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Net Neutrality Voted Down in U.S. House Committee 354

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the multi-lane-internets dept.
Ana10g writes "Business Week provides a look at the recent vote by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, in which the FCC would have been given the power to prohibit discrimination of Internet traffic. The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists, with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others competing against the well funded Telecommunications lobbysts. The committee voted the amendment down, 34 to 22."
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Net Neutrality Voted Down in U.S. House Committee

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  • by Davus (905996) on Friday April 28, 2006 @12:47AM (#15218717) Homepage
    The proposal, by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would have given the Federal Communications Commission the power to prohibit discrimination when it comes to sending traffic over the Internet. Couldn't this, technically, also eliminate QoS/fair queue'ing and general firewall rules?
    • by mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:04AM (#15218783)
      It would depend on the wording of the bill, and given that Google, Yahoo, and Amazon know something about traffic over the internet, I would assume that the bill would be written well enough to get around those problems.
      • Like that recent 'you must have a secure access point' bill in some county? Seeing that requires the AP owners to have a firewall and a sign that says "We're not liable", not something that in any way actually secures the connection, you can be pretty damned sure that the bill isn't the slightest bit well-written. Unless that was intended as funny...
      • by billstewart (78916) on Friday April 28, 2006 @04:50AM (#15219366) Journal
        There are some serious concerns, and there's not a chance in the world of Congress writing a good bill about it. Writing legislation about things you don't understand seldom helps problems - it just sometimes shifts the balance of power by doing favors for your friends in return for future favors.

        In most big technical companies, it's tough enough to get your *management* to understand the critical technical issues. (If you work in a small startup, there's a good chance that some of the main players do understand, but if you're big enough to have VC-funded management and an HR department, it's pretty likely that have the management aren't technical enough.) Getting *Congresscritters* to understand anything technical is much tougher, and the FCC are a variable set of political hacks, ranging from occasional people who are outstandingly good to other people who are more concerned about regulating TV coverage of Janet Jackson's boobs.

        The MoveOn.org petition-distributors don't understand the real issues, so the things they're telling the Democrat Congresscritters aren't helping their ignorance any. Some of the big customers understand some of the real issues. The telecom company managers have demonstrated that while they may understand some of the issues, they'd rather do a bone-headed arrogant "It's Our Money" regulatory play than try to talk technology to the public.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Congress writing a good bill about it.

          Congresscritters almost never write their own laws these days. Thats why so many laws are talked about as "sponsored by" a representative rather than "written by". The USA PATRIOT act for instance, was written by Ashcroft (or more likely, a group of people represented by Ashcroft, and put forth as the "Department of Justice")
    • by arivanov (12034) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:29AM (#15219019) Homepage
      Couldn't this, technically, also eliminate QoS/fair queue'ing and general firewall rules?

      First, yes it would. Thanks god I live in a slightly more sane country (only by a bit unfortunately). Otherwise I would have lost one of my primary pieces of daily bread. Been doing QoS for 7+ years now.

      Second, Amazon, MSFT and Co should have acted long ago when the Baby Bells and Bell Wannabies killed off the peering points circa Y2K. Instead of that, they went into a direct relationship with the Baby Bells and Bell Wannabies. As a result they simply do not have a leg to stand on regarding any such issues. They are already in contractual agreement with the ATT, Verizon, Level3, etc and if one of these decides to alter the contract there is little they could do.

      To put things in a perspective - in the US traffic from access goes across the telco backbone and goes to Amazon and the like via a private link. In this environment the content provider is at the mercy of the telco. In Europe the traffic goes from access across the telco backbone after that traverses a well maintained non-profit peering point like Lynx and hits the content provider after that. Technically, you can do QoS in both cases. Practically, while you can there is no way you can guarantee any QoS because you do not control the entire route. The Bells understood this more than 5 years ago and killed the US peering points like MAE by maintaining the infrastructure as bad as they could (they also owned most of them) and forcing everyone to go private. From there on the question of net neutrality is utterly pointless.

    • Neutrality of the network keeps your right to QoS. Basically the telcos want to ban/limit/block what you can route on your connection at there perogative. Net neutrality means that they can't do that.

