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Not sure if this has been discussed: The End of Net Neutrality. Obama said it wouldn't happen. It did.

Posted by on May. 9, 2014 at 8:57 AM
  • 17 Replies
This is very disappointing.

GOODBYE, NET NEUTRALITY; HELLO, NET DISCRIMINATION



In 2007, at a public forum at Coe College, in Iowa, Presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked about net neutrality. Specifically, “Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate net neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint F.C.C. commissioners that support open Internet principles like net neutrality?”

“The answer is yes,” Obama replied. “I am a strong supporter of net neutrality.” Explaining, he said, “What you’ve been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you’re getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web sites…. And that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet—which is that there is this incredible equality there.”

If reports in the Wall Street Journal are correct, Obama’s chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Thomas Wheeler, has proposed a new rule that is an explicit and blatant violation of this promise. In fact, it permits and encourages exactly what Obama warned against: broadband carriers acting as gatekeepers and charging Web sites a payola payment to reach customers through a “fast lane.”

Late last night Wheeler released a statement accusing the Wall Street Journal of being “flat-out wrong.” Yet the Washington Post has confirmed, based on inside sources, that the new rule gives broadband providers “the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers … in a commercially reasonable matter.” That’s telecom-speak for payola payments, and a clear violation of Obama’s promise.

This is what one might call a net-discrimination rule, and, if enacted, it will profoundly change the Internet as a platform for free speech and small-scale innovation. It threatens to make the Internet just like everything else in American society: unequal in a way that deeply threatens our long-term prosperity.

Some history may help explain the situation. The new rule gives broadband providers what they’ve wanted for about a decade now: the right to speed up some traffic and degrade others. (With broadband, there is no such thing as accelerating some traffic without degrading other traffic.) We take it for granted that bloggers, start-ups, or nonprofits on an open Internet reach their audiences roughly the same way as everyone else. Now they won’t. They’ll be behind in the queue, watching as companies that can pay tolls to the cable companies speed ahead. The motivation is not complicated. The broadband carriers want to make more money for doing what they already do. Never mind that American carriers already charge some of the world’s highest prices, around sixty dollars or more per month for broadband, a service that costs less than five dollars to provide. To put it mildly, the cable and telephone companies don’t need more money.

In 2007, Obama understood all of this. Without net neutrality, the result would be “much better quality from the Fox News site and you’d be getting rotten service from the mom and pop sites.” That year, he swore to me personally that he was committed to defending net neutrality. Unfortunately, his F.C.C. chairman is in the process of violating a core promise to innovators, to the technology sector, and, really, to all of us who use the Internet.



http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/04/the-end-of-net-neutrality.html
by on May. 9, 2014 at 8:57 AM
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Replies (1-10):
LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on May. 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh, were we expecting him to keep a promise?  I've actually almost forgotten why I ever believed in the man's snake oil in the first place *sigh*

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on May. 9, 2014 at 9:07 AM
1 mom liked this
That is horribly disappointing.
Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on May. 9, 2014 at 9:30 AM
I'm just surprised by this move. There's a lot of backlash. He'd have to know that.

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Oh, were we expecting him to keep a promise?  I've actually almost forgotten why I ever believed in the man's snake oil in the first place *sigh*

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on May. 10, 2014 at 12:37 AM
1 mom liked this

gdiamante
by Silver Member on May. 10, 2014 at 1:48 AM

It's a PROPOSED rule. Not an enacted one. And Congress will get the last word. http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/rulemaking-process-fcc#q12

Arroree
by Ruby Member on May. 10, 2014 at 2:11 AM
1 mom liked this

Yes yes, because we all know that all the president has to do is say no and that's that, that's exactly how it works...

*insert huge eyeroll here*

No matter how much Obama does or doesn't support something he doesn't actually get to have the final say and override everyone else.

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on May. 10, 2014 at 3:34 AM
1 mom liked this
There's a lot of drawl and little fact in that "article".
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on May. 10, 2014 at 4:48 AM


Quoting Stephanie329:

Obama’s chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Thomas Wheeler,

I'm not sure you can blame it entirely on him.   It gets voted upon.

(source)

Not long after FCC Commissioner Jennifer Rosenworcel asked agency chair Tom Wheeler to delay bringing his controversial net neutrality proposal to the table next week, another commissioner has also come out against the plan. "I have grave concerns about the Chairman's proposal on Internet regulation and do not believe that it should be considered at the Commission's May meeting," said Ajit Pai in a short statement. Instead, he urged the commission to spend its May meeting focusing on the upcoming spectrum auction. Previously, Rosenworcel expressed concerns about "rushing headlong" into a proposal without providing ample time for public response, but reports have suggested that Wheeler declined to take her advice.

Wheeler's compromise plan, drafted after a stinging legal defeat in January, hasn't satisfied commissioners on either side of the political aisle. Pai, an outspoken conservative, has called net neutrality "a solution in search of a problem," putting him in stark contrast to both Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, who promised to uphold a "free and open internet" in a blog post yesterday. Pai's views are echoed by Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who recently published an op-ed arguing that Wheeler's rules were based on Congressional authority that didn't exist. For many conservatives and libertarians, no net neutrality rules are good net neutrality rules, and Wheeler's proposal still attempts to establish a baseline service quality requirement. For more generally liberal net neutrality proponents, the rules let ISPs establish a "fast lane" for companies that pay for better delivery speeds.

The exact details of Wheeler's plan, however, haven't been released. They're supposed to be discussed at a meeting on May 15th, when the FCC will determine whether or not to approve a draft of the proposal. Protesters have already gathered outside the FCC offices ahead of the meeting, and over a hundred companies, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, have issued a statement opposing the proposal.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on May. 10, 2014 at 4:49 AM


Quoting jessilin0113: That is horribly disappointing.

I agree.   I think Net Neutrality needs to be enshrined in law.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on May. 10, 2014 at 5:28 AM
Obama and the DNC receive a lot of support from Silicon Valley and such. I politically don't see how the Democratic Party could support net neutrality without losing a key ally in its' political battles
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