Post I.T. - Washington Post Technology Blog Frank Ahrens Sara Goo Sam Diaz Mike Musgrove Alan Sipress Yuki Noguchi Post I.T.
Tech Podcast
The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

FCC To Introduce Net Neutrality Rule

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, plans to propose a new so-called net neutrality rule Monday that could prevent telecommunications, cable and wireless companies from blocking Internet applications, according to sources at the agency.

Genachowski will discuss the rules Monday during a keynote speech at The Brookings Institute. He isn't expected to drill into many details, but the proposal will specifically be for an additional guideline on how operators like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast can control what goes on their networks. That additional guideline would prevent the operators from discriminating, or act as gatekeepers, of Web content and services.

The guidelines in place today have been criticized by applications developers like Google and public interest groups for not going far enough to clarify what is defined as discriminatory behavior. Comcast is fighting in federal court an FCC ruling that it violated the guidelines by blocking a video application last year. AT&T and Verizon have said existing rules are sufficient, and more regulation is unnecessary. However, they have also said they wouldn't fight against an additional guideline that focuses on discriminatory behavior.

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the new regulations haven't been officially announced.

The new rule would be the first bold move by Genachowski, who served as President Obama's technology advisor during the campaign and transition. The rule could upset wireless, telecom and cable operators who have fought against regulations that would give them less control over traffic that runs on their networks. They argue that they need to maintain flexibility to manage traffic to ensure some applications don't take up too much bandwidth and make Web access slower for some users.

The agency is expected to review what traffic management is reasonable and what practices are discriminatory. The guidelines are known as "principals" at the agency, which some public interest groups have sought to codify so that they would clearly be enforceable by the agency.

The debate over net neutrality encompasses a wide variety of technology companies. Some -- like Google -- create applications for the Web and want customers to have easy access to their wares. Network owners, however, find themselves increasing on the defensive; their traditional business of providing phone and television has been challenged by upstarts providing much of the same content on the Web.

Such network operators have drawn scrutiny of late.

Google revealed Friday in letters to the FCC that Apple rejected its voice service and a mapping service on the popular iPhone and Internet voice service Skype has fought for rules that would prevent companies like AT&T from keeping its service off its wireless 3G network. The FCC asked AT&T, Apple and Google to respond to questions about allegations that Google Voice was blocked. Apple denies it rejected the application, saying it is still evaluating whether to permit it on the iPhone. And it is unclear whether the FCC can regulate the manufacturers of wireless phones, which some argue are part of wireless networks and others say are separate from networks and not under the jurisdiction of the agency.

Consumer interest groups have pushed for new rules and key lawmakers Thursday ratcheted up the debate when Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee said he would co-author a net neutrality bill with Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eschoo (D-Calif.).

"If the commission moves forward on network neutrality, it will achieve the president's signature tech policy agenda item," said Ben Scott, director of policy at public interest group Free Press. "And it's a firm move to protect the open Internet for consumers and producers of content in a competitive marketplace of speech and commerce."

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 18, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
Previous: Google Goes Public: Apple Nixed Our App | Next: Reader Asks if Net Neutrality Rule Spells Higher Costs for Users


Add Post I.T. to Your Site
Stay on top of the latest Post I.T. news! This easy-to-use widget is simple to add to your own Web site and will update every time there's a new installment of Post I.T.
Get This Widget >>


Blogs That Reference This Entry

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/62879

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Now, this time in english.

Posted by: MPNangle | September 18, 2009 3:19 PM

This is nonsense. Here is the government interfering in private enterprise yet again and dictating how private companies should run their businesses.

If ISPs and network providers wish to restrict certain content, well that's their business and their clients are free to move to other providers if they don't like the service provided.

The same goes for Apple, a private company making hardware and software. If Apple decides to not permit certain third-party applications to be available for its iPhone products or to operate on them, that's entirely up to Apple and none of the government's business.

It's the same situation with Microsoft. We saw the ludicrous situation a few years ago where the government tried to coerce Microsoft to expose its commercial secrets to its competitors. The government has no business dictating to any company what it can or cannot bundle with its products.

For instance, if Microsoft wanted to prevent software such as other Internet browsers made by its competitors to run on its Windows OS, then that's Microsoft's business - Windows is NOT a public resource, it is a privately owned piece of software.

