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The Internet Communications Government Network United States

129 Million Americans Can Only Get Internet Service From Companies That Have Violated Net Neutrality (vice.com) 143

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Based on the Federal Communications Commission's own data, the Institute for Local Self Reliance found that 129 million Americans only have one option for broadband internet service in their area, which equals about 40 percent of the country. Of those who only have one option, roughly 50 million are limited to a company that has violated net neutrality in some way. Of Americans who do have more than one option, 50 million of them are left choosing between two companies that have both got shady behavior on their records, from blocking certain access to actively campaigning against net neutrality.

Aside from being a non-ideal situation for consumers like me, this lack of competition is another dock against the FCC's plan to repeal net neutrality rules later this week. In arguing against net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has repeatedly cited a free market as just as capable of ensuring internet freedom as government regulations. "All we are simply doing is putting engineers and entrepreneurs, instead of bureaucrats and lawyers, back in charge of the internet," Pai said on Fox News's "Fox & Friends," in November. "What we wanted to do is return to the free market consensus that started in the Clinton administration and that served the internet economy in America very well for many years." But how can market competition regulate an industry when more than a third of the market has no competition at all, and even those that do have to choose between options that don't uphold net neutrality?

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129 Million Americans Can Only Get Internet Service From Companies That Have Violated Net Neutrality

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  • It's OK! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:05AM (#55723535)

    All they have to do is stop promising to uphold Net Neutrality precepts, and then they're totally in the clear.

    The important thing here is that Trump's rich friends will milk some more money from the not-rich in return for degraded services; this is good for the average person somehow.

    • Re: It's OK! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:25AM (#55723653) Homepage
      A minor correction: Nobody, and I mean *nobody* is Trump's friend. He does however have associates who tolerate him because there is something in it for them.
      • Re: It's OK! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:29AM (#55723685)

        Correction accepted, and the only reason I do so reluctantly is because I'm annoyed I missed that point on the first go.

        I think it's a one-way issue with Trump, though. He doesn't have friends because he doesn't understand that loyalty means something other than, 'serves the current interests of Donald Trump'.

        What's shocking is the number of people willing to jump on the Trump train and take a bullet for him in hopes of being rewarded. You'd think the pile of bodies you have to climb over to get into Trump's circle would clue you in to your odds of success being poor.

        • What's shocking is the number of people willing to jump on the Trump train and take a bullet for him in hopes of being rewarded. You'd think the pile of bodies you have to climb over to get into Trump's circle would clue you in to your odds of success being poor.

          At least with Trump it's not literal.

          • At least with Trump it's not literal.

            Way to put a positive spin on it. You can say, "at least he's not Stalin!" about pretty much anyone.

            • Not only am I not Stalin, I'm also not Tojo, Leopold II, or Hitler.

              I'm not one of those who puts Trump in the same category as those monsters. I AM one of those who says he shares some disturbing similarities with them, and thinks that you have to be really careful about tolerating that kind of shit.

              When someone tries to rally support by choosing minorities to scapegoat indiscriminately, lies without any trace of guilt about it, supresses the free press, believes themselves above the law, pushes for punish

            • I think the inference of a real pile of bodies is most recently seth rich.

    • All they have to do is stop promising to uphold Net Neutrality precepts, and then they're totally in the clear.

      And with that, the latest silly meme has officially jumped threads. Do you really, REALLY believe that? [slashdot.org]

      • They're ignoring the problems now, what makes you believe they won't ignore the problems to come? I mean, we only have history to look at to show what has actually happened in the recent past.

        What magic crystal ball do you have access to that shows that history won't be repeated in spite of every indication it will be?

        So yes, I really believe that, and yes, I think you're a fool for not believing it.

        • They're ignoring the problems now, what makes you believe they won't ignore the problems to come?

          Which "they"? Which problems? Every time I ask this, people finally end up admitting (grudgingly or not) that there are no actual problems right now. Will you be the first to buck the trend?

          I mean, we only have history to look at to show what has actually happened in the recent past.

