Sayonara, Net Neutrality: FCC Proposes Premium Priced Internet Fast Lanes

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Yusonice

And in my country, there is 1Gbit internet for like 40 usd.
https://secure.myrepublic.com.sg/

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Morete

This is exactly what ISPs wanted out of the controversy. It's a win-win for them. And remember, the speeds they advertise are not what you're going to get streaming or browsing. Running a speed test is not real world use of your internet and ISPs know this.

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Hiffie_Delman

TITLE II COMMON CARRIER CLASSIFICATION under the Telecommunications Act of 1934 for ALL Internet Service Providers is the end goal here.

When you call your Congressional Representatives or any other legislator, tell them you want ISPs classified as Title II Common Carriers. This designation will force all ISPs to act as data carriers only and be unable to alter the transmission of data in any way, shape or form. Start barking at the FCC Commissioners too:

Chairman Tom Wheeler: Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: Mike.O'Rielly@fcc.gov

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vrmlbasic

What happens then if what Comcast (et al) say is true and that they really did need to build special facilities to accommodate the Netflix traffic?

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rawrnomnom

Well... when you think about this....

http://www.teletruth.org/docs/ShortSCANDALSummary.pdf

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btdog

This is a topic laced with many villains on both sides and ends up with no real "winners" and many good people caught in the middle as "losers".

I don't...for one minute...believe the telcoms when they say "people that use the internet less will now be able to pay less." Bull. People that use the internet less will pay the same rates they already pay - moderate and heavy users will pay even more.

At the same time, I'm sick of hearing heavy users use net neutrality as a shield for their gluttonous use of the internet. "So what if I stream oodles of Hi-Def shows and movies every night for hours on end - it's my "right". Uh, no it's not.

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vrmlbasic

If I'm paying for an X mbit connection then I'm paying to use up to X mbits a sec 24/7.

Metered billing would kill the internet; it would be worse than it is today by far. No one likes a data cap and that's what metered billing for internet service would bestow upon everyone.

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btdog

There again, you are paying for the "speed" of X mbps, not a "volume" of (X mbps x number of seconds in a month). But I appreciate you confirming my second point.

As for metered billing, AOL did it back when the internet was in its infancy - didn't kill it then. Do I want metered billing? No. But I see this as a stepping stone we need to jump on before we can move past it to "unlimited access."

What we really need to do is open up the market to competition, and that means de-regulation. Unfortunately, everyone has a political knee-jerk reaction to that term (good or bad) and can't think clearly on the subject. Until then, we will continue to have this problem.

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boidsonly

Wheeler's proposal is/was written by the very lobbyists that he came from. While the EU and Brazil (very recently) went to great lengths to protect net neutrality, Wheeler will go down in history as having single-handedly destroyed it here in the US.
Amazon, Netflix and the others are behind this because they want to retain their death grip on the net. Any increase they pay to the ISPs is/will be passed on to you and I.
And if you are looking for help from our "government", keep looking...

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vrmlbasic

Hello Crony Capitalism...

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PCWolf

The death of a free internet is on its way. This is the price we are paying for "Cutting the Cable" as Cable Companies seek to make money from people who ran to Netflix. As more & more Cable Operators start charging Netflix for "Premium Lines" Netflix (& every other streaming company will pass along those costs onto us. So Netflix may soon become a $50 a month service as they will have to fork over the cash to Time Warner, Verizon, & AT&T. The FCC has sold us out. Even if nothing changes, you should go sign the Petition against the FCC at White House.org http://wh.gov/lfqwo

Funny how Comcast Agreed to abide by the Net Neutrality until 2018, yet they are making Netflix Pay for access now. This FCC Bill will make things worse for everyone. The rich will get richer, & you will pay more & more for crappy service.

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chipwatcher

Paul I really wish you would present all the facts when you write an article. You really should have pointed out that the FCC must present their proposals for Internet usage to the federal court system for approval, and that past proposals based on Net Neutrality were rejected since high usage customers would pay the same as low usage customers. It is in response to the inequality cited by the courts that the current proposal was crafted so that it would be acceptable by the federal courts and so that some form of regulation could be enacted.

