Tagged: net neutrality Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 10:02 am on February 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    House Dems put the FCC on notice 

    House Dems put the FCC on notice

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    To say that the Ajit Pai-led FCC has been anti-consumer would be an understatement. From the repeal of net neutrality to the attempt to cut subsidies that provide phones to low-income families, it’s become pretty obvious that the former Verizon attorney has acted more in the interests of the corporations rather than the American people. Now, with the House of Representatives being controlled by the Democrats, lawmakers are looking to reassert their oversight of the FCC.

    Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle have accused the FCC of being too secretive and acting too much in the interest of corporations instead of consumers. The pair of Democratic Representatives published an open letter to Chairman Pai and pulled no punches in the process…

    Not only have you have failed on numerous occasions to provide Democratic members of this committee with responses to their inquiries, you have also repeatedly denied or delayed responding to legitimate information requests from the public about agency operations. These actions have denied the public of a full and fair understanding of how the FCC under your leadership has arrived at public policy decisions that impact Americans every day in communities across the country.

    Later today, the Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the impact Pai’s repeal of net neutrality has had on consumers and free speech. Pai has been instructed to have a written response to the Representatives concerns by March 4th. While this won’t be an overnight restoration of net neutrality protections, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

     
  • Geebo 10:20 am on January 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , net neutrality   

    Nothing the FCC promised has happened after repealing net neutrality 

    Nothing the FCC promised has happened after repealing net neutrality

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the worst advertisement for Resse’s.

    When the FCC led by Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the net neutrality regulations put in place by the Obama Administration, Pai said that the repeal would lead to greater internet innovation, deliver broadband to more rural areas and would increase competition among internet service providers. By the same token, he might as well have promised everyone a pony, world peace, and a Cleveland Browns Super Bowl victory. He also claimed that prior to the regulations, no ISP had ever violated the tenets of net neutrality which of course was not true.

    Now, over a year after the repeal, Motherboard investigated whether or not if any of Pai’s claims came true. To the surprise of no one, except those who have blind faith in the current administration, not only have none of these claims come even remotely close to true, things have gotten even worse. There has been no marketable increase in competition as still most areas in the country only have a ‘choice’ between one or two providers, internet rates have steadily increased, innovation is all but dead, and the majority of rural areas still find themselves being underserved by the broadband providers.

    Meanwhile, many broadband providers or their parent companies have been laying off employees while raking in record profits. Speaking of profits, none of that money is being invested back into the infrastructure needed to maintain a serviceable internet in our country even after the ISPs were given tax cuts and subsidies by the Trump Administration. Again, it’s at this point we must point out that Chairman Pai is a former attorney for broadband provider Verizon who is just one of the companies who has benefitted from the repeal.

    Sadly, the repeal of net neutrality is just a symptom of a bigger disease where the current administration has little regard for consumers or its constituents and continues on a campaign of grandiose falsities no matter how much common sense dictates otherwise.

     
  • Geebo 10:19 am on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Ajit Pai celebrates bipartisan defeat of net neutrality, except that’s not what happened 

    Ajit Pai celebrates bipartisan defeat of net neutrality, except that's not what happened

    If you’re old enough to remember the second Gulf War you may remember that Saddam Hussein had a spokesperson who would frequently appear in the media making outrageous claims about how the then dictator of Iraq was going to defeat the US Armed Forces while tanks were rolling into Baghdad. His statements were so outlandish that the American Media nicknamed him Comical Ali. Now it seems that FCC Chairman has taken a page out of his playbook.

    After Congress failed to reinstate net neutrality protections during their latest session, Pai released the following statement to the media

    “I’m pleased that a strong bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives declined to reinstate heavy-handed Internet regulation,” Pai said in a statement. “They did the right thing — especially considering the positive results for American consumers since the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.”

    Except, that’s not even remotely close to what happened. While Pai makes it sound like there was unilateral support for his ironically named Restoring Internet Freedom Order that’s not what happened. As Ars Technica points out

    The Pai-led Federal Communications Commission repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules, but the repeal could have been reversed by Congress if it acted before the end of its session. Democrats won a vote to reverse the repeal in the Senate but weren’t able to get enough votes in the House of Representatives before time ran out.

    So, it wasn’t bipartisan support as much as it was the Democrats not being able to get enough votes in the Senate. That’s not bipartisan support, that’s just Congress voting along party lines.

