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FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Posted 270

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-can-they-be-trusted dept.
ArmyofGnomes writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski delivered Monday on President Obama's promise to back 'net neutrality' — but he went much further than merely seeking to expand rules that prohibit ISPs from filtering or blocking net traffic by proposing that they cover all broadband connections, including data connections for smartphones. Genachowski stated: 'I understand the Internet is a dynamic network and that technology continues to grow and evolve. I recognize that if we were to create unduly detailed rules that attempted to address every possible assault on openness, such rules would become outdated quickly. But the fact that the Internet is evolving rapidly does not mean we can, or should, abandon the underlying values fostered by an open network, or the important goal of setting rules of the road to protect the free and open Internet. ... In view of these challenges and opportunities, and because it is vital that the Internet continue to be an engine of innovation, economic growth, competition and democratic engagement, I believe the FCC must be a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet.'"
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FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Posted

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  • Server vs. client (Score:5, Informative)

    by suso (153703) * on Monday September 21, 2009 @01:44PM (#29494633) Homepage Journal

    As a web hosting provider, I feel that they've left an important part of it out, the server side. At what point does net neutrality apply to me? They need to define this before they make any laws. Otherwise rules could be applied to things that they shouldn't.

  • Re:priority (Score:3, Informative)

    by shentino (1139071) on Monday September 21, 2009 @01:52PM (#29494763)

    I would not mind if ISPs used the DoD prescribed Traffic Class/TOS/Priority mechanism as it was originally designed.

    I also would not mind if TV/voice packets got the higher priorities.

    In fact, I'd rather it be done that way.

  • Re:Server vs. client (Score:5, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday September 21, 2009 @01:55PM (#29494823)

    As a web hosting provider, I feel that they've left an important part of it out, the server side. At what point does net neutrality apply to me?

    Network neutrality principles apply to the people providing the pipes. Both "servers" and "clients" are users, not providers, in the context of the network neutrality rules, and so are not the subjects of them, just the intended beneficiaries. While the new speech adds two new principles, and discusses extending application of the principles into providing mobile internet as well as traditional providers, there is no indication of any change of focus.

    They need to define this before they make any laws.

    Congress makes laws. The FCC, within the area of regulatory authority granted by Congress, makes regulations.

  • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 21, 2009 @01:57PM (#29494849)

    No, because that isn't a case of net neutrality but a case of copyright silliness.

    Net Neutrality (proper net neutrality) means that Hulu should Hulu ever be 'allowed' to service Canada, you won't have to worry about still not being able to access it because Hulu chose not to pay grift to the five telcom/ISP companies between Hulu's hosting provider and you.

  • Re:Rad! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:13PM (#29495081)
    Before the people which you're trolling get here... 1) The department already exists, it was the head of that department who gave the speech; congress has nothing to do with it as it's already the law for the FCC to regulate communication lines and has been since its inception, oh, a hundred odd years ago. 2) The problem exists; denial ain't just a river in Egypt. DNS hijacking is just a tip of a very big iceberg if you care to look. 3) You have no idea what "behest" means; try not to use it until you do.
  • by Hatta (162192) * on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:23PM (#29495201) Journal

    It's not your ISP (or Hulu's ISP) that is prohibiting you from viewing Hulu. It's Hulu themselves (at the behest of content creators). That's not a network neutrality issue.

  • Re:priority (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:26PM (#29495223) Journal

    QoS is fine. Network neutrality only means that you throttle all high bandwidth applications the same way, regardless of who is using them.

  • by blueg3 (192743) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:44PM (#29495445)

    In many, if not most, parts of the US, you can't switch companies, because there's no competition. The worst case for an ISP not routing traffic the way you want is that nobody creates a competing ISP, because there isn't sufficient economic benefit, and you're stuck with whatever your current ISP feels like. The best case with the FCC is that people convince their political representatives to change the FCC regulations.

  • No, it would mean nothing like that at all.

    It would be similar to common-carrier telephone rules. Telephone providers are not allowed, for example, to prevent or degrade calls their customers make to the phone number of a competing telephone provider or a telephone consumer complaint hotline. They must give all calls the same prioritization and quality of service (with a few exceptions, such as a call to an emergency number).

