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Senator John McCain has introduced Internet Freedom Act of 2009 as alternative to FCC regulations

Net neutrality is one of the top technology topics that President Obama has focused on for his first term and was one of his big topics while campaigning. Obama feels that the neutrality of the internet must be maintained, as does the FCC.

The FCC voted to begin drafting rules yesterday that would require ISPs to treat all web traffic the same. The proposed rules would prevent ISPs from blocking or slowing the bandwidth available to high demand traffic like streaming video or other applications that can strain networks. The proposed rules would allow ISPs to block illegal material like child pornography and spam.

Republican Senator John McCain has introduced legislation that would block the FCCs proposal for regulating the neutrality of the Internet. The AFP reports that McCain said, "the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 [will keep the internet] free from government control and regulation."

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said, "reasonable and enforceable rules of the road [are needed] to preserve a free and open internet." Genachowski points out that these rules are needed because of "some significant situations where broadband providers have degraded the data streams of popular lawful services and blocked consumer access to lawful applications."

Naturally, companies that make their money from the internet are supporting the FCC's proposal. These companies include Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and several other internet firms. McCain calls the FCC's proposal "onerous federal regulation" and calls the proposed rules a "government takeover" of the internet.

ComptuerWorld also reports that McCain does not support including wireless broadband providers in the net neutrality rules saying, "[The wireless industry] exploded over the past 20 years due to limited government regulation."

McCain said of his Internet Freedom Act of 2009, "Today I'm pleased to introduce the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 that will keep the Internet free from government control and regulation. It will allow for continued innovation that will in turn create more high-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who are out of work or seeking new employment. Keeping businesses free from oppressive regulations is the best stimulus for the current economy."



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RE: What about us?
By allometry on 10/23/2009 11:02:44 AM , Rating: -1
Why should you need to be protected? Don't like the ToS, cancel your service. No government intervention needed!


RE: What about us?
By n0ebert on 10/23/2009 11:31:00 AM , Rating: 5
The problem is that there are many people out there that do not have a choice in their provider (myself included) and canceling the service means no internet whatsoever.

I'd love to see that nonsense of allowing ISP's to hold monopoly regions and open everywhere to whatever ISP wants to move in and provide services for those communities.


RE: What about us?
By Samus on 10/23/2009 2:17:37 PM , Rating: 4
Well...this pretty much says it all. At least this guy isn't our president. Who knows what other lame-brain idea's he'd be pushing into legislation. In addition to all the bullshit Bush legislated during his time, specifically deregulation of the bank industry eventually leading to the housing market crash, I don't think McCain understands that REGULATING the internet in any physical form is constitutionally unacceptable.


RE: What about us?
By chrnochime on 10/23/2009 10:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
If I remember correctly I read somewhere that the Bank deregulation, or rather forcing banks to start to lower requirements for loans started in the Carter era. If that is the case(I can't be bother to research further), then you'd be wrong.

And all the BS? Come on, at least he's not trying to bring the States down the tube with the Stimulus package. It's only more than 1 trillion now?

Want to be a Demo supporter, fine. Next time don't try to bring down the rest of us who don't feel like paying out our *ss for gov't hand out.


RE: What about us?
By snakeInTheGrass on 10/24/2009 3:41:21 AM , Rating: 1
Yep, make sure you don't research too much - nothing sucks like finding out there's enough blame to spread around.

How does needing* to bail these companies out now somehow mean there shouldn't have been more oversight of them? There wasn't oversight to begin with and that seems to have worked out pretty well. It sure as hell wasn't because 'well, someone said make bad loans.' There's some pretty deeply entrenched corruption in the system and a LOT of people who were interested in turning a blind eye to what was bound to be a problem, but I guess it's all in one party!?

And yes, there was political pressure to make more risky loans, I also believe starting in the Carter era - idiotic, but not the reason for the problems today. There was a lot of 'the only way we're going to pass this bill removing oversight and allowing mergers or all sorts (Republican) is if you make loans to low income communities (Dems)' in the meantime. 2 wrongs doesn't really make a right - so again, how is that just the Dems fault? Whining about 1 trillion in stimulus when Bush 2 ran up 5 trills in f'ing debt. I love it - I hope you weren't cheerleading the Repubs when they were screwing us all over. Or maybe we can actually kick back and relax about the debt - sure, it went from 5 to 10 trillion, but the dollar is worth half of what it was, so it's really the same anyway, right? I mean, aside from all of our savings being worth half of what they were. Take a look at the gold standard or lack of it and compare to cost of gold / housing / stock market / food / fuel... hope you don't mind that a penny saved is about 1/20th of the penny you earned in the 60's.

