Monday, May 21, 2018

Even the Washington Post admits that the sky wouldn't fall because of net neutrality pull back

Back on March 5, 2018, even the “liberal” Washington Post questioned activists who claim that the sky will fall if network neutrality is repealed, in this article by Salvador Rizzo. 
“If you don’t restore net neutrality, you’ll get the Internet one word at a time.” Indeed.
The Post seems reassuring that even with no action, the major telecoms have pledged not to change anything, for now.
But what about down the road?
There are disturbing questions these days as to who should be allowed online, inasmuch as private companies have been willing to ban some users based on associations.  True, you don’t want neo-Nazis.  But it can be a very slippery slope.  Maybe you don’t want amateur content at all.  Some guilds don’t.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

EFF explains how net neutrality discharge petition in the House will work

Ernesto Falcon of Electronic Frontier Foundation has explained “the path to victory” in the House of Representatives with an explanation of the discharge petition process, here

The article suggests that representatives tend to be responsive to calls asking them to sign the petition. Once they commit to doing so, they have to sign a document that is continually updated and is visible online, here

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Net Neutrality CRA un-repeal passes Senate; now House needs a "discharge petition", too

The Senate has voted today under the authority of the CRA to overturn the FCC “repeal” of Obama’s 2015 network neutrality rules, 52-47.  The AP story was carried here by WJLA. 

The attempt to reverse Ajit Pai’s “light touch” is likely to face a tough sell in the House. Ryan does not want to allow this to come up for a vote, so it needs a discharge petition first (so did the Senate).
Techcrunch has an explanation of how the discharge petition process will work, here. 

In practice, it really looks like tech companies will not be in a hurry to make major changes for a long time because of uncertainty, litigation threats, and a belief their consumers want most of what neutrality offers (which a few special exceptions).
Congress ought to be able to figure out that some specific kinds of preferred service (like for medical providers in emergencies) would not undermine consumer or small business use. 
FEE (Foundation for Economic Education, a libertarian group) pushed an article “Let’s end net neutrality once and for all in America” May 15, bad timing.  FEE says things were fine before 2015 with Obama’s rules, but companies may have been on their best behavior.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Should you call your own Senator over net neutrality? Is email good enough?

Here is a link where you can tell where your two Senators and House Representatives stand on undoing the Net Neutrality “repeal”.  All three of mine support restoring net neutrality. 

For what it’s worth, activists say that personal phone calls are more effective than letters or emails, and letters are more effective than emails.  Tweets and Facebook messages are not effective.
I have a problem with “Take Action” calls, because there are too many intersecting issues.  The FOSTA issue may be more of a ‘threat” than the net neutrality issue, in practice, so I don’t like to waste “capital” on one group’s issue, which leads to misleading messages.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

FCC says new rules replacing "net neutrality" will take effect Monday June 11

Reuters is reporting that the FCC has announced that the “new rules” effectively repealing network neutrality will take effect on Monday June 11, 2018 – allowing time for the OMB review.
Reuters also writes that major telecom providers have said they will not block lawful content.

The Senate could vacate the FCC action by a vote that could happen next week.
Medium and FFTF wrote their own account here   Medium admits that no changes would happen immediately, but that users would notice fewer startups.  (There could be other reasons, like FOSTA/SESTA.)

On Pai’s video above, go to 6:46. 
The rules would require telecom providers to announce any changes.
Cox (my provider at home) is not mentioned in the Reuters article but here is their own commitment statement from the end of 2017.
But Cox did announce price increases on some specificservices in January.

Update: May 11

Electronic Frontier Foundation's action article is here

May 14:

I can't find a statement from Verizon yet, but there were some issues with Netflix and YouTube in the summer of 2017,. Ars Technica here

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Senate will vote on a CRA nullification of FCC's ending of net neutrality

Electronic Frontier Foundation set out a “red alert” regarding the planned Senate vote in mid May to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the 2015 Open Internet Order.    A simple majority can apparently overrule the agency rule on Dec. 15.  Thirty signatures can force the vote.
FTFF reports that the Senate just moved to force a vote, here

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Big ISP's whine in front of state legislatures claiming net neutrality raises bills to consumers

Ernesto Falcon has an article (“The Big Lie”) May 4 from Electronic Frontier Foundation summarizing arguments some big ISP’s have made to state legislatures claiming they don’t make enough money, and that net neutrality will cause consumer bills to rise, link here
EFF discusses a relatively small ISP in Chattanooga, TN that offers some of the fastest service in the nation, EPB Fiber Optics.
The article also describes an instance where ATT would not allow Google to use its telephone poles in some areas to enlarge its own new fiber optic service.  Anti-competitiveness is reportedly denying some consumers optimal access.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Pro net neutrality activist group wants to use your website, or get you to hand deliver messages

A group “Fight for the Future”, which I have mentioned here before, is encouraging supporters to place red alerts on their own social media pages (Facebook) and personal web pages. Here is their "Red Alert" link if you want to see it. 

I don’t do this with my own sites because I want to behave like a “journalist”, so I say, with some irony given the issue, that I want to behave publicly with some irony.  But that could be one reason why activists have a love-hate relationship with journalists, who can’t “join up” by definition.

The group has also encouraged mass calling of legislators and even hand delivering letters (bicycle messengers, sometimes with legs shaved, do that).
I'm generally reluctant to spend my own "lobbying capital" on just one issue just because I could get hurt by it.  But maybe getting hurt means out for the season and career Tommy John surgery. 

Note the Senate vote coming up the middle of this month.