Oh, Comcast. Remember how it was going to try to be a bit more subtle in pushing for approval of its merger with Time Warner Cable? Well, you can only deny your true nature for so long. Comcast Says That If You Object To Its Merger With Time Warner Cable, You're Ignorant And Unreasonable
For fifteen years now I've watched as phone and cable duopolies lobby to pass draft legislation designed to keep broadband uncompetitive. Specifically, in more than a dozen states these protectionist measures either hinder or outright ban a town or city's ability to wire itself for broadband (either alone or with a private industry partner) -- even in cases where nobody else will. If the laws don't ban such efforts outright, they force anyone looking to build a broadband network to jump through layers upon layers of bureaucratic hoops, during which the regional duopolies with limitless budgets harass the efforts with lawsuits and negative publicity campaigns (I've seen ISPs hire push pollsters to tell locals that a government-built network would ban their religious programming). If You Want To Fix U.S. Broadband Competition, Start By Killing State-Level Protectionist Laws Written By Duopolists
Wheeler unveils new proposed rules for network neutrality, will try to stop “improper blocking” The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, laid out new several new proposals for network neutrality rules in a statement on Tuesday, also saying that the agency won’t appeal a court decision that struck down the FCC’s previous attempt at rule-making. The statement, which comes amid reports that internet providers are slowing sites like Netflix, also said the FCC would explore ways to stop improper “blocking” and “discrimination.” The decision to forgo an appeal is not surprising since the appeals court ruling was considered to be legally sound; in the decision, the DC Appeals Court pointed that the FCC had failed to invoke the proper legal authority when it applied the so-called “Open Internet Authority” to broadband providers.
'Special Excess': The Secret Broadband, Internet, Cable, Wireless and Phone Networks | Bruce Kushnick Forget about the NSA and the phone networks. There's another secret network you should know about. I call it "special excess," though it's known in the telecom industry as "special access." You won't hear about these secret wires.
Net Neutrality and Net Reality. Truth Is Hard to Find
Make ISPs into "common carriers," says former FCC commissioner It's time for the Federal Communications Commission to correct its past mistakes and get tough on broadband providers, a retired FCC commissioner says. Michael Copps, an FCC commissioner from 2001 to 2011 (and acting chairman for several months in 2009), is proof that not every former FCC member becomes a lobbyist for the industries the commission regulates. The only commission member to vote against allowing the Comcast/NBC Universal merger, Copps is now a self-described public interest advocate who leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.
In the words of Howard Beale, the Mad Prophet of the Airwaves in the movie Network, “Woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!” And, as Beale would shout, we should be mad as hell. Issuing a decision that triggered dismay and anger among supporters of an Internet open and free to all, a federal appeals court on Tuesday overruled the Federal Communications Commission and set the stage for a near future in which such service providers as Verizon and AT&T could give preferential treatment to websites willing to pay a higher price for access and speed. The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a potentially lethal blow to net neutrality – the principle that the Internet should be available equally to anyone who wishes to use it as a medium for creativity and information, regardless of who they are and no matter the size of their checkbooks. Door Closes to Open Internet, But All May Not Be Lost | Take Action
A decade ago, we wrote about how Verizon had made an agreement in Pennsylvania in 1994 that it would wire up the state with fiber optic cables to every home in exchange for tax breaks equalling $2.1 billion. In exchange for such a massive tax break, Verizon promised that all homes and businesses would have access to 45Mbps symmetrical fiber by 2015. By 2004, the deal was that 50% of all homes were supposed to have that. In reality, 0% did, and some people started asking for their money back. That never happened, and it appeared that Verizon learned a valuable lesson: it can flat out lie to governments, promise 100% fiber coverage in exchange for subsidies, then not deliver, and no one will do a damn thing about it. Because here we are about a decade later, and basically the same damn thing has happened in New York City. Decades Of Failed Promises From Verizon: It Promises Fiber To Get Tax Breaks... Then Never Delivers
The Open Internet: A Case for Net Neutrality
Cable Industry Finally Admits That Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion For years, the key rationale given by broadband providers for implementing data caps was that it was the only way they could deal with "congestion." Of course, for years, independent researchers showed that this was bogus, and there was no data crunch coming. If you actually caught a technologist from a broadband provider, rather than a business person or lobbyist, they'd quietly admit that there was no congestion problem, and that basic upgrades and network maintenance could easily deal with the growth in usage.
