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FCC To Vote On Net Neutrality On December 21 319

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-your-voice-on dept.
GovTechGuy writes "The FCC just released its tentative agenda for the December 21st open meeting, where the Commission will vote on whether to adopt rules to preserve net neutrality. According to the agenda the FCC will consider 'adopting basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression.' House Republicans have already promised to oppose any solution put forth by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski."
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FCC To Vote On Net Neutrality On December 21

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  • There it goes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:42AM (#34404562) Journal

    Well, we're boned.

    (No, I have no faith that the Right Thing(TM) will be done given the number of asshats involved. It's only a question of where it goes wrong)

    • I thought the issue was that the FCC had no power in the issue - not that they couldn't decide what to do?

      Have I been wrong all this time?

      • They might actually go forward with the reclassification. That would be awesome :)
      • Re:There it goes. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:12PM (#34404950) Journal

        Instead of fighting Republicans, the FCC should just re-designate the internet lines as "phone lines" and apply existing common carrier rules.

        • Re:There it goes. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rezalas (1227518) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:50PM (#34405474)

          House Republicans have already promised to oppose any solution put forth by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski."

          Yes, because our tax dollars need to be pissed away into the wind fighting anything and everything one person suggests 'just because'. I'm always amused that politicians talk about intelligence and maturity and wisdom but then they act like a three year old who would rather rip the head off a doll than share it.

    • How does the FCC propose to regulate Net Neutrality for the parts of the internet that sit outside of the US but may still impose extra fees on US ISPs?
      • Net neutrality is not about outside ISPs. It's about the local monopoly ISP not blocking your access to sites they don't like - such as rushlimbaugh.com or netflix.com

        • Re:There it goes. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:32PM (#34405228)

          FCC doesn't care about content in and of itself, but rather how it's treated, which is the entire point. It doesn't matter if the 'content' is outside of the US. What matters is how your local ISP treats your connection to said content. It's also not strictly about blocking content (although that is inherently a part of the larger picture as some will threaten exactly that, like Comcast has threatened with Netflix.

          It simply requires that an ISP will treat all content equally. That way they can't discriminate against a competing firms 'content' by reducing the quality of service for that content, while increasing the quality/bandwidth of their own offerings. It levels the playing field.

          This wouldn't be as big an issue if content providers were not subsidiaries of telecom providers and vice versa. The first step that should be taken is to separate the internet provider from any content. It is a conflict of interest and spells nothing but trouble for the end user.

          I just wish they would regulate internet like they do utilities. it has become an integral part in peoples lives. It is not much different than phone service in that regard.

      • Re:There it goes. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by haapi (16700) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:45PM (#34405404)

        You have it backwards. Nobody is imposing fees on ISPs. Net Neutrality is to protect ISPs from imposing fees on content providers.

        Cue gangster voice:

        "Nice content you have here.. Would be a shame should anything untoward happen to it during delivery over our networks."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ironchew (1069966)

      Well, we're boned.

      I dunno about that...
      It *is* the solstice and a total lunar eclipse on that day, after all. Maybe there are enough pro-Net-neutrality moon gods to swing the vote our way?
      Yes, I'm putting my faith in some rare planetary alignment. We're boned.

    • by v1 (525388)

      and when people ask me why I don't like Republicans, I just give them answers like this. Whenever it's Big Business vs The People, we know where they're lobbying.

      Would be nice if they lose and We (The People) win this time.

      • We the people lost when the SCOTUS decided that corporations were people and thus entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection.
      • Re:There it goes. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [werdnaredne]> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:41PM (#34405352) Homepage Journal

        I'm not sure this the case here.

        I think most Republicans in the Senate have no clue what Net Neutrality really means. McCain said in the Presedential debates that he didn't understand the issue completely, but he was against more government regulation of business.

        This is more ignorance than evil.

        Overall I believe both parties support big business. There isn't a political party that doesn't love money.

        The massive difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats want social freedoms, but want to regulate the hell out of everything else. Republicans want financial freedoms, but want to regulate social issues.

        It seems the public just wants freedom period, and neither party is really interested in delivering that.

