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On Net Neutrality The Dishonesty Of The Telecoms Is Evident To All

Above Photo: Protestors organized a “light brigade” outside the White House on Thursday night to promote net neutrality. (Photo by Nancy Scola/The Washington Post)

Note: The Chair of the FCC is a former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai, so Verizon and other telecoms feel very comfortable and this shows in their hubris. Pai has already made it clear, even before the rulemaking process begins, that he wants to repeal the Title II common carrier, net neutrality rules. It is like an Alice in Wonderland trial — sentence first, trial later. The hubris of the telecoms is shown in how willing they are to lie and mislead. The reality is for everyone common carrier net neutrality rules means the most freedom on the Internet. It keeps the government and telecoms who provide access to the Internet neutral on content. Everyone is treated equally and websites success of failure is left to the marketplace of ideas and commerce. Net neutrality is supported widely because the only group that is limited, other than the government, is the telecom industry. This battle really is the people vs. the telecoms. KZ

Everything Verizon says in this terrible video about net neutrality vs. the truth

 

The fight over net neutrality is starting to heat up — and the big difference between this time and 2015 is that big ISPs seem incredibly emboldened to say whatever they want without any regard for the truth. For example: here’s some sponcon from Verizon, where someone named Jeremy “interviews” Verizon general counsel Craig Silliman about what the FCC is up to and the resultant backlash, and Silliman says a bunch of things that are just flatly not true. How not true? He casually ignores the fact that Verizon sued the FCC to kill net neutrality in the past; losing that case is why the agency had to use the stronger Title II approach in the first place. (I’m not the only one to notice this; Motherboard pointed it out earlier.)

Anyway, I’ve lined up almost everything Silliman says in this video against that simple fact. It is astounding. Enjoy.

VERIZON VS REALITY

Things Verizon Says In This Video Reality
The FCC is not talking about killing net neutrality rules and in fact, not we nor any other ISP are asking them to kill the open internet rules. All they’re doing is looking to put the open internet rules in an enforcible way on a different legal footing. The FCC is explicitly talking about killing net neutrality rules. Chairman Ajit Pai’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking pointedly asks for comment on the need for net neutrality rules at all. And ISPs — particularly Verizon! — have filed lawsuit after lawsuit challenging the FCC’s authority to impose net neutrality rules under any legal footing.
You got to understand there’s a lot of advocacy groups out there that fundraise on this issue. So how do you fundraise? You stir people up with outrageous claims, unfortunately we live at a time where people discovered, it doesn’t matter what’s true you just say things to rile up the base. It’s not sexy to say they’re changing the legal foundation for this, it’s only sexy if they say they’re killing the open internet. It’s not true. Title II is the legal foundation for imposing net neutrality rules. When the FCC tried to impose similar rules under Title I, Verizon filed a lawsuit and won; the court said that imposing the rules required Title II. So getting rid of Title II gets rid of the rules; no one has proposed new rules or any means by which those rules would be legal.
Imagine that in your town someone says “I’m really concerned that home owners may start prohibiting people walking up their front walk. So the mailman can’t deliver mail, Girl Scouts can’t sell cookies. It’ll be chaos.” No one says this.
So the mayor says, “I’m going to pass a rule. I’m going to pass a rule that no one can prohibit people walking up their front walk. But to pass this rule, I need you Jeremy and all homeowners to give me complete authority over your property.” Well how are you going to feel about that? Verizon does not operate private homes with front walks. Verizon operates massive broadband networks built on wireless spectrum, a scarce public resource, and fiber that is laid across public land. These conditions create natural monopolies; many of Verizon’s customers don’t have any other choices for broadband service. The use of public resources and lack of competition creates the need for regulation.
So I’m really concerned about this much and they want to take control of all of this. They say the rule is okay, but I’m not okay giving you that authority and the mayor may even say “Don’t worry, I won’t use that authority.” But you’re not comfortable giving them that right? So that’s what we’re all with Title II in net neutrality. Verizon also operates a massive landline phone network that’s regulated under Title II and that seems to be just fine. Also, “don’t worry, I won’t do the bad thing” is Verizon’s entire position regarding net neutrality, so it’s nice to see them acknowledge that it’s not super reassuring.
Two years ago when the FCC passed its net neutrality rules, it said in order to enforce these rules, we need to reclassify ISP’s as public utilities. Like the water company. That’s what they call Title II. The FCC’s first attempts to impose net neutrality were under Title I; it was Verizon’s lawsuit that forced the agency to use Title II. And the FCC did not say anything about water companies; that was ISP lobbying rhetoric. But internet access is pretty obviously a public utility.
And we as the ISP said “Look we fully support the net neutrality rules, we’re not okay giving the FCC unbounded jurisdiction over our business. They could tell us how we provide services and how we interact with customers and how we price these things. That doesn’t make sense. Verizon did not fully support net neutrality rules. Verizon filed a lawsuit against the FCC challenging its authority to impose net neutrality under Title I, which is why the agency moved to Title II.
So what the FCC is doing, and this FCC agrees with that it says, “We’re going to take away the public utility regulation, but we’re going to find a way to put those net neutrality rules on a different legal footing so they’re still enforcible. The FCC has not proposed any explicit net neutrality rules, under any legal footing. The agency is exploring “voluntary” net neutrality, which is basically ISPs promising not to do bad things. Which, as Verizon notes earlier, isn’t a reassuring thing to hear.
What the FCC is doing right now is they’re going to put out what’s a ‘Notice of Proposed Rule Making.” They’re going to put out some proposals and they’re going to ask questions, the public can weigh in and provide their input. The public overwhelmingly supports net neutrality; the FCC’s phone and email systems were brought down with the volume of public feedback during the rulemaking in 2015.
So that process will play itself out over a couple of months. So for better or worse, we may be talking about this again. It’ll be worse.
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