We don't make phone calls the way we did a century ago. Regulations need to get with the times, too. (Credit: U.S. Army) Why the FCC needs to get with the times, finally | Mobile
Image: moodboard/Getty Net neutrality is a dead man walking. The execution date isn’t set, but it could be days, or months (at best).
An identity theft service that sells Social Security numbers, birth records, credit and background reports on millions of Americans has infiltrated computers at some of America’s largest consumer and business data aggregators, according to a seven-month investigation by KrebsOnSecurity. The Web site ssndob[dot]ms (hereafter referred to simply as SSNDOB) has for the past two years marketed itself on underground cybercrime forums as a reliable and affordable service that customers can use to look up SSNs, birthdays and other personal data on any U.S. resident. Prices range from 50 cents to $2.50 per record, and from $5 to $15 for credit and background checks. Customers pay for their subscriptions using largely unregulated and anonymous virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin and WebMoney. Until very recently, the source of the data sold by SSNDOB has remained a mystery. Data Broker Giants Hacked by ID Theft Service
September 24, 2013 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Verizon has big plans for the Internet. And if that doesn't worry you, it should. Verizon's Outrageous Plot to Crack Up the Internet
Here's How AT&T Is Planning to Rob Americans of an Open Public Telco Network | Wired Opinion AT&T has a sneaky plan. It wants to exploit a loophole in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s rules to kill what remains of the public telecommunications network — and all of the consumer protections that go with it. It’s the final step in AT&T’s decade-long effort to end all telecommunications regulation, and the simplicity of the plan highlights a dysfunction unique to the American regulatory system.
Susan Crawford on Why U.S. Internet Access is Slow, Costly, and Unfair on Vimeo
For years, the key rationale given by broadband providers for implementing data caps was that it was the only way they could deal with "congestion." Of course, for years, independent researchers showed that this was bogus, and there was no data crunch coming. If you actually caught a technologist from a broadband provider, rather than a business person or lobbyist, they'd quietly admit that there was no congestion problem, and that basic upgrades and network maintenance could easily deal with the growth in usage. But, of course, that took away the broadband providers' chief reason for crying about how they "need" data caps. The reality, of course, is that data caps are all about increasing revenue for broadband providers -- in a market that is already quite profitable. But if they can hide behind the claims that they need to do this to deal with congestion, they can justify it to regulators and (they hope) the public. Cable Industry Finally Admits That Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion
It's Clear Verizon Is Blocking Google Wallet Anti-Competitively - Google Wallet Delayed to Give Isis Development Time Verizon has been trying to justify their blocking of Google Wallet on Verizon phones, insisting the app is blocked because Google Wallet uses the "secure element" on devices to store a user's Google ID. In response to complaints filed with the FCC, Verizon insists the unending blockade has nothing to do with the fact Verizon (in conjunction with AT&T and T-Mobile) is working on their own competing mobile payment platform named Isis. That's obviously not true, and more than a few technology websites have noticed that Verizon's simply acting anti-competively by delaying Google Wallet just long enough to help their Isis platform catch up in development (even if it appears few are using it and many participating retailers have never heard of it).
CappingTheNationsBroadbandFuture.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Report: data caps just a “cash cow” for Internet providers
Verizon Wants The "Freedom" To Edit Your Internet | Blog
Net Neutrality Is Too Regulatory, but Stop Online Piracy Isn't?
Universal broadband should be about control, not just access. - By James Losey and Sascha Meinrath
Why a cap? - | DSLReports Forums
AT&T will cap DSL and U-Verse internet, impose overage fees (update)
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