Point being, the time leading up to this vote is probably be the best time to let your congress members know your opinion on NN. Do not let the "failure" of previous efforts to get congress to act in defense of NN dissuade you from future action, particularly now: It is far easier for a politician to take no action (as they could when the FCC was ones doing the voting) than to actively vote against the wishes of their constituents.
 Failure in scare quotes since it seems likely part of the reason NN is still a topic being actively fought for in congress, in the courts, and at a state level is because there is a large amount of vocal support for it.
Shame, because this vote is incredibly predictable by anyone who has been paying any attention at all. Republicans are on the bullet train to dismantle and sell off the government to the highest bidders. This vote goes straight down party lines.
But, it'll be an easy banner for Dems to hoist in November to rally voters, since it's categorical that Americans do not want this madness from the FCC to continue.
For Dems, the best use of these things is barrage the election cycle with negative news about the GOP. Failed policies, bad ideas, myopic leadership. Bad bad bad bad. Suck the energy right out the way the Clinton investigation did in 2016.
Greatest democracy in the world!
Given how completely Twitter, Facebook, Google, et al censor right-leaning political opinions, and they're big pro-NN orgs, it wasn't a hard sell.
Unfortunately, NN has become yet another casualty in these weird post-fact times.
for "completely" doing such, they're doing a terrible job.
Right-leaning opinions which violate their TOS.
big difference. I'm pro merit based immigration and feel entirely comfortable tweeting that (if I had a twitter, never saw the point).
"we never had network neutrality in the past, and I do not believe we should engineer for it in the future either."
Its the exact condescension and willful ignorance of intelligent opposition in this thread that so characterizes the left.
Case-by-case application of the Open Internet principles from 2005-2010, Title I regulation from 2010-2014, Title II regulation from 2015-2017. The case-by-case approach was struck down by the courts in 2010 while the Title I regs were being drafted; the Title I regs being struck down in 2014 with a specific identification of Title II as the legal basis that would support the kind of rules the FCC adopted under Title I is what prompted the Title II regulations to be drafted.
> The cases of fraud or misrepresentation are just that.
The VoIP and BitTorrent blocking cases before the Title I regs were adopted weren't based on general fraud or misrepresentation principles, but on the FCCs publicly adopted Open Internet (net neutrality) principles.
That's clearly wrong, but how wrong is a matter of interpretation: it's either the 2010 or 2005; the Title I regs in 2010 were no less “preemptive” than Title II, and the 2005-2010 approach was, IIRC, struck down because it amounted to preemptive regulation adopting the net neutrality principles as binding rules without following the mandatory process of the Administrative Procedure Act.
As an outsider it is kind of amusing when I see lines like "Americans do not want" said by both Democrats and Republicans.
In the case of Net Neutrality, a survey which started by giving people pros and cons of net neutrality found 83% support for it, while another which phrased it as "government regulation" found over 50% opposed.
I would call this a good argument against government by referendum.
Of course, the FCC was very quick to completely dismiss the entire data set, and didn't even refer to it in their final decision because it was so filled with bots spamming the list with identical submissions from dead people and even apparently Barack Obama - the very person who asked the FCC to take the strong stance in the first place. But, who would have expected any different from a government this steeped in corruption and controversy.
It's okay though. You're an outsider. You can easily miss the nuance of this conversation as it's played out on Hacker News literally every single working day.
Except this matters to their donors, and falls in line with the political ideology of current republicans, so why would they go against it?
This is equally true of the Democrats; they just have a different set of preferred highest bidders.
Republicans are far more dedicated to the task of destroying government than Democrats are. I agree that some Democratic senators have historically been pretty shitty on the topic of net neutrality but this false equivalence nonsense needs to stop. Republicans will sell off national parks, shut down the EPA and FDA and shut down any banking regulation you put in front of them.
Then perhaps they should stop being evil.
Republicans should fight the evil within their own party and drive it out. They should ask for the resignation of abusers, and voters should fire the ones that don't resign. Republicans shouldn't throw money behind suspected child molesters. Republicans shouldn't rescind laws that the vast majority of Americans want because Verizon and Comcast filled their coffers. Republicans shouldn't attack various races, religions, and immigrants, and should condemn anyone who does. Republicans should come out strongly against Neo-Nazis rallying and using their political party as a facade. Republicans should stop fighting so hard to stop voters from voting - removing registered voters, gerrymandering and voter suppression laws are categorically anti-American practices and need to stop. Republicans should want to work with the Democrats to come to a healthcare agreement everyone can live with, if they truly find the ACA so reprehensible despite amending over a hundred times and then voting for it.
