back to article America, here's what the FCC's Rosenworcel REALLY thinks about your broadband

One of the FCC's five commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, says she wants to use both the 1934 and 1996 telecommunication laws to bring US broadband up to date. The problem is that today's rules, here in America, are still focused on the telephone era, when really they need to account for the internet age. Sound familiar? Yes, …

  1. Stephen Michael Kellat

    Absence of Authorization is not Freedom to Improvise

    Congress didn't approve the shift. Congress not approving multiple times doesn't give an agency the ability to just make it up via regulation what Congress could not agree on. That could possibly get smacked down by the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit just like the infamous Open Internet Order was.

    Nobody wants an agency regulation to be found "Arbitrary, Capricious, and Contrary To Law". Vague relation to authority delegated by Congress in the relevant enabling acts raises the risk of that. Commissioner Rosenworcel apparently received her education as a lawyer at NYU's school of law so perhaps she's feeling like she's got a firm enough foundation for taking a risk like this?

  2. P. Lee

    A more pertinent question

    Why are schools requiring the use of a computer and the internet that forces people into junk-food joints?

    I managed to do Computer Science A-levels with five computers in the entire school. Unless you can explain to me how cutting and pasting from wikipedia improves children's cognitive abilities you can gerrof my lawn!

    At least with encyclopedias a "cut and paste" meant you actually had to write things out, which aids the memory process in itself. Schools now seem to be so focussed on presentation, that they are willing to sacrifice the learning process which requires students to do some work, not just fiddle with layout and delete the hyperlinks from the footnotes.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: A more pertinent question

      I managed to do my high school computer work on a TRS-80 Model I with a cassette drive, and it was the only computer in the entire school, but that's irrelevant.

      What's relevant is a lot of teachers want you to email your assignment, or they will email you requirements or forms they want you to use.

      Because most teachers are complete technology retards (and are proud of themselves about it) some of these items are megabytes in size, and even if you have some crap old PC, a 2400 baud modem doesn't cut it.

      1. earl grey Silver badge

        Re: A more pertinent question

        I managed to get my computer homework done with an abacus, clay tablet and stylus.

        Now get off my lawn.

    2. Ole Juul

      Re: A more pertinent question

      @P.Lee, I didn't give you a thumbs down, but like the next poster I think you missed the point which is the lack of education of the teachers. Using on-line resources like Wikipedia can be well accomplished using even dialup. You're right though about the disingenious focus on layout and the like.

      Nevertheless, I think that the pertinent question would rather be, why don't these people have an internet connection of any kind? Slow, or otherwise. To me the explanation would likely be one of two. One, the incumbents will not spend money on getting a connection to less profitable areas. Or, two, people are not educated in the ways of affording a connection. Those that have only POTS available are, of course, not easily served. But those that have cable or DSL or rural wireless available in the area, can drop their $30-50 per month telephone and put it on an internet connection with very little, if any, additional cost per month. This works for my slow rural wireless connection where I'm using world class VoIP from Callcentric, so I'm not talking theory here.

      To me the issue that should be addressed by the Lifeline program is actual access being provided by the Telcos. Internet cost in existing areas is probably a red herring. These users likely already have a redundant telephone bill (as described above) or perhaps an addictive attachment to an even higher priced TV access which they are prioritizing over internet access.

      1. Tom 13

        @Ole Juul: this bit of your post is likely to be true

        These users likely already have a redundant telephone bill (as described above) or perhaps an addictive attachment to an even higher priced TV access which they are prioritizing over internet access.

        But expanding the Lifeline program only enables more of that sort of destructive behavior without fixing the problem. Because if there's that sort of addiction already present, it will override providing the internet connection. Moreover, there is very, very little a school ought to be teaching that requires access to the internet. A word processor on a computing device and a printer perhaps, but not the internet. Even at that schools should still be focused on teaching students to write including penmanship. Yes, I suck at penmanship, but I have enough of it to get on because I was taught it in school.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    without a lawsuit?

    Having spent the entire week swamped with net neutrality, the FCC might just welcome the chance to modernize its broadband policies without it involving a lawsuit or leading to protests or Presidential videos

    Who are you kidding. filing suit for things like, 'my coffee was too hot', 'my coffee was too cold', 'You said it would rain today and it didn't' are pary of the US way of life. Even back in the 1980's I was sued three times for things so trivial that it made us laugh (and get another lawsuit in the process). There are whole ranks of lawyers just waiting to get your call to start a suit. All those thousands of lawyers graduating every year have to do something to pay off their $200K debts for getting that degree in the first place.

    Yeah, I'm cynical. Having been travelling to the US since the mid 70's and living there for two years I have good reason to be.

    The FCC will be opposed in this measure all the way by the likes of AT&T, Comcast etc. Now that the GOP have control of both houses the likelyhood of this going through is even more remote.

    If by some remote chance this goes through you can be sure that the Telco's will find ways t oadd more wacky charges to everyone's bill that will more than compensate for the costs. They'll probably do that anyway given their track record.


    $9.95/month(+ tax) for household WiFi provision yet supplying a router that has no WiFi...

    use your own router? that will be $9.95/month unapproved hardware levy.

    etc etc etc

    1. Tom 13

      Re: without a lawsuit?

      The only reason for there to be a lawsuit is because the FCC won't work with Congress to pass legislation. Only Congress has the authority to pass this sort of legislation. It is well past time for non-Congressional entities to stop pretending otherwise.

  4. Tom 13


    roughly seven out of ten teacher homework assignments require internet access" then seven out of ten homework assignments are failing to educate our students and that's not a problem the FCC can solve.

    1. Goobertee

      Re: If

      >>roughly seven out of ten teacher homework assignments require internet access"

      >>then seven out of ten homework assignments are failing to educate our students

      >>and that's not a problem the FCC can solve.

      When I was growing up back in the last millennium, my school had a pretty fair library and I could walk to a university library and use their stuff, even if I couldn't check it out. The problems are (1) the students who live in communities that don't have good library facilities and (2) the topics that aren't available in whatever libraries are available. The alternative to an Internet search may be selecting from a much more limited number of topics and having less breadth of material.

      (We're talking United States) If the topic of a research paper is the early life of Abraham Lincoln, along with the general characteristics of the times, there probably won't be material in the local library. But there might be what she/he needs on the Internet if sufficient searches can be done. And searching the Internet is a valuable skill with so much available there--and the skill is only developed with practice. (That's something I try to explain to my wife, when she asks me to search for something for her. Give a man a fish...teach the man to fish...)

      I was fortunate when I was teaching there were several "open" computer labs the students could use to do their homework in whatever subjects they had. Often the smaller public schools won't have the extra labs/computers availablel and even more frequently, the budget is such that there won't be funding to keep the labs open after school.

  5. earl grey Silver badge


    Seriously? Scare quotes around "restaurants" for McDonalds? They may not be a four-star place, but you can eat the food there (if you like). If you want to editorialize about the quality, quantity, make-up of their food, then please write an editorial about their food (or what, apparently, only passes for food in your estimation).

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