Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 15, 2017

National Horror Story: Mozart’s Ghost

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

I know you all like the Internet, that’s why you all are here, but the way you access the internet may be vastly different moving forward because this is how you MAGA or whatever:

The order passed today, “Restoring Internet Freedom,” essentially removes the FCC as a regulator of the broadband industry and relegates rules that prevented blocking and throttling content to the honor system. The FTC now ostensibly has that role, but it is far from an expert agency on this topic and cannot make preemptive rules like those that have been in place for the last few years.

As expected, the vote was 3 to 2 along party lines, with Chairman Ajit Pai and Republican Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly voting in favor of the order, and Democratic Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voting against.

Clyburn and Rosenworcel made their feelings known at the meeting with some fierce remarks on the order and the procedures leading up to it:

“I dissent from this fiercely spun, legally lightweight, consumer-harming, corporate-enabling Destroying Internet Freedom Order,” said Commissioner Clyburn. “There is a basic fallacy underlying the majority’s actions and rhetoric today: the assumption of what is best for broadband providers is best for America. What saddens me is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is abandoning you. But what I am pleased to be able to say is the fight to save net neutrality does not end today. This agency does not have the final word. Thank goodness.”

“I dissent from this rash decision to roll back net neutrality rules,” said Commissioner Rosenworcel. “I dissent from the corrupt process that has brought us to this point. And I dissent from the contempt this agency has shown our citizens in pursuing this path today. This decision puts the Federal Communications Commission on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.”

And already the order faces one lawsuit but there should be others coming down the pipeline:

“We will be filing a claim to preserve protections for New Yorkers and all Americans. And we’ll be working aggressively to stop the FCC’s leadership from doing any further damage to the internet and to our economy,” Schneiderman said in a press release.

“Today’s new rule would enable ISPs to charge consumers more to access sites like Facebook and Twitter and give them the leverage to degrade high quality of video streaming until and unless somebody pays them more money. Even worse, today’s vote would enable ISPs to favor certain viewpoints over others.”

While we don’t yet know which states will be joining New York in the legal action, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see overlap with those that joined a letter calling for a delay of the vote due to revelations around faked comments during the public feedback process. The letterincluded 18 attorneys general from the states of Virginia, Delaware, Hawaii, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont and the District of Columbia.



  1. Once again, our legal system and vigilant public officials who remember their sworn oaths of office are responding to the “rule as if you were king” model of the current administration and the morally bankrupt GOP. Our state leaders, the press, and the courts are designed, in part, to protect against just this sort of authoritarian power-grabbing approach. This is always a slow and somewhat creaky response, but it is there and it will in out in the end. We all need to keep breathing and keep working against this onslaught of insanity…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 15, 2017 @ 7:43 am

  2. Is it time to revive a bottom-up, community network project?

    Comment by adrianblakey — December 15, 2017 @ 8:04 am

    • Internet access has become as basic a utility as water & electricity. Like those two, it’s very difficult to ensure universal access without the presence of a legalized monopoly. What we have now is a very small oligopoly that is increasingly acting like a monopoly, one with little regulation.

      It’s clear that now we must began to treat bandwidth as a utility with a legal & well regulated monopoly. Whether it’s publicly owned, such as EBMUD or AMP, or investor owned, such as PG&E, probably doesn’t matter much. What does matter is ensuring universal basic access and equal treatment of all users. America has done an excellent job with other utilities. Indeed universal low cost water & electricity are some of the bedrocks of American prosperity. It’s time we do that with the internet.

      Comment by dave — December 15, 2017 @ 8:19 am

  3. Yuh get what you pay for.

    Comment by jack — December 15, 2017 @ 9:13 am

  4. Then you should all be mad at Malia Vella for voting AGAINST free island-wide Internet access as “not important”. This was quietly decided at a city council meeting a few weeks ago and Lauren Do totally missed it [or didn’t think it important, either?] Where is the outrage?

    Comment by vigi — December 15, 2017 @ 9:18 am

    • Just like Malia Vella, when she was gatekeeper of the Historic Advisory Board, would not agendize adding the WWII buildings at the Alameda Marina to the city’s Historic Resource List because it would take “too much clerical time”.

      Comment by Nancy — December 15, 2017 @ 9:36 am

    • Yes, because urging more study about the cost, scope, and scale of the City (and therefore its citizens) providing free island wide Internet access is totes the same as the FCC order.

      Comment by Lauren Do — December 15, 2017 @ 9:42 am

    • Whataboutwhataboutwhataboutwhatabout…..

      Comment by Rod — December 15, 2017 @ 10:18 am

  5. We need to have the federal government establish a tax and fee neutrality law. Since government at all levels seems to raise taxes and fees on everything at will, we need to have the federal government step in to say that no city, state, or government body can have taxes higher than any other, no matter what their needs or demands are. That should work.

    Comment by jack — December 15, 2017 @ 10:44 am

    • Because paying for government services is the same as selectively throttling or blocking access to specific internet sites to increase profits of private corporations?

      Comment by dougkeen — December 15, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

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