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Verizon tells FCC it should have "editorial discretion" over Internet content

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Verizon tells FCC it should have
Verizon has never even pretended to be in favor of Net Neutrality, and it has come out that once again Big Red has petitioned the FCC to allow carriers to favor its own services and even go so far as to edit content of the Internet. Verizon's petition to the FCC was apparently filed earlier this month in order to further explain why Verizon disagrees with the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order. The Open Internet Order sets up basic rules for Net Neutrality including: transparency, and rules against blocking or discriminating against content. 

Direct from the filing:
Broadband providers transmit their own speech both by developing their own content and by partnering with other content providers and adopting that speech as their own. For example, they develop video services, which draw information from, and are then made available over, the Internet. Many also select or create content for their own over-the-top video services or offer applications that provide access to particular content. They also transmit the speech of others: each day millions of individuals use the Internet to promote their own opinions and ideas and to explore those of others, and broadband providers convey those communications.

In performing these functions, broadband providers possess “editorial discretion.” Just as a newspaper is entitled to decide which content to publish and where, broadband providers may feature some content over others. Although broadband providers have generally exercised their discretion to allow all content in an undifferentiated manner, Order ¶ 14 (JA__), they nonetheless possess discretion that these rules preclude them from exercising.

So, Verizon thinks that it should be above the Open Internet Order rules, because the Internet is essentially a newspaper, Verizon as an ISP is the publisher, and so should have "editorial discretion." Really, it seems like Verizon really wants to push us all back to the walled-garden AOL days where the only "Internet" you got was in the services provided by the ISP. 

source: BGR

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posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:20 11

1. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Booooooooooo! Keep your greedy hand off my Internet access!

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:21 5

2. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:22 1

3. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

I don't know what to say about this. I'm content with the way the internet is now...I know this may seem dumb but I can't figure out what Verizon is trying to do...Can someone explain it to me? I'm having a dumb moment...

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:43 6

6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Verizon is trying to become a gatekeeper, so it can prioritize its own content and services and be allowed to censor competing services and content.

In real world terms, it wants to be able to throttle Hulu and Netflix in order to "incentivize" users to use its streaming service that it is building with Redbox.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:45 3

8. Gawain (Posts: 424; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

Verizon's position is that they have the right to prioritize data that originates from their sources versus data of another content provider. This stemmed from a cable internet lawsuit years ago which started this whole net-neutrality thing. I'm not in favor of net-neutrality as the FCC positioned it because their policy went beyond content and would have forced providers to invest billions in infrastructure with virtually zero chance of an ROI (example, fiber access in ultra rural areas, not feasible, fiber costs $30-50K per mile).

What is weird about this is that Verizon is not only stating that they want to prioritize content (arguable), they also claim to be able to take ownership of it essentially because they carry it (like a publisher)...THAT's the argument that makes no sense to me.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:22 5

4. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)

I wish 'anonymous' hack the sh!t out of verizon!!!!

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:23 1

5. Gawain (Posts: 424; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

I would have to agree. I understand and don't fault Verizon for wanting to prioritize their content, but actually editing and chopping of content? Couple that with Google's search algorithms...

If it doesn't cause harm to the infrastructure, then VZ needs to be willing/able to carry it (same for the other Tier 1 backbone providers and lower tiered ISPs).

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:46 6

9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Do you know what else doesn't cause harm to the infrastructure? Verizon treating all content the same and not being allowed to prioritize its own stuff.

What causes harm is if Verizon is allowed to do this, then obviously Comcast will, and RoadRunner, and on and on until only the tiny, less reliable ISPs actually offer an uncensored Internet.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 16:01

12. Gawain (Posts: 424; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

Prioritizing content does not equal blocking it though. How much traffic at night is Netflix? 40%? Carriers can't ignore the load or priority there. In fact, carriers could start competing on their "openness". So, I'm all for network providers managing the network (which includes prioritizing traffic of all sorts) to maintain QoS, etc. Flat-out blocking and editing...no. They are not the "publisher". VZ's legal team needs to re-think that one.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 16:24 4

14. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

Sir Gawain,

While I enjoy your name's reference to the classic Tolkien tale, I must disagree. This is too slippery a slope to manage, and would be akin to opening Pandora's Box. Do not trust VZW.

