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Senator Doesn't Buy FCC Justification For Killing Net Neutrality (dslreports.com) 42

From a report: Senator Edward Markey this week questioned FCC boss Ajit Pai's justifications for killing popular net neutrality rules in a hearing in Washington. We've noted repeatedly that while large ISPs claim net neutrality killed broadband investment, objective analysis repeatedly finds that to be a lie. That's not just based on publicly-available SEC filings and earnings reports, but the industry's own repeated comments to investors and analysts. But that doesn't stop AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Charter (and the ocean of politicians, think tankers, consultants and other PR vessels they employ to make this misleading argument in the media on a daily basis) from making the claim anyway. And while Pai once again this week breathlessly proclaimed that net neutrality put a damper on network investment, Markey simply wasn't having it. "Publicly traded companies are required by law to provide investors accurate financial information, including reporting any risks or financial burdens," Markey said. "However, I have found no publicly traded ISP that has reported to its investors by law that Title II has negatively impacted investment in their networks. Many, in fact, have increased deployment and investment."
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Senator Doesn't Buy FCC Justification For Killing Net Neutrality

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  • Since that seems to be the paid shill argument de jour about it--the PR whores know they lost the battle against network neutrality, so now they want to convince net neutrality proponents that they were falling into the ISPs' trap all along in supporting it.. even though anyone with half a brain can see the opposite is true. Sad!
    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      The correct people have been paid, the fox is running the hen house. Losing net neutrality is just a matter of time. Enjoy your cable-package-esque internet access. Enjoy everything going up in price as ISPs get to charge both users and the destinations they want to reach.
  • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:21PM (#54856055) Journal
    Edward Markey is a member of the democratic party, so at this point he has no power whatsoever in congress. It's great that he feels this way but unless he can convince enough other people to care, then he's just pissing in the wind (ie, pandering to his base).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually it's not his "job" to make you care, it's yours.

      • Actually it's not his "job" to make you care, it's yours.

        It's no one's job, it's no one's responsibility. But if no one does it, then nothing will get done.

      • I do care (I don't speak for the other guy), and I'm sure lots of other people in tech care too. But it doesn't matter: we have zero power now. Trump is President, and Pai is the FCC Director, and the GOP is in power in Congress, so there's nothing any of us can do at least until the 2018 elections, and even that's questionable as you'd need a really strong majority in Congress to pass a law overruling the FCC's leadership.

        • I do care (I don't speak for the other guy), and I'm sure lots of other people in tech care too. But it doesn't matter: we have zero power now. Trump is President, and Pai is the FCC Director, and the GOP is in power in Congress, so there's nothing any of us can do at least until the 2018 elections, and even that's questionable as you'd need a really strong majority in Congress to pass a law overruling the FCC's leadership.

          Look, I and most people I've talked to whose views are fairly-consistent with mine don't want ISPs doing shady crap regarding who gets what how fast any more than anyone else does. I (we) just don't think a federal bureaucracy is the go-to, best solution to making sure it doesn't happen.

          I also don't want the federal government extending it's power ever-deeper into regulating the internet. Especially not by a commission whose head is politically appointed and makes & alters policies & regulations wit

          • So how do you suggest this specific problem be solved? OK so you are against govt regulation. So who is left to crack down on monopolistic practices?
            (1) When massive corporation with massive amounts of power and no competition runs amok in the marketplace and there is no free market in their segment who is supposed to fix the issue?
            (2) When massive corporation with massive amounts of power and no competition and no free market in their segment dumps toxins in streams and waterways because it's bette
            • So how do you suggest this specific problem be solved? OK so you are against govt regulation. So who is left to crack down on monopolistic practices?

              Just because the FCC isn't in charge of the internet does not mean corporations/ISPs are suddenly immune from the law. Normal existing laws already cover most things. If DAs and prosecutors, etc would actually decide to do something, laws against fraud, racketeering, etc etc could be applied.

              That's the heart of the problem right there: There are already laws on the books that could be applied here, but government is unwilling because they are corrupt. Handing the global internet to the FCC isn't going to ma

              • The issue here is not fraud or racketeering. In the US there is no free market in the ISP space. It’s not like customers can vote with their dollars and move to another ISP that does not practice these anti-consumer behaviours. In our current political climate we see a political party has complete control of the government and what do they do? They parrot the marketing speak of the giant corporations which means they are not going to do anything about the anti free market and anti consumer practic
                • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

                  Not to mention that the nature of these anti-consumer practices (absent any laws to change it) would be mostly invisible to the consumer. If your ISP is selling information about you that they gathered in the course of your everyday web activity (even in your broswer's 'private browsing' mode) - how would you know?

