All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Net Neutrality’
The Writers Guild of America strike has been an interesting debacle to watch, complete with a host of issues the public might not have thought of before. The inevitable convergence of the Internet and TV is one of them; the continued homogenization of American culture is another.
You might say it’s a sort of monkey’s paw that Hands Off the Internet, an AT&T-backed "grass roots" organization has called on the FCC to investigate Comcast for violating the four principles of Network Neutrality. On the surface, it looks like progress. But can it be trusted?
Senators Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) sent a letter today to Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, calling for a hearing to discuss phone and cable companies’ recent discrimination against content on their networks, and whether current regulatory protections are enough.
Some of the uproar last week was regarding Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent traffic, a move that, by itself raised concerns about the power over content and packets the cable company was usurping. Over the weekend it came to light that Comcast not only blocked BitTorrent, but also Gnutella and Lotus Notes.
Something is starkly wrong when diametrically opposed ideologues join hands in public to protest something else. That something wrong, in a nutshell: the government and communications companies working in concert to erode the freedoms that made our country great.
One of the more parroted talking points against Net Neutrality has been verbalized this way: It’s a solution in search of a problem. Rather snide, really, if you think about it, and is a remark that usually accompanies a brush off to concerns of gatekeeper abuses.
It’s hard to have sympathy for a dirty, exploitative medium when the producers of it cry foul over piracy – after all dirty is as dirty does, and karma can be your friend or your enemy. But at the same time, copyrights are copyrights and are intended to protect the truly artful from thieves as much as they protect the scummy.
Historically, in the brick-and-mortar world, we’ve had courts to settle disputes. Online, there are terms of service agreements and invisible judges determining, usually at the behest of the loudest and largest mob, who is guilty of crossing the line between conscious protest and hate speech.
With the nationwide expansion of fiber-optic wiring and digital delivery at the turn of the century, the federal government reclaimed and is still reclaiming large amounts of spectrum. Much of it, according to a former government official, has remained unused for seven years, and he blames the Federal Communications Commission for stifling competition in the wireless space.
Your first thought may be: What’s the Department of Justice got to do with Net Neutrality? Well, essentially nothing at this point, except that the FCC asked the Antitrust Division for its opinion. The Commission could have saved some time by just jotting down what AT&T said.
Though M2Z Networks threatened to take to the FCC to court to force a decision on the company’s "family friendly" free nationwide wireless broadband proposal by September 1, a likely "no" vote from the commission has made M2Z decide more public debate is necessary.
The problem with open societies, free speech, and Web 2.0 is that any ol’ jerk can believe and say anything they want. That you’d rather they didn’t is kind of your problem. But it’s a bigger problem for larger entities like YouTube and Google who provide the platform, or, since Microsoft’s not using it, the soapbox for the jerks to stand upon.
In the Net Neutrality debate, the last thing phone and cable companies want is a proof of concept. In fact, as one FCC commissioner has noted, avoiding these proofs is what has kept them on relatively good behavior recently. So, it was bad news when torrent users accused Comcast of degrading and blocking torrents over the weekend.
When a "live" webcast of grunge band legend Pearl Jam’s Lollapalooza performance didn’t make it to the audience in tact, the band immediately pointed a finger at AT&T, who sponsored and monitored the event, accusing the telecommunications giant of censorship.
Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps isn’t happy about how the commission has handled a number of recent issues, and is speaking loudly about it. And if one is as disgruntled as much of the public is, then that might be a positive sign.
A chief argument against Net Neutrality has been that it will remove incentive to invest. Recent moves by Verizon to lock customers into fiber shows that the incentive is most certainly present, and the company will do what is necessary to muscle the future into being.
More bandwidth, not bandwidth manipulation, has been one of the technical solutions offered as an answer to the growing capacity demands of services like VoIP and video. It’s also been used as a rebuttal to telecom industry arguments against Net Neutrality, a rebuttal, um, rebutted in a new study sponsored by…
One name we haven’t seen in the Net Neutrality debate is Apple, Inc. Though Jobs & Company are cozy with neutral net advocate Google, they also just launched iPhone with AT&T exclusivity. And that brings up some interesting questions, the most interesting of which: Is buying an iPhone a vote against Net Neutrality?
Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel Google has put together a three-part blog post outlining Google’s approach to Net Neutrality, what the company feels is okay for broadband providers to do, what’s not okay, and where they have misled the public.
It’s sad to think parts of our free market economy have failed, become gummed up by the sludge of its own engine. It’s supposed to work, to drive us, keep us ahead of everyone. Only, it’s not so much anymore, the engine is aging, and though we try to wish it away, reality is setting in, even as vested storytellers perpetuate the myth to keep us wishing.
One down, four to go. That’s the count supporters of open airwaves and neutral networks are holding up as Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein publicly voices his support for requiring winners of the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction to keep a chunk of it open to competition.
While the world seems to be waking up to a larger, more powerful Google than they anticipated, the company’s heft can work to the consumer’s advantage, especially in matters of government influence (da gov’ment does seem to prefer corporations over its citizens). On Friday, Google filed 47 pages worth of comments with the FCC about Net Neutrality.