At least McCain has learned and now wants to... oh yeah, make sure large ISPs won't have the government watching over them either. What company needs regulations or oversight? Why even have laws?

*I say needing because... well, really, so if some companies had been allowed to fail, the problem would have been? I was just explaining to my kids that banking is a fantastic sector - take people's money doing stupid business when times are good, and then if you fail get bailed out by the people whose money you took. Nice one.

So you're actually right, don't research it - it's too aggravating.


RE: What about us?
By SPOOFE on 10/25/2009 7:11:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
so again, how is that just the Dems fault?

There's a reason they were called "risky" loans: Because they were risky, and without the Dems demanding it, those are loans that would never have been made if greed were the only motivation.

quote:
Whining about 1 trillion in stimulus when Bush 2 ran up 5 trills in f'ing debt.

Five tril in either years vs. 1.5 trillion this year alone? Yes, you've observed that Obama, so far, has been much more spendy than Bush... if one assumes that the President is responsible for expenses, which he's not (there's a reason Congress's approval rating was far lower than Bush's near the end).


RE: What about us?
By SPOOFE on 10/25/2009 7:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
Five tril in EIGHT years; the dangers of relying too much on a spell-checker.


RE: What about us?
By jebo on 10/24/2009 11:26:43 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I don't think McCain understands that REGULATING the internet in any physical form is constitutionally unacceptable.


You realize that it's the FCC and OBAMA that are regulating the internet, right?

McCain is trying to keep the internet free.


RE: What about us?
By alphadog on 10/24/2009 11:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
Net Neutrality = Freedom of Speech.

So, according to you, the Constitution "regulates" our behavior too. Are you against it too?


RE: What about us?
By munky on 10/24/2009 5:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Did you miss the part where the Net Neutrality Act includes provisions to block certain content? No govt agency should have that ability.


RE: What about us?
By foolsgambit11 on 10/24/2009 8:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
First off, it's the ISPs who block the content. They are obliged to block certain illegal activities that happen on their watch. As an analogy, if your store is turned into a place where people openly deal drugs, the government would probably nab you for aiding and abetting. And if, like an ISP, you actually passed the drugs from the seller to the buyer, you'd be in way more trouble with the law.

I'm not saying there aren't logistical issues with implementation, etc., but the principle of the government not allowing a business to be associated with illegal activity is certainly sound, yes?

More on topic...

The problem is, while there's a strong argument that the free market would provide the best internet for the best value for consumers, McCain's bill doesn't ensure that there's actually a free market for internet providers. The free market works only when consumers have the ability to assert their interests in the marketplace, and with the local monopolies prevalent in many parts of the country, that just isn't possible. There are two solutions - the FCC's was to assert the consumers' interest by law. The opposite position would be to open up the local markets to consumer choice. Unfortunately, McCain's bill doesn't do that - it just maintains the status quo, and (to quote NPH) "the status is not quo." If the government isn't going to fight for the consumers' interests, it should at least stop fighting for business' interests.

Of course, breaking up local monopolies would require government action and corporate regulations - anathema to the Republican Party - as well. Probably something like the breakup of Ma Bell. So we won't be seeing any suggestions for that from McCain.

To broaden the scope, why can't the Republicans come up with a better platform than, "Things are working great, let's not change anything"? Because that seems to be their policy on most everything. Heaven forbid they proffer a complete, well thought out solution to the problems of everyday Americans to counter the Democrats in a meaningful and positive way.


RE: What about us?
By alphadog on 10/24/2009 11:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
While I appreciate the backup here, I think the regional monopoly issue is orthogonal to the higher-level concept that it would be to enshrine "freedom of internet" as a version of "freedom of speech".

We could create an environment that favors the breakup of regional monopolies, yet still have the same neutrality issue in that my ISP can slow or prevent YouTube for me, whereas it favors its own version of YouTube.


RE: What about us?
By alphadog on 10/24/2009 11:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
Precisely what kind of lawful content would be blocked and by which provisions?


RE: What about us?
By rcc on 10/23/2009 2:21:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'd love to see that nonsense of allowing ISP's to hold monopoly regions and open everywhere to whatever ISP wants to move in and provide services for those communities


Ok, I agree. But the answer is to get rid of those rules, not add more.


RE: What about us?
By n0ebert on 10/23/2009 2:48:54 PM , Rating: 4
As long as the rules are regulating the kinds of restrictions that ISP's are allowed to place on their customers I'm all for it.

Dropping government regulation of these companies altogether just gives them a free reign to start nickel and diming their customers into the ground while limiting their bandwidth if they're not a 'ultra premium super subscriber' and paying $400/month for the service. I exaggerate the cost, but the idea behind it wouldn't be far from the truth.

