FCC F-bombed 4,377 Times

FCC F-bombed 4,377 Times

FCC F-bombed 4,377 Times

I, too, am unhappy with the recent decisions of the FCC. However, I did not use the F word or any obscenities in my written comments to the regulatory commission. Whether or not this is an effective means of persuasion in this case remains to be seen. But ladies and gentlemen do not use this word outside of the bedroom or during exciting events like a car accident. So, I would counsel my dear readers to avoid such melodramatic choices when writing to the Commission.

In total, there were 1.1 million comments made to the FCC on this topic. According the web site, Tech Crunch, the main topics of the comments were “free speech, ISP’s and anger.”

The website, SingleHop, has what they call “A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality.” I prefer hotter blood when writing but it is an accurate view of the facts and if you are a student writing on the subject, it would be a good starting point if only for the good references.

I can’t but believe that this is a major business ethics issue. Giving an oligarchy of companies the ability to charge for different speeds is unfair. And as a practical matter, it makes it more profitable to not expand internet speed and band width. The United States is 12th in the world in internet speed. I have complete confidence that with the end of net neutrality we can descend down the ladder a long ways.

At this moment, a free market absolutist is reading this and thinking, “That ridiculous, if anything it is an incentive to increase services. This author is a crude leftist with no understanding of economics.” How about a little history of market manipulation? Here, here, and here, are examples of electric utilities cutting supply to push up prices. For simple price manipulation, I can easily pull up hundreds of citations. I believe in the lessons of history. If historically people have limited supply to make more money, it will be done again. The only way to stop that kind of exploitation is through regulation and in this case, that regulation’s name is net neutrality.

James Pilant

Net Neutrality Under Attack

hedgeNet Neutrality Under Attack

I guess it is the nature of the beast. Whenever a profit can be made by converting a public asset into a private one, the knives are out. The reasons for net neutrality are so obvious and so important, it should not be necessary for me to repeat them here. The idea of favoring one user over another has one major advantage over net neutrality, the enormous profits possible on services already provided.

James Pilant

Net neutrality: What is it, and why is the U.S. about to lose it? | Al Jazeera America

For decades, Americans have taken for granted that every website, service and app is treated equally by their Internet service providers. This principle, dubbed Net neutrality, is what allows startups and large corporations to compete on a level playing field, ensuring that Internet providers can’t pick winners and losers by blocking websites or having some load faster than others.

But Internet advocates warn that under a new set of rules scheduled to be introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday, this guarantee will be effectively gone, allowing Internet service providers to give prioritized access to websites that pay a premium — and slower service to everyone else.

The FCC proposal would be welcome news for broadband Internet providers like Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, some of which have already begun experimenting with charging online services for fast-lane access to their customers. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has tried to reassure critics that these arrangements would be strictly regulated on a case-by-case basis. But a growing coalition of Net neutrality advocates, tech companies, investors and members of Congress have slammed the anticipated proposal, calling it “a threat to the Internet” as a domain for free speech and commerce.

“It’s going to be ruinous for innovation online,” said April Glaser, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It directs people away from newer, innovative services that might not be able to afford that price tier.”

via Net neutrality: What is it, and why is the U.S. about to lose it? | Al Jazeera America.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Andelino’s Weblog.


What could that mean for me, in English, please?

First off, the web could get more expensive. The impact on the average Internet user will likely not be felt right away. But over time, websites would probably pass on to consumers the costs of paying for high-speed access, according to Harold Feld, a senior vice president at the consumer group Public Knowledge.

In addition, it could become difficult to view certain websites owned by companies that can’t afford to pay for access to an Internet fast lane, Feld said.

On top of Internet users potentially paying more, they would also be more confused, Feld said. Under the proposed rules, people would need to make sense of a fragmented Internet landscape where the time it takes to load an online video would depend on whether that website paid extra to their Internet provider. Consumers may start choosing their Internet providers based on which websites they like to visit.

Feld compared the situation to the exclusive deals that AT&T and Apple once made that only allowed AT&T subscribers to purchase the iPhone.

This sounds pretty frustrating. It would be. Under the FCC’s proposed rules, the quality of online streaming services like Netflix or HBO Go would depend on whether those services are paying your Internet provider or not, Feld said.

