Hannity using your iPad. To ensure a safe, continuous and reliable experience why not sign up for our TV-on-the-Web package? Only $19.95 a month, plus taxes and fees, for 24 months. It's the only way you can watch your favorite Fox News stars...

              We've noticed you are a loyal and active member of the Campaign to Re-Elect President Trump. Why not sign up for our Re-Elect President Trump web package? Only $39.99 a month, plus taxes and fees for 48 months? 5% of the proceeds go towards President Trump's reelection campaign. It's actually the only way you can access the Campaign to Re-Elect President Trump...

              We have noticed you are surfing the web using your iPad. We offer an excellent package to ensure your experience is what you have to come to expect. Only $3.99 a month, plus taxes and fees, for a 24 month contract. Your wife is using a cell phone to access the web. That'll be $1.99 a month, plus taxes and fees, for 6 months. We reserve the right to increase or decrease fees and charges depending on the prevailing market conditions. These fees are required as part of your contract to maintain our great service we provide to you...

              Oh, I see you are using a Linux-based computer. That'll be $4.99 a month, plus taxes and fees, for a 6 month contract.

              Your monthly bill now stands at a reasonable: $80.89 plus your normal monthly internet service charges of $79.99. That'll be $160.88 plus taxes and fees. Payment due within 7 days.

              Oh, you want to access The Register to tell everyone how great things are now? We have a special Technology package for that. It gives you access to all the latest greatest technology related news and websites! Excludes Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook. The package is only $19.99 a month, plus taxes and fees; access to The Register is a further $4.99 a month. They wrote something nasty about us last year. Yes we know it was true, but they were really horrible and made fun of us - for pointing out that we didn't look after our customers' data, do what we said we would do and for having leaky servers...

              Large ISP with net neutrality: you want what? Why you asking? Decent-ish access comes as part of your internet package. Nope. no extra fees or taxes or charges. But if you want you can purchase our higher speed package for an extra $9.99 a month. Still the same sort of reliable, sort of consistent access you have always enjoyed.

              You're very welcome and have a great day!

              1. Agamemnon
                Pint

                Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

                Bejeabus.

                THANK YOU for typing all that out (now I don't have to).

                UpVotre and Beers are on me...All The Beers!

                I appreciate your thoughtful response via very simple example. (Much Cheering)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Net Neutrality is not Net Regulation

          "Which prevents them providing a better service as much as it prevents providing a worse service."

          Yes, this would be the 'Neutral' part of 'Net Neutrality'...

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "It's moar gobermint control" goes the cry from the hard.of thinking.

      Otherwise known as a level playing field. Small ISPs can compete with big ones, large ISPs can't double dip, OTT providers aren't extorted. Or do you like oligopolies for some reason?

    5. Steve Knox

      Invented

      What ever happened to the idea of keeping the government's mitts off our Internet?

      It was invented by people who:

      1. Don't understand why Net Neutrality has nothing whatever to do with any government in se,

      2. Don't understand the origins and history of the internet, and

      3. Believe that the term "government" in itself is enough to create terror in the hearts and minds of all listeners.

      As such, it was summarily dismissed by rational thinkers.

    6. CrazyOldCatMan

      when the actual effect will be more government control

      You say "control", everyone else says "essential regulation". Much like water and power (other utilities) are regulated..

  2. Hargrove

    To break the code

    Federal law and regulatory language has become so arcane and convoluted as to defy logical analysis. Fortunately US practice now provides a clear and unambiguous way to determine the legal intent and effect of the language in the titles.

    Whatever the title says or implies in common English usage, the reader can--with near certainty--safely presume that the intent and effect are the opposite.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To break the code

      And this is why letting the government stick their oar into the web is a bad idea. No matter what they intend, the results will not be good or even what they claim they want.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Competition fail 101

    Competition may be fine when there is actual competition.

    When there is NO competition, things aren't so hot.

    What percentage of US consumers have access to, say, 3 or more ISPs in their area?

    What if they only have a sole supplier, like me?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition fail 101

      Normally a supplier for a rural or small town market will always charge more than in the big city, for reasons of greater overhead. Sometimes only one company is willing to take it on, and then they may be tempted to gouge customers. This angers customers and makes competitors take a second look. Over the long term the market dictates prices, not the suppliers.

      It only goes wrong when government gets involved, by taking sides. Some local governments have laws that improperly exclude competitors, and might even have secretly arranged such a deal with an ISP to lure them in. And now we are told that removing those anti-free-market laws is NOT the answer, no no!

