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Businesses Communications United States

Net Neutrality Will Be Repealed Monday Unless Congress Takes Action (arstechnica.com) 166

With net neutrality rules scheduled to be repealed on Monday, Senate Democrats are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote that could preserve the broadband regulations. From a report: The US Senate voted on May 16 to reverse the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules, but a House vote -- and President Trump's signature -- is still needed. Today, the entire Senate Democratic Caucus wrote a letter to Ryan urging him to allow a vote on the House floor. "The rules that this resolution would restore were enacted by the FCC in 2015 to prevent broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, prioritizing, or otherwise unfairly discriminating against Internet traffic that flows across their networks," the letter said. "Without these protections, broadband providers can decide what content gets through to consumers at what speeds and could use this power to discriminate against their competitors or other content." The letter was spearheaded by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

Net Neutrality Will Be Repealed Monday Unless Congress Takes Action

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    He'll do whatever his leash-holders say. He's a bitch.

  • Talk to Trump last (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @02:59PM (#56744542) Homepage

    Whatever happens the person who can influence Trump to keep net neutrality intact must make sure to be the last to talk to him before he decides. That usually seems to do the trick.

    • Unfortunately I do not know Ivanka's phone number, I might be able to convince her that net neutrality means she can reach more working moms like herself, but she needs to act now.

    • by hAckz0r ( 989977 )
      This is an unfortunate fact. While many in our society live by the mantra "surround yourself with brilliance" in order to be a most effective leader, Trump decided to do exactly the contrary. Inevitably, Trump is then doomed to talk to somebody, anybody, in his own cabinet, just before tweeting his wizardly worded brain numbing decision. It usually comes down to "What can I do to get myself on the front page today?" rather than anything remotely close to "getting it right".
      • Trump decided to do exactly the contrary.
        Well, he likes to be the smartest man in the room.

      • While many in our society live by the mantra "surround yourself with brilliance" in order to be a most effective leader ...

        That is something which requires the ability to put aside one's ego for the greater good. People who can't do that are insecure, and tend to surround themselves with people who they aren't threatened by, and who are by extension unlikely to be competent, let alone brilliant.

    • by flopsquad ( 3518045 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @03:40PM (#56744940)
      That person should tell him that Comcast wants this, Comcast owns NBC, NBC is part of the evil mainstream media, the evil mainstream media writes fake news about him because they are communist satanist Soros-loving anthem-kneelers, so keeping net neutrality is a big "fuck you" to China, Satan, and George Soros, while being a big thumbs up to the flag. Done!

      Get me 20 minutes and we can also tackle global warming by telling him the hotter weather will reduce his crowd sizes.
      • You should watch a clip of Ali G trying to con Trump back in 2005. He figured Sacha Baron Kohen in ten seconds. They must have been so impressed they decided to include the footage anyway.

        You'd do better than to automatically assume that a man who turn nearly everyone around to elect him President is a complete dumbass.

  • by Gregory Eschbacher ( 2878609 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @03:01PM (#56744560)

    Instead of relying on the FCC using a shakey legal foundation to enforce net neutrality, Congress should pass an actual law laying out exactly what should and shouldn't occur, and assign an agency to oversee. The problem with the approach from the past few years is the FCC or FTC trying to assume this responsibility without Congress having specifically authorized it. Congress never passed laws granting the FCC to authorize ISPs under Title II, etc.

    Congress should pass comprehensive net neutrality regulations and lay out exactly what needs to happen, and assign responsibilities. There's too much hemming and hawing over the FCC rather than going through the legislative process. I believe people should stop asking the FCC to change it's mind since the FCC (not backed by legislation to oversee NN) can just change it's mind in the future when the next administration comes in. Legislation is the right approach to this, not bureaucracies.

    • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @03:12PM (#56744642)

      Instead of relying on the FCC using a shakey legal foundation to enforce net neutrality, Congress should pass an actual law laying out exactly what should and shouldn't occur, and assign an agency to oversee.

      Just so.

      Note that one good thing about Trump as President is that it MIGHT make Congress stop abdicating its responsibilities to the Executive Branch. They've given the Executive the power to wage war, and entirely too damn much power to (effectively) make laws over the last half century or so. About time they reclaimed some of the Legislative powers they've given away....

