back to article FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan

Ajit Pai, head of America's communications watchdog the FCC, has unveiled his "plan to repeal the Obama Administration's heavy-handed regulation of the Internet," referred to by critics as an anti-consumer giveaway to large communications companies. The 210-page document bears the title "Restoring Internet Freedom," which …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Repealing these regulations will create jobs, increase competition, and lead to better, faster, cheaper Internet access for all Americans,"

    [citation needed]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      [citation needed]

      [1] Ministry of Truth, Unemployment is Job, Monopoly is Competition, Better, Faster and Cheaper Access for all Americans who can pay for it - Cheaper as in Cheaper for those who are handsomely paid for doing the dirty work lobbyists ask for.

      1. StevieD

        Re: [citation needed]

        "Freedom" in government speak. is like "democratic" in a country name.

        Very litlle of either in reality

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Politics 101:

      All statements from Republicans proclaiming how beneficial their changes to legislation will be are diametrical opposed to reality.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "All statements from Republicans politicians proclaiming how beneficial their changes to legislation will be are diametrical opposed to reality."

        FTFY.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yes, I think we've already seen how the "free market" works, especially the version used in the US. If you live in a monopoly area with little to no choice, you WILL be gouged, whatever the service or facilities we are talking about.

  2. joemostowey

    '"Pai meanwhile celebrated his plan via online post. "Repealing these regulations will create jobs, increase competition, and lead to better, faster, cheaper Internet access for all Americans,"

    And the above is why we NEED accountability in government. Wonder what Pai's words would be if he had to back the above statement with his personal earnings? If, when it turns out he is wrong, he has to pay the difference out of his own pockets?

    This is what is wrong with American politics : anyone can make a claim, hire a propaganda expert with money "contributed" by political supporters, and walk away in the ensuing confusion having enacted the will of the political contributors with nothing risked.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      The problem is, ultimately, the government, for better or worse, IS the law. Any law you could establish to keep them honest, they can repeal, and since Amendments have to go THROUGH them (and before you consider the Convention avenue, state governments are just as divided as well, and you have to get 34 of them to support you), you're more likely to see them use their charisma and corruption to push through just the opposite. Plus, at the ultimate extreme, someone with enough sheer power can just push the "ink on a page" aside.

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Flame

    Thanks for the pre-holiday downer, Chairman Pai

    Cronyist political hack who ignores hundreds of thousands of comments from the public he is supposed to be working for. I hope somebody pees in his Thanksgiving stuffing.

    1. DNTP

      Re: Thanks for the pre-holiday downer, Chairman Pai

      If Verizon peed in his stuffing, he'd eat every bite with a grin on his face and love it. Slavery is supposed to be illegal now and here he is, gleefully selling his corrupt body and soul and responsibility to the people.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Thanks for the pre-holiday downer, Chairman Pai

        Ah.. but he's not a slave. He's probably closer to a high-dollar prostitute selling himself to the highest bidder.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thanks for the pre-holiday downer, Chairman Pai

          -->Ah.. but he's not a slave. He's probably closer to a high-dollar prostitute selling himself to the highest bidder.

          Sorry you're really not paying attention to your metaphors today are you?

          He's the pimp you twit, it's us actually getting fucked!!!

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Slavery is supposed to be illegal now and here he is,"

        Not so.

        He chooses to do this.

        That's not slavery.

        That's prostitution.

        Being a former lawyer to a major cable supplier probably gave him a taste for this life.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for the pre-holiday downer, Chairman Pai

      The only c*nt in the world where his name is pronounced with a silent 'd'.

    3. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Thanks for the pre-holiday downer, Chairman Pai

      "I hope somebody pees in his Thanksgiving stuffing."

      That's a novel way to baste the turkey, isn't it?

  4. J.Smith

    "It will increase... competitiveness... yes that's it, I think, at least that's what the slip in my brown envelope told me."

  5. Florida1920 Silver badge

    "Restoring Internet Freedom"

    Freedom for big corporations to rip off the people our government is supposed to protect. I've said it before: 1984 was intended to be a novel, not an instruction manual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Restoring Internet Freedom"

      blackwhite speak at it's very very best.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "Restoring Internet Freedom"

      Most forms of Freedom™ via legislation at least in the Western World is about freedom for the corporations to make more out of the consumer and deregulation means even more freedom for them to sell us goods that are tested less rigorously and potentially more harmful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Restoring Internet Freedom"

        The Repubs will be bring lead based paint back. Let's face it it'll for the good of the children. The colours are more vibrant.