  • by vxice (1690200) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:48AM (#34404634)
    This is one of my major problems with our president. He barely calls out republicans for stuff like "House Republicans have already promised to oppose any solution put forth by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski." They are not looking at the issues they are rejecting it without looking at it. Not that dems have never ever done this but Obama ran on a platform of ending this kind of thing and only seems to bend over backwards continuing to let republicans to run him over.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunratty (545641)
      What do you want Obama to do about it? It's up to the people to not vote for politicians that pull those stunts. Obama agreed to work with Republicans, but if they dig their feet in and say they refuse to cooperate, what can he do? At least when the house and senate had Democratic majorities he could simply ignore them, but apparently that wasn't the right thing to do either.
      • by vxice (1690200)
        but what he can do is say "look I am trying to work with republicans they wont have any of it."
      • vxice: He should call them out.
        bunratty: What do you want him to do about it?
        Perhaps he could, oh I dunno, Call them out on it! It usually involves pointing out the congressmen that simply refuse to even look at the issue and ask them why they reject it all out of hand. Ask them to simply stop obstructing all progress and maybe consider the possibility of working together. Just maybe.

        And if they ask him to, oh I dunno, cut taxes, kick out the immigrants, or defend our longtime ally or N. Korea, he could
      • by hweimer (709734)

        What do you want Obama to do about it? It's up to the people to not vote for politicians that pull those stunts.

        Yes, but how should people know about this when even the political opponents do not talk about it? Why should the media cover the Republican obstructonism when even the Democrats seem to have no problem with it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        It's up to the people to not vote for politicians that pull those stunts.

        The thing is, partisan politics have totally screwed up the ability for people to truly vote in representatives that do what they want.

        I can vote in a Republican who wants to grant mega-corporations the right to extort each other (and us by proxy).
        Or I can vote in a Democrat who wants to take my guns away (in addition to promoting a welfare state).

        There's no balance in issues. Closest thing to a sane party I've found is the Modern Whigs, but they're not going to win an election in my lifetime. Being prese

    • I hear its because he's been behind closed doors dealing with The Gregory Brothers to get the sound JUST right - so that when he makes such an announcement it can easily make the next "Auto-Tune the News" Episode and go viral in mere seconds.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Not that dems have never ever done this but Obama ran on a platform of ending this kind of thing and only seems to bend over backwards continuing to let republicans to run him over.

      No matter what he ran on, Obama can do nothing but set and example, and show his willingness to work with them.

      It's not like he can just tell the Republicans to play nicely. And, if as you suggest, he "calls them out", then all he's going to do is piss them off even more, and they'll work with him even less.

      I don't see how Obama

      • by sjames (1099)

        If somebody has already made up their mind to kill you any way they can, it hardly matters if you make them mad, you might as well kick their crotch and get something done.

        The problem is that for several years the Democrats have been unable or unwilling to overcome the Republican's underwhelming minority, so people voted them out for being do-nothings.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      And this sort of thing is why I'm a Groucho Marxist:

      I don’t know what they have to say,
      It makes no difference anyway --
      Whatever it is, I’m against it!
      No matter what it is or who commenced it,
      I’m against it.

      Your proposition may be good
      But let’s have one thing understood --
      Whatever it is, I’m against it!
      And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it,
      I’m against it.

      (watch Groucho sing it [youtube.com])

      • It's difficult to compromise when the choice is between enslavement with chains around your neck, or a plush felt collar. The latter IS a better compromise but the end result is still Anti-choice and Anti-freedom.

        Obama keeps pushing ideas that would take away freedom of choice, and leave us as Wards of the new Lords... like serfs. He who holds the money, holds a monopoly and the citizens are left with no options.

      • by robot256 (1635039)
        I love this song! We need to kidnap John Boehner and make him sing it for youtube. The more straight-faced and atonal he does it, the better.
    • He is still trying to figure out how to fit it into his "car in a ditch" metaphor.

      • by robot256 (1635039)
        "Cannot start car with this cargo. Please remove purchases from out-of-plan retailers or upgrade to the premium vehicle plan for only $89.99 additional per month."
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Obama mentions it all the time.

      Perhaps you should choose a different media outlet thata ctually talks about all the issues for your news?

      I suggest your local NPR stations.

      And no, NPR isn't biased. Contrary to what the morons here think.

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        And no, NPR isn't biased. Contrary to what the morons here think.

        Your ad hominem has me convinced.

    • He's too cool (in several senses of the word) for that.

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      He barely calls out republicans for stuff like "House Republicans have already promised to oppose any solution put forth by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski."

      Good hell! He won't call out Republicans for the hypocrisy of how they won't extend unemployment benefits because they'll add to the deficit, but want to extend the Bush tax cuts to the rich without any mention of the deficit.

      Not that dems have never ever done this but Obama ran on a platform of ending this kind of thing and only seems to bend over backwards continuing to let republicans to run him over.

