Apple Urges FCC Not to Roll Back Ban on Internet 'Fast Lanes' in Push for Net Neutrality

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,655
10,977



In a letter submitted during the Restoring Internet Freedom comment period, Apple has urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission not to roll back regulations that prevent "paid fast lanes" on the internet.

Image via Change.org. Apple logo added by MacRumors.
Broadband providers should not create paid fast lanes on the internet. Lifting the current ban on paid prioritization arrangements could allow broadband providers to favor the transmission of one provider's content or services (or the broadband provider's own online content or services) over other online content, fundamentally altering the internet as we know it today--to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation.
Apple warns that paid fast lanes could result in an "internet with distorted competition" based on an online provider's ability or willingness to pay, which in turn could put some customers in the "slow lane."
Consumers today seek out the content and services they desire based upon numerous factors, including quality, innovation, ease of use, and privacy considerations. Paid fast lanes could replace today's content-neutral transmission of internet traffic with differential treatment of content based on an online providers' ability or willingness to pay. The result would be an internet with distorted competition where online providers are driven to reach deals with broadband providers or risk being stuck in the slow lane and losing customers due to lower quality service. Moreover, it could create artificial barriers to entry for new online services, making it harder for tomorrow's innovations to attract investment and succeed. Worst of all, it could allow a broadband provider, not the consumer, to pick internet winners and losers, based on a broadband provider's priorities rather than the quality of the service.
In May, under the leadership of chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC proposed to roll back the Barack Obama administration's classification of internet providers as "common carriers" under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Apple is far from the only major technology company that has urged the FCC to reconsider its proposal. Last month, companies including Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Netflix hosted an internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality.

The FCC received a record-breaking 22 million comments from the public during the comment period, which closed Wednesday. The FCC will now revise and vote on the proposal, at which point it could become official policy.

Full Letter: Apple's Reply to "Restoring Internet Freedom" via Recode

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Urges FCC Not to Roll Back Ban on Internet 'Fast Lanes' in Push for Net Neutrality
 

NightFox

macrumors 68020
May 10, 2005
2,273
1,647
Shropshire, UK
My brain can't get past "...not to roll back a ban that would allow for so-called 'paid fast lanes' on the internet".

What would allow 'paid fast lanes' - the ban, rolling back the ban, or not rolling back the ban? o_O:confused:

ban that would allow for so called 'paid fast lanes' = fast lanes are allowed

roll back ban that would allow for so called 'paid fast lanes' = fast lanes not allowed

not to roll back ban that would allow for so called 'paid fast lanes' = fast lanes are allowed
So i think we got the wrong number of nots/roll-backs/bans in there :D
 
Last edited:

826317

Cancelled
Jun 28, 2013
460
4,323
Rent-free in your head
My brain can't get past "...not to roll back a ban that would allow for so-called 'paid fast lanes' on the internet".

What would allow 'paid fast lanes' - the ban, rolling back the ban, or not rolling back the ban? o_O:confused:
In essence it means that specific companies can pay ISPs to give its users faster access to their web services in comparison to competitors for example.
 

usamaah

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2008
188
286
Chicago
My brain can't get past "...not to roll back a ban that would allow for so-called 'paid fast lanes' on the internet".

What would allow 'paid fast lanes' - the ban, rolling back the ban, or not rolling back the ban? o_O:confused:
Rolling back the ban = allow 'paid fast lanes'

Most tech companies that are not ISPs want to keep the 'ban' in place. The 'ban' came into being under the previous FCC leadership, at which time Ajit Pai was still part of the FCC and was very much against the 'ban'.

The 'ban' was actually a re-classification of ISPs as utilities, if I understand everything correctly. Now that Ajit Pai is leading the FCC, he wants to roll back that re-classification, which could potentially allow ISPs to create 'paid fast lanes.'

His argument is that it is non-sensical to ban something that has never happened. Not that I agree with him, but in essence that is his argument. He feels that if any ISP did try to create paid fast lanes, and if the market in fact did not like this (or it was bad for the market), market pressure would sort it out. So if Verizon created faster lanes, in theory things would play out in such a way that this would not be favorited. Perhaps people on the internet and content providers like Netflix would create an information campaign to shame Verizon or try to convince customers to leave Verizon. Of course that's assuming your alternative ISP is able to provide service of equal speed. Most people have a choice between two providers, though Ajit Pai and company again think that's not accurate as you have the option of using 4G LTE ISPs too and that these are also broadband providers. Again, this is their argument, not mine.
 
