Not sure if Pai is genuinely an idiot, has political ambitions, or has taken a bribe from the cable companies, but hopefully he's not going to get away with this.
Ajit Pai – the head of America's broadband watchdog, the FCC – has responded to widespread criticism of his plan to tear up net neutrality safeguards by… mocking celebrity tweets. Perhaps we shouldn't expect more in the era of President Trump where Twitter spats replace policy debate and strawmen strangle analysis, but even so …
Wednesday 29th November 2017 02:10 GMT Youngone
He's a lawyer who has worked in various insider roles in Washington, so he might very well have political ambitions.
He is almost certainly not an idiot however and I'm sure he knows exactly what he's up to.
If he doesn't get some sort of safe Republican seat somewhere I'm sure he will be doing well from "consulting" fees from some communications industry body or other.
Wednesday 29th November 2017 18:19 GMT bombastic bob
I actually agree with some of the things Pai is talking about, aka the biased filtering and handling of "certain topics" and "certain political ads" by content providers. The examples he provides are just 'one of many' as I understand it, and NOT "straw men".
Pai's position is generally consistent iwth mine, DE-regulating at the FCC. The fact that the FCC should not have the *kinds* of jurisdictional powers that are covered by the misnomer of "net neutrality" is a part of this.
For things like 'paid packet prioritization', I think packet prioritization SHOULD happen. I also think that it should be limited, so that it doesn't adversely affect NORMAL traffic. Maybe the FCC can regulate the portion of traffic that can be prioritized [that would be reasonable] so as to prevent normal service from being pre-empted. But outright BANNING it?
There are already "multiple levels" of service, and you typically pay MORE for the better service. Competition makes this happen. Prioritization (or lack of it) could easily become a competition issue, and not something for governments to control wtih a heavy hand.
I still think that much of this argument started with the torrent downloaders of pirated content... and their allegations that ISPs were filtering and/or throttling the torrent uploads.
Wednesday 29th November 2017 19:22 GMT Yet Another Anonymous coward
Wednesday 29th November 2017 20:08 GMT Brandon 2
I agree too. It sounds like he's trying to reduce the level of regulation by the FCC, which I generally agree with. The problem is that the ISP's are basically monopolies using their market share to influence policy and restrict competition. Just ask Google how hard it is to get a permit in Atlanta, GA when Comcast has the ear (and wallets) of those that grant the permits. They're giving up. You don't solve one problem by creating 10 more, and I think that's what the "internet" is afraid of. If you take away the regulation of the ISP's, they're afraid Comcast (who doesn't give a shit about customers) will run amuck and restrict access to content. They already throttle the heck out of sites... but so does Google. No easy answer here.
Wednesday 29th November 2017 21:44 GMT JohnFen
"aka the biased filtering and handling of "certain topics" and "certain political ads" by content providers."
Fine, but those things have literally nothing to do with net neutrality. Net neutrality is about internet service providers, not content providers. Those are two very, very different things. That's what makes them straw men in the NN debate. This is part of the many lies the FCC has been uttering on this issue: they are conflating internet service providers with content providers.
"I think packet prioritization SHOULD happen"
And it does, and almost nobody has an issue with it. The issue is what basis it's done on. Prioritizing packets according to the type of data they contain? That's fine and is standard practice -- and net neutrality doesn't impact that. NN is about prioritizing packets based on who they're coming from or going to, not based on what sort of data they contain.
"Competition makes this happen."
Except that, for a huge portion of the US, there is no competition at all. If there were, there wouldn't be such a need for net neutrality rules.
"I still think that much of this argument started with the torrent downloaders of pirated content"
There were a number of instances where ISPs were interfering with legal and legitimate traffic, not just around torrents (and you do understand that an awful lot of torrent traffic is legal and legitimate, right?) The anti-neutrality people keep saying that there has been no abuse on the part of the ISPs, but that's simply a bald-faced lie. It was that abuse that started the push for NN in the first place.
Wednesday 29th November 2017 02:27 GMT Schultz
Wednesday 29th November 2017 03:32 GMT DNTP
Re: He's a lawyer...
He's supposed to be: The judge, impartially deciding the best public policy direction for the FCC.
