back to article FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

Despite the clearly stated and serious concerns of a broad cross-section of industry and society, on Thursday morning a mocking, preening excuse of a regulatory chairman tore down US rules that ensured content over the internet was kept free from manipulation by companies that sell access to the global network. As expected, it …

  1. NoneSuch
    Mushroom

    They can lose 99 votes, but only have to win one to get what they want.

    They got it, now we're screwed. Democracy just slipped a little closer to oblivion.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      so much angst over a complete mis-interpretation of the situation.

      (You voted for Mrs. Clinton, didn't you?)

      Doom, gloom, end of the world, the sky is falling, help me Mr. Wizard, oh my freaking god, dogs and cats living together...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        so much angst over a complete mis-interpretation of the situation.

        I think it's more a case of realistically assessing where this will lead instead of starry-eyed belief in whatever bullshit they decide to feed you today.

        Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, Bob.

        1. aelfheld

          The FCC is reversing a policy forced through by the previous FCC commissioner, under the direction of the previous president, in contravention of existing law regarding the 'net.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Democracy just slipped a little closer to oblivion."

      People often don't realize just how much of the US system was modeled on Ancient Rome.

      Specifically how much power (and responsibility) is placed in the hands of individuals.

      This requires a very high standard of individual to hold those posts otherwise the system is basically owned by whoever puts their man into the post.

      And in this case it's Big Cable/Telco.

    3. JimIRB

      Free Markets or Price Control?

      The FCC is weak compared to the FTC and is not the correct agency to enforce anti-trust laws. "The antitrust laws prohibit conduct by a single firm that unreasonably restrains competition by creating or maintaining monopoly power. be. " This is the domain of the FTC.

      In the short run, high speed access prices may increase, but excess profits lead to competition, lower prices, and better service in the long run. If it does not, these companies can get busted by the FTC, which can break them up (ma Bell - AT&T). The FCC does not have that kind of power. Maybe that is why some of these large companies prefer FCC control?

      Analog to Digital television conversion a few years ago freed up broadcast frequencies. Free markets with high speed will lead to a lot of innovation, and I expect wireless high speed will be the future, not coax cable television. Not very long ago the experts said that the poor voice quality of VoIP would keep it from ever being a threat to the telephone companies. LOL My second (free) phone line on my cell is a google phone number.

      Truly Free Markets will always beat price controls in the long run. The most recent example is Amazon Alex devices and Google Home. If the FCC told Amazon that is must price it's new "communications device" the Dot at $40 last year instead of $50, Amazon may have cancelled it all together.

      But at $50, Google saw it could make a profit for its Google Home, and even cut the price to $29, the voice competition is on.

      Amazon cut its price and actually improved the Alexa functionality at the lower price.

      Free up high speed streaming and let the competition begin!

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Free Markets or Price Control?

        "Truly Free Markets will always beat price controls in the long run."

        Maybe so, but that's irrelevant to internet connectivity -- there is no free market there. That's the whole problem. Allowing ISPs to more completely abuse their customers wont' change that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Free Markets?

          Business and industry has learned long ago there is far more profit in buying the system, corrupting the system, than competing or allowing free markets. I wonder about the sincerity of anyone making any references to "free markets" or democracy.

          When was the last time any major Western democracy put the needs and rights of citizens and their dreams of increased standards of living before that of profits for the few? For those that think free markets and democracy has been the case consider the increase in productivity vs the increase of standards of living over the last several decades. Democracy is not consulting or listening and then doing as paid. Even the pretense of consulting has been lost in most Western Federal Democracies.

          IMO anyone suggesting there are free markets or democracies are trying to be sarcastic or are advancing damaging and deceptive political ideologies. Does anyone other than the most superficial of us think we have any reasonable form of democracy or capitalism? Even after 2008? Not likely. Democracy and free markets sounds great, maybe we should try them, they seemed to have worked for some past generations.

      2. ibagoalie

        Re: Free Markets or Price Control?

        The big problem with those that highfrive this decision as a win for competition, is that most US households only have access to one or two ISPs. So if Comcast decides to inflate their prices unrealistically, you have someone like ATT to turn to. And if you don't think that once one big player jacks up their prices, the other won't follow, then you live in fantasy land.

        1. lockeptrv

          Feet of clay.

          The "Big Players" are not the leaders in destructive innovation. Let's see: NetFlix vs Blockbuster?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Black arm bands for everyone

    How did we ever manage to survive up until just two years ago, when Net Neutrality finally, at last, was declared law by the FCC? Talk about last second saves! Who cares that their right to do so was very hazy, the important thing is they did it by ghod, and saved us all from a horrible end!

    But now the barbarians are not just at the gate but past it, and ravishing our young innocent daughters! Oh the humanity!

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Black arm bands for everyone

      We survived, John, because under the previous administration (you know, the one that you continuously put down) the Big Telco/Cable Cabal knew they couldn't get away with attempts to monopolize the Interwebz. Under the Lügenführer administration, they have been explicitly told that, for the low, low cost of a few greased palms, they can do whatever the fuck they want, without even the slightest hint of resistance.

      Next question?

      1. 2Nick3

        Re: Black arm bands for everyone

        But what about during the years before the Obama administration? Online services expanded significantly during that period (2001-2009) - it's when most people started getting broadband access, NetFlix started streaming services, Amazon moved past being just books, BitTorrent got started, the list goes on. With no laws in place, and in a lot of cases no options for consumers.

        I'm not trying to say that what happened today is good (it's not), but I also don't think it's the end of the internet. The US political system is rocking back and forth harder and harder (the whole "if they like it I'm against it" paradigm), and this is just one more example of it. The good news is that people are seeing it, and are getting tired of it, and hopefully won't keep tolerating it. So I hope there will be some changes in how both parties behave in the next cycle.

        1. Bandikoto

          Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          In the years before? No-onBUFFERINGe remembBUFFERINGers tha

          1. 2Nick3

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            "In the years before? No-onBUFFERINGe remembBUFFERINGers tha"

            Sure I do. Sharing 10Mbps with the whole neighborhood stank, especially with someone pulling everything they could off of Usenet/Napster/BearShare/BitTorrent. Or using that 512Kbps DSL line - 9x faster than 56K dialup, but at least it was dedicated to just you!

            Were you seeing a lot of BUFFERING 2 years ago? Nope. Did you see a lot last year? Nope. Do I think ending government mandated net neutrality is going to break the internet? Nope.

            I am disgusted by how everything is now so partisan that any ideas are going to be judged based on who had them and not on their merits.

        2. Bob Dole (tm)

          Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          But what about during the years before the Obama administration? Online services expanded significantly

          The real problem shows up when the people who own the lines going into your house have control over the content you want to access. If you have little or no choice in who that line provider is, then Freedom of Choice doesn't exist.

          The real solution here would be to bar the actual line providers from also being content providers. Which, interestingly enough, by classifying them as Common Carriers pretty much did.

          Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut. The public would have gone berserk and likely burned AT&T to the ground. This is the type of thing that Pai's decision today will allow with regards to the Internet.

          1. 2Nick3

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            "Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut. The public would have gone berserk and likely burned AT&T to the ground. This is the type of thing that Pai's decision today will allow with regards to the Internet."

