We have had had net neutrality as the law of the land for over a year now. Lawsuits immediately followed its implementation, of course, but the appeals court took the FCC’s side. So if you’re industry and you’re still ticked off, what’s left? Ask for a do-over… if you can get one.
It’s been nearly six months since the FCC first proposed doing something about the cable set-top box market. Since then, the White House and Congress have both had their say about it, while all along the cable industry has been lobbying and complaining incessantly. But behind all that, the FCC and the industry are at least talking to each other to try to hash out what the future could look like. Unfortunately, if industry gets its way, that future could leave a lot of consumers’ favorite features behind their TV providers’ big fat “pay me” gates.
The metaphorical ink on today’s mammoth 184-page ruling upholding net neutrality was barely even dry before everyone with a stake in the matter came out swinging with statements. And while the decision earned praise from consumer advocates and some lawmakers, the telecom industry has vowed to continue the fight.
When the FCC voted in February to consider new rules for your cable box, that kicked off a multi-month cycle of public comments, where anyone and everyone can have their say. The deadline for the first round struck at midnight Friday, which means most of the comments are just rolling onto the internet for all and sundry to have a look at.
Last year, when the FCC was preparing to vote on the new Open Internet Order (aka “net neutrality”) and its reclassification of broadband Internet as a vital utility, virtually the entire telecom and cable industry claimed this change would ruin investment and slow innovation. But a look at the year-end financial figures for the biggest naysayers casts a lot of doubt on these dire predictions. [More]
Top Cable Lobbyist Just Doesn’t See Why You Hate Your Cable Company When Google, Facebook Are Big Too
The NCTA is big cable’s big lobbying group. Right now, they’re trying their hardest to make sure the FCC can’t protect consumers and businesses from the largest ISPs with a lawsuit trying to block the FCC’s net neutrality rule. At the organization’s head head is former FCC chairman Michael Powell, who loves terrible internet speeds and data caps for all.
As it was foretold, so it has come to pass: with the Open Internet Rule finally entering the Federal Register yesterday, lawsuit season is now officially open. And as promised, threatened, and endlessly discussed, the trade groups representing all of the big broadband providers have vaulted into action right on cue, asking the courts to stop this piece of consumer protection before it can happen.
FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’
There’s another internet-related firestorm a-brewing at the FCC. This one is not as broad or as contentious as the now infamous net neutrality ruling, but it is bringing all the big players out to have their say. And what, you might ask, has everyone worked up? It’s the big bandwidth bugaboo of the twenty-teens: online video.
It’s Almost Lawsuit Season: Broadband Trade Groups Prepping Their Legal Arguments Against Net Neutrality
The FCC voted on the Open Internet Order — net neutrality — about six weeks ago. But nobody ever accused the wheels of bureaucracy of turning quickly and so it is only this week that the rule has been sent off to the fine folks at the Federal Register. That means we’re finally in the home stretch handoff; the rule will become the law of the land 60 days after the Federal Register publishes it. And that means we’re finally in the window for the big wave of down-and-dirty lawsuits and legal challenges we’ve been awaiting since basically forever.
While some members of Congress have argued that the best way to deal with net neutrality is to create a law that guides what broadband providers can and can’t do with regard to data, one legislator from Tennessee — who has received significant money from neutrality’s biggest opponents — has introduced a bill that would kill neutrality and strip the FCC of its authority to regulate broadband as a necessary piece of telecommunications infrastructure. [More]
Yesterday, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler confirmed that he intends to have the Commission reclassify broadband as the vital piece of telecommunications infrastructure that it is, which has resulted in immediate backlash from the wireless and cable industry and the handful of astroturfed “advocacy” organizations they support. [More]
Currently, a 4Mbps broadband connection — barely enough to stream a single HD movie and insufficient for accessing higher-definition content or for homes with multiple simultaneous data-heavy uses — is considered “broadband” in the eyes of the Federal Communications Commission, though that should change with the FCC’s plan to redefine broadband as the significantly faster 25Mbps, which would acknowledge both the recent improvements in broadband delivery and consumers’ increased use of web-connected devices. And yet the cable industry is fighting to retain the already outdated 4Mbps standard for broadband. [More]
Once again, the latest survey of the current state of broadband around the globe [PDF] shows that, while improving, the U.S. still lags behind other developed countries, like South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Latvia, and Romania in average broadband speeds and access to decent Internet. But leave it to the cable industry to try to convince America that everything is A-OK, and to try to do so without mentioning that this message is being brought to you by the cable industry. [More]
Last week, we told you about the handful of in-name-only broadband advocacy groups that are funded by the cable and wireless industries and who are pushing its boneheaded talking points about net neutrality and how it will bring about the end of days if enacted (it won’t). We also pointed out how the member list of the questionably named Broadband For America coalition is littered with organizations — from nonexistent websites to a tile company and an Ohio inn — that are out of place next to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and pals. Now, some of those BFA members are denouncing the coalition’s stance on net neutrality, or saying they had no idea why they were listed as coalition members to begin with. [More]