If Microsoft's competitors don't like what Microsoft is doing, then they are perfectly free to develop their own operating systems, put their software on them and sell them in the marketplace for the consumer to choose.

The same situation is with Apple. If Google's applications for iPhone are rejected by Apple, that's not the government's business. Google is free to go off and build its own mobile phones with its own operating system and compete with the iPhone - HEY WAIT A MINUTE - Google is already doing that with its range of phones made by HTC running Google Android.

This is AMAZING - I don't see Apple complaining about Google and trying to force iPhone applications onto Android.

ENOUGH! These are all private companies, with the right to do whatever they want with their products, including barring anything they want from operating on them. If their competitors don't like that situation, then they are free to develop and market their own versions and compete in the marketplace.

Posted by: ziggyzap | September 18, 2009 3:23 PM

Here it is in English - The huge telecoms can't shaft individuals and small businesses by throttling or limiting applications, or charging more for those services or bandwidth than they do the big players....

This says it all: "The rule could upset wireless, telecom and cable operators..."

If it does that, it means it is a good rule for the consumer.

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | September 18, 2009 3:26 PM

ENOUGH! These are all private companies, with the right to do whatever they want with their products, including barring anything they want from operating on them. If their competitors don't like that situation, then they are free to develop and market their own versions and compete in the marketplace.


----------------

Except they are not marketing a product of their own creation. They are offering access to the internet (government created). In many places there is only one provider (Los Angeles) so one cannot go with another.

James

Posted by: bs2004 | September 18, 2009 3:29 PM

"We are a private company and can do whatever we please." This is the AIG, Bernie Madoff, monopolists, American Enterprise Institute, Project for A New American Century, Blackwater, and actually of every criminal behind bars in federal and state prisons, and of
every corporate functionary who has bought legislators and officials. We have seen that this mentality has virtually destroyed the health of the economy perhaps into perpetuity.

Posted by: Quadspect | September 18, 2009 3:46 PM

This administration’s ONE and SIMPLE philosophy, the 3 C’s.

CONTROL
CONTROL
CONTROL

Posted by: EvreeMan | September 18, 2009 3:54 PM

This is a good thing. To those who object, good luck with your regulation is evil argument considering we are living through the bleak aftermath of an economic collapse created by too little regulation.

Posted by: skrut003 | September 18, 2009 3:56 PM

Ziggyzap,
Try having a modicum of an idea of what the heck you're talking about...Internet access is NOT THE SAME as Apple being jerks to their customers...it's more like your cable company telling you you had to get your news ONLY from FOX.
Although I'm pretty sure that'd be just fine with you.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | September 18, 2009 4:02 PM

ziggyzap, you're correct thta Apple should be allowed to control what software runs on their phones. The article even says that many are arguing that point and they're not really talking about that at the moment. What IS for certain is the fact that AT&T and Verizon are using PUBLIC airwaves to send their signals to customers. As such, the government most certainly has a say in what should be done with them.

They are a finite resource which makes all the difference. You seem to be ignoring that point.

Posted by: Jeff50 | September 18, 2009 4:14 PM

@ Ziggyzap:

Unfortunately, this is not a simple case of free market enterprise. Wireless companies and ISPs more often than not enjoy a monopoly in their service. For example, the ONLY broadband access available to me is via Comcast. If Comcast can control what information is available to me, I don't have another option.
What this "interference" by the government is designed to do is mandate that I choose what information I get via the web. Net Neutrality is at the core of what makes the internet and the WWW so powerful for the individual: anyone can create anything for anyone else to choose to view. In this case, the government is absolutely acting by the people and for the people. Were we to allow any single entity (government or enterprise) the capacity and explicit right to determine what information we are allowed to send or receive, we lose many of our sacred rights. Right to free speech. Right to gather and assemble. Right to privacy (how can an entity block certain information without scanning all information to ensure that said entity approves?)
I hope that this is clearer for you now. This is not a simple thing. No one person or entity owns the internet, and any and all regulation should be focused on prtecting the rights of the individual user.
This is the foundation of communication and information in a digital age, and the freedom of the individual is paramount.

