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Leading Lobbying Group for Amazon, Facebook, Google and Other Tech Giants is Joining the Legal Battle To Restore Net Neutrality (recode.net) 77

A leading lobbying group for Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Twitter and other tech giants said Friday that it would be joining the coming legal crusade to restore the U.S. government's net neutrality rules. From a report: The Washington, D.C.-based Internet Association specifically plans to join a lawsuit as an intervening party, aiding the challenge to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's vote in December to repeal regulations that required internet providers like AT&T and Comcast to treat all web traffic equally, its leader confirmed to Recode. Technically, the Internet Association isn't filing its own lawsuit. That task will fall to companies like Etsy, public advocates like Free Press and state attorneys general, all of which plan to contend they are most directly harmed by Pai's decision, as Recode first reported this week. As an intervener, though, the Internet Association still will play a crucial role, filing legal arguments in the coming case. And in formally participating, tech giants will have the right to appeal a judge's decision later if Silicon Valley comes out on the losing end. "The final version of Chairman Pai's rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers," said the group's chief, Michael Beckerman, in a statement. "This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet."

Leading Lobbying Group for Amazon, Facebook, Google and Other Tech Giants is Joining the Legal Battle To Restore Net Neutrality

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  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @02:37PM (#55870723)
    My workplace only has Verizon (now Frontier) as a choice for Internet. They are charging $35/mo for 768 kbps down / 128 kbps up DSL, $50/mo for 1.5 Mbps down / 256 kbps up, and it isn't even very reliable. My home Internet (Cox-only area) is $90/mo for 200 Mbps down / 10 Mbps up. Frankly I don't need 200 Mbps down, but could use more than 10 Mbps up (for when I VPN into my home network). Net neutrality doesn't fix ISPs charging you an arm and a leg because they have a government-granted monopoly in your area.

    An AT&T rep knocked on my door a couple weeks ago to announce they were rolling out fiber to my area, and were expecting pricing to be around $45/mo. Competition fixes both abusive pricing and throttling. If my ISP decides to throttle Netflix for not paying them, and I have a choice of ISPs, all I have to do is switch ISPs to one which doesn't throttle Netflix. The problem net neutrality is trying to solve is entirely caused by these government-granted cable/phone monopolies. (AT&T is only able to offer broadband in my area because they're the local phone monopoly.)

    So I would rather have the solution which eliminates both artificial throttling and abusing pricing - competition. The gas and power utilities even provide the model for doing this. You hire a company to build and maintain the distribution wires or pipes going to each home. That company is paid to maintain those lines/pipes, but is prohibited from selling service (gas, electricity, Internet) over them. Instead, they sell access rights to those lines/pipes (at a fixed price regulated by a Public Utilities Commission) to other companies which provide the service. This lets hundreds or even thousands of companies compete against each other to sell you gas, electricity, or Internet service. Thus insuring anyone trying to price gouge you or degrade your service as part of their petty extortion schemes simply puts themselves out of business.
    • This works in my area. I'm in a fairly rural area in Washington State, but still have 12mbps DSL, 120mbps cable, two wireless providers (45mbps) and fiber (up to 1gbps). The fiber is provided by the local power authority on their power poles, but our fiber isp is a different company. We have 12 fiber isp's we can choose from, all with different plans and speeds.

    • The problem net neutrality is trying to solve is entirely caused by these government-granted cable/phone monopolies.

      Bullpucky. The problem is the barriers to entry (for the last mile).

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      An AT&T rep knocked on my door a couple weeks ago to announce they were rolling out fiber to my area, and were expecting pricing to be around $45/mo. Competition fixes both abusive pricing and throttling.

      Only for the first few months while they're still actively trying to recruit customers from the other guy. After a while, a duopoly still settles down and becomes approximately the same as a monopoly, because everybody wants to provide the minimum amount of service they can get away with for as much mo

    • I'd rather a nonprofit, regulated duopoly (or even monopoly), thanks. There's no reason I can see why that should be inferior to competition. Just increase the required speeds that they have to perform from time to time.

  • They are all owned by multi billionaires.
    I doubt they are lobbying to save the consumer money.

  • So wait... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RedK ( 112790 )

    we're all for corporate interests lobbying for laws ?

    And Google and Facebook of all places lobbying for "Neutrality" of packets, while at the same time being biased in their handling of their user generated content platforms ?

