Watch the Open Commission Meeting
Get FCC Updates
Syndicate
Subscribe to Blog Posts
Subscribe to Blog Comments
|

Categories Category: From the Chairman
Category: Rule-Making
Category: Policy
Category: Events

Archives Archives for December 2010
Archives for September 2010
Archives for August 2010
Archives for May 2010
Archives for April 2010
Archives for March 2010
Archives for February 2010
Archives for January 2010
Archives for December 2009
Archives for November 2009
Archives for October 2009

Live Blogging the Commission Meeting

October 22nd, 2009 by George Krebs

Postscript

Thank you for joining us today. This morning saw a productive Open Commission Meeting and we are now looking forward to the Rulemaking process that will transpire over the coming months. These discussions will shape the openness of the Internet. Please add your voice as we seek public input. As a reminder, all videos, slides, documents and other resources can be found on our new Open Meeting portal. Please continue to follow our Open Internet efforts and stay up to date on all FCC happenings through FCC.gov/Connect.

Open Meeting Live Blog

10:05AM EDT
Chairman Julius Genachowski opens the meeting, recognizes a handful of helpful staffers, and outlines the agenda. Today’s Open Commission Meeting will focus on one item. Commissioners will consider a proposed rulemaking on Open Internet.

10:13AM EDT
The presentation begins, “We present to you a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks public input on draft rules to preserve an open internet.” There is good precedent for this movement toward an open internet. “The Commission has considered the issue of Internet openness in a wide variety of contexts and proceedings.” A policy statement released in 2005, several enforcement actions, and a notice of inquiry on broadband industry practices in 2007 are among those steps taken toward the issue.

10:24AM EDT
Specifically, the presenters mention that the FCC previously created four principles regarding the management internet. Today’s Notice will add two more principles to the list and will seek to codify them. The six principles are below:

“Under the draft rules, subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not:
1) prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user’s choice over the Internet;
2) prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user’s choice;
3) prevent any of its users from connecting to and using on its network the user’s choice of lawful devices that do not harm the network;
4) deprive any of its users of the user’s entitlement to competition among network providers, application providers, service providers, and content providers.
5) A provider of broadband Internet access service must treat lawful content, applications, and services in a nondiscriminatory manner.
6) A provider of broadband Internet access service must disclose such information concerning network management and other practices as is reasonably required for users and content, application, and service providers to enjoy the protections specified in this rulemaking.”

10:26AM EDT
The Notice will seek comment and input on these principles and their affect on internet services. With the tremendous growth of mobile and wireless broadband enabled devices, there will be a  large question concerning the application of these principles to those devices.
There is no doubt that this is a momentous day for the Commission and the trajectory of the internet. The conclusion of the presentation reflects this. “Today’s Notice is the beginning of the process towards adopting clear, enforceable, and common sense rules of the road that broadband providers and Internet companies of all sizes can build their businesses around.”

10:29AM EDT
Following the presentations, each Commissioner is given a chance to deliver a statement. Chairman Genachowski cedes the microphone to Commissioner Michael Copps and he begins. “This is a truly historic day at the FCC. It is historic because the Commission takes a long stride, perhaps its longest ever, in ensuring a free, open, and dynamic internet. While in one sense today’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking marks a natural progression from our adoption of the Internet Policy Statement in 2005, in reality it is the clearest statement yet that we will ensure that the genius of the Internet is not subverted as it leaves its infancy and begins to come of age.”

10:33AM EDT
Commissioner Copps, highlighting the central role that consumers play in shaping the direction of FCC policy, continues. “I have advocated long and hard for the Commission to establish a mechanism to ensure that consumers have continued access to a vibrant, open Internet—an Internet that was born on openness, thrived on openness, and depends on openness to realize its going-forward potential.  This Commission will act, I predict, to maintain that openness. …The principles I pushed for in the Internet Policy Statement four years ago focused on consumer rights.  This is, after all, a consumer protection agency.  While just about everybody gains from the availability of an open Internet, no one gains so much as consumers. …We need to recognize that the gatekeepers of today may not be the gatekeepers of tomorrow.  Our job is not so much to mediate among giants as it is to protect consumers.”

10:42AM EDT
In this next statement, Commissioner Robert McDowell notes that he appreciates the collaboration between the slate of Commissioners but emphasizes that they do not agree on all policy recommendations. He contends that internet providers have taken care of the problems and the hiccups that have arisen.

