Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Democrats Government United States Politics

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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

Comments Filter:
  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:29PM (#46153205) Homepage

    ...to see just how in the pocket of huge corporations the GOP is, and yet people continue to vote for them, against their own interests.

    What will it take to wake people up? I fear it may not happen until it's too late, if not already.

  • by jeff13 (255285) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:32PM (#46153249) Homepage

    Propaganda works. Sorry.

  • Wrong fight (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:32PM (#46153253)
    It's not Net Neutrality, but "Republicans want to take away your Netflix..." People dislike losing something tangible much more than gaining some important, but hard to quantify item. Change the debate; just like the natural food industry who says "The government wants to take away your vitamins..." to the opposing argument of "We want to be sure you aren't getting ripped off by spurious claims..." Guess which one wins?
  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:33PM (#46153259)
    It's simple, while I may not be rich now, tomorrow I could be! And then I won't want my hard earned money going to poor people like I was.
  • by TheResilientFarter (3216187) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:34PM (#46153281)
    Wouldn't it largely be huge corporations benefiting from so-called 'net neutrality'? If it is going to be required that owners of private property charge the same price to all-comers, then it is going to be more difficult for small businesses to compete with large businesses, no? It seems true net neutrality would be allow anyone to compete as they see fit - if a company is going to 'over charge', then another company should be allowed to come in and 'under charge'.
  • by Carcass666 (539381) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:37PM (#46153333)

    ...to see just how in the pocket of huge corporations the GOP is, and yet people continue to vote for them, against their own interests.

    What will it take to wake people up? I fear it may not happen until it's too late, if not already.

    I don't buy that the GOP is necessarily in bed with corporations any more than the Democrats, it's just more of a position of political posture. The GOP takes care of their corporate masters by fighting against regulations, while the Democrats handle the tax breaks, subsidies and programs that ensure their campaign contributors are happy.

    The anti-regulation dogma of the GOP is disheartening because while I agree with a decent number of GOP principles around spending restraint, tax reform, etc.; I don't agree that the free market can be trusted to handle finite public resources like spectrum and last-mile connectivity. This is especially troubling given the nature of the last-mile providers (COX, Time Warner, AT&T, etc.) who have vested commercial interests in maximizing their bandwidth performance at the expense of others (Netflix). It's too simplistic to say that all regulation is "bad", just as it's too simplistic to say that any social or green energy program is "good".

  • by DeadDecoy (877617) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:37PM (#46153335)
    Just reclassify ISPs as common carriers. Creating a separate bill would probably open up the doors for more abuse, not less.
  • Needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:41PM (#46153393)

    What is needed is not a reestablishment of the "rules" the FCC set up for what they called "net neutrality", what we need is for the FCC to declare the internet common carrier and to make all ISP's honor that.

    This bill not that. When these policies were in place at the FCC before being struck down, there were huge loopholes that companies (especially wireless) could drive giant trucks full of money through.

    We need the internet classified common carrier now!

  • by roccomaglio (520780) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:45PM (#46153439)
    If this is purely a Republicans versus Democrats issue as it presented here, then how come the Democrats did not pass it from 2008-2010 when they controlled the presidency, house of representatives, and the senate (by filibuster proof majority). They could have passed it without a Republican vote.
  • Re:ah, yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:46PM (#46153457)

    I can't understand why people support the republican agenda.

    I understand your frustration, but both parties seem pretty bad in their own ways. I suspect most Republicans are actually just anti-Democrats, and vice versa.

  • by just_another_sean (919159) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:46PM (#46153461) Homepage Journal

    where are all the freedom loving tea baggers?

    Apparently on /. modding ZorinLynx flamebait.

    I don't get that, I see nothing but observed truth in that comment. Oh well, trolls gonna troll I guess.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:47PM (#46153467) Homepage Journal

    It's pretty simple:

    1) The majority of them are older
    2) The majority of them don't understand what this issue means
    3) The majority of them have to get back to Duck Dynasty and hate gays.

    They also need some takeout from Chik Fil A.

  • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:48PM (#46153493)

    ...to see just how in the pocket of huge corporations the GOP is, and yet people continue to vote for them, against their own interests.

    What will it take to wake people up? I fear it may not happen until it's too late, if not already.

