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Can States Reimpose Net Neutrality?

No, but that won't stop them from trying.

California flagWellesenterprises/DreamstimeWith "net neutrality" rules dead at the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), several politicians are looking to bring them back on the state level.

The day before last week's FCC vote to repeal the Obama-era internet regulations, Washington state Rep. Brian Hansen (D–Bainbridge Island) introduced a bill to reinstate many of the provisions the feds were about to undo. This effort was quickly endorsed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who on the same day published a hodgepodge of policy proposals all designed to keep net neutrality alive in the Evergreen State.

Meanwhile, California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco), published a post on Medium vowing to fight the regulatory rollback. "Now that the FCC has repealed net neutrality, let's adopt it in California," he wrote.

Is that legally possible? A plain reading of the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom order suggests that it is not. Says the commission: "we...preempt any state or local measures that would effectively impose rules or requirements that we have repealed or decided to refrain from imposing."

Hansen rejects this preemption. The FCC is adopting a double standard, he tells Reason, by lessening federal authority over the internet but also increasing federal authority over state attempts to regulate the internet.

"The FCC is declaring that a certain set of federal statutory provisions do not give it the authority to regulate standards of conduct on the internet," Hansen says. "Yet somehow, as if by magic, that same statute gives them the authority to preempt state attempts to regulate standards of conduct on the internet. I'm not sure how that can coexist."

Last week's FCC order addresses this by saying that federal communications law establishes "competitive, deregulatory goals," that its repeal of net neutrality services these goals, and that preempting states from reestablishing net neutrality regulation is part of this approach. Thus, "an affirmative federal policy of deregulation is entitled to the same preemptive effect as a federal policy of regulation."

Hansen maintains that the state-level net neutrality provisions contained in his bill are justified under a state's "historic consumer protection authority." Hansen's bill prohibits any blocking or throttling of "lawful content" and bans paid prioritization—that is, charging consumers higher rates to prioritize faster service for, say, online gaming or video streaming.

Hansen's bill is on shaky ground here too, says Tom Struble, an attorney and analyst at the R Street Institute.

States do have pretty wide latitude to pass their own consumer protection laws to guard against what they find to be "unfair or deceptive" practices, says Struble. What they can't do is define "unfair or deceptive" to mirror the recently repealed net neutrality regulations.

"Any state laws that conflict with this deregulatory approach, this federal approach, are unlawful," says Struble. That would include an explicit ban paid prioritization, a practice the FCC consciously deregulated in its order.

Gov. Inslee concedes this point, saying that "the FCC's vote will preempt states from ensuring full net neutrality."

What Inslee recommends instead is a series of workaround which will allow Washington to reimpose some form of the net neutrality regulations. This includes restricting access to the state's utility poles to ISP's that adopt net neutrality practices. Wiener makes a similar suggestion, saying that California should restrict access to utility poles and public rights of way to businesses that stick to those same net neutral practices.

This too would be run afoul of the FCC's state preemption ruling, says Struble. He cites AT&T v. Portland, a 2000 case in which the Oregon city tried to force AT&T to allow competing ISPs to use its cable facilities as a condition for the city granting AT&T a cable franchise license. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that federal regulators' refusal to adopt similar requirements for cable providers meant that Portland could not unilaterally impose them.

There is one item on the Inslee/Wiener agenda that could pass legal muster. Both men proposed using their states' buying power to require government-contracted ISPs to adopt net neutrality practices. Struble says the states would be well within their rights to do this.

Photo Credit: Wellesenterprises/Dreamstime

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funniest thing is the federal government actually has a strong case of maintaining a national uniformity with internet traffic via the commerce clause.

    In other words, Taxifornia has zero leg to stand on when the federal government decides that no "net neutrality" will apply to all internet traffic in the USA.

    I always laugh when the left's love for all things that are Commerce Clause back fires on them.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Let's not cheer to hard, given that the current Commerce Clause score is:

    Authoritarian Shitbags 18,345,687

    Defenders of Freedom 2

  • Sevo||

    Don't bother Wiener with details like legality.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I hope plenty of states try to establish their own version of net neutrality. Because without NN, it becomes difficult or impossible to access abortion care.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    WORST TR*LL EVAH!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    His brain was aborted at birth.

