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House receives new net neutrality legislation

updated 12:45 pm EST, Wed February 13, 2008

New net neutrality law

A new law backing net neutrality has been proposed by a member of the US House of Representatives, the Associated Press writes. The bill was introduced by Democrat Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who is also the chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet. Called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, it would require the FCC to determine whether Internet providers are "blocking, thwarting or unreasonably interfering" with rights to send or access data.

Additionally, the bill would examine whether ISPs unlawfully charge extra for some services, and call for at least eight summits across the US to gain input on Internet services and their competition. It should "ensure that the historic, open architecture nature of the Internet will be preserved and fostered for the consumers, content providers and high tech innovators of the future," Markey says.

The legislation was reportedly directly inspired by companies such as Comcast, which has openly admitted to sabotaging BitTorrent traffic in order to control bandwidth and avoid investing in better infrastructure. The FCC is actively investigating the company, and may fine it by as much as $195,000 for each affected customer.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    Could this stop Microsoft

    ...from creating proprietary standards for IE browsing that are incompatible with W3C & other browsers...?

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    probably not

    I'd support a bill authorizing the death penalty for doing so, however. (J/k)

    think about the improvements in productivity which would result from not having to take perfectly standards-compliant websites and adapting them to IE horseshit standards.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    re: stop microsoft?

    Not unless Microsoft is a mega-commercial ISP.

    The intent is clearly to prevent corporate ISPs changing advertised service resulting in a bait-and-switch scenario for many long-time customers. The idea being that allowing this sort of ISP activity prevents ISPs from upgrading the infrastructure to maintain an increased user base (gee! who could have foreseen that?!!?) thereby reducing service, providing higher profits, and generally messing the net experience for everyone.

    As far as creating proprietary "standards" goes, that can actually drive innovation, believe it or not. If Microsoft creates a compelling (yeah, right.) product, then someone may very well competing product that provides the same sort of functionality with out the "proprietary" limitation. See, the interweb is a series of tubes... ;)

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    0

    punishes innocent

    This is ridiculous to punish all users who use things like bit torrent to download legal content like Linux distributions and other free software and assume we all download illegal content. There was a time when they wanted to ban CD-Rs because it was possible to put music on them and give to others to steal movies and music. I and many others use CD-Rs to backup our important files.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    FCC: not always evil

    thank goodness they are going after Comcast.

    internet users need to realize that the current 'common carrier' status is NOT guaranteed, and we need to remind our congressmen and women that we want it enshrined in law and FCC policy that ISPs cannot carry out scummy policies like deliberately throttling certain kinds of traffic.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    a bit much?

    I know it's not a class-action suit, but I doubt even corporate customers lost that much money by not being able to get speedy downloads via bittorrents. I sincerely doubt that any court would impose that much on the company when there isn't any specific law against the business model, and the company was completely open about the practice shortly after starting it.

    This is yet another area where the fed needs to butt out and let customers who are unsatisfied with such service switch to someone else. If they want to get into monopolistic qualities to ISPs, that's another issue (privately/publicly owned infrastructure, etc.) but this is another issue they need to keep their mitts off of.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: punishes innocent

    This is ridiculous to punish all users who use things like bit torrent to download legal content like Linux distributions and other free software and assume we all download illegal content.-

    This had NOTHING to do with downloading legal vs. illegal content. It had everything to do with Comcast seeing their bandwidth being sucked up by BT users and attempting to cut their bandwidth accordingly (although they actual screwed up the network stack, thus actually blocking the communication instead of limiting it - just goes to show you it's not just the Comcast installers/technicians who are incompetent).

    Basically, Comcast could give a flying leap if you were stealing music all day long, if you could do it with minimal bandwidth usage...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: a bit much

    danviento, you are so naive! Don't you understand the US Constituion grants us constitutional rights to free unlimited internet bandwidth (it's in there with the gun stuff, I think, or perhaps that free speech garbage)? They are protecting our rights that Washington and Jefferson and the rest fought for 200+ years ago!

    You remember that famous quote (so long ago truncated to fit on plates and napkins): "Give me the liberty of 10Mbs downloads, or give me death!" says it all.

    Oh, and just to be specific about it all, Comcast was completely open about the practice AFTER they were caught.

    But this will never pass. Once someone mentions how such a law would then prevent anyone from blocking that which is destroying our children - p***! - this will get scuttled in no time flat.

  1. MiMiC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    0

    Laws Vs. Free Markets

    I think if consumers have that much issue, they need to change providers and NOT have Congress get involved as if our/any government has FIXED anything they got their hands on.

    Government = Bigger/Slower/More Expensive.

    Comcast should have the right to limit to excessive usage. I doubt anyone is dling that many linux distros that Comcast wants to throttle them. Stay off the NewsGroup sites and from dling FREE content and this will go away on its own.

    Comcast may not care about the CD downloads, but they do care about the bandwidth which is what they DO sell.

    I can't believe how many people think its right to steal music/movies/software over the internet. If you are that confident it is ok, why don't you walk into a store and just take them right off the shelf??



  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    don't need no stinking M$

    As he states, Yahoo as a company doesn't gain much by being assimilated into the ungainly leviathan that is M$. I guess all that came of this venture was that Yahoo got some free publicity (which may be good pub. when this bit is released and they reject the offer) and M$ looks all the more desperate.

    Gotta agree about the flamer noted above. I've never had issues with my Yahoo account, especially when it's managed by a POP client like Apple Mail. Of my multiple accounts- Gmail, .Mac, IMAP account,Yahoo, and Lotus, the Yahoo mail connection seems to be the MOST reliable. Maybe it's because it's AT&T, but I'd have to disagree wholeheartedly with chandpengar.

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