Posted by: phlynhi | September 18, 2009 4:22 PM

Ziggyzap, I sure hope your post was meant as irony or sarcasm, because if you're serious you really do need to understand what this is about. Net neutrality simply means that your ISP would not be able to arbitrarily decide that you can use Gmail but you can't watch videos, or that you can read the Washington Post online but you can't play a multi-player game.

The analogy would be a telephone company saying you're free to call your neighbor next door, but not your grandma in Seattle ('cause that might use too much bandwidth, you see).

As for Apple denying some apps for the iPhone, it's all about protecting their market share. Would you buy a car from a company that prohibited you from legally installing any after-market equipment?

Get a clue.

Posted by: BobShegitz | September 18, 2009 4:23 PM

Posted by: ziggyzap | September 18, 2009 3:23 PM

Dude you do realize that the Internet was created by our Government not Private business.

Why do people like you shoot off your mouth about things and just spill over hate.

Posted by: antonio3 | September 18, 2009 4:25 PM

here it comes folks! Step one to censoring the information you can receive. Sept 12 wasn't a good for Obama and his Reich. Millions of ordinary Americans are fighting mad and they aren't going to take it anymore. The state run media isn't to be believed. Only by stifling the internet and talk radio will they be able to Chavez us into submission.
First they will say Oh this is a good thing, it's in your favor. But it's still the govt operating the internet or telling businesses what they can and can't do. BTW that is called FASCISM.

Posted by: ricardo4max | September 18, 2009 4:35 PM

I have a few concerns.

As an iPhone user I appreciate Apple's efforts to keep malware off of the systems by reviewing and authorizing apps. With something like 65,000 apps approved in a year they seem to be doing a good job.

I also appreciate their efforts to keep porn off of the iPhone. We simply don't need it.

On the carrier side, my concern is that opening up the market totally will overload the current infrastructure. THe US is behind some countries (Like Korea and Japan) but major increases in demand on a rapid basis can overload the system. The explosion of iPhones in various markets is showing that already. Thy add to the problem? It adds costs and that will be passed onto us.

Posted by: KHMJr | September 18, 2009 4:45 PM

My question for all of those so opposed to Net Neutrality is this: Would it be okay for the phone company to tell you exactly who you could call and what you could say on the phone to that person? Or do you prefer it they way it is now, with your ability to call whoever you want and talk to them however you please? I mean you did pay for phone service correct? That is what Net Neutrality is about. Think about it.

Or as DAMEDGENTLEMAN pointed out, with my Internet service I should be able to read right-wing trash on FAUX news then click on over to HUFFINGTONPOST and read some left-wing trash before realizing it is all a waste of time and looking for pictures of hot cars and scantily clad women (or men if that is your preference) on the Internet.

Point being I should be able to do whatever I want with the service that I purchased.

Posted by: wpfree | September 18, 2009 4:49 PM

The astoundingly uninformed nature of those commenters who argue against net neutrality is truly disheartening. This issue is about freedom of speech and the ability of individuals and companies to innovate, two things which many of us think are crucial aspects of America.

I understand that conservatives hate Obama, fine. But the inability to honestly evaluate any proposal by the administration, and the quick recourse to claims of 'Socialism' and 'Nazism' are truly sad.

If you educate yourself on this subject you might have something interesting to say. But as is too often the case these days, the commentary coming from the right regarding this article is simply angry and uninformed.

Posted by: snackmaster | September 18, 2009 4:55 PM

This is dramatically different from the pile o crap Net Neutrality act that was attempted a few years ago. Bravo for Obama ensuring that open access is available for content creators and keep equal data speeds for customers large and small.

Sorry ziggyzap, but you're advocating monopolistic behavior by huge multi-national companies which in turn stifle competition and present consumers with less choices. The government created the Internet and should ensure equal access for all large or small.

Apple needs to allow Flash to run on their damn Iphone.......I don't care if they have a stake in quicktime; people shouldn't have to rewrite code just for their hardware because they don't WANT Flash to work. The more programs available to run on these devices the more choices of programs we'll get and that's how it should be.

