In re Comcast right to attenuate line parameters for bit torrent apps:
The issue is not whether the FCC can regulate the Internet. Comcast is not the Internet at all. It is access to the Internet. This is not a small distinction. If you get sloppy with your terms you immediately start arguing issues that do not exist. The Internet is what Comcast connects you to.
The issue is whether a company that provides you access to the Internet can make some destinations or functions slow and some fast.
For instance, Verizon slows down your VOIP from Vonage which costs you $25 per month and has wonderful programming, was an innovator, so that you will buy the VZ VOIP which is almost twice the cost and stupidly programmed. VZ will not let you have a cheap DSL line unless you buy regular telephone service from them which nobody needs if they have DSL. In addition they get to charge you $500 per month for the same twisted pair of wires if they call it a T1 (yes,it is the same identical twisted pair and it is slower than DSL).
The FCC was destroyed by George Bush (the idiot son of George H. W. Bush) and Michael Powell (the idiot son of Colin Powell). Then Bush put in charge of the committee in the Senate that runs telecommunications John McCain (the slightly addled senator from Arizona who ran for President and decided the best person in the country to be one heart beat from the Presidency was Sarah Palin). Ironically the Telecom Act of 1996 that had started the Telecom Revolution had been passed by 99 out of 100 senators. Who was the lone senator who voted against it? The guy Bush put in charge of telecom in the Senate, the same addled old man who ran for President, the one who does not know how many homes his rich wife has, the second wife, the one who succeeded the first wife who was poor and died alone in a hospital, John McCain.
If you think Comcast has a right to alter your service depending on what you do with it then you must also think that General Motors has a right to alter the behavior of your Chevrolet depending on whether you visit a Rite Aid or a CVS, a PG movie or an R movie, an American food restaurant or a French restaurant, an Exxon station or a BP station, or if you are wearing a blue shirt rather than a red shirt.
The real issue that Comcast could attack is usage. They charge for bandwidth. They over subscribe that bandwidth. What does that mean? That means that if you add up all the guarantees they make it is grossly more than the bandwidth they have. They depend on two things. They depend on not everyone using it at the same time. And they depend on the people not maxing out the capacity when they do use it.
In other words they have a flawed pricing and revenue model.
The should charge for what you use, not what you could use, what you might use. It is easy as pie to do that.
That would end all the Drang und Sturm about issues that are not the issues.
It is imperative that access be content neutral. Or else you will not be free to drive your Chevrolet where you want to.
Most complex issues are complex because people refuse to choose the right context.