          Who knows what specific events you're referring to, but here's the FTC's detailed analysis [ftc.gov] of the net neutrality debate and ways the FTC could protect consumers if the boogeyman ever actually makes it out from under the bed, including an extensive section on enforcement options under the antitrust law framework. If y

          • I can fix the whole Net Neutrality issue in a very simple, easy to understand way. The problem of Net Neutrality, is the problem caused by lack of choice due to Franchise agreements for the last mile. Fix the last mile choice problem, and all the anti-Net Neutrality boogiemen go away.

            The fix is to give choice to the consumer (last mile) via building out infrastructure in such a way that any vendor can deliver their products and services to any user at the end of the last mile.

            But instead of solving the prob

            • The fix is to give choice to the consumer (last mile) via building out infrastructure in such a way that any vendor can deliver their products and services to any user at the end of the last mile.

              I agree that sort of approach makes a lot of sense in principle, and that's already the case for telecom copper and fiber. So-called Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs, like Windstream) lease lines from Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs, like AT&T). There's a decent discussion of how that has played out in the fiber world here [ustelecom.org] starting on page 7.

            • by skam240 ( 789197 )

              Way to not understand reality! The franchise agreements were generally a way of getting private enterprise to connect people when it wasn't immediately profitable for private enterprise. It was government trying to make private enterprise work for everyone.

              Really, for such an essential service it should have been government providing it much like water, law enforcement, or schooling.

              Private enterprise would never ever work on its own to connect everyone without government help. There's no money to be made i

    • milking the internet herd for 100's of billions is legendary, and ongoing for decades.

      https://www.huffingtonpost.com... [huffingtonpost.com]

  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:09AM (#55723553)

    Where we live and in most municipalities, I believe, broadband is regulated by the city. In the city where we live, when Comcast wanted to move in, city council wouldn't let them until another provider could also move in.

    Want to fix the problem in rural areas? The federal government owns more than half of the available RF spectrum. Free up some so we can get wireless broadband going.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Where we live and in most municipalities, I believe, broadband is regulated by the city. In the city where we live, when Comcast wanted to move in, city council wouldn't let them until another provider could also move in.

      Your not sure if broadband is regulated but your sure they blocked comcast until they had two providers? A link would be nice. Still, if your city is acting stupid, elect better city leaders. Then again it is comcast.

      Net neutrality doesn't require engineers to work harder. It is the default configuration of standard network equipment. It requires less equipment.

      Companies don't divert from network neutrality to make a simpler network. They do it to make a more profitable one, because ISPs want more sou

      • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

        Your not sure if broadband is regulated but your sure they blocked comcast until they had two providers?

        Not sure if it's regulated by the city in other municipalities. In our entire state, it's on a city-by-city basis. Could be different in other states. I'm sure of it because I remember it happening.

        A link would be nice.

        This happened in the 1980s. A link would be to drive to the local library and look up the local newspaper on microfilm. In any case we have WOW, Comcast, and AT&T available. It wasn't originally WOW, it was another local cable provider (one of the first in the area) that WOW bought out.

        Still, if your city is acting stupid, elect better city leaders.

        My point exactly.

        • Where we live and in most municipalities, I believe, broadband is regulated by the city. In the city where we live, when Comcast wanted to move in, city council wouldn't let them until another provider could also move in.

          This happened in the 1980s.

          Uhm... I'm pretty sure the technology for cable internet didn't exist until the 90's [wikipedia.org]. I'm also pretty sure you meant Comcast wanted to move in as a TV provider and the city held them off, but you need to make that more clear in your posts or people will think you're just making shit up when your apparent claims don't align with reality.

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      Wireless doesn't have the throughput. Not only that, you're still going to have the same problem of who's going to run the towers. It'll be the same monopolies.

      Shit sandwich or shit taco. Either way, you're just going to wind up with shit.

      • Wireless doesn't have the throughput. Not only that, you're still going to have the same problem of who's going to run the towers. It'll be the same monopolies.

        Shit sandwich or shit taco. Either way, you're just going to wind up with shit.

        Yes it does. He is talking about freeing up legacy TV spectrum for 5g wireless. Properly designed it would have much more throughput.

        The reason you live with cable monopolies or duopolies is because the local government requires it. That was the tradeoff to get investment in infrastructure.

