fcc decidings who owns internet

A ruling to decide whose internet it is, will be made by the Federal Communication Commission, FCC. Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says he’s keeping that question in mind as he pitches the biggest regulatory shake-up to the telecommunications industry since 1996, when people still used noisy modems and referred to the “information superhighway” as a fun way to buy books or check the weather.

Wheeler has not publicly released his plan yet, and might not for a few weeks. But he has suggested that Internet service has become as critical to people in the United States as water, electricity or phone service and should be regulated like any other public utility.

Wheeler reported that he wants “yardsticks in place to determine what is in the best interest of consumers as opposed to what is in the best interest of the gatekeepers.”

There are chances that an annual tax rate of U.S. wireless accounts will increase by 72$ this year. However, the consumers will be facing no changes in their internet experiences as this expected rate is unapproachable.

What is the term “net neutrality” and how it will affect the consumers:

save the internet fcc decides on net neutrality

THE ISSUE

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers should not move some content faster than others or enter into paid agreements with companies such as Netflix to prioritize their data.

Broadband providers have questioned the fairness of this approach. They have invested heavily in a sophisticated infrastructure and question whether the government should be telling them how to run their networks and package services.

But what if the major cable companies that provide much of the nation’s broadband had free rein to load some files faster than others? It is easy to imagine scenarios where these providers might favor content produced by their affiliates or start charging “tolls” to move data. Consumers naturally would gravitate toward faster sites and services that pay those fees, while smaller startups or nonprofits get shut out.

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OPTIONS TO SOLVE THE ISSUES

The FCC had used the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which was intended to encourage competition in the telephone and cable industry, to enforce “open Internet” rules, until recently, when a federal appeals court knocked down that approach.

President Barack Obama and consumer advocates say a better tack would be to apply Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. That law, written with radio, telegraph and phone service in mind, prohibits companies from charging unreasonable rates or threatening access to services that are critical to society.

Industry likens that approach to cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.

THE FCC

Wheeler says he will circulate his proposal among the other FCC commissioners before Thursday. He has suggested it probably will apply Title II regulation to all Internet service, including wireless, but with some caveats.

Industry experts expect that Wheeler will say many rules should not apply to broadband, invoking what’s called “forbearance.”

The commissioners will vote Feb. 26. Wheeler expected to have the support of the other two Democratic commissioners. The two Republican commissioners have made clear that they do not support applying Title II.

Next stop will be the courts. Industry lobbyists and FCC officials say there’s no doubt one of the big providers will sue and probably ask the court to suspend enforcement of the new regulation pending appeal. It’s possible the issue won’t be resolved for several more years, even well into the next president’s first term.

CONGRESS

Lawmakers could try to resolve the uncertainty, but Congress rarely is that pragmatic. Lawmakers tend to take on issues that fire up their base or bring their states money, and an in-the-weeds compromise on telecommunications law would be a lot of work with little immediate payoff.

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So far, Republicans have pitched an idea that would enforce basic open Internet rules but could strip the FCC of its ability to help local municipalities build their own broadband. It’s a nonstarter for Obama and congressional Democrats who say poor and rural areas have been left behind in the deployment of high-speed Internet.

Assuming Wheeler’s proposal satisfies consumer advocacy groups, Democrats would have little incentive to revisit the issue. While Republicans have the votes to ram though their own anti-regulation legislation without Democratic support, Obama would veto it.

CONSUMERS

Most Internet providers, except Sprint, have warned the legal uncertainty will chill future investments. FCC officials point to a recent wireless spectrum auction that has attracted some $44 billion as proof that the telecommunications industry is thriving even amid the current uncertainty.

As for taxes, the Progressive Policy Institute estimated that treating the Internet like phone service would trigger taxes and fees up to $15 billion a year, including $67 for each wired service and $72 for wireless in state and local taxes.

But that report, widely quoted by industry lobbyists, did not take into account the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibits state and local governments from imposing new taxes on Internet access, or the FCC’s ability to shield consumers against some state and local taxes by claiming the Internet is an “interstate” service.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry for this long comment, but I think it’s important.  Here’s what I’m most concerned about as the future of internet service providers becomes more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands: Metered Billing or Usage Based billing. I believe this is the real pot of gold the current monopolists are after. It is also price-gouging, that multiple studies, done around the world, has show to be unjustified. Metered Billing, over some arbitrary cap, has been shown to be almost pure profit, with almost unmeasurable cost to the provider. (BTW, importantly, this is -not- true for cell phone data–at least not yet.)
    Internet service is currently, right now, already, THE most profitable product the monopoly cable systems sell–by far. Some studies have shown internet service–even -without- Metered Billing–to be 97% pure profit. Unbelievable–FOR A MONOPOLY! To allow monopoly cable and telecom providers to make huge profits from a publicly-granted monopoly (which they -all- are) is totally and transparently a sellout on the part of our government–at all levels. It can not be tolerated.
    For the above reason, I believe the Net Neutrality blow-up has been a nearly total head-fake on the part of the FCC and the industry oligarchs that control it. The industry will “lose” or “partially lose” on the Net Neutrality issue, and then very publicly use this “loss” to justify the implementation of Metered Billing.
    Watch for it, coming soon to a cable bill near you.
    Speed is important, and consistent speed is important. But, and this is a Big But: If the ISP’s start charging based on usage, it will be FAR more important to you. It doesn’t matter how fast the bits come, it you can’t afford to pay for them. Industry lobby officials and cable monopoly executives are publicly predicting that they will implement usage based billing at rates that will raise your monthly bill to $200 to $300 per month (their numbers, not mine) within a few years. They’ll do it slowly, with all sorts of complex plans, but the effect will be that your internet service bill will exceed your current cable TV bill–by a lot–in just a few years. And remember, this is for the bits only, no Netflix subscription or ESPN or CBS… Just the bits. HUGELY profitable for the monopolies as this is money they don’t have to share with HBO or USA Network or anybody. They keep it all. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN.

  2. Might want to proofread this again.  Having some trouble understanding certain parts.  For example, “The term of http://movietvtechgeeks.com/tag/net-neutrality/
    defines that no consumer can use internet at a faster speed than other
    consumer of to enter into any type of paid agreements with companies
    like Netflix in an attempt to make their data prioritize.”
    I’m pretty disappointed with that one, buddy. smh

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