Print 32 comment(s) - last by Ammohunt.. on May 11 at 2:04 PM

The FCC is rolling out more regulation -- this time of the internet.
The FCC bids for greater regulatory authority, even as it tries to convince telecoms to embrace spectrum auction

National broadband was one of the key campaign promises that President Barack Obama made in 2008.  His Federal Communication Commission chief, Chairman Julius Genachowski, has tried to deliver on that promise, but has a difficult path ahead.

The FCC's plan to is to take spectrum from television, re-auction it to wireless companies, and use part of the proceeds to finance new lines for the broadband project.  The bid is complicated by the FCC's regulatory war with the same telecoms it hopes to sell spectrum too.

Last month, the FCC lost the first round in its battle with Comcast over internet throttling.  The FCC is trying to stop Comcast from blindly throttling certain kinds of traffic like peer-to-peer connections, commonly used for sharing music and other media.  A U.S. Federal Court ruled that the FCC did not have the power to stop Comcast from doing so.

Now the FCC has reclassified broadband internet from an information service to a telecommunications service, a move that should grant it greater regulatory authority.  The FCC promises it will not abuse the greater regulatory authority its seizing.  The FCC's top attorney, Austin Schlick, comments, "We have never gone back on forbearance.  We have a very strong track record."

Chairman Genachowski, who promised to apply regulation with a "light-touch", added that the approach was only an "interim" step and that he would prefer Congress to officially clarify the regulatory situation.

Verizon Communications Inc executive vice president Tom Tauke says that the plan to step up regulation 
will hurt the national broadband project.  He writes, "The regulatory and judicial proceedings that will ensue can only bring confusion and delay."

Republican FCC members Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker were also critical of the effort.  They write in a joint statement, "This proposal is disappointing and deeply concerns us.  It is neither a light-touch approach, nor a third way."

Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett, concurs, opining that the regulatory bump may not survive legal scrutiny.  He states, "It is extremely unclear whether reclassification will survive judicial review."

Meanwhile, the FCC is left trying to figure out to push both its regulatory and national broadband efforts, a dangerous dance that ultimately brings the future of both efforts into question.

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This Is Wrong
By TheEinstein on 5/10/2010 4:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
The FCC has already severely impacted my life.

I live on the road.

The FCC forced all cell phone companies to restrict wireless internet to 5 gigabytes a month. Now why did they do this? It makes it so a windows update can take 20% of my months bandwidth (the initial update when I bought this laptop was 1.4 gigabytes for MSoft stuff alone. Add adaware, hijackthis, ccleaner and more programs) and the new trend for games to have Steam built in from the start (more downloads, updates as large as 1gigabyte) and many to seek constant online status if a connection, and I have to self throttle.

They are not friends for consumers. They are abusers.

Besides they are not allowed to reclassify, only congress can do that. This move scares me.

Throttling landline internet may be an issue. However this should be legislated upon not put up defacto. End tyranny, do not promote it!

RE: This Is Wrong
By icanhascpu on 5/10/2010 5:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure if youre joking or serious? lol

1. Unless your -only- other option for net access is dial-up (sat is hell), then why are you using your 3G for updates and large download use?

2. Looking at #1 who is the abuser really? Anyway, I have unlimited data on my Att plan for 20$ a month. So what the heck are you talking about?

3. FCC -is- ending the closest think to 'tyranny' about any of this. A company selling "unlimited" yet limiting it. FCC is trying to regulate that for fair use for everyone.

Also, stay off the crack.

RE: This Is Wrong
By TheEinstein on 5/10/2010 8:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
Show me how I can get the $20 unlimited via wireless and I will give you $1000. Seriously I will.

Dialup with connections that terminate (cell phones drop calls in some regions like no tomorrow), needing to use 100% of my phone (disable call waiting after all)

And Satelite while I drive is as of yet not on the market (I would drop $500 for installation and sign a 3 year contract if it was stable and semi fast speeds, despite the latency, oh and unlimited for up to $150 a month)

Since I plan to hire a team driver internet on the go will be essential.

Drugs kill, quit taking lsd and dreaming you have a $20 month plan that's not grandfathered from prehistoric times

RE: This Is Wrong
By Spivonious on 5/11/2010 8:23:34 AM , Rating: 2
It's actually not unlimited. Read the fine print. Still, 5GB a month for a cellular connection is more than enough for 99.999% of customers.

RE: This Is Wrong
By VooDooAddict on 5/11/2010 2:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
When did the FCC limit wireless internet?

RE: This Is Wrong
By TheEinstein on 5/11/2010 9:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
When Democrats took over Congress, rather shortly after.

As for the 99% dig

Windows Update, firewall updates, antivirus updates, MS office updates, hardware and firmware updates, chat programs, spyware removal updates, game updates, email, and family pictures being uploaded.

How can an average consumer NOT go over 5 gigabytes in a month?

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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