10:58AM EDT
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn shares her experience running a small newspaper in South Carolina. With the assistance of the internet she may have been able to adequately compete with the larger newspapers and media outlets in the area. The internet is a crucial pillar of our society and our economy that we must protect, she explains in supporting today’s Notice.

11:05AM EDT
Commissioner Meredith Baker also acknowledges the collegiality among the commissioners while noting their differences on some policies. As for the current proposal, she cautions against adding additional rules, saying, “Before imposing new rules, we need to carefully think through all potential unintended consequences that could harm consumers by increasing prices, impeding innovation, eliminating choices, and/or reducing quality of service.” Although she will dissent in the current matter, Commissioner Baker states that she agrees that “it is reasonable to take a step back and ask tough and probing questions about the Internet as it exists today and about where we want it to be tomorrow.” Her reservations aside,  “a complete and accurate understanding of the internet ecosystem” is vital.

11:19AM EDT
In the last statement of the five commissioners, Chairman Genachowski advocates strongly on behalf of the concept of Open Internet and for this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in particular.  This begins with the central idea that “we must promote investment and innovation broadly.” In outlining his beliefs he says, “Government’s role in preserving openness is important but also modest.  It should be no greater than necessary to achieve the core goal of preserving a free and open Internet.” Essentially the goal is to minimize the roll in government, not to enlarge it. Addressing the fears of those who believe this will constitute an overreach, he clarifies:

“Government should promote competition.  It should protect consumers’ right to access the lawful content, applications, and services of their choosing.  It should ensure that there is no central authority preventing people or businesses from communicating over the Internet. …This Commission fully agrees that government must not restrict the free flow of information over the Internet.”

To end the Commission’s Open Meeting the Chairman says, “I am pleased to see leaders outside the Commission working to find common ground on enforceable rules.  Given the importance of an open Internet to prosperity and opportunity for all Americans, our country deserves no less.”

The Chairman motions for a vote and all five commissioners vote in favor of pursuing the Rulemaking . Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Copps and Clyburn vote yes without qualifications. Commissioners Baker and McDowell “dissent in part, concur in part,” meaning they support the inquiry but not the associated underlying arguments.

11:45AM EDT
With the structured portion of the meeting having come to a close, a press conference will begin shortly.

11:51AM EDT
Chairman Genachowski begins the press conference and is taking questions.

One reporter asks about the connection between the Broadband Plan and Open Internet. “The Broadband process has always assumed…that there needs to be a free and open internet, it needs to be preserved,” the Chairman responds. Though with regards to the overlap between the two, “we’ll be dealing with them in separate proceedings.”

Following another question, the Chairman makes a point that he wishes to emphasize, “There’s nothing in anything we’ve suggested” that would indicate that the FCC will meddle with companies’ delivery of the internet.  “We’re not going to require anyone to come to the FCC and ask permission,” he says. Instead, this Notice is focused on “how we’re going to codify the rules of the road.”

Many of the questions asked of the Chairman seek an answer concerning specific effects of codifying the six open Internet principles. He explains that these cannot be answered now. These issues “will be addressed vigorously” during the rulemaking process, Genachowski replies. Through this process, he assures the assembled reporters, answers will arise in the months to come.

  1. Guest says:

    Frankly, because ISPs have become local monopolies (two ISPs in a region providing the same horrible and overpriced service), any form of deregulation regarding the Internet would be a disaster. There is no competition, no incentive to provide better service. The United States is behind in regards to access (and quality of access) to the Internet. Compared to the rest of the world, our ISPs are a joke and crooks.

    Net Neutrality is a must! It provides an incentive for ISPs to provide more robust and reliable service. It’ll prevent discrimination between services available and help to improve the economy rather than to cripple it. John McCain has no real say in this matter – them an doesn’t even know how to use a computer, let alone send an email.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  2. Guest says:

    John McCain naming his bill the “Internet Freedom Act” is like George Bush naming the “Clear Skies Initiative”. I suppose at some point he is planning to say, “Who could vote against freedom?”

    McCain’s bill only gives the People the freedom to be screwed by telecommunications conglomerates. The threat of slowing down peoples’ connections is just a boogey man AT&T and co. are using to scare us into allowing them to direct our national policy to a point where they can charge us more for (comparatively) less and direct our traffic to their business partners.