    Sadly, this is just a symptom of a larger problem within this administration as the current regime seems to have an edict that if you tell the same lies long enough they’ll become perceived as truth. It’s hard to think of another administration that represents the dystopian future of George Orwell’s 1984 any more than the current one.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on December 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , net neutrality   

    FBI investigating possible net neutrality fraud 

    FBI investigating possible net neutrality fraud

    The last we heard about the net neutrality debate, the FCC had admitted that half a million comments submitted to the FCC website were made by phony Russian accounts. In the run-up to net neutrality’s repeal by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the public could submit either their support or opposition to net neutrality, the regulations that protected a free and open internet. Pai, a former Verizon attorney, repealed net neutrality claiming that it stifled innovation. During the past week, the FBI decided to get involved with the investigation into the fake accounts.

    The FBI has launched an investigation into whether or not “people’s identities were posted to the FCC’s website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules.” According to the New York Attorney General’s office, close to ten million comments submitted to the FCC’s website were submitted with stolen identities. The total amount of comments received numbered around 24 million. When factoring in what were believed to be legitimate comments close to 99% were in favor of keeping net neutrality protections in place.

    The FBI has subpoenaed several telecom lobbyists and trade groups. Previously the state of New York had requested information from the FCC regarding the status of these allegedly fake accounts but by most reports, the FCC refused to cooperate citing the state of New York had no authority to investigate these claims. Now, only time will tell if anything actually comes out of this new investigation by the FBI or will Ajit Pai’s higher-ups will try to hamper the investigation? After all, the administration has to do something to keep that telecom campaign money pouring in.

     
  • Geebo 10:12 am on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    FCC admits Russian interference in net neutrality debate 

    FCC admits Russian interference in net neutrality debate

    This week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, released a memo where he admitted that at least half a million comments submitted to the FCC came from Russian email addresses. If you’ll recall, the FCC opened up their website to comments in order to discuss the then pending repeal of net neutrality legislation. The site was flooded with comments that the FCC first claimed was a denial of service or DDoS attack. Later on, the FCC backed down on that claim.

    The 500,000 comments made by Russian accounts were all said to be in favor of net neutrality and Pai has put this forward as evidence of foreign interference into our democratic process. The question that needs to be asked is, were these fake accounts in favor of net neutrality so the Trump Administration’s FCC could claim that the commenting period was invalid in their way to repealing the net neutrality protections put in place by the Obama Administration?

    When you have an administration with alleged questionable ties to Russia, why would Russia act as an opponent to the administration’s policies unless their only goal was to make net neutrality supporters look bad? With Ajit Pai constantly changing the narrative on net neutrality if he says the sky is blue you may want to look outside to make sure he’s right. It’s looking more and more like the FCC sold out consumer internet protections wholesale to the major telecoms with a little help from overseas friends.

     
  • Geebo 1:32 pm on November 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , net neutrality, Randall Stephenson   

    Does AT&T really want net neutrality restored? 

    Does AT&T really want net neutrality restored?

    After the state of California tried to institute its own net neutrality legislation they were sued not only by the federal government but by a group representing almost the entirety of broadband providers. If you’ll recall, when the FCC repealed net neutrality protections put in place by the Obama administration, the FCC ruled unilaterally that states were forbidden from enacting their own legislation. Of course, this did not sit well with many of the states as they fought to protect consumers. Now the fight for net neutrality has an unexpected and uneasy ally.

    AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has urged Congress to pass federal net neutrality regulations at a recent tech conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal. At the conference, Stephenson said, “What would be a total disaster for the technology and innovation you see happening in Silicon Valley and elsewhere is to pick our head up and have 50 different sets of rules for companies trying to operate in the United States.” So now he is pushing for the idea that no internet service provider should block or throttle content and that users should be able to access the internet without interference.

    What Mr. Stephenson did not clarify, according to Ars Technica, was whether or not he was opposed to paid prioritization which would favor certain internet traffic over others. For example, if your ISP had its own streaming service, it could prioritize that traffic over a competing service like Netflix. While minimal net neutrality is better than none Mr. Stephenson’s motives seem to come from a fear of having to deal with multiple state regulations rather than one unified federal law. However, at this point with how tone-deaf the Trump administration’s FCC has been, we should be thankful for small victories where we can get them.