        Of course we also have the specter of at least two satellite constellations in the near future. Monopolies have a way of collapsing without government protection. Of course they also tend to have the resources to b

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The investment costs to get solid high-bandwidth 5g in rural areas are incredibly high. You can get fiber-comparable 1GBps on relatively flat ground within 2km of a cell tower. Trouble is that you're often 2-5x that distance from a tower in rural areas, unlike in urban areas where you're typically far closer than 2km. Added to the signal attenuation losses for distance, there is also the issue of inclement weather impact. Precipitation causes some attentuation but in tower-dense areas the effect is mino

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Towers are run by 3rd party companies like American Tower.

        It makes a lot more financial sense for one company to own a tower and rent antenna space to several providers rather than several mobile companies each building redundant towers.

        • by thule ( 9041 )
          I seem to recall an announcement by Sprint a couple of years ago where they sold off their towers and now lease them from a tower company. Only problem with American Tower is that they are HUGE player and therefore mainly like dealing with other large players. Ham radio people don't seem to like dealing with them.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vivian ( 156520 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @09:28AM (#55724047)

      The real problem is not net neutrality (or lack thereof), the problem is that the wonderful power of the free market is being expected to solve a problem that it fundamentally can not solve in an efficient way.

      It never makes sense to have competing physical layers of network infrastructure.
      In the same way that it would be nonsensical to have competing road networks, or water distribution networks or electrical distribution networks in the same area, it is also stupid to try and have physical data networks competing. The physical media layer for the "last mile" (or however many it is from an exchange) should be in government hands, controlled in the same way that road and water networks are, but with any number of service providers being able to provide service from the end point, with a level playing field for the access to the physical media layer.

      The services ON those networks should most definitely be privately held - and also made available on a level playing field.
      In the same way that whether you are a country resident or a city resident, you play the same amount of registration and fuel tax, giving you equal access to roads, you should have equal access to the internet too.
      If you want a parcel delivered, you have a choice of couriers available - can get FedEX ot DHL or UPS to deliver it, and they all use the same roads, with the same fixed cost for road access, competing with each other.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        It never makes sense to have competing physical layers of network infrastructure.

        This is incorrect. It's simply a financial calculation. If I have an apartment building with 200 units, it definitely makes financial sense for several providers to connect to the network in the building's basement. If I have a mountain farmhouse, it probably makes no sense for any provider to connect to my network.

        There are 320 million Americans. If 40% have only 1 provider, then 60% have more (or less) than one. How does that happen if redundant infrastructure never, ever makes sense?

        • by vivian ( 156520 )

          Acccording to this report,
          https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/06/50-million-us-homes-have-only-one-25mbps-internet-provider-or-none-at-all [arstechnica.com] only 20% of houses have access to more than two providers for high speed, with much less than 20% of houses having more than two providers for lower speeds.

          A duopoly is hardly what you could call good competition.

          A secondary problem is that government agencies (for example, various municipal or local governments) are also being actively blocked fr

        • by dryeo ( 100693 )

          If 40% have only 1 provider, then 60% have more (or less) than one. How does that happen if redundant infrastructure never, ever makes sense?

          because historically there was 2 types of infrastructure. The phone line running over twisted copper wires delivering phone service and cable running over co-axial delivering TV service. Two separate types of infrastructure delivering different services.
          Then with their existing infrastructure and some tweaks, they both started delivering the Internet.
          In other words, the infrastructure was put in for different reasons then leveraged for internet.

      • This is not a problem with the free market. There is no free market at play here. These cable and phone companies have government-granted monopolies for last mile service. There is no free market competition for these services because the government has prohibited it.

        You are correct that it's inefficient to have multiple physical networks covering the same area. But in the beginning, nobody knew what was the best way to wire up all these homes. So the government stepped in to prevent every Joe cable
  • Anti-democratic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:11AM (#55723565)

    It's not that hard a concept to grasp: Free market capitalism is fundamentally and inherently anti-democratic. Corporations and oligarchs will do what they've always done... if we let them.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      free market also "implies" open markets and competition.
      we do not have either democracy or capitalism.

      what we do have is a govt by the corporations, and thus everything is inline except for the serfs.