    Comcast has already tried throttling the traffic of applications they didn’t like. They only stopped because of the threat of Net Neutrality regulations. The dirty little secret is that Comcast’s network can handle dramatically more traffic at much higher speeds than it does right now. Their corporate strategy is to slowly increase the speeds they offer to their customers so their marketing department can always claim to have the fastest speeds. This tidbit is taken directly from the employee training materials for Comcast High Speed Internet Tech Support.

    The situation is much the same with the advent of 4G wireless communications. There are many ways to get around bandwidth bottlenecks. Offer 3G connections to customers who use less bandwidth for a lower price. Shotgun two 4G connections for wireless customers who use more bandwidth, like we used to do with dial-up 56k modems.

    Redirect some of that money slated for executive bonuses to upgrade and improve the network!!

    The notion that the free market will regulate itself is a fallacy that has been disproven many times. Have we forgotten our current financial crisis so soon? It’s not even over yet!

    All industries need regulation. Those who argue for the absence of regulation are really just greedy robber barons (and their foolish, misguided intellectual flunkies) trying to get even richer by screwing over everyone else.

    The FCC needs to act to make the Internet free by ensuring a level playing field. Net Neutrality is the only way to do so.

    Final note: FOLLOW THE MONEY!! AT&T purchases John McCain and he immediately introduces a bill to increase AT&T’s profits. That’s Cause and Effect in action.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (36 votes cast)
    • Guest says:

      Yes, follow the money. Google and its CEO are spending millions lobbying for “network neutrality.”

      VA:F [1.6.5_908]
      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  3. Morgan Burke says:

    Compromise is important in democracy and I will tend to give elected officials the benefit of the doubt on most issues, even if they disagree with me. When it comes to net neutrality, though, if they are not in support of it, there is no way they will ever win my vote. The internet is crucial to the economy, to having a vibrant press that will increasingly supplant traditional media, and it will only become more important as we proceed into the future. I like capitalism, and think the motivation for profit is good. But the internet is too important to leave all the decisions about its stewardship to corporations that are often not motivated by any principles BESIDES profit. As a medium for commerce and the exchange of ideas, it needs to be as free as possible, with no potential for censorship or interference. Net neutrality builds a foundation for this. What I have the ability to read or do on the internet, provided it’s legal, should never be circumscribed by the whims of some company. Besides, companies talk about needing an incentive to upgrade their infrastructure. What they can’t seem to admit is that net neutrality IS that incentive. What better incentive is there to than to not let them sit on their duff and give us an inferior product instead of actually improving their own infrastructure?

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (21 votes cast)
  4. James says:

    The isp’s maintain a monopoly, therefor they must be regulated and allow net neutrality. If I had 5 isp providers to choose from, I’d say let them do what they want, but my only choice is comcast and that is why there is a need for government oversight.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (27 votes cast)
    • Chuck Nichols says:

      I too have comcast. However I have choices. I can acess Verizon,but this is costly. It is not better signal or strength. How do you propose to add other companies that provide access to your area? Are we going to force all companies to build phyisical plants in every area so all can have 5 choices?
      I do not like the customer service Comcast supplies but, their uoload and download speeds are virtually the best in the country. If your relating to cost.
      Then price controls may be in order. This legislation is not going to address this concern.
      Chuck

      VA:F [1.6.5_908]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. C. Alan Zoppa says:

    Let’s keep the Internet free and open– it’s been good to us.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (19 votes cast)
    • Chuck Nichols says:

      I agree. As it is now! We all are aware that any teenage hacker can find out anything and get into even the pentegon. So any changes made by our government will not stop any of this activity. It will only grant them authority to force more regulation which in turn will cost us more money that we do not have.Lets stop wasting our money first and then we can stop wasting our time.
      Chuck

      VA:F [1.6.5_908]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. Bill says:

    Net Neutrality is ESSENTIAL to me having freedom to surf the internet and get to what I want.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (25 votes cast)
    • Chuck Nichols says:

      It will also give your permission to the government to watch your every move.
      Talk about Big Brother!
      Chuck

      VA:F [1.6.5_908]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. christopher says:

    Allowing companies to tier and or block bandwidth allocations will result in the censoring of the internet in the interest of the giant telecom companies. The way it is set up now, little sites and small ventures can still access the billions of people online. Allowing telecoms to tweak the traffic will result in these small sites being throttled out. Their bandwidth will not be allowed.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (26 votes cast)
  8. Joshua Brown says:

    To call this a “government takeover” of the internet is perhaps the very definition of hyperbole. The internet should be viewed as a commodity good, but one whose value is increasingly necessary (perhaps not as necessary as electricity or water, but right up there with utilities in general). When delivered *exclusively* by for-profit corporations, there is a clash of profit motives versus delivering a good. What network neutrality means, at its heart, is that corporations that deliver bandwidth cannot discriminate against how that bandwidth is used. If you look at all major ISPs globally, the US ISPs charge the highest rates for the lowest speeds, even when you adjust for population density and geographic dispersion. We have one of the worst possible systems, not the best (and this extends to Canada, too).

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.8/5 (21 votes cast)
  9. Guest says:

    I support Net Neutrality, please do not ‘close’ the web. That would be the most devistating thing to our entire civilization.

    The internet is the largest advancement of our time. You want to regulate it by giving corporations the ability to charge for access to websites? That is ridiculous. We built this web. Without millions of people creating content there would be no internet, remember that.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (15 votes cast)
  10. Guest says:

    Wow, way to drink the kool-aid!

    I suggest you go back and study what Net Neutrality actually is and stop regurgitating what your employer tells you.

    And in regards to if we think there is unlimited bandwidth – if companies invested more in infrastructure and not raising profits for share holders, why couldn’t we get to a level where band-width simply doesn’t matter? It will happen.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.9/5 (9 votes cast)
  11. Shironeko says:

    An open Internet is the only way we can preserve It’s neutrality and freedom.
    Please don’t let greedy companies and close minded politicians ruin everyone’s dreams.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (14 votes cast)
  12. EBK says:

    Net neutrality should not even be a question. It is the interests of Comcast and Verizon against it, and the interests of the American people for it. It’s time for the FCC to show which of those two groups they support.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (19 votes cast)
  13. Jonathan Bond says:

    Open internet, to me, is the digital analog (pun intended) of the First Amendment. Without protection of the freedom of information transfer on the internet, individual rights can easily be infringed.

    A few examples:
    1. FoxNews.com is blocked (or significantly slowed) by CableCompanyY because (hypothetically) they offer full streaming content on their website. If a user watches on their computer instead of on their TV, CableCompanyY receives no ad revenue, so it’s in their best interest to prevent users from accessing this content. The company is under NO obligation to tell users about this, so users may just think FoxNews.com is slow, when in reality it’s being throttled by the cable company. The cable company can easily claim, as they currently do, that “we simply do this for bandwidth management purposes”, but they clearly benefit from this situation. The same could happen with any station that offers streaming content online, or websites such as Hulu.

    2. A candidate for political office is using video server Q to promote his stance on net neutrality. CableCompanyY is in opposition to this view, so they simply throttle bandwidth to Q so the movies are unwatchable.

    3. Search Engine B advertises heavily on the cable TV network of CableCompanyY. To promote use, CableCompanyY throttles bandwidth on competitive Search Engine C. Users switch to Search Engine B because of the slow response of C, and B continues to advertise heavily on Y because of the switch they can attribute to “advertising”. The advertising in this case is nothing but a thinly veiled bribe.

    4. CableCompanyY has negative press over some issue or another. To keep it quiet, they slow down all traffic related to that news story.

    Of course, there’s the VOIP example as well, and many, many others.

    In terms of the “Free market” regulating itself, as the ISPs like to claim, there are a number of reasons why this is NOT the case in this scenario:
    1. Monopoly or Oligopoly of high speed internet services in many locales. Within spitting distance of Washington DC and inside the beltway, I can only get 2 high speed ISPs, and one is much faster than the other. This gives incredible market power to the dominant local ISP. In addition, with the relatively small number of ISPs with large high
    2. Service contracts. Many companies are now offering introductory rates with the requirement of a 1-2 year service contract with steep early cancellation fees. This prohibits users from switching when the ISP does something not to their liking – they’re locked in.
    3. The hassle of switching providers. It requires at least 1 day spent at home, not working, waiting for service to be removed and then reconnected by the new company, which many people simply can’t afford, especially given the current economic environment. In addition, since many companies are now TV/Internet/Phone, and with the growth of VOIP, cutting your service severs all communication until the new lines can be hooked up – a tremendous inconvenience. This, too, prevents users switching service.