     
  • Geebo 10:05 am on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Mozilla, net neutrality   

    California to hold back on net neutrality, for now 

    California to hold back on net neutrality, for now

    California Gov. Jerry Brown

    Always being the trendsetter, the state of California recently passed the most stringent net neutrality laws in the country, defying the edict handed down by the FCC stating that states could not enforce their own net neutrality laws. When the FCC repealed net neutrality protections for consumers they also issued an edict that the individual states could not make their own laws regarding net neutrality which many see as an abuse of power by the FCC. After California Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s net neutrality into law, not only was the Golden State sued by the Trump Administration and a consortium of broadband providers. But now, a third lawsuit has arisen which has caused California to take pause.

    California’s net neutrality was supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2019, however, this past Friday the state of California announced they would be holding off on enforcing net neutrality until a certain lawsuit is settled. Mozilla, the non-profit behind the Firefox browser, is suing the FCC stating that their repeal of net neutrality protections “violates both federal law as well as harms internet users and innovators.” To put it in simpler terms, Mozilla is claiming that it’s beyond the FCC’s scope of powers to interfere with a state’s rights to pass their own legislation on net neutrality.

    So, this isn’t a defeat for net neutrality in California. The state is merely awaiting the outcome of Mozilla’s lawsuit before determining how to move forward with net neutrality as the Mozilla lawsuit could have national ramifications on the states’ rights to enforce net neutrality. Once again, I find it ironic that an administration that supposedly champions states rights is so quick to try to quash those rights when it goes against financial backers who helped get them to the office, to begin with.

     
  • Geebo 9:21 am on October 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Lawsuits over net neutrality fall along party lines 

    Lawsuits over net neutrality fall along party lines

    Ever since the FCC repealed the net neutrality regulations put in place by the Obama administration, a number of states have either enacted their own net neutrality legislation or have sued the FCC to restore the previous federal legislation. If you’ll recall, when the FCC, backed by Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed the protections the FCC claimed that the states could make no laws in regard to net neutrality which many see as the FCC overstepping their legal authority. With states enacting their own legislation in defiance of the FCC this has led to a coalition of internet providers to file their own lawsuits against some states such as California and more recently Vermont.

    22 State Attorneys General and the Attorney General of the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against the FCC arguing that the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality was arbitrary and capricious and that the FCC can not preempt state laws. Now, the Attorneys General of three other states, Texas, Arkansas, and Nebraska respectively, have filed a brief in support of the FCC’s decision claiming that the states “have an interest in protecting both consumers and purveyors of Internet services.” Somehow, I doubt the esteemed Attorneys General from these three states have the consumers best interest at heart.

    So what’s the difference between the 23 Attorneys General who are suing the FCC and the three that support them? Well, the 23 who are suing are all Democrats while the three in support of the repeal are Republican. While I would never tout one political party over the other if you care about a free an open internet I think it’s obvious where your votes should go next month if this is an issue that matters to you. Even if you’re a Republican party loyalist you have to take notice of the fact that only three red states have weighed in on this matter as the rest have decided to remain on the sidelines.

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

    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 9:00 am on October 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality 

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality

    If you were looking for a sign that the state of California was trying to protect consumers with its new net neutrality legislation, look no further. Four broadband industry groups that represent companies like AT&T, Verizon, Charter, Comcast, and T-Mobile, have joined with the DOJ in suing California. Much like the DOJ, the internet providers are arguing that California is violating federal mandates by imposing their own regulations against providers that perform interstate services.

    Once again, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tries to spin the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality as pro-consumer. Pai issued a statement that read in part

    “The Internet is inherently an interstate information service. As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area,” Pai said. “Not only is California’s Internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers.”

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra fired back by referring to the industry groups as ‘power brokers’ who have an ‘interest in maintaining their stronghold’. AG Becerra also released a statement of his own regarding the latest suit.

    “California, the country’s economic engine, has the right to exercise its sovereign powers under the Constitution,” he said in a statement, “and we will do everything we can to protect the right of our 40 million consumers to access information by defending a free and open Internet.”

    It has been shown in the past that the FCC has given little input to the American people who were opposed to the repeal of net neutrality protections ever since they announced their intention to do so, going as far as forbidding the states from make their own net neutrality legislation. This has not stopped the states from defying this edict with California being at the forefront of that movement. With the federal government siding with the major internet providers over the protection of consumers doesn’t it fall to the individual states to do what they can to protect their citizens? This is what ‘states’ rights’ is really about.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel