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  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , net neutrality, NRA   

    Ajit Pai receives gun award from NRA for ‘saving the internet’ 

    Ajit Pai receives gun award from NRA for 'saving the internet'

    In our last post, we observed how tone-deaf FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the current administration is when it comes to the overwhelming popular support for net neutrality. For those who may not know the concept of net neutrality promises a free an open internet where all internet traffic is treated equally, Without it, internet service providers could throttle traffic to any competing service like Netflix and then have you pay extra to access that service.

    However, when it comes to being tone-deaf, it appears that no one beats the National Rifle Association, otherwise known as the NRA. While the wounds of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead were still fresh in the mind of the public, the NRA decided to present its Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire award to Ajit Pai for what American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider called “saving the internet”, while NRA board member Carolyn Meadows said that Pai “fought to preserve your free speech rights”. Although, neither speaker clarified how Pai has done either of these things.

    This kind of grandstanding in the face of tragedy is nothing new for the NRA. They once famously refused to cancel their annual convention in Denver shortly after the infamous shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. As you can expect, the award includes a handmade Kentucky long rifle that Pai can claim at his discretion. One has to wonder if this will be the gun that Pai uses to take net neutrality out back and shoot it.

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

    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 10:33 am on January 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , net neutrality   

    Another state enacts Net Neutrality legislation 

    Another state enacts Net Neutrality legislation

    In the wake of the state of Montana enacting its own legislation in order to protect net neutrality within its borders, another state has taken similar steps. With all due respect to Montana, this other state’s legislation will probably get internet service providers and the FCC to sit up and take notice.

    Recently, in direct defiance of the FCC’s edict that states couldn’t enforce their own net neutrality legislation. the Golden State of California has passed two bills guaranteeing that all internet traffic will be treated equally in their state.

    California can not just be ignored by ISPs if they’re wanting to do business in the state and this new proposed legislation could start a domino effect where ISPs may have to voluntarily commit to net neutrality just to keep from running afoul of state laws. However, the solution is never that simple and we could see these state laws challenged in federal court for years to come. Hopefully the ISPs will realize that it might be more profitable for them to treat all internet traffic equally then spending money fighting these laws made by various states.

     
  • Geebo 10:32 am on January 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Burger King, GAO, , net neutrality, Whoper Neutrality   

    Net Neutrality will not go quietly 

    Net Neutrality will not go quietly

    Ever since FCC Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the regulations protecting net neutrality, the fight to have it restored has been an ongoing but uphill battle. While some of the news has been promising, there have been no victories so far. However, in this week’s news there have been so many stories regarding the fight for a free and open internet that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    For example, the state of Montana, a state that went to President Trump in the 2016 election, had their governor sign an executive order that forbids state agencies from doing business with any internet service provider that violates net neutrality practices. With state governments being a big customer for ISPs, this could definitely have huge repercussions for ISPs doing business in the state.

    Also a number of stories have come out this week about how a many communities within the U.S. have built their own broadband networks. With the threat of paid prioritized traffic looming, many more communities are looking into this option as well, in order to better serve their citizens. Sadly, there are 20 states that have legislation in effect that largely hamper such efforts.

    Some members of Congress have also not taken this lying down as they have petitioned the US Government Accountability Office to investigate the possibility of fraud and identity theft during the FCC’s net neutrality rule making process. If you’ll recall in the run up to net neutrality being repealed there were a number of public comments made in support of repealing the protections that were allegedly not made by the people who were said to have posted them.

    Lastly, an unlikely ally in the fight for net neutrality and it’s Burger King of all places. They have released a video called ‘Whopper Neutrality’ that shows how Burger King’s synonymous Burgers can teach people about net neutrality.

    If even a plastic headed burger mascot gets it, why doesn’t the FCC?

    The internet was designed to be free and open to all and by this point should be considered a utility as it’s hard to get by in today’s world without it. It shouldn’t be controlled by a handful of corporate gatekeepers.

