Protests Indoors and Out
February 27, 2018 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Nonprofit Fight for the Future has planned a day of protest regarding net neutrality. Under the name Operation #OneMoreVote, today, Feb. 27, rallies are planned to take place outside key lawmakers' offices around the country (more detail at The Hill). The organization is also pushing for individuals and businesses to contact their local representatives. Why? To use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC's recent vote to repeal net neutrality. If this CRA can gain one more vote in the Senate, which will need to come from a Republican senator, the measure will move to the House where it again will need a simple majority before being passed to the President. Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is defending the FCC's vote, insisting that "the online experience is going to continue to get better."
posted by mr_bovis (10 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
God, just hearing such obnoxious marketing speak come from the head of the FCC.
posted by JHarris at 10:31 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

from the [dick]head of the FCC.

posted by Fizz at 10:48 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

It is a super weird experience having Susan Collins as my Senator and not being bombarded with requests to call her (because she's already on board). I hope another one will, somehow, shake loose.
posted by anastasiav at 11:14 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]

"I think 2½ months later people are still using the internet. The internet still works," Pai said on CNBC. "The online experience is going to continue to get better."

FUCK YOU - the rules aren't effective, you fucking tool. You know this, and to indicate that your vote flipped some switch that instantly changed the rules is to lie to the public and undermine your claims that you are considering anything other than business interests. As of 5 days ago, the date of the full repeal is unknown, and
When the repeal takes effect, home Internet and mobile broadband providers will be allowed to block or throttle Internet traffic, and they can offer priority to websites and online services in exchange for payment. As long as they publicly disclose the blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization, they won't be violating any FCC rules.
Don't forget to read the fine print in your new contracts, folks. That is, if you don't live in half of the country that has (pending) net neutrality bills in the works [related: Why states might win the net neutrality war against the FCC].
posted by filthy light thief at 11:31 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]

"Don't forget to read the fine print in your new contracts, folks. "

Then, when you're pissed off that the fine print tells you that they might throttle your connection, you can move to your other ISP that has similar language in their contract.
posted by el io at 11:55 AM on February 27 [10 favorites]

... assuming there's another viable ISP in your area.

FCC report finds almost no broadband competition at 100Mbps speeds -- Even at 25Mbps, 43 percent of the US had zero ISPs or just one. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, Feb. 12, 2018)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]

Charter appeals court loss, still claims it can’t be punished for slow speeds -- New York AG alleges that Charter promised speeds it knew it couldn't deliver. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, March 2, 2018)
Charter Communications is appealing a court ruling that said the ISP must face a lawsuit alleging the company falsely promised fast Internet speeds that Charter knew it could not deliver.

Charter claims that federal regulations, including the recent repeal of net neutrality rules, preempts the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Charter and its Time Warner Cable (TWC) subsidiary in February 2017.

The New York Supreme Court rejected Charter's motion to dismiss the case on February 16, but Charter is appealing the decision in a state appellate court. (Despite its name, the New York Supreme Court is not the state's highest court.)

Charter's appeal filed on Wednesday says the court "erred as a matter of law in denying Charter's motion to dismiss the complaint's allegations regarding actual broadband speeds, because those claims directly conflict with the FCC's regime for measuring and disclosing broadband speeds and are therefore preempted."

Charter still disputes Schneiderman's allegations that TWC's claims of speeds "up to" a certain Mbps were misleading. The "up to" speed promises "are substantiated using the FCC's official methodology for defining and describing actual broadband speed and could not mislead a reasonable consumer," Charter wrote.

In its appeal this week, Charter also claimed that the lawsuit's "allegations regarding TWC's subjective representations about its network" are just "non-actionable puffery."

By contrast, the state Supreme Court decision said that Charter can be held accountable for promising speeds "up to" a certain amount if there was no chance that customers could get those speeds. The ruling said:
Defendants' theory is contrary to New York law regarding "up to" claims. Spectrum‐TWC'S argument that consumers should have expected to receive anything less than or equal to the advertised "up to" speeds has been rejected by the Court of Appeals where, as alleged here, the advertised "up to" speeds are functionally unattainable as a result of the defendants' knowing conduct.
The state Supreme Court decision also said that Charter failed to "identify any provision of the FCA [Federal Communications Act] that preempts state anti-fraud or consumer-protection claims." Charter's claim that the net neutrality repeal order preempts the state lawsuit is contradicted by the FCC's own statement that the commission will not "disturb or displace the states' traditional role in generally policing such matters as fraud, taxation, and general commercial dealings," the court said. (Charter's net neutrality repeal argument related to the FCC rules on network management disclosures rather than the rules on blocking and throttling.)

After winning the Supreme Court decision last month, Schneiderman noted that the court "reject[ed] every single argument made by Charter-Spectrum in its attempts to block our lawsuit."
Disclosure: The Advance/Newhouse Partnership, which owns 13 percent of Charter, is part of Advance Publications. Advance Publications owns Condé Nast, which owns Ars Technica.
This will be interesting, and may shape how the state laws get pitted against the FCC's (still-pending) repeal of net neutrality.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:34 AM on March 5

GOP tries to block state net neutrality laws and allow paid prioritization -- GOP bill would outlaw blocking and throttling but give major concession to ISPs. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, March 7, 2018)

tl;dr: Republicans push legislation that pre-empts states, spins it as "tough on ISPs" because it disallows them from "blocking and throttling Web content" but allows them to offer "prioritized" access ... meaning that other content is in the "slow lane." And it's called the "Open Internet Preservation Act."

