Federal Communications Commission

Join The Discussion...

June 17th, 2010 by George Krebs

We're using our online discussion and deliberation platforms to encourage civic participation on the important issues surrounding broadband in America.

Your ideas and comments on issues related to the Broadband Framework NOI will help the agency determine the best legal framework to apply to broadband Internet services.

Follow the links below to make your voice heard:

79 Responses to “Join The Discussion...”

  1. Guest says:

    The internet should not be regulated by the federal government as the phone companies were. Those regulations did not lead to innovation in the industry but to stagnation and lack of competition. With the rise of the internet you have seen ip telephony drive down costs of voice to even being free with skype. If the government wants to provide access to rural areas where there will be no incentive to build out a network, that makes total sense. But to have the government whose own systems such as the air traffic control system are outdated and lacking innovation putting rules in place for an industry that they don't understand (especially Congress) seems absurd and illogical.

  2. Dan C says:

    It is unclear what this "discussion" is for. Is this an "official" comment forum for the proposed adoption of the "Third Way"? If so, you need to clearly state what this is for and include a link to the FAQ that was posted AFTER this, which presents a much clearer picture of the issue.

    Also, the June (17th) Open Commission Meeting blog encapsulates the points presented fairly well:

    I suggest everyone read both of the links above before posting on this site regarding the June 17 meeting.

    If we are to openly and fairly discuss and debate an important issue such as the FCC adopting the "Third Way", however that is to be determined and implemented, we all need to be clear on what the issues are and what we are discussing.

    Simply saying yes or no to "government regulation" is avoiding the real issue(s). Simply saying yes or no to "Net Neutrality" is equally missing the point.

  3. Guest says:

    The government should absolutely step in and regulate the internet. Net neutrality is at serious risk at the hands of what is essentially a monopoly by the major players in the marketplace.

  4. Guest says:

    ok so there are some great comments here and we've just about solved world hunger - but all I really give a care about is getting high speed internet to my neck of the woods, the Bonds Retreat area of Accokeek.

    When we moved here back in 2000 we were assured that we would be getting our phone system upgraded with fiber ("3 years we will be upgrading..."). So often (and currently) there is so much static from "water in the system" that making phone calls is difficult, and internet via landline is impossible.

    Internet from cellular is my olny affordable choice (satellite=big$$ - been there done that), and even this is spotty and slow.

    Govt. regulation is necessary in so many ways, especially when you consider what you get without regulation. I pay more than my share of taxes (and I'll qualify that if you really want me to) and I would like to see the govt. step in and make these greedy people get the ditch witch out and get internet to everyone who wants it.

    I've been paying for phone service that's been only about 50% useful to me - so take half my bill for the past 10 years and give it back to me so I can afford to buy a satellite dish and a tower for it, or run some fiber, a measly 300' up BR Road from Bryan Point Road. Take me off of the Charles Co. phone system while you're at it. What nonsense this is!

  5. Mini Gator says:

    I think they would rather go after Howard Stern than fix the basic needs of everyday people.

    Stern Rulz! Bababooey!

  6. Kurt says:

    My whole neighborhood suffers under lousy (on a good day) dial-up access. If FCC intervention will move the local Maryland phone company to replace the 40-50 year old copper wires (that bring us spotty, crackly voice communication and pretends to bring us the Internet) with, say, fiber optic connections ... then I'm all for FCC intervention. We're even only barely in some cell phone access coverage areas. I have neighbors who don't get any. And we live within reasonable commuting distance of our nation's capital, about 10 miles outside the Beltway. Bring on the broadband access! The sooner the better.

  7. dreadstar says:

    Track II is my preference. Third Way is to weak. we need a firm hand on the way these technologies and services roll out or we will de facto be living under the wishes of the providers. This bumps directly against free speech of the people and that should be to the absolute detriment of corporate speech where there is any conflict.

  8. Guest says:

    way to go George, you did it.

  9. VoodooIdol says:

    Net neutrality and ISP regulation is something this country sorely needs. We are overcharged for the meager "broadband" connections that are currently offered by our ISPs, and we are subject to ridiculous bandwith caps. These things need to end, and regulation is the way to make it happen.

  10. Guest says:

    I wonder why the "moderator" decided that my comment that the US has broadband speeds of about 16th fastest in the world and the FCC's role should be only about speed and neutrality needed to be removed. Perhaps "moderator" should be changed to "censor".

  11. Daniel Calden says:

    If for profit internet providers can't provide affordable internet to the people, then government needs to step in. A vital service in a society needs to be affordable for at least 99% of the population, if not 100%. Those that oppose socialism fail to mention that the very act of tax collection IS socialism. The question is not whether to have socialism or not, but to have socialism for all and not just socialism for the rich.

  12. Thomas R. Scott says:

    FCC Please read the following article and think about the consequences of these power grabs.

    The Internet has been an economic engine for the world. It is hard to get "greener" than the Internet. These actions of late, far from expanding broadband, will result in the loss of incentive to inject further capital into this vibrant sector of our economy.

    The results will, at the same time, put America at a disadvantage, yet hurt the global economy.

    End users of existing broadband will be hurt as well as the broadband is choked by the increasing amount of video and voice communications going over the Internet without the ability to take "side channels" and without the ability to use "Quality of Service" to prioritize streaming media over e-mail and other communications that do not need smooth and continuous connections to the same degree as streaming connections.

  13. James Stauffer says:

    Don't make this political -- keep the government out of regulating the internet. Let consumers choose the provider that they want.

  14. Jim Vaughan says:

    I see the FCC (federal government) wants to control certain aspects of the Internet. I do not know of anything the government does better than the private enterprise system. Everything the government does makes usage more complicated and more expensive. The smartest thing the FCC can do is leave the Internet alone. It grew into what it is today without government interference and the way to cripple it or kill it is, let the FCC get their hands on it.

  15. S. Horvath says:

    I sent an email to the email address before I found this section regarding broadband.

