Net neutrality won't apply fully to wireless, Steve Wozniak cries to high heavens

Net neutrality won't apply fully to wireless, Steve Wozniak cries to high heavens
It takes a talent to craft a negative for the consumer decision, and spin it as if it is democracy at work. That's precisely what the Federal Communications Commission did yesterday, when voting on the so-called "net neutrality rules".

Network neutrality, in a nutshell, advocates "no restrictions by Internet service providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and the modes of communication". Like, for example, your ISP throttling down P2P traffic, citing illegal torrent downloads, although you signed up for certain download speeds, or Verizon allowing Skype, but rerouting the calls over its voice network.

Although yesterday's decision was mainly focused on wired, such as the one from your cable broadband provider, the FCC spilled the beans on wireless too, and it is not looking pretty. Citing the advent of open platforms like Android, and the fact that the FCC imposed on carriers an openness requirement, when they auctioned the 700MHz C-Block spectrum (which Verizon uses for its LTE network), the FCC argues that wireless can make do with softer net neutrality rules. Last time we checked, the "openness" of Android didn't prevent Verizon from banning Google Search and swapping it with Bing on a number of Android phones.

The wording of the rules mean that potentially carriers won't be allowed to block content, or cripple safe apps, but they can charge you more is you are using YouTube, for example, or uploading albums on Facebook, compared to text email and chat, for example, and there is no shortage of tools to do that, even over encrypted access. The carriers can do it under the pretenses of "reasonable network management", provided they prove the access to data-hogging sites like YouTube is affecting the quality of their networks, hence other users.

These ambiguities caused one of the Silicon Valley icons, Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak, to send an open letter to the FCC:

"Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible. Local ISP's should provide connection to the Internet but then it should be treated as though you own those wires and can choose what to do with them when and how you want to, as long as you don't destruct them...

Imagine that when we started Apple we set things up so that we could charge purchasers of our computers by the number of bits they use, the personal computer revolution would have been delayed by a decade or more... every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed...

I don't want to feel that whichever content supplier had the best government connections or paid the most money determined what I can watch and for how much. This is the monopolistic approach and not representative of a truly free market in the case of today's Internet."

Still, the rules barely passed with 3:2 votes, there is a possibility thatthe decisions will be challenged in court, and, to top it off, the FCC might not even have the mandate to impose them, so for now it is business as usual for the telcos.

via HuffingtonPost & Moconews



7. AnonymousOne unregistered

Im with you 100% tone, you got your FN FAL yet? Its the right arm of the free world. Someday America could be once again a free country.

6. tonetone956 unregistered

Man in the words of Peter, Brian, and Stewie Griffon F*ck the FCC hopefully the courts fight it if not there is going to be a crap load of angry geeks and nerds like us ready to revolt back from this over oppressing government and it dumbasses we vote for, who think they own us when this shit is the other way around,read the constitution this is an act of war against the American people and to many of the dumb down sheeple believe that the FCC doing this and TSA gropping people is to make us safe from invisble terror man F*ck this and them.

4. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

"every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed..." Wow, you think he's let the cat out of the bag that he really believes government is the solution? I will never, as long as I live, understand why some people think that the people in our government are more trustworthy than the people in suits at a company. Don't you realize when it comes to a company, YOU HAVE A CHOICE on whether to do business with them or not. It's like that jackass woman in California who its suing McDonald's over happy meal toys. Don't go to McDonald's if you don't like what they do. It's a free country. What choice do you have when some know it all politicians write some bill that sounds really great because they told you what you wanted to hear, and once done, its going to be next to impossible to undo? Where's the choice in that? You get it now? When government does something like this, we're all screwed. If you let the private sector be (for the most part), you have a choice of whether to participate or not.

5. Tyoneon unregistered

Don't kid yourself, there is choice left in the business world where monopoly is king. Government or private sector, we're still all screwed.

3. jd829

Posts: 155; Member since: Feb 24, 2010

Just checking, but still no cure for cancer, right? Seeing all this effort going into this kind of pointless program that benefits no one leads me to believe that we've fixed every problem in the world. Still no cure for cancer though...

2. JeffdaBeat unregistered

And this is why I'm so pissed at Google, who with Verizon, supports not having Net Neutrality on handsets...

1. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Just another way the government isnt helping the people, and trying to lock down things they can look at and accuse us of being domestic terrorists I think.

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