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FCC and Net Neutrality

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Jeff V
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Jeff V » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:19 pm

There was a suggestion in an article on Ars Technica that Comcrap might run afoul of this as well with the streaming service I just signed up for. They've apparently been rolling out data caps elsewhere--not here yet and maybe nowhere this service is rolled out, but the stream is deemed to come over their cable network and not internet, therefore does not count against cap limits. Competing services like Sling TV do not have this advantage, but Comcast claims net neutrality rules don't apply because this is not going over the 'net.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:58 pm

Jeff V wrote: but Comcast claims net neutrality rules don't apply because this is not going over the 'net.
Which is LOL and one of the primary reasons that Net Neutrality is so important.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by stessier » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:02 pm

The FCC has said that zero rate plans do not run afoul of their regulation and actually thought they were a good by product of Net Neutrality. I hope they change their minds.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:04 pm

ars
Consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge has asked regulators to stop Comcast from exempting its own streaming video service from Internet data caps, saying that selective enforcement of caps violates a merger condition from when Comcast purchased NBCUniversal and may violate a net neutrality rule.

Public Knowledge filed its petition with the Federal Communications Commission yesterday. It relates to "Stream TV," a service for Comcast's Internet-only customers that streams live TV channels to computers, tablets, and phones. Stream TV doesn't require a set-top box, but Comcast says it "is an in-home cable service delivered over Comcast's cable system, not over the Internet." Stream TV offers some video outside the home, but live TV channels can only be watched on Comcast customers' home Internet connections.

Public Knowledge points out that when Comcast won government approval to buy NBCUniversal in 2011, the FCC and Department of Justice "prohibited Comcast from excluding its own services from data caps or metering and required it to count traffic from competing online video services the same as its own." Public Knowledge also says the data cap exemption for Stream TV should be stopped by the FCC's net neutrality order; though the net neutrality rules don't specifically ban zero-rating, the FCC imposed a "general conduct" rule to be applied on a case-by-case basis. That rule is meant to stop practices that limit consumers' access to content or the ability of online service providers to reach consumers.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Jeff V » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:07 pm

I can state from experience that Comcast Stream TV sucks every bit as much as any other streaming service over their cable.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:21 pm

Jeff V wrote:I can state from experience that Comcast Stream TV sucks every bit as much as any other streaming service over their cable.
Irrelevant.

The conflict exists between an internet service provider who is also in the business of providing content giving themselves an unfair advantage by charging more for people to get content elsewhere than from the ISP.

It's pretty clearly an anti-competitive advantage. That the content sucks is just the rotted pickle on the crap sandwich the consumer is expected to eat.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by RunningMn9 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:29 pm

And also completely wrong. Comcast internet is the bee's knees. I routinely have three to four high def streams going at the same time with everything looking great and no buffering issues. And while they blow whale dong as a company, my service was for 35 Mbps when I first got it.

It's now up to 170 Mbps and it costs me $3 more per month than it did then.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:25 am

Verizon
Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay a $1.35 million fine and give users more control over "supercookies" that identify customers in order to deliver targeted ads from Verizon and other companies. Verizon's use of the supercookies without properly notifying users violated a net neutrality rule that requires Internet providers to disclose accurate information about network management practices to consumers, the FCC said.

Verizon's settlement with the Federal Communications Commission, announced today, stems from an investigation into the carrier's "practice of inserting unique identifier headers [UIDH] or so-called 'supercookies' into its customers’ mobile Internet traffic without their knowledge or consent," the FCC said. Verizon began inserting the identifier—which could not be deleted by consumers—into its subscribers' HTTP Internet traffic in December 2012 and made some limited disclosures in its privacy policy. But the company "did not specifically disclose the presence of UIDH and its uses until October 2014," the FCC said.
...
Verizon's failure to disclose "accurate and adequate" information to consumers about the supercookies violated transparency requirements from the FCC's 2010 net neutrality rules, the FCC said. Those were the same rules that Verizon sued to overturn. While a federal appeals court mostly sided with Verizon, the ruling upheld the transparency rule that Verizon violated with its supercookies. (This is separate from the FCC's latest net neutrality rules, which are also being challenged in court by broadband industry groups.)

The FCC also said that Verizon's actions violated customer data privacy requirements in Section 222 of the Communications Act.

