NY Times Says FCC Should Reclassify Broadband Under Title II

from the about-time... dept

The big fight in the net neutrality battle is whether or not the FCC will agree to reclassify broadband under Title II, effectively arguing that it's a "common carrier" subject to certain specific rules. While earlier this year many insiders insisted this was politically impossible, over the last few months, it's become increasingly feasible from a political standpoint. That doesn't mean it will happen. In fact, it's probably still a longshot, in part because I can't remember the last time an FCC chairperson didn't seek "the easy way out" rather than making a tough decision and standing up for what's right. However, the latest to jump on the "reclassify" bandwagon is the NY Times editorial board, making a clear case for reclassification.
As a candidate in 2007, Mr. Obama rightly opposed letting telecommunications companies charge “different rates to different websites.” But Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the F.C.C. who was appointed by Mr. Obama, has proposed troubling rules that would allow cable and phone firms to enter into specials with companies like Facebook and Google as long as the contracts are “commercially reasonable.” These rules would effectively allow telecoms to divide the Internet into fast and slow lanes.

The commission has a better option. It can reclassify broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service, which would allow regulators to prohibit phone and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast from engaging in unjust or unreasonable discrimination against content. The F.C.C. wrongly classified broadband as an information service during the administration of George W. Bush, a decision that has limited the F.C.C.’s ability to protect consumers and smaller Internet firms.

Mr. Obama is sending Mr. Wheeler and his fellow commissioners a message. They should pay attention.
Of course, one editorial board opinion might not seem like that big of a deal, but (whether for good reasons or bad), the NYT's editorial board still holds a fair amount of sway within DC circles. In other words, this is at least another partial step forward in driving home the idea that reclassifying broadband is both the right thing to do and completely politically feasible.
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Filed Under: common carrier, fcc, politics, reclassification, title ii
Companies: ny times


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  1. icon
    Whatever (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    B4RN is really cool and all, but if you read their business plan, page 15, you see where they aren't any better than most other ISPs:

    http://b4rn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/B4RN-Business-Plan-v5-2.pdf

    they are forecasting 3200 properties. They have created 12 nodes, each connected by 10 gig (redundant). That means that each head end services on average 266 customers. So their 1 gig connections really aren't 1 gig, they are on average about 40 meg. Now, nothing to sneeze at, but it's a 26 times over sell on their promised bandwidth. If they actually provided full 1 gig 100% of the time, you would assume the costs would be a number of times more expensive.

    Also, their physical installation methods are advantageous because they are basically getting free rights to install on land that others would have to pay for. This is pretty much unfair competition, don't you think?

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