    I definitely think regulation is needed. To get a decent DSL rate I was required to have a phone line, which I didn't use. I have VOIP. I just dropped the land line and my DSL went up in price almost to the same amount as what I was paying before. So, Verizon gets their money one way or another. And my DSL is only 1M, after I complained about the speed. 1M is not great, and causes problems with VOIP and downloads.

    We (U.S.) are paying more than almost every other country and our speeds are behind many other countries. This is a similar situation as we have with pharmaceuticals - the U.S. consumer subsidizes every other country. We pay more so they don't have to try to get the same rates in other countries. And when we have problems, we have to talk to a service rep in another country, barely understandable.

    Also, a lot of the companies are talking about limiting Gb usage, or at least making up pay more if we go over a set limit. This is a very bad idea - when the world is now dependent on getting information and commerce via the internet - the broadband companies are trying to put a stranglehold on us.

    As an addition to the general subject. My phone bills, whether land line or VOIP are made up by approximately 1/3 of fees added on by local, state and federal gov't entities. Absolutely ridiculous!

    S. Horvath

  16. Guest says:

    I am an American that just wanted to state that you guys should think about having the US Post office do internet for the masses. Broadband through powerlines seems like a great way to get internet to the people.

  17. Jim says:

    I encourage the FCC to take actions that will ensure the continued free flow of information via the internet while limiting regulatory interfernce.

  18. Guest says:

    Leave the Internet alone. The users of the internet DON'T want or need government interference or control of the free flow of information on the net.

  19. Guest says:

    I think there is only one reason the FCC wants to regulate the internet. JOB SECURITY. Quit wasting taxpayer money and work on bigger issues.

  20. Guest says:

    I think the Government should do limited control in the why that they help out get broadband to the people in the areas that can't get it but keep a hand off with the content that is going over the tubes.

  21. Guest says:

    Is this china? Governments over there regulate not just bandwidth but also information. What's next FCC? Unlimited phone call will now be limited? Even tho we rightfully paid for the service? Haha why don't you guys do ah FCC on my brain wave since it is a wave like frequency. Hahaha

  22. Robert Drummer says:

    My preference is not to reclassify broadband as a telecom service.

  23. Guest says:

    I notice that everyone commenting on this has high speed internet. The government needs to "encourage" the cable companies to expand their networks. Everyone on my road has either dial-up, satellite, or a Sprint EvDo card, all of which are extremely slow. On a satellite connection, 1 Mb/s is a miracle, and a ping below 800 ms is amazing. The average for the internet is 250 ms. Finally, most large downloads time out on dial-up, satellite is capped at 425 MB for $79.99/month, and 5 GB for the EvDo cards. The cap on the EvDo cards isn't bad, since they top out at 800 Kb/s.

  24. Richard Jenkins says:

    For all the "free market" people out there, I say "Great, I'm on your side." Unfortunately we don't have a free market for broadband providers. In most, if not all, cities and towns we have a choice between our cable monopoly and our telephone monopoly. The result is one of the slowest broadband speeds and highest broadband prices of any developed countries. I'm retired, but I travel a great deal. I marvel at how competitive the broadband market is in some countries - and how cheap and fast it has become for those "free marketing" souls.

    In my opinion, our current broadband duopoly is holding back development (of all sorts) in this country. Unfortunately many people, including the large telecommunication and media companies who oppose this (and any) regulation, are trying to make this a theoretical political argument about the issue by saying it's a power grab by the federal government. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that the FCC is trying to regain its authority over internet traffic that it lost in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. If anyone remembers those days, we had a great deal of competition amongst transmission providers and prices were very cheap. Since that act became effective we have not.

    All this business about the FCC regulating content is rubbish, and most people need to learn the facts before resenting that argument as valid. The rules offered by the FCC will not touch content, but it will allow competition in the broadband world.

    Now again - who amongst all the free marketers in this country is against a little competition?

  25. CDJ says:

    Okay, the FCC has already lost this battle in court, so you're trying to subvert the system and override what was already settled. This is not be your jurisdiction. Broadband and ISP providers should be able to throttle up or down data as they see fit, especially when THEY have paid for the infrastructure to support broadband. The government didn't do it, private businesses did it. What you're proposing is, hmmm, what do you call it again, oh yeah, Communism. Look it up folks, that's the classic definition of what the FCC is trying to do.

    It is NOT A RIGHT to have broadband in everyone's personal residence, in spite of the sob stories we hear during testimony. Sheesh, why do our tax dollars have to go to providing universal broadband? Let's see, there are public libraries, schools, neighbors who could provide access to the poor beleaguered chirren who are really suffering from ONLY dial-up.

    FCC, hands off. I've been an I.T./I.S. director for 40 years and the actions you are anxious to impose are simply outrageous and unacceptable. Guess what will happen if you somehow manage, with your thug political help, to implement these atrocities? Private industry will not invest in future infrastructure upgrades, improvements or expansion. Let the free market work, it always has. On the other hand, the government can't even "manage" an oil leak. God help us if you have a stranglehold on the internet.

  26. samuel dean says:

    Internet should not be treated like a luxury service and should not be controlled by 'FOR PROFIT'

    corporations who keep gouging consumers with ridiculous fees. Why should citizens be forced to pay

    $60 a month for their internet access when they could be paying $5 a month instead. Many

    households simply can't afford $60 or even $40 a month for internet. Internet needs to be

    completely socialized. To put it another way, millions of families on a budget should not have to

    pay an extra $30 or so a month just so a few fat-cats can rake in $100 million a year. It's

    simply barbaric and immoral.

    Please break up the internet monopolies.

  27. Michael Holodnak says:

    All information, including news, will eventually be available only over the Internet.

    Allowing ISPs to decide what traffic goes through their network without checks and balances in place will allow them to not only to filter out competitive traffic but traffic that is beneficial to the public that does not earn them a profit, such as an open an unbiased media.

    To not apply some regulation now will allow these companies to completely control the information we are exposed to in the future.

  28. Guest says:

    Hands off our internet!

  29. Jackie Cate says:

    I am opposed to the Federal Government regulating the Internet.

