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Congressman Introduces Bill To Limit FCC Powers

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the but-regulators-are-perfect-and-righteous dept.

Government 176

An anonymous reader writes "Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would limit the FCC's power to regulate ISPs in a supposed effort to keep the internet free. The bill's text is currently not available on the Library of Congress webpage or on congress.gov, but a purported copy has been spotted on scribd. Representative Latta's press release nevertheless indicates that the bill is intended to prevent the FCC from re-classifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II. Latta is one of the 28 representatives who lobbied the FCC earlier this month and were shown to have received double the average monetary donations given to all House of Representative members from the cable industry over a two year period ending this past December."

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Good Sign (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135107)

If one of the largest telecom shills in congress is introducing anti-FCC legislation, this means the telecoms might be fearing a potential turn-around at the FCC.

Just a month ago it seemed like this was all but impossible to think - maybe some home for REAL net neutrality rulings from the FCC?

Re:Good Sign (5, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | about 6 months ago | (#47135147)

I don't understand why Congress doesn't run afoul of the conflict of interest laws when they are allowed to write legislation that favors the ones funding their campaigns. It is a clear conflict of interest when you are writing laws that puts money in your own pocket. They should have to recuse themselves just like judges have to when they have a conflict of interest in a case. Can someone explain why this isn't a worse case than judges with a conflict considering how it is the law that judges are supposed to be interpreting?

Re:Good Sign (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135181)

Why do you hate free market capitalism? What exactly do you think happens in Socialist countries? The same thing, x10. It may not be perfect, but it's the best the human race has come up with so far.

Re:Good Sign (5, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | about 6 months ago | (#47135185)

This has nothing to do with capitalism. It is about legalized bribery. When you have someone profiting off the rules they make that is actually anti-capitalism since it is skewing the playing field for other entities in the market.

Re:Good Sign (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135291)

People doing things that benefit themselves is the very definition of capitalism. Leveling the playing field for everyone is one of the tenets of Socialism. Look, in life there are winners and losers. We don't all get a trophy at the end. We aren't entitled to anything other than what we can get for ourselves. Just because some people have put themselves into a position where they can use what they've earned to better their station in life doesn't make them evil, or wrong. Just because you cannot do the same because you haven't been as successful doesn't make you a bad person. And you're certainly allowed to complain all you want about it. It doesn't mean you're right. It just is a passive-aggressive attempt to ask for more than you've earned, which is something we should *not* be doing in the USA. Work hard, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, and you probably can do as well (or better) than the leeches in Congress.

Re:Good Sign (3, Informative)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 6 months ago | (#47135339)

Free market capitalism implies competition. From Comcast's own announcement regarding their merger with TWC (http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/comcast-and-time-warner-cable-file-applications-and-public-interest-statement-with-fcc [comcast.com] ):

"Comcast and TWC do not compete against each other in any area"

We suffer from a cartel among service providers who keep their prices high and their service lousy by foregoing competition, and regulation is necessary to prevent this.

Re:Good Sign (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135399)

What is the point of capitalism if the system just turns against the winners and beats them down? It removes most of the incentives to try in the first place.

Re:Good Sign (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135427)

Capitalism is about free market where all competitors are on the same playing field. If one player can make or change laws in his own favor, it isn't a free market anymore. How dumb are you?

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136417)

Well, he seems smarter than a person that uses "dumb" to indicate stupid.

Re:Good Sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135407)

People doing things that benefit themselves is the very definition of capitalism. Leveling the playing field for everyone is one of the tenets of Socialism. Look, in life there are winners and losers. We don't all get a trophy at the end. We aren't entitled to anything other than what we can get for ourselves. Just because some people have put themselves into a position where they can use what they've earned to better their station in life doesn't make them evil, or wrong. Just because you cannot do the same because you haven't been as successful doesn't make you a bad person. And you're certainly allowed to complain all you want about it. It doesn't mean you're right. It just is a passive-aggressive attempt to ask for more than you've earned, which is something we should *not* be doing in the USA. Work hard, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, and you probably can do as well (or better) than the leeches in Congress.

Yes, the evil socialist equality enforcement mantra vs. the good wholesome salt of the earth, greed is good, ethos of capitalism speech. I'm sure you will be really understanding when a bunch of corporate oligarchs bribe your congressman and a whole bunch of local officials, expropriate your house, pay you a fraction of what it is worth so they can make a ton of money building something on the land. After all, what are they doing other than using the superior position they pulled them selves into by their boot straps to do things that benefit them selves? How can you be anything other than supportive of that? We slashdotters will certainly not applaude any of your passive aggressive attemtps to ask for more than you've earned by suing the bastards using the socialist equality enforcment mechanisms of the anti-capitalist legal system. After all through your utter failure to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps (that violates the laws of phyics BTW, perhaps you can redeem yourself by petitioning^W bribing your congressman to get those repealed?) and become well connected enough into the capitalist elite to get full price for your house you don't deserve to call yourself an American.