Posted by: theobserver4 | September 18, 2009 5:00 PM

How can anyone think this is a good thing? 1) Considering in the next three years there is a possibility that the administration will be changed and the Republicans will then decide that the line of neutrality is to far to the left and so the push it back and everyone that though this was a good thing will all of a sudden go into an uproar. 2) For the fact that we have the freedom of speech which also was expanded in the Supreme Court to also mean the written word. That the government would not limit the type of speech, minus the extreme. 3) For the fact that I would think, by looking at the web that the web is already to far to the left with everything like the Huffington Post to every Liberal Cable News and Liberal Newspapers, but again that is my opinion. I on the other hand still like balance, in the things that I read, that is why I don't read extreme left blogs or extreme right blogs. One site that I watch collects articles from all news sources and compiles them so I don't have to look around. This site is: www.americanparchment.com. They are usually more balance than most outlets out there.

Posted by: fastfacts | September 18, 2009 5:11 PM

Ziggyzap needs to be ziggyzapped! Let the people control who and whom they wish to use. Enough of big business controling who and whom we use for service. If I wish to use an iPhone, then I should be able to choose which service to use.

Posted by: ckehne | September 18, 2009 5:12 PM

ricardo4max says, "the govt operating the internet or telling businesses what they can and can't do. BTW that is called FASCISM."

Are you ricardo4real? You don't seem to understand the concept of net neutrality. The big carriers have a de facto monopoly in providing access to the network, and they must not be allowed to restrict content in any way. It's a free speech question, pure and simple.

If you or "ziggyzap" don't like Obama or the Democrats' ideology, fine. But your knee-jerk response exposes your own ignorance, and it's not constructive.

Posted by: MarkLai2 | September 18, 2009 5:21 PM

Okay I have to explain what I was talking about. If the Administration through the FCC can control the internet with these rules why can't they also control the content of the internet as well or even the same rules would go for the radio as well. You may think this is extreme but the FCC Communications Director and Regulation Adviser (Czar) have said they would like to see this kind of 'media justice'. Don't believe me, that same media source I sourced has it archived on their site on: http://www.americanparchment.com/library/obamasczars.html. Check it out under their names.

Posted by: fastfacts | September 18, 2009 5:26 PM

I love all these morons who are on the side of big business all the while big business is taking your job and sending it elsewhere, lobbying to screw you out of medical care, infringing on your privacy by working in collusion with intelligence agencies to read your emails, interfering with the political system of this country by bribing officials, and hiding American dollars away in offshore accounts. You are more concerned with using hyperbole to cover for the fact that you can't stand having a black man in the white house, and people are supposed to compromise with you? Find a short pier my friends...

Posted by: sharkcellar | September 18, 2009 5:30 PM

AM Radio Listeners - please address your comments to: howl@moon.gov

Posted by: gannon_dick | September 18, 2009 5:34 PM

I have Comcast Internet (only) services (as I don't watch TV so there's no reason to subscribe to any TV programming from it), and it is too big and slow and, frankly, totally unfriendly.

We need more and smaller and faster and better competition.

As noted, Comcast is always fighting regulations, even as its other peers acquiesce and even welcome clear guidlines... This, remember, was the company an elderly woman went for help and had to wait inside their holding/waiting room for such a long time, she returned home, got a hammer, went back and smashed Comcast windows!, to get their attention...

Why is Comcast always or usually fighting regulation from OUR federal and state governments?... It used over a billion of the profit it got from customers to build a new giant building headquarters, last year... Shouldn't it use some of OUR WEALTH, the wealth we, the customers, gave it, to build better and faster infrastructures, so it doesn't have to limit our access time during busy hours?

Posted by: HerLao | September 18, 2009 5:35 PM

We all foot the bill for big companies that make a ton of money off e-commerce (EBAY) or advertising revenue from web hits (Google). These things suck up tons of bandwith, which raise the average costs of internet acces, can slow down overall system speed, even though you may not a lot of this crap.

ISPs merely wanted to skim some of that money in a pay-for-play system. Presumably better funded ISPs would, I don't know, maybe be able to focus on customer service and reliability. Now the FCC basically affirms that the Internet Billionaires get to free ride at everyone else's expense.

As a real world example, when a new real estate development (anything--commerical, residential, industrial) is being built, local governments almost always ask the developers to pony up for infrastructure improvements rather than burden the community.

Internet user community, you are now being asked to absorb all the burden for several billionaires.

If you honestly think net neutrality is good for you, you aren't really paying attention.