Fuck you - this gets to the same point as undermining net neutrality.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:02 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]

Pai fucks up the internet, Comcast Edition:

When slow downloads hit an app developer, only Comcast customers suffered -- Comcast and Cogent fight again, and customers lose with slow Internet service.
Comcast/Cogent battles caused repeated problems for customers back in 2013 and 2014, as we documented in several articles at the time. For a refresher, Cogent carries Internet traffic on behalf of many businesses that need to reach the home Internet customers of residential ISPs like Comcast. Cogent exchanges traffic directly with Comcast at various data centers across the US.
The companies have long been exchanging traffic without Comcast paying Cogent or Cogent paying Comcast, to the mutual benefit of their customers. This is called "settlement-free interconnection."
Comcast wanted Cogent to start paying for this interconnection (also known as peering), and Cogent refused. Comcast responded by delaying upgrades to the ports that allow traffic to flow swiftly between the companies, and customers suffered with poor Netflix quality and other Internet problems.

Netflix had been a Cogent customer, but it built its own network in order to cut out the middleman. Netflix also refused to pay ISPs at first, but the company ended up paying Comcast and others for interconnection starting in 2014.

Cogent continued to refuse to pay and seemed to win its battle in February 2015, when the Federal Communications Commission passed net neutrality rules and used its Title II authority to reclassify ISPs like Comcast as common carriers. The Title II rules didn't ban interconnection payments, but the FCC set up a complaint process that would let companies like Cogent complain about unreasonable or unjust payment demands.

The companies apparently settled their differences without Cogent having to file a complaint. After the net neutrality rules took effect, Comcast and Cogent continued to exchange traffic without any payments, and each company has continued to upgrade their ports to let the traffic flow quickly.

But this week, Cogent founder and CEO Dave Schaeffer told Ars that Comcast still delays capacity upgrades, though not to the same extent as a few years ago. Comcast generally takes 90 days to add ports after Cogent alerts Comcast that ports are becoming congested, he said.

"They meet the letter of the agreement but they drag their feet," Schaeffer said. "I think it's fair to say they don't like the deal. They would like to get paid." While Comcast isn't breaking any contract terms, Schaeffer argues that the company is not "honoring the spirit" of the settlement-free interconnection agreement.
Cogent upgrades ports within an average of eight calendar days, and it guarantees upgrades within 17 days, Schaeffer said.

Comcast could make the upgrades for Cogent "almost instantaneously if they wanted because the capacity already exists, cross-connects [between Comcast equipment and Cogent equipment] exist," Schaeffer said. "All they literally need to do is take a port that already exists in their router and allow us to connect to it."
- and -

Comcast gets FCC’s help in $3.5 million battle against small cable company -- Wave Broadband paid Comcast millions and won't get refund; FCC rejects complaint.
The Federal Communications Commission has dismissed a complaint against Comcast filed by a rival that said it was forced "to pay a punitive ransom" of $3.5 million in order to keep airing Comcast-owned TV programming.

Wave Broadband filed what it called a petition (PDF) for declaratory ruling, claiming that Comcast engaged in unfair acts and practices that prevented Wave from providing programming to subscribers. But the FCC's Media Bureau decided that Wave's petition was actually a program access complaint—and there is a strict deadline for filing such complaints.

"[W]e dismiss the Petition because Wave did not file within the time limit that our program access rule requires," the FCC said in its ruling on Wednesday (PDF).
Wave had complained about demands from Comcast-owned Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), which Wave said "had the effect of withholding must-have regional sports programming from the largest cable competitor to Comcast Cable on the West Coast unless Wave agreed to pay a punitive ransom totaling nearly $3.5 million."

Wave had argued that there was no time limit to petitions regarding Section 548(b) prohibitions on cable operators using deceptive or unfair acts and practices to hinder rivals' access to programming. Wave also warned that Comcast's argument, if accepted by the FCC, would allow all manner of egregious behavior as long as it isn't complained about within one year of signing a multi-year agreement.

The FCC was not convinced, saying that Wave in reality filed a program access complaint that was subject to the strict deadline. The FCC also said it would not waive the one-year deadline for such complaints, saying that "Wave articulate[d] no reason to justify waiver of the one-year time limit."
Both articles from Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, March 9, 2018
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 AM on March 12

Calif. weighs toughest net neutrality law in US—with ban on paid zero-rating -- Bill would recreate core FCC net neutrality rules and be tougher on zero-rating. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, March 14, 2018)

Zero rating is when there are exemptions for specific applications or classes of applications from data caps, and California zero-ratings are not allowed when they are offered in exchange for payment.
That would prevent ISPs from charging online services for the right to deliver data without counting against customers' data caps. The bill would also protect customers from having to pay more for certain kinds of content by banning "application-specific differential pricing." The bill defines this banned activity as "charging different prices for Internet traffic to customers on the basis of Internet content, application, service, or device, or class of Internet content, application, service, or device."

The repealed FCC rules didn't place any specific restrictions on zero-rating, but the FCC reserved the right to review zero-rating implementations and halt those that harmed Internet users or ISPs' competitors. In the final days of the Obama administration, the FCC concluded that AT&T and Verizon Wireless were violating net neutrality by charging other providers for the same data cap exemptions that AT&T and Verizon provided to their own video services.

But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai rescinded those findings shortly after taking over the chairmanship in February 2017.
Because of course he did.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:25 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]

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