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House Votes To Overturn FCC On Net Neutrality 388

Posted by Soulskill
from the elephant-in-the-house dept.
suraj.sun writes with this quote from CNet: "House Republicans voted unanimously today to block controversial Net neutrality regulations from taking effect, a move that is likely to invite a confrontation with President Obama. By a vote of 241 to 178, the House of Representatives adopted a one-page resolution that says, simply, the regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on December 21 'shall have no force or effect.' 'Congress did not authorize the FCC to regulate in this area,' Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), said during this morning's floor debate. 'We must reject any rules that it promulgates in this area... It is Congress' responsibility to delegate that authority.'"
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House Votes To Overturn FCC On Net Neutrality

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  • No Force or Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:18PM (#35725602) Journal

    It's a good thing, then, that a House Resolution, by itself, also has "no force or effect". It seems our current House of Representatives thinks that it is good to waste time and money passing House Resolutions defunding or outlawing everything that they don't like, all the while knowing that each resolution they pass has no chance to get past the Senate or the President. Why are they wasting time with this? Isn't there a governmental shutdown deadline this Friday? Shouldn't they be working on the budget instead of killing time with small-fry legislation that goes nowhere?

    • It may not have any force or effect; but it is still a very bad sign.
      • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:49PM (#35725960)

        Only if the Republican party gains more power in the next election. They currently hold a third of the cards, not the whole deck. I agree it's a bad sign but expected. The republican party has always looked out for business interests and this is no exception.

        I'm just surprised that they got 10 Democrats to vote with them. That's just as troubling.

        Also, wasn't the FCC key in getting the special treatment these broadband companies now enjoy?

        http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20004392-266.html?tag=mncol;txt [cnet.com]

        • Does the regulation allow shaping for largely content-neutral reasons? I favor a little shaping to keep non-netflix flowing--Wikipedia and plain text should always work.

          • by RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:18PM (#35726280) Homepage Journal

            In whatever forms they eventually take, regulations will be adjusted periodically to allow prioritization of 'pretty packets' (meaning "Important" packets, and packets belonging to large campaign contributors). Latency problems will oscillate every few years from NPR to Fox News and from GE to Walmart.

            Indecent, incendiary and potentially infringing packets will be inexorably deprioritized to make room for more of the prettier packets. Everyone's traffic experience will get better and better over time under benevolent, centralized, adult supervision of everyone's traffic management practices. You won't have to think about it personally.

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Everything should always work, it's just a matter of speed and priority. The only reasonable argument for non-neutrality is that certain services should get higher priority than other services: for instance, VoIP and streaming video (Skype, Netflix, etc.) should have the highest priority because they're very latency-sensitive, while BitTorrent and other P2P should have the lowest priority because they're not and are normally done in the background, and everything else should be in the middle. But lower pr

    • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:33PM (#35725772) Homepage

      When I watch the seemingly flagrant way that Republicans seem to turn away from the Public Good these days, for example in network neutrality, financial regulation, or global warming, I am reminded of this quote

      "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:35PM (#35725804) Homepage Journal

      It seems our current House of Representatives thinks that it is good to waste time and money passing House Resolutions defunding or outlawing everything that they don't like, all the while knowing that each resolution they pass has no chance to get past the Senate or the President.

      Get this: it is now being reported that the most recent "compromise" offered by the House Republicans on the budget is if the Dems agree to an additional $13billion in budget cuts (above the $33 billion already agreed to which was their last demand) and if they agree to provision to the budget bill that will outlaw the use of federal funds for abortion even though it is already federal law that funds cannot be used for abortion, then they will go for that compromise.

      It's a hostage situation where the ransom demands keep going up. And "abortion"? Really? I thought this was a "budgetary crisis". Why are they demanding this provision (which is already the law) unless the whole thing is just theater?

      Next, they will demand that there be a special provision which makes it illegal to be President if you're black and all muslims required to eat pork chops.

      I'm really glad the voters are getting a chance to see this play out. Yeah, most of them are oblivious, but between this "budget battle" and the terms of the new Ryan budget, we're getting a rare opportunity to see the GOP dropping pretense. A rare exposition of the stark difference.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Got damn. When I get all worked up I always forget to close my tags.

      • by stinerman (812158)

        Well...that's kind of what happens. The Hyde Amendment is put in just about every appropriations bill, but Republicans still demand each individual law have anti-abortion language in it.

