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Verizon The Internet

Deaf Advocacy Groups To Verizon: Don't Kill Net Neutrality On Our Behalf 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-on-your-behalf dept.
Dega704 sends this quote from Ars: No company has lobbied more fiercely against network neutrality than Verizon, which filed the lawsuit that overturned the FCC's rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking and discriminating against Web content. But the absence of net neutrality rules isn't just good for Verizon—it's also good for the blind, deaf, and disabled, Verizon claims. That's what Verizon lobbyists said in talks with congressional staffers, according to a Mother Jones report last month. "Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea," the report said. With "fast lanes," Web services—including those designed for the blind, deaf, and disabled—could be prioritized in exchange for payment. Now, advocacy groups for deaf people have filed comments with the FCC saying they don't agree with Verizon's position."
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Deaf Advocacy Groups To Verizon: Don't Kill Net Neutrality On Our Behalf

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:40PM (#47512679) Journal
    I'm not surprised, alleging that the telegenic interests of assorted groups just so happen to be aligned with your bottom line is an old strategy; but this is pretty incoherent even by the low standards of the genre.

    Yes, if there were a fast lane, one could theoretically put special-deaf-packets in it (or just as easily shove them into the slow lane, if they can't afford to pay); but this ignores the more pressing question of "What, pray tell, is currently suffering for want of special bandwidth and how demanding must it be if your existing service can't cope?".

    I can imagine that certain disabilities might drive modestly higher bandwidth demands (the deaf, presumably, don't get much use out of VOIP, which is lower bandwidth than video good enough to make lip reading or signing an option; but last I checked uploading and downloading video wasn't exactly a niche case, even if it is one where Verizon can't seem to get Netflix working...); but nothing that exceeds the current or near-term demands of most internet users.

    They obviously won't prefer this interpretation; but just how awful is Verizon planning to make the non-fast lane if these special disabled services will need to be fast-laned to work? Anyone?
  • Pretty low (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sg_oneill (159032) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:42PM (#47512689)

    Exploiting the technical ignorance of elderly congressmen by lying about the technical needs of deaf folks.

    Its pretty scummy tactic. Unfortunately for Verison disabilities activists can be INCREDIBLY noisy when they are shat upon, so I doubt our deaf friends are going to tolerate this guff at all.

    Go deaf dudes!

  • Re:Pretty low (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd2112 (1535857) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:57PM (#47512775)

    Exploiting the technical ignorance of elderly congressmen by lying about the technical needs of deaf folks.

    Its pretty scummy tactic. Unfortunately for Verison disabilities activists can be INCREDIBLY noisy when they are shat upon, so I doubt our deaf friends are going to tolerate this guff at all.

    Go deaf dudes!

    Tomorrow Verizon will claim that orphans, puppies, and disabled war veterans will be harmed by net neutrality. And if the net is neutral, THE TERRORISTS WIN!

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @01:24AM (#47513291)

    Disability? Hardly. The webpages are just bloated, fat, loaded with useless information and pretending they know better what you want than you do.

    That's not disabled, that's the current standard of the western world.

  • Against the ADA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @01:42AM (#47513339)
    Not sure, but I'm fairly certain that making deaf/blind/etc pay more for specific fast lanes to ensure content that is easier for them to use MIGHT be against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I'm not sure Verizon was thinking this one through. The ADA has some serious teeth.

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