  • DarrenM||

    Yes. It was a nightmare before 2015.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    State's rights is a dog whistle for slavery.

  • Entelechy||

    Back in the days of the Y2K panic, Nature ran a news story warning scientists about what could happen to their computers when the new millennium rolled around (Nature 387, 109–110; 1997 the doomsayers concerns were proved wrong, and "remember the millennium bug" became a popular meme for inaction in the face of any growing internet worry.

    That notion has resurfaced at Reason, where the party line is that net neutrality doesn't matter, But what will the lack of it do to big data dependent science?

    Now the science journal fears:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-07842-0

    " Dark predictions of a two-tier Internet made vulnerable to censorship, these advocates scoff, are massively overblown. Forget the millennium bug. Now, the ending of 'net neutrality' in the United States should trouble researchers: the potential for problems is real.'

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You know who else was a growing threat that at first prompted dismissive comments advising inaction?

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Senator Palpatine?

  • ||

    Donald Trump?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Al Franken?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Celine Dion?

  • See.More||

    Back in the days of the Y2K panic, Nature ran a news story warning scientists about what could happen to their computers when the new millennium rolled around (Nature 387, 109–110; 1997 the doomsayers concerns were proved wrong. . .

    /sigh/

    While there were some really outlandish predictions, such as airplanes suddenly falling out of the sky, the problem was real. Back in the '60's and '70's storage was expensive. Programmers opted to store dates without the century, saving two bytes per date. They figured their software would be replaced before 2000 and, so, didn't expect it to be an issue.

    An average customer order record may have half a dozen different dates. Dropping the century saved ~12 bytes of storage. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands to millions of records and the storage savings is in the gigabyte territory.

    Fast forward a few decades and those legacy systems are still in place. Y2K was going to be a huge problem in business computing, especially in the financial sector. When you have date comparisons that require [base date] be less than [test date] not having the century is a huge issue. 1999/08/29 is less than 2000/01/01. However, stored programmatically as 990829 compared to 000101, that comparison fails.

  • ||

    I give you a C; but to get full credit, you need to put your real name at the top and turn it in to your teacher.

  • JWatts||

    "However, stored programmatically as 990829 compared to 000101, that comparison fails."

    Meh, you merely append '19' to all records greater than or equal to 50, and append '20' to all records less than 50. Indeed, quite a few Y2K fixes were of that type. So you push the problem back 50 years. And since then, two or three generations of software have mostly resolved the issue.

    The Y2k issue was a real problem, but it was massively over hyped.

  • The Last American Hero||

    You're probably too young to remember Y2K. I was there. It was the biggest con-job of the last 50 years, in which a bogus hype led gullible fools to spend a fortune on computer consulting services to be Y2K compliant.

    Like most predictions about what would happened when the calendar went from 1999 to 2000 - from environmental disasters to the second coming of Christ, to aliens taking away the Heaven's Gate crowd, they proved to be hogwash.

  • Rat on a train||

    Y2K was nothing. You need to worry about Y2K38. I can help for a reasonable fee.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Is that the new COBOL compiler?

  • Joe Emenaker||

    Yeah, I was there, too... managing a small farm of servers, and Y2K was a legitimate concern for all of the reasons that See.More laid out. No, it wouldn't have caused planes to just start falling out of the sky, but it *could* have caused aircraft auto-pilots to disengage (as they're programmed to do) when their calculations stopped making sense, and an inexperienced pilot in poor conditions might not react correctly (like with Air France 447 when *its* AP disengaged unexpectedly). Air-traffic computers could have rebooted, putting controllers in the dark... which they're supposed to be able to handle, but it's tempting fate.
    The one good thing about all of the hype is that it caused *so* many entities to take a hard look at their own systems to figure out if they were vulnerable to Y2K. Thankfully, all of the big services (banking, air-traffic, railways, etc) had been gone through with a fine-toothed comb to sort out the issues. So, as a result, when the clock struck midnight, some little things *did* break, but the ATM's and auto-pilots still worked. But, had all of that precaution *not* happened, there would have been a lot of things which didn't work and a lot of changes which would have been a huge headache to fix back (like -100 years of interest being applied to everybody's bank accounts).