Verizon has to implement a three-year compliance plan. "Verizon Wireless is notifying consumers about its targeted advertising programs, will obtain customers’ opt-in consent before sharing UIDH with third parties, and will obtain customers’ opt-in or opt-out consent before sharing UIDH internally within the Verizon corporate family," the FCC said.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Jeff V » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:29 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:And also completely wrong. Comcast internet is the bee's knees. I routinely have three to four high def streams going at the same time with everything looking great and no buffering issues. And while they blow whale dong as a company, my service was for 35 Mbps when I first got it.

It's now up to 170 Mbps and it costs me $3 more per month than it did then.
Mine dropped to 40 Mbps (@ $45 per month) when I quit cable. 100 Mbps service was quoted at $120 per month without their "Triple Play" package.

It's impossible to enjoy a movie straight through without frequent interruptions for buffering. Not that I can sit in peace and watch it anyway...my son can't even get a steady connection to You Tube and my nights are responding to his endless cries of anguish and frustration followed by "daddy daddy daddy!" Of course, he has no patience for me to do something that might help for a few minutes, like reset the wifi connection.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Jaymann » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:25 pm

I've always wondered why you can't set a movie to keep buffering until it is fully loaded then watch it. If there is no technical reason why not, somebody could make millions off this idea...
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by LordMortis » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:29 pm

Jaymann wrote:I've always wondered why you can't set a movie to keep buffering until it is fully loaded then watch it. If there is no technical reason why not, somebody could make millions off this idea...
I always assumed it was because they don't want you to have a full image of the media that you could convert into a playable file. Otherwise I get stuck at wondering the same thing.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by wonderpug » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:32 pm

Jaymann wrote:I've always wondered why you can't set a movie to keep buffering until it is fully loaded then watch it. If there is no technical reason why not, somebody could make millions off this idea...
I like the idea, but with the increased prevalence of bandwidth caps I'd be worried about wasting gigabytes pre-buffering when I might not even end up watching the whole movie in that sitting -- or I might change my mind and watch something else.

I don't know how long before the technology will get there, but ideally there would be some way for me to have all of the data for the movie on a compact physical media I could have shipped to me, or even available for purchase in brick & mortar stores. One can dream!

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:18 pm

LordMortis wrote:
Jaymann wrote:I've always wondered why you can't set a movie to keep buffering until it is fully loaded then watch it. If there is no technical reason why not, somebody could make millions off this idea...
I always assumed it was because they don't want you to have a full image of the media that you could convert into a playable file. Otherwise I get stuck at wondering the same thing.
If only there was some sort of technology that could take a steam of data and turn it into a file somehow.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:46 pm

Did anyone think we'd ever case Netflix as a villain in this play?
With Netflix apparently having discriminated in its delivery of Internet video to wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon, after those carriers had been accused of doing the video degrading, there was plenty of input from industry players.

The pushback was particularly strong given Netflix's push for net neutrality rules that prevent ISPs from discriminating and require them to tell customers how they are managing their networks.

There have long been rumblings, sometimes not so quietly in the case of Comcast, alleging Netflix intentionally congested traffic to wired ISPs in peering disputes. Netflix has denied it.

The reaction started with AT&T not long after Netflix's conduct was reported in The Wall Street Journal, but that reaction did not include FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who declined to comment. The FCC has been investigating ISP zero rating plans, which critics say is a form of discrimination by favoring one form of content over another.

AT&T top D.C. executive James Cicconi was not reticent: "We're outraged to learn that Netflix is apparently throttling video for their AT&T customers without their knowledge or consent," he said in a statement.

A former top FCC official conceded Netflix's conduct may not be under the FCC's purview, but suggested that did not get it off the hook.
...
Berin Szoka of TechFreedom was equally as unhappy and, like May, saw it as symptomatic of something larger.

"Yesterday, Netflix admitted the company has long been throttling its traffic for AT&T and Verizon customers without their knowledge or consent," he said. "Two years ago, Netflix led the fight to get the FCC to require transparency about precisely such practices, and to ban throttling as inherently harmful. It also claimed that Comcast was effectively throttling Netflix traffic simply by failing to offer unlimited, free interconnection to Netflix — something companies like Netflix have always had to pay for. With the help of comedian John Oliver, Netflix rallied an angry mob that ultimately succeeded in getting President Obama to tell the FCC to dramatically expand ‘net neutrality’ to include interconnection — saying that throttling should be defined 'from a consumer’s perspective,' regardless of who was doing it or how it worked."

