FCC Chairman announces plans to re-classify internet as utility

President Obama Expected To Nominate Rep. Mel Watt For Director Of The Federal Housing Finance Agency

A big topic in the tech industry throughout 2014 was “net neutrality”. Partly helped by THAT John Oliver video. There were concerns that internet, both mobile and fixed line, was being  corrupted by big players who sought to reward content/service providers with being on “fast lanes” if they paid enough for the privilege.

Under a net neutrality law, the internet is an open and equal space for any site, content or online service provider regardless of size, or how big their bank balances are.

In an op-ed published on Wired, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler states that he is seeking to reclassify the internet as a utility, and wants to “ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services.”

It’s big news for net neutrality advocates, and is a huge step forward for the state of the industry. It includes both fixed line and wireless/cellular broadband.

“That is why I am proposing that the FCC use its Title II authority to implement and enforce open internet protections.

Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”

Of course, we can expect the huge ISPs to lobby aggressively in an attempt to derail Tom Wheeler’s plans to make the internet an open space. Those companies who stand to lose the most will be the ones fighting hardest: Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

As for T-Mobile, John Legere has openly supported net neutrality, but not under Title II being proposed today by Tom Wheeler, and previously by President Obama. In Legere’s ideal world, internet should be open and free, but not stringently and strictly regulated as to stifle innovation.

It’s unclear if T-Mobile stands to lose out under the Title II re-classification. Many criticized Music Freedom as being anti-net neutrality by freeing up lanes of data for music streaming for customers on specific plans.

With all the lobbying that’s bound to take place, and with all the ISPs looking to have their voices heard, it’s going to be some time before internet is re-classified for real. But today is a huge step towards net neutrality.

Sources: Wired, The Verge, Fierce Wireless

For those interested, the hilarious John Oliver video is below. It may, or may not, contain some strong language:

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  • TK – Indy

    Well, they are scheduled to vote on this at the end of the month, they have the votes, so it won’t be “some time” before it takes effect, unless an injunction is granted for litigation. I don’t see that a court will grant an injunction on this issue, as the ISP’s are unlikely to prevail.

    • archerian

      granting an injunction and the ISPs prevailing can be ages apart, but the former might happen soon and it shouldn’t be hard to find a favorable judge. Last time this went to court, Verizon did actually win, but it was that win that forced the FCC’s hand for this.

      • Adrayven

        We’ll see another lawsuit, that much is sure. Question is did the FCC prepare for it this time?

        It’s ironic and sad how limp the FCC’s power has become.. I suspect this will come down to an act of congress.. at which point it’s a lost cause..

        • TK – Indy

          Congress needs the President to sign things, unless they have enough votes for an override. That hasn’t happened in decades.

        • Mike

          I don’t think this requires a presidential signature — it’s a policy interpretation, not a new law, and veto overrides happened as recently as the last Bush administration.

      • TK – Indy

        Well, I am not a lawyer – but I do know that to get an injunction to stop an action like this, there must be clearly defined evidence that shows the case will likely succeed, and damage to the plaintiffs will happen without an injunction. I don’t see that here. The entire reason the Verizon case was successful was an FCC memo from 2007 that said broadband was not subject to Title II, so the FCC couldn’t regulate it. This action will nullify that memo, and put it directly under Title II.

      • Aaron Davis

        All they have to do is take it to the East Texas District Court. The judges there are either extremely pro-corporate, or easily bribed.

        • Or the judicially activist Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • javier

    I new is off topic but does anybody know the service mode for the ZTE Z max to make sure it has band 12 for the metro pcs version ,please help me I’ve tried everything looked everywhere cannot find any info

    • Jay

      search for “xda developers” and ask your question there– they are more likely to know the answer

    • It should have the same bands as T-Mobile, which are 2, 4, 10 (which is a companion of Band 4) and 12. It could possibly have Band 1 as well.

      After all, MetroPCS rides on T-Mobile 4G network.

  • TechnoRealz

    I still don’t understand this part: “Many criticized Music Freedom as being anti-net neutrality by freeing up lanes of data for music streaming for customers on specific plans.”

    To me it was offering most TMO post paid customers another plan component like unlimited mins or unlimted text vs. a bucket of each at differnt price point.

    To start calling it anti-NN was odd to me because you can always get more/less of something at each price point in other industry too (e.g. base model vs. luxury model in cars).