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:39AM (#55723745)

    So, 129 million have only one ISP available.

    40% of them have, as their one ISP, a company that has violated net neutrality.

    Another 50 million have two choices for ISP, both of which have done things that violated net neutrality.

    So, given that information from the summary, why is the headline "129 million Americans can only get Internet Services from Companies that have violated net neutrality"?

    I mean, it's not all that hard to add the 50 million from the first paragraph to the 50 million from the second. And it's not like /.'ers are innumerate...Oh, wait. Never mind....

    • > it's not like /.'ers are innumerate...

      Well, 40% of 129 is 51.6, so it'd be 101.6 million, not the 100 million you imply in your post. ;p

      Still, 'over 100 million' would have been a better headline.

    • Well, 129 million is 111101100000110001001000000 and 50 million is 10111110101111000010000000, so clearly 1.00989989898999E26 Americans are starving.

    • Would those missing 29 million be Americans with three or more choices, all of which have violated net neutrality?

  • What is meant by a "violation"?

  • by Roodvlees ( 2742853 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:41AM (#55723767)
    It's the government that blocks other companies from competing.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's the government that blocks other companies from competing.

      Corporate Greed petitions the government to block competition, so remember who the government actually serves.

      Hard to believe that wasn't rather clear with a corporate whore like Ajit "Verizon" Pai in charge of the fucking FCC.

      • I'm very well aware of that.
        The only reason that's possible is the government having power in the first place.
        It would be way to expensive for a company to enforce these restrictions themselves.
        People in companies are just as greedy and corrupt as everyone else.
        Becoming a politician doesn't make you a better person.
        If anything the political system selects the worst, most corruptible people.
        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          How does anyone have right to string wires over your neighbor's yard, and his neighbor's yard, and...

          Without regulations you can't get power lines strung, much less network cables.

    • Competition requires action by a government in the first place to establish rights of way. Otherwise, non-subscribing landowners could block providers from crossing subscribers' land with their copper or fiber by asserting the exclusive right that essentially all industrialized countries' governments recognize in land.

    • That is complete and total bullshit. Where I live the existing copper plant was built out over decades using USF fees. Windstream, then came in and bought the previous carrier and - throughout - there remained only the one ISP who regularly goes down for a day at a time. How could anyone compete against that? Ideally, the legislature would require monopoly ISPs, especially those whose plant was built out using USF funds, to allow competitive ISPs to co-locate in their POPs. Course with all of the "gubment s
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        No. Ideally the people who own the wires would be required to be totally independent of those who sent signals across the wires. And regulated in their ability to sell the same service a different prices to different customers. (That last bit get's a bit tricky though.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Citizens of capitalist country are unimpressed when companies' profit motive usurps the well being of its citizens.
  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @08:43AM (#55723777)

    All we are simply doing is putting engineers and entrepreneurs, instead of bureaucrats and lawyers, back in charge of the internet...

    In the first place, how many engineers are "in charge" of the Internet? The vast, vast majority of them answer to the MBA's and other assorted bankster wonks who ultimately answer to the CEO, who ultimately answers to the board and the shareholders. Secondly, calling the likes of AT+T, Verizon, etc. "entrepreneurs" tells me that you are either a liar, (which I already knew), or stupid, (which I've long suspected). While you're busy metaphorically sucking the metaphorical dicks of the evil men who own your soul, please at least try to disengage your vocal cords and refrain from making stupid noises about how all is well. Piss off mate - nobody believes your bullshit.

    • >Piss off mate - nobody believes your bullshit.

      For some reason, if they tell a bald-faced lie it causes less resentment and resistance than simply telling people they're going to be ignored.

      In both cases, the same truth is there, and in both cases it's obvious, but when they lie they're more likely to get away with it; a lot of people waste time arguing the lie rather than fighting the truth.

      For me, being lied to is insult upon injury and makes me more likely to fight back, but I'm apparently in the min

      • Re:Really, Ajit? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @10:10AM (#55724421)

        The reason they get away with the bald-faced lies is that a significant number of people are too stupid to know when they're being lied to. It's like when they spew anti-evolution rhetoric. If you spew a fallacious argument confidently, idiots won't be able to distinguish them from a sound ones.