    Its even more infuriating when people don't understand that there is a huge difference between this bill and the one the Republicans voted for in 2011. And its yet more infuriating when some biased blog doesn't even mention the regulations the FCC was trying to impose in 2011 were things that a lot of people here on Slashdot were complaining about vociferously back in 2011. Those regulations went way past what the common man understands as "net neutrality". Those regulations essentially made the internet like a telephone carriers or tv station, which would need FCC licenses just to operate. It was a back-door regulation grab. No rules are better than total government control.

    Its depressing to see how many people automatically think that if a Democrat authors a bill its automatically good for the people. Have you learned nothing in the last 8 years?

     

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:49PM (#46153505) Homepage

    And then I won't want my hard earned money going to poor people like I was.

    Also, if the government didn't force me to give any of my money to those people, then I'd be rich.

    (Seriously, a lot of people think that this is the only effect of government programs designed to help poor people, even when they know people who are benefiting from those programs.)

  • by lexman098 (1983842) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:49PM (#46153509)
    It gets more complicated when your "private property" is a bridge that leads to somewhere really important.
  • Misinformation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neonv (803374) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:52PM (#46153549)

    Being someone who usually votes conservative, I find that net neutrality among conservatives is largely misunderstood. I continually hear that it requires content to be neutral. Meaning that if one opinion is present on a web page, all opposing opinions must be present as well to maintain neutrality. Everyone here should understand that is false. The source of that misinformation seems to be that the bill could be interpreted to let the FCC dictate content requirements. If the FCC were to do something crazy like that, it wouldn't hold up in court due to free speech, so it's not a reasonable concern.

    To prevent misinformation, here are the two views to net neutrality.

    1) Pro Net Neutrality: Internet Service Providers (ISP) should not dictate which data sources are allowed, how much bandwidth is allowed from each data source, or charge differently for data sources. For example, Netflix creates up to a third of internet traffic in the evening hours. As a result, ISP's are temped to reduce bandwidth allowed from Netflix to free up resources. Net neutrality would not allow this. This is usually the consumer point of view.

    2) Anti Net Neutrality: The ISP's own their equipment, pay for their bandwidth, and can do what they want with it. If they want to shape network traffic to make overall service better, it's their right. This is usually the business point of view.

    There are lots of details associated with either option. There can be a hybrid approach taken by the FCC as well. For example, if YouTube traffic gets so bad that I can't load a web page in a reasonable amount of time, then limiting YouTube would be in my best interest. In the rare cases such as that, bandwidth limiting is a good idea. Illegal activity such as child pornography could reasonably be blocked as well.

    Here's the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org].

  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:54PM (#46153579)
    I don't think it was as big a deal five years ago. I certainly would have given them props for being so forward thinking in bringing up what was a non-issue at the time, but I imagine it would have been spun as they're wasting time on something no one cared about, so it's really lose-lose for them isn't it?
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:56PM (#46153601) Homepage

    What the ISPs really want is all the benefits of being a common carrier without any of the responsibilities. And that's exactly what they got with the Net Neutrality ruling. Given that AT&T is in the running for the top campaign donor in the country [opensecrets.org], it's unlikely that will change anytime soon (Seriously, it would be easier to list the politicians not on the take from AT&T).

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:56PM (#46153603)
    Marketplace monopoly is the problem. When the majority of access is controlled by a handful of ISP's there is no option to simply "Go somewhere else". It's a moot point tho, as the money flows, so shall the votes.
  • Re:Misinformation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:57PM (#46153621)

    2) Anti Net Neutrality: The ISP's own their equipment, pay for their bandwidth, and can do what they want with it. If they want to shape network traffic to make overall service better, it's their right. This is usually the business point of view.

    and if you could freely choose which ISP you want to connect to, that would be fine. but most of the time, there is ONE choice for internet and so you can't take your business elsewhere! ie, there is no competition and whoever services your area is who you can buy from and that's it.

    this is why they don't deserve to control the network traffic. we are forced into a monopoly (effectively) and so this HAS to be a common carrier arrangement.

    give us choice in carriers and we can talk about letting them throttle. until then, they dont deserve to be able to control us like that!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:59PM (#46153631)
    If the article summary is correct in that the bill would pass the Democratic Senate and that House Republicans are united against it, then no, they aren't two sides of the same, evil coin. It probably doesn't fit your model of your own moral superiority and wisdom, but perhaps, just perhaps, the world isn't quite so black-and-white and you like it to be. Believe it or not, but in the real world the subtleties and nuances go well beyond anything that can be imagined by anyone under the age of 25.
  • by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:04PM (#46153693)