            That's a great example - I believe that the people will go berserk if the ISPs start messing with access to sites or services. And I have no doubt that people will be watching very closely for it to happen, too. And the outcry will be much more powerful of a deterrent than any slap on the wrist the government would issue.

            I'm much more concerned over HOW the decision was made, and how partisan the whole process was. And how partisan everything is becoming these days. It doesn't seem like we aren't too far away from where a Republican suffering a heart attack would reject care from a EMT who is a Democrat, or a Democrat would refuse to drive on a road named for a Republican.

            1. Jtom Bronze badge

              Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              What did you expect when the last administration told Republicans they would sit in the back of the bus if they wanted to participate in crafting new legislation? A stake was driven through bipartisanship seven years ago. If the Democrats had won, the UK would be at the rear of the queue for a trade agreement because of Brexit. Obama and his followers did not play well with those who did not agree with their ideas.

              1. AdamWill

                Re: Black arm bands for everyone

                "A stake was driven through bipartisanship seven years ago."

                Christ on a bike, do you actually *believe* this garbage? The Obama FCC ran like...a regulator should. They ran a public comment period, and actually read the comments. They ran public meetings. They listened to ISPs...*and* other tech companies, *and* subject matter experts. They debated their proposals in good faith, and actually modified them (the final NN rules contained several compromises from the initial proposal).

                By comparison, Pai decided what he was going to do before he ever got the job, doesn't consult anyone but ISPs, makes *video skits with ISP executives*, trolls anyone who disagrees with him, and explicitly states that his FCC ignores public feedback.

            2. Someone Else Silver badge
              Devil

              @2Nick3 -- Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              It doesn't seem like we aren't too far away from where a Republican suffering a heart attack would reject care from a EMT who is a Democrat, or a Democrat would refuse to drive on a road named for a Republican.

              Not too long ago, in the last Republican administration, a group of history-rewriting zealots wanted to put Ronald McDonald Reagan's sorry puss on the dime, replacing FDR's puss. I decided that I would reject any dime given in change that had the visage of America's First Acting President on it.

              So, guilty as charged, then?

              1. 2Nick3

                Re: @2Nick3 -- Black arm bands for everyone

                "Not too long ago, in the last Republican administration, a group of history-rewriting zealots wanted to put Ronald McDonald Reagan's sorry puss on the dime, replacing FDR's puss. I decided that I would reject any dime given in change that had the visage of America's First Acting President on it.

                So, guilty as charged, then?"

                No, that's just making things inconvenient for yourself - two nickels are the same as a dime, just not quite as convenient. Even 10 pennies isn't a big difference. But avoiding the most efficient route (wasting time and money), or risking life and limb, falls under the "cutting off your nose to spite your face" category of thinking.

            3. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              >> "Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut. The public would have gone berserk and likely burned AT&T to the ground. This is the type of thing that Pai's decision today will allow with regards to the Internet."

              >That's a great example - I believe that the people will go berserk if the ISPs start messing with access to sites or services. And I have no doubt that people will be watching very closely for it to happen, too. And the outcry will be much more powerful of a deterrent than any slap on the wrist the government would issue.

              The only issue is that of 'what good does going berserk do?'

              As I understand it there is negligible competition in last mile broadband services in large parts of the US.

              So as a USian you have the choice of broadband with all your Netflix requests rerouted to Prime, or not having an internet connection...

            4. M. Poolman
              Thumb Up

              Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              OK you got there first - have an upvote!

          2. Blofeld's Cat

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            "... Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut. ..."

            There is a precedent:

            In 1888, Almon Brown Strowger, a Kansas City undertaker, discovered that one of the operators at the local, manual telephone exchange was diverting callers who asked for "an undertaker" to her husband (a rival undertaker).

            His response was to invent the Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange.

            1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

              Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              "His response was to invent the Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange."

              Interesting, but I believe you're dangerously close to invoking the Broken Window Fallacy.

          3. Jtom Bronze badge

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            The first automate telephone switch was invented because the switchboard operator in a small town was married to an undertaker. Whenever someone died (not uncommonly at home back then), someone would ring the operator and say, "Connect me up to an undertaker." She always put the call through to her husband. The inventer of the switch was his competitor, another undertaker.

          4. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            There was an interesting reason for AT&T not being broken up during the cold war. Theirr importance in the US C3I (command, control, communications and intelligence) and COG (continuity of government) was vital. The defence department amongst others lobbied strongly not to break up the company.

          5. handleoclast Silver badge

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            [Edit] I see a couple of people mentioned undertakes before me. I'll leave this post up anyway.

            @Bob Dole (tm)

            Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut.

            We don't have to imagine because something very much like that happened back in the very early days of POTS.

            Back in the 1880s, an undertaker named Strowger became convinced that one of the operators of the completely manual telephone exchange was routeing calls meant for him to another undertaker (who happened to be her husband). So he invented the automatic telephone exchange.

            These days a similar thing could all be done in the routeing s/w of the exchange, which is why regulations exist to prevent that happening. They're enforced by the FCC.

            These days a similar thing could be done with internet routeing, and yesterday we lost the regulations to prevent that happening. They're no longer enforced by Eejit Pie.

            Those who cannot remember the past are forever condemned to vote Republican. It's never worked in their interests before (I'm assuming the richest 0.1% of the planet are not amongst El Reg's readership) but that doesn't stop them believing the ideology.

            To Bombastic bob and Big John, I make the following offer: buy me lots of expensive champagne and I'll give you a lesson in "trickle down." Not that it would teach you anything, because Republicans have already given you this lesson time and time again. Hint: even Bush-the-slightly-smarter condemned trickle down as "voodoo economics" but Bush-the-moron did it anyway.

          6. M. Poolman

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            May I be the 93rd person to point out ...

            "Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut."

            Funnily enough, it was almost exactly that scenario that led to autoamtion of telephone exchanges in the first place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strowger_switch

            Amazing how what goes around comes around (with maybe a few extra clicks and beeps)

          7. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. AdamWill

          Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          Also during that time, there hadn't been a major concentration of ownership of media creation and delivery companies. And the end of that period is *precisely* when ISPs started fucking around with people's traffic - there are many good articles detailing this, if you're actually interested in facts - which is precisely where the whole concept of net neutrality originated: we only had to define it, give it a name and start pushing for it to be public policy *when ISPs started fucking with it*. Before that, there was no need.

      2. ST Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Black arm bands for everyone

        > Next question?

        What's the point of arguing with BJ? I'm asking this seriously. OK, as serious as I can be on this board.

        It's not like you can change BJ's views with facts.

        The more facts you throw at BJ, the more he'll retreat in his own imaginary world of constant oppression that must be countered by canned propaganda slogans, presented as Alternative Facts, and prepared for public release by Kellyanne Conway & Co.

        In that mindset, Alternative Facts are just like Real Facts. Real Facts that contradict the Alternative Facts narrative are proof of oppression.

        That's how Trump got elected, and that's how Ajit Pai got to be FCC Chairman.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          @ST

          I would never try to change BJ, I'm just trying to get him to answer a question however the questions I ask can't be answered by BJ.

          It's fun because every time I ask a question and he doesn't answer it weakens his viewpoint, I'm sure he must be aware of this.

          1. ST Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            > [ ... ] every time I ask a question and he doesn't answer it weakens his viewpoint, I'm sure he must be aware of this.

            Sadly, I don't think he is aware of it.

