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  • Geebo 9:14 am on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC, Hurricane Michael, phone service   

    Ajit Pai blames telcos for slow response after hurricane due to regulations he enacted 

    Ajit Pai blames telcos for slow response after hurricane due to regulations he enacted

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    After Hurricane Michael recently struck Florida, many in the devastated areas were left without any kind of phone service. This was reminiscent to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when many New York residents were left without similar capabilities. In both cases, the phone companies were slow to restore service. In 2012, Verizon was hesitant to restore landlines after the storm destroyed the lines. The Obama-era FCC instituted regulation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that required service restoration by the telcos after natural disasters.

    Now, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai criticized the phone companies for not restoring phone service in Florida quickly enough after Hurricane Michael. But as Ars Technica points out, Chairman Pai is basically criticizing a problem that he created. Pai repealed the Obama-era requirement to restore service in 2017 claiming that the regulation prevented the telcos from upgrading their copper lines to fiber. This didn’t prevent Chairman Pai from criticizing Verizon, his former employer, from not responding fast enough to restore service in Florida.

    In my opinion, this is more evidence of how Ajit Pai acts like someone from the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s novel 1984. He says things to the public that are so blatantly untrue you have to wonder if he knows he’s lying or if he actually believes what he’s saying. For example when Pai claimed that the majority of Americans were opposed to net neutrality while the public was clamoring for the FCC to keep the protections in place. While I’m not prone to name calling, Ajit Pai is a joke and only has his position as a way to protect the interest of the telecommunications companies rather than the American people.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on October 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FCC,   

    Can the FCC really stop states from enacting Net Neutrality? 

    Can the FCC really stop states from enacting Net Neutrality?

    If you’ll recall, when the FCC under the Obama Administration enacted net neutrality legislation, the FCC ruled that internet providers were to be considered as Title II carriers. What that meant was that the internet was to be treated as a utility much like electricity or water. This also meant that internet service could not be throttled in any way. I mean, you don’t see the power companies giving fast service to your microwave while throttling service to your clothes dryer. That was until earlier this year when the Aji Pai led FCC overturned the Title II designation with the ironically named Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

    Since then, the state of California enacted their own net neutrality legislation in defiance of the FCC’s edict that no state could enact their own net neutrality laws. This resulted in lawsuits being filed against the state of California by both the DOJ and a consortium of groups representing the big internet providers like Comcast and Verizon. However, now it’s being argued whether or not the FCC has the authority to forbid states from enacting net neutrality regulations. According to WIRED, since the FCC has said that it doesn’t have the authority to regulate the internet, it may not have the authority to regulate it within the states either. Yet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continues to mislead the public about net neutrality.

    In the preceding video, Pai claims that there have been no violations of net neutrality and that when the Obama administration regulated it, that any regulation dealt only in hypotheticals. That flies in the face of reality where companies like Comcast and AT&T would treat internet traffic in such a way that they would favor services they provided. In one example AT&T made a move to block Skype and VOIP calls over their service in order to get more people to use their voice service.

    Now the FCC wants to have their cake and eat it too by not only abandoning net neutrality but trying to make the states not enforce it as well. With movies like this, it seems obvious that the FCC only really cares about big business and not the American public.

     
  • Geebo 9:32 am on September 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5G, , FCC   

    Is the FCC forcing 5G on cities? 

    Is the FCC forcing 5G on cities?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    When he’s not unilaterally gutting net neutrality regulations against the wishes of the public, FCC chairman Ajit Pai continues to act like the telecommunications in this country is own personal fiefdom. While not satisfied with giving consumers less choice when it comes to internet providers, Pai has shown his true colors once again when it comes to playing favorites with the teclos vs. the American public. The former Verizon mouthpiece has just given the country’s cell phone carriers a major weapon to wield when it comes to installing new cell towers for 5G mobile broadband coverage.

    It is called 5G because it is the fifth generation of mobile broadband implementation. We’ve been using 4G coverage for close to ten years now. While 5G will be multitudes faster than its predecessor, it will require more towers since the 5G signal can only go shorter distances than 4G. This requires not only an upgrade to existing towers but will require the construction of new towers as well. The FCC just ruled that the cell phone carriers can legally sue cities if the cities and municipalities take too long in allowing clearance to build the new towers. This gives the carriers the go-ahead to build towers wherever they want regardless of environmental or historical factors. This comes as a surprise as FCC Chairman Pai was opposed to rolling out 5G a few months ago citing security concerns.

    Once again, Pai touts that the construction of new towers will mean new jobs and better communications infrastructure, but at what expense, so phone companies could randomly sue your town if they don’t approve of putting a cell phone tower in your backyard? As usual, Chairman Pai shows just how much dedication he has to his former industry rather than looking out for the good of the American people.

