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FCC Defends Its Open Internet Decision

In a live-broadcast FCC meeting today, the Wireline Competition Bureau and Media Bureau reiterated and defended the decisions made by the FCC in the February 26 meeting.

In the earlier meeting, the FCC passed a proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that established laws for Internet conduct known as the Open Internet, reclassified the Internet as a telecommunications service, and removed barriers placed on municipal broadband networks in states such as Tennessee and North Carolina.

Since that time, the FCC has published the new rules and has undergone numerous legal conflicts. The United States Senate and House of Representatives have debated if the FCC has the legal right to make these changes.

Although the FCC Commissioners did not make an appearance, two members from the Wireline Competition Bureau's Competition Policy Division, and two from the Media Bureau's Policy Division, spoke in the live meeting.

Daniel Kahn, Deputy Chief for Wireline Competition Bureau, stated that there was strong evidence to support the development of municipal broadband networks. Under the new definition of broadband, 72 percent of users nationwide had access to two or fewer broadband providers, while 16 percent had no access to broadband services.

Kahn also stated that studies performed on the effects of broadband networks showed that ISPs in the private sector in competition with municipal broadband networks reduced service rates and increased spending on developing better networks.

Fellow Deputy Chief for the Wireline Competition Bureau, Claude Aiken, reiterated the main points of the Open Internet. Afterwards, Aiken and the remaining speakers, Diana Sokolow and Steven A. Broeckaert, reaffirmed the FCC's legal right and position to make these changes.

The FCC is responsible for ensuring the continued advancement of the Internet and promoting competition between providers of that service. The FCC has deemed that to advance the Internet, restrictions cannot be placed on services that use the Internet, or the ability of users to access the Internet for any legal purpose.

The information presented today is mostly a reiteration of the information presented in the earlier FCC documents on the Open Internet and the FCC's February 26 live meeting. The reason why the agency held today's meeting was to help inform and reaffirm to the public the FCC's stance on the Open Internet, despite the legal hassles it's facing.

If the U.S. legislative branch and the many companies in opposition to the Open Internet are successful, then the FCC's Open Internet decision will be overturned and revoked. However, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in a meeting held March 27 at Ohio State University, stated that he believes that the FCC's decision will stand.

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  • Enkidu98
    What's to defend? It was the right rulin... Oh WAIT.. I guess the Oligarchs/Plutocrats are still annoyed because it wasn't just another transfer of the commons into private hands for profit.
    Reply
  • rluker5
    An oligarchy is a government by the few, lumping them in with the plutocrats kind of matches since the wealthiest area of the country is Washington dc, and transferring "commons" into private hands from where they came for the good of profit all sounds like you oppose net neutrality and think it didn't happen. But I fear you misunderstand what it, he fed gov is, and a judicial ruling is.
    Reply
  • Grandmastersexsay
    Anyone who thinks having the government involved with the internet is a good thing, is a retard. They are the only ones who could make a website slower than the actual mail.

    Here is how this scenario goes. Before you could choose between say Comcast and Verizon. In the future, your local municipality decides they want to cash in, and set up their own broadband service. What could the problem be? What happens when Comcast and Verizon want to upgrade their lines, but your local municipality says no, to give the government a competitive edge? Eventually, your only choice is your local municipality. What could go wrong with that?

    I wonder what you idiot pro government people will say when people start getting put in jail for not paying their internet bill, I mean tax.

    If you haven't figured out yet that you want the government out of your lives as much as possible, well then, you deserve what's coming to you.

    Reply
  • Jalapenoman
    municipal broadband providers prohibit other carriers from selling services in their territories, therefore the people in those areas trade one monopoly for another. Isn't it also strange that this debate is taking place as google is expanding into more and more areas, and 5G wireless networks are within 5 years reach?
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    Anyone who thinks having the government involved with the internet is a good thing, is a retard. They are the only ones who could make a website slower than the actual mail.

    Here is how this scenario goes. Before you could choose between say Comcast and Verizon. In the future, your local municipality decides they want to cash in, and set up their own broadband service. What could the problem be? What happens when Comcast and Verizon want to upgrade their lines, but your local municipality says no, to give the government a competitive edge? Eventually, your only choice is your local municipality. What could go wrong with that?

    I wonder what you idiot pro government people will say when people start getting put in jail for not paying their internet bill, I mean tax.

    If you haven't figured out yet that you want the government out of your lives as much as possible, well then, you deserve what's coming to you.


    Anyone who thinks having the government involved with the internet is a good thing, is a retard. They are the only ones who could make a website slower than the actual mail.

    Here is how this scenario goes. Before you could choose between say Comcast and Verizon. In the future, your local municipality decides they want to cash in, and set up their own broadband service. What could the problem be? What happens when Comcast and Verizon want to upgrade their lines, but your local municipality says no, to give the government a competitive edge? Eventually, your only choice is your local municipality. What could go wrong with that?

    I wonder what you idiot pro government people will say when people start getting put in jail for not paying their internet bill, I mean tax.

    If you haven't figured out yet that you want the government out of your lives as much as possible, well then, you deserve what's coming to you.


    Problem is, Comcast and Verizon refuse to upgrade their lines.. And that is with them in control.

    16% of the USA has no access to internet period. Comcast, Verizon, TWC, etc..only run new lines if they can make their money back within 1-2 years. They are all about short term profit. because of their earnings reports, stock, and other financial reports that influence stock price heavily. That means only new neighborhoods who have tons of densely populated houses (not how i would want to live) can convince them to run wire.

    So they are afraid to spend money on infrastructure because it will hurt their quarterly profit report to shareholders. and if they dont show profit. stock goes down, market cap goes down, their spending power goes down. For the past 30 years this has been a vicious cycle.