Once the Republicans start acting like a conservative party and not an extremist organization, then maybe we can change the tone of the conversation back to "reaching across the aisle" and being friends despite not agreeing on the tax brackets or which companies get which subsidies.
But sadly that's not the state of political discourse in this country in 2018. The "Good" Republicans need to make their voices heard above the wailing of the lunatics currently running the asylum. The "Evil" Republicans need to be removed from office. And we need strong assurances that our democracy won't ever crumble like this again.
The rhetoric from the left that any disagreement with the left is "evil" is a really sad development for the United States and democracy. It has a chilling effect on any kind of debate once you brand your opponents as "evil".
This also sounds like an argument for political correctness.
For example, stupid and shortsighted... the Employer Mandate for health insurance which had the unintended consequence of businesses realizing it was cheaper to hire an extra employee or two so that they didn't have to make anyone Full Time employees and pay for insurance or get hit by the penalty tax.
Democrats and and pro-Union policies also generally have lots of dumb shortsighted unintended consequences for how businesses operate.
Don't even start with corruption. Both sides are corrupt in their own ways.
Of course I believe that the republican parties current path will lead to the destruction of America. So I'm probably not worth talking to.
None of this applies to the Republicans and the EPA, banking regulation etc.
You're going to need some high octane evidence to compare adding new regulations that disproportionally help one industry, verses destroying the established works of the FCC, EPA, NOAA, the Bureau of Land Management/National Parks, the Department of Education... the list is literally too long for me to keep enumerating here, so take a look at articles like this one: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/05/23/here-li...
I understand being upset at the Dems for stuff like the TPP, basically rolling over to Hollywood any time they ask for a copyright extension or more copyright enforcement powers, or even being soft on enforcement of any given regulation... but in general there's one party in America that wants regulation and structure and enforcement of existing laws... and one party in America that's currently actively working to remove as many government agencies and regulations that exist to protect the nation from Captialism Gone Wild, and as a staunch independent it's quite easy to see the difference.
I'm sorry, but this shit needs to end. This statement might have been closer to true in the earlier 2000's, but it couldn't be further from the truth in 2018. This "both sides" equivocation needs to be put to death.
I am, but those are relatively minor compared to the real issue, which you are ignoring.
> or even being soft on enforcement of any given regulation
You appear to be laboring under the misapprehension that regulations in general are good, and the only issue is proper enforcement. But that's the real issue: regulations in general are not good. One obvious reason is regulatory capture: regulations end up benefiting the industries being regulated, not the public as a whole. The history of regulation of the Internet is a good example: we don't have the current dysfunctional structure of huge ISPs with monopoly powers and no easy way to dislodge them because of lack of regulation, we have it because of too much regulation, bought and paid for by those same ISPs to insulate them from actual competition.
I understand that we can't just dismantle the existing regulatory structure cold turkey, because, for better or worse, it's the status quo and everyone has made long term plans in good faith based on it. In that sense, the agenda Trump is currently pushing is not a good idea. But that does not mean that pushing for less regulation over the long term, and more recognition of the limits of government regulation as a tool for social improvement, is not a good idea. Unfortunately I don't see either major party in the US recognizing this (or, for that matter, any major party in any developed country). The Republicans are pushing to repeal regulations they don't like, but they will gladly put in place other regulations that they do like--for example, the various travel bans and restrictions that everyone was up in arms about early in the Trump administration, or laws like the Defense of Marriage Act, or...you get the idea.
> But that's the real issue: regulations in general are not good
This is akin to saying "laws in general are not good", when they are simply a tool. Of course, overzealous regulation is a stifling obstacle for small businesses, but this is something we can all agree on, the disagreements always come down to the details.
> regulatory capture: regulations end up benefiting the industries being regulated
Yes, this is a negative side effect of regulation, but there are also positive side effects from regulation and we have to evaluate the spread on a case by case basis (or at the very least, differentiate the ramifications of specific kinds of regulations per a given industry). At the end of the day, regulations are society's response to a sordid and well-documented history of abuse by corporations; that doesn't mean regulations should be punitive, but they are a necessary tool.
It's got near zero chance of succeeding, but that's not the only point; the point is to make NN a 2018 midterm election issue for Democrats if it fails. (Which, ideally, sets NN up, via regular legislation, for a vote with a more favorable Congress in 2019.)
The best chance is actually passing a bill revising the Communications Act of 1934 to explicitly include internet access. Anything else will result in a return to court battles over whether the FCC has authority to control the medium.