Posted by: Wallenstein | September 18, 2009 5:52 PM

If the regulation only prohibits "blocking", rather than (as vze2r3k5 says) "throttling or limiting", then it will be useless.

The ISPs already proudly claim that they don't block any data and never will. And that's probably true. But what they do instead is slow down and delay some traffic to the point that a service is essentially useless. Then they provide their own equivalent service that (surprise!) comes through at full speed. Of course they will charge an additional fee because "it's faster".

I do not envy the FCC the job of determining what is legitimate traffic management and what is interference to the point of effectively blocking a competing service.

Likely the bill will use the broadest possible language, so they can claim that they are "protecting" the public, while giving the ISPs enough loopholes that they don't have to change their behavior at all.

Posted by: iMac77 | September 18, 2009 5:52 PM

For those of you imbeciles crying about government interfereing with private industry...the internet exists because it is a government creation. It was developed as ARPNet during the COld War, but in the late 1980s a visionary congressman...Al Gowr...Gear...Gore? something like that, introduced a bill that funded the transition from this closed access system into a civilian use technology. The internet, and the computer industry itself, exists onl;y because government funded and created the computing industry. All you social retarded engineers out there need to remeber that every time you peepee and moan about having to pay taxes on your inflated salaries. Your entire industry exists because of the governemnt those taxes pay for. The major developments and breakthroughs in computing have almost exclusively come from defense or surveillance based computer applications - It is no different than the nation has ever been. Government provides funding for things that private industry would not necessarily do - biotech research, pharm research, aerospace research... and the private sector then takes those ideas and runs with them. Instead of whining about such things we should recognize the utlility of BOTH the government and private sector initiative and their roles in advancing our nation. It is not an either or. It is not a zero sum game. I know that engineers especially have that if then/ yes no mentality, and conservatism is built on that kind of manichaen thinking, but that just is not how the world works.

Posted by: John1263 | September 18, 2009 6:08 PM

Net Neutrality is overdue. It's time for an end of dictatorship by the almighty corporations. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | September 18, 2009 6:15 PM

Why are there so many idiots here defending big telecom monopolies who want to screw over consumers?

Posted by: solsticebelle | September 18, 2009 6:47 PM

Net neutrality is NOT gov't control of business. Wireless runs on spectrum owned by the public. The public, through its gov't, is free to impose reasonable restrictions to further the public good.

Private companies have no right to freeload on the public.

Posted by: Garak | September 18, 2009 6:59 PM

WHy is it that teabaggers think a small protest that was viewed with a mix of "haha look at the funny rubes" disdain and some disgust was something they should be shouting from the rooftops. Pictures of monkeys and watermellons? Posters telling the POTUS to "go back to where you came from?" People screaming about things that were utterly baseless and that made them sound ridiculous to repeat?

Anyway - as many posters have noted - the internet is a government creation. If you look at the history most of the computer industry itself is a government creation. It is a fine case of government sponsoring innovations and research, and providing investments in education that then have practical uses and also lead to private sector growth and wealth creation. The very model of liberal democracy at work. It is that model that first turned the US into a powerhouse in the 19th century, and has proved so successful throughout our history. Since the days of Henry Clay's "American System" and the canal age right through to funding for biotech, pharm research, and comuter tech. If you are not licked into myopic "either or" thinking it is pretty easy to esee the efficacy of the government and the private sector. hard core right wingers have to get over their irrational fear of government, and conversley hard core liberals have to get past their fear of private industry. Both have their glaring faults, but both serve very useful purposes.

And yes Virginia, elections do have consequences. Electing one of the hard core right wingers would do to your state what bush and the hard right conservaatives did to the entire country.

Posted by: John1263 | September 18, 2009 7:09 PM

Oooooooohhh, yeeaaahh. Power to the PEOPLE, baby!

Posted by: treetopflyer | September 18, 2009 7:29 PM

Do Washington Post reporters and, more importantly, their editors not understand the difference between "principals" and "principles"? The FCC guidelines are "principles," ie goals or ideals, not "principals," ie key figures or personages. Please take a spelling and grammar course -- the usage at the Post is continually poor!