    Now, the Government can mandate speeds and access with the new rules. They've already re-defined broadband to be 25 Mbps, and the new rules will require speed and latency benchmarks.

    The Government also is why the 16% figure is not higher than it already is. They gave Comcast, Windstream, TWC, Verizon, TONS of tax dollars to convince them to hookup more people without access.

    THAT IS THE ONLY WAY ISP WILL RUN NEW WIRE. IF THE GOVERMENT HELPS PAY FOR IT. and then when they take those tax dollars, they are required to fufill their promise.
    Reply
  • rluker5

    Here is how this scenario goes. Before you could choose between say Comcast and Verizon. In the future, your local municipality decides they want to cash in, and set up their own broadband service. What could the problem be? What happens when Comcast and Verizon want to upgrade their lines, but your local municipality says no, to give the government a competitive edge? Eventually, your only choice is your local municipality. What could go wrong with that?

    I wonder what you idiot pro government people will say when people start getting put in jail for not paying their internet bill, I mean tax.

    If you haven't figured out yet that you want the government out of your lives as much as possible, well then, you deserve what's coming to you.



    Problem is, Comcast and Verizon refuse to upgrade their lines.. And that is with them in control.

    16% of the USA has no access to internet period. Comcast, Verizon, TWC, etc..only run new lines if they can make their money back within 1-2 years. They are all about short term profit. because of their earnings reports, stock, and other financial reports that influence stock price heavily. That means only new neighborhoods who have tons of densely populated houses (not how i would want to live) can convince them to run wire.

    So they are afraid to spend money on infrastructure because it will hurt their quarterly profit report to shareholders. and if they dont show profit. stock goes down, market cap goes down, their spending power goes down. For the past 30 years this has been a vicious cycle.

    Now, the Government can mandate speeds and access with the new rules. They've already re-defined broadband to be 25 Mbps, and the new rules will require speed and latency benchmarks.

    The Government also is why the 16% figure is not higher than it already is. They gave Comcast, Windstream, TWC, Verizon, TONS of tax dollars to convince them to hookup more people without access.

    THAT IS THE ONLY WAY ISP WILL RUN NEW WIRE. IF THE GOVERMENT HELPS PAY FOR IT. and then when they take those tax dollars, they are required to fufill their promise.

    16% don't have access to broadband (25mbsdown/3mbs up per the FCC). And I have never had multiple utility providers to choose from. I just moved from a town with one pair of power lines feeding it, no natural gas, and only one cell provides had reception. the internet was more reliable than my electricity and the roads were rarely plowed before I left for work. The feds should butt out of a supposed utility that is outperforming all current utilities. As for those title 2 contracts some isps are supposedly milking (refuted by actual access numbers), who set them up? why doesn't the FCC worry about their current screw ups before seizing total control and making more?
    Reply
  • rluker5
    And just for perspective, not so long ago, a dedicated T1 line for internet was mostly for large business and only the most extravagant would get it for home use. It was like getting a Lexus. That same Lexus is probably still on the road and a dedicated T1 line delivers 1.5mbps! That would be considered "internet impoverished" and in need of rescue by the FCC. The rate of improvement has been so high that any reasonable expectation of what would be lavish for someone will seem paltry in just a few years. Compare that to gov managed utilities!
    Reply
  • MarkW
    If we lived in Russia or China or North Korea, the statement that a local municipality might attempt to block an ISP from upgrading their networks might be possible. But in the USA, I think any judge would almost immediately toss that ruling out in days. If a municipality is putting together their own internet service, it would only be because there was no ISP locally that was providing good service. And even if they did put their own municipal network together, they would need to compete with the ISP's that exist or would want to exist in the future.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    15583634 said:
    If we lived in Russia or China or North Korea, the statement that a local municipality might attempt to block an ISP from upgrading their networks might be possible. But in the USA, I think any judge would almost immediately toss that ruling out in days. If a municipality is putting together their own internet service, it would only be because there was no ISP locally that was providing good service. And even if they did put their own municipal network together, they would need to compete with the ISP's that exist or would want to exist in the future.

    This is the important part. Municipal entities report directly to the locally elected officials who are voted on by the same residents that are serviced by the entity. The local residents have direct power over this entity not some far away unelected bureaucrat or corporate entity.

    As for those talking about monopolies, the reason this was a good thing is because it prevents ISPs from using their state granted monopoly power to fuel and empower their other business of selling internet service. Comcast and other cable providers have a government authorized monopoly because it's in the best interests of the population to only have set of utility poles and cable wires being run. It's the exact same reason you only have one electrical utility and one water utility, there can only be one infrastructure. So now we have a phone and cable infrastructure that is legally protected from market competition in exchange for government regulations to ensure they don't abuse that protection. Enter broadband, where the existing public infrastructure of phone and cable lines can be utilized to transmit internet data, except now the same protected companies are circumventing their anti-abuse government regulations by billing their data business separately from their utility business. Because they own the wires and thus are protected from competition, they abuse that protected and extend it to their internet business which isn't under any anti-abuse regulations. Further more, they eventually start extending that abuse farther and try to restrict content and come up with schemes that enable them to charge users additional fee's for access to other companies services. Again they can do this by abusing their government granted monopoly status to ensure that nobody competes with them or provides a better product.


    All the FCC has done is call a spade a spade, they now recognize Comcast using public cable wires to provide internet as a public utility the same as the cable business they used to justify the sanctioned monopoly. Now they have to play by stricter rules designed to prevent them from abusing this monopolistic power. It's not an ideal solution but something need to be done to reign them in, they were out of control for far too long with unrivaled monopolistic power over the lifeblood of the internet.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    Everytime you have a Public organ telling private companies what to do, things go wrong. But since noone studies history nowdays, we are repeating the same crap all over, ad infinitum.
    Reply