Why was NN so easy to repeal in the first place? Why didn't Obama do a proper job if it's such an important issue? I still don't agree with the accepted wisdom about what NN is in the first place. Seems to me to suggest companies that are using up a lot of bandwidth are going to start paying more, competitors are going to start paying less. Which is why every single large company is opposed to the change.
To be clear, you're trying to blame Obama for something the Republican controlled Congress was responsible for? Obama wasn't a dictator; Congress decides what laws to pass and Congress wasn't exactly in favor of just about anything Obama wanted to do.
Also I think you're misunderstanding what Net Neutrality is about. Net Neutrality doesn't say that everyone pays the same regardless of what bandwidth they use - ISPs are free to charge more for more bandwidth usage. Net Neutrality says that ISPs can't rate discriminate based on the type of data shared. NN means that Comcast can't charge more for packets coming from foxnews.com as opposed to msnbc.com, but it doesn't say that they can't charge an end user that uses 5 GB more than one that uses 1 GB.
No, he's blaming Obama for something the Democrat controlled Congress was responsible for. It was an important enough issue for him to cosponsor a bill while a senator, but while in control they let a bill die without debate.
I don't think it's productive to assign blame in situations where a politician helped, but didn't help enough by some arbitrary standard, especially in an adversarial political system like ours where the alternative is politicians that actively are trying to cause harm.
I agree... we should support politicians based on their policies not based on their party, but it just so happens that the republican party is ideologically opposed to net-neutrality while the democratic party is, at a minimum, friendly towards the notion of net-neutrality, so democrats are really the only option if net-neutrality is your issue.
What is your goal? Your goal clearly isn't actually maximizing the chances that Net Neutrality is adopted, since your strategy doesn't do that. I can only guess what your actual goal is; it seems to me it's maximizing some sort of ideological purity or set of other moral values?
The official platform of the Democrats last election on net neutrality was roughly "we will not overturn the FCC ruling on net neutrality," while the Republicans ran on overturning that decision. Both platforms have the same result, a lengthy series of court cases deciding how broadband should be classified under the 1934 Communications act.
There's a nugget of truth to the idea that voting for the party pretending to support net neutrality will lead to more favorable judges, but I don't suspect the Democrats would seek out judges based on their view on the issue. And, shockingly, I care about more than one issue. For example, the Democrats record on online privacy is atrocious. A chance at better judges on one issue isn't enough.
P(Third Party controls government) * P(3rd party would institute NN) > P(Dems control government) * P(Dems would institute NN).
That's just.. So outrageously unlikely I'm taken aback. P(Third Party controls government) is so low we have never seen it in our lifetimes, and you are just assumping that P(3rd party would institute NN) is high to compensate with no evidence whatsoever.
We had Net Neutrality under Obama. Are you claiming that if Clinton won, she wouldn't continue Obama's policy? The only reason we do not have Net Neutrality right now is that Trump won. Based on prior observation, P(Dems institute NN) is significant, I would guess at least 50%.
To be honest, I think you are simply factually incorrect. The official platform of the Democratic party is that they support Net Neutrality, and it first existed as official policy under Obama. If Democrats regain control of the government, I would fully expect them to reinstitute it.
We had and lost net neutrality under the Obama administration, as the FCC's authority for control comes from some vague sentences in ancient laws. The courts ruled that their loophole was not valid, so the FCC moved on to trying a different vague line.
The authority still isn't on stable ground. The courts could easily rule the FCC's loophole invalid, ending net neutrality. This is also why the current destruction is possible. As the FCC enforcement only comes from their specific interpretation, the new administration was able to sweep it away.
We have been aware of this problem for over a decade now. That is why Obama cosponsored a hopeless bill on the matter as a senator. Their failure to pass a law on it, followed by their failure to even say they would try to pass one shows how important they consider the issue.
>To be honest, I think you are simply factually incorrect. The official platform of the Democratic party is that they support Net Neutrality, and it first existed as official policy under Obama. If Democrats regain control of the government, I would fully expect them to reinstitute it.
They release an official platform before the election, and that was not their position. They will "... oppose any efforts by the Republicans to roll back the historic net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission enacted last year." Page thirteen.
I think the fact that you had to reach back 150 years to find a practical example demonstrates my point pretty well. It is clearly much more likely that we'd see NN policy pushed forward by one of the two parties before we'd see a 3rd party do it, to suggest otherwise is just wishful thinking.
I suggested that net neutrality will be decided by the courts, as that is the position of both major parties currently. As that makes the vote less important, the best use of your ballot is to support someone with a better view on the subject. The Democrats have no reason to change their strategy if it already secured your vote.
