×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the putting-the-money-where-it-counts dept.

Government 52

Presto Vivace writes: "Public Knowledge is rallying its supporters after learning that some House members plan to try and add an amendment to H.R. 5016, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to block funding of FCC network neutrality rules. H.R. 5016 is the bill that keeps funding the government and whose failure to pass can shut it down. The White House has already said it opposed the existing FCC budget cuts and threatened a veto of a bill it says politicized the budget process." Public Knowledge is asking citizens to tell Congress to stop meddling with net neutrality. In a way this is a good sign. It is an indication that the telcos think that they will lose the current FCC debate. Meanwhile, the FCC's deadline for comments about net neutrality has arrived, and the agency's servers buckled after recording over 670,000 of them. The deadline has been extended until midnight on Friday.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

You can find your member's contact info (4, Informative)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 months ago | (#47462009)

on the House of Reppresentatives [congress.gov] website.

Re:You can find your member's contact info (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 4 months ago | (#47470395)

on the House of Reppresentatives [congress.gov] website.

Thanks for that. It would be doubly helpful if we knew which congressmen were supporting this, I'm sure that it's more than just R's that are getting big campaign contributions. The article only says "some House members." I'd like to know if mine is supporting it. A quick Google search finds another article that says it's being introduced by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). There's another one, HR 4752 being introduced by Bob Latta (R-OH) that would prevent the FCC from regulating ISPs under Title II (common carrier).

OTOH, there is a group of senators who are pushing the FCC to reclassify ISPs so they can be regulated: Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ed Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Once again Wyden falls on the side of sanity.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/... [dailykos.com]

Maybe they should use Obama's campaign fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462019)

Maybe they should take some of Obama's campaign money and buy themselves a decent cluster of servers!

Maybe they should use Obama's campaign fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47463141)

Because the government procurement program is a mess and totally unrelated to campaign funds?

Re: Maybe they should use Obama's campaign fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47463857)

Its hard to justify replacing a system that mostly works anywhere, let alone when using public funds.

Congress meddling with funding for no reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462047)

Evidently the horse trading on the floor of Congress is getting a bit wild if nothing happens unless the appropriate officials get bribed.

Re:Congress meddling with funding for no reason? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#47465983)

Sounds domesticated to me - when's the last time you saw a horse pull a plow without being asked?

Don't worry, according to Citizens United (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462051)

Corporations are people too, and as we all know, some people are more equal than others.

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462095)

Corporations are people too, and as we all know, some people are more equal than others.

I wish I'd stop hearing that childish unthinking stupidity. A corporation is nothing more than a group of people. Imagine the consequences if we DIDN'T extend individual rights to corporations.

The government could just read all the data on Google's servers after taking them.

Is that what you WANT?

No?

Then grow brain, use it, and STFU about Citizen's United, would you?

Can we extend corporate rights to individuals? (4, Interesting)

mbkennel (97636) | about 4 months ago | (#47462289)

| Imagine the consequences if we DIDN'T extend individual rights to corporations.The government could just read all the data on Google's servers after taking them.

As opposed to now? They read all the data on Google's servers without taking them.

The problem is that powerful corporations appear to have even more rights than individual people.

People managing powerful corporations do illegal acts, and other people (the shareholders who had no knowledge or control) are punished.

Personally, I'd love to re-incorporate my soul in a zero-tax offshore jurisdiction and subcontract out my physical body to earn income another country but not have to pay tax.

Since a corporation is not a natural person, but a particular structure created by legislative activity, there is no legal or moral reason that rights of such constructed entities cannot be legally constrained in ways impermissible for natural humans.

Re: Can we extend corporate rights to individuals? (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 4 months ago | (#47462437)

You know you can already do all of that and plenty of people do it. The problem is that the cost to do so is prohibitive unless you make more than a few million a year and can pay your own set of accountant and lawyers.