      Instead we must have even more government intrusion, and not just at the levels with the problems but at the federal level. Directly controlling the price system itself! Woohoo!!

      Sorry for being so cynical, but I've lived a bit too long.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Competition fail 101

        And then a big ISP rolls into town and lowers prices till the small ISP goes out of business before letting the service rot, or if the town part or whole funded it then goes running to court with their lawyers to get it shut down now that they're best friends with the FCC.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Competition fail 101

        What about Towns and Cities providing their own Internet Service? I think this is especially important in cases where there is little or no competition and where Citizens support that idea.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan

          Re: Competition fail 101

          What about Towns and Cities providing their own Internet Service?

          In a lot of places in the US this is specifically banned becuase the ISPs have written laws to prevent it and used their bought-and-paid-for politicians to put it into law..

      3. Sherrie Ludwig

        Re: Competition fail 101

        "Normally a supplier for a rural or small town market will always charge more than in the big city, for reasons of greater overhead. Sometimes only one company is willing to take it on, and then they may be tempted to gouge customers. This angers customers and makes competitors take a second look. Over the long term the market dictates prices, not the suppliers."

        Well, Now you have just given the perfect case for government to declare the internet a nationalized necessary utility, and to take over putting up ALL the infrastructure to ensure that rural customers are served at all! Thanks!! The Tennessee Valley Project and rural electrification in the 1930s were the only way that the USA could get the electrical grid out to us in the boonies, and as a result everyone had access to the wonders of electric light, radio and later, television. The local electric companies still sent you the electricity and charged you for it, but the structure was already there. It worked for them because the government got the first structure up, then they got more customers, and then that gave them to capital to improve the existing structure.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm in favor of net neutrality, but

    How can they sue claiming the FCC doesn't have authority to use an administrative action to reverse an administrative action the FCC did a couple years ago?

    They should give up on this foolish lawsuit and pass state level laws that require net neutrality within the state of any ISP that wants state contracts. The federal government cannot stop them from doing that. With big states like NY, California and Illinois likely on board, ISPs would probably find it not worth the trouble to not go along with it nationwide.

    1. handleoclast

      Re: I'm in favor of net neutrality, but

      @DougS

      How can they sue claiming the FCC doesn't have authority to use an administrative action to reverse an administrative action the FCC did a couple years ago?

      Because that first administrative action complied with all the rules about the procedures that had to be followed between proposing an action and implementing it. Like consulting with those who would be affected. Things like that.

      The second administrative action ignored all those rules and procedures and just implemented the decision. The FCCs decision to make, but only after it had correctly followed all the mandated processes. It didn't.

      There are rules to prevent Federal organizations implementing stuff at whim. They have to follow a process designed to stop some corrupt fucktard fiddling with things, for example, to give his covert paymasters an advantage over everyone else.

      That is why there is potential for legal action here.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: I'm in favor of net neutrality, but

      How can they sue claiming the FCC doesn't have authority to use an administrative action to reverse an administrative action the FCC did a couple years ago

      Several reasons:

      1. The FCC are only supposed to do things for the public benefit and removing NN isn't.

      2. The FCC are supposed to listen to public comments (and put in effort to separate the bot-generated traffic) and it's quite clear from the actions and words of Pai that they are utterly ignoring them.

      3. The Republicans made a lot of noise about Tom Walker being 'unduly influenced' by President Obama but have no problem whatsoever with Agit Pai being puppeted by Trump and Verizon.

      In other words, in his rush to dismantle *everything* that Obama did, Trump has caused his agencies to ignore anything to do with the rules and procedures. And is paying the costs in the courts - much like his abortive 'muslim ban'.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: I'm in favor of net neutrality, but

      pass state level laws that require net neutrality within the state of any ISP

      So you have obviously missed the bit in the FCC action that would prevent any State putting in place NN rules..

      States rights eh? Wonderful if it's a Republican state wanting to retain its discriminatory rules to prevent the untermenshen voting inappropriately or not buying stuff at inflated prices from companies that bribe^W donate to the politicians but not OK when the Democratic State wants to protect their citizens from monopolist companies..

  5. Not also known as SC

    Translation Please?

    I'm having trouble understanding this sentence:

    "The order reverses 2015 rules that classified broadband internet service providers as telecommunications services, which made them subject to specific regulations – such as more prioritizing certain network traffic, such as its own video-calling system over Apple's Facetime or Microsoft's Skype."

