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KQµårk 死神 On April - 6 - 2010

Probably not but in another amazingly corporate friendly decision a Federal appeals court struck down the FCC ability to prevent Comcast from punishing it’s own internet users. The court vacated a 2008 “net neutrality” ruling that guaranteed users access to all legal net traffic. Comcast had complained that it’s users who prescribed to BitTorrent used too much bandwitdh because it prevented other users from gaining as much bandwith. What the article and Comcast won’t tell you is that Comcast has an inherent bandwith problem with it’s cable modem technology where if you have allot of users on a particular local hub it slows down internet traffic for everyone unlike DSL technology.

BitTorrent was the softest target to attack because peer-to-peer networking has been under a barrage of lawsuits for years by the RIAA, Movie and Software industies. But this is not about peer-to-peer networking this is about internet providers who eventually want to team up with content providers like Google does now with Verizon as an example. Some day in the very near future if you use Comcast you may have to use Bing instead of Google because they have an exclusive contract. Furthermore this sets a very dangerous precedent where internet providers can limit or prevent streaming content like Pandora, Live365, Hulu and even C-SPAN.

Furthermore in their strategically evil way the right wing has been fighting the concept of “net neutrality” under the guise that it is an evil conspiracy by the FCC and allows illegal content even under Bush. They are trying to conflate it with the old media “fairness doctrine” but they are totally unrelated. What Republicans are really trying to do is use right wing paranoia to give their minions another reason to vote against their self interests.

Click here to read the whole story on Wired.

Categories: Corporations, Featured, Society

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is kquark@planetpov.com Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

11 Responses so far.

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  1. PatsyT says:

    Anyone remember these Comcast Commercials?




  2. PatsyT says:

    From my email today,
    a little light reading.
    This is from the Color of Change.

    The Internet has made amazing things possible, like freeing the Jena 6, electing President Obama, even creating ColorOfChange. None of it could have happened without an “open” Internet: one where Internet service providers are not allowed to interfere with what is seen and by whom.

    Now, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon

  3. dildenusa says:

    I don’t know a lot of the legal logic in telecommunications, however, I have worked in the industry and because of the way cable companies distribute internet services they do come under the FCC umbrella. Generally, phone companies when distributing through land lines, have different regulations regarding the internet, than cable companies. It seems to me that these partnerships like with Verizon and Google, might be only in broadband wireless services to smartphones or netbooks.

    Obviously, Comcast has deep enough pockets that they can hire the big bucks lawyers so that they can get what they want.

    • KQ says:

      I’m with you on that one tiger. I don’t see the same silver lining some regulators do because when it does come under the FCC more directly I think allot more bad things can happen than good.

  4. AdLib says:

    There may be a silver lining here…

    With so much at stake, the FCC now has several options. It could ask Congress to give it explicit authority to regulate broadband. Or it could appeal Tuesday’s decision.

    But both of those steps could take too long because the agency “has too many important things they have to do right away,” said Ben Scott, policy director for the public interest group Free Press.

    The more likely scenario, Scott believes, is that the agency will simply reclassify broadband as a more heavily regulated telecommunications service. That, ironically, could be the worst-case outcome from the perspective of the phone and cable companies.

    “Comcast swung an ax at the FCC to protest the BitTorrent order,” Scott said. “And they sliced right through the FCC’s arm and plunged the ax into their own back.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/06/net-neutrality-us-court-r_n_526972.html

    • nellie says:

      I hope this is true. I may not understand the issue entirely, but I’ve never known phone companies to seek control over internet content. I suppose we’ll find out where this is going soon enough.

    • KQ says:

      I don’t see that as much of silver lining. The current regulations over phone companies does nothing to prevent exclusive agreements between platform to platform. In other words you have to run a completely different version of apps on Droids and iPhones. I could see broadband doing something similar like making their particular version of broadband site exclusive using IP blocking technology. Regulating broadband like phone lines would also open up the door to no more sales tax free internet purchasing and putting taxes and fees on VoIP programs like Skype. The day after the FCC puts broadband under phone company regulations the big phone companies will start suing companies like Vonage and probably win.

      • AdLib says:

        What such a move would do is allow the FCC to require Net Neutrality so it would prevent the filtering or classism Comcast and other greedy corps want. It would not allow for IP blocking of a class of users.

        Broadband is different from the phone examples you mentioned, the end user can choose whatever front end browser, that makes no difference with broadband’s functionality.

        It is a leap to combine taxing internet purchases, charging fees for Skype, etc. with enforcing Net Neutrality.

        The FCC, until this ruling, already asserted that it had the right to regulate broadband and we still had no sales tax on purchases and no taxes or fees on VOIP.

        Internet sales taxes must be passed by Congress. I don’t know about usage fees or taxes on broadband but there would be no rational justification for it if the FCC’s more formal regulation of broadband really means keeping the status quo.

        The FCC is not talking about putting broadband under phone company regulations, the option they could use is to formally tag it as a heavily regulated telecommunications service but regulations would be unique to broadband, such as Net Neutrality.

        • KQ says:

          I know it’s not browser specific but broadband providers can block IPs. I probably did not explain the analogy well.

          I really doubt the status quo would be maintain with regulating broadband more under the FCC. This precedent will apply when companies like Comcast take FCC rules to the court in future even if it tightens rules. Lawmakers on both sides have been trying to find ways to “level the playing field” for VoIP ever since it started and are dying to tax it so it makes big telcom happy.

          Watch the floodgates of money and lobbyists from some broadband providers AND telcoms will come flooding in now to support this decision and fight future legislation.

          I just see this guys spin as regulators trying to put their fingers in the dike of a dam about to burst.

  5. nellie says:

    I’ve been dreading this bad decision. And now, here it is.

    As someone who is about to purchase an iPad, I can only hope the days of cable are numbered.


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