  30. Mattm says:

    On most things, I am almost always against government regulation. However, in this case, I must agree that this regulation of internet companies (not the internet) is extremely important. The internet is no longer easily classified as some service that companies provide; it is a public infrustructure vital to our nation and telcom companies must be required to provide their customers fair and reliable access to this infrustructure. This regulation is preserving the long term freedom of the internet, not fettering it.

  31. JABZ says:

    Some of these naysayers have selective memory. Let's be clear, the internet started as a government project. Industry would not be "creating innovation"on the internet if the government had not created the internet. Phone companies would have gone on stagnating without the government's help. Sometimes we need the government - which is us - to lay down infrastructure to get things started. Regulation is also another kind of infrastructure as well. We have seen what happened in Wall Street; markets without rules are not markets. We cannot let a few actors monopolize the internet and make it a free-for-all for themselves.

    By the way, take something as simple as closing an account with an internet service provider. They make it so hard. When you're with an operator they won't take no for an answer and beg you to stay. Some clients think they've gotten rid of them only to find these companies have been charging their bank accounts after several months. And these internet service providers get away with it. When you need help you can't get a live person; they appear to have diverted people into the sales department to focus on getting more accounts.

    I expect internet service providers to continue their bad customer service, and aggressive ways as they scramble to gain superiority over their peers for market control, and I would not trust them with control of internet broadband without regulation.

    By the way, I think it is fair to say that internet service providers probably have less than stellar approval ratings for customer service and customer satisfaction. Regulate them.

  32. David Seaman says:

    How many broadband providers are filling the public debate with these messages directly or indirectly?

    "James Stauffer says: June 18 2010 at 8:46 AM. Don't make this political -- keep the government out of regulating the internet. Let consumers choose the provider that they want."

    What about private communications providers James? are they not political? Should we just blindly trust in private, corporate providers that they will provide us with, not necessarily what we WANT, but what we NEED for a functioning democracy; i.e. an informed public that has the ability to make choices for the common good. Or is a free market more important to us than a functioning democracy?

    "Jim Vaughan says: June 18 2010 at 8:56 AM. I see the FCC (federal government) wants to control certain aspects of the Internet. I do not know of anything the government does better than the private enterprise system."

    Well Jim, why not just get rid of government all together and let private business represent the people? It's been long accepted that the "private enterprise system" or what we call the "free market" cannot work without regulation. Why should private interests want a free market? They never have and they never will, for a free market means competition and what logical business would chose competition over monopoly or oligarchy? I sure wouldn't!

    It is the government's job to keep the public sphere, as well as the free market from being crushed under private interests, which, rather than serving the public good, merely serve their bottom line; their shareholders. The FCC needs regulatory powers with teeth to keep the internet open and free from private domination. We the people have delegated power to them to serve the people's interest and we expect them to do this. I, therefore, am for strong regulation on the internet, keeping our access to information from being blocked by private gatekeepers.

  33. Guest says:

    The government's only role in the internet should be making certain the US has the FASTEST speeds available and net neutrality. With the most powerful resource ever made available to the world, our "leadership" has relegated us to "third world" standing( approx, 16th in speed ) with a host of greedy companies seeking an unlimited menu of ways to tax/profit from our thirst for knowledge and innovation. A "first class superpower" would NEVER seek to stifle the innovation and drive of it's people. With the now instantaneous flow of information around the globe, once disadvantaged countries now can play at our level. Another huge American lead/advantage squandered for greed apathy and arrogance. Congratulations on the leadership!

  34. Guest says:

    Government regulation stifles innovation and will lead to censorship.

  35. Guest says:

    I support of requiring universal provision of highspeed broadband service. I also support reasonable governmental regulation of things like price, reliability, and net neutrality. I live only 25 from the White House and I do not have access to high speed internet.

  36. Guest says:

    I would like to see Broadband stay just the way it is. I see no problems with the way it's being run now and the Federal Government doesn't need anymore control over the Broadband networks then it already has.

  37. Phil says:

    To all those who think the government should stay out of this: remember where the Internet *came from* - government investment! That's right. Also, you might read a little history to see how the original Bell Telephone network accomplished much of its "right of way" deployment many decades ago, when copper lines were set up to make our phone system. The GOVERNMENT made that possible.

    How many of you know that bandwidth is essentially an infinite resource, and that the "bandwidth providers" are artificially limiting that resource so that they can get their hands on your wallet? Why do we have broadband constraints today? Because THAT'S THE WAY THE TELCOS AND CABLE COMPANIES WANT IT. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make it appear as if bandwidth is a scarce resource.

    How come places like Europe, Japan, South Korea, and many other countries blow us away in broadband and mobile communication provisioning? Do some research instead of coming back with the weak argument about the "post office", or ineffective government. Do you have any clue about why the Post Office is having problems? Can you spell "j-u-n-k m-a-i-l"??

    All that said, there IS a current problem with some small percentage of Internet users hogging a lot of available bandwidth. why is that? Here's a clue. It's because the cable companies and telcos have CREATED scarcity. Again, go look at what some other countries provide, and how much less it costs than it does here. Go look at telecommunications regulation in those countries.

    Americans had better get a really fast clue about what's at stake here. If we don't keep the greedy telcos and cable companies (who have built infrastructure with tax breaks and other tax incentives that have cost YOU, the American taxpayer, money), we're going to fall even farther behind nations that are *accelerating* broadband penetration at a far faster rate than we are.

    Comcast(or their lame new name - Xfinity - what a joke!), AT&T, Verizon, etc. have been screwing the American public with things like forced bundles, and outrageous charges for basic service. When they haven't been able to deliver service to outlying service areas, simply because they didn't want to spend the money, more than a few communities tried to set upu their own broadband services, Guess what happened? Almost all those efforts were sued into oblivion by the cable and telco companies. Why? Just because they could. That's why.

    I currently have AT&T as a provider. They have NEVER delivered the maximum speed that I contracted for on DSL, and they forced me to buy a wired line as part of the contract even thugh I don't use a wired line. How do we let these greedy SOB's off our backs and FREE UP INNOVATION? One way is to hold their feet to the fire to make sure they deliver on the extra government fees they collect - fees that are supposed to go to build broadband.