      Telcos don't want you doing VoIP since that competes against there products. They don't want you doing IPtv since they think they own the network that can do such.

      When i buy internet i don't buy "comcast" i buy comcasts network access to the internet. Net neutrality agreement was meant to enforce that "open acc
  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Friday April 28, 2006 @12:52AM (#15218732) Journal
    The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists, with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others competing against the well funded Telecommunications lobbysts. The committee voted the amendment down, 34 to 22.

    So long as we're clear: it's just big companies with lots of money fighting each other for the right to make money off of us. God for-fucking-bid the "battlefield" should in anyway involve some kind of consideration of what might be best for the human constitutents the congresscritters are elected to serve.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:08AM (#15218800)
      "What's best for the biggest corporations is best for all of us. You're not a commie, are you?"
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:14AM (#15218816)
        "What's best for the biggest corporations is best for all of us. You're not a terrorist, are you?"

        There, brought you up to the 21st C.

        • I know this is all satire, humor, etc. I'm not THAT impaired. But sometimes the reality makes it a little less funny.

          But a week or so back, I saw a show (on the History Channel?) about Carnegie and his right-hand man, and about how they squashed a steel strike in Pittsburgh in the late 1800's and destroyed the union there. They painted a pretty grim picture of life in Pittsburgh at that time for ordinary working people.

          Please tell me what about our nation's current legislative direction doesn't appear to ho
      • If thinking that big corporations don't give a rat's rear about what's good for us, then yes, I'm a commie. I'd rather be a commie than a gullible fool.
    • I'm confused. Can you tell me how this would have effected you personally?

      People keep saying how it will effect them personally, but I guess I just don't understand how.
      • affect, the word you were looking for is affect
      • I was just kidding. Looking for responses since everyone seems to complain about this, but few really seem to understand it.
      • by eno2001 (527078) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:54AM (#15219094) Homepage Journal
        OK Dim son. Here goes (all hypothetical):

        1. You get your internet access from AOL
        2. They get their access from a metaISP. Let's just say AT&T for simplicty
        3. AT&T is finacially related to... let's say Barnes & Noble Bookstores
        4. You want to hit Amazon to buy a book
        5. Barnes & Noble tell AT&T to provided the slowest possible access (modem speeds) to their competitors and lightning fast access to Barnes and Noble. AT&T Complies
        6. You try to get to Amazon.com and you either get a timeout or the site renders VERY SLOWLY
        7. This makes you think that Amazon sucks, so you ditch them and go through others until you find this really great bookseller online: Barnes & Noble

        Nevermind that their prices are higher and they don't provide access to used books and media. So you just got hamstrung. Now... let's say you discover through friends who have excellent experiences with Amazon that you are missing out. What do you do? You could change ISPs to one who is a partner or in some other way is financially related to Amazon. But then... your access to your favorite news or sports site slows to a crawl. That's how this is going to impact you. Nice huh?
        • Well, you could of course sign up for 2 DSL contracts at the same time! This way, there's profit for everyone*! I think you really made the final goal of all this clear, man :)


          * you excluded

        • What do you do? You could change ISPs to one who is a partner or in some other way is financially related to Amazon. But then... your access to your favorite news or sports site slows to a crawl. That's how this is going to impact you. Nice huh?

          Right on the money. And there is nothing to prevent content providers from charging ISPs now either. So, Google could turn around and block access to its content from certain ISPs, after all at some point if the content provider is going to be blamed for poor perfo
    • by RoffleTheWaffle (916980) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:15AM (#15218818) Journal
      A-fuckin'-men, bro'. I'm of the mind that the means to communicate should be a utility, not a luxury. Our taxes did after all subsidize the telecommunications industry to allow them to lay the copper lines to make this happen in the first place, and everyone and their mother knows that this has shit to do with fiber. It's all about money and who gets to play with it.
      • by Arker (91948) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:37AM (#15219046) Homepage
        Not only that, we also subsidised all that fibre already as well. The telecoms pocketed most of the money and now they're complaining they need to finance the fibre we already paid them for once.

        On the bright side, it's nice to see MS money going to a good cause. I bet Bill Gates is rolling over in his coffin at the thought.
        • On the bright side, it's nice to see MS money going to a good cause. I bet Bill Gates is rolling over in his coffin at the thought.