  • by Phasedshift ( 415064 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @09:02AM (#55723883)

    I reject "net neutrality" on a federal level, as it does NOTHING to fix the underlying issues. It's a straw man! The underlying issue is that there isn't enough competition in the ISP space to give people a valid choice, and there isn't enough "information" on what is actually happening behind the scenes (throttling, etc) for people to make an informed choice anyway. An ISP will simply not get as much transit/peering/etc related to certain traffic than others to effectively "throttle" it, even if they aren't directly doing so. Also, as more "cord cutters" are being made, prices will go higher... with no other choices while everyone complains that a commercial company isn't charging them a lower price on a government granted monopoly.

    Most localities grant monopolies to the incumbent carrier, and make it difficult or impossible for new players to enter the market. My preferred solution is to make it easier for new carriers to enter the market by not allowing monopolies to be granted. However, one size doesn't fit all. There are many small towns of a few thousand people that would have never gotten internet service without that type of agreement. It takes millions of dollars to build out a network to service a small town like that in many cases, and if there is any competition the carrier wouldn't be able to recoup their cost (so they won't build it out in the first place.) Another option is municipal internet, or, as other people have pointed out having the city/town own the 'wires' and lease them to other areas. However, both of those options may not be appropriate for all areas due to the overhead of providing either of those services.

    My point here is, stop trying to "fix" the problems on a federal level. Your solution in Iowa may not be appropriate for my area in Massachusetts, but, most people seem to think it is.. and more importantly, stop focusing on "net neutrality" (which as implemented is not what you think it is in many cases) instead of the actual issues!

    • by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @09:33AM (#55724083)

      I live in a rural area several miles outside of a town of about 2500 people. Two different cable companies have fiber optic service at my address and the phone company has a fiber-fed DSLAM about 2 houses down so I could get good DSL if I really wanted to.

      One of the cable companies is a national brand, and the other is a local company that has designs and funding lined up and ready to go for every city and town in the area that they aren't already in. Every winter they convince another town or two to ditch the monopoly, and every summer they build a brand new cable plant or two from scratch, right alongside the incumbent's wires.

      The monopoly franchise may have been necessary once upon a time, which I really doubt, but I can say with absolute certainty that it is not necessary today. If anyone has only one option, their problem is local, either the city is granting a monopoly, or their state is making it impossible for startups to operate.

      I agree 100% that people need to fix their local problems instead of demanding that the federal government punish the rest of us so that they can keep being lazy.

      One thing that I think should have abundant federal regulation is municipal ISPs. If the people of a city want to form one, I think they should be able to, and I also think that there needs to be strong rules to keep the local government from abusing their monopoly. For example, they should not be able to use taxpayer funds.

      • Curious who the local provider is.

        As for government broadband, yes you could avoid it as a solution if you can get the providers in place that serve customer's needs. The competitive commercial solution is inherently less (resource) efficient, which should lead to higher prices and/or lower performance. The reason for government to be involved is that it can be a 20-50 year investment rather than a 2-5 year strategy.

        Personally, I think the co-op approach is best in theory, but support doesn't scale well w

      • That may be the case in your area, but I doubt that it’s that simple overall, when even a large company with deep pockets and plenty of resources like Google finds its efforts thwarted through the application of federal law [tennessean.com].

    • The problem is that even if there's some competition in the ISP market, as you point out, most markets don't have enough room to allow for several players to invest in infrastructure. Oligopolies aren't much better than monopolies. If there are three players in a market, it's unlikely that one will cease throttling to gain a competitive edge, because they're aware that they'll force the competition to follow and then everyone will have less. Why would they give up extorting Netflix, for example, when they d

      • by thule ( 9041 )
        The Netflix issue was not a Net Neutrality issue. The FCC *before* Pai stated this.

        Netflix had peering issues because the company they hired to handle their delivery network didn't have an incentive to upgrade their ports. The provider had settlement free peering before they took on Netflix as a customer. Once Netflix took a more direct approach to managing their peering the problem was solved.
        • I wasn't very clear in how I stated that. I mentioned Netflix as a potential target of ISPs, it wasn't an assertion that they were a victim in the past. It just seems that they would be an ideal target to demand a "fast lane" fee out of once net neutrality is dropped. Google (for YouTube) would be another company that will probably be in the crosshairs of ISPs.