Re:Good Sign (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47135295)

It has everything to do with capitalism. It's the ultimate form of capitalism. You can buy and sell laws, legislation and in the end, governments.

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135375)

I'd rather transparent legalized briberty than an obscured bribery. It's going to happen anyway.

Re:Good Sign (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#47135497)

This has nothing to do with capitalism. It is about legalized bribery.

And where does the money come from if not the private ownership of the means of production? Who would be bribing whom if the state owned the fiber?

Re:Good Sign (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 6 months ago | (#47136321)

The ISPs would be bribing the state to raise barriers to new ISPs having access to the fiber, of course.

The more you put under the power of the state, the more opportunity for corruption.

To be sure there is a role for state regulation but when you're introducing regulations to fix problems cause by regulation, it's time to take a step back and reconsider what the fuck you're doing.

Re: Good Sign (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | about 6 months ago | (#47136345)

There wouldn't be any bribery. What there would (eventually) be is a State that is able to demand censorship. You can use Comcast's DNS to find sites criticizing Comcast because if Comcast blocked the site but Time Warner didn't, people would be able to tell the difference.

Right now, when a site is ordered off the Internet, everyone who cares finds out about it immediately, largely because of the fact that the ISPs don't implement the order simultaneously.

As a result, the government only does this rarely, and they only do it to people who they are accusing of crimes (generally piracy.) They don't do it to critics of the government.

The FCC's job is to silence people who aren't speaking correctly. Thst's what the rules against using a HAM radio to transmit on the FM bands are. That's what the rules against cell phone jammers are. That's what the Fairness doctrine was.

Now, the radio spectrum is constrained by physics. There is an absolutely finite capacity of information that can be transmitted over it in a given time span. There is a legitimate purpose in keeping users of the radio spectrum transmitting in their own blocks.

The Internet, though, has a theoretically infinite capacity. (If we need more bandwidth, we could run more fiber without running up against the laws of physics.) Sine one person's Internet transmissions don't interfere with anyone else's (from a physics standpoint) there is no legitimate role for the government to dictate the terms of anyone's Internet speech.

The FCC's job is to regulate the terms of people's speech. It would be wildly inappropriate for them to regulate the terms of speech of a newspaper, which is why the FCC doesn't regulate newspapers. It would be wildly inappropriate for them to regulate the terms of speech of a cabele television channels, which is why they don't regulate cable TV. It would be wildly inappropriate for the FCC to regulate the tems of speech of the Internet, so the FCC should stay out of regulating the Internet.

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136121)

Latta is one of the 28 representatives who lobbied the FCC earlier this month and were shown to have received double the average monetary donations given to all House of Representative members from the cable industry over a two year period ending this past December.

What are talking about? The same moron claims he wants to pass a law limiting the FCC's powers. After being caught red handed taking cable lobbyist money. This has nothing to do with whats right or wrong this has to deal with the Republican jack-offs pandering to the American people with delusional and unreal bills/laws in hopes people will be voting for their party.

Probably more alarming, is how many people do these politicians have working for them, for someone to tip him off over a report on when it comes to his record. It's okay to do whatever corporations demand, and actually they can pretty much just buy off a politician for election, after forking out millions in political ads, but its not okay do what is right under the founding principles of democracy!

Re:Good Sign (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#47135199)

capitalism != crony capitalism

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135281)

[Citation needed]

Re:Good Sign (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#47135453)

Re:Good Sign (1)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#47135663)

From your own cite:

"Critics of capitalism including socialists and other anti-capitalists often assert that crony capitalism is the inevitable result of any capitalist system. Jane Jacobs described it as a natural consequence of collusion between those managing power and trade, while Noam Chomsky has argued that the word "crony" is superfluous when describing capitalism."

"Critics of capitalism" indeed. People with functioning brain stems!

Re:Good Sign (1, Troll)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#47135711)

"Critics of capitalism" indeed.

Yup, they "assert" this, but "asserting" something doesn't make it true. Socialists like to use the term to blame capitalism for what is actually a failure of government. "Crony capitalism" is "capitalism" in the same way that the "German Democratic Republic" was "democratic".

People with functioning brain stems!

Unfortunately, not much above their brain stems is functioning.