      I think that you have the way he bends opposite of the way he really bends, and I think that you have the length of time that Republicans spend on top of him and what they do there wrong. Hint: it doesn't involve lube, although it should.

    • They don't think FCC should regulate the Internet, full stop. What difference does it make what the proposal by Genachowski contains?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      >>>only seems to bend over backwards continuing to let republicans to run him over.

      Not correct. The Republicans only had ~40% of the congress and zero power to stop anything. It was the Blue Dog DEMOCRATS that have been opposing Obama. They are the ones that were blocking health reform and opposed single payer. They also demanded Obama write an XO forbidding the funds be used for abortions.

      Obama had problems these last two years, but those problems existed *within* his own party, since many Dem

      • by vxice (1690200)

        >>>only seems to bend over backwards continuing to let republicans to run him over.

        Not correct. The Republicans only had ~40% of the congress and zero power to stop anything. It was the Blue Dog DEMOCRATS that have been opposing Obama. They are the ones that were blocking health reform and opposed single payer. They also demanded Obama write an XO forbidding the funds be used for abortions.

        Obama had problems these last two years, but those problems existed *within* his own party, since many Dems are quite conservative & not agree with Obama's agenda.

        those dems disagreed on specific issues like as you mention no money for abortion. The difference is they actually read the bill before saying we won't even consider it. repubs flat out as a party refused to discuss any issue related to the matter. and yes repubs did have the power to stop the bill by saying they would not support it in any form, that required a higher percentage of dems to go along with it. the goal of democracy is an agreeable medium not one side happy at the others expense. of cours

    • by N1ck0 (803359)

      Anyone in congress who blanket refuses to look at matters that a Chairman of an government agency recommends is not doing their job. Yes I understand that their opposition is just a letter from a committee saying they do not like the FCC's approach to Net Neutrality. But the fact is they are objecting before the FCC has even discussed the matter yet. The real thing to do is wait till the FCC has a proposal and then the committee should discuss and provide a detailed critique of the individual rules in th

  • Wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lordDallan (685707) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:50AM (#34404664)
    I always hear that the Democratic Party is as much "in the pocket" of big business as the Republicans. But isn't the FCC part of a Democratic Party led executive branch? Am I missing something? Is Hollywood or some other big Democratic Party contributor pro-net-neturality?
  • So why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rakuen (1230808) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:51AM (#34404676) Homepage
    Are the Republicans promising to vote it down because they're opposed to Net Neutrality, or because they're opposed to a Democrat? Serious question.
    • Re:So why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by M. Baranczak (726671) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:55AM (#34404722)

      Mostly the latter. If a Republican administration did the same thing, then a few of them would complain, but they'd go along with it.

      • No mostly the former. Republicans believe Net Neutrality is simply a new name for an old idea: Fairness Doctrine. And they oppose the Fairness Doctrine completely and totally, because they think it means Rush Limbaugh (or Glenn Beck) will be yanked off the air and replaced with Rachel Maddow, per the requirement of the Fairness Doctrine. They also think the doctrine violates Amendment 1 (your station can say anything it wants w/o restriction).

        So anyway - they oppose FD therefore they oppose NN, because

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chemicaldave (1776600)
      Probably a little of both. They're against govt. regulation and pro business. Of course this will hinder potential profits for telecoms, but they don't have the foresight to see the damaging effect this will have on any new Internet businesses in the future. And when they have to stand-up for their actions the inevitable answer will be

      "Well, the American people don't want government regulation and I am required to abide by their wishes instead of actually making a sensible decision. Besides, these friendly

      • >>>They're against govt. regulation and pro business

        So too are the Democrats. How else do you explain the D White House yanking websites? Or pushing COICA in the congress? Or running-around the world and demanding countries sign the ACTA? Or supporting 3 Strike Laws w/o a right to trial? Obviously: To protect their business friends in Hollywood and crush those teenagers who dare download Britney Spears.

        D or R - it matters little. They're both a-holes. Both shills of their corporate masters.
        T

    • Why didn't he do this during the past two years if you believe it was that important? Surely they can walk and chew gum at the same time?

      Did it occur to you that they waited until they knew it would fail to bring it to vote?

    • Well if they really said "oppose any solution put forth by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski" then that means they must simply be opposed to a Democrat.

      This is the problem with a party system.

  • by Ichijo (607641) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:52AM (#34404690) Homepage Journal

    If it's already the government's job to break up monopolies, then why is Net Neutrality needed?