Maine became the first state in the nation to formally recognize the importance of net neutrality. Fellow blogger Lance Duston tipped me off to Maine Is First State in Nation to Pass Net Neutrality Resolve:
The folks at SavetheInternet.com Coalition should be happy, as they have won two Webby Awards. One for their grassroots campaign to protect Net Neutrality and the other for a video about Net Neutrality. The Webby awards are sponsored in part by phone behemoth Verizon Communications, an irony since they are not friends of the net neutrality movement.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) criticized both AT&T head Ed Whitacre and Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) for their efforts against Network Neutrality protections during a conference call with reporters today, as the SaveTheInternet.com coalition celebrated its first anniversary.
It’s often considered lazy writing to start a piece with a quote, but I think that, in this case, it might be necessary.
Wikipedia calls traffic shaping “an attempt to control computer network traffic in order to optimize or guarantee performance, low latency, and/or bandwidth.”
And now that you know that, know this: a major British telecom does not favor traffic shaping.
This is what happens when good companies go public: the principles that made them good, even necessary, to the point of inspiring a romantic loyalty among their customers, are whittled away at until only those principles which are profitable remain. If it’s true that Google is reconsidering its view of Network Neutrality, let it be said that this is the reason why.
Google says it’s not true, by the way, but we’ll get to that later. This is an exploration of what could happen, a seemingly very likely ethical pickle the search company could find itself in down the road.
The Center for Digital Democracy is decrying how excitement caused by Net Neutrality language being worked into the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of the AT&T/Bell South merger overshadowed another decision by the FCC showing favoritism to the telecommunications industry over local governments and communities.
The Net Neutrality debate is now front and center in the US Senate (well, when their not talking about Iraq) as Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduce the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. Dorgan didn’t stop with the floor of the Senate, he also took his case to YouTube.
The biggest merger in telecommunications history was approved quietly at the end of the news day Thursday just before the world stopped caring for a few days. Gerald Ford and James Brown are dead, a new year is upon us, and AT&T was forced to admit there is such a thing as Network Neutrality.
The Center for Digital Democracy has put together an elegant explanation of the heightening battle between the telecommunications industry and everybody else that uses the Internet. A lengthy read (for an Internet article), the CDD has outlined what the telcos aim to accomplish and how it affects everything in the future.
The concept of consequences associated with an Internet that is not neutral has been scattered and nebulous, difficult for the layman (and, unfortunately, Congressman) to understand why it matters, and proof of concept has been rare or insignificant. Thanks to the Pirate Bay and a Swedish ISP, that proof of concept may be before us.
What was pretty much a non-issue less than a year ago has the Federal Trade Commission scratching its head and asking for guidance – finally. The FTC announced it would be hosting a public workshop on “Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy” in Washington, DC in February.
Traditional media powerhouses, who spent the better part of the 20th Century perfecting content production and distribution, will have to change everything or risk being left behind. But there are some old-world moves, according to Bear Sterns, that will keep them afloat in a world to be ruled by Google and Yahoo.
Spirited by the national elections, where Democrat victories are thought to be a major boon to Net Neutrality, the SaveTheInternet.com coalition, with the help of Google, are taking their cause state level. Yesterday, as Michigan’s state legislature was preparing to sail a local cable bill through, neutral Internet proponents laid their concerns on the steps of the Capitol.
Whether the Network Neutrality debate is officially settled amongst charged, polarized stakeholders is an issue that will be tabled for the moment. Until this week, the issue was bottled up in a Republican-controlled Congress, as Democrats met defeat in both committee and the House floor. But a sweeping left-wing victory may change that.
Ted Stevens thinks we’re stupid. Trying to put this Net Neutrality debate to rest in the Senate, Stevens (R-AK) distributed the results of a “bipartisan” poll indicating that the vast majority of Americans would rather watch more TV than have a neutral Internet.
Comcast veep and “uber-lobbyist” David Cohen provided a saber-rattling editorial to The Mercury News reminding the pro-Net Neutrality ilk that the sky’s not really falling without regulation. But if there is legislation passed to protect it, they can expect people to die, kids to be exposed to porn, the Internet industry to crash, and Bill Murray’s prophecy of cats and dogs living together to be fulfilled.
Senator Ted Stevens may not have a grasp on how, exactly, the Internet works, but the veteran politician could teach Congressional rookies a thing or too about getting your way in Washington. Net Neutrality supporters are hitting the phones trying to prevent Stevens from orchestrating a backdoor vote.
A fascinating aspect of the Net Neutrality debate is the lack of traditional polarization. It’s not a tug-of-war between the politically opposed, but a soundproofed room behind marble walls. The majority party can’t hear their base, and the Christian Coalition is hoping to pray their way in.
It’s scary when the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation-the committee with oversight of telecommunications, the committee that is addressing the Net neutrality question-displays a remarkable degree of ignorance about the nature of the Net itself.
The Net Neutrality debate hit the floor of the United States Senate today as Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) made an impassioned plea for Net Neutrality protection, promising to use all means necessary to block Sen. Ted Stevens’ telecommunications bill unless it expressly forbade Internet discrimination.