          2. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            Why are you applying logic to BJ?

            "It's fun because every time I ask a question and he doesn't answer it weakens his viewpoint"

            No his belief system lets him ignore you as an idiot.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          "That's how Trump got elected, and that's how Ajit Pai got to be FCC Chairman."

          Actually Trump got elected because people in the USA are *SICK* *AND* *TIRED* of politicians promising one thing and delivering something completely different, particularly when it comes to domestic policy, foreign policy, immigration, and REPEALING OBAKA-CARE.

          So Trump is doing what we want him to do: de-regulate, un-do Obaka's "legacy", follow the Constitution, drain the swamp, LOWER tax rates, bring business back to the USA, show STRENGTH to our enemies (like Iran and N. Korea) instead of bending over and apologizing to them, etc.. - Make America Great Again. So simple, yet so profound! And it involves CONSERVATIVE principles, not liberal stupidity.

          Freedom works EVERY TIME IT IS TRIED. All gummint needs to do is keep the playing field level by preventing the situation that created the 'Robber Barons' of the late 19th and early 20th centuries [keep in mind Teddy Roosevelt was a REPUBLICAN] and let the people do what they do best. It works EVERY! TIME! IT! IS! TRIED!!!

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            " Trump got elected because people in the USA are *SICK* *AND* *TIRED* of politicians promising one thing and delivering something completely different, particularly when it comes to domestic policy, foreign policy, immigration, and REPEALING OBAKA-CARE."

            And you think Trump is keeping any of his promises? Delusional.

            Trump is lining Trumps pockets and nothing else.

          2. Jason 24

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            "So Trump is doing what we want him to do: de-regulate"

            "All gummint needs to do is keep the playing field level by preventing the situation that created the 'Robber Barons'"

            Can you really not see the contradiction from one paragraph to the next? Do you want no regulation, or do you want the government to stop monopolies? AKA Regulation?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. HausWolf

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            I hate feeding the trolls such your clown act and little john... but Teddy Roosevelt left the

            republican party because it was too conservative for him (he was a progressive after all) and formed the Bull Moose party.

          4. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            If Trump is doing what he claimed, why is he raising income take rates for the middle class, meddling with the Middle East, failed to make any lasting changes on immigration, failed to replace Obama Care and completely failed to even start planning to build a border wall (which I feel like was his #1 promise).

            There is a huge difference between Trump's platform and what's he's actually doing now that he's in office. No matter how you feel about the issues, I find it really hard to read comments like this were you claim Trump has delivered on any reasonable percentage of his campaign promises. Trump ran on a platform of change, and has solidly failed to effect any of his larger promises and has only delivered on a few token promises. He said he was a man of action, and he's looking more and more like a big talker every day.

          5. Esme

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            mmm freedom to starve on the streets and catch and of diseases that one wouldn't expect folk in a civilised first world country to get, because America is being ruled by money-grabbing sociopaths instead of any sense of social conscience : http://www.dw.com/en/poverty-in-us-set-to-increase-due-to-donald-trumps-policies-says-un-official/a-41819961

            What kind of freedom is it when the system is so biased against you that you can't get out of poverty because employers are not paying livable wages, because government won't enforce that they do? Government is there to provide essential services and look after its citizens when in need, not happily watch them starve on the streets, Big John - or at least, that's the view in Europe. And I can tell you, here in the UK most of us are heartily sick of the over-influence of the US on UK politics. It's that sociopathic, uncaring "dollars first" attitude that has been eroding that which was best about the UK and making things worse over here.

            The Tories attempts to push us towards the US model has brought us worse healthcare, worse public transport, greater homelessness, and worse unemployment. Yes, I can still recall when the Tories had the gall to lambast Labour with posters saying "one million unemployed -Labour isn;t working" - the tories would LOVE to have as few as a million unemployed nowadays! Tory policies don't benefit anyone but the already well off - as soon as poor folk are paying less taxes, rents go up, into the pockets of landlords. But as taxation has reduced, surprise, surprise, there's less money for public health services. Yet billions can be found at the drop of a hat to bail out corrupt bankers or give contracts for a slightly faster rail link between our major cities that benefits very few other than construction comany sharholders. Yet it would seem our Tories are angels compared to Americas Republicans.

            Thing is, Big John, your Democrats are about on a par with what our Tories used to be - focused on capitalism, but with a social conscience. Whereas your Republicans just make nice sounding blather whislt funneling ever more money towards themselves whilst grinning and saying "woe to the weak!" amongst themselves. Trump isn't for the poor and downtrodden - he's a self-serving, multiply-bankrupt misogynist homophobic transphobic egomaniac that is set on nothing but self-aggrandisment, even at the expense of turning the USA into an international laughing-stock, even at the expense of impoverishing millions of his fellow citizens, even at the expense of destroying the democracy he is supposed to be in charge of. Parallels with Rome have been made by others, but Trump is no Caesar, except in his flagrant disregard for the existing constitution, the truth, and even reality - he is more like Caligula - mad, bad, and as all too many are finding out already, dangerous to know. Trump is more likely to break America than make it great. The barbarians aren't at the gates of the USA, they're internal - and Trump is their leader.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Devil

              Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              I see my downvote total for a single thread has finally flipped the third digit. It's good to see I'm really pissing off a lot of liberals. I know I know, I'll be judged by my enemies (sigh) but at least there's a lot of them, and that has to count for something.

              Sure hope a few of them stopped to consider the root of their anger, after reflexively hitting the down arrow...

            2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

              Re: Black arm bands for everyone

              Esme, I wish I had a hundred upvotes for you. Brilliant post.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Black arm bands for everyone

                It was this line that hooked you I bet:

                "Government is there to provide essential services and look after its citizens when in need"

                IOW: We're from the government and were here to help. Resistance is futile.

                ..and help ain't cheap neither...

        3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          "What's the point of arguing with BJ?"

          It's not arguing with him that's the point; its the aggregate of those reading the debate between you and he that's important. All it takes it for one person to have their view swayed and you have contributed to the conversation and to the debate itself.

          That person doesn't have to be BJ.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Black arm bands for everyone

            "What's the point of arguing with BJ?"

            You do not argue with a BJ. You receive it. Or give it. Or both. Known as 69 ya know.

            On a more serious note, both the previous and the current FCC have thrown the baby with the bath water.

            Imagine the following situation. CPE is virtualized - all NAT, Firewall, QoS software runs at the Service Provider edge. I as a customer get to control it the same way I control my CPE today. I get to De-prioritize GooTube, forbid F***book and prioritize my small business VPN and VOIP traffic (You can do similar things with software-controllable provide egde/BNG/CMTS too by the way).

            IT IS MY F***ING DECISION FOR THE SERVICE I GET. I GET TO PRIORITIZE, DROP PRIORITY OR BAN IT. MY F*** CHOICE. Provider only provides the tools.

            Same as I do today on my physical CPE. In fact, when done there it can do stuff which I cannot do on my CPE because it has access to the proper upstream Internet routing table. So for example, I as a customer can decide to ban all Chinese traffic. However, under Obama FCC rules a service like that would have been run by the SP and the SP is neither allowed to develop it or offer it as a service under the strict net neutrality provisions. I have discussed this one at length with several US SPs by the way when working on software in this area - this is a real life example.

