Not bothering to comment on Bert’s commentary. It’s worn out and irrelevant now.
But the article was decent, presenting the views of both sides. I tried to
listen/watch the meeting via the FCC website yesterday, and what I was able to
hear clearly frames the situation moving forward.
Under current law, any future FCC can reverse this order, just as this FCC
reversed the Title II order approved at the behest of President Obama’s.
Rather than focusing attention on an order that essentially restores the
regulatory framework that existed since the late ‘90s, perhaps the FCC should
focus on its own issues related to using the Internet, both to communicate what
it is doing - like the webcast yesterday - and to provide a more appropriate
framework for the submission of comments via the Internet.
The Democratic Commissioners were upset that the Commission did not take into
account the millions of submission from the public. At the beginning of this
portion of the meeting a representative of the FCC stated that the vast
majority of submissions did not follow their administrative rules, which
clearly state that submissions must address the issues raised in he NPRM.
Submissions that just state support for, or object to the order are
meaningless. I believe it was Commissioner O’Riely who commented about some of
the new language he saw in comments that expanded on the normal profanity found
in a large number of submissions.
Perhaps the FCC needs to institute a two step process for submissions. Rather
than direct submission of comments, perhaps a commenter should register to
comment on the proceeding, with appropriate contact information that can be
verified, as is the case for ALL real submissions by companies affected by FCC
regulations. The FCC could then send a “key” allowing them to file comments.
This would block millions of comments from “bots” and spoofed addresses.
But it looks like the FCC needs to find a new ISP, or contract with a good CDN
to support its live streams. I do not know whether the problems I experienced
yesterday with the FCC live event were due to the intense interest in the
meeting, or if there was some mischief afoot by companies that operate the WANs
and routers I was using. There were major buffering issues where the same words
were repeated multiple times, or the streams just stopped working. This got
worse as the agenda item on Net Neutrality approached. Then in the middle of
the Chairman’s statement the whole process stopped as B&C’s Eggerton reports:
The meeting began with warnings about interrupting the meeting or trying to
submit new documents, which would not be made part of the official record.
Despite the warnings, the meeting was delayed during the chairman's remarks
due to security concerns.
Remember: networks don’t have to be built. Risks don’t have to be taken.
Capital doesn’t have to be raised. The costs of Title II today may appear, at
least to some, to be hidden. But the consumers and innovators of tomorrow
will pay a severe price.
Our decision today will also return regulatory parity to the Internet
economy. Some giant Silicon Valley platforms favor imposing heavy-handed
regulations on other parts of the Internet ecosystem. But all too often, they
don’t practice what they preach. Edge providers regularly block content that
they don’t like. They regularly decide what news, search results, and
products you see—and perhaps more importantly, what you don’t. And many
thrive on the business model of charging to place content in front of
eyeballs. What else is “Accelerated Mobile Pages” or promoted tweets but
What is worse, there is no transparency into how decisions that appear
inconsistent with an open Internet are made. How does a company decide to
restrict a Senate candidate’s campaign announcement video because her views
on a public policy issue are too “inflammatory”? How does a company decide to
demonetize videos from political advocates without notice? How does a company
expressly block access to websites on rival devices or prevent dissidents’
content from appearing on its platform? How does a company decide to block
from its app store a cigar aficionado app, apparently because the company
perceives that the app promotes tobacco use? You don’t have any insight into
any of these decisions, and neither do I. Yet these are very real, actual
threats to an open Internet—coming from the very entities that claim to
But those ISPs also say they are ready to get together with legislators and
net neutrality activists to hammer out a legislative fix that would restore
some of the bright-line rules, conceding that Congress is the best place to
finally resolve how best to insure an open internet while allowing ISPs to
monetize their investments in deploying the necessary networks.
But Clyburn suggested her unhappiness might be relatively short-lived. "I
don't know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by
Congress, or overturned by a future Commission. But I do believe that its
days are numbered."