Obama was president while the Republicans held the legislature hostage. It was a miracle his administration was able to ask for and get any legislation passed at all; it was easily the most obstructionist congress ever. He couldn't even appoint a Supreme Court Justice because Mitch McConnell wouldn't allow congress to hold hearings - that's how impossible a situation he was in.
Obama did exactly as much as he was able to do with the powers he had. He wasn't about to try the kinds of stunts our current president thinks he can.
And speaking frankly, as a black person, I don't think he even could have tried to pull these kinds of stunts - he would have been impeached and booted, as any President pulling these kinds of fascist, dictatorial moves should be.
(Indeed, they did force a major health care reform bill through with zero Republican support, mirroring how a major tax reform bill was forced through with zero Democrat support a few weeks ago.)
In any case, the two year period between 2009 and 2010 was spent almost entirely on the economy. Which given how strong the Obama-era recovery was, seems to be have been time well spent.
Because Republicans (and some Democrats, too) have consistently opposed that when it was a legislative issue, and Republicans currently have a majority, preventing Democrats from passing, well, anything without their support.
> Instead of trying to block that from happening, since it's Republicans who are trying to do that.
The Republican bill would explicitly allow paid prioritization and other practices that are contrary to net neutrality, and would prohibit stronger state protections of net neutrality. It is therefore a bill to prevent rather than protect neutrality.
> Why was NN so easy to repeal in the first place?
Because Republicans prevented a legislative solution, repeatedly.
> Why didn't Obama do a proper job if it's such an important issue?
Because the US President isn't a dictator that can impose laws or make “super regulations” that cannot be repealed under future administrations.
> Which is why every single large company is opposed to the change.
Huh? Large companies that are ISPs are against net neutrality. Large companies and small companies and medium companies that are edge providers tend to be for it. There is no side where all large companies fall.
Upstart companies with spikes in usage may be killed because they can't get the bandwidth they need at the same low rates the incumbent players get.
They are? Which bills?
Seriously just fucking read them. What a complete joke.
>Except as provided in paragraph (2), nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of broadband internet access service providers to offer specialized services.
Oh okay. Let's read (2)
>(2) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN PRACTICES.—Specialized services may not be offered or provided in ways that threaten the meaningful availability of broadband internet access service or that have been devised or promoted in a manner designed to evade the purposes of this section.
NEAT. What is meaningful availability? Oh and I like how the same party is seeking to greatly increase the scope of what defines "broadband" (i.e., they're lowering standards).
The right+ in this country is literally our biggest threat to a prosperous and secure existence. Always dishonest, always disingenuous, always harmful, and always a complete waste of time.
Healthcare, the economy, and general social policies. I'm so tired of dealing with this crap.
Oh, and Obama wasn't born in Kenya
The other objective of those who brought the vote is to illustrate just how few, if any, of those on the other side will vote to oppose the FCC's new rules. This can be weaponized on the ground in later elections, especially competitive districts -- or in this case, states.
Moreover, if you think issue as obscure and technical as NN would be important enough for a senator to break with their own party, you are deluding yourself. The only way to make it so is to wage blatantly false campaign like "without NN you'd be paying 100x for Internet tomorrow and all your favorite sites would be blocked" - which is also kinda too late anyway, because we already know it's not true. Hoping that the average voter can appreciate the fine points of the tug of war between backbone providers and content generators is, as I said, delusional.
 http://thehill.com/policy/technology/364528-poll-83-percent-...  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/12/12...
You think wrong. Actually, there's three levels of wrong here.
1. Not everybody thinks that government regulations are the best way to solve the problems, especially ones largely created by government regulations.
2. Not everybody thinks that this particular way of regulations that Obama's FCC took is the best way to solve the problem.
3. If people disagree with you about particular way of solving the problem, it doesn't mean they are for not solving the problem.
And, of course, most of the population wouldn't change their vote for Senator because of such niche issue, especially if the best argument here is "Comcast is the monopoly, NN wouldn't solve it but if you don't vote for NN it would be bad".
Also in 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives had a disapproval vote which passed 240-179, since republicans were in the majority at that time. All but 2 republicans voted to disapprove the FCC order, while all but 6 democrats voted in support of the order.
The issue here is that some industries, particularly industries with a high barrier to entry and low returns due to existing competition, are incredibly difficult to enter. The internet service provider industry happens to be one of those industries that form monopolies.
(The House has another procedure called a discharge petition to force votes on things that are supported by a majority of representatives but opposed by a majority of the majority party -- it seems unlikely that there are enough votes in the House to force a net neutrality vote, though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discharge_petition)
According to the article, it appears that the call for CRA will:
> "Democratic senators have collected enough support to force a vote to block the changes from taking effect."