  • ||

    the potential for problems is real.

    This sentence aspires to being not even wrong.

  • See.More||

    . . . and "remember the millennium bug" became a popular meme for inaction in the face of any growing internet worry.

    Which is horribly ironic.

    The private sector, in particular, invested loads of resources into fixing the bug before it was an issue. "In the United States, business and government technology teams worked feverishly with a goal of checking systems and fixing software before the end of December 1999. Although some industries were well on the way to solving the Y2K problem, most experts feared that the federal government and state and local governments were lagging behind." (Source)

    Just one example: Between '95 and '00, my employer -- at the time a leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendor -- more than doubled their already significant number of programmers dedicated just to fixing the Y2K bug in their product. I was hired in '97 at a much higher entry level salary than was conceivable just a few years earlier and, over the span of three years, I grossed nearly a quarter of a million dollars in quarterly performance bonuses alone.

  • DarrenM||

    If it really does become a problem, it can be dealt with. Never try to fix something that is not broken.

  • trutherator||

    The "millenium bug" was very very real. I'm a software developer. The VP at the company I worked for at the time asked me how he could tell if the problem was fixed in a particular program. I said the only way you can tell is if the year rolls over without a problem. (Some companies might have added the two century digits to displays that didn't have them but not necessary. Who doesn't understand 01/01/01?)

    So the only lesson you can learn from the nothing-burger of 01/01/00 is that it was the first software project in history that I know of that was adequately funded and properly staffed with an immovable deadline, with a clear end purpose that did not change specification along the way.

    Joke's on us. But there were a couple of things that did happen. A bunch of ATMs in one country didn't work. There were other little things.

    I changed hundreds of tables and "views", thousands of programs just to make things go as smooth as they had.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yet somehow, as if by magic...

    It's what government is built on.

  • ||

    Yeah, all invokations of the word 'magic' with regard to the law should carry the "The talky-picture tube runs on wall magic!" connotations at all times. You might as well just refer to Pai as The FCC Chair Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named and insist he lose his job if he weighs more than a duck.

  • esteve7||

    Damn of all things for the left to get hysterical over, it's so called "net neutrality"? Get a fucking grip, people. The internet was fine in 2014 and it'll be fine now.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Spoken like a privileged person who has nothing to lose. The NN decision is extremely harmful to marginalized groups.

    Bustle.com (where Elizabeth Nolan Brown used to write) has some excellent articles explaining what's at stake. I recommend starting with this one, The FCC's Net Neutrality Vote Is About To Silence Anyone Who's Not A Rich White Man.

  • DarrenM||

    You missed your medication again, right?

  • Curt||

    The latest hysterical article that I read on the topic was about how the NN decision was going to destroy the pr0n industry. Worst of all, it's going to cause a situation where only hetero-normative pr0n will be able to survive.

    Because, if there is one thing that we can all agree, it's that prior to 2015 and NN, the internet was almost completely devoid of pr0n. The world is just going to have to revert to the good old days of looking at victoria's secret catalogs.

  • ||

    Because, if there is one thing that we can all agree, it's that prior to 2015 and NN, the internet was almost completely devoid of pr0n.

    BUCS may have more input on the matter but my hazy memory seems to indicate that it generally got more hetero-normative over that time span as well.

  • Rat on a train||

    You lucky bastard. All we had was the Sears catalog.

  • JFree||

    The whole point of the 2015 federal regulation was to, in fact, centralize all the state-level stuff. It was put in the FCC because that agency was more closely aligned with the slew of 'last mile' state-level issues (ie pretty much every 'utility' or muni infrastructure). But at core, it legally eliminated all state-level authority. Now federal authority has moved to a different federal agency that doesn't know shit about 'last mile' - and bluntly doesn't shit about the technology of networks either. The quote in the article is dead-on - an affirmative federal policy of deregulation is entitled to the same preemptive effect as a federal policy of regulation.

    Before 2015 - Comcast/etc and the other 'last mile' entities were constrained by 50 states and 1000+ munis and their original grants of local monopoly. From 2015-2017, they were constrained by a rather constipated FCC that at least had 50+ years of that 'common carrier utility at the federal level' experience.