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    "My view is that the Internet should be run by engineers and entrepreneurs, not lawyers and bureaucrats."

    Well... you got it wrong there snowflake. The Internet is run by corporations seeking maximum profit. Methinks you drank from the cup of stupidity and greed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Internet should be run by engineers and entrepreneurs, not lawyers"

      So, why he's at the FCC? Replace him with an engineer!

  7. Keef

    Well you voted for Trump...

    What did you expect?

    Sunflowers and lavender forever?

    Obama might have failed on a few counts but at least he had decent moral values.

    1. Palpy

      Re: Well you voted for Trump...not.

      I understand your sentiment, but a slim majority of 58% of eligible voters picked Clinton (42% did not vote at all). Trump's electoral college win is down to narrow victories in three states:

      Wisconsin, won by a margin of 22,748 votes.

      Pennsylvania, won by a margin of 44,307 votes.

      Michigan, won by a margin of 10,704 votes.

      Interestingly, if one-fifth of those who voted for third-party or write-in candidates in those states had voted for Clinton, then Ajit Pai would not be defenestrating net neutrality.

      But the 2016 election is water under the bridge, net traffic well past the router, horses burning down the barn after the barn door is locked. A frog well-boiled in a pot. Or some other dubious or inappropriate metaphor.

      Technical work-arounds may delay serving of the idjit pie cooked up by the FCC chairman, but ... well, the (relatively) free Internet in the US was nice, wasn't it? Remember it fondly, compatriots.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well you voted for Trump...not.

        "a slim majority of 58% of eligible voters picked Clinton"

        That is not correct - Clinton has a plurality not a majority.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Well you voted for Trump...

      The Clinton moral values are top notch too... i'm not a Trump endorser by any stretch of the imagination either. Basically the American people were screwed no matter what. Big business is in bed with the politicians. I'll let you connect the rest of the dots in this sordid picture.

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Childcatcher

        Re: Well you voted for Trump...

        "Basically the American people were screwed no matter what"

        OK, but there's still a difference between getting screwed, and being sold off as a sex slave to get screwed several times every day

  8. rtb61

    Mass Corporate Censorship of the US Internet

    The plan will of course allow for mass corporate censorship of the internet. Wow, that is some slow connection 10 bits per second, you can't afford more because you have been targeted for a special rate, $1000 per bit. Don't like the price, choose a competitor, what our cartel buddy charges the same, wow you are a expensive customer to service.

    They might note notice the law going it but expect the mass market to get rapidly furious when they feel the bite.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Mass Corporate Censorship of the US Internet

      And the next step I suppose will be to severely throttle all encrypted traffic so as to make stuff like SSH proxies and VPNs impractical for those except the big businesses who rely on them enough to be able to afford the metered business Internet rates (or like Google actually own their own physical infrastructure).

      "They might note notice the law going it but expect the mass market to get rapidly furious when they feel the bite."

      You underestimate the ability of the proletariat to organize on their own. Most need the help of charismatic leaders, and currently most of them are in corporate pockets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mass Corporate Censorship of the US Internet

      Trump's agenda, via Bannon through the Koch's, is to take America apart. If people are unhappy now then wait awhile. This just the start. Trump's doing exactly what he was told to do.

  9. Ole Juul Silver badge

    another kind of SEO

    But most of the comments sent to the FCC appear to have been faked.

    One might call that voter optimisation.

    1. Linker3000
      Joke

      Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

      Fake views

    2. breakfast

      Re: another kind of SEO

      This is a genuinely massive story - as far as I'm aware a totally new kind of identity crime. I'm surprised we haven't heard from El Reg on it yet, though I guess they are doing the research to be able to produce something more in-depth when they do a story on it.

  10. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    "Repealing these regulations will create threaten jobs, increase competition charges, and lead to better, faster, cheaper Internet access bigger, fatter wallets for all Americans CEOs of Internet Service Providers," he said. "My view is that the Internet should be run by engineers and entrepreneurs, not lawyers and bureaucrats robber barons, not human beings."

    FTFY

  11. Trey Pattillo

    Been saying this for years....

