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The FCC ‘Hybrid’ Plan For Net Neutrality Is Tricky

The Wall Street Journal as well as New York Times has recently reported that the Federal Communications Commission’s new hybrid plan for Net Neutrality may support the split-the-baby approach.fcc-chairman-tom-wheeler

After accepting various comments from the various internet users, the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has finally developed a new plan that divides Internet into two divisions. The plan will split the internet into two entities; that is retail world wide web and wholesale, the wholesale section will deal with back-end section, and retail will be connected to the consumers.

The Hybrid Plan will classify the telecommunications as a back-end service and this will directly connect to various agencies such as phone companies, federal agencies and others. This will be directly connected to the internet without favoring treatments of the ISPs. The other retail front-end will be regulated for the consumers and it will be regulated by the government directly.

Free Press CEO Craig Aaron said in a statement:

“This Frankenstein proposal is no treat for Internet users, and they shouldn’t be tricked,”, “No matter how you dress it up, any rules that don’t clearly restore the agency’s authority and prevent specialized fast lanes and paid prioritization aren’t real Net Neutrality.”

The proposal is yet to come to order, but there are rumors that it will be announced publicly next month. The last two proposals that were being put forward by the FCC were turned down by the federal courts and hence, it is hard to assume if this proposal will be given any weight age by the courts.

In the meanwhile, The government is trying to make sure that ISP’s do not carry the capability to decide on how the service is presented to digital organizations. The government is also trying to regulate the prices that the ISP’s charge for their services. ISP’s like AT&T provide services to several content providers at different rates and the government wants to set the same price for the same.

About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

6 comments

  1. It's a trick. It's all a trick.

  2. The People VS. Corporate interests.
    Next up, UNLIMITED Internet (Metered, first 3gb at broadband speeds then throttled down to dialup).
    Net neutrality works we just need someone to protect it, not redefine it.

  3. I apologize for this long post. But I feel it's important.

    Tom Wheeler is nothing short of a cable industry shill. The former chief lobbyist for the National Cable Industry Association and for the Cellular and Wireless Industry Association knows there is NO consumer choice in the monopoly cable and telecom industry. Every stupid proposal he comes up with is to satisfy his monopolist overlords, not to represent the public interest. He (and really the rest of the FCC) is the very definition of the "fox in the chicken coop."

    The issue of Net Neutrality is not the “internet’s biggest threat.” Net Neutrality is important and critical, but I feel there is a real case to be made that the Net Neutrality issue is nothing more than a red herring. A distraction.

    The real threat is the industry’s plan to implement Metered Billing. The monopoly cable industry’s major business objective is to quietly slide into metered internet billing. Their plan is to bill you by usage. Which, BTW, is total price-gouging. A consumer rip-off.

    The industry, with the FCC’s help, will seem to “lose” on the the Net Neutrality issue in order to seem “entitled” to the Metered Billing System.

    Metered billing will make your old cable TV bill look cheap. Internet service is already the most profitable product the monopoly cable systems sell, by far. Fees for incremental usage above some phoney cap are almost pure profit. Like, 99%+ pure profit. Nobody in any competitive industry expects to make 99% profit.

    Multiple credible studies around the world have repeatedly shown this. Internet service is not like groceries, or gasoline or electricity. But monopolists throughout history always create artificial scarcity in order to charge higher and higher prices. In the case of Comcast, failure to invest in their system (which we all know, with advancing technology and low-cost commodity equipment, is actually cheap) makes it seem like they deserve more money to keep up with demand. They failed to invest very much for decades and now they want to charge more for this failure. It has been shown that Metered Billing is actually a DIS-incentive to the monopolists to ever improve service–just bill more!

    The cable “industry” is publicly projecting that the average internet bill will be $200 to $300 per month in 3-5 years. JUST FOR INTERNET. That does not include a Netflix subscription or MLB TV subscription, or TV fees–just for internet service. Comcast SVP David Cohen publicly stated to his investors just last February that they plan to do this. It will be a license to print money for a very few, very rich companies. “I would predict that in five years Comcast at least [!] would have a usage-based billing model rolled out across its footprint.” These monopolists want more and more and more. And they want you to believe they're entitled to it!

    So, the real (and huge) pot of gold is Metered Billing. They really don’t care so much about Net Neutrality. They’ll give that away, and in doing so will eliminate the opposition that Netflix and the other the big content providers have to their merger activities.

    If we don’t stop them now, we’re screwed. It will be The United States of Comcast/AT&T. They will have more money for lobbying, electioneering, and just plain bribery, than any other industry in America. Most of the Republicans you're planning to vote for on Tuesday favor the monopolists. Most Democrats don't. Metered Billing will cause a $2,000 to $3,000 "tax" increase that -you- don't favor.

    Vote accordingly on Tuesday.

  4. I would like to thank you for this post. I was not aware of the plans to start meter-billing, and Im personally terrified at the thought of it. I hope you continue to educate those around you about what this is really about, and I will do the same with the information you gave in this post. Godspeed

  5. It's sad that people don't care enough about the blatant bias the FCC has in siding with the telecom companies. If they had public interest in mind at any degree, they wouldn't be rebranding this issue every six months going the public the does care, forgets about why it's so important. At this point, I say screw it. Let them mess up the internet for everybody. I have no problem turning off from a "always on" world. Guess I'll take advantage of it while I got it.

  6. I already have metered internet and it sucks. I get 10g per month for about what you guys pay for broadband. I can't even think about Netflix or "on demand'. It's all I can do to view a youtube video. It's called satellite service. My other choice is dsl with a dl speed of 300kb/sec.
    I think if you check the political donations of the big 3, you will find that democrats get most of it. Crony capitalism is in!

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