    So why single out TMO’s freedom plan as anti NN?

    • Isaac

      I’ll Bite.

      Basically NN is about a service provider not caring where data is coming from or where data is going. The principles of Net Neutrality are based on the idea that all data is equal and is treated as the same.

      So, once that is accepted, and you look at how TMO handles data, you can see it doesn’t conform that idea. It seems, and indeed is, very cool to be able to stream music and I personally find it nice. The problem comes from things that are outside our perspective though.

      Let’s say that Verizon creates a music streaming service that’s open to everyone and let’s say it gets popular. T-mobile decides that because Verizon is a competitor that they aren’t going to add them to the “Music Freedom” program, or they make Verizon pay to be part of the program. Or what if I create a music streaming service, it’s small right now, but I’ve got a loyal fanbase. Why shouldn’t I be part of “Music Freedom”, for one reason should I be punished because I’m still small?

      tl;dr: Music Freedom is pretty cool, but it violates the principles of Net Neutrality.

      • archerian

        before someone comes and says if Verizon starts a music streaming service and it gets popular, then T-mobile will make it free too, the very fact that some other entity lays down rules on what is free or not is in itself a violation.

      • Mike Palomba

        But T-Mobile isnt charging anyone for the service. It’s basically just a nice thing their doing that doesn’t benefit them monetarily at all.

        • TK – Indy

          You would feel differently if you were launching “Mike’s Streaming Service” and not included in Music Freedom.

        • archerian

          no paid prioritization also implies no unpaid de-prioritization

        • Adrayven

          I can see exceptions.. like for Education and Medical or to those of certain low-income.. Where it’s ‘credited’ ..

          In those cases though it wouldn’t be a question of ‘competition’ …

        • TK – Indy

          Read Title II of the FCA, in particular, the discrimination clauses. The only prioritization allowed for is emergency/government services.

        • Isaac

          You are 100% correct. I’m was trying to draw a parallel between what position T-Mobile is in and the position Comcast used to squeeze Netflix for additional funds. They aren’t changing anyone for the service, but there is nothing saying they can’t charge someone for the service if they want to try and take a cut.

          Ultimately, I think T-Mobile is a great company and is (mostly) ethical, otherwise I wouldn’t have been with them for the last 10 years. I’m just trying to help people understand why Music Freedom has garnered some criticism from NN advocates.

        • archerian

          When T-mobile allow certain music streaming services to stream free, it is an unfair advantage to them as other competitor might find it tough when a customer who has a data cap is forced to choose the “free” service over the one that eats data.

        • impasse

          what i also don’t understand about people getting confused is, to me they’re just detecting the data and not counting it towards your cap if you’re on a certain plan. if they want to make more things not count towards my cap (like say, app updates), i’m all for that. long as they aren’t slowing down the non-“free” data, it’s all good.

          to me this is more like when the people who were going way over the 5GB cap (by torrenting) started complaining that t-mo was finally warning then shutting them down

        • samagon

          This is terrific so long as they treat all music the same.

          Right now, say there’s a company called musack, they let you stream music, and tmo lets you stream musack music to your phone without counting against the monthly BW, then Verizon, or ATT buy musack, tmo then decides to let all music streaming except musack go through without counting against your cap. Oh, and then they go a step further and say every MB of music streamed through musack counts as two MB of data.

          that smells like a duck to me.

        • MastarPete

          The problem is they’re trying to treat data like some precious, highly limited resource – yes wireless spectrum is finite but they keep crying wolf. All while poking holes to allow people unlimited access for specific applications or use types goes against their treating it like a precious, highly limited resource.

          It should be a red flag for everyone, instead the ISPs and especially the cellular companies have gotten everyone conditioned to the idea of data caps as the norm. Now anything that bypasses those caps is seen as good when really any caps should be much higher to match the speeds the network is capable of. Or do you like being able to download 1gb worth of updates and hit your cap in a matter of minutes?

          It is absurd for any ISP to offer what is supposed to be a “Monthly” data allotment while simultaneously providing speeds that are capable of running through that allotment in a matter of minutes or hours. To me, they’re selling us something that they don’t want us to use and are getting upset when people actually use it. For them to NOT actually provide a reasonable data pool, especially wired ISPs where capacity isn’t nearly as big of a concern, is absolute B.S.

          They clearly have capacity especially If they’re willing to poke holes and raise the average load on the network by choosing what doesn’t get counted. So, stop wasting our time by messing around with the allow rules and bump everyone’s data pools.

