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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: Come on Senator!
By Bateluer on 10/23/2009 11:31:28 AM , Rating: 5
Cancel my ISP subscription? And go where with it? Access to the Internet may not be a right, but its definitely a necessity. I have only two choices for ISPs, same with most Americans. Voting with my dollar doesn't work in this case because I can either go with Cox Cable or Qwest DSL. Since both the dominant cable and phone companies will implement the same anti-consumer practices, we still get screwed. This is exactly the correct kind of government intervention, the kind that protects us private citizens.

RE: Come on Senator!
By MrBungle123 on 10/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: Come on Senator!
By Yawgm0th on 10/23/2009 12:18:19 PM , Rating: 3
So how exactly are you being "oppressed"? You admitt yourself that there are two companies providing broadband access in your area. That doesn't sound like "oppression" to me pick the one that you like the best and if the other cleans up thier act switch back.
They will both adopt the same policies. The only difference will be bandwidth and the monthly fee.

The market argument doesn't work when the market fails. Two-player oligopolies are generally a good example of market failure -- ISPs are the prime example. The two or three options most people have basically don't compete with each other, so why would their stances on net neutrality vary? It will increase their bottom lines at little to no cost, and as such virtually all ISPs will implement it.

They might as well be colluding.

RE: Come on Senator!
By AEvangel on 10/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: Come on Senator!
By ClownPuncher on 10/23/2009 12:49:29 PM , Rating: 1
In a true free market, I can buy sex slaves and crack cocaine at a Walmart.

Enough with the hypotheticals, voting no on this bill NOW hurts the US consumer NOW. If we are going to fix the broadband infrastructure, why not do that before we have any more problems? I have seen no good bills to open the market up for competition from this "Maverick" or any other politician in history, so we are settling for another lame ass finger in the dyke "fix" vs. the nothing proposed from the other side.

RE: Come on Senator!
By kyp275 on 10/23/2009 12:56:15 PM , Rating: 4
Err, way to contradict yourself in the same post, how can a 3rd company pop up when it's practically impossible for people to start up another provider?

Yes, govt. intervention is not good, but in this case it's not govt intervention against free market, it's one govt intervention against another govt intervention. I can't say I like it much, but it's better than what we have currently.

Best solution? get rid of the govt created monopolies/oligapolies, problem solved.

RE: Come on Senator!
By Yawgm0th on 10/23/2009 1:52:11 PM , Rating: 3

Then a third company will pop up...yes you might have to live a couple of years with some poor service from the current providers, but in a true free market, when enough people complain or get tired of it a third party will present itself as an alternative to existing service.
That's a cute theory, but utterly contrary to reality. The Internet is so necessary that people will take what ISPs give them as long as they can afford it. The entry cost to the market is too high for a third or fourth party to enter a given market and compete over the same service effectively.

Keep in mind the reason you only have two now is due to some Govt intervention 30-40 years ago, that is making it almost impossible for people to start up another service provider.
Yes and no. The truth of the matter is that landline ISPs are naturally inclined towards oligopolies. The entry cost to the market is enormous. For a second company to come in and lay lines and offer the same service is terribly inefficient. The competition won't decrease prices because now they would have to raise prices just to make up for investment and to cope with now sharing the same customer base. There is room to offer different services (DSL, Cable, Fiber) because they are at such different price points, maintenance and installation costs, and speeds that they can actually co-exist. But to say they compete is a joke, and having multiple companies compete over the same type of lines just isn't efficient.

Telecommunications, unfortunately, are little different from utilities. They are inherently prone to not compete because competition over the same lines is less efficient for everyone, even the consumer. We don't want two power companies and we don't want two cable companies. It doesn't help that state and local governments more or less warrant them to not compete, but truly the problem is that they aren't regulated on their pricing and policies. If there's anything we absolutely must cram down their throats legislatively, it's net neutrality.

RE: Come on Senator!
By Parhel on 10/23/2009 2:11:30 PM , Rating: 3
The Internet is so necessary that people will take what ISPs give them as long as they can afford it.

To your point, neither my wife nor I could effectively perform our current jobs without high speed Internet service at home.

To me, Net Neutrality is one of those issues that separates ordinary conservatives from ideologues . . . just a short step down from a "birther."

RE: Come on Senator!
By rcc on 10/23/2009 2:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
To your point, neither my wife nor I could effectively perform our current jobs without high speed Internet service at home.

Ok, I'll buy that. So, what is your ISP doing to hinder this? Does your work require you to go somewhere that the ISP is trottling? If so, where?

Just curious.

RE: Come on Senator!
By rcc on 10/23/2009 7:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
throttling, excuse me.

RE: Come on Senator!
By alphadog on 10/24/2009 11:40:17 AM , Rating: 1
The competition/monopoly issue is orthogonal to the neutrality one. In fact, its a lower concerns.

Net neutrality is more conceptual. It's like free speech. It would be like living in a country without having the right to free speech and being told to wait a little because the next government might be a little more lenient...

RE: Come on Senator!
By Bateluer on 10/23/2009 12:27:17 PM , Rating: 3
I call it oppression because both companies have the same policies. The consumer has no choice but to use one or the other, forcing all small players out of the market. And this isn't just ISPs. Joe's Pizza down the corner will lose the ability to compete with the large chains because Joe cannot afford to pay what is essentially bribe money to the ISP to get his website on the fast lane.

RE: Come on Senator!
By GodisanAtheist on 10/26/2009 2:05:44 PM , Rating: 1
I hate the republican platform and a lot of the crap the republican party pulls. Theoretically, I have an alternative to the republican party in which to cast my vote. Unfortunately that alternative, the democrats, are equally stupid and perhaps even more incompetent.

To make matters worse, there is no viable 3rd party in the US thanks to voting laws being written by the two entrenched and established parties, meaning a 3rd party has to have a lot of support before it can become official (and paradoxically, must be official before it can garner any support). Simply put, the cost of entry is too high.

Now I could just not vote and call it a day. The idea of not voting is repulsive to me, I have to vote to see what change I could possibly enact. Since there is no viable 3rd party to really vote for, I have to cast my vote for whichever of the two major stinkers is less crappy in that particular election cycle. This, of course, doesn't actually result in any meaningful change or progress, because the party I voted (or did not vote for) for has no way of discerning which of their policies I support and which I absolutely detest. Nothing changes and everything stays the same.

In short, if you are happy with the two party system in the US, you could potentially be happy with "not being oppressed" by two service providers.

If you made it through that torturous analogy, have yourself a cookie.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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