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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality 535

Posted by Soulskill
from the doubtful-prospects dept.
New submitter litehacksaur111 writes "Lawmakers are introducing the Open Internet Preservation Act (PDF) which aims to restore net neutrality rules enforced by the FCC before being struck down by the DC appeals court. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) said, 'The Internet is an engine of economic growth because it has always been an open platform for competition and innovation. Our bill very simply ensures that consumers can continue to access the content and applications of their choosing online.' Unfortunately, it looks unlikely the bill will make it through Congress. 'Republicans are almost entirely united in opposition to the Internet rules, meaning the bill is unlikely to ever receive a vote in the GOP-controlled House.'"
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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

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  • Re:US Democrats? (Score:4, Informative)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:44PM (#46153429) Homepage Journal

    Only about 100 countries have a party by that name. [wikipedia.org] It's completely obvious which one is meant in context, but come on, be less ignorant.

  • Whitehouse petition (Score:5, Informative)

    by TopSpin (753) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:45PM (#46153447) Journal

    A petition [whitehouse.gov] of the White House to `Restore Net Neutrality By Directing the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as "Common Carriers" just attained the 100k signatures required for a response.

    I'm sure a number of you would have liked to have known about that and signed it at the time... but the story submission was declined. Guess there were too many terribly important climate change stories or something.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:04PM (#46153689) Homepage Journal

    umm, the GOP handles "tax breaks, subsidies and programs that ensure their campaign contributors are happy" as well, just look at NC, our GOP overlords want to drop the corporate tax rate to like 3%,less than individual tax by almost 50%.

    If you think that sort of behavior is exclusive to the GOP, you don't pay attention to campaign finances. Obama's top donors were almost identical to Romney's, with few exceptions.

    Judging by that metric, Goldman Sachs runs America, regardless of who gets elected.

  • by matthaak (707485) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:28PM (#46154043) Homepage Journal
    I believe Network Neutrality legislation will do more harm than good. Quality of service and IP transit costs are governed by complex market forces today. It is easy for individuals and organizations connecting to Internet edge networks (most of us) to take these forces for granted and get swept up in language about fairness and capitalism and equality. In reality, as you move to the core of the Internet, there already is no such thing as network neutrality and to try and 'preserve it' is meaningless. ISPs, Tier 1s, and major content providers already enter into peering arrangements, both paid and unpaid, that improve end user experience and help drive down IP transit costs. Depending on the ISP you use, you obtain the benefits of their peering arrangements, which are as strong as the number of eyeballs they have and their negotiating skills. Some ISPs have better peering than others and so in reality there is no such thing as a 'neutral ISP'. The concept of an ISP 'holding their users hostage' as they try to obtain concessions from content providers is not unique to Comcast. Everyone in the space is playing the same game of leveraging the strength of their numbers and their negotiation and personal networks to get any advantage they can. The decisions about 'who should peer with who' are and should continue to be governed by organizations freely entering into paid or unpaid agreements with one-another. As soon as the emotional/idealistic notion of 'neutrality' is stipulated, then the technical reality of peering and the unplanned forces governing the core of the Internet will begin to centralize and calcify. What will be unfortunate is when this slows or even reverses the dramatic deflation in IP transit costs we have seen over the last 15 years, going from well over $1200 per megabit to under $1 in some regions. I highly recommend 'The 2014 Internet Peering Playbook' by William B. Norton.
  • by Insightfill (554828) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:50PM (#46154371) Homepage

    and the senate (by filibuster proof majority).

    This idea that the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority from 2008-2010 is a myth.

    I believe that the problem is that Al Franken wasn't sworn in until well after that session was well under way, Senator Ted Kennedy was missing for many votes due to his brain cancer, and Arlen Specter didn't switch sides until much much later. There were a few other Democratic Senators who were either out or "Blue Dog" and "DINOs". The Democrats had the seats, perhaps, but nothing more, for a total of 72 days. [sandiegofreepress.org]

    Add in the wrinkle that the Republican definition of "compromise" (as a sibling post notes) became "my way or the highway" - candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana as a vocal, but failed, example of that. Republicans who followed him went on the record unwilling to take even $1 of new taxes for $10 of cuts, and the Speaker of the House is generally unwilling to bring a bill forward until he has a majority of his party behind it - aka "The Hastert Rule", which Dennis Hastert himself disavowed.

  • Ambassador Bridge (Score:5, Informative)

    by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:55PM (#46155389)

    After all, we don't allow corporations to own real bridges to important places.

    I know that a lot of people diss both Detroit and Canada, but I think any bridge that transports 25% of all merchandise trade between two first-world nations is pretty important. [wikipedia.org]

    Now, the Ambassador Bridge is a good illustration of your point in spite of this, since it's a good example of why we shouldn't. While it has some competition from a tunnel which is owned (via a shared LLC) by the two city governments that it connects, that hasn't stopped it from fighting tooth and nail to prevent any other, better bridges from being built to compete with it. [wikipedia.org]

    The owners have poured money into the hands of legislators and opposition candidates and into ballot initiatives to try to stop the bridge, have run political scare ads, and have tried to tie up the project in the courts for years -- to the point that the head of the company was put in jail for a short while for contempt of court for failing to obey court orders related to the construction contracts. All to protect a bridge that ends in surface streets on the Canadian side over a bridge that would directly link two highways.

    Just a modern day baron trying to protect his inefficient little fief at the expense of the public.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @01:25PM (#46163651)

    The first question also goes away to some extent if the U.S. moves to metered billing like the rest of the world

    Except that the rest of the world doesn't have metered billing. The rest of the world rarely has monthly bandwidth caps, either. Instead we simply expect our ISPs to build so much bandwidth that there's enough to go around even with Joe Basement-Dweller torrenting 24/7, and if they can't do this, they're free to leave the market to those who can.

    You crazy Americans think that big, strong corporations need to be sheltered and coddled and brest-fed from public teat like delicate babies while actual babies must strangle each other with their bootstraps to prove they're worthy of life, or whatever Reagan said. It's the exact other way around. Put your damn workhorses of economy to work, let them starve if they refuse and leave welfare for humans.

  • by nmr_andrew (1997772) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:07PM (#46164713)

    Po-tay-to, po-tah-to

    Regardless of whether telcos were handed a check up front or given tax breaks equivalent to that check but possibly spread out over multiple years, they were indeed handed a large ($Billions) wad of cash specifically to wire all those people, especially in the more expensive/rural/underserved parts of the country. And they sort of did for a while, then decided they wouldn't make enough profit on those customers, so stopped and spent the money elsewhere. At the very least they should be forced to give all that money back with interest and penalties. I'd be even happier if some of their executives would be prosecuted for misappropriation of federal funds. In reality, I expect neither will ever happen.

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