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Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 5:00pmSanction this postReply
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by Declan McCullagh

The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast . . .

Because the FCC "has failed to tie its assertion" of regulatory authority to an actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the power to regulate an Internet provider's network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Tuesday's decision could doom one of the signature initiatives of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat. Last October, Genachowski announced plans to begin drafting a formal set of Net neutrality rules--even though Congress has not given the agency permission to do so. That push is opposed by Verizon and other broadband providers.



Post 1

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 9:48pmSanction this postReply
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If at first you don't succeed. . . .

Obama Administration Eyes New Taxes, Fees for National Broadband Network
FOXNews.com

A massive national broadband plan the Federal Communications Commission released last month proposes creating a national framework for the taxation of digital goods and services and imposing a fee to establish and maintain a national public safety wireless broadband network.

Does this guy have any respect for the law? Oh, nevermind.



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Post 2

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 3:34pmSanction this postReply
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I first learned of this from a short radio story yesterday. It was pretty exciting; finally people are standing up and demanding that something remain free and open. I then realized that these Neutralist actually want the government involved! What a swell idea, lets get the FCC to regulate the internet and guarantee freedom. The same FCC that drove Howard Stern off the air. The same FCC that has been running a cronies morality club. The same FCC that has destroyed radio and TV entertainment.





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Post 3

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 6:59pmSanction this postReply
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Here are some previous threads on net neutrality and related issues:

What's the Big, Hairy, Deal??
Emergency control of the internet
Net Neutrality is not a big joke
Net Neutrality Regulation Moving Forward
What we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility."


And here is a repost of mine from a thread which quickly devolved into violence:

You remember that good old policy of "local competition"? The one that required the local Bell companies to sell their services at a fraction of cost to the long distance carriers so that the long distance carriers could pretend they sold local service?

The rationale was that ATT was that a disadvantage to the Bells because ATT's long distance had to gain access thru the local carriers. Of course that situation was caused when rather than simply ending the Ma Bell monopoly, the feds artificially split up long distance from local, and divested ATT of the regional Bell companies. To fix the problem they created, the feds created yet another worse mess.

Of course, the problem was that the "local competition" scheme was thought up by MCI lobbyists. It so happened that MCI's home state was Mississippi, home of Senate Majority leader Trent Lott. And the funny thing was, MCI had never been divested of anything, so there was never any question of compensating it for lost customers. The scheme was nothing other than outright theft, mandated by the FCC.

Well, since the scheme was based on "signing up" as many customers as possible with no actual intention of providing any service, MCI ended up losing money and customers hand over fist. Turns out Bernie Ebbers was orchestrating a fraud whose scale not even Madoff could come close to. MCI had said it would only use the local Bells lines until it had built its own local network. No network was ever built. MCI drained all the capital out of the local Bells, delaying their fiber optic roll-out by two decades. And ATT, one of the most reliable blue chips in history was bankrupted trying to compete. Hundreds of thousands lost their pensions and saw their IRA's collapse.

Well, guess what? "Net neutrality" is nothing less than a scheme by certain content providers to pull the exact same stunt, only this time with internet access instead of phone service. You want to see more huge frauds, another couple trillion dollars of the economy put under the yoke of pull pushers, and another stock market crash?

There's an easy rule of thumb. When regulators come up with an incomprehensible scheme to fix a problem no one ever knew existed and they label it with a name that only a narrow minded bigot could question, you can assume that the plastic cup they are offering you is filled with sweet refreshing Cool-Aid.



Post 4

Friday, April 9, 2010 - 5:42pmSanction this postReply
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"Postal" neutrality would prohibet Federal Express from charging money for high quality express service on the public Interstates.

Everything would move at the efficiency of the US Postal Service, except worse: all correspondence would travel in easily opened envelopes that were subject to the beer bottle throwing whims of every bored 14 year old in the world. Too bad if businesses wanted to pay a premium for something that actually worked, equality in everything is our goal, and by that we mean, nothing above the reach of the lowest among us.

In this age, if some act has the word 'neutrality' or 'fairness' in it, it is a sign run.

What I am surprised at is the apparent limit to the limitless 'Commerce clause.' How did they fail in this instance to find everything they could possibly need in that Magic pair of words?

A premium express lane that made a reasonable effort at keeping the riff-raff at arms length would be well worth the extra premium.

I say, too bad if the 'neutrality loving riff-raff wouldn't like that. They can be as neutral as they want on the dirt roads.




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Post 5

Friday, April 9, 2010 - 6:53pmSanction this postReply
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Yes.

Let us hope the Republicans filibuster Obama's replacement for Justice Stevens until Obama leaves office.



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