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The Chiefs of Facebook, Google and Other Tech Giants Aren't Committing To Testify To the US Congress On Net Neutrality (recode.net) 46

Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix -- along with their telecom industry foes -- have not committed to sending their chief executives to testify before the U.S. Congress in September on the future of net neutrality. From a report: Not a single one of those companies told the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is convening the hearing, that they would send their leaders to Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks, even at a time when the Trump administration is preparing to kill the open internet rules currently on the government's books. The panel initially asked those four tech giants, as well as AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon, to indicate their plans for attendance by July 31. Now, the committee is pushing back its deadline indefinitely, as it continues its quest to engage the country's tech and telecom business leaders on net neutrality. "The committee has been engaging in productive conversations with all parties and will extend the deadline for response in order to allow for those discussions to continue," a spokesman said.
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The Chiefs of Facebook, Google and Other Tech Giants Aren't Committing To Testify To the US Congress On Net Neutrality

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  • Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @03:48PM (#54915999)

    It's already plainly obvious that Idjit Patel is going to kill off those rules come hell or high water.

    So what's the point of having a discussion? I doubt any of the 'tech leaders' want to waste their time with political theatre, having a bunch of politicians pat their heads and go "There there, it'll be ok."

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by PPH ( 736903 )

      I'm sort of on the fence about this. I'm in favor of net neutrality. But when my local ISP blocks the GOP's fundraising websites because "You gotta pay to play" I can live with that.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I'm sort of on the fence about this. I'm in favor of net neutrality. But when my local ISP blocks the GOP's fundraising websites because "You gotta pay to play" I can live with that.

        Hahahahahaha!

        You think "political donations" will not have rules about "must be treated fairly"? They'll write themselves the nice exception that ISPs must fast lane all political websites just like politicians are exempt from plenty of other rules that affect the proles, like telemarketing and anti-spam.

        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          ISPs must fast lane all political websites

          But how will an ISP know that it's a political website unless the site makes a contribution to the ISP?

        • They'll write themselves the nice exception

          That is what they did with National-Do-Not-Call. There is an exemption for politicians, so their robo-dialers are still legal.

    • Or the NSA has made a deal. We promise not to throttle your traffic under the condition you spy on your customers for us? You scratch our back and we scratch yours etc

    • So what's the point of having a discussion?

      Even if we want to have a discussion, these tech leaders are poor spokespeople. NN benefits tech companies but that is NOT why it is important. It is important because it also benefits the public. Billionaires are not credible advocates for the little guy.

    • They can sign their names to the guestbook for the right side of history and score some brownie points with the public...that's gotta be worth something.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      It's already plainly obvious that Idjit Patel is going to kill off those rules come hell or high water.

      So what's the point of having a discussion? I doubt any of the 'tech leaders' want to waste their time with political theatre, having a bunch of politicians pat their heads and go "There there, it'll be ok."

      The point of the discussion is to make the government look good. That's it. That way they can say "Look, we consulted with these people! The rules are going away!"

  • Shouldn't they be inviting the people to attend?
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Shouldn't they be inviting the people to attend?

      Corporations ARE people; the corporate-stuffed courts said so.

      I would like to see more consumer advocacy and consumer representatives testify.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Silly idealist. Only rich people actually qualify as people.

  • Why would they testify? All the big internet companies either peer directly with ISP's or they pay for CDN access. aka fast lanes. In the case of Netflix they literally pay the consumer ISP's to be their ISP by peering with them.

    • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @04:29PM (#54916353)
      And here is why the problem gets so muddied.
      First, a CDN is not a "fast lane" It is a copy once, share many server which alleviates the pressure on the ISP's peer with the backbone. In other words it saves the ISP money. Back when there was actual competition of ISP's they all welcomed CDN's as a means to serve their customers better and save money. Now that all competition has been eradicated the remaining IPS's charge content providers for the "privilege" of adding a CDN. Why? Because ISP's now own content companies that compete with the likes of Netflix. For years Netflix begged AT&T to let them put a CDN on their network for free but AT&T refused until Netflix agreed to pay for a "fast lane" The day they signed the contract Netflix throttling on AT&T disappeared despite the fact the CDN wasn't even in place yet.
    • Nope. That doesn't give them enough money to raise their shareprice.

      What net neutrality is if they want to double dip and charge both the consumers and the content providers twice and keep the difference and give the CEO

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @03:58PM (#54916105)
    you're going to have to put the sorts of politicians in office that support it. And that means people who believe government (and government regulation, which NN is) can work. Right now the folks in charge of the government don't think government works. They want to tear it all down and NN is just one more regulation on their chopping block.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The folks in charge right now *do* think government works. That's their problem with it. It's getting in the way of their continuing attempts to steal the country blind while giving absolutely nothing back to the people who are actually creating all the wealth they're hoarding.

  • Effectiveness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @07:03PM (#54917147)

    I didn't vote for the SOB either, but seriously...

    What's likely to get a better result?

    Discussing issues with the current administration, trying to convince them, maybe get a little of what you want?

    Or spend the next 3.5 years running around hair on fire frothing at the mouth shrieking "NOT MY PRESIDENT NAZI NAZI HITLER RESIST RESIST NAZI HITLER HITLER HITLER RUSSIA HITLER!"

    I submit that the first option makes you look reasonable and maybe gets at least some fraction of what you want.

    The second option gets none of what you want, and makes it more likely that you're going to have to be doing it for the next 7.5 years.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @08:22PM (#54917413) Journal

    I have for years been pointing out that:
      - The problems with network non-neutrality are mainly due to anticompetitive behavior by monopolistic, duopolistic, or cartel-forming ISPs, or vertical integration between the ISP transport operations and the operations that provide "content" and/or services (beyond commodity bandwidth) transported on their nets.
      - Technical solutions tend to push for treating all packets the same, which blocks traffic management (particularly between TCP data transport and media streaming, which do NOT play well together), rather than just anticompetitive favoritism.
      - The FCC is oriented around technical solutions and gets into trouble (and censorship) when it tries to deal with content.
      - But the FTC is exactly the kind of consumer-protection organization that can attack the meat of the matter with big guns.
      - IF, of course, the law was tweaked to LET IT DO THAT, transferring this aspect of regulation to it from the FCC.

    I had high hopes for the Trump administration on this. After the way Trump was treated by the media/ISP conglomerates (and the lefties of hi-tech) he has no love for them (and would LOVE to shaft the media moguls who have been flaming him non-stop with what he perceives as fake news).

    There was some talk from the administration about putting the FTC on the job, as the other half of killing the FCC's N.N. regs. But I haven't heard anything about it lately.

    Of course it's not something the news departments of the media conglomerates who own the ISPs are likely to talk about, is it? B-b

    • The FTC tried to regulate NN under Obama. The court ruled that the FTC didn't have jurisdiction, and that the FCC specifically did. Hence, the FCC rules on NN.

      • The FTC tried to regulate NN under Obama. The court ruled that the FTC didn't have jurisdiction, and that the FCC specifically did. Hence, the FCC rules on NN.

        Which is why I said:

        - IF, of course, the law was tweaked to LET [the FTC] DO THAT, transferring this aspect of regulation to it from the FCC.

The absent ones are always at fault.

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