          You do realise that the Gates Foundation [gatesfoundation.org] has given grants worth $10.2 billion [gatesfoundation.org] since its inception, right?

          Bash MS and Gates all you like, but at least bash them for legitimate reasons, and Gates' lack of caring about good causes isn't one of them.
      • Not only that, but the vast majority of that fibre and copper is laid through public land. I say that if the telecoms companies start charging content providers like this, you guys should start charging them for use of your land.
    • by littlerubberfeet (453565) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:48AM (#15218902)
      I called my representative (Jim Moran) and had a productive conversation with a senior staffer. My congressman is in agreement with net neutrality, and has been since the issue first manifested itself. My two Virginia senators don't even have public issue statements yet, and are difficult to contact, even the staffers. Allen and Warner are difficult to deal with generally.

      But anyway, to the meat of my comment: Our reps actually DO listen, at least when we call or write (on that flat white thin stuff...email is ignored) so, I chose to make some phone calls.

      My basic pitch to the representatives: I'm a small business owner in Virginia. I voted for you. I might not in the future. A core part of my method of business relies on a neutral, accessible internet. If congress were to allow the telecoms to restrict access, my business might fail, along with many others in the state. Help us, and we will help you.

      Basically, let your reps know your point of view, and make them recognize that this is a litmus test issue for you. Ask them to work for you and keep your vote. This won't work for the complete whores in congress, but the ones on the fence, or in vulnerable elections will listen. So: CALL OR WRITE THAT PERSON WHO YOU VOTED FOR, AND ARE PAYING TO REPRESENT YOU. IT WORKS SOMETIMES.
    • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:03AM (#15218937) Homepage Journal
      If they ask questions and vote their interests, Congress will respond to their interests.

      If they spend their time watching TV and vote based on what they see in expensive TV campaign ads then Congress will respond to whoever donates money.
    • "So long as we're clear: it's just big companies with lots of money fighting each other for the right to make money off of us. God for-fucking-bid the "battlefield" should in anyway involve some kind of consideration of what might be best for the human constitutents the congresscritters are elected to serve."

      So, have you bothered to write your congressperson about it?

      Yeah, thats what I thought.

      How the hell do you think the people in congress are going to get the idea that this is in the 1% of importan
  • Ed Markey involved with telecom lobbyists? Say it ain't so!
  • I'm so torn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deque_alpha (257777) <qhartmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:02AM (#15218770) Journal
    The idea of giving the FCC more control over things they probably shouldn't control doesn't make me happy, but missing a chance to explicitly prohibit a tiered Internet is kind of a bummer... Oh well, in cases like this consumer always gets screwed one way or another, it's just a question of who's doing the screwing...

    As an aside, doesn't the whole "tiered Internet" concept that the telco's are trying to float violate the concept of "common carrier"? Anyone know?
    • Re:I'm so torn (Score:5, Informative)

      by TX297 (861307) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:09AM (#15218805) Homepage
      As an aside, doesn't the whole "tiered Internet" concept that the telco's are trying to float violate the concept of "common carrier"? Anyone know?

      Networks not regulated as common carriers are referred to as Information Services or Enhanced Services, and are generally regulated under title I of the Communications Act. (Source [wikipedia.org])

    • Re:I'm so torn (Score:2, Insightful)

      by x102output (536049)
      what?

      The whole reason the Internet has been the way it has is because of the FCC regulation.

      This got voted down....THIS IS BAD.

      Companies like Barnes and Noble would have the cash to have their page served to you fast, while your local library would run slower then a 56k modem. (Analogy from http://www.savetheinternet.com/ [savetheinternet.com] This creates a Walmart effect!
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:14AM (#15218815)
    The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists,

    Shouldn't be which group has the most voters? And I mean in the country, not in Congress.

    with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others competing against the well funded Telecommunications lobbysts.

    Ah, yes. Your monopoly profits at work -- ON BOTH SIDES!

    • Re:Insights * 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jrieth50 (846378) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:55AM (#15219095)
      In fairness a plethora of consumer group's pleadings and petitions were filed into the official record - but the only 'man speaking for the people' at the hearing was a guy from Columbia Law.