    Verizon has been sued for collecting BILLIONS of dollars in special augmented fees, with the promise that they were supposed to spend those fees to build broadband infrastructure. They didn't! What's up with that?

    Frankly, I would like to see the government NATIONALIZE telecommunications, and hire private contractors to deploy infrastructure. THIS SI NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! the telcos and cable companies do nothing nbut control roadways that were paid for BY THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, DECADES AGO. And they are now claiming ownership of the Internet, that WAS ALSO FUNDED BY THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, DECADES AGO!

    I have a RIGHT to get the maximum, unfettered use of broadband that I paid for, and RIGHT TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE FULL CAPACITY THAT BROADBAND PERMITS. I paid for that - so did you. the cable and telco companies are riding on OUR INVESTMENTS. they have done nothing special, except to LEVERAGE OUR INVESTMENT for their personal gain.

    Right now, the lack of investment and foot dragging by these bums has led to America falling behind in broadband access, among developed countries - all this while the cable and telco companies take in incredible profits.

    Anyone notice what has happened over the last 18 months, in two other largely unregulated sectors - finance and oil? Take note of that, and don't let yourself be suckered by scare tactics. If the telcos and cable companies don't want to play ball, perhaps we should open up our nation to international competition, where international communications providers are giving their consumers a real bargain, compared to the scraps that Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are giving the American consumer.

    Bottom line; these companies need US, we don't need them. If they don't play ball, let's find some companies who will, or let the government run the pipes. I trust government FAR more than I trust these broadband thieves, who have been taking our tax dollars for decades and NOT delivering on their promises - instead keeping us backwards compared to other developed nations.

  38. Guest says:

    The one and only reason why the Internet has flourished, is due to the simple fact that the Federal Government has had absolutely nothing to do with it. PERIOD!

    This is purely a "move sought by both President Barack Obama and FCC Chairnman Julius Genachowski--even though federal law calls for an Internet "unfettered by Federal or State regulation."

    Here we have just another example of the present administration pulling all the stops to further their agenda of squashing OUR FREEDOMS GUARANTEED BY THE US CONSTITUTION! "WE THE PEOPLE" have had enough of the no end in sight draconian legislation being forced upon us by an administration run amok with never ending greed for more, more, more, power and control over WE THE PEOPLE.

    The Federal Government needs to keep their HANDS OFF THE INTERNET!

  39. Guest says:

    PLEASE - really, we can't see what happens when there are no regulations for this corporatocracy that we live in? Don't the citizens deserve a voice? An advocate against the corporations that will move to rape the land and the citizens in any way they can for more profit.

  40. Jim says:

    There should be some kind of regulation. For example, to get decent internet pricing, I had to purchase a package that includes cable & phone. I just wanted internet, but the cost of internet alone is so expensive that it made personal economic sense to all three services.

    On the other hand, we should not be forced to install modems & routers with "the special sauce" that tracks our websites. We should be able to go to any site that we choose. For example, would an atheist discussion site be consider a "problem" site? Maybe to Christians or Muslims. Would a fundamentalist christian site be considered a "problem" site? Maybe to atheists.

    The point I'm trying to make is that what makes the United States such a great country is that all points of views and all discussions are allowed. Please do not limit our free speech and freedom of religion.

  41. Greg Lamb says:

    Gee, I am so glad that big business is taking such good care of me! They did a bang up job recently when they almost killed our economy. And I can smell how well BP has taken care of me and my neighbors along the Gulf Coast. And when I notice that in South Korea a citizen pays $3.40 a month for 10Mbs service, or $6.50 in Sweden, and $7.00 in Japan, I can't help but wish we had a system like theirs!

    Let's not fall for failed policies like deregulation again. We can't afford it! We need to protect the Internet by keeping it neutral.

  42. Guest says:

    I'm a bit amazed reading some of the above comments about this issue. Folks are saying keep the government out of the Internet. Now here is the problem. The Internet providers want to be able to charge more for some kinds of content. This means they would like to option of charging more for content from say CNN, Fox, MS-NBC, BBC, CBS, CNET, etc. They could pick and choose what content to charge more for. Now some of these Internet providers also provide their own content. They would be forced by their duty to their shareholders to maximize value of their stocks so this would force them to charge more for competing content. As some folks who have said keep the Internet free I suggest they look in to what is actually happening.

    I understand that some of the Internet providers are now threatening to stop investing in the Internet if they are not allowed to charge more for other providers content. That sounds to me like their are holding a gun to the head of the American people. This should not be allowed. I think the FCC should quickly do what they can to stop this blocking of the Internet. And if the FCC can not then it's up to our elected officials to write laws to stop it.

    The congress should think up new ways to have new Internet providers brought in to the market to help stop these companies from threatening to stop investing in the Internet. Amazing how we in the US now have some of the slowest Internet of the 1st world. Folks we have a problem.

  43. Guest says:

    There's either a lot of astroturfing going on here or a lot of these Guest posters are sorely uneducated on what "net neutrality" actually represents.

    " Guest says:
    June 18 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Leave the Internet alone. The users of the internet DON'T want or need government interference or control of the free flow of information on the net"

    This is a ridiculous statement. Net Neutrality would ensure that ISP can't give priority or severely degrade certain traffic on their networks. Traffic shaping of the bittorrent protocol is one notable example presently being implemented by many ISP.

    A more serious aim of many ILEC and CLEC is the walled garden approach. A regional ISP controls your gateway to the internet. Below is a practical example of what could possibly happen if Net Neutrality isn't passed.