          People torrenting over cellular shouldn’t be seen as abnormal, there are plenty of legitimate use cases where it’s a reasonable thing to do. Phones and Tablets are edging ever closer to the point where there’s no distinction in terms of the data they consume compared to the average desktop. However people trying to use their cellular plans in place of actual home broadband just shows you how messed up this country’s broadband options are. Really it should not matter how the data is consumed, torrent, streamed or tethered.

        • archerian

          The point raised is being “free” customers might be forced to use the services which T-mobile classifies as free, which is an unfair to other services who cannot compete as their data usage would count and be hence be more expensive to use.

        • Chris Reed

          by your analogy i should be able to play in the NBA if i buy a basketball and some sneakers. Fair is not equal and equal is not fair. Free market wins every time – if you have a service, that does not mean its entitled to the same exposure as beats music service – you actually have to put in the hard work to be successful.

        • archerian

          I did not offer any analogy, and playing ball isn’t comparable to obtaining an important service impacting various aspects of daily life.

          Providing equal access to services doesn’t mean promoting and making those services better. Left to itself, Free Market would destroy open internet access as telecom companies have milked the connection aspect dry, now they are poaching contentcontent, abusing their connectivity advantages.

        • You are then free to leave TMUS and look for a carrier that promotes the services you like.

        • Chris Reed

          exactly.

        • archerian

          This comment is exactly why we need Net Neutrality rules.

        • Stone Cold

          He was showing an example to explain it in simple terms of how it could be viewed as anti NN.

        • Adam

          While this Verizon example is hypothetical, there are real world examples today. There are small radio stations I like to listen to today that are not T-Mobiles free list. Although these stations are not competitors with T-Mobile, their lack of national customer base keeps them off T-Mobiles request list. T-Mobiles policy is anti-small business and immoral. Although, I am not quite outrages enough do anything besides posting on a message board.

  • kbiel

    By all means, let’s regulate ISPs like we did legacy phone companies for decades. That brought us great innovations like…um…the princess phone and ISDN and $1K/month T1 speeds and lawsuits to even be allowed to plug in your own equipment or choose your own long distance provider. Very, very innovative.

    • TK – Indy

      Yes, the phone companies did all of that. They were able to be stopped because of this regulation. Regulation didn’t cause the behavior, it prevented it from persisting.

      • kbiel

        In what world do you live? Utility mandates granted the legacy phone companies monopolies where they were allowed to abuse their patrons. It took lawsuits by customers, not any PUC who were in the pockets of the phone companies, to force the phone companies to allow customers to use their own equipment. It took lawsuits and the 1984 consent decree to break up Ma Bell and allow choice in long distance providers, lowering prices. No PUC did that. No government regulation relegated long distance service to the low price commodity that it is today. Rather PUCs enforced rate zones within cities and made long distance so profitable for Ma Bell and later the baby bells.

        It took the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which removed more regulations than it promulgated, to bring local competition. Perhaps you do not remember a time when the only choice you had was the local bell company (or other ILEC), but I do. I also remember that prices for local and long distance service dropped dramatically as various ILECs, CLECs, cable companies and, later, VOIP companies started competing for my business after 1996. No regulation made them do that. No regulation gave me better options and better prices. Rather regulations stood in the way of that for far too long.

        • TK – Indy

          Without the FCA, the Bells couldn’t be stopped, as it was the entire authority to stop them. The result of the 1996 Telecommunications Act you referenced above was the amended FCA. You prove my point.

        • Durandal_1707

          Those abuses weren’t because of regulation, they were because as a monopoly, there wasn’t any competition.

          How many choices do you have for your cable internet provider right now?

    • eAbyss

      The practices you’re describing were due to monopolies and guess what stopped these practices? REGULATION.

  • superg05

    yes

  • It’s a stupid move. As such, networks will have to be designed for peak capacity and thus removing incentives to be efficient. It’s the same thing as with highways: huge, multi-lane freeways get clogged at rush hours and remain empty overnight. Instead, were highway access at premium hours charged a premium, users would adjust their routine around it, such as moving or changing the schedule.

    Moreover, as an utility, everyone would have to pay for subsidizing access to rich farmers in Idaho and what not.

    Rather, let us keep the dispensable government out of the indispensable Internet, without which it was possible to advance by leaps and bounds.

