Items tagged with net-neutrality

More or less as expected, the FCC voted to advance the new net neutrality rules that would allow ISPs to charge certain web companies more for “fast lanes” for content. It’s a decision that net neutrality advocates are unhappy with because they see it as an unhealthy compromise, while net neutrality opponents are annoyed at the open provisions these rules leave open. The vote went 3-2 along party lines, with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler apparently doing enough to convince the other two democrats on the committee to vote along with him. Tom Wheeler This is by no means the end of political wrangling, though. This vote opens up four months of commentary and reviews, a subsequent second... Read more...
Okay, you feel strongly about net neutrality rules, but you roll your eyes at the prospect of a bunch of aging rockstars advocating for it. What do cats like Eddie Vedder, Tom Morello, Michael Stipe, Fugazi, and more have to do with any of the issues at hand? Actually, they have a really good point to bring to the fore. "The open Internet's impact on the creative community cannot be overstated," reads a letter they (and many others) signed and sent to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. "The Internet has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences. It has eliminated the barriers of geography and taken collaborations to new levels. And it has allowed people—not corporations—to... Read more...
The U.S. may be embroiled in a bitter fight over net neutrality, but Europe has few such issues. European Parliament voted to protect net neutrality rules by an overwhelming margin of 534 votes to 25 (with 58 abstentions). Forbes quoted rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera as saying, “We have achieved further guarantees to maintain the openness of the internet by ensuring that users can run and provide applications and services of their choice as well as reinforcing the internet as a key driver of competitiveness, economic growth, jobs, social development and innovation.” European Parliament Now, ISPs can only slow down or block Internet access with a court order, or to ensure network... Read more...
Now this is one that we didn’t see coming. Opera announced Opera Web Pass, a product that will allow mobile operators to “sponsor” users’ mobile data. In other words, you could enjoy free mobile data as long as you’re willing to endure ads from a given sponsor first. The company paying the advertising is paying for your mobile access. Using the Opera mini browser, you could pull up Web Pass options, select one, and be browsing the web right away. Perhaps you get a one-day unlimited web pass, or a week of Twitter use (sponsored by Twitter), or an hour of Facebook (sponsored by Facebook)--you get the idea. Mobile operators can also tailor web passes to local use cases... Read more...
The FCC’s effort to impose net neutrality rules suffered a setback when a federal court threw out some important sections of the measures, but as the agency fights back against Verizon, et al, it has a powerful ally in the White House. Well, sort of. In a statement on the We The People blog (in response to a petition to get the common carrier designation fixed), Gene Sperling and Todd Park said that President Obama fully supports net neutrality and the FCC’s efforts to that end. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler “Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries,” reads the post.... Read more...
As we’ve all had some time to digest the potential reality of a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, there’s some thought out there that the two giants could be making a move specifically designed to target cord-cutters, those brave souls who’ve given the one-finger salute to traditional pay-TV providers and their steep fees and incommensurate product. Farhad Manjdo of the New York Times writes that the new, bigger Comcast can recoup any lost cable customers by ensuring that it provides them their Internet service. So one way or another, they get to decide how much customers in its markets pay for cable and/or Internet access. Image Source: Flickr (Mr. T in DC) From a business... Read more...
The fight over net neutrality is ongoing, and the most recent punch thrown took the form of a letter that several U.S. senators, including Senator Al Franken, wrote to new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, urging him to act quickly to fight back against a recent court ruling that vacated the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking portions of the order. “The Court’s ruling threatens the freedom of innovators to compete on an open, neutral platform,” reads the letter. “Without rules to preserve fair competition--rules to bar Internet networks operators from discriminating against one content provider over another--deep-pocketed incumbents will have the ability to enter into arrangements... Read more...
You know who’s not a fan of net neutrality? Verizon. The mobile carrier issued a challenge to--and defeated--the FCC’s order that imposes net neutrality rules that include transparency, no blocking, and no unreasonable discrimination policies. The U.S. Court of Appeals has vacated the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules. Fortunately, the transparency portion of net neutrality is still in place, but the rest has been tripped up by technicalities. A central issue appears to be how the FCC has classified broadband providers “in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers”, or so states the court’s decision. “Because the Commission has... Read more...
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