Re: Can we extend corporate rights to individuals? (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 4 months ago | (#47464751)

I think it becomes advantageous at somewhat under $200k/year, if you can avoid the IRS calling you a "Personal Service Corporation."

Re: Don't worry, according to Citizens United (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462393)

A corporation is a legal entity, not a "collection of people". Your entire argument (flawed though amusing) is based upon an incorrect assumption.

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462749)

The government would have no problem reading the data on my systems after taking them.

Why does Google get to be more equal than me?

Am I supposed to want that?

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (1)

Beavertank (1178717) | about 4 months ago | (#47466427)

Citizen's United has nothing to do with fourth amendment rights, and a corporation doesn't need to have fourth amendment rights to prevent the free reading of information on seized servers.

Citizens United, and now Hobby Lobby, stand for the worryingly advancing proposition that corporations are identical to people and must be afforded all the same rights... in spite of the fact that they're fictitious legal entities. They're bad decisions which have made worse law, and your strange argument in favor of them is frankly completely incorrect.

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47467085)

No, Hobby Lobby stands for the proposition that if government wants to interfere with religion, it has to prove that it's using the least restrictive method. In that case, the feds admitted that they could pay for the contraceptives themselves, but they wanted to force other people to pay instead. The contraceptives have always been available and people can get their own health insurance off the exchanges now, so the mandate was purely political.

Also, this isn't a giant corporation, it's a family owned business with a handful of owners. In the limiting case of a single proprietor, this would imply that you must give up various constitutional rights to go into business, which is nonsensical. The case (if you bothered to read it) doesn't even apply to "giant corporations" and the company in question is owned by a single family.

The amount of misinformation and the things that are being simply glossed over or ignored in discussion thereof are purely ridiculous.

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47467107)

In the limiting case of a single proprietor, this would imply that you must give up various constitutional rights to go into business, which is nonsensical.

A sole proprietor is liable for what his business does. If you want to be sheltered from liability, then you must obviously give up some rights in trade. Anything else is purely ridiculous.

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462411)

Corporations are people too, and as we all know, some people are more equal than others.

Cut the crap. This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with "corporations" vs "individuals". Network neutrality rules apply to everyone the same, whether they are incorporated or not.

Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47463369)

It does when it's corporations making the effort to get the laws they want. Ignoring their conduct won't make it any less odious.

After all they're the ones who want rules that are for their benefit. I suppose if I, an individual had their position, I could also take advantage of it, but that's a rather moot point.

... also EFF site to send comments on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462061)

https://www.dearfcc.org

article summary didn't really summarize... (0)

smoothnorman (1670542) | about 4 months ago | (#47462077)

let's imagine that a majority of Slashdot readers is in favor of net neutrality -and- typically doesn't want to click to grind through to get the gist.

"House members plan to try and add an amendment to H.R. 5016 the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to block funding of FCC network neutrality rules. so since the "FCC's (current proposed) network neutrality rules" suck, then we -want- this plan to add an amendment to succeed? or... since "Public Knowledge is asking citizens to tell Congress to stop meddling with net neutrality." we should instead want congress to leave the FCC alone (and its current commissioner, Tom Wheeler, fresh from the telecom industry)

please explain, in simple terms, on which side we "news for nerds" ought to feel about this news item!

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 months ago | (#47462171)

The abovie summary conflates the FCC process with Congress. The ammendment to HR 5016 would have cut funding to the FCC, with an eye to making it impossible to enforce regulations. It seems the amendment was defeated. [govtrack.us] Late the morning Save the Internet [savetheinternet.com] and similar groups sent out email alerts, and that seems to have done the trick, at least for this vote. We need the FCC to reclassify ISP's as common carriers [prestovivace.biz] and Congress to refrain from obstructing the FCC.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47462181)

Net Neutrality seems to have went from everything open and no restrictions to no fast lanes or some shit. You can pick any side you want without too much confusion because while this is called net neutrality, I do not think it actually is any more. It might be part of it, a part I would not agree with, but it is more likely something else.