      The only guy on the panel who felt net neutrality was unnecessary was the telco guy 'McCormick' who repeatedly assured the panel they would never 'limit, degrade, or block service' to anyone - all while agreeing that one congressman's analogy that suggested exactly that was 'apropos.' How bout that.

      Meanwhile republican bobble-heads were nodding in agreement nearly the entire time with the 4 other panelists who FAVORED net neutrality and seemed to understand the issue. Vote time comes - only one republican voted for it. Another 'gee, how bout that' moment. What I think surprised me the most is that they actually seemed to grasp the necessity of net neutrality throughout - but they're such whores they voted against it anyways when the attention was elsewhere (see gas prices.)
    • Shouldn't be which group has the most voters?

      That deserves to be modded +5 funny.

  • by mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:30AM (#15218854)
    I'd like to see companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, et cetera, form some kind of coalition. For one week, I'd like them to choose a telecom, maybe Verizon one week and at&t the next.

    During that week, any requests for pages from those sites from the telecom's network would respond with a warning page saying

    WARNING:

    Your ISP ([Verizon]) is attempting to charge [Google] so that you can continue to access our site over the internet. If this happens, you will not be able to access [Google] using [Verizon]'s network. We assure you this is not our fault, and we hope you continue to use our site in the future.

    If [Verizon] begins charging sites, you will no longer be able to access any of these sites using [Verizon] internet access:

    • Google
    • Yahoo
    • ebay
    • et cetera

    [Verizon]'s customer service number is [1-877-483-5898].

    Continue on to the page you requested. [google.com]

    Content providers' sites are one of the few reasons that Verizon and at&t can sell anything. Without sites like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo, Verizon and at&t's pipes are pretty much worthless. The content providers really should make this clear to Verizon and at&t.

    • Without sites like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo
      You forgot Empornium and ThePirateBay ;-)
    • If the NFL and UPS can strike, so can Google. One day without Google, and the telecoms' customers will go apeshit and fucking melt their switchboard in India.

      We have a Congress whose only thought is to their lobbyists, not their constituents. So the rest of us are left to the law of the 800-lb. gorilla.

      Well, Google is the 800-lb gorilla. I look forward to when Google sees fit to serve up some attitude correction: "Sit down, shut up, and don't MAKE ME come back there."

    • Along the same lines, individual users and bloggers could join this coalition and blacklist any ISPs that are known to degrade or give preferential service to certain sites. Users attempting to hit a page would get a standardized page directing them to savetheinternet.com or some such location w/instructions on how to complain to their ISP.

      Users may not miss one or two sites, but when enough sites do this, if the coalation for a free Internet is large enough, maybe the ISP's own customers will start to com
    • Would be nice, except nearly everyone in the US is sending data over ATT, Level3, or similar, lines. Those telecomms that were lobbying for this are the backbone providers, and that's where they could do QoS.

      For example, I have a cable modem through Charter. For me to get to Slashdot, I have to go through *at least* three ATT nodes. To get to Google, I'm going through Level3. Hell, I have to go through ATT nodes to get the MCI, Sprint, Cingular, and even Speakeasy.

      Blacklisting in that way would mean th
  • by buss_error (142273) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:35AM (#15218863) Homepage Journal
    I see a lot of "Oh, well, we get screwed again!" kind of comments.

    The shame is that we (the voters) don't stand up and say "ENOUGH!" Is it because we don't think what we want is right, or is it because we expect political special interests to win despite what we, the voters want?

    The game is rigged, sure enough, just as long as we sit down, shut up, and don't vote. I don't care if you disagree with me, I just want you to vote.

  • by beoswulf (940729) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:39AM (#15218874)
    I don't understand how telecos are going to throttle packets.

    It sounds as if the telecos are going to throttle the entire internet, especially the bigger content providers. Then only "paid", higher tiered content providers will be delivered with "premium" speeds? All the while the premium bandwith will be reserved for the telecos digital television over DSL and such.

    But how is a teleco operating one of the net backbones going to know what exactly is inside a packet, if the packet is coming from a paid tier source, and where it's destination is without opening it up and examining it? That sounds like a rather ominious intrusion.

