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United States Communications Politics

The Trump Administration Just Voted To Repeal the US Government's Net Neutrality Rules (recode.net) 591

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies power to potentially reshape Americans' online experiences. The agency scrapped so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone services. From a report: Under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai -- and with only the backing of the agency's Republican members -- the repeal newly frees telecom companies from federal regulation, unravels a signature accomplishment of the Obama administration and shifts the responsibility of overseeing the web to another federal agency that some critics see as too weak to be effective. In practice, it means the U.S. government no longer will have rules on its books that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally. The likes of AT&T and Verizon will be limited in some ways -- they can face penalties if they try to undermine their rivals, for example -- but they won't be subject to preemptive, bright-line restrictions on how they manage their networks. Meanwhile, the FCC's repeal will open the door for broadband providers to charge third parties, like tech giants, for faster delivery of their web content.
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The Trump Administration Just Voted To Repeal the US Government's Net Neutrality Rules

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Free to be slaves! But your guns TOTALLY keep the Queen of England at bay.. keke

  • I'll be neg repped into oblivion but it was NOT the Trump Administration that repealed net neutrality, there are 5 people who are in charge of this and they voted down party lines. You want to go after someone, go after these folks. Trump didn't make this happen, these folks did:

    Name Position State of Residence Party Term Expires†
    Ajit Pai Chairman Kansas Republican June 30, 2021
    Mignon Clyburn Commissioner South Carolina Democratic June 30, 2017
    Brendan Carr V
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:02PM (#55740263)

      To be clear:

      The two Democrats on the FCC — Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel — voted to keep the rules in place.

      And who appointed Ajit Pai? Trump. He is part of the Trump administration.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by magzteel ( 5013587 )

        To be clear:

        The two Democrats on the FCC — Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel — voted to keep the rules in place.

        And who appointed Ajit Pai? Trump. He is part of the Trump administration.

        He was appointed by Obama in 2012.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:18PM (#55740517)

        To be clear:

        The two Democrats on the FCC — Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel — voted to keep the rules in place.

        And who appointed Ajit Pai? Trump. He is part of the Trump administration.

        To be clear, Corporations appointed him.

        Sick and tired of reminding people who the government ultimately answers to. Enough of the fucking ignorance that assumes Trump is pulling the strings. And the only ones to blame here are the American people who continue to allow this kind of corruption because they don't give a shit enough to care.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And who appointed Ajit Pai? Trump. He is part of the Trump administration.

        Umm, I'm no fan of Ajit or Trump but Obama appointed Ajit.

      • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:21PM (#55740581)
        "And who appointed Ajit Pai? Trump. He is part of the Trump administration."

        Just to be clear, he was appointed to the commission by Obama in 2012. But Trump appointed him to the position of chairman in 2017.

        (And i'd love to see some discussion as to why Obama chose make that first appointment, but it's kind of secondary at this point)
    • It says only the Republicans on the committee voted to end NN. Also does that mean it wasn't Obama who tried to introduce NN? Because I heard lots of conservative critics claiming Obama had overstepped his authority in introducing Network Neutrality.
      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @03:21PM (#55741197) Journal

        Because I heard lots of conservative critics claiming Obama had overstepped his authority in introducing Network Neutrality.

        Conservatives also claimed that Obama was born in Kenya and there's a secret pedophilia ring under a pizza parlor.

        I wouldn't put much stock in what conservatives claim.

    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:11PM (#55740419) Journal

      Yeah all on party lines with a FCC chief in charge appointed by Trump. You can't coat this any other way if you're a Trump supporter. Republicans will vote for monopolists over the people every time and are for corruption and big money. The democrats all voted against it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pretty sure last year there were Trump supporters swearing up and down that this would never happen.

  • by twebb72 ( 903169 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @01:59PM (#55740229)
    This comment was blocked due to non-payment for /. access -Comcast
  • by Honest Man ( 539717 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:02PM (#55740273)
    Thank you for subscribing to your basic internet service. Please choose between the below options: 1) 100mb uncapped video service, included with your basic service. 2) 1gb uncapped video service, only $10/mo. 3) Each additional 1gb only charged at $5/mo. What a deal! ((Please note that the capped speed will limit you to 56k speed. The speeds you receive will also be limited by the service agreements we have reached with the provider of the video you desire and the contracts they have with all of the ISP's between your IP address and theirs so even with an unlimited speed agreement you may notice 56k speed caps due to those arrangements.)) Have a nice day!
    • by bkmoore ( 1910118 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:31PM (#55740703)
      New ISP service plans (on top of what you're already paying:
      1. video delivery - $10 / mo
      2. VOIP delivery surcharge - $20 / mo or $1.00 per phone call
      3. email delivery surcharge - $5 / mo or $0.50 per email
      4. "communications package" for $59.99 / mo (includes all of the above)

      I could go on, but it's all about extracting the maximum amount of $$$ from already paying customers.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        New ISP service plans (on top of what you're already paying)

        I think that where you are wrong.
        Net neutrality is not a way to prevent price gouging. It is to prevent preferential treatment and anti-competitive practices.