To note, I find there is nothing wrong with a fast lane as long as no customers are getting less than what they purchased in order to have it. (No slowing me down to deliver NetFlix at 30megs).

Net Neutrality has always had a clear meaning (2)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 months ago | (#47462259)

point to point connectivity with no bias based on origin or destination. Just like our phone calls go thru no matter who we call or we is calling us, that is how our internet should work. It is very clear. Unless someone takes it upon themselves to muddy the waters.

Re:Net Neutrality has always had a clear meaning (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47462315)

well, you know that isn't going to happen as the ISPs over sell their bandwidth in order to make a profit and charge less to get customers. This typically isn't a problem because most people will not be using all their available bandwidth at one time so it can be shared reasonably well.

I don't know any such thing (3, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 months ago | (#47462365)

until the the ISP's began to deliberately throttle services [aljazeera.com] it worked very well.

Re:I don't know any such thing (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 4 months ago | (#47463263)

The throttling began long ago, when we let carriers give us asymmetrical connections, e.g. (ex:) 80% download and 20% upload. This is how FIOS, and many other schemes will come unraveled. Upload speed is important if for this fact: pooling web services is now done via ISPs/MSPs and other data centers, instead of a distributed pattern of symmetrically-supplied carriers-- like your own home. It requires us to host our stuff at ISPs, and even more-- if you're delivering streaming content-- via specialized providers called content delivery networks/CDNs, like Akamai instead of some place else. This tends to optimize delivery for multicasted services and on-demand services, but screws anyone wanting to make the next YouTube without an oceanliner full of cash-up-front.

We're already heavily throttled. This just prevents it from getting WORSE.

Re:Net Neutrality has always had a clear meaning (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47462639)

Just like our phone calls go thru no matter who we call or we is calling us, that is how our internet should work.

Apparently the internet scrambles a letter or two. And the phone system? Well, I have memories sonny. Calls didn't always go through... And a quarter for the first three minutes just to call out to the suburbs. Ah, but we had it good, only had to dial seven numbers, none of this area code crap. KLondike-5 3825

Re: Net Neutrality has always had a clear meaning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47463479)

There's a difference between a system designed to support a percentage of it users using the system at one time - the Central Office and a system that was designed to let you check email but is now asked to stream HD movies to almost every house on your block, with sometimes more than one user in each house.
But I agree, I think it should all be free, too.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47462461)

I find there is nothing wrong with a fast lane as long as no customers are getting less than what they purchased in order to have it. (No slowing me down to deliver NetFlix at 30megs).

You are confused. The "fast lane" means normal speed, and anything else means deliberately throttled. There is nothing wrong with a "fast lane" for prioritizing particular TYPES of traffic, such as real time voice, but no ISP with monopoly power (almost all of them) should be allowed to discriminate based on the source or destination of the data.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#47462503)

The "fast lane" means normal speed, and anything else means deliberately throttled. There is nothing wrong with a "fast lane" for prioritizing particular TYPES of traffic, such as real time voice, but no ISP with monopoly power (almost all of them) should be allowed to discriminate based on the source or destination of the data.

Basically this. But the problem with even that kind of throttling is that it would be abused and distorted to do the other kind as well. So the overall best solution is no "fast lanes" (which in reality means slow lanes) at all.

Imagine if the telephone companies made commercial TYPE calls better quality than calls to grandma or to the kids. No matter how you slice it, in the long run it's a bad idea.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47462541)

No, I didn't say that at all. I said something specific so pay attention.

I said there is nothing wrong with a fast lane as long as no customers are getting less than what they purchased in order to have it. If the ISPs can do that, a fast lane is perfectly fine. If they cannot, then there is a problem which likely is already covered by consumer protection laws (bait and switch possibly).

You see, I'm not saying that is how they work, I'm saying that how they have to work if we are going to have them.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47463167)

I said there is nothing wrong with a fast lane as long as no customers are getting less than what they purchased in order to have it.