Posted by: walker2 | September 18, 2009 7:37 PM

Here it comes folks...the FCC czar is going to take away your freedoms a piece at a time...We, the people saw All this coming when Obama was elected..the rest of you who had blinder's on will regret the day you ever heard...Obama Obama Obama

Posted by: welovetheUSA | September 18, 2009 7:38 PM

Unfortunately, what a lot of commenters have failed to recognize is the reality and universality of the "law of unintended consequences".

At face value, net neutrality sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, nearly everything the gov't does ultimately warps the motives of companies and individuals in a bad way.

The presumption by most commenters is that the government actually has the ability to "make things better". In my experience, that is almost never the case.

So....go on thinking about how wonderful net neutrality is, and then come back in 5 years and tell me how it's workin' out for ya; after the gov't has had the opportunity to completely warp and distort the law's original intent.

Posted by: sw11231 | September 18, 2009 8:05 PM

Also...I would encourage folks to think about this...

Nearly everyone universally despises the cable, phone and wireless companies. Yet these companies are undoubtedly some of the most heavily regulated companies in the entire US. You can not even imagine the byzantine maze of new regulations that come out of the FCC EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And yet...even after all that regulation....everyone still hates Verizon and Comcast.

Again...I ask you....THINK long and hard about your assumption that the gov't actually has the ability to "make things better".

Posted by: sw11231 | September 18, 2009 8:08 PM

And to all you folks who argue that the government "invented" the Internet. Please stop and think for just a moment.

The government may have "invented" the Internet backbone. But that's not what the FCC is trying to regulate here. They are trying to regulate the wire that goes from your house to the Cable/Phone company's equipment room.

The government had NOTHING to do with installing that wire. The Cable/Phone companies did it. They invested THEIR money. They took the market risk. They did the engineering. They did the finance. They did the research. They maintain and fix that wire. The government has NOTHING TO DO with that wire.

How would you feel if you spent your own private money to run a LAN cable from your house to the neighbor's house, and then the FCC showed up at your doorstep one day and told you that they were going to start deciding how you operate that wire??

Who the hell gave the FCC the moral authority to tell people how to operate their own private property??

Posted by: sw11231 | September 18, 2009 8:26 PM

Network neutrality rules must recognize the need to make sure that all customers have access to broadband capacity and to avoid situations where a handful of customers are able to degrade service to other customers. Peer-to-peer connections are often peer-to-many peer connections that often cause service problems for everyone else on the network.

This does not justify unreasonable discrimination or large companies trying to charge more for delivering less, but rather a need for reasonable network management practices. If someone wants to operate his/her computer as a virtual server, that someone ought to purchase commercial grade access.

Posted by: tmtfairfax | September 18, 2009 9:07 PM

Unbelievable how many people are ignorant of the FACTS. First, yes AT&T and Verizon and Sprint and other carriers use "public" airwaves BUT they BILLIONS of dollars in licensing fees for the privelege of using the AIR!!! It is only AIR and the government regulates who can use it....that is ENOUGH regulation already! To force mobile carriers to treat all internet traffic the same is insane because this kind of free for all will crash ALL of the major carriers networks! There is a natural free market revolution going on which is allowing these private companies to upgrade their networks to meet the demands of their customers. Government intervention is not the answer. AT&T is responding to anger in NYC and SF by adding tons of capacity to meet the needs of its users before they leave AT&T for another carrier. If the government forces net neutrality on wireless carriers, all iPhone and smart phone users will take ALL of the bandwidth in order to watch streaming video and music....sounds fine if you are an iPhone user but think about the downside and UNINTENDED consequences. If these major wireless carriers are forced to treat all traffic the same there will be no more unlimited data packages for $35/month. They will start to charge per MB in order to ensure their networks dont crash for ALL of their users. There were no wireless data networks to speak of 10 years ago and now we have 3G and $G LTE coming everywhere within the next 18 months. the FREE MARKET is doing this not a govt mandate.

Just remember, BAD things usually happen when govt tells companies what and how to run their operations.

Posted by: jlarranaga | September 18, 2009 9:10 PM

ummmm....i'm new to this but as i understand it, the Internet and the WWW were developed by CERN, (European Center for Nuclear Research)in the late 80's. It was not a product of the cold war, it was not the proliferation of the pentagon's internal communications network and it was certainly NOT invented by the US government. i agree with sw11231, in so far as any US administration lacks the ability to make ANYTHING better. the administration does nothing. it is the puppet masters that have the control. they will do whatever they want, however and whenever they want to maintain a strangle hold America, and by extension, the majority of the western world, my country included. we are powerless. at present. keep playing their game until the opportunity to end it forever arrives. paint the white house red with the blood of your captors......

