Research and Discussion of Legislative Lobbying for Net Neutrality That Has Occurred In the Last 12 Years.

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The FCC winning on net neutrality or as others like to call it the “open internet”, is the biggest victory for the public interest in the agency’s history, especially for vacating portions of previous orders. Title II reclassification is the major winner here because it removes cable or ISP provides from being classified as an information service and, rather, makes them a telecommunications service provider.

Now the FCC has full control of the Internet, in that it does not permit cable and ISP providers to regulate, change speed and demand paid premiums on companies’ applications that use them such Netflix, Google, facebook and the like. But this winning took more than 10 years in the making.

Research of Legislative Lobbying for Net Neutrality That Has Occurred In the Last 12 Years in Chronological Order:



2002: FCC classified cable modem service as an “Information Service” rather than a “cable service” on the basis that a cable modem service is not a “cable service” as defined by the Communications Act, hence the cable modem service does not contain a separate “telecommunications service.”

2004: There was a potential threat by the broadband providers to selectively block some internet traffic. The FCC chairman at that time called for preserving internet freedom and approved an Internet Policy, which paved the way to Net Neutrality.

2005/ 2006: The FCC asked telecommunications providers to allow users to have the right to use any network devices they like and any website they like. That same year AT&T provided a public statement stating that companies like Google are using their Internet pipes free, and ISPs wanted more RIO and a cut of the pie. A year later AT&T acquired BellSouth.

2007: Some users noticed Comcast cable was slowing or blocking peer-to-peer communications like bit torrent sites and other applications. The press gets hold of it.

2008: FCC discloses investigations of a widespread slowing down of peer-to-peer traffic–at all times of the day, along with another provider, Cox Communications. Both ISP providers show no remorse and felt they were in the right. By August, the FCC orders Comcast to stop its interference with peer-to-peer traffic on its network.

And this is where things get hairy: Comcast fights the FCC order citing that FCC has no business in their company management.

By 2010, Comcast takes the FCC to court (Comcast Corp. v. FCC, 2010) and won. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FCC failed to justify their orders to Comcast, in what to do with their Internet speeds. The FCC imposes the Open Internet order.

But the FCC fights back!.. and by the end of the same year the FCC approves “net-neutrality regulations” but some consumers and internet rights groups complained that net neutrality was full of loopholes.

2011 was a very busy year. In January Verizon brings the FCC to court again (Verizon vs FCC); this time to challenge the FCC saying that the FCC lacks authority to enforce Net neutrality. The appeals court dismisses the lawsuit, but by the end of 2011 Verizon goes at it again and sues the FCC yet again.

By this time, think how much money these corporations have spent on this. Comcast spent almost 19 million lobbing against the FCC’s net neutrality decision. As John Oliver says in his video show, Comcast came in second place as the company that spent the most lobbying the government, right up there, next to Northrop Grumman, a defense contractor.

2012: AT&T blackmails Apple, demanding that they buy the most expensive data plans if they want to use video conferencing applications. This was the last straw for consumer rights groups.

2014: Verizon fights the 2010 Open Internet Order on the basis that the FCC had previously relinquished any rights to control ISPs. Then, by the end of 2013 President Obama endorses the ‘strongest possible rules’ to protect net neutrality.

To this day, the FCC has won. But Verizon plans to appeal again. For now, the FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans.

Discussion:

Allowing cable companies to charge a premium to big web providers, then small competitors won’t be able to afford it. The government wants to allow fair competition to any start-up company who has good ideas, allowing them the opportunity to use the internet as a resource and allocate their budget to grow and support their business. Without out this ideal, then start up companies like facebook or Google, which ware founded by young entrepreneurs, wouldn’t have made it to where they are now. Furthermore, this also affects the public. If an internet provider such as Netflix, gets an increase in fees by its ISP carrier, then Netflix will increase rates on its users as well. Then it is a matter of time where every other web provider on the internet starts raising prices or stops proving free services like News, Youtube videos, etc.

The Internet belongs to all of humanity. The information that we, as users, benefit from this free access to information is priceless and vital to our continued growth. It has allowed the opening of our borders and gave us access to create a global culture. If companies like Verizon were to get it their way, this freedom will end. Providers should treat all data on the Internet equally.

UPDATE 2015:

Telecom and cable companies, which provide broadband access to the vast majority of Americans, are challenging the Obama administration’s actions in court. If they get their way, a federal appeals court will soon delay some rules that aim to protect net neutrality, the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. Read More and state up to Huffington Post

Sources:

Press Release FCC March 14, 2002:
http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/News_Releases/2002/nrcb0201.html
Comcast vs FCC, 2010:
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-297356A1.pdf

Peer-to-peer slow down:
http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/News_Releases/2002/nrcb0201.html
Comcast vs FCC, 2010:
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-297356A1.pdf

http://www.freepress.net/blog/2015/02/26/net-neutrality-victory

Verizon Vs FCC 2014:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_Communications_Inc._v._FCC_(2014)

Obama extreme proposals on net neutrality (the guardian):
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/10/cable-companies-obama-net-neutrality-proposals-fcc-fight

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By Mary

Head of Integrated Digital Marketing and International Outreach
Maris Pozo is an Integrated Digital Marketer and member of the American Marketing Association, with over 9 years of experience on the agency side-and has worked with clients such as HP, LATimes, and Monster.com--In bilingual markets in Spain and U.S.

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  • Contortions wont stop till they have control over everything. Greed is beyond imaginable. Bernie Sanders is right, we need to have a

  • Chalres

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m sharing your link into my blog. This is a very well put chronological list of net neutrality history. I can’t believe the fight continues