     
  • Geebo 10:21 am on September 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC, ,   

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings 

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    Once again, it appears that the FCC is actively trying to boondoggle the public when it comes to their repeal of net neutrality protections that had been put in place by the Obama Administration. If you’ll recall during the public appeal period leading up to the repeal, the FCC claimed that their website designed to elicit public opinion fell victim to a denial of service attack by net neutrality supporters. That turned out to not be true. Instead, the real reason the FCC site failed may be more insidious.

    The New York Times has been actively pursuing the FCC through Freedom of Information Act requests to get the logs of the email and IP addresses the attackers used to bring down the website. Not surprisingly, the FCC has been very uncooperative when it comes to releasing the logs. The Times believes that the site’s crashing was due to Russian interference from over 500,000 fake email addresses that originated from Russia. The New York Times has now resorted to suing the FCC to obtain these records.

    This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the Trump Administration’s net neutrality debacle. Between the allegations of ties the Trump Administration has to Russia and the fact that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verzion executive it’s apparent to anyone who takes a close look at the situation that the current FCC is probably in the pockets of the big internet service providers and also appear to be covering up another possible scandal in this administration’s long list of them.

     
  • Geebo 9:20 am on August 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC, Lifeline, tribal lands   

    FCC stopped from cutting internet subsidies in tribal lands 

    FCC stopped from cutting internet subsidies in tribal lands

    Back in November of last year, I wrote a blog post about the number of then-recent FCC rulings that I alleged was done to possibly silence poorer voices in this country. One of those rulings was to roll back Lifeline subsidies that helped provide low-cost internet and phone to low-income families. That same ruling also put a cap on the number of service providers that could offer Lifeline services. One of the areas that could have been hit hardest by the FCC’s ruling would have been the tribal lands of Native-Americans.

    Recently, the US Court of Appeals has blocked the FCC from taking away Lifeline services in these areas. The court ruled that taking away these services and limiting the number of providers would cause the tribal populations to lose vital services due to a lack of communication options. The court also noted that the tribal lands have a lack of choice when it comes to internet and phone providers.

    As he is wont to do, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said in the past that rollbacks like this would create competition and lower prices for broadband internet. However, the court added that the FCC failed to provide any evidence that supported any of those claims. Ever since Pai started talking about rolling back net neutrality protections it seems that the FCC has tried to create a digital divide between the haves and have-nots, almost like the FCC and the current administration doesn’t want lower-income families, minorities, and migrants to be able to have access to news and other services on matters that personally affect them. Ignorance is strength indeed.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on August 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FCC,   

    FCC admits there was no cyberattack, blames Obama administration in the process 

    FCC admits there was no cyberattack, blames Obama administration in the process

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has not been shy in his zeal to repeal the Obama-era regulations known as net neutrality. These were the regulations that required internet providers to treat all internet traffic as equal. Last year, after Pai announced the FCC’s intention to repeal net neutrality there was a 60-day period in which consumers could go to the FCC’s website to make their opinions known. Due to the large amount of traffic that the website received it was unavailable at times during the comment period. The FCC claimed this was a denial of service attack (DDoS). This allowed Pai and the FCC to question the credibility of any comments in support of net neutrality. Now, the FCC has admitted that no such attack took place.

    Yesterday, Mr. Pai released a statement saying that the Government Accountability Office’s investigation showed that no denial of service attack took place. However, Mr. Pai quickly attempted to deflect blame from himself and the current administration. Instead, he blamed a former holdover from the Obama administration for the inaccurate information’.

    “I want to thank the Office of the Inspector General, both for its thorough effort to get to the bottom of what happened and for the comprehensive report it has issued,” Pai said in a statement Monday. “With respect to the report’s findings, I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former Chief Information Officer (CIO), who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people. This is completely unacceptable.”

    Specifically, Pai is blaming the FCC’s former chief information officer David Bray. Bray left the FCC last year to pursue a position with an international coalition that was created to ensure that the Internet continues to improve people’s lives. That coalition was founded by one of tej internet’s foremost pioneers, Vint Cerf. Whereas, Ajit Pai is a former executive for one of the country’s largest internet providers in Verizon.

    As has been Ajit Pai’s M.O. this is just more misdirection when it comes to having a free and open internet in our country. Pai makes laughable claims that net neutrality would stifle industry innovation and hurt smaller ISPs. Yet somehow, protecting regional internet monopolies like Verizon and Comcast wouldn’t do those exact things.

    While net neutrality may currently be dead, it doesn’t have to be that way forever. In many places in our country, today is election day for many primary races. If you want net neutrality restored, go to your local polls and vote for the candidates who support it. Things won’t change overnight, but they won’t change at all if we do nothing.

     
  • Geebo 10:06 am on February 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC,   

    60 days to die: Can net neutrality be saved? 

