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posted by Dopefish on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the hopefully-not-paying-lip-service dept.

Fluffeh writes:

"When the D.C. U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the FCC's Open Internet Rules, a White House Petition was put up to 'direct the FCC to classify ISPs as "common carriers"'. With over 100k signatures, there is now an official response.

Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries. The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide.

The petition asked that the President direct the FCC to reclassify Internet service providers as "common carriers" which, if upheld, would give the FCC a distinct set of regulatory tools to promote net neutrality. The FCC is an independent agency. Chairman Wheeler has publicly pledged to use the full authority granted by Congress to maintain a robust, free and open Internet a principle that this White House vigorously supports."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:20PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:20PM (#2561) Journal

    I do remember such things, and now that there is real competition in the phone market, things are cheaper. I remember price shopping for long distance plans between different companies. I remember in the 90s dialing a code before dialing a long distance number to get even cheaper rates through different companies. I remember dropping my land line and using Vonage and then some other company whose name I can't remember. Then dropping a regular phone completely because it was just cheaper to use my cell phone's free long distance. There's a lot of competition in the long distance market.

    I also remember competition between online services way back in the day, like dropping AOL around 1991 in favor of Delphi because Delphi was substantially cheaper, though text based only. Or switching dial up ISPs for a better deal a few years later when I got on the internet.

    Then came broadband. I've been stuck with one choice for broadband since 1999 (first it was DSL, then I moved in 2001 and got cable run by AT&T, which was then bought by Comcast). The only reason I have a better provider now is because I moved into the country from town. My current provider is a real relief from Comcast, but that's only because I got lucky and they're better. They could go evil and I'd basically only have a crappy satellite choice.

    My point is, what we have now is exactly like the Ma Bell -- no competition, no choice, high prices, spotty service. The bandwidth business has none of the features we saw with breaking the long distance monopoly.

    I have nothing against a free market solution, but there must actually be a free market for that to work. When the choice I have is to either have, or not have, service -- that's not a choice and they can milk people to the point of significant pain. Until there is a functioning free market, regulation is required, otherwise we get the worst of both worlds -- unregulated local monopolies (probably all owned by a few umbrella corps). A free market would be something like 10 or more independent service providers -- at that level, price and service collusion would become difficult because at least one of those companies will see an opportunity to poach customers. But until we get to that point, broadband providers should be regulated with an iron fist.

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  • (Score: 1) by koreanbabykilla on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:39PM

    by koreanbabykilla (968) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:39PM (#2581)

    AT&T didn't lay any cable, they just bought a bunch of existing plant and then sold it to Comcast. In my area TCI laid the cable. AT&T bought TCI, then sold it to Comcast.

    • (Score: 1) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:35PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:35PM (#2826) Journal

      I guess I was sloppy -- when I said "run" I meant AT&T provided my service, as in they ran the business. I have no idea who laid the cable.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by maxwell demon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:47PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:47PM (#2892) Journal

        The cable was probably laid by workers of a cable laying company. I doubt the telecommunication companies do it themselves.

        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.