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devin3627

compare comcast with clearwire. clearwire sold me service for out of city limits where i didnt even have cell phone service. so they scammed me because i didnt come into town within 7 days to return it. they made me pay hundreds of dollars to cancel my 2 year contract.

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JosephColt

I think you have it wrong about Comcast throttling Netflix Paul. Comcast wasn't throttling Netflix, at least I highly doubt that.

The whole Netflix and Comcast ordeal was a big misconception, and their agreement is good for the following reasons:

1. A direct connection between Comcast and Netflix providing a more stable connection capable of handling all those streams.

2. No Middle Man, and they may save money.

If they were giving low or high priority to Netflix, or others, then it would be a problem, but what is simply happening here is Comcast is allowing Netflix to directly connect to Comcast users without a bottle neck going through Cognet. You pay for a 5mbps, 10mbps, 15mbs, or higher directly to Comcast, not to Netflix. The issue with the slowed speeds between Netflix, Cognet, and Comcast were likely just peering issues which should have been solved, but Netflix wasn't going to wait on that.

I am on Verizon Fios and do not experience throttling issues myself. I am getting between 50mbps to 100mbps speed when using Netflix to watch content. Some days during peak hours it will drop to 5mbs to 10mbs though.

Long story short though is that the internet needs to be a utility, or like public roads. If public roads get too congested you expand them to be more optimized and efficient.

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acidic

they were clearly throttling. a 65% increase AFTER payment was made ? hmmm sounds awful fishy

http://betanews.com/2014/04/14/netflix-releases-monthly-isp-speed-test-comcast-improves/

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John Pombrio

Joseph, there has been an awful lot of circumstantial evidence that Comcast was doing something to Netflix. Considering that Netflix is now running on most Comcast customers without the former dropouts, low res, and buffering that plagued them before, it is obvious that Comcast was screwing over Netflix.

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JosephColt

These issues are gone thanks to the direct line to Comcast that will support all the customers streaming at once.

I am not saying it's not impossible that they were throttling on purpose, but the evidence is circumstantial like you said.

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Peanut Fox

They're gone because money changed hands.

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vrmlbasic

Netflix wanted me, and all dissatisfied subscribers, to petition our ISPs to support "openconnect", some wonky system that Netflix had devised so that they could get their content to the consumer ISPs for free.

I point the finger at Netflix on this. Since we're talking circumstantial evidence here, there's enough of that to make the case that Netflix cheaped out on bandwidth in a gamble to get enough consumers PO'd so that they'd coerce their ISPs into giving Netflix a free handout. It would seem that they gambled and lost.

Shoot, here in MD Netflix was having a "bitch fit" about getting special tax breaks for House of Cards, and they got their way. Sounds similar.

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spacespeed

As far as I know, this actually didn't start out being specifically a Netflix issue - it was initially a dispute between Level 3 and Comcast over their peering agreements. Basically, Level 3 agreed to serve as Netflix's CDN, and planned to use its peering agreements to provide an advantage over competitors. Both sides are at fault for what has happened.

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hakai20

I can't even begin to describe how angry this makes me. The entire reason lobbying came into existence was to bring to light important issues that needed to be addressed, and NOT to be used as a scapegoat for greedy corporations looking to bleed people dry for what is essentially a required service in order to exist in today's society.

Companies should not be allowed to sponsor political agendas. Public funding should be the only source of income for politicians, not private funding from invisible companies.

The lengths to which people are taking their lust for power and money is disgusting. At this rate, within a few years someone will be pushing an agenda to have "Free Speech Officials" on every corner, passing out citations for playing music too loudly and "breaching copyright laws" because other passers-by can hear. Anyone with an open WiFi hotspot will be either paying through the nose for being a good samaritan, or will get fined into the ground for breaching some new greed-inspired law that prohibits anyone but the subscriber and anyone attached to the service plan(for a nominal fee!) from using the service.

Someone needs to rein in these bastards and put them on a leash. Companies and corporations need to receive nearly unanimous public approval before being allowed to fund politicians and their agendas, and ONLY for agendas that benefit everyone, not just the greedy jerks who already have more money than they should legally be allowed to.

