More on Network Neutrality

I have dealt with Title II services for a good portion of my life and I can say I don't really have a problem with internet services moving to Title II. (Network Neutrality) I don't see the big issue here. This is no different in some ways to the Judge Greene order broke up the Bell System and required equal access to other long distance providers. Under Title II, the ISPs can not discriminate against legal traffic. This is much more prominent in the mobile services where applications are blocked. It could be possible someday that a big company like Comcast or Verizon can reach a sweetheart agreement with Pandora and/or iHeart and block all other internet radio streaming (such as LPFM stations broadcasting through StreamLicensing and broadcasters like J1 broadcasting through Live365. Also, the sweetheart deals with Netflix are with the major ISPs and not the smaller mom and pops. If the smaller ISPs can build the capacity to compete with Comcast and Verizon, they should have the same level of access to Netflix.

Some are saying that this is a government ploy to control content. I don't see how Title II will do that. Just as the government does not block long distance calls to the Tea Party Express hotline or the head offices of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, I don't see the government blocking my access to those websites. This is all conspiracy and nothing more.

The other aspects of Title II such as pole attachment rules allow for competing providers reasonable access to poles similar to regulations that apply to CLECs and cable providers today.
Still on on the table is the question of the Universal Service Fund. Will broadband providers have to contribute to the USF? At this time, they do not. There is an ongoing campaign to bring broadband into Universal Service otherwise known as Lifeline service which was established in the Reagan administration (yet incorrectly referred to as "Obamaphone" service).. I support universal service and myself, I am willing to support a reasonable USF contribution on my broadband service.

One of the huge fees that came out of the Bell System divestiture was the Customer Access Line Charge (CALC). This was a fee that was demanded by the local bell companies as compensation for lost revenue since they were no longer in the inter-LATA long distance business. When the CALC was first charged in 1986, it was $1.00 per month. For a landline here in Maryland, I was recently quoted about $10 for the CALC. In the case of broadband, we are not going to see this charge because there are no "long distance" style usage revenue that will be lost by the ISPs. ISPs will still carry all traffic. The Title II designation assures that the ISPs retain interconnection with all legal services. (In other words, ISPs will be allowed to block sites like Pirate Bay and illegal torrent traffic..)

The big ISPs will say that net neutrality will prevent them from investing in their networks (thus the "dial-up" speed conspiracy). Many residences in urban areas are served by more than one broadband provider and therefore these providers will be competing to provide the fastest pipe to as many passed homes as possible. The ability for other ISPs to enter the marketplace will help those in the rural areas and those (like me) who only have one broadband service available. This is compounded by the Commission's other decision in the same meeting that preempted state laws in TN and NC to support the expansion of municipal networks.

I have heard many arguments against NN including government control, increased taxation and the fact we currently have a black president and it happened in his administration. It's all conspiracy.. the sky is not falling, despite what Verizon, AT&T and Comcast may say. Remember, the Republicans including Ajit Pai work for them.

Read the News Release from the FCC here.