“It turns out Netflix was really saying ‘Net neutrality for thee, but not for me,’” continued Szoka. “The only question is whether Netflix was throttling user traffic at the time, or if it only decided to do so later. To be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Netflix’s throttling. ‘Throttling’ video speeds may sound scary, but it can benefit consumers for the very reasons Netflix cites today. So why didn’t Netflix just disclose the practice? Was Netflix afraid the angry mob it helped create would turn on it? And where was its talk of ‘striking a balance that ensures a good streaming experience’ when it was lobbying the FCC to ban throttling outright?”
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:50 pm

Earlier story
Netflix confirmed Thursday that it’s working on a “data saver feature” for mobile apps following a report in The Wall Street Journal about a policy in which Netflix reduced the quality of video delivered on AT&T and Verizon cellular networks, but not on those operated by T-Mobile or Sprint because the latter have historically implemented sed “more consumer-friendly policies.”

AT&T said it was “outraged” by it, claiming it was akin to “throttling” those streams without consumer consent.

Netflix is a supporter of Binge On, T-Mobile’s optional video optimization service that limits streams to 480p and exempts partner traffic from its data-usage policies. T-Mobile recently adjusted its policy to provide more info on the option and an easier way for subs to toggle the service on and off, moves that Google and YouTube approved of after originally railing against the Binge On program over claims that it was throttling its streams.
...
Amid the latest news, which found that it was Netflix, not AT&T and Verizon, that were limiting the video streams, Legere weighed in with a Periscope video in which stirred the pot again by wondering if AT&T and Verizon were being evasive on the subject. “No one has accused AT&T and Verizon of ‘throttling,’ but did they knowingly have this…and not tell customers?” he asked.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by gilraen » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:45 am

T-Mobile recently adjusted its policy to provide more info on the option and an easier way for subs to toggle the service on and off, moves that Google and YouTube approved of after originally railing against the Binge On program over claims that it was throttling its streams.
Not surprising that Google doesn't mind anymore, seeing as YouTube is now part of Binge On (or is it included now because T-Mobile and Google made up?) They also added Amazon (Prime Video and Music). So I'm too selfishly happy about it to care whether it has net neutrality implications.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:00 pm

WaPo
A federal appeals court has voted to uphold a series of strict new rules for Internet providers, handing a major victory to regulators in the fight over net neutrality and ensuring that one of the most sweeping changes to hit the industry in recent years will likely remain on the books.

The 2-1 court ruling Tuesday forces Internet providers such as Verizon and Comcast to obey federal regulations that ban the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic to consumers. The regulations from the Federal Communications Commission also forbid carriers from selectively speeding up websites that agree to pay the providers a fee — a tactic critics have said could unfairly tilt the commercial playing field against startups and innovators who may not be able to afford it.

More broadly, the decision affirms Washington's ability to regulate Internet providers like legacy telephone companies. Approved in a bitterly partisan vote last year, the move by the FCC to "reclassify" Internet providers significantly expanded the agency's role in overseeing the industry. It opened up Internet providers to all-new obligations they were not subject to before, such as privacy requirements that all telecom companies currently follow in order to protect consumers' personal data.

Tuesday's opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit comes months after a group of industry leaders, including AT&T and the nation's top cable association, sued the FCC in hopes of overturning the rules. They argued that the agency overstepped its congressionally granted authority in applying telecom-style rules to Internet providers, a class of industry that had been only lightly regulated during the Bush administration.
...
The court's lone dissenting voter, Judge Stephen Williams, said that while he agreed that the FCC could legally classify broadband companies as telecommunications carriers, the agency did not do enough to prove that today's information ecosystem has changed sufficiently to justify the move.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Pyperkub » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Chattanooga Tennessee mayor credits Municipal Broadband (10 GB fiber) for city's economic revival:
When Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke describes his city's economic renewal, he points to the city’s fiber network as a significant source of its new vibrancy.

In the past three years, the city’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 percent from 7.8 percent and the wage rate has also been climbing. Volkswagen’s presence has boosted the manufacturing sector and 10-gigabit speed internet has fueled wage growth,
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:23 pm

You're going to set off Daehawk. :)
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:41 pm

EU
European telcos this week cooked up a frankly hare-brained scheme to force the European Commission to water down its net neutrality rules.

