Re: This content is not accessible.

1

Am I over-interpreting the tea leaves here, or is this, as it looks, a coup for Big Internet?

I didn't read too much about it, but it looks that way to me. The court said they don't agree with the goals, but they disagree with the FCC's belief that the FCC has the authority to regulate it in this way. IANAL, it looks plausible to me... but there's not anyone else doing it at the moment.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 6:53 AM
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Sorry, the court said they AGREE with the goals.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 6:53 AM
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It's a victory for Big Crappy Internet, but the lobbying forces are arranged curiously on this one, so it's reasonably possible that congress could actually act.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 6:55 AM
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(For the Modest Mouse fans in the crowd, the post's title can be sung to one's self roughly in the manner of the opening line of "Shit Luck".)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 6:58 AM
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Obama should set a policy that government networks will remain neutral except for traffic from non-neutral ISPs, which will be completely blocked. The same condition would be required from all entities that receive so much as a dime from the Federal government.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:09 AM
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I think they should have net neutrality except for video files. Most of videos are really stupid and they take bandwidth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:14 AM
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There could be an exception for actual journalism, pets being amusing, and the kinds of falls where you can't believe the guy wasn't killed but he gets up at the end.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:18 AM
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8

http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/201004/08-1291-1238302.pdf

The opinion is actually a pretty good read. Judge Tatel is no whackjob, and I think he does a very good job dismantling each of the FCC's claims to be able to stretch its statutory authority to cover this stuff.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:39 AM
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9

8: So, do you think Congress can stretch the FCC's authority by passing new legislation? And, if so, how likely is that to happen?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:44 AM
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10

The key issue here is whether the FCC has existing authority to regulate the provision of Internet service as an information service, under Title I, or whether it has to be reclassified into Title II as a telecommunications service, which would give the FCC authority not only on things like neutrality, but also a lot of public utility-like issues - pricing, wholesale access, universal service etc.

Bush's FCC chairman, Martin, made a ruling back in 2002 that "high-speed broadband" was a value-added information service, not telecommunications. Like cable TV. Therefore, no Title II authority, no structural separation, wholesale line rental etc etc, and you can do what you like in the way of nonneutrality. He also defined broadband as 200Kbps in order to claim politically that the US was "the world leader in broadband".


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:45 AM
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9 -- Yes, Congress can grant the appropriate authority, and can do whatever it wants wrt the issues Alex mentions in 10. I don't follow this stuff at all closely enough to say whether they will have any legislation on the subject this year.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 7:53 AM
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10 is exactly right. Congressional action could definitely fix this (but I have no idea how likely it is), but the court also hinted at a couple ways the FCC might be able to fix it on its own. One possibility might be to revisit the 2002 classification. Don't know if that's more or less likely than Congressional action.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 8:16 AM
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From the Wireline Broadband Framework, 2005: "The Commission is free to modify its own rules at any time to take into account changed circumstances. ... As such, in our discretion, subject to
reasoned explanation, we are free to alter the policy judgment reflected in those requirements based on our assessment of their relevant costs and benefits in light of changed technological and market conditions."

I would read that to mean that the FCC is able to reclassify it executively. But then, I'm not a lawyer.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 8:25 AM
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13: Yes, it can certainly reclassify, or try to. The reclassification would require an administrative proceeding, and then it would be subject to challenge in court, but if it succeeded (as it should) it would definitely solve this problem (and a bunch of others).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 8:32 AM
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(and a bunch of others)

Interesting. Care to elaborate?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 8:38 AM
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15: Well, the big one is that if the FCC reclassified cable Internet under Title II, it could be regulated as a common carrier. That would open up the possibility of the same kind of open access as applies to telephone lines--so that Comcast or whoever would have to open its to-the-home lines to other ISPs.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 8:46 AM
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speaking of, shouldn't 'free market' types be more concerned that Apple or maybe Google will own the marketplace for pretty much any information service sold in the future? sure, slave to corporation=free, but google and apple are coastal elite types.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 11:29 AM
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Google and Apple will never dominate the free market because they are not headed by Randian Supermen. QED.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 11:40 AM
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That would open up the possibility of the same kind of open access as applies to telephone lines--so that Comcast or whoever would have to open its to-the-home lines to other ISPs.

As I understand it, this is the situation in the UK (under different circumstances of course). It's called local loop unbundling here. It was forced on BT in 2006 and it's one of the main reasons broadband in urban areas in the UK is now so much better than in the US, despite a pretty shitty telecoms infrastructure.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-10 12:12 PM
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