      • Note that one good thing about Trump as President is that it MIGHT make Congress stop abdicating its responsibilities to the Executive Branch.

        I think that the majority party have show themselves to be completely craven towards Trump. They are not going to rein in Trump and his administration unless a revelation (perhaps from Mueller) forces their hands.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @03:55PM (#56745062)
      That is essentially the problem. The way things like this are supposed to happen is that a few local governments get an idea so they pass a law mandating net neutrality. After some time to gauge the results of the law, a few states take notice and say "this looks like a good idea" and pass their own laws. And after more time to gauge how this affects the states, the Federal government takes notice and says "maybe we should make this a national law." These incremental steps, gradually expanding the reach of a law, allow us to properly gauge the law's effect and make modifications to it if problems should arise, before it affects the entire nation.

      Instead, Tom Wheeler short-circuited the entire process and unilaterally declared that net neutrality must be the law of the land. Net neutrality isn't the only possible solution to this problem. The problem is actually government-created - local governments granted service monopolies to cable companies. These companies, assured that their customers cannot flee to another ISP, then intentionally degrade online services like Netflix to extort payments from Netflix to restore service.

      The way it should work is some areas try net neutrality, some areas try rescinding these government-granted monopolies and allow multiple ISPs to compete, some areas try some different solution that we haven't yet thought of. Let these different solutions play out for a few years. Then we can study actual empirical data, and decide what's best for the entire country. And only then do we pass a national law with a solution to the problem.

      The knee-jerk reaction method used to get net neutrality implemented via the FCC is totally the wrong way for government to operate. Heavy-handed decisions like this without first exploring possible solutions is what nearly saddled us with GSM. The original GSM spec was built on TDMA - each phone takes turns talking to the tower. Europe mandated GSM, and most of the rest of the world followed. The U.S. refused to require it, which allowed a competing service based on CDMA to develop. When phones started being used more for data than talking, suddenly the achilles heel of TDMA reared up. TDMA requires each phone to get a full timeslice even if it has little or no data to transmit. This wastes a huge amount of bandwidth. CDMA on the other hand allows all phones to transmit at the same time (they see each others' transmissions as noise, thus reducing the signal-to-noise ratio), and bandwidth is automatically allocated in proportion to how much each phone is transmitting. No wasted bandwidth. Within a year GSM threw in the towel, licensed CDMA, and added wideband CDMA to the GSM spec [wikipedia.org] for data services. If the U.S. had gone along with the "sensible" decision by bureaucrats to impose GSM, then CDMA wouldn't have happened, and our cellular data speeds today would probably down around 1 Mbps. And many of the services we enjoy on our phones today wouldn't yet exist.
      • The problem is actually government-created - local governments granted service monopolies to cable companies.

        Can you name one such municipality? I honestly don't know of any, but if you know of one, I'd be happy to hear about it. Most of the time I've found that the reason why there is only one provider in a market is because another provider simply doesn't want to compete. They'd have to build out all the infrastructure and then convince everyone who had cable TV/internet/whatever to switch.

        I know for a fact in Columbus, OH there is no service monopoly for cable because I can switch providers. Anyone can prov

        • Have you looked much into Google's Nashville lawsuit (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/01/att-and-comcast-finalize-court-victory-over-nashville-and-google-fiber/)? From what I recall the monopoly is more implicit due to intense bureaucracy around attaching wires to poles. Whatever you want to call it, rents are being sought and granted.

    • The problem with that is with Republicans in charge, any net neutrality law would contain even more loopholes than the old FCC version. We saw that with Marsha Blackburn's bill. On top of that, relying on this or on inaction is a strategy of those opposed to it; they claim they're not opposed but want legislative action to decide it, but know that won't happen or won't be actual NN. While comprehensive net neutrality from Congress would be the better solution, enacting the FCC rules until that happens ensur
    • I agree with you, and I'll be happy if they manage to head this off, but chances are the Internet will have to take the damage the ISPs and others are willing to deal to it before enough of the average citizenry screams bloody murder to their congresscritters on both sides of the aisle and forces them to change things. Either that or the Internet will become totally unusable, and like anything else people will just lose interest and go do something else instead. What too many people either don't remember or
      • There is an election coming up in America. I suggest Google returns "Democrat" sites on Republican queries, and "Republican" sites on Democrat queries. And have a banner add explaining why net neutrality is important.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      > Congress should pass an actual law

