Sunday, March 18, 2018

Litigation against net neutrality repeal consolidated; three telecom trade associations defend FCC with arguments; broadband "nutrition labels"

Jon Brodkin has a summary and explanation of the litigation, at least twelve lawsuits and counting, against the FCC over the Network Neutrality repeal, on Arstechnica, here
But three lobbying groups for the telecom industry have filed their “defense” of the FCC action as the lawsuits are combined into one.  It appears that it is headed for the Ninth Circuit. Brodkin has another article here

Technically the Net Neutrality rules expire April 23, pending one more OMB action.  It is not yet clear if this litigation would stop the Net Neutrality reversal from going into effect that day.  It seems unlikely that telecom companies would make any major changes immediately however.  I personally think they may pressure publishers more into https and website safety rating. 
Note the case about Charter in New York above   Note the stuff about broadband “nutrition labels.”

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Pundits ask: will net neutrality repeal turn the Internet into a grindhouse?

Salvador Rizzo has a perspective and analysis in the Washington Post today: “Will the FCC’s Net Neutrality repeal grind the Internet to a halt?”
Well, it this a grindhouse?  The article really doesn’t consider the timing of litigation or possible Congressional action. 
The article mentions various informal pledges from telecom providers, but believes that paid fast lanes will gradually develop.
The lack of good broadband in some rural areas is still and issue.  Around Green Bank W Va, it isn’t wanted.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Senate introduces network neutrality bill; Washington signs first state law

Democrats have introduced two bills to restore net neutrality, even if there is little chance of passage within 60 days – to make it an election issue this fall.  These are Senators Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyde, (D-OR), Vice story here
And Jay Inslee, of Washington State, has signed the first state network neutrality law, NYTImes story Monday here. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Simple majority votes in Congress can restore network neutrality

Electronic Frontier Foundation is reminding voters that simple majorities in both houses can overturn the FCC’s recent order abandoning Obama’s 2015 net neutrality rules.
Pallone and Doyle have a Feb. 22, 2018 press release, here
You can check up your own reps here

Monday, February 26, 2018

Now, given that Ajit Pai is "published", what next?

Brian Fung has summarized “what happens next” (in the Washington Post) now that Ajit Pai and his FCC rules are officially published in the (boring) Federal Register. 

It doesn’t look like Congress can do much in 60 days (especially the House) but it sounds likely a federal court will probably stop the change by April 23.
Fung doesn’t think telecom companies are in any hurry to change things.  (Would “throttle” mean block, or just slow?)  Paragraph 244 of the FR paper takes up the idea that there is no valid business reason for throttling.

Friday, February 23, 2018

What if, post net neutrality, telecom companies throttle the NRA or gun stores, out of a private "political" motive?

Dell Cameron of Gizmodo reports that the NRA has awarded FCC chairman Ajit Pai a ceremonial gift rifle for his “courage”, news story here. 
But Symantec and Lifelock and other private businesses (banks with Visa cards) have cut ties with the NRA out of social and political outrage.
I tweeted today, what if a telecom company, once the Net Neutrality “repeal” takes effect fully (April 23), refuses to allow the NRA website or any gun shop to connect, out of “political motives”?
I hope people understand where this can be headed.  We saw tech companies block Daily Stormer last summer.  This is a very slippery slope, between genuine moral outrage and political incorrectness or intersectionality.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Official publication of net neutrality "repeal" in FR occurs Feb. 22 and can take effect April 23 theoretically

Ajit Pai’s “Restore Internet Freedom” rules will officially be published on the Federal Register Thursday 22, 2018  (I had thought they were published already).  Here is the web link

Ars Technica has an article by Jon Brodkin. 
Theoretically, the changes take effect April 23, 2018.  But various groups and states will file petitions and lawsuits within ten days.  The legal challenges will probably take a year.  In the meantime there are efforts to introduce bills in Congress, which may not get through the House.

Telecom providers seem to suggest they do not intend to make any changes now. Yet the Ars Technica article warns that theoretically this is possible (telecoms would have to give notification) after April 23 unless a court intervenes. 
The Verge has a detailed summary on how various telecom companies would behave. In general, there are no absolute guarantees, but it seems companies don’t have specific plans and are not in a hurry to make changes.
It's well to bear in mind that a lot of free services on the Internet (like Blogger, Wordpress, Twitter) we "take for granted" but their permanent existence cannot be guaranteed, and with some of these services I have started to wonder about the sustainability of their business models.  A lot of things in life are like that, and so was Net Neutrality.  You have to stay alert.