        In fact, in most cases, net neutrality violation are about offering something for free rather than making you pay what was previously free. I think a more realistic change would be :
        Your service plan now comes with unlimited Netflix! (we also halved your data cap, but because Netflix doesn't count against it, you won't need the other half, right?).

  • Goodbye to the internet we've come to know and love.
    • Doesn't the internet we've come to know and love mostly involve Usenet and a lot of github traffic, much of which is text? Considering that's in the noise when it comes to bandwidth, would Net Neutrality affect that? It seems like a lot of the traffic that crotchety old people use gets a free ride bandwidth-wise compared to video traffic.

    • Re:RIP Internet (Score:5, Insightful)

      by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:46PM (#55740835)
      Not reallt, this will only affect US consumers. Luckily, Internet will hardly notice.
    • by kenh ( 9056 )

      FFS the Net Neutrality regulations are exactly 18 month old, what hellish conditions did these regulations rectify, what nightmares from 2015 will come back to haunt us now?

      Bottom line, these regulations went in-place along party lines, and they were removed along party lines. Let's see some actual federal legislation on this topic, instead of random executive orders like we've had so far, OK?

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:08PM (#55740367) Journal

    You wanna see what FCC chairman Ajit Pai thinks of you? Here is a video he posted yesterday to tell you why you should not worry about losing Net Neutrality.; He posted it on the right-wing website Daily Caller. (for real, you should watch this 1.5 minute video from Trump's FCC chairman, as he reveals he has no idea what Net Neutrality is, and also that he is a massive fuckwit.)

    https://youtu.be/JeKK637IYAg [youtu.be]

    He's telling you all the things you'll still be able to do on the Internet after he signs over control to Comcast. Oh, and by the way, in the part of the video where he does the "Harlem Shake", one of the girls he's dancing with is a blogger who promoted the "Pizzagate" pedophilia controversy.

    https://gizmodo.com/ajit-pai-t... [gizmodo.com]

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/fut... [slate.com]

  • Well duh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:10PM (#55740413)
    This is obviously punishment from God for gay marriage.
  • from now on the periodic advertising pauses on the Internet access something like it is now on TV cable?
  • Ya know... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:12PM (#55740423)

    Republicans (in office) constantly complain about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [wikipedia.org] because its single director has too much power, no external accountability and isn't subject to Congressional oversight (ie. control) and should either be abolished or changed to be run by a board of Commissioners, like the FCC.

    Funny how they don't complain about the FCC behaving much the same way, even considering the FCC *has* a board of Commissioners and *is* subject to Congressional oversight. Maybe it's because the FCC is protecting corporations, not consumers - exactly like Republicans (in office) want.

    I say "in office" because it seems many Representatives are doing what is in their best interest, regardless of what their constituents, who may also be Republicans, want. Sometimes, it seems the masses are more reasonable and responsible than their elected officials - sometimes.

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:13PM (#55740441) Homepage

    It is mind boggling that you have government control on one side by granting potentially abusive monopolies, and at the same time you remove any consumer protective regulation so that these monopolies can be as abusive as they want... Sure, the US has a decent GDP/capita, but that really is no excuse to have up to 10x the telco cost compared to other developed countries (and/or depending the location get stuck with circa 2000 internet speeds).
    Well, OK, the fact that it is happening is not mind-boggling - just follow the money... The lack of realization/resistance from the people is the stranger and scarier aspect.

  • So I see a lot of negativity about this, even though in the past with no NN rules almost nothing happened, and when it did was shut down quickly (like torrent throttling).

    So I have a challenge for you all worried about this. Today, make a note of how much your internet costs. Then do some speed tests and record the results.

    In a year, do the same thing. How many of you seriously think we will be worse off?

    I personally do not think much will change, if anything... there is little practical downside to the

    • I'm not expecting the cost of my internet to go up or the general speed to change. The ISP has no reason to raise that cost or to limit my speed simply due to the change in rules. The price increase and speed change that I'm worried about is for the services that I consume via the internet - Netflix, Youtube, Amazon, Hulu, AppleTV rentals, etc. What I'm curious to see is: 1. Does the price of services that I'm using go up? 2. Do these services maintain a similar quality of service as they do today? Wi
      • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

        1. Does the price of services that I'm using go up? Yes

        2. Do these services maintain a similar quality of service as they do today? Yes, at some higher price for the service.

        3. Will I be able to rent a movie via AppleTV and have it still be instantly watchable? Yes, at some higher price for the service.

        4. Will Netflix and Hulu still stream at a watchable rate? Yes, at some higher price for the service.

        The rent seekers want you to pay them, not shut you down. This is history; In 2014 Netflix si

    • by zfractal ( 170078 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:43PM (#55740809)

      I personally do not think much will change, if anything... there is little practical downside to the choice of the FCC, and so much fear mongering from the other side of things that it greatly strains credulity.

      In the next 1-2 years? Sure. There's no way they're going to go full corporate dictator at the outset. The first thing they'll do is start negotiating with the big content providers, while fending off the inevitable legal challenges. They'll also need to go full throttle on getting friendly Congresspeople (mostly Rs) reelected next year.