    This is a bill to keep the internet Free and Open, not a “government takeover of the internet”. This is the First Amendment of the internet – freedom of speech/information, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (19 votes cast)
  14. Matt Powers says:

    Net neutrality is key. Let’s keep it that way. Comcast et. al. essentially have monopolies and charge and arm and leg for Internet access. Don’t let them dictate what gets transmitted.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (15 votes cast)
  15. Kathryn Geraghty says:

    I am pro-net neutrality.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (12 votes cast)
  16. Matt F says:

    Regulations to preserve a free and open Internet are not only a moral imperative–given the astounding leaps of knowledge, community, and entrepreneurship created by the open Internet–they are necessary to PREVENT offensive intrusions on private communication and individual choice. Saying that Net Neutrality regulations are a government intrusion is like saying that the Secret Service is a government intrusion on people’s right to harm the President. If the government doesn’t have a clear set of standards, like those proposed here, then do you know what the alternative is? The same dreadful companies who provide TV, phone, and Net access–complete with crushingly inept customer service–will be in charge of who can say what to whom online and for how much money. THAT is the intrusion. With Net Neutrality regulations, the government isn’t saying “you can do this but not that over the Internet,” the government is STOPPING OTHERS from doing so! Remember that MOST of our communications will take place over the Internet soon–phone, video, email, everything. If the Post Office had computers which read your mail by x-ray and charged you a subscription fee if you want to be allowed to send birthday cards, you would be FURIOUS. Well, brother, that’s exactly what the telecom companies are draping themselves in the American Flag and saying is their right to do. Don’t let them get away with it.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)
  17. Max Power says:

    In a totally free market, if I my internet provider was behaving in a way I found objectionable, I would just switch providers, or start my own if demand was high enough.

    Internet access can never be a free market with today’s technology, however, because whatever company owns the fiber that runs to your house has a monopoly over your internet access. And this company was only able to afford to do so with the help of government subsidies and rights-of-way.

    Net Neutrality is simply an antitrust measure to prevent internet provider monopolies and oligopolies from extorting website owners.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (10 votes cast)
  18. Buldwren says:

    The internet is an open forum for people of all walks of life. It’s a nexus of information that provides everybody equal access.

    Infringing on this freedom and openness by allowing payment plans and tiers of internet access… Paying for access to websites like access to television channels… That’s blatant censorship, and I thoroughly believe that’s wrong.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
  19. Matt Lloyd says:

    I don’t really have anything interesting to contribute to the conversation, other than to say I strongly support net neutrality. Kudos for anyone in the government who is willing to do the right thing and support an open/neutral internet. We’ve already seen by example the horrible results that happen otherwise, in other industries.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (6 votes cast)
  20. Guest says:

    Here’s hoping that net-neutrality finally goes somewhere, we’ve been waiting for this for years.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  21. LiZ WeAtHeRWaRe says:

    We CaNoT GiVE ThE GoVmEnT CoNTrOl Of ThE InTeRnEt. NO OBAMAINTERNET NOW!!!!!!!! ItS PlOT 4 ThEm 2 BlOcK FOX NEWS!!!!! I BELIEVE GLENN BECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 1.2/5 (23 votes cast)
    • Guest says:

      Trolls on a dot gov.

      VA:F [1.6.5_908]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    • Brian Kennedy says:

      I can appreciate a good parody when I see one, but this is just lame. You exaggerated it too much. People this crazy rarely know how to use a computer.

      VA:F [1.6.5_908]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  22. Jerry H. says:

    If you allow the big telcoms to eliminate network neutrality, your going to find out the hard way that you will be paying big dollars for crappier services. Already we lag far behind the rest of the world in terms of hi speed broadband connectivity simply because Time Warner, Comcast, and AT&T are content screwing us at current rates with crappy old infrastructure.

    They make massive profits but will not reinvest in infrastructure until they get Network Neutrality lifted so that they can pass on the charge of updating their systems to YOU! This is a simple issue. They want to maintain and increase profits, and make you PAY for what they should be doing competitively on their own. It is a whole lot less expensive to change policy, than do the right thing, so you see all the shills showing up here, PAID BY THEM, to steal your rights.