From the brief bit I've read in the proposal, the FCC isn't trying to regulate the internet, just regulate the ISP's so they don't go overboard with bandwidth caps and other anti-consumer ideas.


RE: What about us?
By rcc on 10/23/2009 7:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
Once there is free and open competition everywhere, that will creat the control. If you have a choice, you can exercise it, and that is something that the ISPs will take notice of.

ATM I have a choice of Cox, or some DSL with a tenth the speed. Give me and everyone else more options and see what happens. We need a good ISP turf war.


RE: What about us?
By ebakke on 10/23/2009 3:53:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is that there are many people out there that do not have a choice in their provider (myself included) and canceling the service means no internet whatsoever.


Bogus. I simply do not believe you only have one option for connecting to the Internet. You might only have one option that's good enough for your desires, but to claim you only have option is absurd.


RE: What about us?
By Awk on 10/23/2009 5:13:30 PM , Rating: 3
Where I live, in an affluent suburb of a large city on the West coast, I have a choice between very fast but very feature-gimped Comcast or 144k IDSL. Or dialup!

This is not a competitive marketplace. These things do not compete with each other any more than a car dealership and a bicycle shop compete with each other.


RE: What about us?
By michael67 on 10/24/2009 6:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's nice to live in the Netherlands if i am reading post like this,

We have a oversight of the telco's (OPTA), by a independent department of the government like the FCC, that keeps the playing field level for all party's.
It make sure that we don's get over prized, but also that smaller company's don't get over run by the big ones.
We have now one of the best infrastructure in the word if it comes to telecommunications.
And personally i think we have to thank the OPTA for this, by steering the market the right way and promoting competition
http://www2.opta.nl/asp/en/

The result of the work you can see here: http://www.internetten.nl/
And here: http://www.internetten.nl/access/adslprijzen_verge...

And on mobile prizes here: http://bellen.com/mobiel/abonnement/vergelijking-t...


RE: What about us?
By CommodoreVic20 on 10/23/2009 5:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Where I live in North Carolina, I have only one fast internet choice, ATT DSL, thats it. Believe me I've tried to find alternatives and there are none. Its a DSL connection from ATT or dial-up. I know plenty of people in similar situations across the U.S.

Much to my surprise my company tried getting fast internet service in the Atlanta area and there weren't too many choices.

Whether you are aware of this or not, internet service in America keeps quickly falling behind many other countries world wide. It goes without saying how important it is for any country to have fast and affordable internet access to all of its citizens. Just like the health well being of Americans, our internet access will soon fall off the top 100. But don't take my word for it, go read our 'progress' on the matter.


RE: What about us?
By allometry on 10/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: What about us?
By Ananke on 10/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: What about us?
By Taft12 on 10/23/2009 11:33:06 AM , Rating: 5
Government intervention IS needed to eliminate de-facto monopolies (whose networks were subsidized by tax breaks and even publically funded in many cases).

How many cable and DSL internet providers are available to YOU?


RE: What about us?
By GotDiesel on 10/23/2009 12:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
ONE.. and only ONE.. It's a monopoly, it sux ass and I have NO choice.. way to go America..


RE: What about us?
By HrilL on 10/23/2009 12:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
Just one for me too. When there is no competition government regulations are needed.


RE: What about us?
By rcc on 10/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: What about us?
By TSS on 10/23/2009 12:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
As i've understood it (mostly from the discussion on this website though),didn't the de-facto monopolies came from government regulation in the first place? feel free to correct me if i'm wrong though.


RE: What about us?
By HrilL on 10/23/2009 1:01:10 PM , Rating: 3
Yes they did but that was given to the local municipalities to decided what company they wanted to allow rolling out a network and it is up to them now to let other companies roll out networks but that is not going to happen because the current companies lobbyist already own our local politicians.

What a lot of people seem to over look is that that was created by the same industry that now has control of the market. They lobbied hard to get that government mandate. The put it up as an ultimatum "it will be too costly to build out a network if we're not given an area with no competition."


RE: What about us?
By omnicronx on 10/23/2009 1:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize telcos are in their current situation because of government intervention ;)


RE: What about us?
By allometry on 10/23/2009 4:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, government intervention is not needed. These companies have invested heavily in infrastructure and you selfishly believe that that their infrastructure is owned and controlled by the people. Don't take your line for granted. A lot of resources went into providing a backbone to your home.

I have two providers that are available to me. I'm working on ideas to change that. What are you doing?


RE: What about us?
By alphadog on 10/24/2009 11:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
Net Neutrality would not change the current state of competition (or lack thereof), ownership of infrastructure or anything else. Either you don't realize it, or you are just manipulating the discussion.

What it will prevent is abuse of The People, much like freedom of speech allows you to pretty much say anything you want.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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