“It will become more fragmented and more frustrating,” he added.

The proposed rules could affect not just entertainment, but also education. If schools use an online curriculum made by a company that cut a deal with Verizon, students who subscribe to Verizon’s Internet service at home would have an advantage over other students who subscribe to another provider, Feld said.

Is Stepping on Teachers Becoming a National Pastime?

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers’ Speech – Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

Arizona doesn’t want its teachers cussing in class—and new proposed legislation would actually make it illegal to do so. GOP state lawmakers are behind Senate Bill 1467, which would require public school teachers to adhere to the FCC’s TV and radio standards. That means certain limits on obscene, indecent, or profane language, the Arizona Republic reports. One teacher notes that the bill applies to teachers’ language not just in the classroom, but even if they are with a colleague.

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers’ Speech – Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

About one hundred years ago there were three groups of professionals, the opinion makers, in small towns all over the United States. They were  lawyers, doctors and teachers. Doctors and lawyers have retained their status. Teachers are barely one step above a sixteen year old with a MacJob. How did this come about?

There are a lot of reasons. I suspect the increasing demonization of teachers as the destroyers of educational excellence is a key factor. The strange idea that motivated teachers can overcome massive income inequality to produce high test scores in all populations. The teachers’ inability to produce this utopia of educational success results in constant attacks and ridicule. It takes its toll after a while. Further, teachers are divided in their political loyalties making their backing in a political campaign of questionable value. I estimate teachers’ union endorsement to be worth no more than sixty percent of their votes. Teacher fragmentation has been devastating to their political influence for decades. I remember listening in class to my teachers attacking unions and evolution. I grew up in Oklahoma. Defying teacher unions and refusing to even ask for an endorsement became standard politics long ago.

I don’t get it. Teachers by education and position ought to be opinion leaders but have apparently given up the job to do some version of independent politics on an every man for himself basis. Benjamin Franklin once told his fellow revolutionaries, “We must all hang together or else we shall hang separately.” The teacher unions are dying fragmented and ineffective.

Unless this fragmentation ends, there is only one end to the story, the minimum wage.

James Pilant

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“Comcast Owns the Internet” (via Chasing Fat Tails)

At the moment, a great deal of weeping over the defeat of net neutrality is justified. Unfortunately the war for the internet can be lost on more than one front at a time. So, “Chasing Fat Tails” explains.

James Pilant

h/t ars technica Net neutrality has long been the goal of people who care about keeping the Internet free from corporate influence.  The Internet has tremendous potential, but it can only be realized if all users have access to fast speeds that deliver all content at the same rate.  Otherwise Internet Service Providers will be able to privilege some content and users over others, the Internet will balkanize, and the tremendous benefits of a wired … Read More

via Chasing Fat Tails

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How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Net Neutrality (via Web 2.0 – Instructional Systems – FSU)

This is a very straightforward explanation of the case for net neutrality.

James Pilant

Net Neutrality – a topic often debated in congress with little understanding. What is it? In short it takes away the right from data providers (comcast, verizon, etc.) to treat users differently. Why is this important? Well a few years ago it wasn't. The days off users simply checking their email or a static website are over now. Now a days people visit web 2.0 (facebook), stream netflix, play games, and do many thing that use a lot of broadband. … Read More

via Web 2.0 – Instructional Systems – FSU

Netherlands becomes second country to make net neutrality a law (via VentureBeat)

I would like to see the United States do this. I would like to point out that the time to get to my site after hitting a link has increased by a third. I believe that is due to other services being given priority. I wonder how many people will bother to read my stuff when the wait becomes double or triple.

James Pilant

Netherlands becomes second country to make net neutrality a law The Dutch Parliament on Wednesday passed a law that prohibits Internet service providers from slowing down any kind of Internet traffic unless it's to ease congestion, preserve security, or block spam. The practice of treating all Internet traffic equally—whether it's text, e-mail, audio, or video—is commonly referred to as net neutrality. This move makes the Netherlands the second country in the world to put net neutrality into law, after Chile. … Read More

via VentureBeat

Net Neutrality: Who Should We Be Most Afraid Of? (via Rebecca Reynolds)

Excellent article on net neutrality. Thoughtful and intelligent. We need more like it.