    • I agree that fixing the ISP competition issue would remove the need for Net Neutrality legislation. The problem is that getting competition in the ISP space is near impossible. When local municipalities tried to make their own broadband ISPs because they were under-served or not being served at all, the ISPs got the states to introduce legislation banning local municipalities from introducing competition in the marketplace. When the federal government tried to step in to prevent this, they were told "state'

    • Except that with Net Neutrality, even if you only have one choice of ISP, there are certain things that ISP is still not legally allowed to do.

      Without Net Neutrality, congratulations, you still only have that one ISP, but they can choose to make tiered content brackets such that unless you pay for the higher tiers, you can't get access to Facebook. Or CNN. Or whatever.

      Now, I don't know if any of the ISP are really going to go that far. I suspect that it might be more along the lines of "You haven't paid for

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The problem with Internet Choice, or lack thereof, is not a lack of net neutrality. It is a lack of competition.

    Why do we have a lack of competition? It is because the government grants statutory monopolies. Stop granting monopolies and stop using taxpayer money to support monopolistic behavior, and the problem goes away.

  • "All we are simply doing is putting engineers and entrepreneurs, instead of bureaucrats and lawyers, back in charge of the internet,"

    Shut the FUCK up, Pai. Enough of your bullshit already. ISPs took billions in taxpayer-funded government handouts because they bitched, pissed, and moaned they didn't have enough money to build out infrastructure. Greed N. Corruption took those billions, did little to actually expand infrastructure, and handed out huge executive bonuses instead.

    Now, Greed has put a corporate whore in charge of the FCC to ensure that petitions to end NN would come to fruition, so that ISPs can once again charge customers/

    • "ISPs took billions in taxpayer-funded government handouts because they bitched, pissed, and moaned they didn't have enough money to build out infrastructure."

      You're late. ISPs, before they WERE ISPs, were telcos. And they promised [huffingtonpost.com] to use fiber-optic technology to enhance telephone service, eliminate toll calls, and deliver television [huffingtonpost.com] in competition with cable systems at lower costs. Many,k such as New England Telephone, laid fiber but failed to actually use it, billing ratepayers, and then making deals [msln.net] to

  • A bunch of folks with OpenWRT routers, some nice high gain wifi antennas, maybe Tor... just rebuild it from the ground up.

  • by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @09:19AM (#55723965)

    As someone who has been running a small, independent, ISP since 1996, I have seen the steady anti-competitive lobbying to get congress to legislate us out of business. In 1994 Congress signed the 1994 Telecom Act, that basically assuaged the iLECs pissing and moaning that they need to get into LD in order to make money. The act basically says they can get into LD, but since they claim there is zero profits in local and last-mile services, they must sell wholesale access to their competitors to provision in order to boost options for consumers.

    For a while we saw a boom in local CLECs, some more physical, some merely billing and administrative, by buying unbundled circuits like Uni-T1s and Uni-DS3s to their customers that connected back to the CLEC over the iLECs last-mile. Then came the Patriot Act and CALEA. In the interest of political expediency, Congress and the FCC has slowly, but surely, eroded the 1994 telecom act into nearly nothing left to enforce. In order to effectively issue wiretap orders on unsuspecting citizens, the telecoms argued, it makes more sense to engage with only a few players than tens of thousands.

      First to disappear were the unbundled T1 and DS3 circuits. Now if you wanted to provision T1/PRI to a customer you were forced to buy your own unbundled copper. Then, in a surprise move, the FCC and Congress agreed with a Verizon case, that "New Technologies" should be exempt from equal-access provision of the 1994 Telecom Act. This effectively allowed Verizon to deny all competition to their Fiber circuit. Since the telcos, cable, and power companies have exclusive rights to last-mile access to telephone poles, no CLEC has the ability to just roll out their own last-mile to the customer except in some extremely densely populated cities where puttting a fiber shelf and mux in the bottom of a 500 suite building paid for itself. The biggest example of this anti-competitive behavior was when Verizon engaged in the practice of ripping out ever inch of copper to a customer once they bought into Fios service. Now the customer has a choice of Fios or Fios. No competitor even has left over copper available to be ordered to the customers premises.