        I wouldn't be surprised if the next appropriations bill for highway funding has some anti-abortion language in it.

        It's all a racket to get votes. If you really believe that life begins at conception (which is a rational view to have), then you have to believe that any abortion is murder and the abortion provider along with

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      They are pandering to their base of ill-informed extreme right wingnuts. It doesn't matter that they know it will never become law as long as they can tell the Koch brothers, "See, we did what you told us to!"
    • The scary part isn't so much the irresponsibility of radicals in the house. I'm certain many are pandering for the Nov. 2012 elections. Either way they have the senate to moderate legislation. However, looking down the road a bit further it scares the hell out of me to consider the strong possibility that many of them will go on to become the next generation of senators.
    • Why are they wasting time with this? Isn't there a governmental shutdown deadline this Friday? Shouldn't they be working on the budget instead of killing time with small-fry legislation that goes nowhere?

      Because, along with a $6 trillion package of budget cuts, they're forcing the President and the Senate's hand to block them. Then, when they don't get exactly what they want, they can go back to their bat-shit-crazy core constituency and claim that the "liberal menace" is preventing any substantive change in the way the government operates.

    • It still is a great indication of whose interests the majority of the House representative actually serves. Corporations.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Grishnakh (216268)

      It seems our current House of Representatives thinks that it is good to waste time and money passing House Resolutions defunding or outlawing everything that they don't like, all the while knowing that each resolution they pass has no chance to get past the Senate or the President. Why are they wasting time with this? Isn't there a governmental shutdown deadline this Friday? Shouldn't they be working on the budget instead of killing time with small-fry legislation that goes nowhere?

      No, it's more important t

  • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:22PM (#35725646)
    For some reason, conservatives are equating or selling net neutrality as equivalent to the fairness doctrine. What is the connection? or is it just a talking point and they are paying back their supporters?
    • Why ask the question when you already know the answer?

      The minute it got the point where it was up to our corporate whores in DC, the battle was lost.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you don't bother to find out what it actually means, the term "net neutrality" sounds something like the fairness doctrine. The Republicican base is pretty much defined as those who don't bother to figure stuff out. The GOP knows this, and shamelessly exploits it at every opportunity.

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      conservatives get big donations from Big Telecom and they also view it as a way to limit opposition by stifuling the internet. Funny that a lot of their own ability to effectively message to their nutjob supporters will be impacted if they are successful.
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      because they were both advancing regulation into an area it wasn't previously and into an area where it was unneeded. Sort of the solution looking for a problem.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      For some reason, conservatives are equating or selling net neutrality as equivalent to the fairness doctrine.

      Citation please. If you cannot provide one, then what does that make you?

      • by xzvf (924443)
        Listen to Glenn Beck for a week.
  • Article is wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Goobergunch (876745) <martin@@@goobergunch...net> on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:22PM (#35725658) Homepage Journal
    Today, the House voted to adopt the resolution (H. Res. 200 [loc.gov]) that will allow it to consider the actual resolution to overturn the regulation tomorrow. Note the words "Providing for consideration" in the title of the actual vote [house.gov].

    Granted, the House is still likely going to vote for the measure, but saying it's already passed is inaccurate.
  • To all the people who go on and on about there being no difference between the Republicans and Democrats... SUCK ON THIS. (As if the Iraq War wasn't enough to point this put already.)
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Right, because no Democrats voted to authorize the war in Iraq! Oh, wait...

      The only current difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is that the Republicans currently hold the record for the worst president ever. But that's not for lack of trying on the behalf of the Democrats!
      • by jmorris42 (1458) *

        > the Republicans currently hold the record for the worst president ever..

        On what alternate reality does ANY Republican get close to Jimmy Carter? Or was he before your time?

        • by hey! (33014)

          Carter was better than you remember. He just got blamed for the nasty medicine needed to stop hyperinflation. Once the Fed loosened up the money supply, we got the "Reagan Boom", but if you look at the economic growth figures the boom started in the waning months of the Carter administration and was in full swing in the first year of Reagan, well before any Reagan policies could take effect.

          Politically hapless .... Ill grant you. Carter was a modern Adams.

  • by Presto Vivace (882157) <marshall@prestovivace.biz> on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:29PM (#35725720) Homepage Journal
    this is a great video [youtube.com] on why usage based billing is a scam.
    • by Ichijo (607641)

      this is a great video on why usage based billing is a scam.