Last edited:

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,128
6,003
My brain can't get past "...not to roll back a ban that would allow for so-called 'paid fast lanes' on the internet".

What would allow 'paid fast lanes' - the ban, rolling back the ban, or not rolling back the ban? o_O:confused:
It's almost like those who want to end net neutrality have tried to definitely not not obfuscate it as much as not impossible!

Apple is correct on this.
 

cmwade77

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
1,057
1,168
Here is what happens if the ban is rolled back:
  • ISPs will favor their own content, especially cable companies and such.
  • Streaming services, especially Video will have to pay for the fast lanes or be unusable.

And it WAS starting to happen when the ban was put in place, just not quite common practice for all ISPs yet, but many were throttling all video content that wasn't their own and it was indeed proven by using VPNs to get around it, but then they found ways to prevent the VPNs from working.

Overall reversing this ban would be bad for the consumer, bad for most companies, except ISPs, it would be good for them and ultimately bad for the economy as many of the smaller streaming services would essentially be forced to close up shop since their content couldn't be received.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
I understand the story, it was just that sentence that didn't seem to read right. Maybe it's just me though, it's been a long day...
No, it's not just you, I had the same hesitation upon first reading it. That was an ambiguous way of putting it.

What would have been clearer is, if they had written "not to roll back a ban on so-called "paid fast lanes" on the internet" or even "not to roll back the current ban, because such a move would once again allow these so-called 'paid fast lanes' on the internet."

Either way, it's imperative that net-neutrality will not be sacrificed for business gains.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arkitect

MrX8503

macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2010
2,280
1,585
Here's the thing, everyone wants a faster and cheaper internet, but how that's achieved is being totally obfuscated by Ajit Pai. He is lying to the American public that less regulations would mean ISPs would have more freedom to expand/advance infrastructure. Why would ISPs need less regulation when they have ZERO competition? Most Americans only have 1-2 ISP choices and that's the part Ajit Pai conveniently leaves out.

Why is cellular service costs decreasing? Competition between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Why is home internet costs increasing? No competition between Comcast and Time Warner. In fact they've agreed to not cross each other's market.
 

Defthand

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,351
1,711
Thank you Apple. We need more "big dogs" in this fight. I know Amazon, Netflix (eventually), and a few others have joined in. We need Google, Microsoft, etc. to help.
I’m all for net neutrality, but Apple’s endorsement is to be taken with a grain of salt. Given Apple’s own “pay to play” requirements for content providers to do business on Apple devices, their motives are hypocritical. Be thankful that Apple isn’t an ISP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: radiology

CE3

macrumors 68000
Nov 26, 2014
1,580
2,496
Here's the thing, everyone wants a faster and cheaper internet, but how that's achieved is being totally obfuscated by Ajit Pai. He is lying to the American public that less regulations would mean ISPs would have more freedom to expand/advance infrastructure. Why would ISPs need less regulation when they have ZERO competition? Most Americans only have 1-2 ISP choices and that's the part Ajit Pai conveniently leaves out.

Why is cellular service costs decreasing? Competition between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Why is home internet costs increasing? No competition between Comcast and Time Warner. In fact they've agreed to not cross each other's market.
Yes, lack of competition is the issue - not infrastructure (it’s an issue with cell carriers too). Lack of competition is why high speed ISPs continue to get away with being so consistently sucky and unreliable. In many areas you have one high speed choice and if you’re unhappy with the service there are no other options. These regulatory rollbacks will only strengthen these monopolies and prove to be absolutely terrible for consumers and the future of the internet as a whole.
 
Last edited:

euvnairb

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2010
194
143
Goleta, CA
I wouldn't mind net neutrality (as much) if people were given more broadband choices. In my small/mid-sized city we have one broadband cable provider (Cox) and one not as good DSL provider (ATT/DirecTV). If the net neutrality ban is lifted and either of these two favor some apps over others, then the end user is screwed because they don't have the choice to go somewhere else.
 

WarHeadz

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2015
900
5,167
Long Beach, California
I wouldn't mind net neutrality (as much) if people were given more broadband choices. In my small/mid-sized city we have one broadband cable provider (Cox) and one not as good DSL provider (ATT/DirecTV). If the net neutrality ban is lifted and either of these two favor some apps over others, then the end user is screwed because they don't have the choice to go somewhere else.
I think you have it mixed up. You actually support net neutrality, and it is the current standing policy. What you're saying is that you DON'T want net neutrality to be revoked.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.