            We are now at the opposite end of the scale - the SP can do whatever the f*** they want and if they would like to redirect all traffic destined to Dominos to Pizza Hut instead there is absolutely f*** all anyone can do. Customer AGAIN has no say and customer if he wants to ban f***ing Facebook on his link cannot do it because the SP has made a deal with F***book.

            In either case, the only winners are big corps. Before it was mostly F***Book, Google, Apple, etc - people who for all practical purposes owned the Obama administration. Today it is the telcos which can now operate hare-brained extortion racket schemes after greasing the necessary palms.

            All in all - there is nothing wrong in non-neutral NET provided that it is the CUSTOMER, not the SP who decide what to prioritize. Unfortunately, there is no chance in hell we will ever get this. The customer did not decide before - he was force-fed what the Valley deemed good for him. The customer does not decide now - he is force-fed what New Jersey has deemed good for him.

        4. Jonathan Schwatrz
          Facepalm

          Re: ST Re: Black arm bands for everyone

          ".....That's how Trump got elected....." No, Trumpet got elected because Shrillay's team failed to understand the very basic concept of the Electoral College. And Shrillary's team and backers massively out-spent Trumpet's when it came to propaganda - sorry, I meant to say "informing the public".

      3. joemostowey

        Next Question? Whens the Investigation start?

        The actions of the FCC Head and the Republican Members of the commission smacks of colusion with the ISPs. Perhaps Mueller should include Pai in his investigation, as well as Verizon to see exactly how much of the Russian Interference in the election was was encouraged and abetted by the ISPs to get Pai into the FCC chair via a Trump Victory.

        As I stated here previously the net neutrality extermination plan was a done deal, the public comment period was tainted before it began and the millions of False Anti-net neutrality comments had to be pushed by the ISPs as anything can be tracked- except them?

        Face it, this process on the face of it looks like a classic case of a public official being purchased.

        The Special prosecutor may find the smoking gun he seeks simply by digging into this rather unlikely looking agency action. This is the spot where they would make major mistakes, not on Facebook, not on social media, but in the secondary effects of Trumps election. Could be an electronic trail that would point them onto the real evidence they seek. Maybe that is why Pai and the FCC are so adamant about not letting the states investigate the fake comments as the y fear that it will lead to a major breakthrough in Russia gate.

        Maybe everyone should start pressing for an investigation to be initiated by Mr. Mueller in parallel with the current ongoing investigation.

        They might find that a few of the ISPs knew what was going on with the Russians and actively participated in it with the goal of ending net neutrality as part of the payoff of Trump being elected.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Next Question? Whens the Investigation start?

          Face it, this process on the face of it looks like a classic case of a public official being purchased.

          But it isn't. Pai didn't have to be purchased by telcos as a public official; they've owned him since he was in the private sector. Verizon doesn't hire lawyers on the strength of their ethics or independence.

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Black arm bands for everyone

        "Next question?"

        you actually BELIEVE that? *sigh*

      5. aelfheld

        Re: Black arm bands for everyone

        Does the phrase 'bollocks on stilts' mean anything to you?

        Before 'net neutrality' investments were being made in the internet, both the physical infrastructure & the software driving it.

        Since? Not so much.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Black arm bands for everyone

      I was going to insult you but I'm better than that so I'll ask you a question.

      Who does net neutrality benefit?

      Does it benefit the people who don't have connections to services slowed down?

      Does it benefit cable companies who can't charge extra dollar?

      and finally here's the fun final question I know you won't answer because you is chicken boy like that big white rooster in them cartoons.I say, I say, Big John Chicken cracking that corn.

      If net neutrality didn't exist two years ago and nothing changed then why remove it now if nothing is going to change? Seems a waste of money and time to me.

      Boom, I lied chicken boy.

    3. MrDamage

      Re: Black arm bands for everyone

      OK Johnny boy, lets show you what will happen with the end of net neutrality, because the scum sucking corporate overlords have done it before. Its all public record, and available for you to research for yourself.

      2005: Madison River Communications blocked VOIP services as they were competing with traditional voice services.

      2005: Comcast blocked p2p services.

      2007-2009: AT&T blocked Skype and other VOIP services because again, it was competing with their own voice services.

      2011: MetroPCS tried to block all video streaming except for Youtube, and then tried to sue the FCC when they were told to stop.

      2011-2013: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked access t oGoogle Wallet as it competed with their own products.

      2012: Verizon was demanding Google block tethering apps on Android, as it would allow people to avoid using Verizon's $20 tethering app.

      2012: AT&T tried to block Facetime unless customers paid more for their plan to "allow" Facetime.

      2013: Verizon stated that it was only the Net Neutrality rules that was preventing it from offering teired services.

      So go ahead Little John, be a cheeto cheerleader and welcome your corporate overloards to charge you extra for varying services that, until now, were protected and treated as equal goods.

      Perhaps a car analogy would help you wrap your mind around it.

      Government does deal with a road building company, and a car manufacturer. From this day on, only Ford are allowed to do the maximum speed limit of 65mph, with all other manufacturers relegated to only 35mph, unless the car owner pays extra to be "allowed" to travel at 65mph.

      1. Bob Dole (tm)

        Re: Black arm bands for everyone

        @MrDamage: Good write up. You obviously missed quite a few, like AT&T blocking all VPN ports in the entire state of Washington in order to force people to use AT&T's VPN software.

        People must seriously have a short term memory.

    4. InNY

      Re: Black arm bands for everyone

      How's it going in Olgino? Still looking forward to trumping everyone in the golden showers, when you get to Lyudmila?

  3. philthane

    Take Back Control

    Sorry for Americans. I suspect once our home-grown right wing 'take back control (tm) and we stop bothering with pesky rules from Brussels our own telecos will adopt rules here.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Take Back Control

      Sadly, you may be right.

      It will be interesting to see how they paint 2017 american politics as something to copy, though. Most people shake their heads, pass the popcorn and wait to see what the looneys will do next.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Take Back Control

      You...er...know there is an EU regulation mandating net neutrality, right?

      Here. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32015R2120&rid=2 . It's Article 3.

  4. Someone Else Silver badge
    Trollface

    The Reg sez:

    Ajit Pai is the Martin Shkreli of technology policy

    Wow! That is a serious diss...to Martin Shkreli!

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Happiest people of the day....

    Goes to anyone involved in the cost-justification of lobbying expenditures at major U.S. cable companies. Those guys are looking like geniuses right now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happiest people of the day....

      As opposed to Google, Facebook and Twitter, who squandered all their lobbying millions.

  6. vir

    YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON NET NEUTRALITY!

    YOU WILL REGRET THIS!

  7. Haku

    I remember from my early internet days some 20 years ago there was a joke going around about someone being worried their internet bill would skyrocket because they were browsing websites from far away countries.

    Doesn't seem so funny now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Next up...

      Charging you more for the distance the radio/sound/light waves travel!

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Next up...

        Thank you for choosing Comcast long Distance Internet...

  8. JohnFen Silver badge
    Alert

    The clearest example

    Since this administration and congress has taken control, we have seen nothing but a constant stream of decisions which throw ordinary people under the bus in order to boost the power and profitability of the largest corporations and richest citizens.

    This is perhaps the clearest example yet. In all my life, I have never before seriously feared for the future of the US. I do now, every single day.