    Now, they own full property rights - including the right of abusus - to that 'last mile' - legally constrained by nothing. And if you the customer don't like it - well then that's your problem. I'm happy to see those who supported regulation centralization get hoisted here. But this ain't good news for non-crony regular folks.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Now federal authority has moved to a different federal agency that doesn't know shit about 'last mile' - and bluntly doesn't shit about the technology of networks either.

    I guess you're not aware that the FTC was in the middle of a lawsuit against AT&T for unfair business practices when the 2015 OIO dropped--which effectively rendered their lawsuit void because of the switch to common carrier that was required.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Now, they own full property rights - including the right of abusus - to that 'last mile' - legally constrained by nothing.

    Bullshit. If that was the case, the FTC wouldn't be able to bring lawsuits against them. Try again.

  • damikesc||

    I know when I think of "people I want to regulate the internet", the likes of Bernie Sanders are the kind of guys I want to be running shit.

  • Joe Emenaker||

    Yeah, but it was about to start sucking. Comcast had just started trying to fleece Netflix for more money simply because Comcast's customers were trying to access lots of data from Netflix servers which weren't on Comcast's network. If Comcast is gladly taking money from their customers in exchange for, say, "30Mbps internet", then it's their obligation to make sure that their network can handle everybody getting their 30Mbps *regardless* of whether the "other end" of those data connections are inside or outside of Comcast's network.
    But Comcast didn't see it that way. They said "Gosh! With this Netflix thing, customers are actually *using* that bandwidth that we've been billing them for. That wasn't the plan at all!", so they somehow got it into their head that *Netflix* was to blame for this... I say this again, Comcast got the idea that Netflix was in the wrong for making people want to use the internet more and, thereby, causing customers to use Comcast's product more.
    So, what did Comcast do? They did what the Teamsters do when they go to a butcher and say "Hey, it looks like you're not using our trucks to deliver your meat. It would be a *shame* if those trucks didn't make it to their destination before the meat spoiled. Hows about you either start using our trucks or you just pay us some tribute?".

  • Joe Emenaker||

    Although, in Comcast's case, they said "Hey, Netflix, you're not storing your video servers on our networks. It would be a shame if those video packets didn't get to the customers on time to prevent stuttering. How about you contract with us to house your servers (in which case Netflix would then get shaken down by whichever internet provider they *left* from) or you just pay us, outright, for maintaining our part of the internet?".
    Now, Comcast's gambit with Netflix was the one that made all of the headlines, but all of the other internet providers were starting to get the same idea, and not just with Netflix, but with any website so popular as to cause customers to generate lots of traffic (the nerve of them, right?) like YouTube, Facebook, etc.
    Look, I've run an ISP before. You offer a certain connection speed to your customers for a certain price, you multiply that speed by a factor estimating how many of your customers will be using how much of their max speed and *that* is how you know how fast of a trunk to buy to connect to other networks. If some popular service had come along which caused people to consume more of their max speed more often (like cloud backup, video streaming, etc), it never would have crossed our minds to go after those internet sites for increasing our customers' appetite for data. It would have been the epitome of chutzpah. Yet, Comcast, Time-Warner, Charter, and Ajit Pai seem to think that's just fine.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It would be a shame if those video packets didn't get to the customers on time to prevent stuttering.

    Another dumbshit bugman that doesn't know how network management is conducted.

    Look, I've run an ISP before.

    Then you should know that data spikes affect the other users of the ISP if the packets aren't allocated in a manner that allows other people to not get throttled out by Netfux users.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Comcast had just started trying to fleece Netflix for more money simply because Comcast's customers were trying to access lots of data from Netflix servers which weren't on Comcast's network.

    Since it was Netflix's customers that were spiking Comcast's bandwidth usage, Comcast should be able to charge them for the demand they place on the network.

    They said "Gosh! With this Netflix thing, customers are actually *using* that bandwidth that we've been billing them for. That wasn't the plan at all!",

    That's data in the aggregate, not individual demand, dumbshit.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    "The FCC is declaring that a certain set of federal statutory provisions do not give it the authority to regulate standards of conduct on the internet," Hansen says. "Yet somehow, as if by magic, that same statute gives them the authority to preempt state attempts to regulate standards of conduct on the internet. I'm not sure how that can coexist."

