from the what-speed-is-their-connection? dept.
In an absolute surprise to nobody, six Senators came out today saying something along the lines of 5Mbps should be enough for anybody:
Today's letter from Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) is almost hilarious in its deep misunderstanding about how people actually use the internet and what they need. The senators say that the 25Mbps standard is unnecessary because, for example, Netflix only recommends a download speed of 5Mbps for HD video, and Amazon only 3.5Mbps. (The recommendation for 4K video from Netflix is actually 25Mbps, but we suppose lawmakers agree that nobody should enjoy Ultra HD content yet.)
The senators say they are "concerned that this arbitrary 25/3 Mbps benchmark fails to accurately capture what most Americans consider broadband," and that "the use of this benchmark discourages broadband providers from offering speeds at or above the benchmark." If these sound exactly like talking points from Verizon, Comcast, and other major ISPs, that's because they are: Comcast loves to tell Americans that they don't need faster internet, and ISPs join together every time they are about to be regulated to say that regulations will chill their future investments. Ars Technica reported that Republicans in Congress echoed ISP spin about network investments in hearings over net neutrality, but then just three months after the net neutrality rules took effect last year, Comcast posted earnings that showed its capital expenditures actually increased by 11 percent. So the idea that creating a standard will discourage ISPs from meeting that standard is total nonsense.
What about you lot? Does your connection meet the new broadband definition? Mine matches the download side but fails by two thirds on the upload side.
John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.
“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.
Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.
Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.
O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."
Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.
“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”