back to article US net neutrality bill is only two pages long. And that's potentially a good thing

Net neutrality legislation is back before Congress, and the latest bill – push by House and Senate Democrats – only does a single thing: it reclassifies broadband providers as common carriers.  Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Thursday introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act, which would label …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again they take the easy way out

    And leave critical protections to the whims of future administrations.

    While it's necessary to give the FCC or at least some governmental body authority over regulating ISPs, we also need to codify the rights to equal access for consumers, and make it explicit that those rights trump the ISPs interests where they conflict. There needs to be enough teeth that the penalties for ignoring them aren't themselves an attractive option. We tried letting these companies self regulate, it did not work, and the result included the companies spreading corruption all over capitol hill in the form of pay for play politics that wasn't even thinly veiled.

    We already saw what an FCC run by the major telco's did. Unless additional protections are laid down, whatever reforms the current FCC panel implements will be undone by the next.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Once again they take the easy way out

      "leave critical protections to the whims of future administrations"

      yes and no. Technology moves so fast that it makes nonsense to codify certain provisions directly into law. Secondly, the law makes FCC "de jure" responsible for regulating carriers, not only "de facto". That means anyone believing the FCC is not properly regulating carriers can take that matter to court.

      And, just generally speaking, I am a great admirer of writing laws that are short, simple, and understandable to the layman.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Once again they take the easy way out

        "And, just generally speaking, I am a great admirer of writing laws that are short, simple, and understandable to the layman."

        There's a bunch of lawyers waiting outside in the car park that would like to have a quiet word with you...

        1. Helcat
          Joke

          Re: Once again they take the easy way out

          "There's a bunch of lawyers waiting outside in the car park that would like to have a quiet word with you..."

          Yea! I'll get the cattle prods and bin bags :)

          Think it should be law that all laws should be short and simple, same with all bills put to parliament so people can actually read them and understand the purpose rather than be presented with a 1999 page document with so much waffle that you could feed the whole of Africa for a year, just to obfuscate the one page worth of text that tells you what the actual intention is as politicians generally can't be bothered to actually spend the time reading the darn documents in order to give an informed response.

          It's how bad laws and policies get passed.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Once again they take the easy way out

            >Think it should be law that all laws should be short and simple,<

            They should only cover one issue at a time as well. There are endless "Save the Children" bills that have nothing to do with saving anything, especially children and buried somewhere in the 1,000 pages give the authors a big pay rise which was the reason for it in the first place.

            Some legislation does wind up needing to be complex to make sure it won't be interpreted too broadly. In those cases, there should be a certain minimum amount of time between it being published to the lawmakers and when it comes up for a vote based on the page count with an increasing multiplier the longer it gets.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Once again they take the easy way out

        >Technology moves so fast that it makes nonsense to codify certain provisions directly into law.<

        If the law is written well, it's not a problem. Mostly it's a matter of not making any distinctions between the technologies past and present. Any privacy law enacted during the era of the telegraph should apply to communications via the internet today. It's not the technology that's being protected, it's the information being exchanged.

        In the case of net neutrality, it's a problem of changing the way laws are applied based on some classification of the information being exchanged. There shouldn't be any distinction between me using an online library for my studies, communicating with my doctor or watching a video. It's just 1's and 0's. The only measurement that should be allowed is the rate and the total of that data.

        Ajit Pai(d) was a useless tool that should have never been put in the post. He did an amazing amount of damage during his tenure. I expect he was able to ingratiate himself to a number of very large companies that will over pay him for consulting services or "talks" for many years to come. Every top politician makes these sorts of bad appointments so singling out Trump is rather petty. Plenty of examples can be made for every US President and UK PM. The EU is rife with useless eaters that are compensated way beyond their worth.

  2. FILE_ID.DIZ
    Holmes

    Just because a bill is light on words....

    ...doesn't mean it won't be heavily despised.

    For example, Section 230(c)(1) of the Communications Decency Act, also written by Sen. Wyden, is only 26 words long.

  3. HereIAmJH

    Wouldn't it be nice

    Wouldn't it be nice if Congress could do something productive without all the partisanship and drama. Small, incremental steps to getting back to doing their jobs. I say we put a 5 page limit on all bills until Congress manages to make significant progress. No more padding and back room deals. More developing trust between peers, less quid pro quo.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice

      Trouble is that just passes the buck. It would just say agency X is in charge of making the rules - without saying what happens if a president puts his kid in charge of the agency / or appoints some bigwig from the industry that would be regulated

    2. NATTtrash Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice

      It might also be more fundamental than that, i.e. the 2 party Anglo Saxon political model needs a much needed reform. Colonial nostalgia is endearing, but not very effective as we can see, and a bit backward TBH. Enhancing partisanship, pigheadedness and grid lock, and not the essence of politics (yes I know, I apologise) negotiating consensus, problem solving, solution finding. Just like it's easier to, if you loose a PM, look for a new one in a "democratic" process, involving just 0.2% of your total population. So yeah, let's talk about the problems to solve (cost of living any one?) which no doubt is troubling this 0.2% very much. ***

      *** Nope, don't hold passport of, nor live in these countries (any more), just commenting without being a part or product of it. So I suppose that kills the patriotic argument...

    3. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice

      I like the 5 pages idea, but there needs to be a minimum type point size specified too. Remember microfiche?

    4. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice

      > Wouldn't it be nice if Congress could do something productive without all the partisanship and drama. Small, incremental steps to getting back to doing their jobs

      You seem to think congress critters are there to serve you and your interests. While this was indeed initially intended this way, it has been a long time they are only there to serve their own interests*, so all that partisanship and drama are just a sign they're working their backsides off.

      * The interests of their handlers lobbyists are their interests too, since they profit from them.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wouldn't it be nice

        They should just nationalise Congress

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice

          You communist you!

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Spamfast
    Trollface

    Has anyone who has posted prior to me actually read Title II?

    If not, stop BSing.

    If so, can't you agree that it's at least a step in the right direction?

    [Disinterested party except when travelling.]

  5. rshpount

    Title II means taxes and fees

    Wouldn't this clarification result in defining intrastate and interstate internet, with USF fee (currently set at 33%) charged on interstate internet usage? Local usage will be taxed by every jurisdiction starting from state and all the way down to the county. This means if you send an email to someone in Small City, Lost County, State you nevet visited, these city, county, and state will send a communication tax bill to your provider, which will be passed to you as a tax recovery fee.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Definitely watch the wording.

    If "broadband" is made Title II, it would be too easy for ISPs to only offer plans that are slightly short of the definition of "broadband", therefore not covered under Title II. Change that to "internet access" or similar, so speeds have nothing to do with whether it's Title II or not.

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