Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords
By Michael Hiltzik
January 14, 2014, 3:05 p.m.
Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today's ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC's rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was "even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected," in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality.
The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit thoroughly eviscerated the Federal Communications Commission's latest lame attempt to prevent Internet service providers from playing favorites among websites--awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee, for example, or slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates.
Big cable operators like Comcast and telecommunications firms like Verizon, which brought the lawsuit on which the court ruled, will be free to pick winners and losers among websites and services.
ISPs like Comcast are only doing what comes naturally in an unregulated environment, the way a dog naturally scratches at fleas. "Cable and telephone companies are simply not competing for the right to provide unfettered, un-monetized internet access," wrote Susan Crawford, an expert on net neutrality, around the time of the Comcast case.
This wouldn't be as much of a threat to the open Internet if there were genuine competition among providers, so you could take your business elsewhere if your ISP was turning the public Web into its own private garden. In the U.S., there's no practical competition. The vast majority of households essentially have a single broadband option, their local cable provider. Verizon and AT&T provide Internet service, too, but for most customers they're slower than the cable service. Some neighborhoods get telephone fiber services, but Verizon and AT&T have ceased the rollout of their FiOs and U-verse services--if you don't have it now, you're not getting it.
Who deserves the blame for this wretched combination of monopolization and profiteering by ever-larger cable and phone companies? The FCC, that's who. The agency's dereliction dates back to 2002, when under Chairman Michael Powell it reclassified cable modem services as "information services" rather than "telecommunications services," eliminating its own authority to regulate them broadly. Powell, by the way, is now the chief lobbyist in Washington for the cable TV industry, so the payoff wasn't long in coming.
No Net Neutrality is not dead.
Look even Verizon with their Fios Product uses the same buildings, employees and systems as they do for their voice grade products. They use the same business offices, trucks everything that they do for landlines. The transport of the net even is on the same fiber as the trunks for long distance service. They use the same equipment to provide connections between points. The whole case here goes back to when the Bell system was a monopoly, it was good for the country then and the government allowed it. The FCC was put it place to watch it. Where the telephone companies failed was when they did not completely separate voice from data. Now how many people work on both systems today? How many of these systems are in the same offices? So the teleco's used their monies and their manpower to build these internet broadband systems. So now that makes the broadband systems still under the FCC. The judge did not make the correct call on this one.
Do you have stock in this? I get your point, however please go back to what "we do best." We agree is should be separated, should have once they did internet. However, we can't change that right now since it's regulated. Thanks a lot for coming over here, however be careful. Be prepared for the big boys to eat you for lunch over here.cd
sounds like you don't want VZ to make lots of money ...
kindly take your socialist views and send'em off to Obama
the last time i checked , the US still has a capitalist system ...
winning is either important, or the only thing !!!!