Re:Good Sign (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 6 months ago | (#47136379)

Thing is that it seems inevitable that under capitalism democratic government will be for sale to the higher bidder. Laws and even Constitutions are ignored, judges are bought off or just flaming partisan shills. Perhaps a benevolent dictator would work but as history shows they are rare and eventually get replaced by a non-benevolent dictator.
It seems to always come down to the no true Scotsman argument, and fails whether talking about Capitalism, Communism or other isms and reality is what we have.

Re:Good Sign (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#47136035)

yeah but what good is a functioning brainstem if you dont actually use your brain?? of COURSE critics of capitalism will point out the worst case scenario. just as a capitalist will explain that communism is a disease and will result in stalin like executions.

excuse me if i take the oppositions assertions with a grain of salt

Re:Good Sign (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 6 months ago | (#47135369)

Poor A/C, it's simple bribery. Bob Latta does not know or care, he has been given a dollar and told to bark like a seal and clap his hands. So, what is the exchange rate for 13 pieces of silver today?

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135387)

Holy mixed metaphors, Batman!

Re:Good Sign (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 6 months ago | (#47136079)

Nanananananananana ROBIN!!!! Sorry, I've been bribed.

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135463)

Capitalism invites corruption more than socialism its just that capitalists like to feel morally superior because they see bribery and corruption as the pinnacle of capitalism.

Re:Good Sign (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#47135517)

show me a socialist country thats not corrupt. we have china... north korea.... we had the USSR.....

as someone once said, capitalism sucks, but its better than the alternatives ~ paraphrased

Re:Good Sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135767)

none of those are socialist countries you gullible fuck

Re:Good Sign (0)

Richy_T (111409) | about 6 months ago | (#47136371)

Nor are they Scotsmen.

Re:Good Sign (3, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#47135805)

Almost all countries, socialist or not, are riddled with corruption. It is a human characteristic for humans in a position of power to fall into corruption.

But I'll tell you one country which is not rotting from the head. You're not going to like it, because it is socialist. I am talking about the Republic of Uruguay; specifically of President José Mujica. He is an almost unique example of an uncorrupt leader of a nation. He declined to take up residence in the presidential palace and lives instead on an austere farm and cultivates flowers there. His transportation? Not the armored rolling palace of an Obama, but a 1987 VW beetle! His net worth on taking office was $1800, and he donates 90% of his presidential salary to the public welfare. He lives on the remaining $800 a month.

He has also overseen the legalization of marijuana, which Obama is too corrupt to do.

So I'm not sure I can show you a country, socialist or not, which is not sorrupt, but I sure can show you a socialist leader who is not corrupt.

Re:Good Sign (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#47135997)

Thanks, I have read about this man before and do find him to be very inspirational. I believe that on a small scale, communism and socialism can work, but im talking a few thousand people max. anymore then that and as you pointed out human nature kicks in

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135933)

show me a socialist country thats not corrupt. we have china... north korea.... we had the USSR.....

  as someone once said, capitalism sucks, but its better than the alternatives ~ paraphrased

For starters, China and Russia are basically oligarchys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy) and North Korea is pretty much a dictatorship. You could even argue that China is a dictatorship too (one party to rule them all!).

If you want socialist countries, try:
Australia
Sweden
Norway
England
Germany
Switzerland
(and a few other European countries).

What you are probably actually talking about with the reference to socialism and the particular counties would be communism. The closest any group of people have come to communism (without being a dictatorship or a oligarchy) would be the hippy communes.

Re:Good Sign (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#47136067)

An oligarchy or dictatorship can be socialist. Socialism is an economic system, not a governmental one.

Re:Good Sign (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47135555)

In their pure forms, they are pretty much identical. In terms of corruption they are both just as bad and manage to spin corruption as something principled. That is why countries that have either system tend to be, well, holes of brown sticky stuff. Most industrialized nations use hybrid systems.

Re:Good Sign (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 6 months ago | (#47135195)

I don't understand why Congress doesn't run afoul of the conflict of interest laws when they are allowed to write legislation that favors the ones funding their campaigns. It is a clear conflict of interest when you are writing laws that puts money in your own pocket. They should have to recuse themselves just like judges have to when they have a conflict of interest in a case. Can someone explain why this isn't a worse case than judges with a conflict considering how it is the law that judges are supposed to be interpreting?

In most european/aust/nz countries, most of asia and good chunks of south america and africa, it would be called "Corruption". Belesconi went down for stuff far *less* brazen than what some congress too.These people belong in prison, not seats of power.

Re:Good Sign (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#47135477)

Belesconi went down for stuff far *less* brazen than what some congress too.