    • TK – Indy

      Hey, I need my ‘taters – Idaho farmers gotta have the access they need.

    • archerian

      it won’t lead to a push to increase capacity. In your highway lane analogy, all cars legally allowed on the existing road will be allowed equal access to the lanes, whether a Ferrari or Ford, with some possible priority access for certain non-commercial emergency services.

    • Kyle

      ISPs currently sell their service based on speed. Customers are already paying the premium for ‘fast lanes’.

      ISPs were already getting subsidies to expand access to rural areas.

    • bob90210

      It’s not about preventing ISPs from charging premium prices during premium hours but stopping ISPs from charging extra for or blocking access to content or services.

    • What?

      This doesn’t even make sense and your statement contradicts alot of your previous posts.

      You might want to read up on the subject because your analogy has nothing to do with net neutrality.

    • eAbyss

      I don’t think this nutjob has any idea what Net Neutrality is.

  • 21stNow

    Can this open up mobile internet billing to a bill-for-usage basis? I would prefer that we don’t have to select pre-determined data amounts in advance of using the data. This would make it more like electricity service. Of course, the rate would have to be no more than $10/GB.

    • kev2684

      have you seen your usage of your ISP? I myself use 300-500gb a month just by streaming YouTube, amazon prime, hulu plus and netflix in HD on my TV with my chromecast. anything above $10 per 100gb would change my home internet usage as it is now. predetermined data amounts would be costly for both personal and business accounts.

      • 21stNow

        My comment only addressed mobile internet billing, not home internet billing.

        • Mr Paul

          Beggars can’t be choosers. Let’s just aim for removing caps, period, and forcing ISPs and Carriers to temporarily throttle and eventually suspend abusers (people slamming towers too hard too long on mobile carriers or people seemingly running a data center out of their homes), and upgrade equipment to handle the load.

        • TechHog

          They won’t go that far. Wheeler ‘n Dealer is still in the pocket of ISPs.

        • eAbyss

          So your solution is screw Net Neutrality? Throttling and suspending people for using a service they paid for is NOT the answer.

        • Mr Paul

          Not what I said.

          So you believe people who pay for cell service have the right to ruin it for everyone else, by using it as their ISP and jamming towers constantly like it’s okay. Some people go through 20-30GB a month. That in and of itself is not a problem for any network, but if people are pounding down GB by GB at a given time, the carrier absolutely reserves the right to at least temporarily throttle. Without that ability, all carriers would turn into mess seen on 5×5 Sprint PCS. Yes, there IS such a thing a fair throttling (like during rush hour) to ensure everyone can get the speeds they need to offer a good experience for their customers (AT&T is the best example, whereas Sprint does the worst, T-Mobile does moderately okay where the LTE is even usable, and Verizon throttles tons of things on purpose so scratch them) and justified throttling (of massive abusers, and yeah, even T-Mobile is starting to do this for the sake of their network’s reliability).

          Every company has the right to suspend abusers, whether that’s fair to you or not. And as for a home internet connection, I thought my mention made it clear that only under very extreme cases would said IPs reserve the right to suspend internet connections. Right now, most sane ISPs (SANE, meaning this doesn’t include Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, etc.) don’t even have caps, just hardware throttling the speeds to ridiculous levels, forcing you to pay anywhere from 5-30 dollars more a month just to lift a throttle that doesn’t need to be placed.

    • Allen Enriquez

      21stnow i love your idea now the next thing is just like pg&e the care program discounts based on a serious of aspects such as medical, wages, family size, homeless status, etc.

  • KijBeta

    If this applies the same restrictions on wireless networks it will kill the few regional carriers that are still around. I don’t know how the title II laws work, but I hope they can be adjusted to encourage local competition instead of kill what is already struggling.

    • Matt

      I disagree. This is a good thing. The internet should be considered a regulated public utility. If it is going to take a law to do this, so be it. How will it kill competition. There isn’t really any competition anyways. There are only a few major players and most have a veritable monopoly in certain areas.

      • Allen Enriquez

        I so agree matt it is a utility! It’s a way of communication to my doctors, lab works that determines guidelines for medical health reasons this is seriously Important.

    • bob90210

      You don’t know how title II laws work yet you think it will kill regional carriers. Why do you think that is the case?