    The Slashdot crowd cheering for this really has lost it if they think any of this is in their best interest.

    • Re:So wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MadCat221 ( 572505 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @02:57PM (#55870867)
      When the interests of the public good and corporate interest align against opposite corporate interests against the public good.... Yes.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by RedK ( 112790 )

        There is no public good in having more and more governement intervention in the Internet. We need even less. Remove monopolies from Telcos/Cable companies, repeal Net Neutrality rules. Let the corporations compete to give you the best and cheapest Internet.

        Forcing them to do it will only result in more and more and more rules being made, and upping the barrier of entry into the market for smaller businesses wanting to provide good Internet service.

        • Re:So wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @03:27PM (#55871083)

          Let the corporations compete to give you the best and cheapest Internet.

          Ahahahahahaha

          Wait. You were serious... Maybe you haven't noticed, but Internet service providers in the United States have been behaving like an illegal cartel for two decades now, since the inception of the public Internet. They're not going to compete no matter how you change the rules. They don't have to, they don't want to, and because of the difficulty and expense of deploying that last mile, it's effectively a natural monopoly. Not quite as natural as water and sewer, but enough that you can expect the current behavior to always evolve, absent rules to the contrary.

          Removing all the rules does not make things better. The right rules make things better. Net Neutrality is a right and necessary rule, because competition will always be absent.

        • There is no public good in having more and more governement intervention in the Internet.

          I'm amazed by how poorly educated people are on this stuff. Like you can say "government intervention", and rubes suck it up. The problem with "pure" competition over the last mile of infrastructure is: barriers to entry. You even know what that means? You even know that net neutrality was the de facto standard since the 1980s?

          • by RedK ( 112790 )

            The problem with "pure" competition over the last mile of infrastructure is: barriers to entry

            Because of *drumroll*, governement granted monopolies. You know, more regulations we could repeal.

            You'll make a fine Republican someday, you're almost there!

            You even know that net neutrality was the de facto standard since the 1980s?

            You even know that the FCC regulations being repealed are from 2015 ? You even know that Clinton era regulations that we're going back to date back to 1996 ?

            It's funny you bring up 1980. You know, the days when the Internet was unregulated, in an attempt to discredit my "Don't regulate the Internet" post. You ended up solidifying my position.

      • The problem is, who's the good guy? The answer is Neither. Both want money and both will find innovative ways to get it.

        I started thinking about what Pai was trying to do outside of the "Verizon shill" argument and realized that the FCC in the end only could enforce Net neutrality on one side of the data; The ISP side. They could do nothing if a content provider decided to throttle an ISP's customers in order to extort money from the ISP.

        Basically it comes down to this:

        If Comcast throttled Netflix to try to

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          If Netflix throttled Comcast to try to get Comcast to pay them for priority bandwidth, FCC couldn't do a thing because Netflix is outside of FCC control.

          That's what we in the rural South used to call "cutting off your nose to spite your face", and is essentially the corporate equivalent of suicide.

          If Netflix throttles access to Comcast customers, the only possible results would be either A. causing more Netflix users to complain to Comcast or B. causing customers to ditch Netflix for somebody else. Even if

          • Basically, there's no plausible scenario where a non-ISP content provider could cause harm to an ISP by throttling data from that ISP

            Bullshit.

            Apparently you've never heard of a Carriage Dispute. [wikipedia.org] so let me visualize it for you...

            1) Netflix decides it wants to charge ISP's like Viacom and CBS charge CableCo's for retransmission.
            2) Netflix Throttles all Comcast streams to 480P or less. Tells customers to call Comcast to complain about speeds.
            3) Customers Bitch at Comcast because they can't watch "Stranger Things" in HD.
            4) Comcast checks their bandwidth, looks ok. Contacts Netflix to see what going on. Netflix tells Comcast to pay us $100 Mi

  • Seriously, let Net Neutrality die. Instead, CONgress needs to require that ALL states allow for muni networks as well as NO monopolies. Right now, all monopolies for coax, fiber, STP, etc are forced by state, local govs. If they were prevented from having gov. enforced monopolies, then as each ISP fucks with a locality, then either another ISP will compete, or the local gov can build out their own local much cheaper, much faster network.

Tomorrow's computers some time next month. -- DEC

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