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Mozilla Offers FCC a Net Neutrality Plan With a Twist 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-about-this? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Mozilla Foundation is filing a petition asking the FCC to declare that ISPs are common carriers, with a twist. 'The FCC doesn't have to reclassify the Internet access ISPs offer consumers as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulations under Title II of the Communications Act, Mozilla says. Instead, the FCC should target the service ISPs offer to edge providers like Netflix and Dropbox, who need to send their bits over ISP networks to reach their customers. Classifying the ISP/edge provider relationship as a common carrier service will be a little cleaner since the FCC wouldn't have to undo several decade-old orders that classified broadband as an "information" service rather than telecommunications, Mozilla argues.'" Here's the Mozilla blog post and the 13-page petition.
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Mozilla Offers FCC a Net Neutrality Plan With a Twist

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  • Swing...and a miss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:18PM (#46920457)

    since the FCC wouldn't have to undo several decade-old orders that classified broadband as an "information" service rather than telecommunications

    But that's the problem. They are telecommunications services and not fixing that bad decision is just lipstick on a pig.

  • ISPs are Shady (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:24PM (#46920517) Journal

    FTA:

    We ask the FCC to recognize that technological evolution has led to two distinct relationships in the last mile of the network: the current one, between an ISP and an end user, which is unchanged, plus a “remote delivery” service offered by an ISP to an edge provider (Dropbox, in the image), connecting the provider to all of the ISP’s end users.

    I think the problem here is that the ISPs want to be big media but they are really only telecoms trying to step out of line and disrupt the flow of information to get more money. They are greedy pigs. We should nationalize them all and simply take over their operations. They are EXACTLY LIKE traffic lights to be quite honest.

    Would you want your highway/city traffic information management operated by competing corporations?

    Would you want your city and state police run by competing corporations?

    We have tolerated ISPs for too long. Nationalize.

    Please, imagine if you had to deal with Comcast to get from your house to work every day.

    Those of us who work virtually this is EXACTLY what we are doing.

  • Half a fix? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by duke_cheetah2003 (862933) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:28PM (#46920551) Homepage

    Seems like half of a fix to me. Should all be common carrier status. Why settle for half a fix?

    You just know ISPs gunna find loopholes in half a fix.

  • Oddly enough (Score:4, Insightful)

    by voss (52565) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:29PM (#46920557)

    the cable companies did it to themselves...by charging netflix to carry their programming they became a common carrier.
    In other words they can offer speed ups to paying customers but they have to be under RAND terms including to their own
    services their own services would have to pay for the same rate for the same bandwidth.

  • by Mariner28 (814350) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:31PM (#46920589)
    Under the current rules, treating the Internet as an "information service" treats it exactly like Compuserve, AOL and Prodigy - virtually all content is presented by the service themselves, rather than relaying information content from providers to consumers. And we all know that the prior is exactly how the Verizons, the AT&Ts, the Comcasts and the TimeWarners of the world want it to be. The fairest way is to treat the ISP portion of the business as a common carrier - they have to treat "internal customers", like NBC/Universal in TWC's case, exactly the same as they treat external customers, like Netflix. It's fine to charge extra for expedited service handling for real-time data like voice or streaming video - but you have to treat all comers the same - using published tariffs, with allowable discounts based on volume of data and # of endpoints. But to allow things like Comcast used to do - purposely degrade certain traffic types from certain providers because it competed with their own offerings - that should be illegal. Net Neutrality is not about treating all traffic equally - realtime data like voice or video telephony and streaming video should always be treated with expedited handling with a minimum of queuing delay and jitter. But similar traffic types need to be treated similarly - else the whole thing falls apart. That's what any internet engineer familiar with traffic engineering will tell you.
  • Stupid suggestion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:33PM (#46920603)

    That's a downright stupid suggestion. If ISPs can't charge service providers and get their millions, under this proposal, they'll charge users ("Want to access Dropbox at acceptable speeds? You need to sign up to our Cloud Package for an extra $20 a month!"). They won't throttle the service, they'll throttle the user. It amounts to the exact same problem.

    Here's the simple solution - internet access, in today's day and age, is as vital as a landline phone service was back in the day. Be it banking, filing taxes, signing up to health services, or whatever you want to consider, internet access is not "vital" in the sense that it is increasingly difficult to live a normal life without it. Thus, all internet access should be protected by common carrier regulations.