      • KijBeta

        It comes from the generic knowledge of NN and from how bad the FCC is at promoting competitive regulations. Many regional carriers change how data from different sources travels into their network. I used to be a MetroPCS customer, YouTube and Facebook were prioritized over most video and websites because that is what their customers visited most and it made sense to make sure your customers are happy with their limited service. As they got bigger and increased the from 5+5 to 10+10 in many areas this became less obvious and in many places the prioritized traffic disappeared. But there are still regional carriers that need to have some more control whether it’s against NN or not to keep customers from jumping ship. Allowing a certain reasonable level of network management could keep them alive. But I don’t think all of them will survive if everything is dumped on them. I think if it was applied slowly over time they could adjust, but it appears likely be a one year timetable. This is just an opinion, and I am not a lawyer for the FCC, so of course I don’t know how things will happen.

        • bob90210

          It’s not good for consumers if carriers prioritizes YouTube over other video services since it allows the carriers to choose which services their customers will use instead of the consumers themselves.

        • TechHog

          Your knowledge of NN comes from big ISP propaganda I bet lol.

        • Aaron Davis

          How do you know that MetroPCS was giving extra priority to youtube and facebook? Especially since they are just a T-mobile MVNO and probably don’t have that capability anyway.

        • KijBeta

          Metro was around many years before Tmo merged. The use of past tense should of been clear, I apologize if it was not more obvious to you.

    • Jason

      net neutrality???

      how is this related?

      net neutrality is stating no restrictions on any data from any provider…

    • eAbyss

      You don’t know how something works but you know it’s bad for business?

      Must be a republican.

  • Mirad77

    Google you are now cleared to bring Google Fiber to me. ;)

    • nycplayboy78

      YASSSSS!!!! :)

  • This is just a Trojan Horse for the government to be able to shut the Internet down. The federal government was jealous of the Egyptian tyrant and American puppet being able to shut the Internet in his country down and clamored to have the same power (v. wrd{dot}cm/1vtJnQj ). Be careful what you wish for: that the Internet be regulated in the same way that Victorian monopolies are protected.

    • TK – Indy

      They would never shut it down – they need it to watch us.

      • Android_God

        YAAAAAAAWN

    • Augoosetoe

      Government could shut it down right now if they wanted. They could remotely watch everything you do via your webcam and/or cellphome camera. Take off the tinfoil hat nobody is coming after you to steal your $30 prepaid plan.

    • Android_God

      BWAHAHAHA!!! INFOWARS?!?!

      • Is this more up to your sensibilities, distressed damsel?

        cnn{dot}it/1Kv1vuB

    • derp hurr-durr

      “Credibile” has never been a word used to describe you, has it?

    • TechHog

      Go home, you’re drunk.

    • eAbyss

      This guy’s a nutjob conspiratist who must have just run out of tinfoil, pay him no attention.

  • Pluto

    Alot of people here are soo misinformed on the basic idea of net neutrality. I suggest you read up before commenting with anti-government sentiments because if there is any law/bill/legislation at the current time net neutrality is definitely for everyday people.

    Net neutrality is basically saying data cannot be discriminated against.

    TMobile music freedom does discriminate data but I don’t think it’s infringing. TMobile just doesn’t count toward the data usage towards your allotted data bucket and their is no priority rules that would prevent or limit your access to similar programs or etc.

    The speedtest releasing users throttle to show a higher speed is more shady but i still don’t believe it would be a net neutrality issue either

    • gmo8492

      I agree, but T-mobile has actually been making improvements to be more transparent, and they mentioned a few months back that they will stop showing higher speed tests when throttled. While At&t and Verizon have been fighting the FCC every step of the way.

    • The notion that any network in general or the Internet in particular has always treated all data the same way is not only false but would be technically absurd.

      Having predictable quality of service is of the essence of any network and has been for the Internet since its widespread use.

      For example, voice calls must be given priority if one expects to hear clearly and intelligibly. In order to achieve this, voice data has to be given priority over cat videos. This is the case not only on mobile networks, but also in the Internet backhaul that carriers use. Carriers pay wholesale Internet providers for the privilege of having their voice traffic be given higher priority over emails.

      Akamai made its business to provide better service to large websites in such a transparent and efficient manner that would be impractical and unaffordable for most websites to replicate.

      So, the Internet has never been neutral and putting it in a cask of neutrality would mean that its performance would degrade. Providers would then be forced to build it up to compensate for its inefficient usage, since QoS would be unlawful.

