back to article FCC plans to restore net neutrality rules tossed out under Trump

Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said on Tuesday that she intends to seek a vote to restore US net neutrality rules that were nixed by the Trump administration. Net neutrality in this context refers to the open internet policy adopted under the Obama administration back in 2015. The rules …

  1. Kev99 Silver badge

    Almost all internet data travels via the telcos. So it just makes sense that the ISPs be subject to the same rules as the telcos. And don't forget how much communication is done via Zoom, Webex, GoTo, Google Meet, mictosoft Teams and others are pure and simple communication platforms that, guess what?, are carried by the internet.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      t'internet is just TV. You get your internet from your cable company so can have the same rules

      That way Newscorp can make sure that you get access to all the internet that you need. While protecting your precious little children from all that liberals

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        What a shame so many people missed the obvious and clear sarcasm/irony in your post. I suspect that what happens in these cases is that one or two people missed it and that colours the perceptions of subsequent readers, leading to further downvotes. Probably the first couple of downvoters only read the first sentence

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          IT Angle

          Poe's law applies, unfortunately.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Since el'reg started letting Americans in. They really can't be trusted with something as dangerous as sarcasm

  2. aerogems Silver badge

    While I'm all for it

    This is the sort of thing that needs to be done like first thing under a new administration and then hopefully that administration gets a second term (and then maybe the same party is elected for something of a third term) so that you can cement it into policy, deal with all the pointless lawsuits, and get everyone to adjust to the new normal. Doing it now just means that, even if Biden is re-elected, if a Republican wins the subsequent POTUS election, they'll be able to tell the DOJ to just drop any defense of lawsuits filed by ISPs and then sabotage any regulatory efforts. I shudder to think what would happen if Trump gets a second non-consecutive term. I rather suspect torpedoing net neutrality would be pretty far down the list from Trump trying to install himself as some kind of dictator like Xi and Putin. At which point, I may just have to suck up my extreme dislike for the cold and move to Canada.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: While I'm all for it

      How can one possibly not support anything which Rafael Cruz opposes ?

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: While I'm all for it

      As a ruling by an agency rather than a specific act of congress, there is no way to "cement it into policy" no matter how long one party stays in place the other party can always revert it.

      BTW, keep your eye on an upcoming Supreme Court case - next year they may overrule Chevron vs NRDC from 1984 which would greatly limit the power of agencies to do .. well .. anything. Being unable to restore net neutrality would be the tip of the iceberg. Decades of rules about polluting the air and water would be struck down, and there's no way the republicans would go along with anything to prevent it given how anti-regulation they are now (or how they just want to watch everything burn and think their only job is defending the most criminal president in US history)

      BTW, why Canada? There's a whole world of alternatives out there, most of which don't require freezing your ass off half the year.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: While I'm all for it

        If you manage to get a policy in place and survive all the inevitable lawsuits, businesses will be forced to spend the money to go through the hassle of adapting to the new policy. Meaning even if someone comes along later saying we're going to go back to the old way of doing things, it would then require businesses spending even more money and they'd probably just rather continue on with the current system.

        And given all the things we've learned about Thomas' pay to play junkets and... let's just call them what they are, bribes, over the years, I wouldn't be at all surprised if what you predict happens. I'm sure that if ProPublica started looking into Roberts they'd find plenty there, which is why he is so resistant to the idea of imposing some kind of basic code of ethics for the court.

        Oh, and Canada because it's fundamentally the same culture and legal system as the US, just colder and more polite. I'm not a huge fan of hockey, but I enjoy the occasional period on TV now and again, which is more than I can say for basically any other sport.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: While I'm all for it

      Canada is quite warm when it's on fire

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: While I'm all for it

        Unfortunately it isn't on fire in January, when you need the warmth!

    4. JustAnotherITPerson

      Re: While I'm all for it

      Get your passport ready and make sure your finances are on point; Repubs are all in on "Project 2025" if Trump wins again. Project 2025 is absolutely terrifying: they, essentially, want to abolish the federal government, place Trump as the defacto ruler, and make Christianity (as a whole) the core principles of the country. They want a dictatorship.

      This isn't hyperbole, there are a lot of current GQP politicians that have signed up to support it.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: While I'm all for it

        I'd love to see the downvoter explain their reaction to this. Project 2025 is a published proposal from the Heritage Foundation, and a long list of the usual suspects have signed onto it. It explicitly calls for a massive increase in the President's power under the unitary executive theory1 and for replacing a vast number of key positions in the executive branch with gutless cronies. (I don't think the report actually uses the phrase "gutless cronies", but it's like a thousand pages of dreadful prose and I'm not going to wade through all of it.)