But that's not a fast lane. That's bandwidth.

I purchase X Mbps from my ISP, so I should get X Mbps transfer speeds from any external URL, barring factors that my ISP cannot control like < X Mbps bandwidth on the remote side or congestion caused by sudden spikes in activity, hardware issues, etc.

A fast lane is instead getting X-Y Mbps from remote URL A and X-Z Mbps from remote URL B, where Z < Y because B paid more protection money to my ISP.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47463311)

And that can be done. There is typically available bandwidth outside what is used for internet service and the fast-lane can use that and be switched to your specific leg of the drop at the last moment.

In effect, the fast lane would be carried outside the regular service and combined right before it hits your house or building sidestepping the service congestion. and if it cannot, then they cannot have a fast lane.

Like I said, there is nothing wrong with a fast lane _as_long_as no customers are getting less than what they purchased in order to have it. If that cannot happen, then no fast lane. It is not a hard concept and you describing situation where it wouldn't happen doesn't really apply.

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 4 months ago | (#47465501)

The problem is what the customers purchased is generally a connection to the internet with no particular gaurantees about performance. If you want connections with service level agreements coverting performance to defined locations (e.g. major peering connections) you can get them but expect to pay a hell of a lot more than you would pay for a regular "broadband" connection.

Since they never agreed to provide any particular ammount of bandwidth in the first place there is little to stop them taking away some of the bandwidth they currently give to "best effort IP" to reallocate it to premium services. Whether they do that statically by creating fixed bandwidth channels or dynamically through prioritisation doesn't really make a fundamental difference.

When the "best effort IP" service is the entire service it's in the provider's interest to make it not suck so they retain customers. OTOH when they offer both "best effort IP" and premium services it's in their interests to make the "best effort IP" service suck so they can sell more premium services (which may or may not be IP based).

Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47466865)

First, a service level agreement is essentially what third party providers purchase when thry buy a fast lane. And they do pay a lot more for it (normal access fees and a fast lane fee).

Second, if the ISP is purposely limiting your connection speeds, they are defrauding you as a customer as the up yo or best effort speeds will have to be lower than what they represented and you purchased. There simply is no way around it. If the premium service is being paid by a third party, the incentive will be for service that doesn't suck because it can demand a higher rate for the servicelevel agreement (fast lane) from the third party.

Finally, you seem to be wanting to argue against what i said by bringing up other than what i said. I specifically set conditions to my statement of acceptance of fast lanes. Its like i said i would go swimming if a life guard was on duty and you are harping about how dangerous it is to swin without one so i shouldn't swim at all ever.

Little hope for Net Neutrality. (2)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 4 months ago | (#47462293)

Let's face it - money always wins.

we will see about that (4, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 months ago | (#47462319)

clearly the money is nervous, or they would not have gone running to congress.

Re:we will see about that (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 4 months ago | (#47462493)

clearly the money is nervous, or they would not have gone running to congress.

Nervous or not, they're hedging their bets. If they win at the FCC, they'll try to get Congress to enshrine the decision into law. if they lose, they live to fight on; either way the lobbyists make money.

Re:Little hope for Net Neutrality. (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47462543)

Let's face it - money always wins.

There is big money on both sides of this issue. Sure, big ISPs like Comcast, and TWC, want to kill NN. But big content companies like Netflix and Amazon are on the other side. Google used to be a solid supporter of NN, but now that they are getting into the ISP business, they have flip-flopped on the issue.

Generally, content companies donate to Democrats, and ISPs donate to Republicans. So Democrats oppose IP reform, and Republicans oppose NN. Pick your poison.

Re:Little hope for Net Neutrality. (0)

dywolf (2673597) | about 4 months ago | (#47475297)

this is the new tactic: don't like something? bar any funding frm being used for it.

They don't like global warming, so they passed a bill barring hte military from doing its job and making plans to study and deal with emerging security threats as a result of it...yes, Republicans directly harming national security over global warming, because of their corporate masters.