    This Hansen guy ain't too bright, is he?

  • damikesc||

    Yeah. He seems baffled that the FCC AND the states cannot do something.

    It is not an either/or proposition.

  • Ron||

    what most proponents of NN do not understand is NN actually gives companies legal cover to raise cost despite whatever contract a person may have with their provider. that was the purpose of NN all along so that corporations don't have to go to their clients to get them to pay more they can just go and bribe a public official to say they do meet the exceptions provided by Nn to raise cost. this is why the hated corporations are for NN not out of kindness to the little guy as many progs claim

  • damikesc||

    Hell, look at the profitability of the two sides. Who makes more money, Facebook or your average ISP? Facebook wants to piggy back off the rather high overhead of an ISP so they can continue to make outsized profits for, honestly, ruining the country. And you're completely right on the hidden increases.

    In my state, a nuclear power plant that we had to have our electric bills increased to pay for failed to complete. So, the big fight is that the power company doesn't want to reduce the bills by what we had to pay for the nuclear plant --- that is not going to be built.

    And good money says that SCEG gets their way on this.

    THIS bullshit is what "net neutrality" would lead to with the internet.

  • Rhywun||

    "The Feds are adopting a double standard, he tells Reason, by lessening federal authority over freedom of speech but also increasing federal authority over state attempts to regulate freedom of speech."

    It's such a brilliant argument it works for anything.

  • Ron||

    If you regulate freedom doesn't that mean that it is no longer free.
    Regulation by its vary nature is the reduction of freedom.
    Freedom does not require regulations

    take your pick

  • Libertarian||

    Do it, California. DO IT.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Absolutely right. Laboratories of every sort, including democracy, thrive on failed experiments.

  • Cranedoc||

    I'm concerned that any successes California has with regulating the Internet will swiftly translate to efforts to regulate internet CONTENT. Shall we expect California to emulate the Chinese and erect a Great Firewall of California?

  • The Last American Hero||

    One can only hope.

  • Johnny Lawrence||

    "Hansen rejects this preemption. The FCC is adopting a double standard, he tells Reason, by lessening federal authority over the internet but also increasing federal authority over state attempts to regulate the internet."

    Hansen is a flaming moron. There are three types of federal preemption:

    1. Conflict preemption: When a federal law irreconcilably conflicts with a state law, the federal law prevails.

    2. Field preemption: When the federal government has so thoroughly regulated a particular field (e.g., aviation), states cannot dabble in that field by adding more.

    3. Express preemption: The easiest of all. When the Feds expressly say "we have made a conscious discussion to do X (or not do X) and that decision preempts any state law to the contrary," the federal regulation prevails.

    (Of course, fuck the entire process of unelected commissions pretending to be legislatures, but that had nothing to do with Hansen's argument—he is just pissed that they weren't his preferred unelected commissioners that were pretending to be the legislature).

  • BYODB||

    So in other words, Progressives are mad that they centralized too hard?


    Haha, just kidding, they're just mad that regulatory fiat cuts both ways.

  • Brandybuck||

    Big Government is great. We demand that Trump be in charge of the Internet! And if Trump refuses to be in charge of the Internet, we demand that Gov'nor Brown step in and take over! For Great Justice and Big Government!

    Seriously, what kind of cognitive dissonance must these guys be under to demand that the Trump Administration be micromanaging the Internet?

  • The Last American Hero||

    No cognitive dissonance at all.

    They believe that Team Blue will take the Senate and House next year in a mid-term wave election, Trump will be impeached, Pence will step down, and congress will appoint Hillary Clinton as rightful heir to Obama's throne.

    Seen from that viewpoint, they want as much executive power as possible.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    " Progressives are mad that they centralized too hard?"'

    Progressives don't believe there is such a thing as centralizing too hard.

    Unless, of course it's someone other than themselves doing some centralizing and then it's a flaming outrage.

  • damikesc||

    I'd ask --- why hasn't a Democrat put up legislation to make NN the law?

