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Archive for January, 2015

This blog has included four previous posts about the importance of Net neutrality. In November of last year President Obama released a statement describing the importance of Net neutrality. I agree with his statement and wrote one of the nearly four million public comments mentioned early in the full statement. An excerpt from the middle part of the statement is posted below.

Prior to reading the excerpt though please consider an example of what happens when what happens when what the President describes as the “gatekeepers” decide to throttle certain content on the Internet in order to extract more profits from content providers. Starting during the summer of 2013 Netflix subscribers’ accessing the Internet using Comcast found that their movie streams gradually slowing. Comcast wanted Netflix to pay to have them upgrade their capacity. Then in February 2014 Netflix paid an undisclosed amount to Comcast and the problem instantly stopped. Obviously it is not possible for a cable company to upgrade its capacity where no capacity existed before. Doing so would be like building a 12-lane highway overnight.

Here is the excerpt from President Obama’s Statement:

I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:

  • No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
  • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
  • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
  • No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.

The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.

So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.

November 10, 2014

For the entire statement please click here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality – section-read-the-presidents-statement

For all of the posts in this series about Net neutrality, which include additional examples of problems with a non-neutral Net please click here:

https://ethanannis.wordpress.com/category/net-neutrality/

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