According to a Financial Times report late on Wednesday, a group of 17 operators that includes BT, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, among others, presented a manifesto pledging to launch 5G in at least one city in every EU country by 2020.

The catch is that they claim this goal is unattainable unless the Commission relaxes its net neutrality rules, which came into force on 30 April.

The rules prevent unfair blocking and connection-speed throttling, and the paid prioritisation of Web traffic. Telcos are still allowed to provide so-called 'specialised services' like Internet TV and critical communications, provided it does not degrade the performance of the public Internet.

Zero-rating –where the data traffic generated by a specific service or category of services does not count towards the customer's data allowance – is technically allowed, but will effectively be judged on a case-by-case basis to ensure the practice does not harm competition or consumer choice.

"The current net neutrality guidelines create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment," reads the telcos' manifesto seen by the FT. "Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it."
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:22 pm

You want to hear a really stupid argument? Inaction on internet piracy fuels profits for ISPs.
Around the world copyright holder groups are lobbying for increased efforts to combat online piracy.

The situation is no different in Sweden, where the Black Market Watch group just published a report calling for increased cooperation from stakeholders such as advertisers and ISPs.

In an opinion piece for DN, Internet providers are accused of handsomely profiting from their inaction, generating an estimated 2.5 billion Swedish krona ($230 million) from piracy.

“According to our calculations, revenue for Swedish Internet providers potentially exceeds two-and-a-half billion kronor a year, much more than the pirate sites earn,” Black Market Watch co-founder Karl Lallerstedt writes, together with the report’s co-author Waldemar Ingdahl.
Google Translation:
The really big winners of the extensive services relating to intellectual property infringement on the web, however, has been the Internet operators. More traffic means increased demand for faster and more expensive internet access and greater demand for mobile data.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:47 pm

Copyright holders want to make enemies of ISPs? Is it Christmas? Because that is awesome.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:01 pm

Europe
Europe's telecommunications regulator has published final guidelines on how the EU will implement net neutrality rules that were adopted last year, in what digital rights groups are hailing as a victory for the free and open internet. The guidelines, published Tuesday, clarify vaguely worded provisions that experts say could have been exploited by telecoms to favor certain internet services over others.
...
[T]he regulations contained several loopholes that raised concerns among net neutrality advocates, including a provision that would have allowed ISPs to create "fast lanes" for "specialized services," and another that would have allowed for zero-rating, under which certain services and apps would be exempt from counting against monthly data limits. A "traffic management" provision would have allowed telecoms to prioritize internet traffic from some services over others.

Those provisions were clarified under the guidelines published today by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). "ISPs are prohibited from blocking or slowing down of Internet traffic, except where necessary," BEREC said. "The exceptions are limited to: traffic management to comply with a legal order, to ensure network integrity and security, and to manage congestion, provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally."

The guidelines prohibit zero-rating in circumstances "where all applications are blocked or slowed down once the data cap is reached," though they acknowledge that some cases are "less clear-cut." European regulators should assess such practices on a case-by-case basis, BEREC said, taking account for factors such as the market share of an ISP, effects on app choice, and the scale of the practice.
...
The guidelines provide examples of what could be considered as a specialized service, including VoLTE (high-quality voice calls), linear IPTV services, and remote surgeries, which would operate separately from the internet. Such services would have to meet certain quality and capacity requirements to ensure that they can only operate on networks that are not connected to the internet.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:24 pm

AT&T
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has thrown the issue of who can protect American consumers into confusion with a decision for AT&T and against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The decision [PDF] could see the telecom giant walk away from a $100m judgment for throttling its customers' data speeds without informing them, and potentially leaves companies like Google, Verizon and AT&T, as well as airlines, bus companies, and mail delivery services without an effective advocate for customers.

The decision overturns one from a lower court back in 2014 that decided AT&T had failed to tell customers on its "unlimited" data plan that it could reduce their data speeds to just 10 per cent of the advertised speed for up to 12 days whenever it wanted. An estimated 3.5 million people were affected.

AT&T appealed on the grounds that the FTC simply didn't have the authority to sue it and, to many people's surprise, the Ninth Circuit agreed. (AT&T is also fighting the FTC's sister regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the same fine, claiming its $100m should be reduced to just $16,000.)

At issue is AT&T's "status" as a "common carrier." The situation is complicated further by the recent high-profile argument over the FCC when it redefined broadband providers – of which AT&T is one – as common carriers.