    None of what you say matters. Basically all providers besides very few number of high density area ISP's are huge and effectively Oligopolies, which means 'some small company coming in and selling bwelow cost' doesn't happen. Additionally, the idea of Net Neutrality means that in this limited marketplace, we as conbsumers have no information of what kind of extortion that their companies are putting on the internet services that we use. Would you support an ISP that charged excessively high rates on a site you frequent regularly (like slashdot)? Would you ever know? How much do you want to bet that fees will be doubled+ if its publically disclosed?

    I say screw it. Have the gov take pack the lines they laid and introduce a non-profit entity who's only job is to maintain the architecture and push costs on the content / service backbone carriers.

  • Re:ah, yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:15PM (#46153865) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, they fuck up by not doing that. I feel no personal moral compunction against killing any creature incapable of self-awareness. When such prohibitions actively harm those that do meet that criteria, I begin to see injustice.

  • by Nickodeimus (1263214) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:28PM (#46154051)
    I think the point, possibly to subtle for you to understand, is that the republicans and the democrats are basically the same in that they just want more power, more control, more money. They don't do anything for the benefit of their constituency unless they're empowered by doing so.
  • Re:ah, yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Laxori666 (748529) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:31PM (#46154083) Homepage
    This is assuming that the net neutrality law actually would lead to more fairness in network access. The opposition thinks it would backfire and actually lead to a less-fair state of affairs.

    Draw the analogy to trying to stop child pornographers by censoring the internet. Opposition claims (and is right) that that power would be overextended and abused and damage many legitimate uses of the internet. Then the supporting side can say, how could you, with a clear conscience, be against stopping child pornography? Well no sir, we're not against stopping child pornography, it's that this is just not a good way to go about it.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:34PM (#46154141)

    Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    ~ John Steinbeck

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:49PM (#46154355)

    Ah, the typical left-wing straw man: "Republicans and the wealthy are greedy and don't want to have their money taken away to help the poor".

    However, the actual argument many Republicans make is completely different, namely that these government programs actually hurt people. That is why Republicans oppose government programs even if they know people who are receiving money from them. Heck, many Republicans oppose government programs that they themselves receive money from.

    If you objectively look at the kinds of government programs progressives and Democrats have sunk huge amounts of money into, they have generally not been effective at accomplishing what they were designed to accomplish. But the answer from Democrats always to shift blame to others instead of admitting that their programs actually often don't work.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:54PM (#46154441) Homepage

    That is why Republicans oppose government programs even if they know people who are receiving money from them. Heck, many Republicans oppose government programs that they themselves receive money from.

    Right. Those nice Republicans somehow manage to not support things like forcing NASA to build test facitilities that they don't need (because they are in the congressman's district). Or forcing the Pentagon to build out weapons systems that they don't need (because they are in the congressman's district).

    If only.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:57PM (#46154499)
    When you have no choice, how do you exercise your rights? The choice for many is a choice between one or two providers, or going without. When the two providers collude to fix services (but not price), that is legal and functionally removed the ability of the consumer to exercise choice. The government stepping in to enforce individual rights is a good thing, and the reason the governments should exist.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:08PM (#46154627)

    This includes not charging rich people more for the same government services provided for free to poor people.

    The only way the military helps the poor people is when the poor people enlist. Otherwise, the poor people gain nothing from the military. Looking back to feudal times, the military battles were all for "control". The serfs didn't see any change in their daily lives. If Cuba invaded the USA and nationalized everything, do you think that someone that works in Chilis as a buss boy or dish washer would see any change in his daily life, other than the new showing more programming in Spanish? But do you think there would be any change to Bill Gate's life when his house is used by a general, and Microsoft is nationalized and handed over to Fidel?

    No, for the truly poor, there would be no difference after an invasion. But the rich would see a massive change. So the rich have much much more to gain from a strong military, especially one that will fight economic wars on its behalf. The poor see nothing. So, the amount of benefit the rich sees from the government is much greater than what the poor people see. Yet the rich want the poor to pay for it while the rich don't.