    • Because the monopolies have too much power to get broken up by the government, so some of the government bodies that are not entirely in their pocket are trying to do something about it since the parts that should be dealing with it are bought and paid for by the monopolies.
    • A natural monopoly being one where actual physical things, like cable, have to be invested in on a large scale.

    • by dwandy (907337) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:28PM (#34405170) Homepage Journal
      Net Neutrality is a bit of a red-herring: as long as the last-mile is owned by the retailer there will never be competition in the market.
      With true competition there would be no need to discuss net neutrality as those that offered unimpeded access to the web would be the ones people would use. More specifically, there would always be a competitor who offered up neutral access for those of us who cared.
      Like streets, communication access is a natural monopoly (oligopoly at best) and should be either directly state owned (like our streets) or set up as a non-profit stand-alone with a mandate to maintain and upgrade the wires. Retailers would then connect and be charged for connection + (time-of-day?) bandwidth. Retailers would be free to make price plans as they see fit.
      Fighting for net neutrality is working on symptom and failing to cure the problem.

      Want a free/libre internet? Take back control of the last mile.

    • Does Microsoft have a monopoly?
      Does Microsoft perform anti-competitive practices?

      I highly doubt anyone could ever establish a monopoly on the Internet, or even any Internet service. But that sure as hell doesn't mean that the wonderful and cherished Internet, which currently has an incredibly open and free market, is somehow inherently immune to anti-competitive practices. Such practices that would make it less open and less free.

      Like contracts between ESPN3.com and ISP directly, bypassing the users a
    • You know, prior to government regulation (i.e. late 1800s and early 1900s), people had choice among many electricity providers. Wires were running everywhere and you could choose which company you wanted. Then the city or county government stepped-in, picked their favorite company, and gave said company a monopoly.

      Your belief that government does not like monopoly is mistaken. Governments LOVE monopoly and if local governments stopped giving "exclusive franchises" to Comcast, we'd probably be able to cho

  • Greed is the driving force behind politics, the economic mess we are in, and now anti-consumer measures like the tiered-internet that companies like Comcast are proposing.

    Does anyone else think that the relentless pursuit of money-at-all-costs mentality is greatly hindering science, freedom, innovation and technology?
    • Yes.
    • what's your point? seriously, life is not a disney movie. life is mostly about bad people abusing their power and the not so bad guys having to deal with the brunt of it.

      this is how humankind has been forever; its not a new phenomenon.

      lose the fairy tale about concepts such as freedom and justice. life is not about that. at the core, its about power and those who have it vs those who do not. all else is decoration for show.

      • by digitaldc (879047) *
        I guess my point is that as our country continues to implode due to unabashed and unrestricted greed, no one even seems to care and no one is ever held accountable.
        It seems that in the past, people were actually held accountable for ripping people off. Now, it is the new way of doing big business.
      • Well, revolutions were fought over these ideas, most turned out crappy, but one turned out pretty awesome for about 200 years. Thats the US. We used to have a lower disparity in wealth. There used to be a middle class that could buy homes with savings. Now there is only super rich, rich and a bunch of lower middle class to poor people. Since everyone is either like you or in a position of power nothing gets done about it. The real problem is people that gave up on achieving ideals.
  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:02PM (#34404826)
    I'll start my own internet with black jack, and hookers.
  • That was the shortest article I've ever seen. I had more information in my 4th grade "Weekly Reader" pamphlets.

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:07PM (#34404888) Homepage Journal

    For as much as they rile up their constituency about how America has lost all it's jobs, the economy being in the tank and how China is taking over, they do their best to constantly oppose new job creation and assist large corporations in stifling competition and innovation. Opposing Net Neutrality shows that the Republican party is against innovation, against American competitiveness and only seeks to put more money in the hands of their friends and contributors, the Nation and the people be damned.

    But hey, when your core voter base is a bunch of pisswater guzzling, bible-banging, NASCAR fans who get their news from Glenn Beck and social opinions from Reality TV, I guess you don't even need to attempt to hide your hypocrisy since the majority of retards who voted for you are too dumb to think.

    Net Neutrality assures more jobs, more innovation and continued competitiveness in an open marketplace. Opposing it will only benefit Comcast, Verizon and AT&T while preventing new startups who can't pay the extortion fees if they aren't blocked all together for daring to compete with their own "premium services"

    America is already falling far behind in internet infrastructure. Asians can get Gigabit lines for what we pay for standard DSL, yet AT&T and Comcast are still stumbling around dragging their feet with IPv6 and it's taking an act of Congress to FORCE them to get internet access speeds to 1/10 of what Japan has today by 2020! Yet they have spared no expense suing municipalities who wanted to offer free wifi services and opposing Google's plans for municipal WiMAX offerings. Opposing Net Neutrality will only insure this situation grows exponentially worse.