Democracy, indeed.

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AlexanderTheNine

[It has been said that copyright laws, and the internet itself will be the battle of our time; something this generation will bear witness to, and tell their grandchildren about. As the years pass by, I see this more and more becoming a reality, and I wonder if actual wars will breakout over stuff like this. When you think about it, this is the kinda stuff people are ready to die to defend. Internet has become more and more of an integral facet of daily life for our society. More information is at our fingertips then ever before. Everyone walks around with a mobile phone capable of playing music, producing detailed maps to aid us in a trip to new locations, even capable of snapping pictures. Fast food chains such as McDonalds are now moving certain buildings to an internet-based drive through, where your order is taken from someone in Indonesia. Great things, and terrible things have been started from society's ability to utilize the internet freely, and now the Government seeks to ruin all this, simply because they are the personal lapdogs of Hollywood. I often wonder, these days, what kind of story I will have to share with my grandchildren. Will my old age be in an era of freedom and wonderful technology, or will it be the setting of one of those sci-fi movies that plasters the screens of our LCD displays? Time marches on, it seems]

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John Pombrio

Alexander, war have been fought over access to information. Some say the iron curtain fell because of the fax machine. Egypt and other countries have had their governments fall due to tweets and e-mail organizing the people. The NSA is getting huge amounts of grief due to release of information.

People find a way for passing along information. Countries try to build walls around internet access only to fail.

I think competition will eventually do away with the notion of internet throttling. Smartphones once charged huge fees for data are now touting unlimited access. There are many ways to get internet access and eventually the ISPs will bow to the inevitable.

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MaximumMike

John I usually agree with you, but you're wrong this time. ISP's should provide a pipe to whatever content is on the internet. Then they should deliver whatever content a user wants access to, plain and simple. But they are moving far away from that model. First they already offer tiered plans for speed. And that SHOULD be where it stops. I should get uninterrupted unlimited data at the advertised speed. But I don't even get the advertised speed, much less the unlimited data. The next step, and ATT has already filed the patents for the technology, is to start charging for the content and the source of the content, to treat different forms of content differently. And this FCC ruling allows them to do exactly that. Even if they do technically give you unlimited data, it will only be because they are already charging you through the nose for the content, and throttling anything free to the point where it's pointless to even try to get it. All content should be treated equally. Anything short of that will only lead to higher prices. Under these new rules, it is the public who will bow to the inevitable, not the ISP's.

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AlexanderTheNine

[This is true; I guess you have a point. Sometimes this stuff just gets so intense I begin to wonder, you know? Also, I am truly honored that you of all MPC users responded to one of my posts. I will attempt to refrain from gushing :3]

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vrmlbasic

There are many ways to get internet access...and the FCC controls them all.

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Xenite

Sorry but petitions mean nothing these days. It's become meaningless even if 90% of the population is against something.

We no longer have a democracy in this country. Theirs a reason why 93% of all elections (look it up) are won by the candidate who spends the most money.

We will never have a representative republic again until we ban all money from politics and publicly fund elections.

http://www.wolf-pac.com/

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John Pombrio

Some publications have already named the United States as an oligarchy.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/04/22/author-of-oligarchy-paper-says-the-working-class-has-lost/

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Upyourbucket

I like to refer to the United States as a Plutocracy. Basically whatever you call the USA, its government is ruled and manipulated by wealthy money.

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vrmlbasic

When we start talking about "classes" in America then America has lost. I thought we broke away from England in order to get away from the class system.

"working class in US" is just as incorrect as "The US is a democracy" *softly bangs wall with head*

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MaximumMike

Yea, we also broke away from England to have freedom of religion, be secure in our property and effects, and have our taxes go to something that represents our chosen way of life. You see how all that worked out don't you.

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jbitzer

Here's an interesting idea. Let's break up the cable company monopolies and make them actually compete rather than just keep making restrictions and rules about how to use the monopolies they already have.

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MaximumMike

Why would we do that? haven't you heard that capitalism is the greatest evil known to man and the free market is to blame for all our economic woes. Obviously, the only way to fix this is with more government regulation.