  • Libertarian (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gd2shoe (747932) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:14PM (#46154735) Journal

    Replying to AC troll, not for the troll's benefit, but because too many people are developing this perspective.

    Propaganda works. Sorry.

    Indeed - just look at the way the summary writer uplifts Democrats while lambasting Republicans, even though any objective observer will tell you they're essentially two sides of the same, evil coin.

    My guess is you vote libertarian--because that's the same rhetoric I keep hearing from them, which is in reality nothing more than a rebranding of the extreme right wing of the republican party. Same party different name.

    There are different types and degrees of Libertarians out there. There are some that are just as crazy as the irrational religious zealots and the tree huggers. The media is largely allied with the Democrats, and most of those that aren't are allied with the Republicans. Thus, there is a perverse incentive to cast all Libertarians in same light... as the enemy.

    The truth is, sane libertarians exist, and are very centrist in their positions. They agree with Republicans on some issues, and with Democrats on others.

    (disclaimer: I'm not a Libertarian, but a Republican who likes a few of their ideas. Not most, but a few.)

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:26PM (#46154927) Journal

    Actually, if you ask a Tea Party person, they would like government out of regulations to the point of letting the market decide. The fundamental problem is, Comcast wants to charge Netflix et. al. for carrying content on their network, simply because Netflix eats all their bandwidth.

    The real fix, is to allow competition for Comcast in your town/locality. Right now, Comcast, has a near monopoly to the home, so they think they are entitled to charging more than they should for a product that doesn't improve much over time.

    The problem isn't the free market, it is a closed (oligopoly) markets. My fix would require local municipalities to operate the Fiber to the home, and bring it all into a COLO facility that provides Service Providers access to the FIOS lines. The COLO facility would be paid for by the Service Providers, based how many customers there were servicing.

    We wouldn't need legislation, and the competition would create an environment that would drive down prices or provide better service (options) to the end users. Imagine a service provider that operated all "on demand", instead of broadcast channels. Instead of searching through 356 channels of crap, you just search for the shows you want to see. Current Marketplace is being disrupted by technology, and should be. We don't need legislation to protect the current formula, we need legislation that gives new players opportunity to create new markets, that users are demanding.

  • by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:58PM (#46155425)

    The fundamental problem is, Comcast wants to charge Netflix et. al. for carrying content on their network, simply because Netflix eats all their bandwidth.

    No. technology innovation over time results in more bandwidth for less money. Netflix et al do not eat "all their bandwidth". However, Netflix, Amazon Prime, et al are competing services for Comcast's movies on demand and specifically, Streampix. The real fix is to prevent ISPs from also being content service providers.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @08:26PM (#46157179) Homepage

    Your post is interesting and I don't want to detract from your interesting solution, but just to clarify:

    Comcast wants to charge Netflix et. al. for carrying content on their network, simply because Netflix eats all their bandwidth.

    Netflix doesn't push anything down Comcast's network. I pull it. I eat all of Comcast's bandwidth. Whether I do it with Netflix or Youtube or Linux distro torrents is none of Comcast's business. I pay Comcast for carriage, like when I pay UPS to transport a package; it's none of UPS's business (or liability) what I put in the box. They charge me by weight and/or size and distance, not what I'm sending or who the recipient is.

  • Re:Misinformation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @08:32PM (#46157235) Homepage

    For example, Netflix creates up to a third of internet traffic in the evening hours.

    Netflix does not create any traffic. ISP customers create the traffic by telling the Netflix servers to send them a stream.

  • by pnutjam (523990) <slashdot@bAUDENorowicz.org minus poet> on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @09:11AM (#46161327) Homepage Journal
    You've inadvertently pointed to a huge problem with the suggestions from the anti-regulation tea party crowd.

    Our regulatory landscape is not a vacuum. There are many existing regulations and many businesses take advantage of them to grow and shut out competitors. I'm sure each of us can think of 3 or 4 ways that an incumbent cable company has benefited from past regulations.

    Most of these people don't really want to get rid of current regulations, they just want to hold on to the status quo, the very definition of conservative. Unfortunately, without new regulations to keep companies in check and allow competition to thrive, current and past regulations will continue to allow an unfair advantage to companies and people.
    They won't acknowledge this, they think it's their right.

    ...but it's not right.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

Working...