    Let's say your ISP decides to shakedown several popular domains like,,,,,, etc for money. Suppose that NBC/GE and Microsoft pay the extortion money to your ISP. Your ISP then gives and preferred passage on their network, and at the same time degrade traffic originating from domains that didn't pay the extortion money. Now imagine if Tier 1 NSP are also running an extortion scheme in the same fashion. The end effect is multiplied by the amount of networks that traffic must pass over from the host facility to the end user that requested packets. Now what does this ultimately look like to the residential subscriber? and will load fast, and the other popular domains will load much slower. The residential subscriber will blame the popular domain for this poor performance, when in reality the ISP is responsible significantly degrading select packets for their own monetary benefit.

    Net Neutrality will stop this from happening, because net neutrality bans ISP from prioritizing traffic that passes across their networks. If net neutrality becomes law ISP must treat all traffic equally.

  44. Liz Moore says:

    Net neutrality is so vital to this country's economy and individual freedoms. People need access to the internet for everything from job listings, online banking, social networking, telecommuting, and entertainment. Giant telecommunications firms are focused on making profit, not providing equal access to the internet. Our nation's internet communications are too important to be left to unregulated private corporations. I am very much in favor of federal regulation of broadband communications.

    I'm so glad that net neutrality is making its way into public policy.

  45. Guest says:

    LOL @ this and similar posts..

    " Guest says:
    June 18 2010 at 1:17 PM

    I think there is only one reason the FCC wants to regulate the internet. JOB SECURITY. Quit wasting taxpayer money and work on bigger issues."

    Regulation of the Internet is a huge issue of concern. The Internet is no longer just AOL chat rooms and a bunch of kids playing around on BBS. There's a lot of false rhetoric being spewed around here by lobbyist shills and corporate stooges.

    The Internet is a gateway for trillions of dollars in online commerce. For infrastructure so vital to US GDP, it is long overdue that the Internet carriers face some regulation. A national broadband plan must addresses significant faults in US infrastructure. The US is not #1 in broadband deployment, speed, or price. In most of these areas, the US isn't even ranked in the top ten compared to other leading industrialized nations. Japan, Korea, Sweden, The Netherlands, France, and many others created national broadband initiatives to foster deployment that pushed high speed affordable FTTP to residential customers without ridiculously low bandwidth caps. Meanwhile the US continues to drop in international broadband rankings. Why has this happened?

    I realize this is a taboo topic most of you "guests" would like to avoid. In the United States there's a revolving door between industry and government. Policy makers retire, go to the private sector, and then lobby (legally bribe) their former friends in congress to pass legislation that favors their new private sector employers. That's the truth of why the US is dropping in rankings. The only way this situation will drastically improve is if federal and state legislators suddenly decide to grow a backbone to ignore lobbyists, then pass legislation putting Americans to work laying FTTP.

    Create a national fiber grid maintained by the US government then lease access to any business that wants capacity. Businesses can then sell services to residential subscribers and this would ultimately keep prices and services very competitive. Private networks would still exist in such an environment, but they would be forced to actually compete because regional monopolies or anti-competive duopolies would no longer have a stranglehold position.

  46. Guest says:

    S. Horvath, you're right when it comes to ILEC/CLEC overpricing unbundled services. Your Pharmaceutical analogy is totally invalid. There is no subsidization of international countries in broadband. Other nations respectively pass their own national broadband policies that set goals and incentives towards the continued development of network infrastructure.

    The US has no national broadband policy and continues not to have a policy due to private lobbying from large telecommunications carriers that would prefer to never be regulated. Most of these regional monopolies like their current positions. Most regional ISP face limited or no competition, they can oversell their infrastructure and then terminate customers who actually use their services fully. There is minimal incentive for regional ISP to invest in upgrading existing infrastructure when there's no competition or regulation that forces them to stay current with technology.

  47. Guest says:

    " Thomas R. Scott says:
    June 17 2010 at 9:40 PM

    FCC Please read the following article and think about the consequences of these power grabs."

    Thomas, that's a nice piece of fear-mongering you posted. Arstechnica did a good job regurgitating Mr. Davidson's armageddon report, but not in analyzing the substance of that report.

    For a more substantive analysis of Mr. Davidson's report I suggest you read the following.

  48. Guest says:

    I've mentioned this in another post before, but I really hope that the FCC will consider addressing the next major issue facing the future of US broadband --> data usage caps.

    A 100Mbps connection is pointless if an ISP sets a ridiculously low usage cap. The FCC needs to set a minimum standard for usage. Ban usage caps, force ISP to sell unlimited usage, and distinguish services by speed tiers, or set a usage minimum that must be followed that reflects the true cost of broadband.

    I'm sure you guys might be getting tired of reading my example below, but try living here and you'll get tired of getting ripped off.

    A Practical Example of the Monopoly/Duopoloy effect in action
    If you're looking for an example of how areas in the United States are absent of competition you have to look no further than Alaska. Cable company GCI in Alaska is a perfect example of an ISP that has charged their customers prices way above industry averages and capped usage on residential customers.

    GCI's unbundled internet offerings (notice the price and allocated usage)

    GCI's bundled internet offerings (prior to 4/20/10 GCI advertised these services as "unlimited downloads" )

    GCI used an incentive of "unlimited downloads" on bundled internet service tiers to convince customers to buy their "ultimate package" bundle (cable tv, POTS, long distance).
    As of 4/20/10, GCI changed their ToS, and updated their website to remove almost all references to "unlimited downloads". GCI has now placed the same paltry limits on usage as their unbundled service tiers.

    A normal counter argument, would suggest customers to vote with their wallet and seek out local competition. What if there is no competitor? What if the local competition offers services that were competitive in 2000, not 2010?

    ACS internet offerings (notice the forced bundling with POTS, and speed tiers)

    ACS's lowest speed tier doesn't even meet the FCC's own qualification of broadband at 768Kbps downstream.

    As a residential customer what options are we left with? Do we pay exorbitant rates from the local CLEC and face limited data caps on usage, or do we pay exorbitant rates from the ILEC for forced bundling and speed tiers that were competitive 10 years ago?