        It is explicitly a plan to institute an authoritarian Federal government, from a major conservative think tank. OP's description is factually correct.

        A number of conservative commentators have criticized P2025 on various grounds, but not as many as have endorsed it.

        1And, yes, I'm well aware that Obama was also a fan of the UET. It's equal-opportunity authoritarianism.

    5. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: While I'm all for it

      >some kind of dictator like Xi and Putin

      People keep repeating 'dictator' but theose are not. Its only because we treat these countries as 'adversaries' that we end up in "Four legs good, Two legs bad" mode. Far better that we should just carry on doing what we're supposed to be doing rather than eternally focusing on the other. Its become quite the obsession and while we chase our tails playing Cold War Part Deux others are making hay.

      Net neutrality is actually difficult to prove which is why we shouldn't have let that particular horse bolt from the stable. I live in a lousy area for cell coverage (hills etc.) so I've long been used to using WiFi calling at home. Then my ISP starts selling a cell package -- they want in on the game. My cellphone service gets spotty to unusuable. Can I prove anything? Maybe, with a lot of effort but even if I had the numbers to hand its unlikely I could prove anything to a regulator's satisfaction. But then I should never have to try. (So much effort goes into making things not work in the computing/software/comms biz.....)

    6. Eric Kimminau TREG

      While I'm totally against it...

      I personally prefer freedom from tyranny and LESS government control. Net neutrality and more government control led to the FIB, DOJ and NSA making backroom deals with the big media providers, collusion and corruption by telcos bribing politicians and eliminated rules that had stifled investment because they imposed utility-style regulation on the internet. You have 5G on that phone in your hand? Thank Trump for getting rid of Net Neutrality in the US. Has your broadband speed increased in the last 7 years? Again, thank Trump. You want to have your same current speed until the next Republican President? Keep voting Democrat.

  3. GordonD

    Why make new rules?

    IANAL, but it seems to me that writing new rules requires all kind of public comment and procedure, followed by years of legal challenges by red states and companies.

    In this case, since the Ijit(sic) Pal commission public comment process was so clearly flawed, could not the current commission find their own process flawed and hence revoke their own (2017) rule changes.

    That leaves any challengers trying to prove that the 2017 decision and everything leading up to it was spotless, and the adminstration just saying mea culpa ( on behalf of the Trump administration).

  4. Zola

    Ted Cruz

    What a total fuckwit.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Ted Cruz

      I'm like 90% positive it was Cruz who released a campaign video where he and his wife tell a story about how one time he came back home late at night for some Congressional recess or something. His daughters were rather young at the time, and they thought he was an intruder because apparently he was gone so much they didn't even know what their own father looked like. Probably would have been better for them to continue on in ignorance of that for the remainder of their lives.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Ted Cruz

      If you'd told me twenty years ago that in a couple of decades George W Bush would look like an elder statesman and voice of reason from a long-gone at least vaguely functional and rational Republican Party, I'd have thought you were out of your mind. Yet here we are, with Cruz and Gaetz and Boebert and MTG, and of course their figurehead bully. I was never a fan of the GOP, but good lord how they've fallen.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Ted Cruz

        It's a party that has been in steadily increasing decline ever since Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. Trump is basically the "logical" conclusion to what he started back in the 90s. A legislature that can't even get the most basic of shit done, politicians who care more about "owning" the other side than actually governing, and of course the perpetual campaign complete with the never-ending fundraising. Sadly Democrats saw that it worked, at least in the short-term, which is all anyone cares about in politics anymore, and started copying a lot of the tactics.

  5. Blister

    Net neutrality (NN) is a network technical question (parameter) become politicized. First blush it is easy to incorrectly conflate networking and politics. NN is about maintaining fairness 'first come first served' rules for internet traffic (packets).

    Lack of formal rules put Internet Service Providers (ISP) in charge of message priority and switching.. well may cause messages (packets) from targeted web sites to become lost or slow, censorship, unjustified price increases for internet service etc..

    ISP's Comcast, Verizon, CenturyLink , Cox, Sprint, Bell, AT&T etc... without Net neutrality rules we must count on the ISP's to do the right thing. Good Luck. ISP's own a number of our politicos and some content producing concerns.

    Without Net neutrality rules, ISP alone controls what packets get through, order and how fast.

    Example: ISP say company "A" does not like "" A would slow down or delete packets from/to breitbart. In essence the web page "" would disappear or perform poorly for A's customers and others.

    If the ISP's can't play nice they don't get to play at all.

    Even more important now now that ISP's have a financial interest in both messaging and content.

    Net neutrality is about fairness and treating all packets the same...first come first served and supports the consumer.