> "To take effect, the CRA would need majority votes in both houses, in addition to sign-off from the president."
It's not clear to me if the Senate would vote first, and, if the vote fails, whether the House would also be required to vote.
Note well: I take no position on whether this was his actual reason, or just a smoke screen.
Comcast was blocking bitorrent traffic in 2008. 1
Verizon blocked tethering apps in 2008. 1
AT&T blocked FaceTime in 2012. 1
Comcast imposed data caps for all streaming services except their own offered through xBox live in 2008. 1
Comcast currently exempts its own Stream TV service from data caps. 2
I dug that up by googling for 5 minutes.
It's important to fight for the things that matter to us.
At least in SF in the past 5 years, Comcast seems to have upgraded 100Mbps connections to 1Gbps connections. Not sure whether that translates to a bigger shared pipe for the city as a whole, but it certainly looks like a good amount of improvement in $:bits, at least in comparison with $:sqFt.
On a no-contract comcast plan I'm paying the same price for 250 MBPS down now. It's good they finally got fiber, because there is no way their DSL offering would be considered competitive, or a viable alternative to comcast (the only other provider I have).
I'm not even in some random part of SF. I'm on Valencia, in the Mission, 3 blocks from BART, which is pretty central. The fact that I have only 2 internet service providers in such a dense part of town and one that doesn't really have a competitive offering is sad, and also why "net neutrality" is necessary until real competition exists.
I'd still rather give them that money than Comcast any.
Honestly I would like to see the effective monopoly on physical layer internet broken up. Allow municipalities own the cables under the street and and not allow Comcast and others to block companies like Google from expanding by blocking access to the last mile. There is a lot of unused dark fiber in lots of places that could have supported 1Gbps a long time ago but doesn't
Is 12% "insane"? Which one would be the "sane" one?
Comcast has raised speeds from about 16 mbps to gigabit in the last ten years, through multiple rounds of DOCSIS upgrades.
As to access to the last mile: that’s already the law. Pole and conduit owners are required to lease out access at non-discriminatory rates. Comcast owns few if any poles. They lease access from the power company or the phone company, just like Google would have to do.
As for the policy side, you need textbooks and primary sources. Telecom is a highly regulated market with almost a century of regulations, precedent, compromises, etc. Reading an Ars Technica or Tech Crunch article on it is not educational. I recommend Master Switch by Tim Wu, and Telecom Law and Policy by Benjamin and Speta (disclosure: I’m biased because Speta was my professor in law school).
Even just 30 miles south from SF, Comcast is crap because there's less competition there.
Comcast advertises on broadcast TV all over the bay area "gigabit now available in your area". So I'd think penetration is pretty high now.
Now, I'd rather pay pretty much anyone other than Comcast, and in particular I'd rather not pay $170 for gigabit, and I'd rather have symmetric FTTH, but hey, someone finally brought the bandwidth and I put my money where my mouth is.
I wouldn't read too much into that. Here in Boston, the Verizon vans have sported "get FiOS now!" advertisements for more than a decade.
But FiOS is simply not available in most of the area.
In most of the US you'd be lucky to break 5Mbit with DSL even in close proximity to the CO.
I suspect the best hope for net neutrality is for states to adopt it themselves at the state level.
Dems should run on it, win and sign it into law for good!
Congress can actually craft internet specific legislation and should. It seems like Title II has become the end game for many because of pure politics, not because it is a good solution. Remember, parts of Title II had to be ignored to get this square peg to fit.
No, don't vote for this. Develop an actual, specific policy if that is what you want. I fear that after Title II is enacted it would be very difficult to move to better policy in the future.
The CRA route (restoring Title II classification) may not be perfect, but it's the only remotely viable strategy on Capitol Hill. (And it's still a long shot, at best.)
TBH, I've lost track of who supposedly supports what and why. The votes and arguments on the NN debate, in our political sphere, seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with policy anymore, so it's hard to "predict" how someone will vote.
Personally, I would love to see last loop unbundling for broadband.
Net Neutrality regulation by the FCC is certainly not an optimal situation; it's trying to make the best of a highly suboptimal situation because there is no feasible path to an optimal situation.
I'm all for net neutrality, but I would also much rather Congress made it a law rather than relying solely on title ii.
I'm gonna say this flat out: Do you believe in net neutrality? Because this argument that you're concern trolling with leads me to believe that you don't actually believe in it. Trying to give supposed "advice" to advance a goal—that doesn't actually do so—is deceptive.
I'm also not an elected representative of the people.