      Why anyone would clamor for government control of the only means of communication that hasn’t been corrupted and sold to the highest bidder as the other utilities is beyond me.

      • TechHog

        You really fell for the ISP propaganda, huh? Poor fool… No, performance doesn’t have to degrade. You’re taking this to mean that all traffic will have to slow down to the speed of the slowest website on the internet, but that’s not what it means at all. What it means is that the only factor to determine speed will be available bandwidth and caching systems. ISPs won’t be able to slow down sites to deter people from using them (see: Netflix), and they won’t speed up sites to convince people to use them. Can we trust the government? I don’t know, but I definitely know that we can’t trust Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, or AT&T. Fun fact: the internet used to be classified under Title II, but it was changed to encourage competition. The ISPs were also given billions to create fiber networks nationwide. Do you still feel that we’re better off leaving it in their hands?

        • The ISPs were also given billions to create fiber networks nationwide.

          And guess what? We NEVER got the fiber network that the ISPs promised us. Instead, they pocketed all of that money and is now spending it on lobbying.

        • TechHog

          That’s my point. They essentially stole taxpayer money. They robbed taxpayers and the government, and now they have to face the consequences.

      • Adam

        I doublet your doomsday prediction of no voip will come true. But, you are correct that literal net neutrality does not make sense and will not happen.

        Comcast is trying to put Netflix out of business, because of their conflict of interest between internet provider and content provider. Comcast, as government franchise holder, is already a quasi-government agency. Using
        taxpayer resource as a means to limit competition should be stopped, which is what the FCC is trying to do.

      • archerian

        You have no clue how voice is carried do you? It’s already regulated as its already under Title II. Net neutrality isn’t QoS management. No one will be forced to expand capacity.

      • eAbyss

        What are you smoking? Voice calls have absolutly nothing to do with Net Neutrality. Carriers don’t have to pay for call prioritization nor have they ever had to. Voice calls are prioritized and always will be, this only effects the rest. What Net Neutrality means is that carriers have to allow web traffic over their networks at the highest available speed (no throttling) and they may not block legal content. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

        Now put your tinfoil hat back on and go back to hiding in your closet.

    • eAbyss

      The main main thing with Music Freedom that I think makes it net neutral is that they don’t single out a specific service or services. All* streaming music is included. This is unlike the other carriers that block or throttle specific services (e.g. Netflix, YouTube…).

      *Streaming services must be added to Music Freedom.This is a FREE (also helpful for T-Mobile to claim net neutrality) and ongoing process that prioritizes company requested, customer requested or highly used services.

    • SteveD

      “TMobile just doesn’t count toward the data usage towards your allotted data bucket and their is no priority rules that would prevent or limit your access to similar programs or etc.”

      Which means that you must pay for the “other” data while “that” data is free.. That is the very definition of going against Net neutrality.

      Net Neutrality means that every single kb of data must be treated in the EXACT same manner as every other kb of data. No speed differential. No cost differential.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Are they actually doing something for us?? Lemme guess it affects them too

    • eAbyss

      This decision effects the entire world.

      • archerian

        The FCC’s jurisdiction ends at the US border

        • Daniel

          You’re right, but the decision will be bigger than the US.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        It only affects the US. FCC only has power in the US not the world.

  • Philip

    I actually agree with the govt on this. But not on Obama care and others. Also the govt did a bad job allowing DAL & NWA to combine.

  • Paul

    In the immortal words of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, “GOOD NEWS EVERONE!”

    • Guest

      I’m sure this is me being pedantic, however, when Farnsworth uses that phrase, “GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!” it is always to preface terrible news. Farnsworth should be the last one delivering ‘good news’ on the topic of net neutrality.

  • TechHog

    It’s definitely the end of Music Freedom if this succeeds… and I’m fine with that. Net neutrality is a million times more important.

    • Aaron C

      I agree about net neutrality being more important, but I am not clear on whether or not music freedom really falls under those rules?

      • Guest

        Under strict neutrality, I don’t see how Music Freedom would survive. Because music traffic is literally given preference *after* you hit your data cap. Everything else, aside from music is slowed down. However, this unequal treatment only happens *after* you hit your data cap. Not before it. But still it would be unequal or preferential treatment of traffic.