      I can't watch the video right now, but is it a scam due to a problem with a certain implementation of usage based billing or is it due to some insurmountable flaw in the basic concept?

      • data is not like tangible commodities, so usage does not make sense. Also, usage based billing is just about preventing us from cutting our cable and using netflix instead. I cannot explain as well as the video, but that is it in a nutshell
        • by Jeremi (14640)

          data is not like tangible commodities, so usage does not make sense

          It makes sense when the ISP's equipment costs are proportional to the amount of data it must transport (which they are). The video tries to sidestep that fact by suggesting that ISP's should have enough bandwidth available for all customers to be sending and receiving their maximum bandwidth at all times... which would be nice, but provisioning enough equipment to support that scenario would be extremely expensive, and pointless since most user's connections are idle most of the time. If ISPs were require

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:35PM (#35725806)

    Isn't the regulation of an electronic communications medium the entire reason the FCC exists?

    *Googles "Defund FCC"*

    Oh. Right. Never mind.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      Well Google certainly doesnt want the FCC to start regulating the internet.

      First these rules are applied to providers, but eventually to all services by the very same reasoning. If your provider cannot discriminate content, then it stands to reason that neither can Google.. that Google cannot (for example) selectively discriminate against "low quality" sites (link farms, duplicators, etc..) in its search results.

      A simple honest question fore the pro-regulators. Which ISP right now at this very moment ne
  • Is the internet Closed or Open as a result of this?

  • How much have Comcast and Verizon payed out in campaign contributions to House members? Can somebody put together an approximate figure on what it cost to have rulings like this blocked by the house? It'll come in handy when I want them to create laws to benefit me.
  • by asylumx (881307) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:57PM (#35726052)
    I don't think this is the FCC's place, either. They already spend too much time & money deciding what can and can't go on our television and radio airwaves, for example. The FCC should be regulating communication so that providers aren't stepping all over each other's signals and that's pretty much it. Maybe I misunderstand the original intent of the FCC so please correct me if I'm wrong there.

    On the other hand, I also don't want Big ISP regulating my internet connection, deciding what I can get and when I can get it. I want an internet connection without artificial limitations. I already pay Comcast far too much for their less-than-consistent service (and the reason I don't switch is because where I am the competitors fastest speeds aren't even close to as good as Comcast's slowest) and I don't need them practically filtering my connection based on how much the company I'm trying to connect to has paid them. I'm already paying Comcast! That's enough!

    So... I guess I don't really know where I should stand on this issue. Any advice?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nrozema (317031)

      The FCC should be regulating communication so that providers aren't stepping all over each other's signals and that's pretty much it.

      I see great overlap between this statement and proposed Net Neutrality regulation. One could argue that ensuring Comcast or any other ISP doesn't "step all over" my clear and unobstructed path to various Internet destinations ("channels") is much the same as doing it for the public airwaves.

      The question to answer is whether or not we want to treat the Internet as a shared public resource like we do radio spectrum or a free-for-all controlled by government endorsed regional monopolies.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      (and the reason I don't switch is because where I am the competitors fastest speeds aren't even close to as good as Comcast's slowest)

      This suggests that Comcast is doing something right.

      I'm not a fan of Comcast at all. Didn't like it when I heard they were playing man-in-the-middle and dropping Bittorrent traffic, certainly didn't like it when they started buying up content producers, and absolutely did not like their laughable attempt to re-define themselves as a peer with their ISP (Level 3.) That being said, Comcasts service seems to be equal or better than most providers at this time.

      They just dont seem to be that far out of line

      • The real question is, why is the competition so much worse?

        Because satellite is inherently slow, as is DSL, and Comcast has a government granted monopoly on cable. So, surprise, Comcast has the "best" service. Ain't the free market great!?
    • Here's your choices:

      Trust Comcast, who wants every penny they can get from you
      Trust Congress, who wants every penny they can get from Comcast

      At least you get to vote for Congress, so that makes them the slightly lesser of two evils.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      quote from wikipedia:
      As specified in section one of the Communications Act and as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (amendment to 47 U.S.C. 151) it is the FCC's mission to "make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges."[sic] The Act furthermore provide

  • I hear the cha-ching sound of the lobbyists profitting on falsehoods.

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