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The Internet Wireless Networking Government

Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Taco Cowboy writes: The net neutrality issue has become a hot topic recently, but on the mobile side, net neutrality rules are absent. Why? The wireless companies successfully convinced regulators four years ago to keep mobile networks mostly free of net neutrality rules. Now that FCC officials are looking into whether wireless networks should remain exempt from net neutrality rules, the mobile carriers are lobbying hard to maintain the status quo. "Wireless is different ... it is dependent on finite spectrum," said Meredith Attwell Baker, the new head of CTIA, the wireless industry's lobbying arm. Baker previously served as an FCC commissioner. On the other side of the issue, net neutrality advocates are "hoping to convince regulators to include wireless networks more fully under any new proposed rules. They are pushing for the FCC to re-regulate broadband Internet under a section of the law (called Title II), which was written with old phone networks in mind. ... The FCC will be taking public comments about what it should do about new net neutrality rules through the end of July." You can comment by emailing to or go to file a Consumer Informal Complaint on the FCC's wesbite. Meanwhile, AT&T says that strong net neutrality regulations will ruin the internet.
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Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out

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  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @01:40PM (#47264983)

    ISPs aren't common carriers only because the FCC saw some of the issues that AT&T's CEO pointed out - Title II isn't perfect for regulating ISPs because of its origins as a means of regulating telephones - and tried to find a way to work around that. Unfortunately, the Circuit Court of Appeals ruined that when they said that the FCC had exactly three choices: Get Congress to give them explicit authorization to regulate net neutrality without classifying ISPs as common carriers, classify ISPs as common carriers under Title II and use that to regulate them, or don't regulate at all.

    Title II should still be implemented as a stopgap measure to prevent ISPs from ruining the internet. However, the FCC would probably need to selectively enforce some things which will probably be challenged in court and have a small chance of being won by the ISPs. This is why Congress should give the FCC the explicit authority to regulate ISPs and internet service, so that the ISPs can never hope to get their way again.

  • Re:Data caps (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phreakiture (547094) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @01:45PM (#47265039) Homepage

    Easy. With the exception of Verizon*, they can charge extra for things like tethering your phone. I'm sure there are other examples as well, but there's a starting point.

    (* VZ got their hands slapped for charging extra for tethering. They got slapped because VZ is using some spectrum which, thanks to Google's playing in the auction, has a net neutrality string attached to it. The other three carriers are not bound by this provision)

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