In an extensive post, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called for “strong net neutrality,” as opposed to the “weak net neutrality” that currently exists, and which allows ISPs to theoretically – if not actually – bully Internet businesses into paying fees in order for consumers to be able to enjoy their services at better speeds. More →
It’s not just U.S. consumers that need to worry, at least for the time being, about recent decisions that affect net neutrality, The Next Web reports. The European Union’s Industry Committee voted on Tuesday to implement an anti-roaming charges plan that could also allow Internet service providers to prioritize certain types of traffic as long as they’re marked as “specialized services” and don’t interfere with other services provided by ISPs. More →
The Federal Communications Commission has decided not to appeal a recent court ruling that shot down its net neutrality restrictions and will instead write fresh regulations to keep ISPs in check, reports The Washington Post. The Post’s Cecilia Kang says that the FCC plans to rewrite net neutrality rules under its authority granted by Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Reuters, via CNBC, adds that the commission is still very interested in making sure ISPs can’t discriminate against traffic for rivals’ services but adds that it wants to make sure it does so in a way that doesn’t get struck down by the courts.
Now that the Federal Communications Commission’s legal framework for enforcing net neutrality regulations on American ISPs has fallen apart, one former FCC commissioner thinks it’s time for the nuclear option. As Ars Technica reports, one-time FCC commissioner Michael Copps thinks that the FCC should move to reclassify ISPs as common carriers, a move that would set off a massive public relations fight between the FCC and the cable and telecom industries.
Pro-net neutrality activists have long warned that not having net neutrality will lead to a world dominated by large companies such as Facebook and Google that can afford to pay off Internet service providers to have their own traffic given special priority over rivals’ websites. Technology Review points out that something like this is already happening in many emerging markets where consumers are just happy to have Internet access and thus don’t mind the thought of Google and Facebook paying to subsidize their data consumption. More →
We’ve already read today about the big net neutrality ruling’s potential impact on Netflix but it turns out that there might be even bigger losers than well established tech companies. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson has written an imaginary dialog between an entrepreneur and a VC that illustrates just how much power ISPs have gained from this week’s decision to strike down the FCC’s net neutrality rules. More →
The LA Times points out something worth repeating: net neutrality was really killed back in 2002, when the FCC Chairman Michael Powell reclassified cable modem services as “information services” rather than “telecommunications services.” This effectively moved Internet service providers beyond FCC regulation and led to Tuesday’s controversial decision. It created a time bomb that was bound to explode sooner or later. And now it has. Net neutrality is dead and soon ISPs will start deciding what services they will allow to run fast and what they opt to slow down — and how much sites might have to pay to move from the latter category to the former. More →
Don’t worry, American consumers: the death of net neutrality is no big deal and it won’t harm your online experience at all. That’s the takeaway from the various responses U.S. Internet service providers offered up to the public following Tuesday’s U.S. appeals court ruling that killed net neutrality rules. Some believe the ruling will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Internet as we know it today, giving service providers free rein to squeeze money out of companies looking to give their services an edge by allotting them additional bandwidth that standard service will not enjoy. But according to companies such as Comcast and Verizon, that won’t be the case at all. More →
Any semblance of net neutrality in the United States is as good as dead. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 order that imposed network neutrality regulations on wireline broadband services. The ruling is a major victory for telecom and cable companies who have fought all net neutrality restrictions vociferously for years. More →
The European Commission’s vice president and digital chief Neelie Kroes is spearheading a campaign that looks to change the way Europeans connect to the Internet. It is estimated that roughly 100 million people in Europe face restrictions, including throttled Internet speeds and blocked content, from their service providers. The Netherlands and Slovenia are the only countries in Europe that have net neutrality laws to prevent ISPs from blocking competing services, however Kroes would like to see these laws expand to cover all of Europe. More →
The United States Department of Justice is trying to figure out whether cable companies are engaging in anti-competitive practices by not counting data consumed through their own homemade streaming services against customers’ monthly bandwidth caps while docking users’ caps for data streamed through third-party companies such as Netflix and Hulu. The Wall Street Journal reports that the investigation has been ongoing for months and that the DOJ has spoken with the major cable players as well as the major content distributors. The investigation stems at least in part from Comcast’s decision earlier this year to exempt data consumed through its Xfinity Xbox app from customers’ monthly data limits, as the DOJ is “examining whether Comcast’s Xbox policy violated legal commitments made by the company in 2011 to secure antitrust approval for its takeover of NBCUniversal,” WSJ reports. More →
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) want to make sure that Congress doesn’t try to pass another piece of legislation like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that failed spectacularly earlier this year. The Hill reports that the two lawmakers are now calling for an “Internet bill of rights” that will effectively block Congress from passing bills that attempt to restrict online freedom. According to The Hill, the proposal gives “digital citizens” the legal right to “a free, uncensored Internet” and an “open, unobstructed Internet.” The Hill also says that the proposal mentions “rights of equality, privacy, sharing and property on the Internet.” All of this sounds nice, but it’s also incredibly vague, especially since the lawmakers introduced no mechanism for actually enforcing all of these great principles. What’s more, both lawmakers seem to have a different personal definition for what an “open, unobstructed Internet” means since Wyden is a strong proponent of net neutrality while Issa has voted to repeal the FCC’s net neutrality rules for wireline services. More →