    1. Dimmer Silver badge

      “Net neutrality is about fairness and treating all packets the same”

      Could not agree more. The copy of the regulation I read said the same for the first page or two. When it went to detail, the content provider protection was specifically removed. They went as far as to name providers. The stated reason was it was evolving and they did not know the best way to fix it. It was all b.s. . We all can agree the solution is easy, if you are Comcast, don’t freaking throttle Netflix.

      The only thing the regulation called “ net neutrality “ did was to add more taxes to your internet bill. Just like your phone.

      If anyone is able to find a copy of the regulation that would go into effect, please post the link. If I am wrong, I will support it completely.

      I am a small isp, the last thing I want is being told who gets priority by the government . On my net, I don’t throttle shit and I always provide more bandwidth than I charge for. I have happy customers and they pay their bill. Maybe if the big guys did the same, net neutrality would not be needed.

  6. casaloco


    The problem is "net neutrality" discourages investment in new capacity, as there is no way to monetise it.

    You are simply creating capacity for anyone - including your direct competitors - to use.

    In the UK, laws like this held up the rollout of high speed broadband for more than a decade.

    1. kiwimuso

      Re: Counterproductive

      @Eric Kimminau TREG

      "You have 5G on that phone in your hand? Thank Trump for getting rid of Net Neutrality in the US. Has your broadband speed increased in the last 7 years?"


      "The problem is "net neutrality" discourages investment in new capacity, as there is no way to monetise it."

      What utter fucking bollocking bullshit!!

      Here in NZ we have had net neutrality ever since "the government" forced net neutrality by causinging the break-up of Telecom NZ into two, since they were playing the same sort of games. Charging more for other ISPs to use their networks.

      Now we have Chorus, who have been charged by "the government" to provide nationwide coverage of fibre to all homes and businesses without fear or favour. It's ONLY task is to supply the network to ALL ISPs equally. We now have a near nationwide network of fibre to the home, obviously the main centres got it first, but gradually building out into country areas.

      Telecom itself, now renamed for some unknown marketing reason, to Spark, is an ISP only.

      Funnily enough,the country is in the midst of rolling out 5G plus other innovations.

      So much for government regulation holding back innovation garbage. We have competition, you know the be all and end all of so-called American free marketeering, of the ISPs, NOT the network supplier. No throttling, no special pricing for their buddies, or whoever paid them the most.

      The USA might be capable of joining the real world of fast fibre and decently priced ISPs, if they allowed net neutrality, and instead of allowing private enterprise to control the whole shit show. Like the roading system, one agency provides the roads/network and allow the content suppliers to have at it.

      From an outsider looking in, and one who has worked and lived in the U.S, Trump brought out the very worst in U.S. politics, and [deity] knows most countries' politicians have a lot to answer for sometimes.

  7. Gravis Ultrasound

    Dear goldfish

    Do you remember all the horrors foretold in the Reg if Silicon Valley didn't get/keep their so-called net neutrality regulation last time around.

    We're living in the supposed no-neutrality-law dystopia right now.. Strange, where is all the pain we were supposed to suffer?

    The case for so-called 'net neutrality' regulation becomes even weaker with the first satellite swarm providing low-latency internet access in direct competition with traditional ISPs. All we needed was more competition and not more regulation.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only in America

    The world moves to getting TV and phone over the internet connection.

    And America tries it over the old style cable TV network.

    And why on earth shouldn't the government set rules for an essential service?

  9. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    This is one

    of the few places where I agree with the Democrats in the US. Internet service really should be regulated as a utility, and internet providers should treat all traffic the same Further, they should not be overselling theit networks, and should be providing what they sell, not "up to" and telling you that even though you lay for a 100MB connection there's no problem if you only ever get 50MB average so long as you get the 100MB every once in a while.

  10. Joe 59

    net neutrality isn't vying for neutrality. It provided none of the things you're fighting for.

    Cheaper broadband? Nope.

    Less censorship? Nope.

    It did eliminate competition and stifle innovation through endless regulation. So you got that going for you. But by all means, keep parroting whatever the party tells you to.

    Did the apocalypse occur in the years since it was scrapped? Are you paying more to access Netflix because Comcast doesn't own them? No.

  11. rshpount

    This was never about net neutrality

    Making ISPs a Title II service allows the FCC to impose fees on them ( One such fee is USF, which was suffering from a declining contribution base, resulting in 30% to 40% fees on any telecom services. Expanding USF to internet services will increase the contributing base drastically, allowing the FCC to satisfy its budget needs by collecting a much smaller percentage (like 2-3%). States and other locales will soon follow since they can tax internet services. This will help them fund emergency services (911), suicide prevention hotlines, telecom and internet to schools, and other services currently funded by telecom fees. All of those services are currently underfunded, with the telecom subscriber base and associated service fees declining.

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