FCC to vote to regulate net neutrality Thursday: What it means
2/25/15 By Caitlin Dickson – Yahoo News
The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote Thursday on a new set of rules for Internet service providers. And while Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to regulate the Internet like water, electricity and other public utilities is slated for approval, the months (years, actually) of fighting over net neutrality, both within the FCC and on Capitol Hill, won’t likely end there.
As Thursday’s vote has drawn closer, Wheeler continued to face pressure from within his own party to amend the net neutrality rules. And contrary to a report in The New York Times on Tuesday suggesting that Republican lawmakers once poised to pounce on new FCC rules with counteracting legislation have now accepted defeat, Republican Senator and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune tweeted that the GOP has far from conceded on the hot topic.
Beyond the response on Capitol Hill, the FCC can almost certainly expect a legal challenge to the new rules from the Internet service providers it seeks to regulate. So for all those who’ve avoided the net neutrality conversation, it’s not too late. In fact, there’s no better time to start paying attention.
Sure, net neutrality isn’t exactly riveting date or dinner party fodder. But while friends and neighbors might not be impressed with your ability to rattle off the arguments for and against federally regulated Internet service, the direct impact that Thursday’s vote — and its inevitable fallout — could have on your life and, more important, your wallet make it worth familiarizing yourself with the issue.
UPDATE: FCC adopts net neutrality rules to ban Internet discrimination
2/26/15 Aaron Pressman – YahooNews
Federal regulators moved forward on Thursday with a net neutrality plan to protect openness on the Internet by treating the online world more like heavily regulated telecommunications markets.
New rules from the Federal Communications Commission adopted on a 3-2 vote will prohibit Internet service providers like Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon Communications (VZ) from discriminating against any web site or online service. That means sites like Netflix (NFLX) or Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube won’t have to pay extra fees or face sluggish connections with their users. And new sites and services will be able to reach everyone on the Internet on the same terms as the big players.
November 10, 2014
Statement by the President on Net Neutrality
An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.
“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.
When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.
The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:
No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
May 15, 2014
Statement by the Press Secretary on Net Neutrality
The President has made clear since he was a candidate that he strongly supports net neutrality and an open Internet. As he has said, the Internet’s incredible equality – of data, content, and access to the consumer – is what has powered extraordinary economic growth and made it possible for once-tiny sites like eBay or Amazon to compete with brick and mortar behemoths.
The FCC is an independent agency, and we will carefully review their proposal. The FCC’s efforts were dealt a real challenge by the Court of Appeals in January, but Chairman Wheeler has said his goal is to preserve an open Internet, and we are pleased to see that he is keeping all options on the table. We will be watching closely as the process moves forward in hopes that the final rule stays true to the spirit of net neutrality.
The President is looking at every way to protect a free and open Internet, and will consider any option that might make sense.
President Obama issues veto threat on attempt to repeal net-neutrality rules
11/08/11 By Brendan Sasso – TheHill
President Obama will veto an attempt to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules if it passes the Senate, the White House said in a news release Tuesday.
“The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of S.J. Res. 6, which would undermine a fundamental part of the nation’s Open Internet and innovation strategy — an enforceable, effective but flexible policy for keeping the Internet free and open,” the White House said.
The House approved a resolution to repeal the rules in April. The Senate version is sponsored by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and has an additional 42 Republican co-sponsors. It has no Democratic co-sponsors.
The Senate is expected to debate the resolution Wednesday and vote Thursday, said a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The spokesman said the resolution needs only a simple majority to pass and is not subject to a filibuster.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a key centrist vote, told The Hill on Monday evening that he hadn’t decided how he would vote on the measure.
The veto threat is unsurprising: Obama promised to support net-neutrality rules during his 2008 campaign.