He imagines himself as: A cable industry shill, heroically fighting the interests of the public.
He is actually: The Trump cabal's asshole of the moment, who for some reason still gets Supreme Judge powers.
Wednesday 29th November 2017 05:03 GMT Dimmer
We are the goverment, Listen to what we say, not what we do.....
If I understand what I am reading from the "FCC 15-24 REPORT AND ORDER ON
REMAND, DECLARATORY RULING, AND ORDER - Mar 12 2015 (Net neutrality)" it is a bait and switch. They told us they were going to prevent carriers from degrading content providers, but not so if I read the reg correctly. It was about regulating the internet.
But this Order does not apply the open Internet rules to interconnection. Three factors are critical in informing this approach to interconnection First, the nature of Internet traffic, driven by massive consumption of video, has challenged traditional arrangements—placing more emphasis on the
use of CDNs or even direct connections between content providers (like Netflix or Google) and last-mile broadband providers. Second, it is clear that consumers have been subject to degradation resulting from commercial disagreements,perhaps most notably in a series of disputes between Netflix and large lastmile broadband providers. But, third, the causes of past disruption and—just as importantly—the potential for future degradation through interconnection disputes—are reflected in very different narratives in the record.
While we have more than a decade’s worth of experience with last-mile practices, we lack a similar depth of background in the Internet traffic exchange context. Thus, we find that the best
approach is to watch, learn, and act as required, but not intervene now, especially not with prescriptive rules. This Order—for the first time—provides authority to consider claims involving interconnection, a process that is sure to bring greater understanding to the Commission."
Wednesday 29th November 2017 08:50 GMT Anonymous Coward
Wednesday 29th November 2017 09:33 GMT tempemeaty
War against the population. War against freedom. Profit.
Pai is a corporate-globalist who wants to restrict the freedom/access of/to open discussion and collaboration by the population over the internet communication system. It's all about population, information control and profiteering (think toll roads). Only way to prevent the asshat from doing this is to force Pai out of the office stat. Anyone got any dirt on this jerk that can be released to the public? Any connections with Russia that can be used to force this idiot out with?
Wednesday 29th November 2017 09:36 GMT DougS
Federal regulation of internet service providers = bad
Federal regulation of internet services like Twitter = sounds like something he is arguing for?
States rights are also out the window as the "deregulation" adds new regulations to prevent states from enacting regulations of their own. Because states rights are only good if states do what conservatives want, otherwise states rights are bad. (To be fair, liberals are equally hypocritical, as they tend to prefer federal regulations that take precedence over state regulations, except when the federal government regulations aren't what they want)
Wednesday 29th November 2017 12:19 GMT Florida1920
On one hand
You have a president who claims truth is what he says it is, and a free press is the "enemy of the people." On the other hand, you have the
Minister of InformationHead of the FCC claiming that regulating the free flow of information is desirable. Wow. If this were true, it wouldn't look good for the Land of the Free. I think the word I'm looking for is "Totalitarian."
Wednesday 29th November 2017 15:33 GMT fishman
Better faster broadband
The problem with getting better faster broadband is that most Mericans only have one broadband provider available. Around a quarter have two, and onlty a few percent have more than two. Capitalism doesn't work with monopolies, and poorly with duopolies, so Pai's claims are pretty meaningless.
Wednesday 29th November 2017 20:47 GMT sloshnmosh
Word ford word...
"FACT: Restoring internet freedom will lead to better, faster, and cheaper broadband for consumers and give startups that need priority access (such as telehealth applications) the chance to offer new services to consumers."
These are the exact words used by then president Clinton when he enacted the disastrous Telecommunications act of 1996:
PRESIDENT CLINTON: “For the past three years, my administration has promoted the enactment of a telecommunications reform bill to stimulate investment, promote competition, provide open access for all citizens to the Information Superhighway, strengthen and improve universal service and provide families with technologies to help them control what kind of programs come into their homes over television. As a result of this (act), consumers will receive the benefits of lower prices, better quality and greater choice in their television and cable services, and they will continue to benefit from a diversity of voices and viewpoints in radio, television and the print media.”