      That is the correct solution instead of what Obama did which was to order the FCC to create more government regulations, barriers to entry, and more expensive to interpret rules. He should have instead taken action when the Democrats had the supermajority in the Senate, majority in the House, and the White House. By not doing so, he showed he doesn't think this is an important issue.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Even though Obama hurt small businesses with his oppressive regulations, he was still right because of his intent.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        As someone that works for a small ISP "barriers to entry" is correct. Obama add more rules and regulations that weren't clearly defined so we had to hire an expensive law firm. Because of how ridiculous and vague Obama's rules were, we had to spend a lot of money to try to divine his intention.

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      Their legal foundation was rock solid. This was after years of litigation already, and the neutrality regulations passed in 2015 were the result of all of that. Some of the earlier regulations, where they tried to enforce neutrality without classifying as title 2, those were rejected. But when the court rejected those, the court said specifically that all the FCC needed to do was reclassify. As they did in 2015. And then after that the 2015 rules were challenged and were upheld by the court.

      As for your s
  • I know there are many /.ers that will flame me for this, and trust me, I certainly don't blindly love everything my state does. But they absolutely got it right with this decision.
    • by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @05:30PM (#56745590)
      Your state is a failure because it is either red or blue.

      I am absolutely so glad I left America with no intention of ever going back. I now live in a country with so many political parties that none of them have the ability to do anything based on party lines. They actually have to sit, discuss and convince others that what they are doing is the right thing to do...not for the people or for the party or for the corporations... they have to convince each other that it's actually the right thing to do.

      That said, just like in America, the politicians are uneducated frigging idiots that lack the knowledge to make decisions on what they're supposed to decide and they believe that the experts are the people who dress and speak like they do... which leaves them extremely poorly informed and therefore prone to believe the right thing to do is the idiotic thing.

      For the most part though, they are relatively harmless because they can't sign any bills of any real importance into law because no one will ever agree on a large enough level to do so. As such, they have no power and cannot fuck things up too badly.

      You on the other hand live in a blue state which means that at a state level, decisions are generally made by a club who all agree with each other because of the team they play on as opposed to on the issues themselves. The same would go for red states.

      After all, why would you need to take the time to understand the issue and consider how it would affect the people when you can just vote on party lines and be frigging idiots. Heaven forbid the politicians took the time to understand what net neutrality actually means.

      Here's one for you... make a simple case with simple drawings and gartner graphs to explain this :

      Revoking net neutrality in the U.S. would make several American corporations stronger, but would make America as a whole weaker. It would hurt the schools, the military, the space program, the content producers, the politicians... it would actually hurt almost everyone except the few companies positioned to better exploit higher tariffs. And because non-US countries that all have net neutrality are not effected, it will give them an edge in every category upon which the U.S. claims to want dominance. Revoking net neutrality would basically place the U.S. on equal footing with Turkey.
      • Blue...Red... they are false choices. They share the same donor base. It may be true that many politicians are idiots who should have never been put into office, but you forgot the most corrupting influence of them all: money in politics. In the land where money is speech, you see that politicians are not required to reason or understand experts' opinions, or even have a real party platform. They are merely required to carry out instructions from their wealthy donors.

        People are delusional if they think majo

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @03:04PM (#56744586)
    And isn't running again. He'll take the heat for the rest of the party by not allowing a vote. I'm sure he'll be well rewarded. And in a few years when we've all forgotten he'll be back to run for president.
  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @03:12PM (#56744646)

    Contact your state representatives and have NN enacted at the state level.

    • Contact your state representatives and have NN enacted at the state level.

      Yes. Please do. It'll make my state more competitive against yours.

  • Unless Congress Takes Action

    And abandon their long-term strategy of not doing anything or being responsible representatives (or even adults)?

  • The Wheeler net neutrality was a stupid, trash idea and good that it is gone. If Congress wants to pass a law then do application neutrality or something similar to that instead of net neutrality.
  • US states, cities and communities will be able to escape federal NN rules keeping them on paper insulated wireline monopoly networks.
  • The only hope of having any form of net neutrality is a change in American politics.

    It's dead Jim....

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10