They don't like global warming, so they also passed a bill barring the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Energy from doing its job and studying and pursuing projects designed to mitigate or deal with the effects of global warming, such as rising sea levels and changing weather patterns....yes, Republicans directly harming state and local economic activity, waterfront developement, reservoir planning, crop irrigation, etc, over global warming because of their corporate masters

there's many others.
And now we can add this to the list: They don't like net neutrality, they're passing a bill to block the FCC from doing it's job and fostering economic growth and development of the internet by maintaining a level playing field on open internet, in order to favor current already established interests....so yes, Republicans hurting economic growth and competition because of their corporate masters.

Re:Little hope for Net Neutrality. (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 4 months ago | (#47506709)

again. clearly not a troll post.

Lost cause (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#47462347)

Freedom lost even before the battle begun.

mo3l up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47462671)

Well, of course. (3, Funny)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 4 months ago | (#47463015)

Meanwhile, the FCC's deadline for comments about net neutrality has arrived, and the agency's servers buckled after recording over 670,000 of them.

That's because they didn't pay extra for the bandwidth. What did they expect?

politicizing the federal budget (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47463153)

Whoever complained that this is "politicizing the federal budget" loses. I didn't pay attention to which side said that, but if that's the best argument you have, clearly you have nothing. Yes, deciding how to spend OUR money is a political process, and always has been. If you're position requires pretending that isn't the case, you're obviously living in fairy tale land.

Net Neutrality = Communism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47463413)

Private companies own the fibre/copper and networking gear

Now bloody communists are taking it over, telling telcos/ISPs what they can and can't do with their own equipment

The FCC should be closed and good American Free Market Capitalism be allowed to solve the problem in any way that the free market demands.

This is like Obama care for the internet.

If you think you can do it better, thats what the free market allows, you to go and build your own network any way you want and then sell it to anyone you want. If the market wants it you will succeed, if not, well.... you will go the way of buggy whip makers. That is the power to US Capitalism.

did you not get the memo? (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 months ago | (#47463809)

the cold war is over. check your messages.

Re:Net Neutrality = Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47464215)

Didn't the "Communists" fund the building of the thing in the first place? Turn off Fox and think from time to time, man.

Re:Net Neutrality = Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47465873)

I'll bite. Obvious astroturf, but it irks me you are doing this here.

The problem with your argument is... telco market is NOT free market. I think the majority would be aligned with your opinion if one could actually compete in that area. Plus, I'm pretty sure you do not want a free-for-all in broadcast spectrum. A couple of weeks ago, there was a Slashdot article about guy running jammer in car. So, assuming you aren't a pure anarchist, telcos are using the gov't to hinder competition (from the beginning) as well as making deals with each other to stymy competition (see the TWC/Comcast public comments). Surely you can see where there should be rules/regulations given that.

Re:Net Neutrality = Communism (1)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | about 4 months ago | (#47466225)

Besides, we also have recent precedence on this. There are laws which prohibited certain anti-competitive behavior for newspapers. If you stifle the channels of communication, say the printing press in the 1800s, then you control the narrative(s). Today, the Internet is uniquely in that very same position. If you allow a privately owned organization to take self-serving priorities, with no competitive alternatives available, then you are again in a position where the narrative is dictated. Let's say Comcast buys Fox, and now only Fox content streams quickly. A Comcast subscriber decides to hear the alternative side of the narrative, say from MSNBC or CNN, but they get constant "spinning wheels," as they wait. Occasionally they get resets (as ISPs have been caught doing to P2P), or accidental DNS redirects to blackholes.

Also, the Internet was originally developed by the government and universities, and did not prioritize traffic. Imagine, for example, if GPS were to be "bought" by GE. You can only get fine positioning if you pay $x a month, but if you don't, you get 200m accuracy. Maybe this is your street to turn on, maybe it was a block back.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?