  49. Uhura says:

    There must be Internet neutrality. Internet Service Providers must not place their interests in advance of consumer access to information. Please take action to encourage the free flow of information and unfettered access to the Internet

  50. Guest says:

    I see the subtle irony here. Just a few years ago the FCC had a strict hands-off approach to the internet, and now they want to say when, where and how much broadband there should be. Furthermore, with the differing goals for urban and rural America, they are continuing to perpetuate the 'digital divide' that they so rampantly opposed just a few short years ago.

    My feeling are that the 4mbps standard for the rural areas are to keep the wireless folks in play. They might as well as they have worked to give them every advantage they could since their inception and will not stop.

    The FCC should keep in mind that all communications depend on the legacy network that is in the ground and on poles all over the nation. If that is further threatened, all communications will suffer.

  51. K. Beowolf says:

    A balance must be struck between the so called free enterprise philosophy and the government regulation philosophy. Both can stifle creativity and kill innovation. Unrestricted free enterprise leads to monopoly because everybody gets greedy. If I only have a handful of choices as to where I get my broadband, that is not free enterprise. Why does it cost more when I ask for less service?

    Government that doesn't understand an industry can make things worse.

    My only hope is that the internet stays a place were equal access to information is maintained on the highest level.

  52. michelle riel says:

    I support the FCC Third Way proposal (as outlined here to restore the status quo that existed before the Comcast decision.

  53. Guest says:

    I'm laughing so hard at all the astroturfing comments here. I feel sorry for you guys at the FCC.
    You've got a very tough road ahead of you, please don't give up. There are a lot of us out here
    depending on you to set things right and get the telco and cable monopolies under control.

  54. Troll hunter says:

    " Thomas R. Scott says:
    June 17 2010 at 9:40 PM

    FCC Please read the following article and think about the consequences of these power grabs."

    In response to this comment above. So it turns out at least one of the co-authors of the report Arstechnica cited is a corporate shill who conveniently timed a report. What a coincidence. Of course you didn't know this before you posted did you Thomas? lol

    "Business Week apparently forgot to note that study co-author Bret Swanson, formerly of the Discovery Institute, is essentially an incumbent ISP policy representative pretending to be an objective analyst. Working at AT&T's behest on faux science for years, Swanson is behind such debunked concepts as the Exaflood, which tried to argue the Internet would explode if carriers weren't given whatever they wanted. More recently, Swanson's been claiming that network neutrality rules will result in huge job losses -- using completely made up figures."

  55. Troll hunter says:

    Hello astroturfers, or shills if you prefer that better.. lol

    "NoMoreHelio writes

    "The political blog ThinkProgress lays out big telecom's plan to attack net neutality. The blog obtained a secret PowerPoint presentation from a telecommunications industry front group (PPT) that outlines the industry strategy for defending against regulatory attempts by the FCC. The industry plans to partner with two conservative 'astroturfing' groups, best known for their work seeding the Tea Party movement. Today's revelation from ThinkProgress comes as Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) joined various telecom-funded front groups to unveil an anti-net neutrality bill.""

    More information about how many large ISP are plotting to kill net neutrality at:

  56. Guest says:

    I am adamantly opposed to handing over control of internet access to Corporate America. This will go a grave disservice to the people of this country to the benefit of AT&T, Comcast etc. The more that Corporate America takes control of media and access to information, the less free we become. Without net neutrality, we will become more and more like an oligarchy where all information is controlled by corporate interests and the people be damned.

    I don't even know why we are having this debate again as the issue of net neutrality had already been determined - the people have already spoken. But I guess that having enough money and power to override the interests of the people and the country will get you just about anything.

  57. Guest says:

    Pleeeze ppl.... I am one who could care less if our Gov. wants to see what I am talking about or looking up on the internet!! I have nothing to hide and if it means cheaper rates and better service then "Go FCC"!!!!!
    Definitions of network neutrality(Wikipedia)
    At its simplest network neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.[9] Net neutrality advocates have established three principal definitions of network neutrality:
    Absolute non-discrimination
    Limited discrimination without QoS tiering
    Limited discrimination and tiering
    Neutrality proponents claim that telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services. Many believe net neutrality to be primarily important as a preservation of current freedoms.[4] Vinton Cerf, considered a "father of the Internet" and co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, and many others have spoken out in favor of network neutrality.

  58. C. Gilbert says:

    To whom this may concern at the FCC

    I am not for this or against this. If you must regulate, then please consider the following

    In your PDF I believe you mentioned there were about 800 ISP's offering Internet services, and I am not sure that includes the lan line (dial-up ISPs). Doesn't sound like it does.

    You failed to mention to the public that a good majority of Internet connections are offered by a select few ISP's that the public tends to favor over everyone else. This includes the same companies who offer our cable, satellite, lan lines, wireless phones, plus broadband. They are ALL one the same.

    If you look at their track records, you will notice a pattern. All of these services are in a tier fashion. You want your favorite tv stations? ...then you pay for them extra. Same with your phone. Both the wireless, and lan line. You want caller ID? Pay for it. Everything extra comes with a heavy price mainly because unless you have the money to dish out, you get the very basic of options. Certain packages on the low end, don't have the cream of the options. Most you are limited to two, or three at best. If your trying to keep the cost down, it makes it very difficult to do. A basic lan line is 30 minutes of long distance, caller ID, and voice mail. Unless you are one of the luck few that can get the freebie wireless service. You will get very limited service with the freebie. Under one hundred minutes a month, voice mail, text cost around .30 of your minutes, and you get roll over minutes. Want cable? Your still going to be charged 50 bucks a month, for like 24 stations, that are basically info commercials. It's the same with satellite. You want the good stations, then you must pay dearly for them.

    If they will go behind our backs and slow Internet traffic down, and block certain websites, or files... then they are capable of doing anything they want to the consumer, as long as they think they can get away with it. It is not just the tier program we should be afraid of... It is the blocking of content they don't like because of the views expressed in the website. The slowing down of a download, just because of the type file the consumer is after, or the page the consumer is on. It is the possible redirect to a page of content that the ISP would rather the consumer to see over the page requested. The possible tier of the Internet could stop consumers from visiting a website. Simply because cnn, digg, or even webmd is not in their list of websites package they pay for every month. Yes they can do this. Don't let them tell you otherwise. I know they can!