    The only logical reason to remove network neutrality will be to increase the profits of huge corporate interest. Network neutrality insures FREEDOM OF SPEECH on the internet, prevents CORPORATE THIEVERY of a tool created and still subsidized by our TAX DOLLARS, and promotes the grass roots opportunities of small business USA.

    If your a small business owner imagine how bad your situation would be if you had to pay several hundred dollars a month to host your website in high traffic zones.

    Do you like Google. Kiss FREE search good bye if the the major telcoms eliminate network neutrality, you’ll pay for every search in their plans.

    You think cable TV is expensive, wait till you see how much they charge you to watch a single video online.

    GREED. This is about GREED.
    Squelching FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

    Corporations have no interest in serving the public interest. DON’T GIVE ON INCH ON THIS ISSUE…

    THERE IS NOTHING TO NEGOTIATE except perhaps stronger laws to protect our rights online.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.6/5 (11 votes cast)
  23. Guest says:

    Net neutrality is important and a right! Case closed. Don’t give big business any more influence on our lives. We’ve bailed these suckers out enough already!

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)
  24. Not a Moron says:

    Pray tell how net neutrality relates to a ’socialized internet’. The lobbyists are the ones fighting net neutrality. You speak about how politicians don’t know anything about the internet – John McCain himself admitted that he knows little about the internet, so why on Earth is he the one proposing this anti net-neutrality bill? Kinda spoils your argument, no?

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  25. Evan says:

    Net neutrality is legislation that will ensure our freedoms are implemented in the electronic world. Without this, anyone can be censored on the internet for any reason and would lead to an utter breakdown in modern-day communication.

    If we truely are for freedom, we need to express it by passing Net Neutrality acts that will protect our freedom of information, expression, and speech.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
  26. Dan Mayer says:

    I really support net neutrality. I pay for a connection to the FULL internet to do what I want. Not to some walled garden that is slowed for their purposes. As it is we barely have any competition in broadband. You give them the ability to traffic shape my net experience and all the best services will be taxed to my net or run slow. It would hurt innovation, progress, research, and put America even further behind in technology than it already is.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
  27. Guest says:

    I believe Net Neutrality is a fundamental requirement for the ISPs who have benefited from government (i.e. taxpayer) largess, starting with the development of internet technology by DARPA (ARPAnet) and continuing today with internet traffic going over and in parallel with government-created & subsidized distribution networks.

    If the ISPs want to be able to do anything they want with their bandwidth, they need to build their own from the ground up. If they want to keep using what they have, they need to compensate the US taxpayer for all of the free stuff they got, along with interest (that money could have been used to do other things), and a cut of all the profits derived from the taxpayer investment in proper proportion (we ought to get something for our investment).

    Otherwise they need to accept the fact that they got where they are with the help of the US taxpayer, that the Internet’s magic lies in its purely meritocratic character (capitalists love meritocracies, right?), and that they stand to make loads more money with the unpredictable and extremely creative neutral Internet than they ever could with a predictable and stifled corporate Internet.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
  28. Bill Kirby says:

    The Internet belongs to no one and yet it belongs to everyone. I support net neutrality. Keep things on an open and fair playing field. Do not allow big companies to start mucking it up.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
  29. Armitage says:

    McCain and anyone who supports his bill is ignorant on the issues or a pawn of corporate interests. Passage of this bill would be the internet equivalent of segregating highways by what brand of gasoline you use. Enlighten your friends and family about Net Neutrality. We must not allow corporations to declare ownership of the internet!

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (6 votes cast)
  30. Jim d says:

    Net neutrality ensures that ISP’s cannot extort website owners (and end customers) by charging premiums in order to visit certain websites. Ultimately, an ISP is routing bytes from a source to a given destination, and the per byte cost to them is equal regardless of the source, the destination, or the type of traffic.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (6 votes cast)
  31. John Stevens says:

    STOP JOHN MCCAIN – Protect our freedoms. Don’t inhibit the internet.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)
  32. Gordon Myers says:

    YES Net Neutrality! Big corporations like AT&T are abusing their power. We need Net Neutrality now to protect our liberties! Net Neutrality is a good thing!