    • Most likely they won't open packets. Too difficult for them. What they will do IMHO however is to throttle at the point where the line that leaves the building enters the main flow of traffic. Then just run it like the old 3 Stoogies routine. Heres 1 for you and 2 for me, one for you and 3 for me.... Wonder how long it will take before people learn how to manipulate the system and we'll have the Telco's screaming to congress that mean old pirates are stealing their bandwidth and as a result they can't
    • But how is a teleco operating one of the net backbones going to know what exactly is inside a packet, if the packet is coming from a paid tier source, and where it's destination is without opening it up and examining it? That sounds like a rather ominious intrusion.

      They just need to look at the source and destination IPs on the packet to know where it's going and coming from. And they're already looking at the entire IP header, so it's not exactly an intrusion.
    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday April 28, 2006 @03:16AM (#15219147) Homepage
      It's all about killing VOIP. It's real fucking easy to do now days. Not only can you sniff each packet, but you can tell what application that VOIP traffic is coming from. You can kiss Vonage, Lingo, and Skype good-bye. But don't worry; the local Telco's and cell phone industry would be more than happy to offer you an alternative...for a small fee of course.

      Remember, VOIP is still a new technology in the eyes of the public. They feel the need to crush it before it gains mass public support and thus political support to keep it alive.
  • by shalunov (149369) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:06AM (#15218945) Homepage
    I don't think the net neutrality [internet2.edu] question---or, rather, questions---are so straightforward as some here make them appear. The topic, however, is extremely important: what connection do you want to have in 5 years---a 10-Mb/s one or a 1-Gb/s one?
    • 10mb or 1Gb doesn't matter, as long as someone else dictates at what speeds you may go where.

      I don't care if I got 1GB speed when accessing a port 80 (http) server, when at the same time I get 50kbit for streaming content, P2P or secure copy.
  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:10AM (#15218955) Homepage Journal
    You know... if everyone is forced to deliver all net content unfettered, there's no competition on quality, whereas is they aren't required to, different carriers will be able to compete on how unrestricted their net access is... thereby helping consumers by driving prices... um... sideways or something.
  • http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet [freepress.net]

    not sure how much it will do now...but worth a shot?
  • by edunbar93 (141167) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:28AM (#15219014)
    The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists

    Gee, I would *never* have thought! I mean, like, in this day and age, I would expect that buying off politicians was *impossible!*
  • Such Damage... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Friday April 28, 2006 @02:40AM (#15219052)
    ..will be routed around. At least for the rest of the world that doesn't cripple itself. It could really suck for US internet customers and businesses for a long time unfortunately, if the major copper and fiber owners manage to roll this out.

    This may very well mean those content providers and other businesses will move operations outside the USA. Hopefully, this might (not sure on this) make it difficult for US-based major telecoms and ISPs to discriminate against foreign traffic because of international treaties and agreements.

    Combined with restrictive IP laws and high taxes, this could add significantly to pressure forcing innovative technologies and the corporations behind them to base themselves outside US control.

    As Princess Leia said about a possible future powergrab..

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

    Once more, it seems (relatively) short-term profits win out over longer-term strategies that would benefit everyone in many ways, including even themselves, and to a much greater degree over time than this self-defeating quick cash grab.

    Seems they never learned the old adage about not crapping in ones' own nest.

    Cheers!

    Strat
  • Interesting Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jrieth50 (846378) on Friday April 28, 2006 @03:09AM (#15219133)
    Another interesting question I think needs to be asked - if the United States validates AT&T Chairman's belief that those are 'his pipes' (forgetting its only the last mile,) how long before China decides that those are 'their pipes' and ditto for every connected country in the world.

    Doesn't it stand to reason that anyone providing last mile connectivity or even backbone suddenly declare themselves worthy of charging these tolls? So instead of Google/Yahoo/etc paying just SBC/Verizon/AT&T - now they're expected to pay every telco the world over to ensure they're competitive globally vs. local competition?

    Very dangerous precedent could potentially be set. (And FYI - Congresspeople are not completely oblivious to phone calls and snail mail. If it adds up on them they take that very seriously particularly if you are a constituent. Sending an e-mail though is completely useless (I know...)
  • by sentientbrendan (316150) on Friday April 28, 2006 @03:26AM (#15219173)
    Cynicism aside, what's the right thing to do in this situation?