The Ninth Circuit was at pains in its judgment to note that the FCC's reclassification had nothing to do with its decision, but the reality is that the two are interlinked.

If the FCC had not controversially reclassified broadband providers as "type II" providers last year as part of its net neutrality approach, this decision would effectively have left some of the largest companies in the United States with no regulatory oversight.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by malchior » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:46 am

I just read the FTC decision and while not a lawyer - the common sense reading is that it is bonkers. Another banner day for American Corporate oversight. If I'm reading it right - it seems if any part of a *GINORMOUS CORPORATION* has common carrier status then they aren't subject to any FTC oversight in any part of their business. That is an irrational and troubling outcome.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:35 pm

T-Mobile
T-Mobile USA failed to adequately disclose speed and data restrictions on its "unlimited data" plans and has agreed to pay a fine and provide some benefits to customers, the Federal Communications Commission said today.

Like other carriers, T-Mobile slows the speeds of its unlimited data customers after they've used a certain amount of data each month; when these customers connect to congested cell towers, they receive lower speeds than customers without unlimited data plans. The throttling is applied after customers use 26GB in a month.
...
T-Mobile signed a consent decree in which it agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine to the US Treasury and provide some discounts and extra data for T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. (MetroPCS is a T-Mobile subsidiary.)

From now on, T-Mobile will also have to provide clear and conspicuous disclosures about the speed and data limits of its unlimited data plans in all sale, advertising, and marketing materials. Alternatively, T-Mobile can comply by removing the word "unlimited" from the plans, or by no longer throttling unlimited data users. It seems likely that T-Mobile will take the first option of improving its disclosures—the FCC noted that T-Mobile already improved the disclosures a bit in June 2015.
...
For a couple of years, T-Mobile spokespeople have repeatedly asked Ars to stop using the word "throttling" to describe the company's practice of slowing certain customers' speeds, even though throttling is a commonly used term for speed reductions imposed by Internet service providers. In one e-mail earlier this month, a T-Mobile spokesperson insisted that our latest article's "use of the term 'throttling' in incorrect... This is prioritization, which every network operator does." T-Mobile also asked us to delete the "Dead Slow" image at the beginning of that previous article.

But as the FCC's order says, T-Mobile itself has abandoned its insistence that this is only "prioritization" in disclosures to consumers. Before June 2015, T-Mobile merely told consumers that their data speeds might be de-prioritized below those of other customers. The updated disclosures in June 2015 "state that affected customers 'will likely see significant reductions in data speeds, especially if they are engaged in data-intensive activities,'" the FCC said.

The new disclosures also tell unlimited data customers the actual amount of data they can use before being throttled, whereas previously T-Mobile merely said that the slowdowns "would be triggered when the customer used 'more data than what 97% of other customers use' based on historical use," the FCC said.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:16 pm

Wheeler stepping down
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he will depart the agency after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in next month.

Wheeler, who was appointed by President Obama three years ago to lead the FCC, announced he intends to leave his post on Jan. 20, 2017. His exit is not a surprise: Trump has been widely expected to install new leadership at the agency, and he recently recruited two conservative economists — Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison — for his transition team to focus on the FCC and telecom policy, and both are considered in the running as Trump’s FCC chairman pick.
...
In the interim, Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai is expected to be named interim chairman. He’s also seen as a contender for the permanent job.
...
Wheeler’s resignation will likely leave Republicans with an immediate 2-1 majority on the FCC when Trump takes office. The tenure of another Democratic commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, ends on Dec. 31, and the Senate recessed last week without acting on her renomination.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Pyperkub » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:34 pm

Comcast - we weren't hurt by net neutrality:
Comcast this week admitted that net neutrality isn't quite the hellscape the company initially claimed when it was fighting the rules' creation. In the run up to the rules, Comcast was one of several large ISPs claiming that the rules would devastate sector investment, chill innovation, and terrify children and puppies (ok we made that last one up, but it's still close). Back in 2014, Comcast was quick to claim net neutrality would result in job losses, investment declines, and an overall reduction in sector innovation...