    1. 2Nick3

      Re: The clearest example

      The last Administration was perfectly happy trying to give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it (example: free college educations to illegal immigrants, but doing nothing to try to control the cost of higher education for those who pay for it themselves). And now we skirt toward the other extreme.

      The problem is those who are caught in the middle - the 'ordinary people' you reference. The lesson that's being taught is that if you work hard what you get will be taken away and given away - either to those who have more than they need or to those who aren't working for it. When people start deciding to move down that ladder (because you can't move up) is when things are going to get bad.

      1. Schultz
        Boffin

        "... give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it ..."

        Sometimes giving something away will make you richer. Your example is perfect: "free college educations to illegal immigrants" creates a more productive workforce, GDP growth, richer society, ... everybody wins.

        Well, except if you want to define your well-being through your status compared to the rest of society. Suddenly some of those l̶a̶z̶y̶ hardworking immigrants will move up the ladder and make you look bad. Think of Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, or George Soros. They didn't deserve their success, because their ancestors were not on the first boat making it to American shores, right? But your alternative is a static society where the Haves keep what they have and the Have Nots stay in their place. I bet the Egyptian Pharao felt really good -- a god at the top of the world -- until he died of those ringworms. I'll take that socialized medicine instead, TYVM.

        1. 2Nick3

          Re: "... give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it ..."

          Great examples with Brin, Musk and Soros. All three were legal immigrants. Exactly how the system should work. They followed the law, took full advantage of the opportunity and look at how well it worked out for them.

          That's really what it comes down to - should you reward someone for breaking the law? Laws as they are on the books at that time, not how they might be some day, or even how they should be, but as they are. Do the police hand out money to speeders? Do we promote people who steal from their employer? Give houses to people who assault others? Which laws do we enforce, or ignore, or reward for breaking? Who gets to decide? "A government of laws, not of men" was the original idea, but when you start disregarding laws it falls apart real quick. Like what is happening to this country.

          1. AdamWill

            Re: "... give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it ..."

            People ignore laws *all the time*. You put a great, giant, whacking example right there in your post:

            "Do the police hand out money to speeders?"

            No, but they sure don't arrest or even give a ticket to everyone who speeds, because just about everyone everywhere speeds *all the time*.

            There is a sort of tacit agreement that you only get arrested for speeding if you're going really fast. Or the cop really needs to meet a quota. Or the cop didn't like the look of your (probably black) face. You know how it goes.

            There are zillions of other examples, of course. There's lots of non-enforcement of drug laws, of laws on public alcohol consumption in various places, tax laws, tons and tons of examples. People have written entire *books* about obscure laws that are still technically on the book but are never enforced.

            The US (and most countries, in fact) has never rigorously enforced its immigration laws to the extent of sending out thousands of enforcement personnel to find and deport every 'illegal immigrant' on the spot, and this has been pretty widely understood for a long time. If it *did* so, in fact, it's been fairly reasonably argued that there would be a substantial degree of economic chaos, especially in border states (several economic sectors depend heavily on undocumented migrant labor, including such minor ones as, you know, *farming*, aka 'where you get all your food').

            1. 2Nick3

              Re: "... give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it ..."

              @AdamWill - You make good points about how laws aren't enforced, but I'm talking about rewarding people for breaking the law. Like Chicago giving financial aide specifically to illegal immigrants - meaning if you are legally here you're not eligible for those funds!

              To me that's crazy on the level of Disney catching people using forged tickets to get into the park and letting them cut to the front of every line!

      2. AdamWill

        Re: The clearest example

        "example: free college educations to illegal immigrants"

        um. This is quite clearly utter and total bullshit. Do you have the slightest shred of factual evidence that this actually happened?

        1. 2Nick3

          Re: The clearest example

          @AdamWill: "um. This is quite clearly utter and total bullshit. Do you have the slightest shred of factual evidence that this actually happened?"

          Here's one:

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-immigration-california/california-allows-college-aid-to-illegal-immigrants-idUSTRE7971SK20111008

          What the heck, here's another, because that's California, after all:

          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/24/cash-strapped-undocumented-immigrants-chicago-flock-free-community-college/794428001/

          So yeah, free college for illegal (or "undocumented" as you may prefer" immigrants. Both sources considered very Center bias.

          1. AdamWill

            Re: The clearest example

            "Here's one:

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-immigration-california/california-allows-college-aid-to-illegal-immigrants-idUSTRE7971SK20111008"

            That's a *state* decision. What does that have to do with, as you phrased it, "the last administration"?

            "What the heck, here's another, because that's California, after all:

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/24/cash-strapped-undocumented-immigrants-chicago-flock-free-community-college/794428001/"

            That's a *city* decision - the city of Chicago. Again, nothing whatsoever to do with federal policy. In fact, it explicitly makes clear that the affected people weren't eligible for *federal* funds:

            "more than one out of five of the 3,015 Star Scholarship winners who enrolled at the city colleges this fall were directed to fill out an alternative to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because they were ineligible to apply for federal aid"

            So no, neither of those links proves that "the last administration" - by which you clearly meant *federal* administration, i.e. Obama's government - did this. The second one, in fact, explicitly states that it didn't.

          2. JCDenton

            Re: The clearest example

            Not seeing where it says "free". Only seeing where it says "aid". Aid does not equal free, FYI. I have received financial aid from the state as citizen of America, it helps, but it does not pay for everything. If you are quite poor it can make college feel free, for how much you end up paying. Scholarships do not always include the entire tuition from start to finish, they are also earned via academic or extra curricular performance. Nobody is giving away college education, they are making it more accessible.

            Also, those were passed by local governments, not the Fed. It has nothing to do with the last administration.

            Maybe read your sources next time.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The clearest example, helping illegals

            The idea that open boarders (illegal immigrants) is good for citizens has been shown to be false many times in history. IMO if you need a study to be told that borders, rules, and regulations, are a good thing you haven't been paying attention.

            Legal, controlled, managed, and paid for immigration can have many benefits but those do not apply to illegal uncontrolled and unmanaged immigration which is the result of illegal immigration and now increasingly refugees.

            A controlled system of immigration ensures citizens, those whose interest the Nation should be acting in, do not have to compete with the world for jobs in their own country. Controlled immigration ensures citizens are not paying taxes to support the needs of billions while millions of their fellow citizens go wanting. Citizens paying ever higher taxes while their standard of living falls should not be required to give ever more. Managed systems ensure that valued social programs do not fall apart due to overuse or under-funding.

            A post on immigration seems off topic in a discussion about net neutrality but the relationship becomes clearer when the source of these issues are considered. They are the result of the same politics, playing played by every side wanting power, every side that sees citizens as little more than products to be sold or voting blocks to be deceived and manipulated.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: The clearest example

        "The last Administration was perfectly happy trying to give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it"

        That's a different discussion, but I will note that it seems less harmful to give benefits to citizens who are without power than to give them to people and companies who already have far too much power and that they use to abuse citizens.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One thing that I don't get...

    ...why do people assume that Netflix and Google are going to pay ComCast and AT&T?

    Surely, as the primary value providers, Netflix and Google should be charging ISPs for allowing their customer access to the content they actually want?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Bob Dole (tm)
      Mushroom

      Re: One thing that I don't get...

      why do people assume that Netflix and Google are going to pay ComCast and AT&T?