    Welcome to the UCCA, United Corporations and Churches of America, ex-USA,

    Where the real product is the Stock and

    The True Customer is the Stock Holder.

    In god we trust, all others pay foreign loan-shark interest.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The next Google is stuffed

    It's going to be much harder for any startup to swell to worldwide dominance from a garage in future.

    1. Rob - Denmark

      Re: The next Google is stuffed

      "It's going to be much harder for any startup to swell to worldwide dominance from a garage in future."

      And that is one of the purposes of this plan

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The next Google is stuffed

      Stop trying to cheer us up!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anti-American

    All these complaints about corporate America, you must all be anti-American, where's your patriotism?

    1. joemostowey

      Re: Anti-American

      What is America? The land? The Government? The corporations? The people?

      What is patriotism? The desire to see the government succeeding in all things, legal or not? Or is it a desire to see the country thrive, become strong and endure?

      If America is the land, then it is already a country in trouble as corporations strip it of it's resources, pollute its waterways and destroy her forests, level he mountains and poison her groundwater.

      If it is the Government, the America is in trouble, as a government designed to be of the people, for the people, by the people has been undermined by Gerrymandering, vote rigging, creating rules to ensure the one person, one vote cannot be upheld as many states supress voters that are outside the social stratum, the poor, the minority, a system where money and propaganda rule supreme, where the government no longer obeys the law, one that spys on the average citizen, where to be at the attention of the police and law enforcement may be a death sentence without trial, especially if your are poor and have brown skin.

      If the country is the corporations than never before has a country been so successful, labor laws have been squashed, unions destroyed, profits are easily hidden from taxation and those that are taxed will cease to be taxed in the near future. A country where the various industries have not just input on writing the laws and regulations that affect them, but where they actually write the laws that the politicians they own will vote into being. A country where the courts have little power to pass judgement on corporations and the people that run the corporations, where the law is what the corporations say it is.

      If the country is the people than the United States has failed. poverty is rampant, employment doesn't guarantee a wage where food, shelter and medical care can be obtained, and saving for the future is for most Americans a pipe dream. Where people are little better than wage slaves, and debt is universal where interest rates and credit terms are designed to keep you in debt forever, and bankruptcy is a scam where lawyers and creditors and even the court system bleed you dry. The political system denies the people representation and laws protect only the wealthy, where being innocent of a crime is irrelevant as proving your innocence is financially beyond most Americans.

      So, What is Patriotism, and what is anti Americanism? Love and support for the corporations, or love and support of the country's people.

      I vote the latter for the first is morally reprehensible.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-American

        So if America is so bad, why not move elsewhere?

        1. scarletherring

          Re: Anti-American

          > So if America is so bad, why not move elsewhere?

          Because it's not so bad for the very few who could actually afford to just pack up and leave. And getting a lot better with the current plutocrats in charge.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "So if America is so bad, why not move elsewhere?"

          You still need to afford it... but let some time pass, and US could become a nation of emigrants, not an immigration target...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anti-American

          "So if America is so bad, why not move elsewhere?"

          Because no other country will accept you batshit crazy motherfu

        4. hnwombat
          Thumb Down

          Re: Anti-American

          = So if America is so bad, why not move elsewhere?

          I did. As soon as I got my PhD, I left the US permanently. It's a hideous place. And, FYI, I was born in the US, lived and worked in the US for 50 years. I am now in France, and am happier than I have ever been in my life.

          Until Macron ruins it, of course. Vote Melenchon!

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. rmason Silver badge

      @AC

      Most of the types who would, are his supporters.

  15. unwarranted triumphalism

    Time to face facts

    The FCC's heavy-handed regulation of the internet is a relic of the past. It's no longer a government utility, its growth and success is due to the private sector.

    Why shouldn't the private sector be allowed to succeed?

    1. PapaD

      Re: Time to face facts

      No reason at all

      Unless they are succeeding at the expense of the populace. If their success makes things worse for all of the people, then they need to not be allowed to succeed.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: Time to face facts

        The freer the market, the freer the people.