...But at a recent investor event last week, Comcast CFO Mike Cavanaugh effectively admitted that Comcast over-stated its case, and that net neutrality has had no appreciable negative impact on the company's businesses, whatsoever.
The ones who hate it the most are the mobile providers who really want to gouge coming and going, IMHO.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:46 pm

ars technica
FCC Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly sent a letter to five lobby groups representing wireless carriers and small ISPs; while the letter is mostly about plans to extend an exemption for small providers from certain disclosure requirements, the commissioners also said they will tackle the entire net neutrality order shortly after President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20.

"[W]e will seek to revisit [the disclosure] requirements, and the Title II Net Neutrality proceeding more broadly, as soon as possible," they wrote, referring to the order that imposed net neutrality rules and reclassified ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. Pai and O'Rielly noted that they "dissented from the Commission's February 2015 Net Neutrality decision, including the Order's imposition of unnecessary and unjustified burdens on providers."
...
More broadly, the Title II net neutrality order prohibits ISPs from blocking or throttling traffic or giving priority to Web services in exchange for payment. The order also set up a complaint process to prevent "unjust" or "unreasonable" pricing and practices. The threat of complaints to the FCC helped put an end to several disputes between ISPs and other network operators over network interconnection payments; this in turn improved Internet service quality for many subscribers.

All of that is in jeopardy with the Pai/O'Rielly promise to undo the entire Title II net neutrality order. The process could take months, even if they get started right away, because of requirements to seek public comment. The Republican-controlled Congress could act more quickly, since Trump has opposed net neutrality rules and isn't likely to veto a bill overturning the Title II order. When either the FCC or Congress do act, the biggest question will be whether the net neutrality regime is replaced with a weaker set of rules or scrapped entirely.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by malchior » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:38 pm

Can't wait until we have oligarchs picking winners and losers on the Internet too.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:40 pm

I look forward to our domed cities and corporation-states. By 2020, I hope to be attractive to the telecom mothership, or perhaps one of the financial powers.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by El Guapo » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:34 am

Is there any chance that the net neutrality order isn't scrapped entirely (as opposed to replacing it with weak rules)? Not sure why the new Congress would go halfway on that.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:36 am

The Verge
Just a week and a half before he is set to leave office, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has issued a new report stating that the zero-rated video services offered by AT&T and Verizon may violate the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

Assembled by the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the report focuses on sponsored data programs, which allow companies to pay carriers to exempt exempt their data from customers' data caps.
...
According to the report, many of those packages simply aren’t playing fair. “While observing that AT&T provided incomplete responses to staff inquires,” Wheeler wrote to Senators, “the report states that the limited information available supports a conclusion that AT&T offers Sponsored Data to third-party content providers at terms and conditions that are effectively less favorable than those it offers to its affiliate, DirecTV.”

In theory, sponsored data should be an even playing field, with providers bearing the costs and making the same charges regardless of who’s footing the bill. But according to the report, AT&T treats the DirectTV partnership very differently from an unaffiliated sponsored data system, giving the service a strong advantage over competitors. “AT&T appears to view the network cost of Sponsored Data for DIRECTV Now as effectively de minimis,” the report concludes. While AT&T still bears some cost for all that free traffic, it's small enough that the carrier doesn't seem to care.

The report raises similar concerns regarding Verizon’s Go90 program, although it concludes Verizon’s program may be less damaging. “Because Verizon’s go90 competes in a less developed segment of the marketplace than AT&T’s DIRECTV Now, the current magnitude of any anticompetitive effects of Verizon’s practices may be smaller than AT&T’s,” the report reads. “Nonetheless, as noted above, there is the same potential for discriminatory conduct in favor of affiliated services.”

Notably, the letter does not raise the same concerns about T-Mobile’s BingeOn video deal, since it “charges all edge providers the same zero rate for participating.” BingeOn did impose significant throttling when it was first introduced, which led a Stanford study to dub it “likely illegal” last year.

Ultimately, the FCC was ultimately swayed by the more than 100 partners that have successfully signed on to broadcast on T-Mobile’s service, a list ranging from established networks like NBC and Univision to web-based services like YouTube and Amazon Video. “Given these facts, we find it difficult to envision that Binge On in the form the Bureau reviewed in 2016 could ‘unreasonably interfere with edge providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to end users.’”

With only a week left before President-elect Trump takes office, the report is unlikely to have much immediate effect, and Wheeler’s opposing commissioners were quick to dismiss the findings. “I am confident that this latest regulatory spasm will not have any impact on the Commission’s policymaking or enforcement activities following next week’s inauguration,” Commissioner Ajit Pai said in a statement.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:29 pm

Reuters
Outgoing U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler warned Republicans against dismantling the Obama administration's landmark "net neutrality" protections that bar internet service providers from slowing consumer access to web content.

