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Major ISPs Threaten To Throttle Innovation and Slow Network Upgrades 286

An anonymous reader writes "In a letter released on Tuesday and addressed to the FCC chairman, a group of the U.S.'s top ISPs have warned that if the FCC re-classifies the internet as telecommunications, then innovation would slow or halt and network upgrades would be unaffordable. 'Under Title II, new service offerings, options, and features would be delayed or altogether foregone. Consumers would face less choice, and a less adaptive and responsive Internet. An era of differentiation, innovation, and experimentation would be replaced with a series of 'Government may I?' requests from American entrepreneurs.' They add, 'even the potential threat of Title II had an investment-chilling effect by erasing approximately 10% of some ISPs' market cap.' Ars Technica highlights earlier doomsday predictions by AT&T. The FCC is scheduled to vote May 15 on the chairman's recent proposal encompassing this reclassification option that the ISPs vehemently oppose." Reader Bob9113 adds that a protest is planned for the same day by those who oppose the FCC's plans.
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Major ISPs Threaten To Throttle Innovation and Slow Network Upgrades

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  • Less choice? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BilI_the_Engineer ( 3618871 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @08:10AM (#46997943)

    I have exactly one choice in my area, and many places in the US are the same. Many more only have two choices, with few having more than that. It's difficult to imagine having less choice than this.

    And upgrades? I don't know what they did with all that money they received, but they certainly never upgraded a thing.

  • less choice? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fakeid ( 242403 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @08:16AM (#46997969)

    How could consumers possibly face "less choice" than they do now?! I moved about three months ago and my ONLY choice for wired internet (and cable, for that matter) is Comcast. For two and a half of those months, I had no service and was fighting with Comcast. It sure would have been nice if there WERE another choice. It's also not like I'm living in the middle of nowhere - this is in the DC Metro! This is not a rare thing, at all. Where I moved from I at least had two choices (AT&T and a local Cable / internet company), but that's still not much choice.

    Regulation can only help at this point, because it will give consumers a leg to stand on when dealing with these people. I suggest anyone who thinks we DON'T need regulation should try dealing with Comcast customer support for a month, then get back to me.

  • Re:Fine. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @09:09AM (#46998379) Homepage

    If these big ISPs can not adapt, then they will die.


  • by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @10:23AM (#46998929)

    Don't forget the provisions -- that the telcos heavily lobbied for -- in the last major telecommunications act that made it legal for them to lock out all those smaller ISPs.

    IMNSHO, the anti-trust actions should have started the day the first Baby Bell was being purchased to begin the reconstitution of Ma Bell. It's time to break up AT&T again.

    And kudos to whoever it was who suggested that they (and the cable companies) need to divest themselves of any content creation companies they now own. Owning the pipe and the content seems like creation of a vertical monopoly to me. I don't need or want the ISP's "content". I'm struggling to think of any content that AT&T could provide to me that I would find valuable. In fact, I really don't want to deal with an internet service provider but, rather, an internet connection provider. That's what I have now through one of the companies that's managed to survive on the crumbs left over after AT&T started pricing access to their copper to the point that it killed off the little guys. It works fine although its tough to describe my connection as "broadband".

  • by mrbester ( 200927 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @11:44AM (#46999627) Homepage

    Funny how regulation of ISPs doesn't affect their profit margin too much for the rest of the planet...

  • by Chirs ( 87576 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:01PM (#47002563)

    A better solution would be to run the last mile as a public utility. You pay the city to maintain a single fiber to the premises, and then all the various ISPs could hook in at defined network access points.

    So your local connectivity would be within the utility, but anything beyond that would be routed through your chosen ISP...sort of like picking different long-distance providers for a phone subscription.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.