Are you kidding? Berlusconi was charged with massive bribery, corruption, sex with underage girls, wiretapping, money laundering, using his media empire for defamation, and many other charges.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

In the US, politicians wouldn't generally survive any one of these affairs. And in the US, these decisions are up to voters, as they should be, not judges or parliamentary majorities.

Re:Good Sign (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#47135519)

charlie rangel

Re:Good Sign (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#47136075)

US politicians are guilty of most of those as well, they just have different names for them.

Re:Good Sign (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#47136305)

US politicians are guilty of most of those as well, they just have different names for them.

Wow, you really are totally ignorant, aren't you?

Re:Good Sign (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#47135217)

I don't understand how they are even allowed to receive money from non citizens. We would be all up in arms if Putin was financing some American politicians, so why do we allow multinational corporations to do it?

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135639)

Al Gore "No controlling legal authority that says this was in violation of law." In the debate with Bush about Chinese donations solicited from his VP office.

You decided to give him a pass because he was "on your side" at the time. This is called precident. Now it is perfectally legal to solicit campign contributions from your elected office, while on the job, from foreigners. The refusal to hold the left accountable for anything has led to many things you currently don't like. Don't worry, you have set far worse since then, such as...

Illegal wiretapping of every US citizen without warrant.
Killing US citizens without trial by drone based on secret evidence.
Forcing you to pay a private company for something you may not want or face tax penalities or jail.
Not being allowed to validate a voter's ID allowing for massive election fraud.
Socialized medicine in the US ignoring treating people (See the VA).
Collection of Billions in fees from citizens for a project that they have no intention of doing, Yucca Mountain.

And here you are worried about Comcast. You are on the edge of being jailed or killed if you say the wrong thing now and they have you protesting the "evil corpz!".

Re:Good Sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136263)

That Election Fraud line is a joke. There is practically no effect on our system from fraud. Those laws are just meant to discourage voter turnout for those without a photo id like a drivers license. Not everyone can or does drive.

I'm guessing your #3 is in reference to health insurance. It would be better to just put that cost into the tax code, but raising taxes is evil and then people wouldn't be able to pay for better care or something like that.

As for any one trying to debate the merits of wanting to support Gore over Bush, it is enough to have a known character vs Bush which has done nothing. I would like to see some one revisit Bush's two terms and debate that Bush would have still been a better choice than Al Gore. Pretty much all those things you listed were after that election after all.

At the end of your comment, you are saying that immoral behavior of corporations that should be illegal should be ignored because of these other problems in society. Don't ignore it, just tack it onto your list, unless 6 complaints is enough for everyone.

Re:Good Sign (3, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#47135441)

I don't understand why Congress doesn't run afoul of the conflict of interest laws

Conflict of interest laws apply to judges and civil servants because they are not elected.

For elected officials, we have a much simpler and more direct way of getting rid of them: we vote for someone else.

You want to get rid of some other district's elected representative because you don't like what they are saying or doing? Tough sh*t, democracy doesn't work like that.

Re:Good Sign (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135653)

Actually, I just want a fair election for the ones in my district, not gerrymandered nonsense that flies in the face of common sense and clearly shows partisanship.

Sunshine laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135655)

I don't understand why Congress doesn't run afoul of the conflict of interest laws

Conflict of interest laws apply to judges and civil servants because they are not elected.

For elected officials, we have a much simpler and more direct way of getting rid of them: we vote for someone else.

Without Sunshine laws (thanks Roberts court!) to require that we know what interests have sent money to which politician, how can we know whether our politician voted his conscience or his wallet? That can often be essential to judging whether we should vote them out for conflicts of interest.

Re:Good Sign (2)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47135537)

Stepping a little back. While we get rightly frustrated at how much money plays a part in politics, lobbying itself, including funding campaigns, is not all bad. Generally people (and groups of people) want people in office who are sympathetic to the things that matter to them. So if you want change, you find candidates who seem receptive to your cause and expend resources to help their chances of getting into office.

They can not recuse themselves because having interests is part of their job. They are representatives, presenting and supporting the interests of their supporters is a part of their function.

The problem is that it takes so much money to run a campaign, and that I place on the backs of voters. It would not be expensive if spending did not have such a big impact on voting behavior. Money works on 'us'.

Re:Good Sign (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#47136097)

It'd be nice if there was a way to keep the politicians from finding out who was paying for their campaigns. Then the money would go to people with similar interests, but the politicians wouldn't be able to change their interests to match the money. Unfortunately it isn't really practical.

Re:Good Sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135551)

> Can someone explain why this isn't a worse case than judges with a conflict considering how it is the law that judges are supposed to be interpreting?