    They've had YEARS to do this. They still haven't after this decision.

    If this was truly vital, why don't these massive-yet-shitty internet companies lobby their bought Congresspeople to propose this legislation?

  • Brandybuck||

    Net Neutrality: The one issue no one knows anything about, but which everyone demands government get involved in. The level of ignorance surrounding net neutrality is appallingly high. Sigh.

    Why are utility companies regulated? Because they are all government mandated monopolies. You're not allowed to compete with Southern California Edison, by law. ISPs are not monopolies. Even in those VERY FEW places with only one ISP, it's still legal to complete with them.

    And what is the one demand Net Neutrality proponents insist on? That all prices be the same. Yet electric companies are allowed to charge peak pricing, and allowed to impose higher rates on heavy users (ei. industrial plants). But Net Neutrality is about not allowing that.

    The core problem is that the consumer pays for access, but certain content puts inordinate loads on the infrastructure. With Net Neutrality the ISPs are forced to raise the rates on Grandma's email-only account to afford the infrastructure for video streaming that accounts for a third or more of the load. In essence, Grandma is getting charged more to subsidize HBO titties.

  • JFree||

    ISPs are not monopolies. Even in those VERY FEW places with only one ISP, it's still legal to complete with them.

    You're wrong. The last mile connection to actual customers requires HUGE fixed capital outlays - AND it requires some form of local natural monopoly (physical access to utility poles, physical access to homes, spectrum/airwave exclusivity, etc). And 1890's Detroit (and 2000's era ISP mergers) show what happens even IF munis grant those monopolies competitively. The grantees simply 'freely' merge into one non-competing entity and hey presto - monopoly again - and the merger itself serves to legally 'launder' the monopoly grant and turn it into 'full property'.

    Mark this comment - post-FCC, the broadband ISP's and the DSL ISP's and the cellular/satellite ISP's will quickly merge - within the next year. And there is now NOTHING the states/munis can do about it. The FTC will extract money - for the feds - from mergers. And the different 'last mile' techs will turn into mere brand identities - no more truly competitive than Chevy/Pontiac/Cadillac.

  • Rat on a train||

    Comcast and Verizon both have last mile to my house. They will not merge.

  • JFree||

    They both have broadband to your house? Or does one have DSL and the other broadband? If the former, then you live in either a very rarefied community or an industrial/commercial park. If the latter, the merger may look different (eg Verizon may merge with Cox or CenturyLink) but the end-result will be as I said - cable price will go up and/or become tiered, DSL price will stop including video/Netflix.

  • Mark22||

    If the latter, the merger may look different (eg Verizon may merge with Cox or CenturyLink) but the end-result will be as I said - cable price will go up and/or become tiered, DSL price will stop including video/Netflix.

    That is, in fact, the desired outcome of abolishing net neutrality. It's the correct outcome. Without that outcome, you force some customers (mostly at the low end) to subsidize other customers (mostly at the high end).

  • JFree||

    I understand and agree with that goal. But tiered pricing only works when there is competition - and this will diminish competition on both the last mile side and the backbone side. A bunch of big wolves bribing each other and cooperating means that, in practice, the 'low end' becomes dinner

  • Mark22||

    I disagree that "this will diminish competition on both the last mile side and the backbone side". To the contrary, it will allow ISPs to differentiate themselves, both in the last mile market and in their peering arrangements, and thereby increase competition.

    Furthermore, the only plans I know of that have ever been affected by "net neutrality" have been plans of the form "$10 phone service plus free Facebook"; net neutrality has been used to kill such low-end plans.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Because everything that can ever be invented has been invented. Because technologists simply have to use coax and copper to transmit information.

    It always amazes me that the side that treats evolution as a religion has virtually no belief that things will adapt to changing circumstances.

  • JFree||

    Fine - you tell me when technology no longer has to comply with the laws of physics, the laws of economics, and the laws of geography.

    Cuz the last mile problem was not created by a law of Congress/states/munis. So it won't be 'fixed' by their 'deregulation' either.

  • Mark22||

    Cuz the last mile problem was not created by a law of Congress/states/munis. So it won't be 'fixed' by their 'deregulation' either.