        Next up was project PRISM installed in MAE-East and MAE-West. In order to ensure all traffic traversed through the prisms for cloning (yes actual prisms were used to split the fiber stream), they had to reduce the number of carriers and peer points that could bypass these points of capture. By allowing the largest LECs to build monopolies, they LECs sold your souls to the devil, in exchange for running CLECs out of town via new regulations and 'understandings' of legislature.

    It is no surprise that no anti-trust suits have ever been brought to claim against these LECs. Its FAR easier to spy on everyone when only 5 companies control traffic versus thousands of others.

    as a ISP, I cant even get people the same DSL that the Telco's offer. 12mb ADSL2+ is the best I can get even though the LEC does SHDSL, VDSL, and 20Mb ADSL2+. They will also not let us get naked DSL (no $60 phone line charge in addition to DSL) or do G.Bond (two copper pair to double the throughput). We are stuck with wireless, and that has real world issues form lightening, wind, and other weather.

    • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 )
      Aren't ant-trust issues typically handled by the FTC?
    • Doesn't the drop in GPON costs cover some of the issues with wireless? I understand it is a different business strategy, but it seems like the way forward.

  • I live in a country not run by Fuhrer Trump, and that actually respects democracy. Sure, our trade deals are fucked and we're going to be screwed over by the EU, but at least we have a free and open internet.
  • Maybe this is a good thing? Maybe it will accelerate the development of open source networking, grid networks, smaller wireless ISPs. What little control the government has, they will lose. They want a free market, give them a free market.
  • Interoperable communications networks with sufficient bandwidth to meet demand are a public good and increasingly have become a public necessity. The FCC should play its role in making sure there are at least minimum standards of connectivity and bandwidth between Internet provider networks. And if they are going to hand off business aspects of the regulation, then they should work hand in hand with the FTC to ensure that paid prioritization and peering agreements between companies are in the best intere

  • I do not believe that ISPs are violation of Net Neutrality by supporting restoring regulations that had been in place.The smaller ISPs I work with are holding back on build-out due to regulatory concerns associated with Title 2. It adds burdens to them, and is squishy and open to interpretation that changes with each questionable bureaucrat. Leaving Title 2 regulation in place is actually helping the large ISPs by motivating smaller ISPs to stop growth, sell out, or shutter completely. Title 2 does make it
  • Particularly on the wired side. I can choose from either Cox Communications or Verizon -- Cox is just slightly less odious than Verizon. And the pricing is pretty much the same.

    Now for wireless we have T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, et al. They just beat each other up on a regular basis regards pricing. Right now I pay $85 a month for two phones. So that works out to $42.50 per phone. Not too much but $30 would be better.
  • Citation [dailycaller.com]. This is why Net Neutrality is a non-starter. If we want Americans to care about these kinds of 'freedom' issues we need to take care of their economic problems first.

    I'd like us to start with Single Payer health care so we can compete effectively with first world nations that already have it (Canada I'm looking at you) and end medical bankruptcy. From there how about making public University Tuition free of charge and fixing our infrastructure with the money we'd save by not sending their sons
  • Ajit Pai is like that fat guy in the (original) Total Recall who stood there sweating, hoping against hope Arnie fell for it. Then he'd go collect a hundred million dollar salary in telecom somewhere later on.

  • If I wanted nothing but pro "Net Neutrality" (Title II FCC regulation) posts from every conceivable angle, I'd go to Reddit.
  • "What we wanted to do is return to the free market consensus that started in the Clinton administration and that served the internet economy in America very well for many years."

    During the Clinton administration, nearly all home internet access was via dial up, and the majority of home internet users had a choice of multiple ISPs, all of whom provided competitive bandwidth and latency.

    Chairman Pai, what is your plan for encouraging comparable competitive broadband internet service to the entire US, and why not delay the easing of net neutrality rules until such is achieved?

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