      In the case of Netflix, Comcast owns stock in Hulu. It is in Comcast's interest to throttle, or even flat out ban, Netflix from their pipes.

      In the case of Google, imagine if AT&T teamed up with Microsoft and decided to force everyone to use Bing (yeah, it's still around). Or if AT&T decided to buy Yahoo.

      For those that bring up the idea that consumers will change providers - often there are service contracts signed which make it prohibitively expensive to change ISPs. I think I had to pay something like $700 to cancel Fios when I sold my house and moved - absolutely nuts. When those fees don't exist, often there simply isn't another option as a lot of areas are only serviced by one provider.

      What's more likely to happen is that the providers will come up a set of packages allowing access to particular content. For example, the Google Package might give you access to google.com, youtube.com, and a few other sites. The Netflix Package might give you 20 hours of Netflix a week...

      Essentially you can bet that they will try and monetize content providers in a way that will make google news and apple itunes look saintly.

      Net Neutrality made that illegal. Pai's actions, however, have made it a sure thing.

    3. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: One thing that I don't get...

      and you would be wrong. As it sits now service like you tube and netflix houses their servers inside of ATT's private internet farms so the service gets to the end user faster. So as it sits if you are on a major ISP netflix and you tube will run faster as you never need to leave your ISP network to get to them.THis help latency.

    4. captain_solo

      Re: One thing that I don't get...

      Its called peering and its as old as the internet.

      Such a complete lack of understanding how the internet has actually worked goes into the rabid panic about #NotNeutrality. Many of these problems are already solved by the business relationships between the providers, people freaking out because Netflix has to pay for peering is one of the significant reasons it doesn't matter that 83% of the public wanted to keep the rules in place, because a larger percentage than that don't understand the issues involved from either a technical or business standpoint.

    5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: One thing that I don't get...

      But Netflix and Google WON'T be paying Comcast and AT&T. Instead, they will serve as a conduit of money coming from subscribers through Netflix and Google to the cable companies, thanks to a pass-through of higher prices/more advertising that are targeted at end-users.

  10. jake Silver badge

    Steady on, folks.

    This "ruling" doesn't take affect until it is entered into the Federal Registry, which might take a year or more. Plenty of time to reverse Idjit Pai's bone-headed exercise in bureaucratic masturbation. Let's get on with it ... Hot air won't help. Dead Tree letters to your elected officials are the most effective method of getting through to Capitol Hill ... if you don't have the tens of millions of dollars of a high-end lobbyist, that is.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Steady on, folks.

      A quick scan of recent Federal Register entries suggests the delay between agency action and Federal Register publication is much nearer a month than a year (or more). That said, the Congress can override (subject to presidential veto) within the 60 days after it receives the agency report and the Federal Register rule publication. I would look for the rule to become effective around the middle of March, 2018.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Steady on, folks.

      Well, no, technically it doesn't "take effect", no. But you get one guess as to exactly how enthusiastic Pai's FCC is going to be about enforcing the NN regulation that is still technically on the books.

      In other words, if Comcast sets up paid prioritization tomorrow, who do you think is going to do something about it?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Steady on, folks.

        " if Comcast sets up paid prioritization tomorrow, who do you think is going to do something about it?"

        hopefully, nobody. because the end result will either be better equipment [bought with additional revenue] or lower prices for people with basic service. Either that, or someone will come along and COMPETE with them. And stopping the competition would be an anti-trust issue, where the FTC has domain.

        And then competition will ensure we all get what we want and what we CAN AFFORD, without others paying for it, without slowing everyone else down just because we serve up torrents, yotta yotta yotta.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Steady on, folks.

          because the end result will either be better equipment [bought with additional revenue] or lower prices for people with basic service.

          Do you seriously believe that? Much more likely bosses use the extra money as profits and that then triggers bonuses.

        2. patrick tyrus

          Re: Steady on, folks.

          Want basic service, but the slower service.

          The beauty of net neutrality is that if you need 100 megs per second, you get that, and it doesn't matter where it goes.

          Only need 5megs a second? But that.

          Most of the differences will most likely be service and latency issies to places the provider doesn't like.

          1. patrick tyrus

            Re: Steady on, folks.

            Sorry, the buts were auto corrected from buy.

            Same thing with amount of data.

            Currently, the isp's in America only charge for speed. Unless you are on a phone.

            Anyway on the volume side, if you need a 20gig plan buy that. If you only need 5 gigs buy that.

            hey, isp if want to keep more data in house, and a product is popular with customers? Then you can work out a deal with the provider. It will improve both of your networks and won't mean prioritizing.

  11. Lysenko

    Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

    ... but does this matter outside the USA? I guess it allows them to throttle a foreign video streaming site and make the American market a de facto YouTube monopoly, but essentially it already is and anyone working at scale would likely use local AWS anyway. Am I missing something, besides the symbolism of the precedent?

    1. Haku

      Re: Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

      I think there's a worry along the lines of "Well, if they're doing it and getting away with it, why can't we?"

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

        Yes, as I and others have said on parallel threads this is yet one more egregious example of a public regulatory body turning against the public it is supposed to be protecting to support the big corporations it is supposed to be protecting us from. It matters outside the USA because it emboldens like minded super-bureaucrats like Batistelli in Europe to to adopt the same strategy.

      2. AdamWill

        Re: Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

        Well there's that, but there's also: the US is one of the biggest sources of and markets for internet services. It's not like only Americans use Netflix or Amazon video, is it? So if America screws up its market conditions sufficiently that it, e.g., heavily discriminates against new market entrants, that affects everyone else too.

        Of course, it won't be long before America is done fking everything up so badly it'll be about as relevant to the rest of the world as the UK is today, so there is *that* silver lining.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

          Well there's that, but there's also: the US is one of the biggest sources of and markets for internet services. It's not like only Americans use Netflix or Amazon video, is it?

          True, but it's not like they've got the population of Europe either (let alone China and India) and they're not likely to close that gap given that all US discussion of immigration revolves around limiting it rather than promoting it. That places a hard upper limit on the extent to which America influences global decision making.

          I agree that Google and Amazon etc. have the sort of reach that makes their decisions relevant on a global scale, but American cable companies? They'll doubtless use their de facto regional monopolies to fleece customers via packages and premium services, but as one of the ACs pointed out - elections have consequences.

          Replicating that here would take primary legislation rather than regulatory tweaks and the only beneficiary would be OpenReach so they would be opposed by literally everyone else in the industry, not just the public.

    2. joemostowey

      Re: Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

      Maybe. If the help of a foreign government to get the ISPs what they wanted turns out to be true, then it certainly will matter outside of the USA. Just think if the price turns out to be a backdoor through America's ISP for access into the secure systems of Europe?

      No one would even think twice of a request from a USA network coming from an ally to maybe run a security check and drop off a few harmless packets into their system, as networks send out security packets all the time.

      Feeling a little paranoid today for some reason, perhaps because I just saw something that the public overwhelmingly commented negatively about pushed out and made real with no regard for the niceties of agency protocol. Strange.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry to be parochial (or perhaps actually 'cosmopolitan')...

      It matters when it comes to trade deals where the US demand their corporations are not discriminated against by having to follow different rules than they do when operating in the US.