        While many would cheer the elimination of completely symmetrical data throttling after caps — I’m concerned that net neutrality could eliminate it under the guise that no traffic can be slowed down for any reason, even if the slow down is entirely equally applied. Because I *by far* prefer T-Mo’s “unlimited” 2g data after your data cap to AT&T and VZW’s data overage “fees”.

        I suppose T-Mo could just literally cut customers off when they hit their data cap, if it came to that, but I wouldn’t like that. Nor would I guess many other customers.

        • archerian

          Music Freedom isn’t counted towards your data cap ever, even *before* you reach it, not just after it.

    • Guest

      Music Freedom was criticized as being non-neutral, because it isn’t, but only after your tiered limit. And, I’m not so sure it isn’t unreasonable for carriers or ISP’s to have tiered limits on data. Moreover, I certainly would rather deal with 56k or ISDN speed access vs being hit with data overage fees.

      I mean, it’s abhorrent what AT&T and VZW get to do with their 300 meg “trap” data plans. Market and sell it as a “cheap” plan. But have the ‘data overage’ fees engineered to be 3-4 times as expensive as the overage fee for higher data tiers, because they sell you less data for a higher price.

      • archerian

        It’s not after the data cap

    • eAbyss

      I don’t see Music Freedom going away under these rules. Net Neutrality mainly effects prioritization and preferential treatment. T-Mobile is not prioritizing or giving preferential treatment to music streaming. T-Mobile allows any music streaming company to stream on for free network for FREE as long as there included in the program. How do they get into the program you ask? Companies are added all the time but to be added next they have to ask, customers have to ask, OR they have to be one of the most highly used music services on T-Mobile that hasn’t been added yet. T-Mobile is trying to add an entire industry to this offer and that can’t be done overnight.

      Providing for an entire industry like T-Mobile = Net Neutral

      Throttling or blocking a certain service or services like the other top three do (e.g. Netflix, YouTube…) = NOT Net Neutral

      As you see the main difference between what T-Mobile’s doing and everyone else is that T-Mobile is putting an entire industry on even ground unlike the other carriers who pick and choose based on how much a company pays them or whether or not they like them.

      The most I see coming out of this for T-Mobile is them having to add Music Freedom to every plan.

      • archerian

        “Providing for an entire industry like T-Mobile = Net Neutral”

        “T-Mobile is putting an entire industry on even ground” – I’m a T-mobile loyal user, but the koolaid is strong in this one.

      • SteveD

        Music freedom is specifically the kind of thing the the Net Neutrality folks want stopped. They make preference for certain data types over others. THEIR data is free… If you want another.. you must pay more for it. That goes against net neutrality.

        The regulation of the internet as a utility means one thing.. and one thing only. It’s going to cost everyone more money for absolutely no return on that investment.

        • TechHog

          You mean kinda like how nobody got any return on the subsidies the government gave the ISPs for the nationwide fiber rollout that never happened because, at the same time, they took said ISPs off of Title II to encourage competition (which ultimately resulted in local monopolies on almost every area in the country)?

          I can’t believe how many sheep are falling for the big ISP propaganda.

  • Mark Troy

    stupid is as stupid does.

    just because i pay for a service (cable) or utility (phone) and my internet requires one of those, i now need to pay the government for internet?

    just plain stupid!

    • Chris Jessop

      No, if you are to read the specifics nowhere in title II of the Telecommunications act of 96 does it state that the then technology being labeled as Utility (phone and later cell phone) is being owned by the government. It just stated that all parties providing and all user’s of said technologies have the right to equal use of infrastructure and resources of said technologies, and in people then did not have start paying the government for their phone bill or later cell phone bill the continued to be payed to the providers Bell,MCI,AT&T now Verizon AT&T Comcast, thanks to the Telecommunications act of 96 we have the mass of competition in cell phone service (straight talk, cricket, sprint, t-mobile, verizon, at&t, boost) all that is going to be done if Net nuetrality is achieved, and Internet is seen as a utility just as phone service is under the Telecom act is allow for the same type of competition to be achieved only with Internet providers instead of Phone providers. With many big telcom companies having a large internet infrastructure already (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle, IBM) it gives them an opportunity to enter the industry under an even playing field. This scares the shit out of the current mono and dual “opolies” because the massive profits they have now because they can mark up internet service at nearly 100-130% will drop dramatically. One of the reasons why Time Warner and Comcast want to merge so badly is to get their resources together before this happens so they can have a better foothold on the market when the competitors start arriving.