    Concerned US Citizen – Wisconsin

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
  33. Daniel says:

    As a communications engineer, I believe that it is important to look at how such legislation will push innovation. Many will claim that requiring a traffic agnostic policy for all ISPs (a dumb pipe) may hurt network innovation. Rationally, this could not be farther from the truth. An internet that is completely indifferent to the type or source of traffic creates network parity through the very nature of the way routing algorithms balance traffic across many nodes. If ISPs were allowed to close down their or limit certain traffic, it would foster the creation of proprietary networks intended to provide or maximize the ability to provide a particular service. This creates a series of segmented, non-cooperative networks (think – cellular phone service) which only hurts consumers in the end.

    Rather, a “dumb pipe” scenario places the emphasis on cooperative network development, where researches and engineers can work collectively on how to efficiently design the next series of protocol stacks and routing algorithms to accommodate the changing demands of internet consumers. This is how it needs to be, Net Neutrality must become law.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (9 votes cast)
  34. Nohn says:

    I am a data network engineer who runs private MPLS networks using QOS to prioritize voice and video traffic. I will explain why net neutrality is critical to facilitate the efficient use of bandwidth on the Internet, and why net neutrality is a good thing for the vast majority of Internet Service Providers, and well as beneficial to all Internet end users.

    QOS is a term used identify what people like myself do to ensure that certain “classes” of traffic, like voice and video, are delivered with as little delay and interruption as possible across a network. How this is accomplished is to configure each piece of equipment that voice and/or video traffic travels over to both recognize the traffic, and mark it for priority treatment over other kinds of traffic, like email and web browsing. Traffic can be prioritized on source and destination as well as type of traffic. When bandwidth becomes limited, this often means that web and email traffic will degrade so voice and video can go through. In order for QOS to reliably prioritize traffice, each leg of the data’s journey must be configured in a compatible way. The implications here are obvious, and if one gives any thought to it, far ranging in terms of impact and effect.

    First, it should be obvious that the Internet is comprised of countless networks, all run by different entities. There are larger organizations who run networks often called “backbone providers” – AT&T, Verizon, TimeWarner, and so forth. These backbone providers connect to each other and countless smaller networks to created the Internet. For QOS to reliably prioritize traffic across the Internet, each network provider must honor the prioritization scheme and traffic tags of all the other network providers.

    At this point, one can see that QOS is not practical Internet-wide without some agreed upon conventions as to how, exactly, to prioritize traffic, and which traffic to prioritize. To call this unlikely is an understatement. Providers with competing content have no incentive to give priority to competitors’ content – i.e. they give their IP telephony traffic priority over the IP telephony traffic of others. Nor is it likely if they do decide to honor competitors’ services, that they will do so in a cmopatible way. In fact, they have considerable incentive to throttle traffic carrying services which compete with their own, which is much easier. Removing network neutrality will guarantee they do so. Consumers will pay the price.

    In addition to misleading claims of “faster video and voice”, the bandwidth that customers currenly enjoy will be immediately cut down – yet they will continue to be charged the same. QOS will have this exact effect, and whatever benefits it may convey will be spordic at best. In the end, the lack of choice will hurt both consumers and the economy.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
  35. Arthur Ketcham says:

    The neutrality of the internet is what has allowed any person or small business to create a presence so easily and inexpensively. This fact alone is why the internet has been so successful, and has generated such a large economic boost to the world, as well as expanding educational access across previously impenetrable boundaries.

    Absent of Network Neutrality, the internet would have evolved to become something much more like Cable TV, where only large media corporations have the ability and capital to have a presence. And we know much much crap and how little educational content is found on American Cable TV.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
  36. Matthew says:

    The neutral internet we have enjoyed is the single most important invention in the history of mankind. How anyone could dispute that fact is beyond me.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  37. Ori says:

    Tiered access will ruin the internet. I support strong net neutrality regulation.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
  38. Guest says:

    There is no freedom of choice because there are only few big ISPs in USA and they can agree on blocking various kinds of internet activity or start additionally charging. This is not some kind of place like Sweden where corporation looks for customers… USA in country of big corporations that are too big to fail. And those corporations don’t care about normal citizens.. That is why we need FCC and net neutrality.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  39. Merc says:

    To understand why Net Neutrality is needed you need to take a few steps back.

    Local city governments know their residents don’t like having constant construction on all their city streets. To minimize disruption, they have _given monopolies_ over certain types of infrastructure (for example, phone lines, cable lines, etc.) to one particular company. The perfectly free-market approach would instead allow anybody who wants to offer phone/cable service to lay their own lines, but of course this might lead to roads always being dug up to bury more lines, and some buildings having multiple phone/cable options while others had none.