      After that? I think we can expect to see a lot more zero rating packages and more investment in their own content services. Data caps will be pushed down to make these services and zero rating more attractive. Further down the line, they'll be extending their "partnerships" with more and more edge providers.

      Eventually, they'll have enough deals that cover just enough of what people use that they can start throttling down anything else while most people will neither care nor notice. It may not happen in a year or two, but watch for *this* to happen. It won't at the outset.

      You really think they've been pushing and spending this much because they *don't* expect to maximize their revenue and control?

    • From the very beginning, there were ALWAYS net neutrality rules. The Obama administration merely reiterated the existing rules that had been in place for decades. Now there are no rules at all. We will see how disastrous this ends up being in the long term.

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @03:02PM (#55740979)

      So I see a lot of negativity about this, even though in the past with no NN rules almost nothing happened, and when it did was shut down quickly (like torrent throttling).

      From 2001-2008 the Bush administration was in charge and the tech and business infrastructure to really exploit the lack of net neutrality wasn't around yet.

      From 2009-2016 the Obama administration was in charge and anxious to implement NN, so the telecoms were doing everything they could to make it look like NN was unnecessary.

      From 2017-2020 the Trump/Pence administration will be in change, the telecoms can do whatever they want and nothing will get regulated, and by the time 2021 rolls around even if a Democratic administration is in change the internet landscape will have changed enough to make implementing NN very disruptive and difficult to do.

    • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @04:09PM (#55741637)

      So I see a lot of negativity about this, even though in the past with no NN rules almost nothing happened, and when it did was shut down quickly (like torrent throttling).

      You are mistaken. There's a rich history of actual and intended net neutrality violations in the past before the regulations went into effect. Unfortunately the top link returned by a search on this currently offline, but here is some info pasted from this reddit thread [reddit.com]:

      There's nothing hypothetical about what ISPs will do when net neutrality is eliminated. I'm going to steal a comment previously posted by /u/Skrattybones and repost here:

      2005 - Madison River Communications was blocking VOIP services. The FCC put a stop to it.

      2005 - Comcast was denying access to p2p services without notifying customers.

      2007-2009 - AT&T was having Skype and other VOIPs blocked because they didn't like there was competition for their cellphones. 2011 - MetroPCS tried to block all streaming except youtube. (edit: they actually sued the FCC over this)

      2011-2013, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were blocking access to Google Wallet because it competed with their bullshit. edit: this one happened literally months after the trio were busted collaborating with Google to block apps from the android marketplace

      2012, Verizon was demanding google block tethering apps on android because it let owners avoid their $20 tethering fee. This was despite guaranteeing they wouldn't do that as part of a winning bid on an airwaves auction. (edit: they were fined $1.25million over this)

      2012, AT&T - tried to block access to FaceTime unless customers paid more money.

      2013, Verizon literally stated that the only thing stopping them from favoring some content providers over other providers were the net neutrality rules in place.

      And...

      2005, AT&T suggested giving preferential treatment to some web giants in exchange for money, starting the whole thing.

      2014, Verizon and Comcast throttled Netflix data and held those customers hostage to a huge bribe from Netflix.

      Also, links for everything you just said.

      Madison River Communications: https://www.cnet.com/news/telc... [cnet.com]

      Comcast hates pirates: https://www.lexology.com/libra... [lexology.com] (article from '08)

      AT&T VOIP hostage: https://www.wired.com/2009/10/... [wired.com]

      Google wallet hostage: http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/0... [cnn.com]

      Verizon hates tethering apps: https://www.wired.com/2011/06/... [wired.com]

      AT&T claimed blocking facetime wasn't a net neutrality issue: http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/2... [cnn.com]

      "Verizon lawyer Helgi Walker made the companyâ(TM)s intentions all too clear, saying the company wants to prioritize those websites and services that are willing to shell out for better access.": https://www.savetheinternet.co... [savetheinternet.com]

      Also, the thing to realize is that violations of net neutrality are not likely to be reflected on a general speed test, or necessarily in the fees the ISPs charge. It's much more likely that they will violate it by charging the content providers, like they have already done with Netflix. It will be insidious, and most people will not notice unless they are watching very closely. The effects will like

  • The fat bastard (Ajit Pai) may have 'sung', but the proverbial Fat Lady hasn't sung yet, folks. Despite my sometimes doom-saying (hey, cut me a little slack -- the world is a depressing place lately!), this is, really, just the opening volley in the War for the Internet. As another headline I read on this subject stated: "Net Neutrality Fight Moves to Courts, (and) Congress". There's now too much at stake with this, and there are some big players with lots of skin in the game to lose. So keep your hopes ali
  • It's a tragic day in the Divided States of America when the voices of the many are ignored by the will of a few.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:19PM (#55740543)

    Remember way back in 2015, when we were all forced to pay $1 a byte for Internet service?

    Me neither.

  • Flag icon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @02:33PM (#55740715)

    Shouldn't the flag icon in the title be at half mast?

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