Is regulation needed to keep the Internet fair?

Vector 66

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FCC working to bring net neutrality back from the dead... but is it enough?

FCC working to bring net neutrality back from the dead... but is it enough?

The Federal Communications Commission has announced its plan to craft new rules for net neutrality, following a defeat last month in federal court. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler highlighted a plan that greatly resembles the old rules, including provisions for transparency, as well as a prohibition on blocking and limiting traffic based on its source. The FCC will use authority granted to it under Title II of the Telecommunications act of 1996, according to Wheeler's statement:

As the Court of Appeals noted, as long as Title II – with the ability to reclassify Internet access service as a telecommunications service – remains a part of the Communications Act, the Commission has the ability to utilize it if warranted. Accordingly, the Commission’s docket on Title II authority remains open.

So the FCC will essentially reestablish the old rules with new legal justification. But is that enough, or should the rules be completely rethought? Let us know below in the comments.

Source: Federal Communications Commission

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

FCC working to bring net neutrality back from the dead... but is it enough?


I wouldn't get too hopeful as long as the Democrats and Republicans are running the government and beholden to corporate and the 1%'s interests.....

I think the goal of net neutrality is laudable. However, the rules themselves are broken. The rules must acknowledge the use and need for end-to-end QoS (Quality of Service). As I understand the rules, they currently ignore this requirement.
Essentially, I want my voice traffic, no matter who the provider is, to travel the fastest route through the network, jumping to the first of the line of every cue. That is a requirement for good quality VOIP. A stream from Netflix can buffer, but a phone call cannot.
In my opinion, a few general cues should be acknowledged and trusted through any network, despite the source and destination. If the traffic flow doesn't match the cue type, then the packet should be dropped to reduce abuse of the network.
The rules should clearly define that the carriers cannot give LOWER priority to a packet from a competitor than they give their own traffic in the same class.

The commie in me thinks we need a basic service (2mb up/down?) guaranteed for all American's. The Free Market guy in me then wants to let providers fight it out for the higher end market. The bottom would need to adjust for technology similar to the dollar with inflation, but it would give people a basic dial tone that would allow them to do basic web surfing and studying. Anything above is like buying more stations like cable does. They could charge for unlimited streaming at premium speeds, or fast speeds at night versus day, or super high speeds for Netflix and Hulu and slower speeds for downloads, etc. There are so many options they could do as long as people have basic rights like America did with phone service.

Bilbo, the problem here is that the providers want to charge for the same access multiple times. They charge us for access. They charge the service (Netflix) for access and network peering. Now, they want to charge Netflix extra just to deliver Netflix's data to you at a reasonable rate.

The main goal is to retain their hold on content delivery, and the associated revenue streams. If you can't reliably stream from Netflix, you are more likely to keep their cable package.