Wheeler, in an interview this week, repeatedly questioned why Republicans would institute new policies that he said would benefit major internet service providers such as Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and CenturyLink Inc at the expense of thousands of other companies and consumers.
...
"These are serious things," said Wheeler, who steps down Friday as Republican Donald Trump replaces Democrat Barack Obama as president. "People have made business decisions based on the expectation of an open internet and to take that away in order to favor half a dozen companies just seems to be a shocking decision.

"There are a half a dozen ISPs (internet service providers) and tens of thousands of companies and millions of consumers who would be affected."

Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who is expected to be named acting chairman by Trump as early as Friday, said in December he thought net neutrality's days were numbered. He said the commission should take a "weed whacker" to unneeded rules.
...
Wheeler said companies already are flaunting the rules by offering free or sponsored data services for some products. He said in a letter earlier this month that AT&T and Verizon's programs "present significant risks to consumers and competition." The companies both defended the programs.
...
Wheeler tweeted a farewell Friday morning: "Upon my FCC departure, I would like to sign off with 3 words of wisdom that guided me well: competition, competition, competition."
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:25 pm

Might as well lock the thread:
The Federal Communications Commission on Friday suspended its probes into whether thee major telecommunications companies violated net neutrality rules with their data plans.

The FCC's wireless telecom bureau sent letters to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile informing them that the probes were over.
...
At issue were so-called zero-rating plans, where internet providers give their customers free data when they use certain apps.
...
Mignon Clyburn, the lone Democratic commissioner on the FCC, blasted the decision to drop the probes. She also lashed out at Pai for a number of actions he took on Friday afternoon, which she referred to as "take out the trash day."

"It is a basic principle of administrative procedure that actions must be accompanied by reasons for that action, else that action is unlawful," Clyburn said in a statement. "Yet that is exactly what multiple Bureaus have done today. The Bureaus rescind prior Bureau actions by simply citing a rule that allows them to do so, when in prior invocations of that rule there have been oft-lengthy explanations for the reasoning behind the actions."

In his own statement, Pai painted the move as a preview of what to expect under his leadership.

"These free-data plans have proven to be popular among consumers, particularly low-income Americans, and have enhanced competition in the wireless marketplace," Pai said.

"Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data. Instead, we will concentrate on expanding broadband deployment and encouraging innovative service offerings.”
Remember that report that Wheeler put out attacking the zero-rating?
The report was officially retracted on Friday.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Andrew Wonser » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:14 pm

Basically Pai has fully revealed himself to be the anti-consumer piece of garbage we knew he would be.
Ah, so he has retractable metal claws that punch through his flesh, just like a real wolverine.
Right, just like a real wolverine.
Ah, and his metal retractable claws can easily cut through hardened steel, just like a real wolverine.
Just like a real one, exactly.

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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:16 pm

Ayup.

Welcome back.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by stessier » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:36 pm

This is so frustrating.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Moliere » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:03 pm

The FCC Graciously Sets Internet Providers Free to Sell Your Data
COMCAST, VERIZON, AND other internet service providers got the go-ahead from the Federal Communications Commission today to sell your personal information without your permission. At least for now.

Last October the agency passed a set of rules that would have required internet providers to take steps to protect your private data from hackers, notify you if someone hacked your data, and require your explicit permission before selling your data. Today the FCC suspended those rules before they took effect.

“The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission are committed to protecting the online privacy of American consumers,” FCC chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen said in a joint statement today. “We believe that the best way to do that is through a comprehensive and consistent framework.”

The move may head off a congressional review of the rules that could have hobbled the FCC’s ability to make new privacy regulations in the future. The agency will now likely pass a set of less stringent rules more in line with the way the FTC regulates websites like Facebook and Google. If the FTC does at some point require websites to seek explicit permission before selling your data, the FCC may then follow suit for internet providers. Neither agency responded to a request for comment, but Pai has said in the past that he believed having divergent rules for websites and ISPs would lead to confusion among consumers. We’re not sure you’re going to find the new status quo exactly crystal clear.
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Re: FCC and Net Neutrality

Post by Pyperkub » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:39 pm

Time to get a tor router I guess
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