What does it take to for Net Neutrality to get national television coverage? It takes an asinine explanation of the Internet by the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Was this picked up on NBC, Fox, CNN or another major news network? Nope. Comedy Central.
The Net Neutrality debate got a little comic relief last week after an impassioned speech by Senator Ted Stevens against legislating certain limitations on broadband providers. Stevens, who is most famous for his “Bridge To Nowhere” grandstanding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina budgeting, voiced disappointment over the delay in receiving “an internet” from his staff.
The new question on Net Neutrality is “who benefits?” There’s been a lot of talk on both sides of the issue, and it can be difficult for those outside the Internet industry to get a handle on what’s true. Perhaps if we look at who is talking, and from what pedestal, we can better understand.
I don’t agree with his position, but Steve Forbes makes some good points against Network Neutrality on PodTech.net today. Catherine Girardeau (who’ll be my coworker at PodTech starting on July 6) did an awesome job interviewing Steve.
In today’s Net Neutrality news, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee evangelizes about how the Internet should be treated. Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition has called for its prayer partners to focus their collective energy on the Senate Commerce Committee vote.
It’s been difficult for the layman to conceptualize what is meant by the neologism “Network Neutrality.” It floats over heads like the word “neologism.” Advocates typically have cited scenarios that could happen without a neutral Internet and, when they can, cite real life examples – like yesterday’s report of a Canadian ISP shakedown.
The cries of a million or so petitioners have made it a little farther into the aural canals of Alaska’s Ted Stevens, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Stevens has offered up a compromise on Network Neutrality in a provision one critic is calling “Net Neutrality Lite.”
Despite the flurry of phone calls, emails, videos and pleas from a wide base of passionate pro-Net Neutrality constituents, representing hundreds of thousands of people from all political persuasions and hundreds of consumer groups, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives crushed an amendment to safeguard an equal opportunity Internet.
Today, the House of Representatives will be debating and voting on proposed Net Neutrality amendments to the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006, a bill that will grant sweeping powers to telecommunications and cable companies to set up a tollbooth Internet.
Network Neutrality advocates have one word to describe the state of their cause, written in large comforting letters at the top of a gazillion emails: MOMENTUM. A principle that only recently has been understood by the public at large, or has garnered any mention in Congress has won the backing of US presidential candidates.
Something historic has happened in Washington. MoveOn.org joined hands with the Christian Coalition to jump all over a Democrat and a corporation. Be sure to check the window regularly for flying pigs (keep an eye out for the droppings too). What could have happened to bring these two together? A congressman’s stance (or lack of) on Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality advocates got something today they haven’t been used to: a victory in Congress. The Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. John Conyers, won the majority approval of the House Judiciary Committee, passing by a vote of 20-13.
Net Neutrality is becoming an all-star event. Grammy-nominated musician Moby added his voice to Rep. Edward Markey’s (D-Mass.), ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, to demand that Congress reject upcoming legislation allowing telecommunications and cable giants to claim virtual ownership of the Internet.
The U.S. is ranked 12th in broadband penetration, says AT&T CEO Ed Whiteacre, and in order to bring America up to speed through fiber-to-the-premises (fttp) wiring, content providers are going to have to pony up to use his “pipes.” He doesn’t mention that the new pipes to be built have already been paid for, and they’re very late in coming.
The chief complaints of the telecommunications industry regarding the heated Network Neutrality debate are that regulation limits their ability to compete, build out infrastructure, and innovate; that regulation is unnecessary as principles outlined by the FCC are sufficient to guard it and that telcos like Verizon have already publicly committed to them; and that Net Neutrality is still too poorly defined to write legislation around it.
Verizon says not to worry, they’ve got Net Neutrality covered. They’re quite appalled, too, at the “cock-and-bull” and “Chicken Little stories” making the rounds in Congress and the press, which is why they’ve launched an aggressive PR campaign aimed at transcending the “rhetorical excesses” of their opponents.
Ready. Set. Flinch. The same senator who fought for the $223 million bridge to Nowhere, Alaska is in charge of rewriting United States telecommunications laws in the Senate. In a working draft of an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens has confused just about everybody.
Telecommunications giants scored a victory over Net Neutrality advocates in the U.S. legislature yesterday as the proposed “Markey Amendment,” a provision to prevent Internet providers from creating access chokepoints was voted down in the House of Representatives.
The stars are aligning in favor of protection of Network Neutrality, dubbed by many as “the Internet’s First Amendment.” The latest to lend her star power to the cause is TV and film actress Alyssa Milano, who posted a passionate plea on her weblog urging supporters of the movement to contact the U.S. legislature.
Pull Average Joe to the side (the next time you see him at the pub or wherever Joe haunts these days) and float the phrase “Network Neutrality” by him; if for nothing else, to watch the blankness wash over him. He has little use for the phrase, though it has the potential to affect him greatly.
Just when Net neutrality seemed a lost cause in Congress, lawmakers began to consider shifting regulatory power to the Federal Communications Commissions in the form of case-by-case fines of up to $500,000. The FCC could levy fines if telecoms are judged to be violating Net neutrality principles.