    On the one hand, in seems like the people who own the pipes should be able to do whatever they want with them. If we say they can't prioritize traffic of people that pay them good money to do it, aren't we violating their right to property?

    On the other hand, if they start charging individual sites they could potentially hamper the economy, which would be against the public good. The problem is something like if all the roads in the country were privately owned and had toll booths everywhere...

    Maybe the answer is that bandwidth should become a public utility. The companies who own it should be granted a monopoly, but then should be severely regulated along the lines power is. Its obvious that internet connectivity is as important to the public good as water and power. We need uniform access to these services across the country. Any part of the country that doesn't have access because its not profitable for verizon to provide it, simply can't economically develop. Also, realistically speaking, this would be *vastly* easier to do than power.

    I'm sure that the existing bandwidth providers would have to be pulled into this kicking and screaming... but frankly the exact same thing happened with power providers. Originally, power companies didn't want to be forced to do things like run lines out to rural areas. This was unfortunate, because electric lighting is pretty important in agriculture. Eventually, when it was evident that the interest of the power companies came so strongly in conflict with the public interest, the regulations we have today were set up.

    I don't know if this is necessary for bandwidth. It hasn't really come up so far, primarily because its a new thing, and because it didn't take them that long to make the internet accessible from pretty much everywhere in the country, by some means or another. Of course, that's just my anecdotal impression. Are there some places where its impossible to get a T1 line at a reasonable price? Are even businesses stuck with satellite in many places? If that's the case, it would be a strong argument to regulate the ISPs in some ways.

    However, as far as I know aside from just generally failing to get home broadband to work on their first try, the ISPs seem to have done a pretty good job of getting everyone internet access. I think they must be somewhat aware of what could happen to them in terms of regulation if they abuse the public good too much. I'm sure they will follow a very fine line, but I'm happy to wait to see if they cross it before I consider regulation a good option. As a rule, its best to do nothing if you can. However, prioritized traffic is probably something we have to stop, depending on how strong the prioritization is. If they insure a certain level of quality for all traffic, it probably won't be an issue... but I suspect that they won't if they can get away with it.
    • aren't we violating their right to property?

      Yes. But only in the same way we're violating the power companies' right to property when we tell them that they're not allowed to charge the telecomms and cable companies for all the traffic going through those wires they stuck up on all of the power companies' big, expensive, wooden poles.

      And the same way we're violating my property rights by not allowing me to charge the power companies rent for the parts of my property they've stuck those poles into.

      Oh wa

  • by john_uy (187459)
    isn't this being implemented now? networks already have qos in place and they charge different rates for best effort, guaranteeed, bursting traffic, etc.

    but in any case, good thing i don't live in the usa. lately, there have been lots of crazy laws being made. it's the most exciting drama show on earth.

    but seriously, i hope that other countries will not get into this (this issue in particular.) right now, networks are being interconnected and not passing through usa anymore. i just hope that major prov
  • I wonder how the committee voted on this.

    Would it be so hard for the reporter to include that in the story?

    The official site of the committee hides their voting record on matters like this very well.

    I couldn't find it... Would it be that hard to have a quick link on the main page?

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/ [house.gov]

    Business as usual within the beltway.
    • by LackThereof (916566) on Friday April 28, 2006 @06:26AM (#15219542)

      I found the vote tally [savetheinternet.com], but not on any .gov - I had to google for it. That link also contains the office phone numbers for every committee member - not that changing their minds will help at this point, but a scolding could be in order.