A legislator votes to makes rules that, once they pass, become permanent for everyone, forever, unless a future legislature changes them or a court rules the law passed violates some other law. If the people affected by that action (i.e., everyone) don't like it, they can vote the bum out.

A judge, in contrast, applies the law to a particular person before them, making several rulings that will only affect the party in question. If the person affected by that action (i.e., the party before the judge) doesn't like it, they can't do ANYTHING. Even if the judge leaves, their ruling stands -- and many judges have lifetime appointments.

Not to mention that judges are supposed to be impartial, while legislators are supposed to be very partial -- their district voted to send them to the legislator to represent the district's interests, after all.

Re: Good Sign (1)

Ken Hansen (3612047) | about 6 months ago | (#47136341)

If politicians are not able to soloicit funds from the people their laws benefit, how will any politician fund their campaign? Can a politician that promises to work on behalf of women, minorities be barred from accepting campaign contributions from women and minorities? It may not be what you meant, but that is what you are actually asking for...

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136437)

I don't understand why Congress doesn't run afoul of the conflict of interest laws when they are allowed to write legislation that favors the ones funding their campaigns. It is a clear conflict of interest when you are writing laws that puts money in your own pocket. They should have to recuse themselves just like judges have to when they have a conflict of interest in a case. Can someone explain why this isn't a worse case than judges with a conflict considering how it is the law that judges are supposed to be interpreting?

And THAT is why a powerful government will always get corrupted.

You want to give the government power to "fix" something? Guess what? That power is going to be captured by someone who already has the power to influence government. Doesn't matter if that power is the Koch brothers or Tom Steyer, Rupert Murdoch of George Soros.

Don't think so? Look at Obama - either candidate Obama was a lying sack of shit over things like repealing the Patriot Act or closing Gitmo, or once he became President Obama he found out how things really work.

Quit thinking that government is a solution to anything - it should be pretty damn obvious by now that's not true.

Re:Good Sign (1, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47135175)

If one of the largest telecom shills in congress is introducing anti-FCC legislation, this means the telecoms might be fearing a potential turn-around at the FCC.

Just a month ago it seemed like this was all but impossible to think - maybe some home for REAL net neutrality rulings from the FCC?

Oh for fucks sake. TELECOM = Phone companies. He received donations from CABLE companies. Completely different tech, somewhat related industry.

The difference here is the telecoms ARE regulated. The Cable companies are not. The Cable companies are currently killing the telecoms because they have far less regulation. Telecoms all over the country are hurting because of this and lobbying heavily to get their regulation lifted. (I've worked for both. I currently work for a Telecom)

The FCC is instead trying to bring the cable companies under the same regulatory umbrella as the telecoms (or at least something similar.) This congressman, conservative, doesn't like regulation obviously. So his goal is instead to keep Cable unregulated and likely down the road he wants to lift regulation on the telecoms. The FCC has the opposite approach. They want to regulate both industries even more.

The actual best solution is likely somewhere in-between. If you could see the enormous amount of regulation Telecoms were under, you'd likely think it was insane. Stupid things left over from 50 or more years ago... But cable companies are completely unregulated. They don't even keep plant records (track of what wire and equipment is in the ground) so if they get bought out, or go out of business, the new owners have no idea whats out there.

The entire industry could use an overhaul. It's something congress should sit down and do. But since everything gets treated like a black and white all or nothing issue these days, I doubt that's going to happen.

Re:Good Sign (5, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | about 6 months ago | (#47135213)

Oh for fucks sake. TELECOM = Phone companies. He received donations from CABLE companies. Completely different tech, somewhat related industry.

I agree that the cable companies aren't as regulated as the telcos however you left out one big thing in your rant above...

Cable companies=telecom=phone company+Internet service provider+Content provider.

They are indistinguishable these days since most if not all cable companies are providing VoiP as well as all the other internet related services. It is called "bundling". And the telcos are doing the same thing especially in the cellular area.

So you are correct that to level the playing field you either should lift the regulation on the telcos or bring the cable providers under the same regulation.

Re: Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135505)

Exactly. There was even a story a day or two about how Verizon was playing it both ways, claiming common carrier when it benefitted them (to get subsidies) then to not be when it didn't.