    Be sure you know what you are doing, don't second guess, and don't accept the word of the ISP's that are offering you advice. They are not your friend! They certainly have not done much good for the consumer over the years.

    I am pointing this out because of track records. The same ISP's you want input for on the broadband regulations are the same ones that brought us our wonderful wireless phone service, cable service, and satellite service. Plus broadband for which up to now they have not been able to mess with. But I am sure if given the chance, they will. Their track record is a poor one. If you are not careful, and fail to address this, the Internet will suffer. Dot all of your "i's" and cross all of your "t's" carefully. Spell it out if you have too, but don't let these companies laugh all the way to the bank. Have mercy on the consumer for a change.

    Your version:...

    · consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;
    · consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
    · consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and
    · consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

    My Version:...
    · consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content;
    · consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
    · consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network;
    · consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
    . consumers are entitled to not have any type of tier ISP broadband service connections whatsoever on the Internet.
    . consumers are entitled to broadband speeds that equal, or exceed those of other developed nations.

  59. Jim Borden says:

    I want the federal government to keep their fingers completely out of the internet. I completely resent the idea of the government (the FCC) even thinking about regulating the internet in any way, shape, or form. Keep your hands out of something that works well without your intervention! Your reach is pervasive enough already. No more government and especially not involved in internet regulation.

  60. Phil says:

    This just in, from SlashDot. org: - and you wonder why the telcos need regulation - they are CREATING bandwidth scarcity!

    BusinessWeek reports that Verizon may be preparing to follow AT&T's example by eliminating unlimited data plans later this year. Quoting: "'We will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate,' John Killian, chief financial officer of Verizon Communications Inc., the wireless unit’s parent, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York today. The company anticipates 'explosions in data traffic' over wireless networks as new phones on 4G networks incorporate data-heavy applications, such as video downloads, he said. Verizon is working to keep its network running smoothly as more of its customers switch to smartphones that connect to the Internet. ... 'The more bandwidth that you make available, the faster it will be consumed,' said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. 'From Verizon’s perspective, the last thing you want is for another generation of consumers to be conditioned to the idea that data is always going to be uncapped.'

  61. Mike says:

    Net neutrality regulations are greatly needed to ENSURE the free flow of information on the Internet. Without them we will see bandwidth priority given to those with the most money and small websites and companies kicked to the curb of the Web's highways. The purely profit seeking ISPs cannot be trusted to treat all Internet traffic fairly. We all now know that Comcast has been throttling Internet traffic for years, restricting the flow of information and our rights. The FCC needs the power to stop this kind of practice before the ISPs get too far down that slippery slope. We surely don't want the ISPs controlling what we see on the Web or setting up tier based access packages like Cable and Satellite providers do.

    The FCC must play a major role in facilitating the spread of broadband around the country and ensuring that the playing field remains equal for all users and providers of the Internet.

  62. Tristan Knowlton says:

    Your broadband coverage maps are laughable. I live in a rural zip code (49264 Michigan) and your map claims I have 100% access to broadband, which is an utter joke. I guess if you count satellite access (i. e. slow and expensive access) we're covered. But then, if you're counting satellite, everyone is covered and I guess we don't even need a rural broadband initiative!

    We have no DSL, cable, fiber optic, or wireless service out here (other than the 5 GB $60 per month rip-off the phone company quadropoly tries to sell). I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for broadband, but it will probably never be available out here. I think my zip code is forgotten.

  63. L-Man says:

    Does anyone else see the subtle irony anticipated in the National Broadband Plan? Just a few short year ago we were struggling against the 'digital divide' that separated the urban and rural internet users. Today, we're prepetuating it with the goals of the plan at 100 mpbs for urban areas and 4 mbps for rural areas. This observer's suspicions are that the glaringly low bar for the rural areas of the nation are to keep the wireless folks in play. After all, they are a well-heeled lobby. It appears that we are no longer 'technology-neutral'.

    At the end of the day, the legacy networks that are in the ground and along the poles of our nation support all communications, wired or wireless. If we let that network suffer, we all suffer.

  64. Guest Marley Fletcher says:

    I don't want the government regulating the internet. The government will make it less efficient and we will end up paying taxes and all kinds of fees to use it if the government becomes involved.

  65. Guest says:


    My biggest concern about the universal service initiative being extended to cover broadband internet access is sprawl. By bringing high speed internet to rural areas, we're going to accelerate the growth of single story rural data centers and residential sprawl. In other words we'll be clearing trees and farms to build sprawling data centers on cheap land rather than focusing on urban renewal and preserving our forests and farmland.

    I don't like the idea of urbanites subsidizing sprawl. The lower cost of living in a rural community should be used to offset higher utility bills.

  66. Craig says:

    Citizen Horvath, you argued your point well, until the last sentence, wherein you totally destroyed your former argument so nicely crafted in the previous 3 paragraphs... Nicely done! I will refrain from posting my own comments, as you have done such a wonderful job for me, and so succinctly, I might add!

  67. Concerned Citizen says:

    I just have one thing to say I thought we live in a republic not a socialist state.

  68. Guest says:

    I live in an area only 18 miles from Washington DC with unreliable wireless, and no possibility of high speed cable, fiber optic, or phone. Verizon and Comcast don't have to service us because county contracts let them eschew areas below a certain density of residences.

    Increasingly, this represents an intolerable inequitability, as high speed, like phone and electrical service before it, becomes a necessity within our society. Consider the disadvantage to students and property values, for example.

    It is clear to me that regulation requiring universal service is the only solution.

  69. Gary Marty says:

    The government has no business regulating Broadband....freedom is the reason the web is as great as it is. Spend our money on something else


    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay away from the internet. I know the FCC has good intentions now but what about later? What about when whoever is working there retires and after him comes a boss who has personal agenda? I totally agree with what this guy said

    "The internet should not be regulated by the federal government as the phone companies were. Those regulations did not lead to innovation in the industry but to stagnation and lack of competition. With the rise of the internet you have seen ip telephony drive down costs of voice to even being free with skype. If the government wants to provide access to rural areas where there will be no incentive to build out a network, that makes total sense. But to have the government whose own systems such as the air traffic control system are outdated and lacking innovation putting rules in place for an industry that they don't understand (especially Congress) seems absurd and illogical."