    4. Richard Barnes

      It also serves as an excellent example of what happens when the legislature is captured by corporate lobbyists.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Making the Internet Great Again

    Elections have consequences. Get over it. Silicon Valley lost this last election. They bet on the wrong horse. Do a Google search. If you see "neutrality", that's because you lack self awareness. Try "American Inventors" and click on "images". Neutral, or carefully curated with a bias? You want neutrality? Let's nationalize Google, AWS, and Facebook. Make sure they are "fair and neutral". LOL.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Making the Internet Great Again

      You know, I've decided to take something of a self denying ordinance against commenting on US political issues because increasingly they seem to resemble the impenetrable stuff that came out of the Soviet Union, but with different buzz words. This post, for instance, I find incomprehensible. As far as I can make out, too, "Big John"'s posts are like the articles in Pravda in which everything that was happening had to be referred to the doctrinal errors of the currently out group, so if there was an outbreak of, to take something at random, sexual harassment among leading Republicans it would be OK because they were proper Marxist-Leninists and in any case it was somehow caused by Stalinists.

      I'd like to say that I'm beginning to think the Reg should stick to IT issues and then I realise that this stuff is actually related to an article about a major IT issue. Couldn't the Yanks (and the Southerners) start a website called Randian Worker or Orange Banner or some such and have their doctrinal fights there?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Making the Internet Great Again

        Voyna i Mor sez:

        "As far as I can make out, too, "Big John"'s posts are like the articles in Pravda in which everything that was happening had to be referred to the doctrinal errors of the currently out group, so if there was an outbreak of, to take something at random, sexual harassment among leading Republicans it would be OK because they were proper Marxist-Leninists and in any case it was somehow caused by Stalinists."

        So, you discern much about me, tho the lens be smudged and stained? Are you sure that sneaky biases of your own aren't coloring your murky view as well?

        About your example, this outbreak among Reps of which you speak is largely hypothetical and alleged (in most cases) whilst in the case of the Democrats it's anything but hypothetical (you wish!). DOZENS of highly visible liberals have gone down in flames over charges alleging disgusting, sexist, and even rapist behaviours on their part, and that's just in the last month!

        So I invite you to take your weak 'Pravda' smears and apply them liberally to your painful neither regions, k? Sooo soothing...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Making the Internet Great Again

          Y'know, John ... I don't know if you are a very, very bad troll, or if you've become so brainwashed that you truly believe the crap you parrot and are incapable of thinking for yourself anymore.

          Either way, I feel sorry for you and those around you. Another human brain wasted for no good reason.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            @jake -- Re: Making the Internet Great Again

            Another human brain wasted for no good reason.

            You assume much, Grasshopper....

      2. Lysenko

        Re: Making the Internet Great Again

        As far as I can make out, too, "Big John"'s posts are like the articles in Pravda in which everything that was happening had to be referred to the doctrinal errors of the currently out group

        Agreed. It's nostalgic to see such unshakeable ideological partisanship making a comeback. For the resurgent right wing, everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) that carries the taint of Obama must be expunged and his (imagined) cult of personality dismantled. Meanwhile, the fuming left wing is busily rehabilitating GWB since nothing (and I do mean NOTHING) could possibly be worse than the current administration.

        What is a bit different is in the Soviet era there was the possibility of error or well-intentioned policy with ultimately negative effects. That doesn't exist on either wing of American politics. Everything and everyone is either "good" or "evil" and anything occurring under an "evil" administration must itself be evil. If the Soviets worked the same way, Kruschev wouldn't just have denounced Stalin - he would have deindustrialised the country to erase his legacy.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Making the Internet Great Again

          "If the Soviets worked the same way, Kruschev wouldn't just have denounced Stalin - he would have deindustrialised the country to erase his legacy."

          ...and demanded that Germany be allowed to win WW2.

      3. AdamWill

        Re: Making the Internet Great Again

        Let me help you out a bit: there's this bizarre argument that runs approximately like this. Facebook and Google are the ones who *really* have too much power - apparently, in this worldview, there can only ever be precisely *one* problematic concentration of market-distorting power at a time, all the other monopolists have to line up and take a number - and net neutrality isn't, you know, a perfectly sensible framing of the principles on which the internet was built, it's a cunning plot by Facebook and Google to...I dunno, take over the world or something, hands generally start getting waved pretty hard right around this point.

        In this view of the world, by heroically refusing to regulate monopoly-abusing ISPs while - well, no, that's about it, actually, that's all they're doing - Pai's FCC is somehow saving the world from Facebook and Google. Apparently if we could go live to Sergey Brin's house right now he'd be crying into the fifth reserve swimming pool, or something.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FCC must not make law,

    The Net Neutrality declaration was well beyond the authority of the unelected, unaacountable FCC in the first place, and we may easily surmise it was Wheeler acting as a shill for the Internet Content oligopoly (Google, Facbook, et al.) in exchange for favors.

    If you want NN (1) buy service from an ISP that provides it, (2) elect reps and senators who actively support it. Don't pretend raging at the FCC is action.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: FCC must not make law,

      Gosh, it's almost as if all this hasn't been discussed ad nauseam before...

      You can "easily surmise" whatever you like, but please take account of the fact that Wheeler was against the Title II solution, it was Obama who pressed for that (which is, I believe, the only real reason why Trump is so determined to undo it now - he neither understands nor cares about the issue, but he knows in his gut that the taint of Obama MUST BE CLEANSED from America).

      1. AdamWill

        Re: FCC must not make law,

        Also note that the FCC initially introduced NN regulations without using Title II powers *expressly as a sop to the ISPs who didn't want to be regulated under Title II*. At which point the ISPs *sued the FCC*, their argument literally being "you can only impose NN under Title II". In other words...the ISPs literally *dared* the FCC to put them under Title II.

        The fact that since then they've been arguing "oh no no no we're not opposed to net neutrality, we're only opposed to Title II!" would be funny if it weren't so astonishingly awful.

  14. DeKrow

    Politics

    Politics is now a sport. It's played by those who either have or desire corporate sponsorship.

    Running a country is tangential; almost a by-product. They choose a 'play' that they think will win, no matter the short- or long-term effects, and they follow through with all the will and commitment to make sure it does win.

    They even have flags, hats, screaming fans, team colours, mascots, chants...

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Politics

      This ^^^^^^^

  15. JavaJester

    Achievement Unlocked - Capture the FCC

    Playing as a telecom provider, regulatory capture the FCC by installing a majority of puppet commissioners.

  16. oldcomputerguy

    He's not there to protect us

    Ajit Pai and Trumps other appointees are not there to protect the public. They have one mission - to destroy the departments they are in charge of. Pai does not think the FCC should be in business at all. The same with the head of the Consumer Protection Agency, Mick Mulvaney. Even Rick Perry wanted to eliminate the the Department of Energy he is in charge of, until he found out that they are in charge of our nukes. This government is all about power to the rich and corporations and screw everyone else. Pai has said he wanted to wipe out net neutrality before he even got the job. He did not listen to anyone. He simply hit the kill switch as he always said he would.

  17. Len Goddard

    Including the president

    "For everyone else, it was a baffling and infuriating sign that American institutions are open to clear and blatant manipulation so long as the person in charge is willing to discard all previous expected standards of behavior."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Including the president

      > "...so long as the person in charge is willing to discard all previous expected standards of behavior."

