Group finds 5 main flaws with proposed Net Neutrality rules

Posted: December 13th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian

by Tim Conneally, BetaNews

A group of more than 80 advocacy groups including The Media Access Project, Reporters without Borders, Daily Kos, Common Cause, and Nonprofit Technology filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission on Friday citing five main areas that need improvement in the Net Neutrality legislation coming up for vote on December 21.

Unlike former FCC Commissioner Michael Powell, whose main concern is keeping the Internet lean and loosely governed to empower investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses, these groups are focused on the rights of the user.

“In announcing the circulation of his draft Order, Chairman Genachowski rightly noted that protecting the free market online means that users, not broadband service providers, must choose what content and applications succeed,” the letter said. “If the current draft Order is adopted without substantial changes, Internet Service Providers will be free to engage in a number of practices that harm consumers, stifle innovation and threaten to carve up the Internet in irreversible ways.”

The principle concern these groups have is the Order’s omission of “Paid Prioritization,” or the ability for service providers to set payment tiers for different types of services and allocate bandwidth accordingly.

“Paid prioritization is the antithesis of openness. Any framework that does not prohibit such economic discrimination arrangements is not real Net Neutrality,” the letter said. “Without a clear ban on such practices, ISPs will move forward with their oft-stated plans to exploit their dominant position and favor their own content and services and those of a few select paying partners through faster delivery, relegating everyone else to the proverbial dirt road.”

AT&T’s Hank Hultquist openly mocked these groups’ knowledge of such issues in August, calling them the “Church of Extreme Net Neutrality,” who preach the “old time religion of the dumb network” without taking all facts into consideration.

The Group’s subsequent gripes all follow along the same lines, asking for more adequate consideration of “full Net Neutrality” to wireless and mobile traffic, which includes the banishment of all economically-motivated traffic prioritization or blocking of applications, sites, and services; and for more comprehensive coverage that lacks loopholes.

The group cites the fiasco over “managed services” earlier this year, and points out that there is no specific language protecting against this either.

“While some highly sensitive and truly specialized services might not be best provided over the open Internet, there is no reason for the FCC to create a specialized services loophole that would undermine Net Neutrality. Unfortunately, the draft Order apparently opens the door to specialized services without any safeguards,” the group said.

Finally, the group calls Genachowski’s rejection of Title II, and gravitation toward the Title I provisions that failed to hold up in the circuit court against Comcast an “unnecessary risk.”

Read the rest at this link.


Comments (3)


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Founder Fire, Aaron Turpen. Aaron Turpen said: New post: Group finds 5 main flaws with proposed Net Neutr ( […]

  2. The cure to BigTel and BigCable domination is competition, plain and simple. This begins with opening the local marketplace to new competition and new ideas. Obviously BigTel and BigCable have already captured the decision-makers at most levels of GUNvernment. Much like everything else, folks are going to need to take back their local communities and get rid of the back-door deals and under-the-table payoffs. Not an easy task when they hold all the cards and puppeteer all the GUNvernment pawns at every level.

    Perhaps one answer might be wide area mesh networks utilizing wireless technologies with self-healing capabilities. The biggest issue with peer-to-peer meshing is the sheer volume of content that many have become accustomed to, which is…of course, why the biggies are fighting about it themselves already.

    After all, you don’t want to be the poor bastard who’s hardware is getting swamped and overloaded by all your neighbors streaming the latest episode of Biggest Loser in HDTV…if that’s what they want to watch…then they should probably just continue to patronize BigTel and BigCable.

    You could always set up your own neighborhood wifi network and share a BigPipe connection with the whole neighborhood. Then you could all come together and make the rules yourselves regarding how many of your neighbors want to do the Biggest Loser thing…why do they really need it in HDTV though?

    Maybe you should start a private, invite-only, neighborhood gym, health-club, and spa. The gym might be at one house, the pool at another…and so on.

    Hey, anything to keep the Desperate Housewives together…right!?!
    Maybe you could start your own private neighborhood homeschooling groups…but be forewarned that that was the big No-No that caused GUNvernment to come crashing down on the Branch Dividians and Mormons…hmmm.

    Hey, it’s all copacetic!

    Starving The Monkeys and Ending The Looterfest,
    John and Dagny Galt
    Atlas Shrugged, Owners Manual For The Universe!(tm)


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