        1. joemostowey

          Re: Time to face facts

          The freer the market, the freer the people.-

          Ah, but the market is not free. In the early part of the last century, a republican, one Teddy Roosevelt warned america about monopolies and while President tried to make monopolies illegal, and the markets were for a time much freer until the wealthy decided to gut those laws,soon after the Dixiecrat's became the southern GOP and dominated the traditional GOP. Now especially in the utilities market, regional monopolies own their markets and the regional politicians, passing laws forbidding competition (competition is what makes a free market) and stifling any hint of a competitive market place. Hence many Americans have access to only one ISP, if they have any.

          Monopolies make the consumer pay through the nose, and take what the monopoly has to offer, or have nothing at all. Hardly freedom.

          Now the one thing that still has some effect on the power of the monopolies is being destroyed, net neutrality - and the monopolies pay a lot of shills to haunt forums and disrupt conversations about that destruction. Insults, attacks, pushing the discussion off topic.

          I am proud that many of the folks on this thread see through such attempts and keep the heat up on the half-baked Pai, and providing a record that shows that Pai's tactics are unpopular, and are simply a give-away to the monopolies.

          America has fallen to the sleaze since Reagan, who had the largest number of cabinet members and associates convicted of felonies than any other president, (although Trump may rival that record, "bigly") began his attack on the average American. The nations freedoms, the standard of living, wages, and general wealth for the middle class have all taken a fall beginning with the Reagan Presidency.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Time to face facts

          Yes, much like in Somalia. Very free market, low regulation. Practically, no Governmental rule at all.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The freer the market, the freer the people."

          Actually, if and only if the market is really "free" - which means equal opportunities for all players - big and small, and you need rules and controls to identify those who attempt to cheat - and there will be not a few ones. A true free market is inextricably tied to rules that keep it free - without, it won't be free at all.

          Think about any sport, what will happen if players didn't abide to common rules, and referees didn't enforce them? Would be the game "free", or will it quickly degenerate into a brawl?

          Many of those who advocate a "free market" means instead a market fully controlled by a few big players more busy to hinder true competition to maintain their positions, without the need to invest much in innovation and delivering appealing product/services. It also means less jobs (because there are fewer entities, each trying to use as little personnel as possible), and reduced wages (because there will be fewer jobs, and less competition to hire the people).

          Freedom is very different from anarchism, although there's a big selfish movement that wants people to believe anarchism is freedom - it never worked, it quickly degenerates in authoritarianism because no rule can stop it, and once you get there is hard to get back.

          That's freedom and democracy need a Constitution, and not simple no rule of law at all. Because you need to establish the fundamental rules to keep freedom alive, and avoid the big ones crush the little ones. Markets work in the same way - they are made by the same people.

          And that's why you see Constitutional principles quietly trampled on each day - because they get in the way.

        4. strum Silver badge

          Re: Time to face facts

          >The freer the market, the freer the people.

          Utter tripe.

          There is no such thing as a free market. Markets are a regulatory mechanism and are only as successful as the restraint they impose on those who cheat the people.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Time to face facts

          The freer the market, the freer the people.

          Free to die (sorry - you can't afford the $50000 to pay for the treatment of the condition caused by all the pollution our industries emit so enjoy what's left of your short pain-filled life), free to be shot by any passing policeman having a bad day, free to not have your voice heard since you don't have the requisite 100 million dollars, free to starve because the only jobs you can find pays lower than starvation wages (but don't worry, the Board are all enjoying their Caribbean retreats).

          That sort of freedom you mean?

          Oh - and don't expect any freedom of you are black, muslim or female. Those people just ain't American don'tchaknow?

  16. Harry Stottle

    So where exactly is this proposed US Policy Working?

    Genuine curiousity. This table of International Broadband speeds shows 19 countries with faster average download speeds than the US (and 30 faster than the UK).

    Does any one of those permit the kind of throttling and content based restrictions which Pai is arguing will "improve" internet performance? I haven't studied their broadband policies but I haven't heard of anyone else having to resort to this kind of nonsense to achieve a better service.

    So, on what basis, other than the favouring of selected vested interests, can the proposal be defended? More importantly, why aren't questions like that being aired in America?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: So where exactly is this proposed US Policy Working?

      "Genuine curiousity. This table of International Broadband speeds shows 19 countries with faster average download speeds than the US (and 30 faster than the UK)."

      Tell me. Given the costs of infrastructure, how many of those 19 countries are BIGGER than the US? Wiring up a country like Japan (the size of California) or South Korea (about the size of Illinois) is one thing. Try one with vast stretches of sparse, rural population and population centers thousands of miles away (say, New York to Los Angeles or Miami to Seattle).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So where exactly is this proposed US Policy Working?