    Nothing in common-carrier law, however, means that the person at the other end must accept your call or do what you ask if they do. The server is the person receiving the phone call in our scenario, not the phone company. It is not required to accept your connection or do anything in particular with it if it does, and it may determine authorization to use any given service by any (otherwise legal) criteria. Its owner may choose to serve the public at large, it may choose to serve only those who pay, it may choose to serve only those who concurrently subscribe to a different service like a magazine or pay TV provider, or it may serve only residents of a certain country. These restrictions can generally be sidestepped, of course, but it doesn't violate net neutrality for them to attempt to implement them, any more than it violates common carrier law for me not to answer unexpected calls from 800 numbers.

    All net neutrality ensures is that if that computer at the other end does wish to accept your connection, your ISP (the telephone company, in our analogy), cannot interfere with them doing so based upon whose server it is or misuse network restrictions to favor one person's data over another's.

  • Re:Server vs. client (Score:5, Informative)

    by debrain (29228) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:21PM (#29495979) Journal

    Congress makes laws. The FCC, within the area of regulatory authority granted by Congress, makes regulations.

    Sir - As a matter of clarification, Congress makes U.S. federal legislation; While Congress can create laws, it is not the only way to create laws, and it is not able to make certain laws (e.g. unconstitutional or extraterritorial laws).

    Legislation and regulation are both sources of primary law [northwestern.edu], which primary law both lawyers and laymen professionally and colloquially refer to as "the law".

    Thus, insofar as the FCC has regulatory authority granted by Congress, it is able to create laws.

    (It is noteworthy that not all laws are created equal; where legislative statues irreconcilably contradict regulations, for example, the law of the statute will generally govern.)

  • by rocr69 (1246738) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:27PM (#29496059)

    I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC. If I don't like the way a company is routing their traffic I can at least switch companies. If the FCC gets involved and they do something stupid there is no alternative. The worst case for a business blocking/routing traffic is that someone else creates a competing ISP.

    The profiteers took the government's money, our money, while demanding competitive considerations (ie monopolies) and promised us all super fast, super cheap internet would be here three years ago. They're lying whores that can't be trusted to even act in their own interests let alone ours.

  • Re:Server vs. client (Score:3, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:40PM (#29496217)

    Mostly criminal vs. civil prosecution. The FCC can fine the bejeezus out of you, but it takes an act of congress to make whatever you're doing land you in prison.

    That's actually not generally correct as to the difference between law and regulation. Violation of a regulation can be a criminal act, and plenty of laws that don't require regulatory action to put into concrete form establish only civil penalties. Sure, the former do take "an act of congress" to give the regulatory agency authority to make the regulation in the first place, but that's true of regulations in general whether violations or criminal or civil.

    (Incidentally, "fines" are generally a criminal penalty, civil money awards are usually "damages". While going to prison requires a criminal conviction, the fact that a penalty is purely monetary doesn't mean that the offense wasn't criminal.)

  • by CyprusBlue113 (1294000) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:49PM (#29496329)
    As an ISP, I call bullshit. In fact, the major carrier ILECs were even already paid to expand their network and they didn't.
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday September 21, 2009 @04:08PM (#29496595)

    I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC.

    You don't have to trust the FCC to think the FCC should use network neutrality principles as a basis for the exercise of its existing rulemaking authority, anymore than you have to trust the FCC to think that the FCC should not use network neutrality principles as a basis for the exercise of its existing rulemaking authority.

  • by Idiomatick (976696) on Monday September 21, 2009 @04:42PM (#29496999)
    People confuse free market capitalism with no government interference capitalism.

    The first one the dems completely agree with, even the NDP in Canada agree with. It means that the government exerts its power and control to create as much fair competition as possible creating a marketplace that is very efficient, using the best capitalism has to offer.

    The second is people failing to understand capitalism and government interaction and assume free means free from government control. The far right sometimes mistakenly regards any form of government control over the market as socialism. If we actually allowed this to happen then the economy would collapse in weeks. The biggest company would buy all the others and then have near unlimited wealth, buy off all the politicians and run the country like a slave state all working without rest to create a giant pile of gold for our glorious CEO.

    Same thing happens with the internet and if they don't get it for the economy they won't ever understand the principles on the internet.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21, 2009 @09:28PM (#29499557)
    That explains everything. AT&T averaged 7th place over the years but last year they were down at 14th. Genachowski is just shaking them down because he knows they could contribute more!

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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