FCC Votes in Favor of Net Neutrality Rules, Classifies Broadband Service as a Utility

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor by a 3-to-2 decision to enforce net neutrality rules that it claims will help protect freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet, reports Ars Technica. The FCC ruling classifies broadband service as a utility and prevents Internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic or offering prioritized service through so-called Internet "fast lanes" for payment.
    The ruling will reclassify fixed and mobile broadband as a telecommunications service, and Internet providers will be regulated under Title II of the Communications Act. The decision was heavily contested by Internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, which could sue the FCC in an attempt to reverse the new rules. FCC officials believe that Type II reclassification will give them more legal authority to prevent net neutrality rules from being overturned.

    While the new requirements are intended to ensure that the Internet remains fast, fair and open, the FCC did not follow through with last-mile unbundling that would have required Internet service providers to sell wholesale access to their networks. That decision would have allowed new competitors to enter local markets and sell broadband service using the existing infrastructure of larger providers such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
    The FCC's order on Thursday could be faced with legal challenges and action from Congress, according to the report, suggesting that debate surrounding net neutrality is far from over. The new rules will go into effect 60 days after being published in the U.S. Federal Register, although the Office of Management and Budget will continue to manage enhancements to the transparency rule.

    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: FCC Votes in Favor of Net Neutrality Rules, Classifies Broadband Service as a Utility
  2. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
  3. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon and Comcast try to sue this ruling into oblivion.
  4. MacQuest macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2003
    You See Dead People...
  5. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    This is insane. They can't keep themselves from regulating anything...
  6. ImAlwaysRight macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2002
    Always in the right place at the right time
    What exactly did we win? I haven't heard much about this...
  7. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    So "broadband" is a utility and must be net neutral.

    But didn't they also say "Broadband" requires a minimum Mbps?

    So basically they just made a huge disincentive for cable companies to upgrade the speeds so they can continue to throttle and be net-non-neutral?
  8. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2010
    GOOD! Consumer wins! Greed loses.
    Net Neutrality is fair and here to stay!
  9. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    This a definite win for consumers but they really needed to require the wholesale access so that competition can spring up in areas of monopoly service.


    Sure they can not upgrade their speeds. And watch Google and ATT Fiber take all of their business away. Honestly these sky is falling comments are ridiculous. Businesses exist to make money and will always do so.
  10. steve knight macrumors 68030

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    true the US is so far behind and far more expensive.
  11. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    I bet 99.9% of the U.S. population has zero idea of what this FCC ruing really means or how it will affect them personally. That includes me.


    Forgive me if I still expect to be royally screwed by Comcast every month.
  12. paulsdenton macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2010
    Barton, Vermont USA
    You can pretty much bet that if it's bad for Big Telecom then it's good for us.

    Now the lawsuits begin.
  13. brianvictor7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2013
    United States
    If I could believe for a second it would stop at this, then this is a good thing. I hope no one here is that naive. :(
  14. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    Net Neutrality is used as a power grab. This does not help us as consumers. It hurts us. Just another way for the current administration to tell you what to do and what's in your best interest. This is just step one.
  15. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    I hate Comcast, AT&T, TWC, etc.. they are all out there for money. The Internet should remain how its always been. Companies are using this as an excuse to hinder growth.

    For those of you who are complaining about being monopolized, talk to your local government and ask them to bring in more competition. My city has a dozen or so of ISP's available from TWC, Comcast, Surewest, Google, AT&T, Satellite internet, etc.. The people spoke and got what they want!
  16. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Please elaborate.
  17. MagnusVonMagnum, Feb 26, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015

    MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2007
    Get ready for your Internet service fees to go through the roof (FCC "fees"), your privacy to be invaded ("regulated") and monitored by government at all times and your free speech rights to go completely out the window in favor of concepts like "You can't yell FIRE on the Internet!" and your "real identity" must be used at ALL times or you will fined into oblivion.

    You see all this crap is under the pretense of a reasonable idea (i.e. net neutrality), but in REALITY, it means they will now go FAR FAR beyond just that one issue and eventually regulate every aspect of your online life. It may actually be a good time for someone to roll out a "private" alternative to the Internet that is NOT connected to it. It would also be easier to control in terms of hacking since you could not just get access anywhere on the planet.

    "We" didn't win anything. People who think they got something here have no idea the Pandora Box they opened. They will be able to regulate content and as Mark said, "decency standards". They can make porn sites 100% illegal. They can make Showtime and HBO illegal. They could require everything to be sanitized like over-the-air TV. They could make it so you can't get high-speed Internet because everyone has to have "equal" speeds. Everyone stuck at the lowest common denominator. It could be like the Communist Russia of Internet.
  18. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    If only I lived in some utopian dreamworld and believed that. This ruling is bad for the consumer. As are so many 'regulations'. Do some homework and find out the reality of it.
  19. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    an interesting take on rambling? He sounds a lot like the other puppets being paid by ISP's.
    The cable industry already has a lot of different regulations in place that help
    protect consumers from price gouging and other nefarious activities.