        Bell is putting FTTP throughout much of Canada. Granted most of the population of Canada is within 300 km of the US border, but the population is also only about that of California.

      2. joemostowey

        Re: So where exactly is this proposed US Policy Working?

        "Try one with vast stretches of sparse, rural population and population centers thousands of miles away (say, New York to Los Angeles or Miami to Seattle)."

        For 25 years, I have waited for COX to extend service ONE MILE. I live 30 miles from the Capitol of Virginia. There are almost 50 homes in this one mile stretch, and yet for almost 3 decades cox has refused to expand. They cabled the most profitable area of the county, and when we inquire why not us> we are told, not in your lifetime!

        It's not a vast area, not a sparse population, it is just that cox's stock price is predicated on the ratio of customers per service mile. More customers mean diddly squat to the formula that keeps their stock at the optimum price- Its what any local monopoly would do.

        My sister who lives on a primary route, has three trunk lines crossing her property. They advised that for her to get cable internet (she's within 100 foot of the trunk line) it would cost her $15000.00.

        That's not refusing to run cable through a vast area or sparsely populated area. The argument the cable companies give is bogus. It's all about profit from stocks, which are taxed much less.

        The net neutrality kill off will boost stock prices and that is the primary reason net neutrality must die.

  17. Richard Simpson

    The key issue is surely like of ISP choice

    It seems to me that the key problem here is not so much the repeal of the net neutrality rules since so far as I can gather, the new ones don't say that ISPs MUST treat different services differently, but merely that they can if they want to.

    Rather the key problem is combining that with the fact that most Americans have very limited choice of broadband supplier. As I understand it, even those who do have a choice only have a very limited one of maybe two or three suppliers all of whom are big corporations.

    So far as I can see, I similar scheme here in the UK would be much less of a problem. I can get 80Mb via VDSL on my phone line at home via which I have a choice of more than 100 ISPs. Even if the big ones like BT and Sky started differentiating services there would always be some small players like Andrews and Arnold who would be prepared to sell me a flat service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The key issue is surely like of ISP choice

      Choice among ISPs means that the infrastructure is in some ways shared - it won't ever be feasible that each ISP builds its own. If you're lucky you can get a few in large cities, but everywhere else it won't happen, and you'll be lucky to have one.

      So basically you'll need a single infrastructure - often subsidized by State investments - to reach most of the population, which in turn is rented to ISPs so they can compete with each other. More or less what happens with power lines, aqueducts, highways, railroads, etc - all infrastructures which doesn't make sense to duplicate in some areas and leave many others without.

      What will happen in the US instead will be a fragmentation of the offer, backed by proprietary infrastructures to stifle competition and ensure customer lock-in. Just look at how telcos try to block networks built by local entities. You'll get five choices in Manhattan, and maybe one outside New York. And probably nothing at all in some rural areas.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The key issue is surely like of ISP choice

        The big problem is rural coverage. It's a money sink under normal circumstances so the capitalist approach would be to not cover them at all. The ONLY way private ISPs will cover the vast swaths of rural America is to get sweetheart deals to make the outlay of infrastructure and so on worthwhile. Asking the states to chip in on their tight budgets is a pipe dream most of the time, so these rural communities are left with few options, none of them very good for the people in general: go begging at the state capital if it's at all possible, submit to onerous terms with private companies...or go without and risk people (and their tax dollars) moving away.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Late?

    Is it too late to cut the transatlantic fibre optics and save the right-pond from being infected with the greed, corruption and stupidity?

    I fear so.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Too Late?

      I wouldn't blame you if you did cut the transatlantic connection, but please don't trap me on the US side when you do.

  19. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Devil

    Meanwhile ...

    ... some Internet companies objecting to the end of net neutrality rules are looking into the possibility of throttling Ajit Pai's home broadband service. Just to give him a taste of what life might be like once rules prohibiting this sort of thing are eliminated.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently scheduled while John Oliver is on holiday

    Apparently Ajit scheduled the meeting for the time that John Oliver and Nutflix is on holiday. Prehaps someone can contact John and let him know what Ajit has planned to avoid John and Nutflix. #ouchnopanichnothingthere

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