Lilbits (1-14-2014): So much for net neutrality

There’s no law to prevent US internet service providers from offering higher data speeds to companies that pay for the privilege. So some online video sites could stream more quickly than others, for instance. Some websites might load more quickly.

In the absence of such a law, the Federal Communications Commission established its own rules… but a federal appeals court has ruled that the FCC rules are invalid. This doesn’t mean there might not be another decision upon another appeal — or another set of guidelines. But right now net neutrality appears to be largely nonexistent.

The good news is that the FCC can still apparently require ISPs to disclose if and how they prioritize certain types of internet traffic.

FCC logo

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  • ChicagoBob

    So does the FCC. Unfortunately a court isn’t sure the FCC rules are legal.??
    So when I pay a provider for internet connectivity like Xfinity I have no idea what kind of bandwidth filtering is applied? INSANITY. This is like a long distance provider blocking certain numbers in New York without your knowledge. This will come back to hurt providers BIG TIME. User will demand MORE laws like a list of filtered sites and how much bandwidth they are guaranteed etc etc. What a MESS. Then more laws and more lawyers etc. People will start to hate thier providers and seeing its a luxury in the end no one wins.

    • Arrdee

      *Start to* hate them?
      We hear all of this “free market” blah-blah but until a VERY heavy antitrust approach is taken in the communications market competition if effectively non-existant. Competition is the only brake on these kinds of excess in a system where regulation is so ineffectual.
      Teddy Roosevelt must be hitting pretty high RPMs down there in his grave.

  • Jeff

    At least there’s a chance, after some revisions to some definitions, the net neutrality policies could come back.

  • Wolverine

    Ah problem is who knows if our ISP play cheat to us ?

    For example we paid for 100 Mbps, does anybody can prove that the ISP really give us 100 Mbps. It is all top secret and ISP will not so dumb to reveal to their customer as it is like peeing against the wind.

    I wish there are rules that can force the ISP to play fair.
    They got money for 100 Mbps, they need to give their customer as 100 Mbps.

    Or any unfair filtering that they put without the user know (except china i guess, that one is kind of hopeless as it was enforce by government)

  • Tony Casagrande

    Headline should probably read 2014 instead of 2013. Still, with no net neutrality, we’re boned.

  • Fred Finkle

    So… What, you’d like to force ISP’s to “throttle down all traffic to match the pace of the slowest subscriber” ?

    And what then? If you do, then the big players will simply seek higher speeds elsewhere. Or perhaps you’d also like to impose laws that forbid people from switching ISP?

    Maybe what you want is for there to be only one ISP. With one bandwidth for all. You can use a red star as this ISP’s company logo. With or without hammer and sickle — you decide!

  • John Morris

    Simple solution. All the big providers like Google and Netflix need to do is hang tough and not pay. The ISP’s customers aren’t paying for access to no-name sites and they certainly aren’t paying for access to the ISP’s internal network. This is just them going for a perversion of the Cable TV model where they charge both ends.

    What happens if Google just doesn’t pay? Does Comcast ‘pull em off the dial’ or something? How many customers will stay on an ISP that can’t access Google? Same for Netflix; if Netflix customers suddenly can’t get a quality picture on their current ISP they will be more likely to switch ISPs than streaming video providers since the bundling game favors Netflix.