Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Fnord666 on Saturday January 21 2017, @01:24PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the here-we-go dept.

Several news sites are reporting that Donald Trump is looking to elevate Ajit Pai to head up the FCC:

Ajit Pai, a Republican Federal Communications Commission member and foe of net neutrality regulation, will be named to head the agency, according to a person familiar with the transition.

Pai has often dissented as FCC Democrats voted for tighter regulations, including the 2015 open internet, or net neutrality, decision that forbids internet service providers from unfairly blocking or slowing web traffic. The rule opposed by AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. is among those likely to be reversed by president Donald Trump's FCC, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts.

Additional information at Politico and Reuters.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Politics: FCC Guards Eject Reporter 37 comments

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.

Washington Post

“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.

Los Angeles Times

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."

Politico

According to the publication for which the reporter works (archived copy),

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.”

Congresspeople Ask FCC to Ditch Set-top Box Plan 33 comments

Ars Technica reports that nineteen Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written a letter (PDF) to the new chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking him to "close the docket" (end) a proposal regarding set-top boxes.

Tom Wheeler, the previous chair, had made the proposal, which he had touted by saying:

If adopted, consumers would no longer have to pay monthly fees to rent a box. Instead, they would be able to access their pay-TV content via free apps on a variety of devices, including smart TVs, streaming boxes, tablets and smartphones. Consumers would also enjoy a better viewing experience thanks to integrated search and new innovation that will flow from enhanced competitive choice.

The proposal (PDF) advocates that

Consumers should be able to choose how they access the Multichannel Video Programming Distributor's (MVPD's) – cable, satellite or telco companies [sic] – video services to which they subscribe. For example, consumers should be able to have the choice of accessing programming through the MVPD-provided interface on a pay-TV set-top box or app, or through devices such as a tablet or smart TV using a competitive app or software. MVPDs and competitors should be able to differentiate themselves and compete based on the experience they offer users, including the quality of the user interface and additional features like suggested content, integration with home entertainment systems, caller ID and future innovations.

[Continues...]

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by SpockLogic on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:00PM

    by SpockLogic (2762) on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:00PM (#456967)

    A sad day for consumers.

    We the people are fucked.

    --
    Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:17PM (#456972)

      I like to remind you, we said that about tom wheeler. Look what he gave us.
      Lets just judge the person by their actions IN the office rather than succumbing to the 'the sky is falling' mentality of the news outlets that backed clinton.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:27PM

      What's that old saying? The net views censorship as damage and routes around it? I'm thinking it's easy to solve this by routing around or outright blocking bad actors but whether companies will is another story entirely.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Nerdfest on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:42PM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Saturday January 21 2017, @02:42PM (#456978)

        The thing is, you're going to pay extra to route around it at normal speeds. Maybe even more if it's not from a specific video supplier.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @03:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @03:49PM (#456989)

        Don't be a dunce.
        80% of the population suffers from a last-mile broadband duopoly.
        And one of those choices is nearly always DSL which doesn't live up to the definition of broadband in a world where its common to have 2+ simultaneous HD netflix streams.
        And that's before bandwidth caps.

        You can't take another route when there is only one route.

        Are you sorry yet? [areyousorryyet.com]

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 21 2017, @03:52PM

          Did you actually read what I said before arguing? You're agreeing with me.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @05:23PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @05:23PM (#457020)

            You are one fucking amazing Poe's Lawyer.
            Because I can't see one hint of irony in your original post.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 21 2017, @06:23PM

              You're still not getting it. There was no irony. Routing around it in this case would be Netflix changing up server addresses regularly to avoid downgrades. What they should do though is cut service entirely to any ISP stupid enough to downgrade their streams. What I said never had anything to do with customers.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:05PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:05PM (#457053)

                You're still not getting it. There was no irony.

                Oh I got it the first time.
                You are just a damn fool.

                What they should do though is cut service entirely to any ISP stupid enough to downgrade their streams. What I said never had anything to do with customers.

                Hello?!? McFly? ISPs hold customers hostage. If Netflix cuts off their customers who suffers? Netflix. The customers just end up going to the ISP's in-house OTT service.

                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:52PM

                  You haven't paid much attention then. Dish/Direct TV have been having it out regularly with the content producers for years and it always gets settled and content provided again eventually.

                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @08:56PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @08:56PM (#457093)

                    That's only because Dish and DirectTV have competition - not just between themselves, but cabletv and OTA.
                    For somebody who thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, you are clearly misinformed.

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 21 2017, @11:43PM

                      It doesn't matter if the cable/phone companies have competition. If they have masses of pissed off customers because of their actions, their actions will change. They know enough to not make it a winning proposition for a new ISP to come in with open pipes and take all their moneys.

                      --
                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @01:02AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @01:02AM (#457198)

                        I see. So now you are down to wishful thinking.
                        Lets say your wishes were horses.
                        And that it actually does work that way for the 800lb gorilla that is netflix.
                        What about the thousands of other small companies that don't have enough of a customer base to exercise this supposed leverage?

      • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Saturday January 21 2017, @11:29PM

        by butthurt (6141) on Saturday January 21 2017, @11:29PM (#457146) Journal

        I'm thinking it's easy to solve this by routing around or outright blocking bad actors but whether companies will is another story entirely.

        The United States still has tremendous influence on the Internet. In 2008, one expert estimated that the country "carried" 25% of all Internet traffic. That, by my reading, may include traffic that has one or both end-points there.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/business/30pipes.html [nytimes.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @05:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @05:17PM (#457018)
      WE have always been 'getting fucked'.
      The only thing that changes is whos doing the fucking.

      HOWEVER. For the first time in decades...
      The guy at the top is saying 'wow, you guys have been getting fucked!'

      Will he do something about it? I don't know. And neither do you...
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bziman on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:17PM

    by bziman (3577) on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:17PM (#456999)

    I like net neutrality, but I understand the desire to eliminate regulations.

    So, if they do away with regulations on net neutrality, they're also going to do away with limits on municipal internet and co-ops, right? They'll reduce regulations to make it easier for new players like Google Fiber, right?

    Otherwise, it isn't libertarian, it isn't for the people... it's just fascist - the laws exist to benefit the specific businesses that own the rulemakers. That isn't so understandable.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:50PM (#457010)

      No, they will NOT be doing away with municipal internet and coops. Why do you even have to ask?

      The restrictions that will be removed are those that favor the big business only. You'll see more costly internet. Slower internet if you don't pay extra (the "fast lanes") and you'll see anything that gains popularity that isn't directly making them a few extra nickels in the process to be blocked/messed with/etc. (Torrent packets are an obvious target - a shame some businesses use those for distributing updates.)

      Also expect to see advertisements served up directly from your provider like they tried to do before by inserting packets into your bandwidth. Expect caps to continue if not come down.

      All the good stuff that net neutrality helps protect people from.

      Basically look at everything the FCC has tried to force isps do for the last 8 years, and flip it.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bziman on Saturday January 21 2017, @05:46PM

      by bziman (3577) on Saturday January 21 2017, @05:46PM (#457024)

      Oh, and if they are allowed to inspect content in order to prioritize some content over other content, does that mean that they're giving up their common carrier status, giving back all of the government subsidies and tax breaks for building out infrastructure, and giving up protection from being liable for criminal activity that happens on their networks?

      I can't wait to see Verizon sued because someone posted libelous comments using their network. Or watch the CEO hauled off to jail because someone transmitted child porn over the network.

      I better go buy a lottery ticket while I'm pretending to feel optimistic.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:37PM (#457006)

    Many of the things one would expect net neutrality to protect against have come to pass from the US telecoms giants already, and I don't think this is a coincidence. If you read the net neutrality rules they're effectively hamstrung from the inside out. Every single section of the rules add a little disclaimer. 'You may not --some net neutrality clause-- excepting reasonable network management. So what is "reasonable network management?" In the 400+ pages of rules, it's never once defined. And how are disputes managed? One a case by case consultation. This is, in effect, writing cronyism into law. Companies with sufficient connections will be able to get away with whatever they feel like under the guise of "reasonable network management." And even when they fail their connections check, it opens up immense plausible deniability that I'm sure will leave any disputes tied up in the courts for years as they argue over the nuance of undefined terms in the 400 page behemoth.

    I think the current implementation of net neutrality is in many ways worse than having no rules at all. It's not stopping the companies from doing anything they would do otherwise but it ensures there will be no major progress on net neutrality so long as these rules exist: "What do you mean you want net neutrality? Don't you know anything? We already have it thanks to Tom Wheeler - such a great guy! Amazing a lifelong telecoms lobbyist would come around like he did. CRAP! My connection just got throttled since I went over my bandwidth limit on this unlimited bandwidth plan. Oh well, at least I get full speed if I stream from my ISP's site..."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:10PM (#457055)

      Your criticism is itself as empty as you claim the regulations to be.

      What, specifically have the ISPs done by abusing the deliberately undefined "reasonable network management?"

      Without any evidence you are saying the FCC needs to define in specific detail every technical decision that a network manager can and can not make.

      That's beyond ridiculous, its impossible.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:45PM (#457066)

        The law itself lays out what people, in any conceivable situation, are not allowed to do. Laying out what companies in a very specific field are not allowed to do would be trivial by contrast. If the rules were insufficient - that's fine. They, like the law, can be amended, corrected, and even rescinded as necessary. But the problem is there wasn't even an effort to make real rules. The whole thing was a charade written by telecoms lawyers and headed by a telecoms lobbyist who showed just how easy it really is to fool the masses who think they "won" even as the 'quote' I referenced is the state of telecoms in the US today.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @07:51PM (#457072)

          > The law itself lays out what people, in any conceivable situation, are not allowed to do.

          What law does that?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @08:38PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @08:38PM (#457088)

            Here is the US code for federal crimes: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18 [cornell.edu]

            That would be the appropriate analog as the FCC would create fundamental top level rules which states could expand on or adapt as appropriate and on downward to counties/municipalities/etc. Tellingly enough, I suspect if you printed out the entirety of title 18 it would be shorter than the net neutrality rules. The difference between rules meant for enforcement and rules meant for obfuscation.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @10:25PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @10:25PM (#457124)

              You know why we have judges? To apply human judgment to those laws.