She asks the important questions. What values are at stake here? What are our choices? But she ties all this in with some history of the developing media of the last fifty years.

Good writing. Please go and have a look.

James Pilant

Net Neutrality: Who Should We Be Most Afraid Of? The idea of open, accessible, unmoderated forums for discourse and exchange inspires me. Afterall, that is what I do for a living: I design processes that enable many people to engage in collaborative decision-making. That technology could push this process open even further, to many more people, to a borderless conversation, a churning think tank for innovation is a possibility I dream of. For this reason, I have been an increasing proponent of … Read More

via Rebecca Reynolds

Jesus Hates Net Neutrality (via Strategic Mac)

Frankly, the New Testament has not given me many distinct policy points that Christ might want to take a position on. I think the author feels about the same way that I do.

I am a devoted to the idea of net neutrality. At the very least, I am devoted to it because I want to keep blogging and if my site is downgraded, everyone down to my relatives will stop looking at it.

The author has strong political views and I am fine with that. Bring on the political views! We need some serious discussions about what we should be doing in this country and what I usually hear was canned for public consumption about 80 years ago.

Read the article. Enjoy. There’s good stuff being said here.

James Pilant

Jesus Hates Net Neutrality Republicans are bound and determined to prove that with regard to Net Neutrality they are complete bone heads. Consider that the new Speaker of the House, speaking in front of the “Send your Money To Jesus” association, said that he will basically go to his grave attempting to make sure that big ISPs own the Internet. He said that if he can’t override t … Read More

via Strategic Mac

Net Neutrality and the First Amendment: Observations on the FCC’s order in Preserving the Open Internet (H. Travis) (via Marvin Ammori &)

This is a detailed legal analysis of the FCC order regarding net neutrality. If you have an interest in net neutrality and the legal issues surrounding the order and its aftermath, you have a very fine references source here.

James Pilant

I would like to thank Marvin for inviting me to blog here for a while as part of his merry band of cyber experts.  I teach cyberlaw and other subjects at Florida International University College of Law in Miami, FL.  I typically write about copyright, Internet freedom, and human rights law.   Although my first post will be about net neutrality, I hope in the future to blog on my other interests, including copyright, fair use, the First Amendment, … Read More

via Marvin Ammori &

Net Neutrality alert: Verizon to throttle data speeds for heaviest users (via Between The Lines)

Is net neutrality important to you personally? How much data speed do you use? If you are like me and my family, you can only suspect that you might be a heavy user. That’s not good predictive power. If this policy is applied to you, it is probably going to be a surprise when your data speed is too slow for Netflix.

They are looking for their Internet Service.

Read the opening of the post

The Net Neutrality whistles are blowing and flags are flying this morning over buzz that Verizon Wireless will be throttling data speeds for its heaviest data users. The change, effective immediately, is believed to be part of Verizon’s efforts to ensure that its network is ready for the flood of iPhone users who will start powering up those devices next week.

In a nutshell, if you’re a heavy user – and you really have no way of knowing if that’s you or not – then Verizon Wireless “may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand.”

I don’t think we should let private industry decide these policies. The FCC regulated television and radio for decades bringing order out of chaos. Why shouldn’t we have standard policies across the nation? We are at the mercy of a handful of suppliers due to consolidation allowed by the very same government that people believe shouldn’t be regulating this at all. If we received our Internet services whether wired or wireless from hundreds of sources, all this would have been solved by competition. But a limited number of suppliers have no reason to cut prices to compete when they simply own the lines alone.

More from the web site –

That’s like watching ESPN 24 hours a day and then having the programming cut in half for the last week of the month because other customers don’t watch it as much as I do. How is that right?

I think so too. Why should I be charged for something I can’t measure? And what can I do to fix it if I need that bandwidth? I teach online. This is not an academic exercise. This is my work, and I’m not the only one that uses their home computer for something besides World of Warcraft.

In a monopolistic system of suppliers, I have no say at all. At least with the FCC, I’ve got a chip on the table.

James Pilant

P.S. The web site, Between the Lines, was my source and I would like you to visit if this subject interesting.