    60 days to die: Can net neutrality be saved?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    Yesterday, the apparent demise of the net neutrality became more of a reality. The Federal Communications Commission published the ‘Restoring Internet Freedom Order’ in the federal register yesterday, meaning that on April 23rd, 60 days after publication, the order will go into effect. This will allow internet providers to throttle internet traffic and limit speeds as they see fit.

    So what’s being done to stop the order before April? Well, a coalition of 23 state Attorneys General are suing the FCC claiming that the order itself is illegal. In Congress, net neutrality supporters say they have the votes to have the order blocked, but not enough to override a Presidential veto which is almost a certainty.

    While politicians have a history of turning a deaf ear to their constituents, the unprecedented and overwhelming support of net neutrality is just one of the many examples how tone-deaf the current administration really is. They show that the will of the people means nothing in the face of corporate campaign money.

     
  • Geebo 10:06 am on December 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FCC,   

    Net Neutrality is dead. Now what? 

    Net Neutrality is dead.  Now what?

    As I’m sure we’re all aware, yesterday the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration to treat the internet as a utility ensuring equal internet access for all. So what happens now? The internet hasn’t collapsed overnight, but it definitely has the potential to as internet service providers could potentially start charging consumers for fast lane plans to sites like Netflix and Facebook. So is the end really nigh? Not quite.

    A number of state Attorneys General, led by New York AG Eric Schneiderman, are planning to sue the FCC to reverse the Net Neutrality repeal on the grounds that an investigation into the claims of fraudulent comments in support of Net Neutrality that were submitted to the FCC never happened. The FCC will probably also be sued by consumer watchdog groups and Congressional Democrats will be trying to pass legislation to restore Net Neutrality.

    Unfortunately the courts and Congress are notoriously slow and heavily bureaucratic, so what can the average consumer do? Well, beside waiting around and hoping ISPs don’t start taking advantage of us, you can become active. You can educate your friends and family as to what Net Neutrality is and why it’s important. The most important thing we can do at this point is to vote for politicians who would support the restoration of Net Neutrality. Here’s a list of Congress members who were in support of Net Neutrality. If one of them represents you, you may want to consider voting them out of office when the time comes. In the meantime you can write your representatives in Congress that you support a free and open internet that is available to all and let them know that support for Net Neutrality will not go away any time soon.

     
  • Geebo 10:23 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC,   

    Is there a sliver of hope for Net Neutrality? 

    Is there a sliver of hope for Net Neutrality?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    With the impending repeal of Net neutrality less than two weeks away there are some people in positions of power who are trying to attempt last-minute solutions on at least delaying the FCC’s imminent execution of a free and open internet. However, is it too little too late?

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking the FCC to delay its December 14th vote on Net Neutrality while Schneiderman’s office investigates the claims that many of the public comments to the FCC in support of repealing Net Neutrality were fraudulent. This is in addition to 27 Senators who have also asked the FCC to delay the vote pending a court ruling on whether or not the Federal Trade Commission has any authority over internet service providers. If the court rules in favor of ISPs there could basically be no protection for consumers from predatory practices by the ISPs.

    Unfortunately, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has publicly stated that he has no intention of delaying the December 14th vote.

    This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai’s plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled. The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14.

    It’s ironic that Chairman Pai refers to the death of Net Neutrality as internet freedom as it’s anything but. The fact that he uses the word freedom brings to mind the famous quote by 18th Century writer Samuel Johnson. “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Ajit Pai is no patriot. He seems more like an enemy of the American people.

     
  • Geebo 10:31 am on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC,   

    Is the FCC trying to silence American voices? 

    Is the FCC trying to silence American voices?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    On this blog, we’ve discussed the FCC’s plan to dismantle the net neutrality policies put in place by the Obama administration to try to keep a free and open internet. Long story short, the Trump administration’s FCC, helmed by Chairman Ajit Pai, will be voting next month to determine the fate of net neutrality in the US, and the vote is expected to scrap the protections that were put in place by the previous administration. This was inevitable considering Pai’s stance on net neutrality since he was made chairman. However, there have been two other recent FCC rulings when you put them all together paint a pretty bleak picture.

    Last week, the FCC loosened a decades long restriction on one company owning more than one TV station in the same market. Locally it could lead to one company’s dominance of the media in that market essentially only providing one voice in news. That effect could happen nationally as well as any one company could own multiple outlets in each market.

    The other ruling from last week was that the FCC voted to roll back Lifeline subsidies that helped provide low-cost internet and phone to low-income families. In that same ruling, the FCC put a cap on service providers offering Lifeline plans. With the internet being an essential tool today for trying to accomplish any kind of basic function, this will make it extremely difficult for low-income families to look for employment or find financial assistance if needed.

    When you look at the three of these rulings together, one can almost see it as small parts of a larger plan to stifle the voices of the average American consumer. Ajit Pai’s plans almost seem like that of a totalitarian regime except offered under the banner of false promises of competition and innovation among broadcasters and internet providers.

     
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