Service Provider Cloud

FCC Repeals Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines today to end net neutrality regulations -- more specifically, to repeal the Open Internet Order passed in 2015 and replace it with a new Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

The new rule returns broadband to its classification as a Title I information service, and removes so-called "bright line rules" prohibiting Internet service providers from blocking, throttling or giving preferential treatment to traffic through paid prioritization.

The decision was expected, but it triggered an uproar from net neutrality advocates who believe the decision is against the public interest, and will lead to pay-for-play delivery of content on the web.

But Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai says the Internet doesn't need utility-style regulation, and the earlier Open Internet Order led to decreased broadband investment, a conclusion that's much debated.

My colleague Mari Silbey has the news on Light Reading: FCC Ends Net Neutrality.

Actress Amanda Seales rallies a crowd of protesters outside the FCC. (Photo by Mari Silbey, Light Reading)
Actress Amanda Seales rallies a crowd of protesters outside the FCC.
(Photo by Mari Silbey, Light Reading)

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— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Follow me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

Joe Stanganelli 12/18/2017 | 9:35:14 PM
Re: Internet has been fine before it @Izzy: And it will keep rolling on either way.

Realistically, what I expect to happen now is the proliferation of zero-rating and not much else except regarding the "power users" (after all, we're not in a much different position than we were in the time between when the 2010 Internet Order was struck down by a federal court and when the 2015 Internet Order was enacted). Most people's lives will be relatively unaffected. Moreover, I suspect (and I want to emphasize that this is mere conjecture on my part) that cable companies and other providers started charging consumers more, as I stated in my reply to @kq4ym, to underwrite the cost of regulatory compliance with the 2015 Order...and the punchline will be that those costs don't go down.
Joe Stanganelli 12/18/2017 | 9:33:44 PM
Re: Internet has been fine before it @kq4ym: Yours is a particularly apt point. Really, all the regulations -- or lack thereof -- effectively do is change who gets consumers' money. I have become fond of saying of this issue that it is not Big Business vs. consumers -- or even Big Business vs. Big Government; it's Big Business vs. Big Business.

Arguably, stricter net-neutrality regs on providers eliminates the risk of throttling -- but the expense of subsidizing torrenters and video power-streamers would wind up being underwritten by all consumers (not to mention the actual direct costs of regulatory compliance, which are passed onto consumers as fees).

Without the regs, on the other hand, the power to restrict the flow of data lies with the providers -- and services like Netflix would potentially have to be the ones to charge more to ensure that they stay off the low-priority list.But that's a worst-case scenario world... Well, not worst-case, I guess, but in any case, I don't buy the near-apocalyptic vision that some net-neutrality proponents have spread through fearmongering of different tiers of service that restrict or deny access to various websites cable-package like.

Either way, we the consumers are getting it in the shorts. We can rest easy knowing that someone somewhere will find a way to screw us regardless of what happens. ;)
kq4ym 12/18/2017 | 8:57:36 AM
Re: Internet has been fine before it It will be interesting to watch what happens and how soon, as the attorneyes and interest groups argue their ways through the courts and agencies over the coming months or maybe years? I wonder if it's as simple as follow the money to see where it all ultimately ends as corporate interest take either a small gain or larger one over consumers's interests?
Susan Fourtané 12/17/2017 | 1:01:00 AM
Re: Internet has been fine before it Or, in other words, if it’s not broken why do you want to fix it?
Izzy 12/14/2017 | 7:15:44 PM
Internet has been fine before it Hasn't the Internet been rolling along just fine since its birth? Why do we need yet, another bureaucracy putting regulations on things? The Internet has always been a free market environment. 
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