I won't rehash all of this, John, but I will provide you a couple of more
references, to give the big picture about this FCC classification of broadband
as "information service." This is the article I posted yesterday:
"So cable companies convinced the FCC to classify their new broadband Internet
services as 'information services' under the law. A few years later, the FCC
reclassified DSL as an 'information service' too. That effectively deregulated
the market by exempting the firms from a range of requirements that would have
otherwise applied to them."
As I said, this was an expedient. Two main reasons for this, historically:
1. People were thinking that classification of broadband as a telecom service
would force the broadband company to allow any ISP on their line! That's the
way it was being set up for DSL, and obviously the cable companies wanted to be
exempt from that. But in 2017, we know that this particular fear is unfounded.
You don't need to play technical illiterate, conveniently pretend to
misunderstand how broadband works, conveniently confuse broadband service with
a web site, only to avoid having to share your broadband infrastructure with
independent ISPs. Under Title II, no provider has been forced to share its
infrastructure with independent ISPs.
2. This classification would avoid having to bother with the USF. Well, unless
he's lying, even the current Chairman is funding broadband deployment with
taxes. In 2017, Internet access is at least as essential as phone service was
in the early 2000s.
(When the FCC included DSL as information service, the playing field was
leveled.) The two links here give you the background you need.
This link explains that one court told the FCC no, you can't overtly lie about
what telecom service is, no matter your ulterior motives. But the Supreme
Court, in December of 2004, overturned that court decision, saying that "...
when an agency that is charged with interpreting a complex statute that is
susceptible to more than one reasonable interpretation, the reviewing court
must defer to the agency's reasonable interpretative choice even if that
court's prior precedent reached a different conclusion."
Rephrased, The Supreme Court said that the FCC is allowed to twist words around
left and right, to reach its intended end, if the word twisting is sufficiently
clever to make us sufficiently confused. Fair enough.
This article from December 2005 makes it abundantly clear WHY the FCC was
interested in making both DSL and cable broadband "information services."
"What's new: As expected, the FCC on Friday reclassified DSL, the high-speed
Internet service offered by phone companies, as an 'information service.' The
ruling puts phone companies on the same regulatory footing as cable companies,
which are exempt from having to offer access on their infrastructure to
competing Internet service providers."
That's it, in a nutshell. This was all the FCC's doing, and at best, the
Supreme Court (with strong dissent from three judges) said that the FCC should
be allowed to classify as it prefers. The FCC was given deference, and there's
absolutely nothing that took that deference away since. The FCC was PERFECTLY
within its rights to re-classify broadband service in 2015, in order to be able
to mandate neutrality. It's disingenuous BS to claim otherwise, basically
another distraction by the same Chairman who tries to make web sites that bad
What's more, with the exception of the current Chairman, all FCC Chairmen
during the broadband era were trying to achieve neutrality of service, even
under Title I. All of them. This Chairman, instead, thinks non-neutral service
is "innovative," and is happy to let it happen. Plus, clearly the *very* vast
majority of users WANT their Internet access to be both neutral and a "common
carrier." Not in the sense that the owner of the wires has to allow multiple
ISPs to provide service, but in the sense that the owner of the wires has to
provide telecom service to the public, and be "hands off" on what users
transmit or receive on those wires. This ain't cable TV, even if this FCC
Chairman thinks it should be.
1. One that is in the business of transporting the public, goods, or messages
for a fee.
2. A company that provides telecommunications services, as by telephone or
satellite, to the public.
We need a court to explain to the FCC that it can't capriciously change what
was obviously the right decision, in 2015, just to please three or four special
interests. The decision in 2015 was what just about everyone WANTED and WANTS,
and for very good reasons, and this FCC has not shown anything to be wrong with
that decision, other than their stubborn yahoo extremist dogma.
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