              To decide whether they apply and whether the application is reasonable.

              So now you want judges to decide what network managers can and can't do?

              What you are calling for isn't just unworkable its something nobody with an iota of experience would try to apply to any industry.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @12:21PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @12:21PM (#457315)

                Judges are not involved in interpreting anything in some ridiculously large percent of cases. 99.999% or whatever.

                You're being obtuse.

  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday January 21 2017, @10:21PM

    by jmorris (4844) on Saturday January 21 2017, @10:21PM (#457122)

    Say this every time this comes up, regulars should expect it by now.

    Network neutrality is not the solution. It isn't even aimed at the problem. The problem is the natural monopoly on the 'last mile'.

    Admit that and solutions become clear. Break up the telcos one last time. Government regulated monopoly has the last mile but is forbidden to own anything else. It is a utility, returns good dividends but has the poor stock market appreciation typical to a utility. The other half is almost entirely deregulated, buys access on exactly equal terms with new new entrants to the last mile and offers any services it wants under any terms it can convince a customer to agree to without outright fraud.

    Network neutrality is stupid, it is typical rabbitry in that it pretends that bandwidth is infinite and free. Streaming HD video from the other side of a transatlantic link should cost more than from a server sitting inside the perimeter because it DOES cost more. Pretending it doesn't causes all sorts of distortions in the short term but reality wins in the end. Making all bits equal regardless of the underlying reality removes the incentives to invest in technology to improve things.

    If Netflix is allowed to offload the entire burden of transporting their traffic, which is often the single biggest load on the network, they have no motive to continue putting "Netflix in a box" appliances all over the Internet. And once they have made that investment it isn't right to allow an upstart to then offload their expenses to unfairly compete with Netflix.

    On the one hand, it is often hard to actually know what the true expense of transporting a bit across the Internet is and the accounting of it in any case often exceeds the expense of moving it in the first place. But rules of thumb that apply to random web accesses change when people start streaming multiple HD streams into their home for hours per day. At some point the costs must be taken into account and wasteful usages charged for enough to discourage them. Broadcast / multicast is far more network efficient than individual streaming, but if pricing is forbidden to reflect that reality there is no incentive to broadcast. Why use a DVR and catch broadcasts when you can use the On Demand streaming service for free? We have companies trying to put DVRs in the cloud because it can be sold as 'free.'

    But open up the market, let various players try different pricing models and see what works. I'm betting the ones offering totally unlimited, network neutral access will end up pricing themselves into a small niche but I could be wrong.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @05:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @05:31PM (#457384)

      Gads you are such a corporate tool!

      "Netflix offloads their burden" haha what exactly do you think the business model of an ISP is? I seem to recall its something about transferring data the customer wants.... Telecoms have made more money than ever and you want to complain? You ant to allow them to nickel and dime customers even more? Fuck you you fascist fuck.

    • (Score: 2) by gidds on Monday January 23 2017, @02:36PM

      by gidds (589) on Monday January 23 2017, @02:36PM (#457642)

      You appear to be using a slightly different definition of 'net neutrality' from mine — or misunderstanding the real problem.

      Yes, it sounds like many places in the US do seem to have a real problem with monopoly providers of broadband.  But that's a separate issue, with a separate solution.  Here in the UK, for example, although most of the 'last mile' is still owned by BT, they are required to open it up, and as a result there are many broadband providers and real competition.

      Nor is net neutrality about discrimination on type of data.  (I don't think it's entirely unreasonable for carriers to treat different types of data differently, as long as they do so fairly.)

      No, I think the real issue with net neutrality is discrimination based on the source/destination of data.  Especially discrimination by upstream providers: even when the last-mile issues are sorted out, market forces won't be able to fix that, because the customers (ISPs and other carriers) are not the people suffering (end users).  If Bob's Internet Backbone Business decides to extort money from Melvyn's Movie-Streaming Megacorp, then I as a Melvyn's subscriber am helpless; I can't choose another Internet carrier, or threaten Bob's in any way.  Effectively, Melvyn's customers are being held hostage in a dispute which affects them but which they have no control over.

      In economics terms, you could say that Bob's has identified an externality; they take the profits, and someone else takes the losses.

      That's one of the main scenarios that net neutrality prevents.  With net neutrality, market forces will prevent most of the abuses deep in the infrastructure, and companies will develop pricing structures that work for everyone; without it, infrastructure companies are free to price-gouge without anyone being able to stop them — like we've see with Netflix.

      To take the obligatory car analogy:  It's OK to charge heavy lorries more to use your road than cars, because they cause much more wear and tear; but it's not OK to charge BigRetailer lorries more than equivalently-sized SmallRetailer ones, simply because they can afford to pay more.

      --
      [sig redacted]
  • (Score: 1) by butthurt on Saturday January 21 2017, @11:32PM

    by butthurt (6141) on Saturday January 21 2017, @11:32PM (#457147) Journal