    This is the fundamental distortion of the free market involved here, but most cities think it’s a necessary compromise so that all their residents can get phone / cable service, but so roads aren’t constantly being dug up.

    Fast forward to today when those telephone / cable lines are carrying internet traffic. The cable TV companies are now seeing people use their cable Internet connections to access Hulu and YouTube, and they don’t like it. The phone companies are seeing people using Skype, and they don’t like it.

    What they want to do now is to take advantage of the monopoly they’ve already been granted by the city to restrict consumer choice, and push them towards their own proprietary video-on-demand and VOIP solutions by not treating all traffic equally, punishing traffic to their competitors and prioritizing their own traffic.

    A free-market solution to the issue isn’t possible unless all the local cable and phone line monopolies are first dissolved and competitors are allowed to lay their own copper all over the city. Most cities won’t even consider this option, so to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by these monopolies, they have to be regulated so they don’t leverage their monopolies to deny consumers choice.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (6 votes cast)
  40. Ironic says:

    Isn’t it ironic that network neutrality is what guarantees that we are able to view this page that is against Comcast’s wishes. Otherwise Comcast could just throttle. Its like censorship. Wake up.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (9 votes cast)
  41. Guest says:

    Simply, these corporations want more power to implement controls on a network which doesn’t belong to them. They have ALLOWED access to it in order to capitalise on it’s mere existence by providing a service. If the Internet is to be treated as a utility, the providers to access said utility should be made to allow equal access amongst all they agree to provide service to.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  42. Ryan r says:

    Net neutrality means that all American’s get the same internet, and not some limited prioritized internet that their ISP decides is best for them. If you don’t support net neutrality then you support the ability for ISP’s to mainpulate your content solely to sell you more products. This can mean that you will no longer be able to access a rival’s products and that encourages monopolization. How can a free market exist if companies are erasing other companies existence??? Net neutrality must pass or else things will get very very bad for the consumer very quickly.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  43. Guest says:

    I’m glad that this issue is finally getting looked at, and it’s starting off on the right foot!

    The Internet is great the way it is now… every piece of information is equal; I can access a friend’s blog just easily as I can access a huge corporation’s website. It should stay this way, and I’m glad network providers are going to be told that all content should be treated the same way. A neutral Internet preserves our freedom of speech, and it also helps smaller companies compete with larger ones.

    All in all, I’m very much in favor of preserving net neutrality!

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
  44. Kayge says:

    There is a fundamental shift in the way people are communicating with each other which is true for not only individuals, but businesses and groups as well. The internet is the cornerstone of this new communication model and limiting the way users communicate will have negative effects on all the above groups.
    Traffic shaping, more commonly known as throttling is being pushed by a very small number of vendors with visions of larger bottom lines and more control over information. Net neutrality in an inherently good thing, and is being supported by numerous bodies as well as millions of users and registered voters.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  45. Ben Towle says:

    I fully support this legislation. NC voter, U.S. citizen, B. Towle

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  46. Kavalec says:

    America needs to grow up. This is, after all, supposed to be the twenty FIRST century.
    Net neutrality makes sure that our data infrastructure is as accessible as our roadways.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  47. Guest says:

    The free flow information, whatever form or method used, must remain unhindered in any manner. Anything else is censorship at its crudest. What if the paper industry began to restrict the amount of paper sold to various newspapers based on how much they used. Do they do this? No. They give discounts to those who purchase more. Same principle here.

    Data flow on the internet has become a vital resource.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  48. Ramon Puntia says:

    We, not as Americans, but as humanity need Net Neutrality.

    Net Neutrality is about everyone having access and equal availability.

    Net Neutrality is not about the government or the FCC regulating the internet.

    Net Neutrality has absolutely nothing to do with the free market – anyone telling you this is twisting the argument in favor of those who would see Net Neutrality fail.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)
  49. Eric Williams says:

    If you don’t believe net neutrality is one of the most important social issues of our lifetime then you don’t have a clear understanding of how the Internet is changing the world. Allowing corporate interests to control your access to content will lead to a fundamental erosion of liberty. It will stifle innovation. It will weaken the United States as a whole. The value of a free Internet cannot be overstated.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (10 votes cast)
  50. Guest says:

    Neutrality better happen. The people need the power, not the companies.

    VA:F [1.6.5_908]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (10 votes cast)