  71. Guest says:

    Understand the needs of the private sector, to receive fair compensation for services rendered. However, since those services now include such things as emergency communication between families and their extended members, greater regulation is required by our government to ensure the continuance of this service in a manner which does not exclude those of lesser income or means.

    This communication is NOT subject to copyright and/or a product OWNED by internet providers, and thereby of consequence, not an element subject to degree of predetermined bandwidth compensation. Any service is allowed compensation via time expended. Since bandwidth is comprised of pixels and bytes sent/received, the charging per amount in essence, is claiming copyright on materials not of the internet provider’s ownership.

    So what we are looking at, with payment for access based upon bandwidth, is a compensation necessary for every website, by those internet providers, for the service of that website. Without government regulation and oversight, internet providers will push on with plans to charge according to bandwidth, and yet not compensate website owners for server expenditures in providing that same amount.

    Basically, internet providers already “sell” the hard work of others, with no compensation whatsoever TO those others. It’s a nice gig. With companies using dispense methods and hard-wiring already in place, there has been little to no investment for the amounts received in charges.

    The fact that they don’t want to let that money train go, is not surprising. But the fact that 282 chosen representatives of the people endorse the continual fleecing of the people … that IS surprising. The fact that AT&T uses a threat of NOT continuing U-verse investment and implementation, only shows that this industry anticipated your move, and hold a card they are willing to play. Do not abandon the people … show them we have the better hand.

    Oversight is long overdue … let’s not make it too little too late.

    Also … a good point was made here on the realities of not enforcing net-neutrality. They will give free-flow to ‘preferred’ packets, and you bet they will. I’m sorry, people, but wake up. You all have been brainwashed in the last 20 years or so, to flame up at the mere MENTION of government regulation. That was done to you, and you have shown by several of the comments here, how effective that brainwashing was. Wake up. Smell the coffee. We are a government of the PEOPLE. That means you.

    If you decide to not protect yourself from the 'other you' (ISP) .... then fine. Maybe if you're that stupid, you get what you deserve.

  72. Cut Off in Accokeek says:

    Having moved from a college campus to a neighborhood that has no Internet access (to far from switching station for DSL, no cable TV, 3G towers too far away, no fiberoptic provider, and too much tree canopy for satellite, we now realize that Internet access is even more important than phone, far more important than TV, and it's poor policy to leave access to such a vital resource to the whlms of business plans of individual companies with no collective accountability. I do love the freedom of the web. That's one really good reason to make sure everyone has access to it.

    I'm typing this from a town on the Thai-Burma border, where Internet access is vastly better (and crucially important to the operation of many businesses and organizations here) than in our home in Accokeek, Maryland, 12 miles as the crow flies from the US Capitol. Why? Because Comcast and Verizon, who have the local monopoly, don't want to wire our neighborhood.

    To Gary Marty and other ideologues ready to make a sweeping "no government interference" pronunciamento, just live without the Internet for a month before riding so high on your horse.

  73. G. A. says:

    It would be interesting to see which of the commenters have high speed Internet service and which do not. I would hazard a guess that comments against Government intervention are mostly from those who have, while comments for Government intervention are from the have-nots.

    Being from the have-not group, I support the Government requiring universal high speed Internet access. That would at least put me in the have group. Then, we can have a discussion among equals as to how much more Government intervention should be allowed.

  74. Guest says:

    I am sure the Government ever had Constitutional authority over any of the God given airways frequencies.

  75. Douglas Cofty says:

    The Internet should in no way be regulated by the federal government especially the current administration. The only reason this plan is introduced is to regulate free speech as well as use it as a way to introduce another tax to pad their pockets. I find it to see anyone US citizen that will support this plan. I am sure though that the government will proceed with their plan even though it is not supported by the US citizens in a majority.

  76. M0US3P0T4TO says:

    Regulation and/or deregulation usually has the consequence of causing upheaval in a given industry. Sometimes it does not seem clear whether this is intended or unintended because issues of regulating should be down to an art, if not a science at this point, yet the government hasn't seemed to be very interesting in recording any formulas for successful regulating. Thus, I would say make sure you have properly done your homework before making any sweeping changes. I don't know if regulation would be a good thing or a bad thing, but I do know an old adage that says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It seems akin to picking out the drapes before you've even poured the foundation. I mean, there are copyright issues and an upcoming shortage of IP addresses, among other things, that sound a lot more worthy of attention to me. When will American government learn to address the foundational issues BEFORE doing the landscaping?

  77. Guest says:

    Please stay away from the internet. "Homegrown terrorism" is just an excuse for the government to get more control over our lives. Leave our few remaining freedoms alone!

  78. Guest says:

    " Gary Marty says:
    June 18 2010 at 10:34 AM

    The government has no business regulating Broadband....freedom is the reason the web is as great as it is. Spend our money on something else"

    Yes Gary, freedom is the reason the web is great and passage of net neutrality ensures that ISP can't prioritize or degrade performance of traffic. Net neutrality ensures that ISP can not run extortion schemes on corporations or domains. Net neutrality ensures that ISP can't silence people's views because they are not politically agreeable with the corporations bottom line. Net neutrality ensures an ISP can't filter protocols for no other reason than limiting customer's use of a service they already paid for.

  79. Guest says:

    There is a big difference between regulating the internet and regulating the companies that provide access to the internet. When companies are allowed to control what does or does not go through their network, that is depriving the consumer- in many cases, without the consumer knowing about it. That should fall under some of the "truth in advertising" regulations that already exist. Competition is essential for the free market to function, and if that is stifled and controlled by the larger companies through strong-arm tactics, then that needs to be addressed. Content, however, should NEVER fall under regulation by government bodies or through ISP censoring.

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