FCC Moving Ahead With Net Neutrality

Something seems to be missing from their idea regarding what the Internet should be about, though

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is moving forward with a net neutrality order at the agency’s December meeting, setting the stage for a likely fight over the contentious web rules on Capitol Hill.

Genachowski released the agenda for the FCC’s Dec. 21 meeting at midnight Wednesday, going right up to the wire to share his plans within the customary three-week time frame for circulating orders prior to an open meeting. The telecom industry has been buzzing about Genachowski’s plans for two weeks, after POLITICO reported he was considering taking action on net neutrality regulations, which would require all Internet service providers to treat web traffic equally on their networks.

However, details of Genachowski’s plans are still vague. The agenda released by the agency says only that the FCC will consider “an order adopting basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression.”

Notice what’s missing? That would be information. Facts, figures, etc. Of course, I seriously doubt whether the FCC’s net neutrality orders, which will surely be shot down in Congress in a wonderful show of bipartisanship (no sarcasm intended, they’ve shot down Genachowski’s attempts to circumvent the legislative branch before), is intended to control the flow of information, yet, you know that the Progressives, with their fascist roots, would love to do just that.

The agenda did not make clear whether Genachowski’s proposal will require open-Internet principles to extend to wireless networks as well as traditional wireline networks. It’s also unclear whether the proposal will call for reclassification of broadband, as public interest groups have called for. As a result, it is so far difficult to immediately gauge where the various stakeholders will stand on the order.

The wireless web is the big deal for at least the next 10 years or so. Providers are moving towards LTE, otherwise known as 4g, which would push wireless Internet speeds up into the true home broadband range. Right now, 3G is at the low end of home broadband plans, at about 1.8mbps, with a through put that is typically lower (and also dependent, much like with a PC, on how fast the processor of the device actually is. An older iPhone 3 will not work as fast as an iPhone 4.) With 4G, we could be talking up to 100mbps (up speed). It’ll probably be a bit before that happens, one of the issues in the wireless web transmission is error correction, which is a long, boring explanation I won’t bother you with.

Yet, if the FCC does push this towards net neutrality, this could seriously damage future innovation. Some traffic must be controlled, especially those who are massive users. Wired could have problems too: while we may see a shift towards more home use of wireless, we shouldn’t expect that all that many consumers will pay the higher prices and do away with their wired Internet connections. And some content providers and users can cause heavy loads. Consider a story from early in November, which provides this little bit of knowledge

First is that during prime time, Netflix consumes up to 20% of all bandwidth. Second is that, during that usage, it’s 2% of users who are using up all this bandwidth. This does not bode well for net neutrality.

That can cause problems for the other 98%, slowing their access down. Companies like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, would like to throttle the usage down. Net Neutrality would preclude the companies from controlling the lines they paid enormous amounts of money to build.

The thing is, have we really seen any real problems with bandwith throttling? Has anything occured that necessitates the need for more government regulation? As I wrote previously

Regulation is a slippery slope, and the outcomes with government intervention never seem to match the original intent. Just consider that, if you search for the pros and cons on the issue, you will find more and more and more, till you are confused about what the actual issue was. If they really want the best for the consumer, they would make it so virtually any provider could offer broadband in an area, instead of just a few players each.

Interestingly, legislation was passed years and years ago which would open up competition. Yet, a decade later, there can still be no more than one landline provider per license area in the majority of the country. You will rarely find more than one cable provider. You might be able to get a wireless solution, like CLEAR or Hughes, but, imagine if you could choose between 5-10 providers in your area. Competition is the best route for innovation and keep the Internet as “fair” and open as it can be. And, if you don’t like the speeds you are receiving, get a faster plan!

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive!

Save $10 on purchases of $49.99 & up on our Fruit Bouquets at 1800flowers.com. Promo Code: FRUIT49
If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds.

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed

2 Responses to “FCC Moving Ahead With Net Neutrality”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    First, I think it is difficult to say that the carriers built the infrastructure for networks on their own. Most towers receive a right of way exemption that is similar to eminent domain, except for the fact that the owner of the property still owns the property, but cannot use it.

    Telecoms have long been propped up by taxes and fees.

    You are correct that competition would be good for the market, but yet it is not the regions that limit competition, but the providers themselves. Most will not bid on or enter into a hard (non-wireless) market without guarantees of a monopoly in the area.

    It is therefore hard for me to shed tears for the companies when they themselves have contributed greatly to this situation.

    Like many others, I cannot follow the argument that net neutrality will inhibit innovation. In essence, what is being said is that customers complaining about and demanding more speed will mean that the companies will not strive for more speed.

    If only the companies were allowed to maintain the current speeds while throttling back or censoring some content, innovation will skyrocket.

    That makes no sense as innovation comes when there is a need. It comes when there is a market for the product.

    What the companies are saying is that they are happy with the speed and it is the customers that need to adapt. After all, why should they innovate when they are making billions a year?

    (Time Warner: $360 million, Verizon: $2.28 billion, AT&T: $3.09 billion, Comcast: $995 million. All figures are for a fiscal QUARTER of 2010.)

    I am not one so sit and complain when a company makes a profit. I am one to complain when a company says “we want to lower services, cut innovation, and charge more” while making large amounts of money.

    “Net Neutrality” helps protect the idea of a “wide open internet.”

    There are a lot of flaws in the concept, but until we can be guaranteed competition within markets (which the companies are against) demanding that it is the customers – not the companies – that determine content is a fair compromise for the taxes, right of ways and airways the companies use.

  2. I’m not worried so much about the companies bottom lines as to stifling innovation through government interference. You know how government works, it would be better if the companies came up with some sort of operating rules on their own.

Bad Behavior has blocked 8038 access attempts in the last 7 days.