      Those standards being that conservative views will get lip service while actual decisions will generally favour liberal stances, forever. Um, I hate to be the one, but, those days are over. Sorry. Conservatives are tired of having our preferences discarded while having all blame heaped on us by narrow-minded leftists in the media.

      IOW: Drop dead, losers.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Including the president

        Why does your most right wing party have the colours of the Communist era?

        As to politics, us the British are going to reclaim the word Conservatives.

        Your so called ones are nothing like our main stream ones*.

        * Look at ones like Clarke, Soubry, Timpson. Wollaston, Major, Cameron just for starters. Ignore nutters like the minister for the 1800s. I could probably name a lot more with a short search.

        Even our most right wing zealots (Gove) want to improve the environment rather then bring back burning of coal.

        Can someone think of a better name for the US red team?

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Including the president

          "Why does your most right wing party have the colours of the Communist era?"

          Because the party that is the most left wing owns the media, and they switched the colors around to avoid the "red" connotation with their own policies, starting with the presidential election of 2000.

          When Ronald Reagan won 49 of 50 states in his re-election bid, the resulting electoral map was described by a despairing media as a "sea of blue."

          We don't really have a right-wing party in the US. We have one pretend right-wing party that will fight like lions for the things they supposedly believe in as long as they have no chance of prevailing. They like being the minority party with no power, acting as a foil to the Democrats, providing the illusion of a battle of ideas and of a functioning democracy.

          This "right wing" party will reliably vote with the leftists if they inadvertently find themselves without the comfortable bulwark of minority to render them powerless. The main difference between Democrats and Republicans is in the rhetoric they spew. If you listen to their words, you'd think they are total opposites, but if you go by their actions, there's no real difference. If you liked Obama, you should have liked Bush too; they were essentially the same, other than the rhetoric.

          Trump isn't a real Republican. He ran under that name because in America, unfortunately, one has to pick one or the other party to get anywhere. He's functionally an independent, which can be seen by the derision he gets from both the Democrats whose policies he opposes and the Republicans that claim to support the same policies that Trump supports, but who turn against those policies the first chance they get.

  18. aquaman

    Another sham appointee of Trump doing what they came to do: destroy any and all regulation, and hand over the keys to the private sector. Your concerns and any adverse impacts need not be considered. All made possible by a system that has been opened up for access to lobbysists and anyone else (yes including foreign actors) who has money and wants to buy policy and law making:

    https://youtu.be/1gEz__sMVaY

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brown paper bags for all involved

    It's xmas time!

  20. Brent Beach

    Leader of the Free World?

    Innovation has always come from the edges, never from the carriers.

    The US will slowly slide into internet innovation oblivion.

    In 10 years the US will be 9 years behind the rest of the world that continues to require net neutrality. Trump will be running for his 4th term - who cares if it is against the law.

    US leadership will be a distant memory, retained only by a few old farts on their rocking chairs in the ghost towns of silicon valley.

  21. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

    Fill in the blanks! Everyone can play!

    “ … something-wing whinge-site Something something … “

  22. asampaio

    So many people afraid of the change!!! So many very big companies helped by the state afraid. Yest it's time to change and to change more, to more freedom. The next step should be to give more freedom to the internet providers market. So, this step was missing.

    Of course, this was bad for comunism/socialism that wants to control everybodies lifes.

  23. BongoJoe

    That Video

    I am astounded at That Video. This is a commissioner who is supposed to act with dignity and consider all of the angles and implications.

    This looked like something that was dreamed up by the writers of House of Cards as a spoof because I am sure that the internet is a little more than taking pictures of food. Or it was the last time that I looked.

    Of course, this could be nothing more than a dream inspired by a lump of bad cheese that's....

    ....Carrier Lost. Please add $5 to your internet meter....

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: That Video

      House of Cards (US version) is a fantasy series about politicians and lobbyists being more dignified and giving more lip-service to democracy than they actually are and actually do. It's not realistic. Their version of cloak and dagger includes the cloaks.

  24. Tethys
    IT Angle

    Meanwhile , back in the UK...

    May I ask a question from you knowledgable guys?

    Am I right that this decision only applies in the US?

    Or has it any effect elsewhere?

    e.g Is it likely to impact the large corporate outposts in the UK (e.g. Netflix) ?

    Thanks

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile , back in the UK...

      I think we will be OK.

      European servers.

      Anyway if one ISP dropped it we would all change ISP.

  25. jonathan keith

    Judicial review?

    Out of interest, is there a mechanism for decisions like this to be examined by the US judiciary?

    1. AdamWill

      Re: Judicial review?

      At last count there were about 20 state attorneys general lined up to sue the FCC, so apparently at least they think there is.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will be the advertisers who will be paying as well to get their message through which makes them the pressure point in any public concerted action. They rely on building up public good will over time more than any specific advertising campaign and they have the biggest levers.

  27. h4rm0ny

    Seen on Reddit:

    Q. What is the difference between Ajit Pai and Hitler?

    A. Hitler had one more ball.

  28. Garymrrsn

    The tip of the iceburg

    This coupled with other recent rule changes will make it possible for the communications industry to convert "over the air" television and radio to a subscription model just like cable.

    It will be very simple to encrypt the signals and require a set top box in order to watch the advertising you have been watching for free.

  29. SeanC4S

    They are chasing Pink Elephants down the street in that country.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how in 2015 you blasted the "Net Neutrality" regulation being voted on by the FCC under an different administration, interesting.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/13/net_neutrality_rules/

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/12/fcc_faces_increasing_opposition_to_title_ii_plans/

    1. AdamWill

      Well, yes, it is, but possibly not in the way you think: isn't it interesting that *even someone who saw the hands of Google in the previous NN regulations* thinks the current FCC administration is an utter shitshow?

  31. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Pint

    Tasty.

    I've had enough Eejit Pie for one day.

    Staff party day...!

  32. patrick tyrus

    Net neutrality WAS HERE BEFORE 2015

    What about before 2015?

    I guess people are forgetting that before 2015 Net neutrality was the rule, but big corp got greedy and sued for its end.

    Instead, in addition to making changes, they looked to classifying them as common carriers to keep the net neutrality standard.

  33. Jonathan Schwatrz
    Happy

    Oh dear.

    I laughed loudest whilst reading this teeth-gnashing article at the bit about "traitorous" luvvies "betraying us" by looking out for the interests of the music and film industries. So, luvvies making political comments are beloved and wise just as long as they're making the right political comments, such as lining up to make endorsement vids for Hillary Clinton's election campaign or bashing Trump? LOL!

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear.

      There needs to be a new Internet law: any post ending in "LOL" or some variant thereof can be replaced with whitespace without loss of information.

  34. jgwSomewhereInPA

    The video referenced in the article

    The video referenced in the article (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFhT6H6pRWg) is "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Mad Decent.".

  35. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Trollface

    At least we don't have to worry about this in the UK...

    ...after all, we're protected by the European Union’s regulation on Open Internet Access.

    And it's not like people here voted to leave the Europ-- oh, right...

  36. Micky Fite

    Learn basic grammar maybe?

    He said comments with profanity were ignored, but others weren't.

    And by the way, some of us still believe in rights, such as the right trade freely without thugs like you wanted to force people to sell you what you want at gun point.

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