Re:Good Sign (5, Informative)

InfiniteBlaze (2564509) | about 6 months ago | (#47135267)

Exactly which cable company is NOT providing telephone service these days? They're telecoms now, plain and simple. The skirt around regulations by claiming "different technology", but it serves the same purpose, and seems like the same thing to the general public. It would seem you're against strict regulation. What will keep telecommunications providers from inspecting every packet that crosses their wires and holding up smaller businesses for protectio...I mean, transit fees? If I pay for 50Mbps bandwidth, and Netflix pays their provider for 50Tbps of bandwidth, but Comcast decides they should be making more money, what stops them from throttling Netflix traffic in exchange for more money? Streaming a video might take...2-3Mbps, right? The number crunchers at Comcast, though, see that Netflix traffic on their network takes up some 50%+ of the total traffic, and they want to ride the gravy train. So, they'll hold up Netflix for more dough, and Netflix will pass on the upcharge to their customers - making Netflix look like the bad guy to people who don't understand how it all works. Shady stuff, man, and we shouldn't give that kind of power to Comcast or At&t or anyone else.

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136009)

What stops them is them and their customers (you) will go somewhere else.

Re: Good Sign (1)

Ken Hansen (3612047) | about 6 months ago | (#47136387)

Fear of losing customers that want unfiltered access to Netflix? Oh, wait, your town gave Comcast a monopoly on cable ISP service in exchange for free internet access in schools, a couple crappy public access channels, and a promise to offer their services to all homes in the community... By granting Comcast a virtual monopoly on internet access you enabled them to act like a monopoly.

Re:Good Sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135293)

Pretty much all US cable companies provide phone service so saying they aren't telecoms is so what disingenuous.

Re:Good Sign (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47135299)

I think they should split the industry into signal providers and signal carriers, much like some places have split power generation and power carriers. Companies should not have a defacto monopoly just because they sit at the cable head.

Re:Good Sign (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#47135309)

Telecoms all over the country are hurting because of this and lobbying heavily to get their regulation lifted. (I've worked for both. I currently work for a Telecom)

Their profits say otherwise. Verizon, for example, has been raking in record profits for multiple past quarters.

Verizon Caps Strong Record of Success in 2013 With Fourth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Earnings Growth [verizon.com]

Oh those poor telcos. I just won't be able to sleep at night over their pain and suffering. *rolls eyes*

Re:Good Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135405)

Internet communication is telecommunication. "Tele" does not mean "telephone" exclusively.

Re:Good Sign (1)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#47135871)

Oh for fucks sake. TELECOM = Phone companies. He received donations from CABLE companies.

Sigh. Are you falling for the lie hook line and sinker, or are you part of the lie?

Telecommunication - communication at a distance by technological means, particularly through electrical signals or electromagnetic waves.
Tele- a combining form meaning "distant", from the Greek "têle", far.
Communiocation - the act or process of imparting, exchanging, or transmitting thoughts, opinions, or information.

Phone companies and ISPs are doing exactly the same thing - facilitating telecommunication - and should OBVIOUSLY be regulated exactly the same way.

Re:Good Sign (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#47135219)

It means they will just buy the law and neuter the FCC.

Does anyone actually believe this? (4, Informative)

Kuroji (990107) | about 6 months ago | (#47135109)

The congresscritters are owned by lobbyists at this point, without question. Lock, stock, and barrel.

Even if things don't go the way they want, they'll just keep introducing legislation to try and get what their masters want. CISPA is the most blatant example of this.

Re:Does anyone actually believe this? (2)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 6 months ago | (#47135133)

I believe this in so far as I think some congress people are jealous and want larger "campaign contributions" as well.

Re:Does anyone actually believe this? (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 6 months ago | (#47135241)

Could be a congressman on an ISP payroll?

Re:Does anyone actually believe this? (2)

Minupla (62455) | about 6 months ago | (#47135275)

You kidding? They'd be terrible at tech support! They think the internet is made of tubes forchrissake!

Min

All power (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 6 months ago | (#47135115)

All power to the workers!

Smell The Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135121)

Is it just me that imagines George Washington, and all the other founding fathers, doing the Homer Simpson 'DOH!' /facepalm every time something is published in the media about these guys...?

Just another show of American Oligarchs (5, Insightful)

Greg666NYC (3665779) | about 6 months ago | (#47135173)

Power and Money have no borders. USA, North Korea or Russia makes no difference for oligarchs. They want it all and don't care where the peasants live. As long they are compliant, work hard for a small change and don't ask too much in return. Welcome to XXI century where oligarchs around the world hold hands together.

Re:Just another show of American Oligarchs (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47135261)

Welcome to XXI century...

Dude! It's the 21st century. Nobody uses roman numerals anymore.

Re:Just another show of American Oligarchs (0)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#47135885)

The next thing to nobody. Idiot businesspeople use them. They use MM (roman numeral thousand thousand) to represent million, where everybody else uses M (mega).