    If I understand it correctly then the 2015 order states that ISPs must prioritise their own video-calling system over Apple's or Microsoft. I thought this was what NN prevented and what the new rules were going to allow. Have I got this all back to front in my mind?

    1. Not also known as SC

      Re: Translation Please?

      Three down votes but no one willing to explain what the sentence means. Does the abolition of NN mean that ISPs are no longer made to prioritize their own video calling systems (forced to by the 20165 order) as the sentence implies, or does the abolition of NN allow ISPs to prioritize their own video calling systems?

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "The FCC – the nation's broadband lapdog (of Big Cable)"

    FTFY.

    As a non-American let me see if we can agree a few things WRT to broad band access to the internet (although TBH it could apply to other areas as well).

    Competition lowers prices to the consumer.

    Lower consumer prices are a good thing.

    Monopoly suppliers of anything are a bad idea.

    Many parts of America have no competition.

    Many places have a monopoly supplier, whose installation costs were sunk decades ago.

    Some way (or ways) needs to be found to encourage competition (or even delivery) in these areas with no supplier or a monopoly supplier

    One option, with little or no cost to the Federal govt, would be to allow (not encourage, simply allow) local communities to set up their own ISP's* to be run to break even for the benefit of those communities. *

    While existing suppliers may wish to deny further competition that is a wish, not a right of those suppliers in a free market

    Yes I do believe that the US Congress could get agreement on the above, given (IMHO) the fairly mild criteria and general support for free markets (which I thought they are all in favor of) ?

    But IRL do I f**k. Monopolies never give up a monopoly (obvious or effective) without either a massive battle, or being given the chance to form an even bigger one.

    IOW "A local broadband, for local people." If they can't break even they go out of business. If their prices are too high people go back to the incumbent, like people do when there is real competition. If the incumbent drops its prices to an uneconomic level either its a)Predatory pricing (FTC violation) or b) It's been gouging the customers at the existing price level, and those (lower) prices should be permanent.

    If people want a better service they should always remember the motto of New Hampshire

  7. unwarranted triumphalism

    It's over

    You lost, dweebs. Time to let the adults run the internet now.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What competition?

    Where I'm located I have only one cable provider and no clear view of the southern sky for any dish.

    Well, there IS always CenturyLink......(Like I said, I only have one provider to choose from.)

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: What competition?

      "Where I'm located I have only one cable provider"

      And net neutrality will help it stay that way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And net neutrality will help it stay that way."

        No. When a company can increase revenues just modifying its prices to milk better its actual customers, it will do that instead of spending big in investments to look for new ones, especially when it has little or no competition in its market, and thereby price increases has to be swallowed by customers.

        Also, companies will be tempted to set up cartels to avoid too much competition, each busy to milk its captive customers, especially in areas where people aren't going to buy much premium services anyway.

        Actually, the right way would be to separate the physical network from the ISP, and have them lease the network and sell connectivity/services to customers. This way competitors can easily enter any market. That's what is being done outside US - US made the wrong decision to split among regional carriers, and they will guard their own turf.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: What competition?

      That was sort of my point.

      A hell of a lot of places it's a) No broadband at all or b)1 supplier who's the successor business to the company that installed the line decades ago and hasn't had to spend a dime on the line since.

      Depending on the box they may not have even bothered to send out an installer, just a parcel with "This is your new STB. Replace your old cable box with this and switch it on, otherwise your TV and internet is f**ked."

  9. LDS Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "The main complaint consumers [..] is not [...] their Internet service provider is blocking access"

    Till now...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Net neutrality does not belong in the hands of state AGs any more than it belonged in the hands of unelected regulators. This needs to be legislated by the Congress, which is working on it right now. Considering the massive public outcry against the FCC's action, I'm expecting that a clean bill will garner significant bi-partisan support.

  11. Mike Moyle

    "The FCC – the nation's broadband watchdog..."

    We had a dog like that once. Dad always said he was a great watchdog -- he'd watch someone steal everything in the place!

  12. NBCanuck
    Facepalm

    Plebiscite

    If FCC chairman Ajit Pai is so sure of what the citizens want, have it out out as a plebiscite and have him offer up his seat if his proposal is rejected.

    Too bad that is too complicated and too expensive to do. Once they can do them safely and securely online things will change. But then people will want to vote on everything individually, and most people are way too uninformed to make the right (for them) decisions. It'll be anarchy...ANARCHY I TELL YOU!

    So, ah....yeah.

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