Posted by: aldobarcelona | September 19, 2009 2:26 AM

I would it when lefties and other less than credible, less than intelligent posters use twisted analogies, e.g., the telephone company analogy. The telephone company is still basically a semi-monopoly due to government interference and excessive regulation. So they could tell you who you can call and who you can't call if the government orders them to. Free enterprise would never let that happen because if one company restricted your calls somehow, another one would pop up and offer you unrestricted calls. That's America and how free enterprise without govt interference should work. Once the FCC starts "Regulating" the internet, watch out.
The only thing about the Internet the govt can legally (Constitutionally) regulate or control is something that pertains to national defense, civilian safety, or a criminal act.

Posted by: ricardo4max | September 19, 2009 7:38 AM

To aldobarcelona,

Actually, CERN only produced the WWW, which is basically a program that runs on top of the internet, the actual internet was created in America, and its roots go back as far as the 60's.

Posted by: omit22 | September 19, 2009 9:58 AM

More government takeover of private enterprise. To these people government is the only answer to all problems...real or invented. At this rate we will not even have to hold elections in 2010. We must put a stop to these clowns.

Posted by: ringmaster76120 | September 19, 2009 10:22 AM

FOOLS!

Net neutrality is what ALLOWS the internet to help drive the economy. Without net neutrality, Comcast could eventually decide what sites you're allowed to visit and charge those sites a fee for the service.

Just watch, the Regressive party will do the bidding of their corporate overlords and have Tea-Baggers out protesting net neutrality before the year is out.

Posted by: mlacons | September 19, 2009 11:04 AM

to mlacons (or maricon or joto whatever your name is): Without govt interference. COMCAST wouldn't be able to do squat to you or your internet because they would not be protected by govt regulation and any other company could start up and provide what they (Comcast) wouldn't provide.
The real reason FCC wants to control the internet is for future censorship of dissenting political opinion and to prevent the truth from escaping their blackout.
And you Soros paid left wing anti_american propagandists could spew your lies and slander without criticism or confrontation. You are not fooling most of us.

Posted by: ricardo4max | September 19, 2009 11:49 AM

To: ricardo4max
Comcast sells access to a service developed and maintained by the government. They charge me $60 a month to move data the last five miles of it's journey. Now they want the ability to control what sites I can see and what services I can use.

The FCC censoring dissenting political opinion??? How can you be so misinformed. Turn off the FAUX News and get a clue. Parasitic corporations, ones which feed off the population without providing any actual product, like Comcast and United Health Care are driving the engine of fascism.

And don't think I'm using fascism for effect. Mussolini was a despicable person and the father of fascism. It was also he who said “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

Tell me how these parasitic corporations and their lobbyists are not furthering a fascist agenda? Tell me how they better society? The either need to be re-regulated back to the stone age or dissolved.

Posted by: mlacons | September 19, 2009 12:05 PM

to maricon:
Please provide proof that the govt "maintains" the internet and why the govt should be involved in the internet at all.
And although sometimes a govt agency invents something or the govt provides funds to a university, e.g., to invent something, the invention makes its way to the private sector for testing, improvement, development, marketing, sales, and distribution, or least that is the way it has happened in America before the Marxist fascist Obama Reich took over. The govt isn't capable, competent, and competitive enough to run any business well or efficiently. Secondly, the govt is composed of politicians and they impart their prejudices into the equation. Not a good thing for the marketplace.(Politics).
Comcast doesn't want to control anything here. It's the govt that wants to control the internet and Comcast. Nice try at deflection you commie. Comcast (or any other ISP) maintains the service, servers, software, and the employees so you can spew your pro-community organizer in chief anti-capitalist rhetoric all over the internet. What the govt should do is DE regulate the internet by allowing open competition for ISP's and cable TV providers.
So your true politics comes out, "parasitic corporations" ???? So the Neutral Net crowd are really the oBamabot supporting left wing anti-capitalist wackos heel bent on destroying this country. We suspected as much and now you all are out in the open. You neo Commies can't hide anymore behind your lies.