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masterofpeces

How come your back? I thought you left us all in peace?

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Ghost XFX

Don't have the money to pay increased prices for the net, and they know for a fact the increase given will be passed down to the customers. The service from these ISPs , in most cases is crappy as it is now.

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Innomasta

I switched from DSL to Cable for the increased speed, and i'm really disappointed. The service is faster sure, but it's so inconsistent. I get fluctuating speeds, half second dropouts, and within the last month, 2 outages. I don't even remember the last time my DSL provider (Centurylink/Qwest) had an outage or speed slowdown.

I'm willing to pay a little more if it means they'll fix their shit, but we both know that's not how things are going to go down.

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Morete

I switched from cable to DSL for that very reason. The only speed advantage cable had was online gaming. Speeds for most everything else were throttled either by their high bandwidth party line consumption in my neighborhood or by the ISP using slow third party servers for streaming media, and web sites wouldn't connect sometimes. Of course my DSL has fiber from the street to the house so it "theoretically" helps.

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Upyourbucket

There is not enough competition in the ISP industry. There should be more smaller guys to keep the big guys inline.

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btdog

You're right, there should be. Unfortunately, the "regulations" which oversee ISPs, cable companies, etc., were written by the Big Guys and approved by the Government. That's why the barriers to entry are unreasonably high for smaller guys.

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cyberdragon666

All I have to say is FCC, you are a bitch. I wonder who has bought you this time.

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Obsidian

The brilliance of this particular scheme is that cable conglomerates simply got an insider hired to be a top dog as a mole and continued lobbyist.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, a former cable industry lobbyist.

This nation should repeal Tom Wheeler's position. It's almost comical he has shown his transparent hand so early since his position at the FCC started in November of 2013. I wonder if he's going to get a bonus from the cable conglomerates for acting this rapidly on his agenda.

They don't have to buy off anyone when they own the rule maker. More profits for big cable to keep and use in other ways.

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vrmlbasic

He's the only "transparent" figure in this "most transparent administration ever"...

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Obsidian

That statement was full of awesome -- because it's true and a larger condemnation of the entire political environment today. Well played sir.

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Obsidian

Irony face-plamed my soul as I filled out the petition ONLINE, and wondered how many people who can't afford internet RIGHT NOW would sign such a document ... you know, if they had the ability to make their voices heard on the internet in any capacity. If your connection is slow, are you going wait for an online petition to come up?

If that online petition site doesn't pay to play, especially one that might hurt the ISP industry ... what then? After the fact, how do you prove that? Can we request CIA and FBI siphoned backbone traffic data?

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Obsidian

And the internet that only upper-class people can afford becomes a reality.

This cost-structure will also be forced on consumption of said content. ISPs lobbying efforts and campaign contributions are really starting to pay off for them. They make money on Netflix paying for a premium pipeline; cost increases are then passed onto consumers in the next public announcement.

ISPs make money on any business or tiny web site that wants a reasonable response time.

Greed for the win. Consumers and small business be damned.

Infrastructure in the United States is already so screwed. I have NO confidence the government would do a more competent job, but there HAS to be some kind of solution to this 'free market' system. It's not free market without choices. And those choices MUST be comparable, not some dial-up-speed DSL or spotty wireless vs Comcast fiber.

With most companies demanding applications for employment be filled out online this logic-path is a supreme court case away from blowing up entirely.

FCC is exceptionally short-sighted if this passes muster.

The Internet now needs to be considered an essential service. Unfortunately though I don't believe that is factually true, it appears to be the easiest legal way to insure certain levels of abuse don't occur. When has the ISP-industry EVER made consumer-friendly choices? Just like a plaintiff's character is up for scrutiny in a court room the industry as a whole needs to realize that their past actions constitute a pattern of abusive behavior to consumers.

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vrmlbasic

Perhaps if we hadn't allowed our local governments to sanction ISP monopolies-NBC Comcast is the chief offender in my area-this lack of competition wouldn't have been an issue.

The only time an ISP has made a remotely consumer friendly decision, to my knowledge, was when Verizon decided to offer some competition against monolithic Comcast in my area and did so without imposing data caps.