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back to article Congressman pitches bill to disarm FCC in net neutrality warfare

An Ohio congressman is seeking to strip the FCC of its biggest weapon in the battle over net-neutrality protections. Republican representative Bob Latta says that his HR 4752 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 in order to remove the portion of the act which would allow the FCC to reclassify broadband services. That …

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It worked well for the finance markets didn't it?

It worked well for the finance industry didn't it? And airlines. And food. And employees rights. And consumer rights. And, well...

Makes perfect sense to me.

(do I really need the sarcasm tag for this?)

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Paris Hilton

So here's a question.

What's the worst case scenario for non-US citizens, if these fastlanes are forc... accep...lovingly embraced by the hard working patriotic American people?

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The answer.... or at least what one US Citizen sees it...

You're screwed as well as us.

A quick perusal of the CongressCritter's bio shows no tech training or expertise. He's doing the bidding of his lobbyist friends and campaign contributors. My guess is that they wrote his proposed legislation for him.

It's people like him that write laws because they are lawyers and not knowledgeable in the field where the laws will apply or they run the agency because they have "industry ties" like Wheeler that scares the hell out of me. Be afraid.. be very afraid as their only interest is themselves.

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Gimp

It's spread...

I live in Canada, and this plague will spread to Canada where the CRTC has the same problem that the FCC has, in that it is entirely staffed by former Telco execs.

Once they have killed NetNu in the US you can sure as hell bet that the fastlane stuff will start turning up in international treaties like so much US policy does.

They'll force it in via the back door...so take a deep breath and brace yourself.

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Re: It's spread...

Plus of course if you are using a "slow lane" service hosted from a U.S. datacenter, nobody is going to look at your IP address and say "Oh, Combat Wombat lives in Winnipeg, we'd better treat his network traffic across the U.S. as a priority since he's Canadian." You'll get the same slow service that Americans do, at least up to point the U.S. ISP carrying your traffic peers with a Canadian ISP.

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Degraded service, for a start, as it creates a perverse incentive. If ISP's 'regular' traffic is delivered too well, there's no reason any service provider would pay up for prioritisation. So it removes any incentive for the ISP to upgrade their infrastructure.

Think of it as the 'regular' and 'premium' sandwiches at a shop. There's a higher margin on the premium sandwiches, so the shop would rather sell those - but if the regulars are too tasty, who would pay extra for a premium? So the shop has to make sure the regular sandwiches are tasty, but not *too* tasty, so that anyone who can afford it will pay for the premium instead.

In broader terms, it also creates a barrier to entry that prevents innovation. The big sites and services that we have today could afford to pay up for priority class, but startups could not, placing them at a disadvantage.

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Mushroom

>The big sites and services that we have today could afford to pay up for priority class, but startups could not, placing them at a disadvantage.

You say that as though it isn't the whole point.

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Re: It's spread...

Bell Canada already block anything they don't like. They just need the bit where they can charge extra for some stuff.

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Re: The answer.... or at least what one US Citizen sees it...

So was it a fat brown envelope, or a job offer that has given him the idea for this new law?

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You say that as though it isn't the whole point.

That and most of the US/Canada ISPs also sell TV and Phone service.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's spread... not to my back door, it won't

I prefer to clench my cheeks, turn around, and land the sodomizing agressor a quick sharp one in the goolies with a steel boot. The only thing that will keep these rent-seeking vermin in check will be a very loud public outcry. See who funds his election campaign and tell everyone you know.

Can you spell co-opt, children?

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If this bill gets anywhere close to passing...

What would be the odds the FCC would reclassify the Internet before the bill gets signed into law?

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Re: If this bill gets anywhere close to passing...

Odds are the bill will be construed so as to bar the Internet (and perhaps even telephone) from being classed as a common carrier at all. For that matter, they may just remove the "common carrier" designation altogether and completely defang the FCC. Anything the FCC tried can be negated by the act, since the FCC's powers come from the Telecommunications Act, and as long as they're not retroactive, they can be applied legally.

But this bill will go nowhere. It'll likely never get through the Senate. Even if it did it probably wouldn't make it through Conference Committee, nor get passed AGAIN. Finally, President Obama would likely veto the bill, and neither house is united enough on this bill to override it.

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Re: If this bill gets anywhere close to passing...

"What would be the odds the FCC would reclassify the Internet before the bill gets signed into law?

About zilch.

The US officially became a fascist nation about 30 years ago with "deregulation."

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Re: If this bill gets anywhere close to passing...

"Odds are the bill will be construed so as to bar the Internet (and perhaps even telephone) from being classed as a common carrier at all. For that matter, they may just remove the "common carrier" designation altogether and completely defang the FCC. Anything the FCC tried can be negated by the act, since the FCC's powers come from the Telecommunications Act, and as long as they're not retroactive, they can be applied legally."

I'd expect no less, especially if Congress thinks the FCC might push the button, so to speak, before the bill's language is finalized. Even if it were the case that Congress didn't pull the FCC's powers, subverting anything they would've accomplished with the bill, if Congress could actually unite to pass such a bill, they could feasibly pass another to undo any "damage" the FCC might've already done.