     
  • Geebo 10:26 am on January 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , net neutrality   

    States taking up the fight for Net Neutrality 

    States taking up the fight for Net Neutrality

    When the FCC, along with Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed the Net Neutrality protections they also claimed the authority to prevent the states from creating and enforcing their own Net Neutrality legislation. This seems to fly in the face of the current administration’s supposed support of states’ rights. However, this hasn’t stopped some of the states from introducing their own legislation despite the FCC’s proclamation.

    Two states that you wouldn’t normally mention in the same sentence, California and Nebraska, have both introduced legislation intended to keep paid prioritized internet traffic, throttling and blockages out of their states. If these state laws were to pass, it would make it difficult for ISPs operating in multiple states to have separate networks for each state and may make them abide by Net Neutrality in each state.

    If the federal government really wanted to make an example of any state that enforced their own Net Neutrality laws, they technically could pull federal funding from any of the states. A state like California could more than likely weather that storm, but a state like Nebraska could be hurt significantly. The question is, does the current administration really want the PR nightmare that would come with cutting off state funding over Net Neutrality?

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

    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: , , net neutrality   

    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 10:12 am on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Is Comcast trying to sneak internet fast lanes past us? 

    Is Comcast trying to sneak internet fast lanes past us?

    With the imminent demise of net neutrality upon us, at least one internet provider may already be planning on how to cash in on net neutrality’s repeal. Comcast, the nation’s largest internet provider, has recently changed the verbage on its website when it comes to internet fast lanes. In theory, fast lanes would be prioritized internet traffic for customers or companies that pay higher fees to Comcast. Do you want to watch streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, or even YouTube? Do you wants to use BitTorrent to download large files? Too bad, unless you pay Comcast extra.

    On its website Comcast previously promised to keep a free an open internet. However, it recently, but subtly, reworded its previous promise to not instill fast lanes. According to Ars Technica

    Comcast now vaguely says that it won’t “discriminate against lawful content” or impose “anti-competitive paid prioritization.”

    As the included video succinctly puts it, who decides what is lawful or anti-competitive? Comcast of course. And it’s not like there’s a whole lot of competition in the internet service market. In most locations in the country, you have a choice between two internet providers at the most. So ISPs aren’t the best sources to preach to consumers about anti-competitive practices.

    That’s not even taking into consideration that in order to speed up some tiers of traffic you have to slow others down. Will we soon be seeing reminders of the dial-up days? It sure looks that way.

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

    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.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on August 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , net neutrality   

    The FCC seems to think we have enough internet 

    The FCC seems to think we have enough internet

    When they’re not busy getting ready to dismantle a free and open internet, the FCC seems to think mobile broadband is enough for most homes. According to Ars Technica, the President Trump-backed FCC is leaning toward declaring mobile broadband speeds as the national standard. As Ars Technica points out, this could mean we may see a slow-down of broadband infrastructure and services being improved in the near future.

    While mobile data is great for when you’re out running errands or using your GPS, it’s neither financially nor practically feasible to think homes can run on mobile internet. Mobile data plans are already expensive and usually cap your data at around 5GB of bandwidth. A normal home where the family uses services like Netflix, or plays online games, can use that amount of bandwidth in less than a day. At that point a number of mobile providers start charging customers an exorbitant rate for going over their data limit. Mobile networks are also prone to failure when too many people try to use the same network at the same time. For example, say some kind of natural disaster strikes and a large number of people in the affected area try to tell their loved ones they’re all right by using social media. Everyone trying to reach Twitter or Facebook at the same time in a concentrated area could bring the entire local data network down.

    This really shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the FCC’s appears to be giving heavy favor to the mobile broadband providers with their recommendations. Current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a former counsel for Verizon who stands to gain a lot if the FCC removes Title II protection from broadband. It almost seems like the FCC won’t be happy until we’re using 56K modems again while being charged by the minute.

     
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