                  And for those worried about government 'interference', wouldn't having your entire web browsing history one subpoena away be a bigger threat than the government telling ISP's they can't block acc

                  • From andydread ( 758754 ):

                    In the US there is no free market in the ISP space.

                    From: Rob Y. ( 110975 )

                    Not to mention that the nature of these anti-consumer practices (absent any laws to change it) would be mostly invisible to the consumer.

                    Change the laws/pass new laws directly addressing net neutrality specifically through Congress where there are elected representatives that can be held accountable directly. Handing it off to a political-appointee-run bureaucracy to write and implement sweeping regulations with the force of federal law (mostly to avoid that accountability in the first place) is asking for trouble.

                    Strat

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
          Yeah, net neutrality died the moment you elected that fuckwit. Forget about it.
          • Exactly. But it's OK: as a wise Frenchman (I believe) once wrote, "every nation gets the government it deserves". Apparently, we deserve Trump.

    • Edward Markey is a member of the democratic party, so at this point he has no power whatsoever in congress. It's great that he feels this way but unless he can convince enough other people to care, then he's just pissing in the wind (ie, pandering to his base).

      Note that the Democratic party held both houses and the presidency from 2009 to 2011 [quora.com], and nothing useful got done.

      Pandering to your base is easy when you're the minority party, or when the other house is controlled by the opposite party.

      Then you can pander all you want, placing blame on the other party for preventing you from doing what's right and just for the people!

      During 2009 to 2011 the Democrats held majorities in both houses, but not supermajorities! If only the Democrats had just a few more votes,

  • by Jaegs ( 645749 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:46PM (#54856133) Homepage Journal

    From a Gizmodo article about their FOIA request regarding the DDoS attack on the FCC's website:

    "Taken at its word, the FCC’s statement means that for a period of about 15 hours, no one in the agency’s IT department wrote a single email or memo, nor did they take down any notes of any kind about the cyberattack that, according to Chairman Pai, caused a malicious 3000-percent increase in network traffic."

    (http://gizmodo.com/the-fcc-is-full-of-shit-1797124634)

    I've been out of IT for a while, now, but I'm sure others on /. can attest to how impossible this is.

  • The only reason that the large ISPs hated NN was that it didn't allow them to use their typical "if value, then money" rent-seeking monopolistic means testing.

    They were forced to provide a service for a fixed fee that could not be adjusted based on the perceived value of the transfer of bits to the customer. That is, if video is important, then obviously providers like Netflix should pay a higher rate. Even better, customers should pay a higher rate to get those bits from Netflix in a "Giga Blast Video Extr

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Netflix is charged for internet access.
      The consumer is charged for internet access.
      The consumer is charged for netflix.

      So the ISPs are already burning the candle at both ends and the consumer gets burned twice. And that is in the best, most net-neutral of cases.

      They want to charge both the provider, and the consumer, again, for the nature of their use (above and beyond the bits for which they are both already paying).

      • Netflix is charged for internet access. The consumer is charged for internet access. The consumer is charged for netflix.

        So the ISPs are already burning the candle at both ends and the consumer gets burned twice. And that is in the best, most net-neutral of cases.

        There is no double-dipping in this case. Both sides are getting charged separately for access, which is fair. Consumers pay for Internet access. Netflix pays for their Internet access out of what customer of their service pay them for their service.

        They want to charge both the provider, and the consumer, again, for the nature of their use (above and beyond the bits for which they are both already paying).

        Maybe I wasn't clear enough, but that's what I was trying to say.

        Essentially, with NN, everyone got charged the same rate for the bits they used without consideration of what kind of data those bits were. Without NN, the ISPs will try to charge more for certain t

  • And elsewhere in the hearing was a senator emphatically SUPPORTING the FCC justification. Slashdot could have mentioned both sides of this issue, but instead seems to cherrypick the side it prefers.

    In fact, the senator bringing analysis showing a decrease in broadband investment following the Open Internet Order goes farther, not only bringing a counter claim but also showing where the other analysis went awry. This is supportive of the FCC's position that there is a real cost to micromanaging internet serv

  • by volkris ( 694 )

    When you watch the video of the exchange, Markey was being given data he was asking for. He just ignored it.

    Markey says there's no data that Network Neutrality hurts investment, while Pai responds by pointing to the data saying it does. Markey doesn't do anything to say why he'd ignore the facts Pai is bringing out; he simply restates that it doesn't exist.

    Here's the video clip: https://www.c-span.org/video/?... [c-span.org]

    Elsewhere in the hearing another senator runs with the data provided by the FCC, pointing out tha

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