"But this bill will go nowhere. It'll likely never get through the Senate. Even if it did it probably wouldn't make it through Conference Committee, nor get passed AGAIN. Finally, President Obama would likely veto the bill, and neither house is united enough on this bill to override it."

My guess is you're likely correct on that, but the true differences between elected Democrats and Republicans is very slim, the rest mostly a facade for the people they represent. They all more or less seem to obey whoever pays the most money bribing lobbying, with one member recently confirming what we already knew, regarding patent reform.

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Re: If this bill gets anywhere close to passing...

Congratulations on the correct use of "fascist".

In ancient Rome (where the symbol of authority was the fasces, a bunch of branches) the class of merchants and industrialists became the "knights" and had a role in the legislature. The Senate was reserved for the heads of the Mafia houses that controlled Rome.

So Mussolini's Fascism was a State in which the industrialists and the government were deeply connected and in which the official rulers represented the interests of Mafia clans or families. The US has been declining into this position for some time now, with industrialists almost openly writing legislation and having it presented by their chosen representative. Now the SCOTUS has removed all limits on the extent to which the rich can bribe representatives, the US is truly an oligarchy; and as, unlike Russia, the Government doesn't seem to have any control at all over the oligarchs, it's a fascist oligarchy.

The next stage will be a bruising encounter with the Persian empire and invasion by the Goths.

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Re: If this bill gets anywhere close to passing...

My guess is you're likely correct on that, but the true differences between elected Democrats and Republicans is very slim, the rest mostly a facade for the people they represent. They all more or less seem to obey whoever pays the most money bribing lobbying, with one member recently confirming what we already knew, regarding patent reform.

Thing is, the two parties cater to two different sets of "big business". That's why there are sides. On the Republican side are the old guard: companies like Comcast, CBS, and Time Warner, among others, who all benefit from the status quo since they produce content on traditional media. They're trying to borg the Internet by using their libraries of existing media as blackmail. On the Democratic side are companies like Google and Netflix, companies who are getting into the media business through new channels such as the Internet. They're trying to block the borging and marginalize traditional content by creating content of their own. Perhaps because they lack the muscle, but I'm surprised the new guard haven't tried to directly attack copyright terms as being too greedy. With that approach, they can get new fodder by liberating old "classic" content from copyright owners.

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FAIL

Re: Congratulations on the correct use of "fascist".

Wrong. Mussolini's Fascism is connected to the Roman concept by name only. For Mussolini it was the State controlling the businesses to control the population. It's roots in Fabian/Socialist/Communist* philosophy put the state over the business interests.

*You may wish to argue over the leaves and branches, I want the whole tree removed.

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FAIL

This country just sucks more and more every day

It just does.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This country just sucks more and more every day

Sadly, this is very true.

When Kerry's response to Snowden's recent interview was that he should "man up" and come back to the US to face trial, my first thought was: "Er, come back to what? A corrupt government and legal system owned by a bunch of greedy corporations? No way."

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This whole debate is wrong.

The net has been open to innovation and leveraged a lot of free technology to enable it's growth into a ubiquitous service.

Cable TV provided a "premium" path and all it did was nearly decimate the free to air channels. Allowing charge by speed of delivery at a routing, not an access pipe level is an arbitrary distinction designed to allow the big providers to lock up the net and you'll need to pay them for the key. We already pay for our pipe size (bandwidth) and volume why should we have to pay for an additional "service" that is nothing more than an artificial toll road ala' the Rhine in the medieval history of the Gernmanies.

Let capitalsim work by all means, but don't allow artificial super highways to develop that will kill the open nature of the net, boost profits for large vendors, add to the digitial divide and break what currently works!

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Using a monopoly in one field to get a monopoly in another ...

... is supposed to be illegal.

With a two tier system, Netflix can either become Ne..t...fli........x.... or pay over all its profits until it becomes Telcoflix. Each profitable internet company in turn will be eaten by the Telcos. Whenever they get the full set of companies in one field, watch the prices soar and the service become intermittent and user hostile.

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Anonymous Coward

The removal of the this 'Title II', would it effect FCC's ability to enforce no discrimination rule over all types of communications or just the internet?

It seems that we are too focused on the Internet that we forgot about all the other types of communication services regulated by the FCC.

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I don't think they care. Frankly, I think the real goal is to remove "common carrier" regulations altogether: not just on the Internet but in telephone, too. Remember, diehard Republicans are really Libertarian minarchists: they want as little regulations as possible and if you die as a result, well, Darwin ruled against you.

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Hey, everyone knows republicans only want what is best for the people of the United States, Of course if your net worth is under ten million, or you didn't donate at least six figures to the Republican political machine, you ain't people.

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Anonymous Coward

Oi

Bob Latta, how much did they pay you?

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Re: Oi

The current coin is still hookers, blow, offshore accounts, blackmail and death threats.

Same as for any politician.

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Joke

Oh wait REALLY

absent government interference and obstruction

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAAHAAAAAH AAHAHA AHAAAAAAA

No really you mean that ......

Joke alert because it has to be !!!

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