Could it possibly be more blatant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135205)

Well, yes, but they'd need to perform a little song and dance number about how completely bought they are.

Leave it to a politician (1)

Cantankerous Cur (3435207) | about 6 months ago | (#47135207)

to line his own pockets, actively work against his constituency, and claim it's for the good of the people.

@boblatta (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 6 months ago | (#47135245)

His Twitter feed makes for interesting reading, the replies tend not to be supportive...

Unelected(FCC) vs bribed(Congress) (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 6 months ago | (#47135247)

This is not going to end well.

One good sign... (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | about 6 months ago | (#47135255)

I went to his Facebook page and it looks the like comments on this issue are about 30:1 against his position. He's really being hammered there as a sellout. Yeah, I know, he really doesn't give a damn, but I'm glad people are speaking up.

Re:One good sign... (1)

Coditor (2849497) | about 6 months ago | (#47135385)

If people were really against his positions, why did he get elected? Probably because he ran against a hamster and they had no choices. I wish we could vote no.

Isn't it sad? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47135277)

Be honest now. When you read this, and how a congressman was trying to limit the power of the FCC, the entity that tried to eliminate net neutrality just recently, did you think "yay" or was your first thought "now how is this going to be used to fuck us over"?

Am I the only one who feels like ANY kind of law being introduced today is aiming at screwing the average voter over in favor of the interest of a few corporations?

Re:Isn't it sad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135523)

Just do what I do: Stop working. I would rather starve to death than help prolong this country's downfall.

Re:Isn't it sad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135623)

Just do what I do: Stop working. I would rather starve to death than help prolong this country's downfall.

You sir or mam get it. I've been working under the table for 8 years now for the very purpose of not wanting to give a penny to crooked politicians.

Re:Isn't it sad? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47135819)

Why stop there?

Re:Isn't it sad? (2)

Xyrus (755017) | about 6 months ago | (#47135643)

Well, now that money == speech politicians are deaf to all but the wealthiest.

We have legalized bribery and all but legalized corruption with ever more sweeping powers being granted to the executive in an effort to ensure "peace and security". This does not bode well.

Re:Isn't it sad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135813)

Am I the only one who feels that the voter screwed themselves over by trying the same old combinations of Rs and Ds even though things kept on a steady decline?
 
I feel no sympathy for the man on the street anymore. They fucked themselves. The only problem with bitches who dig their own holes is the someone needs to fill them back in or the bodies start to stink.

Re:Isn't it sad? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47135831)

Sadly for everyone who notices the problem there are 10 others who play cheerleaders to the whole shit.

Maybe this really is what the people want and I'm just the odd idiot who can't see just how great the system is, dunno.

Re:Isn't it sad? (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#47136143)

Well, as far as how it would screw us over. If the FCC loses the power to regulate ISPs, net neutrality is gone. The only thing protecting it is the FCCs regulation that they tried to change.

Tar and Feathers would be too good for him (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135315)

Wrap him in cat6 and dangle him off the brooklyn bridge.

Re:Tar and Feathers would be too good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136031)

He's from Ohio.

Take him to Cleveland instead.

About time (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 6 months ago | (#47135451)

Now if we can only abolish the EPA.

govtrack link for the bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135485)

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr4752

How about a "sudo" gun? (0)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | about 6 months ago | (#47135515)

Anyone who knows their own password, and is already logged into the gun, can fire the gun, if they just speak "sudo fire", and then say their password.

Plus they can keep killing people with just "sudo fire" with no password for a configurable amount of time since the last "sudo".

POTS: Plain Old Telecom Service (1)

ankhank (756164) | about 6 months ago | (#47135625)

Look, if Ben Franklin had understood this "electricity" thing better, he'd have defined the Post Office program -- that allowed "a Republic, if you can keep it" to work, by putting every citizen within equal reach of every other citizen -- to include it explicitly.

That's Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, that gave us the Post Office.

In his day, they did it with horses.
Now, we do it with electronics.

Same difference. Ought to be the same anyhow.

"...supposed effort to keep the internet free." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47135695)

But ruling ISPs are common carriers*is* the best way to keep the internet free. Any other position allows them to charge whatever they please.

Reps are wrong; last mile should be utility (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#47135725)

IMHO this is yet another example of the national Republicans being out of touch with real people on Main Street (unlike the 'true' Republican party that existed for decades.) They are listening to the lobbyists for the big cable providers, etc. - those whose present business model is based on having local monopolies, while being allowed to act as if they were in competitive markets. This even extends to liability for content - these companies are arguing on the one hand that they are 'common carriers' and so are not liable for illegal content, but then act as enhanced information providers, who can be liable.

Since it's inefficient to run numerous separate cables down each street, the 'last mile' at least should be treated as a utility - a simple transition point might be the location where Akamai, Google and NetFlix put their cacheing servers, and/or where all of the trunk lines come together into the router(s) that ship the data to/from the consumers. This is analogous to what the phone systems do. The fact is that the entire purpose of the Utility regulations was to avoid two things: massive duplication of infrastructure (wiring), and unfair marketing practices.

Ideally the last mile providers of IP and TCP - both cable and phone - would be required to split off and operated as independent divisions from their 'enhanced services' business, to avoid any opportunity to use unfair means to create an advantage, such as what they are explicitly doing now. In fairness, they should provide the fastest available data transmission between the central office at a regulated price. Then their information provider division would have to compete along with everyone else for access - including TV and data. If Home Shopping Channel wants access, they can pay the user (through the last mile provider). In this model, any company could put together a package of services and sell it to the home user. The last mile provider would not care what it is or where it's from.

IANAL, but IMHO there is ample cause for a national class action suit or DoJ action against these monopoly practices. Use of their control over the 'last mile' to force other information providers to pay more than their own partners seems to me to be an obvious violation of the Sherman Act. They assert that they don't have a monopoly, because their is also a phone line there. However they also have monopoly licenses for cable services and the associated digital services from each town and county jurisdiction, and the cost of the infrastructure is such that it's been uneconomic for the phone companies to build out a competitive network. The cable network started off as a high-bandwidth delivery system, which was easy to upgrade to digital, while the older, low bandwidth phone network has to be built out almost from scratch.

As a rural resident I'd even advocate a deal where the last mile utilities to be created were given subsidies, perhaps in the form of low-interest loans, to run high speed internet to every residence. I'm not in general an advocate of government subsidies - i.e. corporate welfare. But historically, the Rural Electrification project subsidized rollout of electricity to rural communities, which provided a historic economic boost and paid for itself. The Bonneville Power Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority built dams and power lines. Local power was handled by both public and private entities. Similarly, even today your phone bill includes a tax/fee infrastructure that helps to subsidize rural telephone companies - big city companies hat this, and it's the basis for those Free Conference Call vendors.

Re:Reps are wrong; last mile should be utility (2)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#47136185)

I'm not convinced the Republican Party "of old" was ever all that much better although I could be swayed by the idea that they're a lot more brazen in their willingness to embrace just about any corporate proposal. I'm especially unconvinced the Democrats are any better,

Lame duck like Obama, you'd hope he'd use the FCC/FTC/Justice department to lean on the cable companies, block their merger attempts, get the DoJ to issue opinions in favor of municipal broadband and raise anti-trust investigations over market interference and monopoly behavior regarding things like Netflix paying twice for transit. He's not running again, let Hillary sell her own soul to big telecom to claim she'l undo his executive actions or make the Republicans waste their political capital defending the cable company.

I think the only hope in this situation is municipal infrastructure. Get the cities or counties to build a dark fiber network and lease it out to any and all that want to sell services on it. The information superhighway is a tired cliche, but the road/network analogy is true and there's no reason we can't think of roads/fiber as the same concept. City owns the roads, service providers buy the vehicles and sell their services.

In theory cable companies should be behind this -- cut them out of all that infrastructure to maintain, let the taxpayers do it and just provide the programming. It won't be rent-seeking money but their overhead goes down a lot.

Write a novel (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#47135839)

Personally, I am glad Congress may vote on it, as it should for any significant or novel regulatory change, rather than regulators being praised for coming up with a new rationale to take something over Congress never anticipated.

The correct solution here would be truth-in-advertising to force Comcast to highlight at the beginning of their contract with you that they are demanding a kickback from Netflix of a part of the money you pay Netflix or they will make your Netflix viewing crappy in violation of their contract with you that you have a minimum guaranteed bandwidth.

Re:Write a novel (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#47136161)

Since when has Comcast offered contracts with minimum guaranteed bandwidth?

Working Hard (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 6 months ago | (#47135919)

He's working hard to justify that bribe he received.

Contact Bob Latta (5, Informative)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 6 months ago | (#47135959)

http://latta.house.gov/contact/ His number is Washington DC is Phone: (202) 225-6405. His Ohio toll free number is 800-541-6446.

Send him an email, or ring him. Please be polite.

hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47136113)

The HYPOCRISY, these ISP's don't want government intrusion(regulations) and yet they don't mind using their lobby power to influence state and local government to crush ISP start ups. CORPORATE SOCIALIST!!! that's what they are.

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