    All.

    Service providers through to users.

    The only people who oppose reclassifying ISPs as common carriers are people who are deeply, profoundly opposed to the government in any and every way or shills of ISPs who want to protect their ability to gouge customers and rake in obscene profits.

    They are common carriers providing vital communication services.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:34PM (#46920621)

    The golden age of freely flowing information is over.

    Why? Nothing is blocked, it is just slower. This sucks for streaming, but streaming is not the only way to share information. Speeds that will not work at all for Netflix work fine on The Pirate Bay... It just requires people to think differently and not stream everything but download it instead. And having a local copy is a good thing.

  • First they came for Netflix...

  • by dmgxmichael (1219692) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:44PM (#46920747) Homepage
    Obama should grow a pair. Instruct the FCC commissioners to reclassify, or be dismissed. If they call as if he's bluffing, fire all of them and replace them with commissioners that will do the reclassification. These snots serve at the pleasure of the President and, in turn, the people. It's high time someone blew up their perceived fiefdoms.
  • Re:ISPs are Shady (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:48PM (#46920777)
    Exactly! It would be MUCH BETTER than what we're getting from comcast!
  • Re:ISPs are Shady (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2014 @01:49PM (#46920787)

    The solution is not nationalization, it is a ban on corporate lobbying, competition and strict rules that protect the consumer. Businesses do well when they are forced to compete and they rarely misbehave if the penalties outweigh the benefits. If companies want some legislation passed, they should be forced to lobby the people. If their desire is beneficial for all and makes sense, then let the people lobby their representatives. The entire lobby industry the way it is now is just inherently corrupt.

  • Re:ISPs are Shady (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hmryobemag]> on Monday May 05, 2014 @02:09PM (#46920941) Journal

    Well what is there to lose? Right now both the government and corporations are having their way with the Internet. If it were nationalized, that cuts the number of assailants by half. They're not in competition. They're both just taking what they like at the same time.

  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Monday May 05, 2014 @02:14PM (#46920993)
    Netflix has its own CDN! [netflix.com] They are a large enough streaming provider it made sense to create their own CDN and they even made it open for other services. They're already peering on Google fiber and a host of non-US ISP's. It's only the big US ISP's that are refusing to play ball and insist Netflix pay extra for a service that would actually save them money in peering fees. Their only reason for doing this is to make their competing streaming offering more desirable.
  • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday May 05, 2014 @02:14PM (#46920997)

    there are lots of streaming services who compete with pay TV

    This is exactly the problem. When the ISP, i.e. Comcast/Verizon, has it's own streaming services, it's a conflict of interest for them to be 'competing' with Netflix. They can, and have, used their monopoly position as the ISP to prevent quality access to Netflix by the ISP customers.

    You think that Netflix is getting 'free' internet access? They are simply responding to MY request to stream the content to me. Netflix pays they're ISP to get on the internet to provide content just as I pay my ISP to get on the internet to consume that content. Comcast/Verizon sold me a service at a certain speed/bandwidth and if they can't provide those speeds, it is their problem when people try to start using those advertized and sold speed/bandwidth.

  • by Andrio (2580551) on Monday May 05, 2014 @02:24PM (#46921099)

    Obama was the one who appointed a former telecom CEO/Lobbyist as chairman of the FCC. It's safe to say he's not particularly interested in keeping net neutrality.

  • by firewrought (36952) on Monday May 05, 2014 @02:31PM (#46921143)

    Why? Nothing is blocked, it is just slower. This sucks for streaming, but streaming is not the only way to share information. Speeds that will not work at all for Netflix work fine on The Pirate Bay... It just requires people to think differently and not stream everything but download it instead.

    Why? Because now if you want to start an internet business (streaming or not) that becomes even modestly successfully, every ISP on the planet will start looking for a way to demand a chunk of your profits. "Yeah, sorry that that little 100ms latency spike is affecting 1 million customers of yours, Blizzard, but we'll be happy to form a collaborative network-tuning relationship with you for $250,000/mo."

    Cumulatively, it means that ISP's can rent-seek off of internet businesses, cutting down on the quantity and competitiveness of such businesses while simultaneously forcing them to raise prices.

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