      Americans should probably look this list over and see if their rep is on it. Mine is not. The vote was pretty much along party lines, with 5 Dems crossing over and voting against the Markey amendment (Gonzalez - TX, Green - TX, Rush - IL, Towns - NY, Wynn - MD), and only 1 Republican voting for it (Wilson - NM)

  • by Polski Radon (787846) on Friday April 28, 2006 @04:37AM (#15219325)
    Please remain on your side of the pond.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @05:06AM (#15219401)
    From a comment on Groklaw:

    Note that the "children" comments that followed this comment covered much detail regarding some specifics to part of what was in the quotes taken from the comment below - to see those comments and children of those comments go to:

    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&si d=2006042600285164&title=Net+Neutrality+is+equal+t o+Freedom+of+Speech...!&type=article&order=&hidean onymous=0&pid=434496#c434501 [groklaw.net]

    "Verizon and the TelCo PAC say they need to be paid for the upgrades to fiber that they are making? Well, one union lineman that works for Verizon told me that as the TELCOs install more fiber to the house, they will end up saving HUGE amounts of money, as the TELCOs will more longer need to pay for the expensive labor that is required today to maintain the copper lines (corrosion, lightning damage due to copper getting hit then equipment blowing up), as copper costs them. The Union for Telco workers is looking at fiber optics to the business or house as the biggest pink slip creator ever in the history of the Telephone Industry. Copper costs the Telephone Companies in both labor (maintance) and equipment (Fiber equipment lasts longer and does not suffer from electrical surges that are caused by every lighting storm that happens in the US ever day. Fiber does not corrode, does not conduct lighting, and is even cheaper to produce with a lower cost per foot to buy than copper... FIber is just glass! Cheap to produce and cheap to maintain... all splices to fiber lines are perfect every time. A splice to a copper line is a future failure point due to the corrosion that can then occur at that point or break in the line.

    The Telephone and cable industry does NOT need to charge more! They don't need the right to OWN the internet and charge fees to those who USE is (other than the customer side where a customer can choose the speed they want and pay the fee for it's use)! The Telephone Companies and Cable Companies are looking for their own monopoly again (only this time in restricting free speech, freedom of commerce, and to restrict and own the freedoms of competition with their own a third party tax OR TOLL BOOTH ON THE PUBLIC INTERNET where the fees then become a barrier to it's use!

    IF the Republicans pass this bill through it will cause masses of internet users to vote them out of office in the next election. The US internet user wants their internet access on every side to remain free! This is an attack by an industry on the Freedoms of Internet Access and by doing this it is a direct attack on the Freedoms of Speech! What are YOU going to do about this TODAY?"
    • IF the Republicans pass this bill through it will cause masses of internet users to vote them out of office in the next election. The US internet user wants their internet access on every side to remain free! This is an attack by an industry on the Freedoms of Internet Access and by doing this it is a direct attack on the Freedoms of Speech! What are YOU going to do about this TODAY?"

      The more I read about this the more I wish congress would not pass it with the net neutrality provisions. You see, we cur

  • Useless men... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by not-admin (943926)
    Google's Quote of the Day two days ago hit the nail on the head:

    In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
    - John Adams
  • Perhaps we should lobby against those who voted against this. We already know where their interests are. Hit them at the next election.

  • Ya know, I think making the net non-neutral in this case, inherently, is not a bad thing. I honestly would not be upset at all if the isp or carriers directed me to specific content if I subscribed to their service IF (and this is a big if) they did not possess local monopolies. As such, my only choice where I live for broadband is timewarner/road runner. Thus, if this bill passes, I'm subject to whatever content timewarner decides to push to me instead of me having a choice. Again, I don't think on the
  • I wonder if anyone has pointed out to these astute members of Congress that without net neutrality it would be possible for well-funded opponents to pay for much better access of their campaign websites to voters? Also, moving beyond the Googles, Amazons and Yahoos, does all this mean that superchurches will have better access to me than my local Methodist church, that the Havards and Stanfords will have better access to my college-bound children than the nearby small four-year liberal arts college, that i
  • Interestingly, the word "committee" does not appear in the US Constitution (neither does the word "party" in the context of political party). I highly doubt the designers envisioned a bunch of committees having a stranglehold on the entire operation of the legislative branch of the government (nor but two rigidly disciplined political parties, disguising the fact that they are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, having unassailable joint rule of the entire nation for an eternity).
  • Thats fine, if they want to play games like this then get out your RFC template and write a new standard they cant block easily or legally.

    Just a wild @$$ idea, bitp2p. The new spec outlines a new DNS tag, say BD. Much like MX records this can point to multiple servers weighted. Each server supplies the information to connect to a p2p network running its own DNS and encrypted data transfer. Since the users on this p2p network would be connected to various ISP's each will have its own advantages and disa

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