    Cause verizon, comcast, twc totally put the best interests of there customers first...
  20. pdaholic, Feb 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2015

    pdaholic macrumors 65816


    Jun 22, 2011
    I'm really interested to see how this plays out between Comcasts, AT&T, etc. with respect to the insane costs of internet here in the US.
  21. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    Ok then tell us how it's bad that corporations can no longer charge companies for data usage.

    We pay them for internet service and then they turn around and charged companies bandwidth ransom money for a service we already paid for.
  22. Aldaris, Feb 26, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015

    Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    yeah. The only the people want the government out of is the uterus... Other than that let the government take care of things, the average citizen isn't smart enough to handle themselves.

    Really let the private businesses handle this and let competition work for the American citizen and consumer.

    ... The argument that companies are lying for what we are paying for is flawed. The pipes or tubes are only so large (meaning capacity) if Netflix is taking 30% of that capacity then they have a responsibility to share in the expense-and the Internet providers also have a responsibility to keep investing in their delivery systems, increasing the capacity as technology demands.
  23. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One example from Forbes:

    President Barack Obama took the time this week to pressure the Federal Communication Commission (a technically independent government agency) to issue a set of net neutrality rules that he favors. Many others with a vested interest in equal internet access for all are also joining in the game of lobbying the FCC for their preferred solution. However, all the noise and poor analogies being used cannot make the proposed net neutrality rules a good idea. Rather, it is just another attempt at government control and enforced equality in a realm where that makes little sense.

    Net neutrality seems like a simple concept: the company that links your computer/tablet/smartphone to the internet should not be able to discriminate among users and providers in the level of connectivity service provided. That is, we should all be able to send and receive the same number of bits of data per second.

    This is a bad idea for the same reason that only having vanilla ice cream for sale is a bad idea: some people want, and are willing to pay for, something different. Forcing a one-size-fits-all solution on the Internet stifles innovation by blocking some companies from turning new ideas or business models into successful products.

    President Obama was quoted in his statement as saying that “We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.” Yet, oddly enough, President Obama is happy to pick winners and losers in the marketplace for energy services and ideas where he is working hard to make offshore drilling, coal, and shale oil losers while attempting to turn solar, wind, and other renewables into winners. He has similarly interfered in the auto market, both by spending billions to avoid Chrysler and GM from becoming losers and by forcing auto manufacturers to meet gas mileage standards which eliminate many possible car choices from the marketplace.

    The last thing we should want is President Obama or a government agency picking winners and losers on the Internet. And enforcing net neutrality is picking winners and losers even if it looks like it is just “leveling the playing field.” He may think it is not, but it completely blocks certain business models and stops any possible innovation that might emerge if given the option of seeking differential access to bandwidth.

    The key point that President Obama has missed along with all the rabid supporters of net neutrality is that ISPs and the companies that control the Internet backbone infrastructure that knits everything together do not have the power to pick winners and losers either. Consumers decide what products and services are successful because we adopt them. If an ISP blocks Netflix NFLX +0.97% because of the bandwidth it requires, consumers who want Netflix will take their business elsewhere. If enough people do so, the ISP will have to change policies or go out of business.

    As the former chief economist for the FCC, Thomas Hazlett, pointed out this week in Time, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter TWTR +1.77%, LinkedIn LNKD +0.65% (and many, many more success stories of innovation) all emerged without the benefit of net neutrality. In the time when the government might have been ensuring a level playing field for the Internet pipe into our homes, smartphones and mobile devices completely changed how most people connect to and use the Internet.

    The problem with government regulation of the Internet is that by the time the government studies how it works and what is needed, technology has moved on. Who believes that the government can write a regulation that will still fit the bill in three years when none of us know what the dominant formats, companies, and technology will be that far in advance? Given that the FCC has been proposing net neutrality rules for a decade with little success, why would we expect a change anytime soon?

    Also, we need to stop the poor analogies about net neutrality. Neil Irwin, in The New York Times, says it is like deciding whether Internet connections should be like electricity or cable television. His idea is that we all get the same electric service (net neutrality), but can pay for different levels of cable tv. Yet, in many places people pay for different electric service. In California (and other places), customers can get a lower rate if they agree to let the electric utility turn off their air conditioner during peak usage hours.

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654 February 26, 2015