    The "last mile problem" is a fiction. When I lived in Europe, I had access to a dozen ISPs at every place I lived. There are a variety of technical and market mechanisms by which this can be achieved cheaply and effectively.

    The only reason there is the appearance of a last mile problem in the US is due to government regulations and artificial monopolies. Adding net neutrality into the mix doesn't fix any of those problems, it makes them worse by creating even more barriers to entry for ISPs.

  • JFree||

    When I lived in Europe, I had access to a dozen ISPs at every place I lived.

    You had different ISP's leasing space from a telco DSL monopoly. That is the Potemkin appearance of competition - and disappears the second the telco decides to raise prices to its lessees. And the reality is that most of Europe has stuff similar to 'net neutrality'.

    The third world has what we are moving to (called 'zero-rating') - but they have generally bypassed fixed-line everything (again last-mile problem) and are using wireless with limited capacity (and either a monopoly or duopoly provider). And existing content providers like Facebook (internet.org) and Wiki and Google have already bought themselves preferential access - so there will be no competition on the content side either in those countries.

  • Mark22||

    You had different ISP's leasing space from a telco DSL monopoly.

    Nope, sorry, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Mark22||

    You're wrong. The last mile connection to actual customers requires HUGE fixed capital outlays - AND it requires some form of local natural monopoly (physical access to utility poles, physical access to homes, spectrum/airwave exclusivity, etc).

    That's bullshit. Last mile infrastructure can be shared among ISPs, and frequently is (in many places by law). Many locations also have tunnels or wire conduits, making adding additional wires cheap. Ditto for utility poles, which usually have space for multiple ISPs. Fixed wireless is another way of getting fast Internet access into lots of homes with little "capital outlays".

  • JFree||

    Last mile infrastructure can be shared among ISPs, and frequently is (in many places by law).

    Only if it is owned by a municipality or public entity - and most telcos were privatized a dozen or more years ago. Otherwise one company owns it - and any rules re 'sharing' fall under what we would call 'net neutrality'.

  • Mark22||

    Only if it is owned by a municipality or public entity

    Not true.

    Otherwise one company owns it - and any rules re 'sharing' fall under what we would call 'net neutrality'.

    Last mile wire sharing laws are completely different from "what we would call" net neutrality. And wire sharing laws are only one of many options.

    I'm sorry, but the arguments for net neutrality are stupid. The only effect imposing net neutrality has is to give the FCC more regulatory power and to protect the monopolies of a handful of huge politically connected companies like Google and Facebook and to protect the interests of wealthy techies.

  • Eric Bana||

    Remember everyone, this is the death of the internet now. Just wait for it.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I sure hope I can type one last comme

  • josh||

    "The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."

    -The Internet

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    :)

  • gphx||

    Nothing stops Washington State and Jay Inslee from passing unconstitutional, illegal, or just plain dumb ass laws. With the State Supreme Court on his side Washington continually passes ridiculous laws that are tied up in the courts for years wasting taxpayer money the entire time. It's now illegal in Washington to take a sip of water in your car on a 100 degree day. Meanwhile local Antifa 'heroes' are out pouring concrete on train tracks and bragging about it.

  • sweettea71||

    "state attempts to regulate the internet."

    fuckers

  • Mark22||

    "The FCC is declaring that a certain set of federal statutory provisions do not give it the authority to regulate standards of conduct on the internet," Hansen says. "Yet somehow, as if by magic, that same statute gives them the authority to preempt state attempts to regulate standards of conduct on the internet. I'm not sure how that can coexist."

    It's easy: the FCC doesn't need any legal justification to refuse to impose net neutrality rules, so their statements about their authority to do so are irrelevant.

    So, in reality, the FCC probably does have legal authority both to regulate standards of conduct on the Internet and to preempt states from doing so, and they choose to exercise the latter authority but not the former.

    If Congress disagrees, they can always clarify.

  • PlaystoomuchHALO||

    Inslee is a joke. I've been watching that clown in WA politics for a couple decades, and I'm surprised he can tie his own shoes without finding some way to tax other people for doing so. Not even the die-hard leftists in the Seattle press can stomach him these days.

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