    • by D Ninja (825055) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:38PM (#34405304)

      But hey, when your core voter base is a bunch of pisswater guzzling, bible-banging, NASCAR fans who get their news from Glenn Beck and social opinions from Reality TV, I guess you don't even need to attempt to hide your hypocrisy since the majority of retards who voted for you are too dumb to think.

      Wow. If that isn't blatant typecasting if I have ever saw it...

      Time for a true story...
      The night that Obama was elected into office, I was downtown in a major US city. The moment that it was announced, a woman working a local convenience store turned from the TV she was watching and shouted, "Obama is elected! Everything is going to get better now!" Her coworkers cheered. She then proceeded to go back to her TV and cigarettes and not worrying so much about doing a good job. You see, the problem with your typecasting is that it can work both directions. In my case, I saw someone who was relying on another person to fix their life for them. It made me sad, actually. I ended up not even buying what I wanted to get because I just wanted to get out of there.

      The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of smart people and a lot of dumb people living in the US, and a lot of people in between. However, we're all just human, and classifying a group of people as you did does nothing to actually solve the problems of this nation that we live in and only exacerbates the divide between political lines.

      Or maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to swilling a Bud while I read 1 Corinthians and yell at the driver's on TV (and hope for a good crash).

    • To be fair, the US is a lot larger than most other countries with the infrastructure you speak of. However, that aside I agree with most of what you said. Its amazing that Republican people (like the pisswater guzzlers you speak of) continue to vote for politicians who don't give a shit about them and support/oppose measures that would actually benefit them the most. I think one major problem is the Baby boomers like my grandmother. She continues to believe this crap spouted out by Fox news and Glenn Beck,
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:07PM (#34404890)

    The timing *could* be right since they've just tried extorting content providers.

    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @12:58PM (#34405596)
      Except that Slashdot overreacted to that story, in typical Slashdot style - the Comcast-Level3 issue was not net neutrality related, it was a case of Level3 exceeding their already existing peering relationship with Comcast by taking on Netflix CDN traffic (replacing Akamai), and turning down Comcasts offer to include it under the same terms as offered to Akamai.

      It was Level3 trying to position this as a net neutrality story when infact it was a breach of already existing commercial peering arrangements - Level3 expected Comcast to take more traffic than formally agreed to and Comcast said "no".
  • FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. . . Sarah Palin : "I'm against any legislation from a legislator whose name I can't pronounce. And you, North Korea, and South Korea get your names sorted out, and stop confusing us! Oh, and I am also looking at you, Dakotas!"

    "Wait, Carolina, too? And why would someone find West Virgina, like kinda west of Virginia? I'll get back to you on this."

    At least Sarah Palin can pride herself with not having any dirt flung at her from all those WikiLeaks.

  • I am always disappointed that with such things, the decision to move one way or the next is left up to people who don't understand the topic. The founding fathers were educated men and philosophers. They wrote books on concepts and engaged in intellectual discourse regarding those concepts.

    Congress, in its short history, has been almost entirely a political game, however. Money interests and personal bias determines how important decisions are made.

    Have there been congressional debates guest-starring import

  • with the Fairness Doctrine, dead since Reagan.
    Gah, you gotta read the comments over in the Yahoo! pages on this.

    "I feel a strong stupidness in the Force."

  • by havardi (122062) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @01:15PM (#34405880)

    A good guy too. His response to the Comcast/Level 3/Netflix thing was "The middlemen always get their cut". The netflix bits on the wire have a higher "value" or "profit potential" than other bits, and therefore the people carrying those bits should be entitled to a cut of that profit. I asked if shipping companies do the same thing regarding the content and value of the boxes they move around and he suggested they do. He was totally cool with the concept.

    I guess this is basically the idea that businesses need to maximize profits using any means. This is actually really great-- instead of profits being tied to your own operations, i.e, shipping more packages at minimal cost-- now you can "piggy back" on the success of other companies. The more successful another company becomes, the bigger your cut can become!

    I feel dirty now.

  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @03:36PM (#34408432)
    Translation: "We don't care if the idea is any good or not, we oppose it in any case for political reasons." Is it any wonder why this country is so screwed up?

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