Posted by: ricardo4max | September 19, 2009 12:41 PM

These companies that are against this change are old and top heavy with executives. They will be forced to restructure. They will need new equipment and programmers. Them complaining they can run there networks as they like is not for the good of their share holders. As an engineer I know that is not true it is just to keep new people out of the market. Google is over 400 dollars a share on the stock market and is an open network.

Posted by: cjm3 | September 19, 2009 4:28 PM

#
Also...I would encourage folks to think about this...

Nearly everyone universally despises the cable, phone and wireless companies. Yet these companies are undoubtedly some of the most heavily regulated companies in the entire US. You can not even imagine the byzantine maze of new regulations that come out of the FCC EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And yet...even after all that regulation....everyone still hates Verizon and Comcast.

Again...I ask you....THINK long and hard about your assumption that the gov't actually has the ability to "make things better".
#

Listen to someone with a voice of reason, this man knows the telecom business. I'm an engineer for a telecom company, and I can tell you all our beloved customers that we are not the one nickel and diming you, it's the government! The phone companies have to pass the cost of tax to you because if they don't, they'll go out of business. Whenever the phone company installs an equipment for the customer, the company has to pay tax to the government and they have to pay the tax year after year as long as that same equipment is in operation, this is just one of the many taxes that the company has to pay that these days the phone company can't make any profit in the wireline business anymore, if you're following the industry news you'll know that the Verizon CEO gave up on the wireline business already.

It really breaks my heart whenever people curse the phone company for things so trivial and yet they rely on the same phone company's network when their lives are in danger. They will thank the firemen and the police who save their lives, but not the phone company who made it all happen.

Posted by: mattj98 | September 20, 2009 3:39 AM

@Jeff50

Yes indeed, AT&T and other wireless phone companies are using the public airwaves, but they pay billions of dollars to lease the frequencies.

Yes, the airwave frequencies is a finite resource, that is more reason for wireless companies to manage the cellsite traffic.

Would you like 911 calls to have the same priority as your youtube videos? No? I thought you want net neutrality?

Keep in mind, wireless networks were not designed for internet and videos, these are all afterthought.

Posted by: mattj98 | September 20, 2009 4:43 AM

Is this the same FCC that did such a wonderful job in the switch over from analog to digital. Before the switch we were able to get at least 7 channels in the NYC area, since the switch we are lucky to get 2. And then we never know which ones, and they are all broken up (pixelated), and unwatchable.

Posted by: trff2 | September 20, 2009 7:41 AM

Mussolini's 7 Steps to fascism. See if this sounds familiar:1.) Nationalize key businesses (banks, auto) making govt part owner of them - CHECK2.) Define what speech is not allowed (e.g., on Congress floor; redefine what's allowed in the public space by condemning talk radio, etc) - CHECK3.) Indoctrinate the youth (almost got away with it but had to drop back to a "wash your hands" speech when called on it — he'll try again) - CHECK4.) Label opposition as dangerous and begin mesaures to curb their participation - ref: Pelosi's diatribes against any vocal opposition - ref: Obama's minions labeling any opposition as racism - CHECK5.) Control the press - SEE ARTICLE ABOVE - CHECK6.) Redistribute wealth so that no one person feels empowered enough to affect change - well on the way — and define national needs and the success of the may to be of greater concern than individual needs and the success of the individual. — CHECK7.) Declare yourself supreme leader for life, and cancel all future elections — PLANNED FOR SUMMER 2012 as his polls show he has zero chance for re-electionLIBERAL FASCISM IS ALIVE AND ENDANGERING US ALL IN AMERICA.

Posted by: ricardo4max | September 20, 2009 7:59 PM

Listen. To everyone that says that the 'government built' all of this you seem to be forgetting who it is the government works for... Us. They only reason they can 'build' anything is because we ALLOW it and FUND it. People point to all sorts of laws that tell us that we don't have any rights to ownership of that which we ALLOWED to be built and FUNDED with our taxes. Remember. These idiotic laws often change when the public/taxpayers/consumers realize they are being shafted. Net Neutrality is simply another government power grab. So are we going to ALLOW this or not? I say no.

Posted by: bobjones165 | September 20, 2009 9:20 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.



 
 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company