You have to hand it to the Republicans, they don’t even pretend to care about anyone other than rich people and corporations. So the recent FCC votes to begin dismantling Net Neutrality doesn’t come as a surprise at all.
In the short term, you shouldn’t expect anything significant to change since there will be numerous lawsuits from various groups. In the longer term, as long as the GOP controls Washington the assaults on consumers will continue and Net Neutrality destruction is a priority. If this bothers you, check out the EFF and vote for those who think your rights as a consumer are worth protecting.
FCC has opened the floodgates to complaints over net neutrality, unfortunately most of them are over data caps and slow service. Maybe the FCC should focus on encouraging competition, which as the Google Fiber rollout shows us, actually works at addressing these issues. Oh, and maybe stopping the industry efforts at squashing municipal broadband.
I reported a while back on an FCC proposal to improve the location capabilities in mobile phones to allow 911 centers to get information on a callers floor and apartment in a multistory building. Perhaps unsurprisingly, mobile phone carriers are fighting the proposal on the grounds it’s “too hard” and “too expensive”.
Why can’t they just be honest and admit they don’t want to spend money? Residents of cities, for whom this proposal has the most potential, I guess you’re not worth it.
Somewhat surprisingly, most cable and fiber internet providers are delivering speeds close to what they claim, but DSL continues to overpromise and underdeliver. The cable and fiber companies have actually improved overall since last year, although there are still some who can’t provide advertised speeds to all of their customers all of the time.
As someone with DSL, I have first hand knowledge of the shortfall. DSL speeds vary depending on how far away from the Central Office (CO) you are. We’re not that far, as the crow flies, but the convoluted path our line takes has resulted in a much longer distance. Previously, we got around 4.6 Mbps down but were paying for more. So we complained and they set us up with two connections bonded through a special DSL modem. But instead of getting 2x (9.2 Mbps) we have 7.6 Mbps. It’s better, obviously, and streaming video from Netflix and Hulu have improved, but it’s certainly not what I expected. This is the pinnacle for us, there’s no way to get any better. We’re hoping for fiber to appear in our neighborhood but we’re not holding our breath.
It’s taken them a while, but the FCC has decided not to change the priorities in the 902 MHz band. As it now stands Amateur Radio is a secondary user in the band behind a number of services, including M-LMS (Multilateration Location Monitoring Service). A company called Progeny had petitioned the FCC to allow it to reprioritize its service in the band which operates as an unlicensed Part 15 device. This would have likely caused interference with licensed services such as Amateur Radio and would have made adoption and use of the band by hams even more difficult. Progeny is still permitted to use the band, but at the same priority as currently allowed to Part 15 devices.
Without any visible irony, top ISPs like AT&T and Comcast are threatening to innovate less, spend less on network upgrades if broadband is reclassified by the FCC as a telecommunications service. This comes on the heels of reports that they are already reducing their investments in their networks.
The companies warned the FCC not to classify broadband as a telecommunications service, which would open Internet service up to stricter “common carrier” rules under Title II of the Communications Act. The US has long applied common carrier status to the telephone network, providing justification for universal service obligations that guarantee affordable phone service to all Americans and other rules that promote competition and consumer choice.
Web host Neocities has given the FCC a 28.8Kbps slow lane to point out the dangers to net neutrality represented by their recent “fast lane” proposal.
Imagine an Internet where you’re charged separately for access to sites like Netflix or Hulu. Or maybe your provider isn’t on the preferred list of those sites so you can’t get to them at all. All possible with the FCC’s proposal.