- Gandalf Greyhame

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 16:57 2

16. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)

If my memory serves, Sir Gawain(spelling varies) was a knight of the round table....

posted on 12 Jul 2012, 01:51

23. Gawain (Posts: 424; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

That sounds great until each packet of data is deemed equal, and then users of Skype, Netflix, et al, start whining to the high heavens about QoS going down the tubes.

Fact is this, companies need to be able to prioritize data. VoIP wouldn't be possible if providers weren't able to prioritize the data. It's also a service they provide so there is a valid argument.

Cable companies that offer that "speed boost" for big downloads would no longer be able to offer that. Everything is equal...

Too much clipping or color banding on that video you were watching, too bad, all data is equal...

We need network operators to be able to manage their network.

We DO NOT need them to exercise editorial content since they don't own it to begin with. All these ideas about forcing neutrality sounds great until it affects you.

;-) P.S. Gawain is a Knight of the Round Table (not any Tolkien tale). Cheers.

posted on 12 Jul 2012, 19:11

25. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. No? Well, it's a Tolkien reference as well. =]

The thing is, data speeds will increase. I don't have problems streaming now, and I won't in the future. And I don't trust Verizon (or anyone else) to put the priorities in the right place. Better off to leave it as is I say. Once you give VZW that power, they will do something more corrupt than originally intended... Mark my words.

posted on 12 Jul 2012, 21:41

26. str8tripin (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Bandwidth has become quite the problem for every ISP out there. The cable companies biggest competitors will be those that use their own network against them. Net neutrality ensures that these ISP's can not prioritize their own data(everything that is profitable to them) vs. their competitors data(everything that eats up a lot of bandwidth with no $ in their pockets). Verizon and the rest of the phone companies are much more limited on the amount of bandwidth they have because it's all in the air. The cable companies all have about 1000 Mhz worth of it but they also built a closed circuit system that requires a wire to the device being used, portability is not much of an option here(only about 45-50 Mhz are actually used for internet though, download and upload)about 160 Mhz is unusable or requires expensive upgrades

What I'm getting at basically is that cell phone providers are going to hit capacity and not be able to expand anymore. There will come a time where either all of your streaming sucks or just what the provider chooses sucks unless more bandwidth is made available. Do I think this a reason for providers to be able to dictate what flows and doesn't flow on their network... NO!!!! Do I think this is the start to having this as a possibility... YES!!!!

Internet providers all need to be "Dumb Pipes," and find other ways of increasing capacity on their networks. The cable providers might have a leg up here but it's still not cheap... more streaming=more money they put in to make sure their customers are happy with their service. Their internet services are the bread and butter of their companies though and where they walk away with the most profits.... their VOIP and soon their video too will all be delivered this way. But on the other side of the coin they have to provide this same technology and deliver it to their own customers door with no cost to their competitor.

Net neutrality is a fine line but one that needs to be in place or every ISP will walk away from this problem to a certain degree and just throttle back anything and everything that doesn't make them money so that they can push their own products and services and guarantee that they work. Network providers need to push forward and develop new technologies that can maintain the consumers ever growing need for more bandwidth and faster speeds.

PS... speed boost is only given if their is capacity left on the network when you go to download and usually tapers off as you download a larger file allowing other customers to obtain that speed boost while you get the speeds you pay for for the remaining time of your download unless there is room remaining in the network that is being unused. VOIP is broken into very small chunks that fills the gaps in multiple transmissions being sent across the network and often times takes several different routes before it is assembled on the other end, there is no dedicated stream that takes away from the other peoples bandwidth.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:45

7. nicholassss (Posts: 368; Member since: 10 May 2012)

-_- come on.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:54

10. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

They mean sensorship. That's a load of bull

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 15:55 9

11. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)

I am an agent location manager, and there is just no way to defend what Verizon is trying to do here........ NO ONE should be able to censor the internet shy of posting things that are blatantly illegal. If Verizon wants people to use their video services, etc., rather than Netflix or Hulu, then create something BETTER, don't try to censor other people's and companies' content......

Wait.......HOLY CRAP! That sounds like Apple....... *facedesk*

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 19:24

19. Jay_F (Posts: 236; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)

You're an idiot for comparing any of this article to Apple.

posted on 12 Jul 2012, 08:40 1

24. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)

You're an idiot for not understanding what I am saying. Apple attempts to strangle other manufacturers with dumb patent lawsuits such as the "slide to unlock" bs which can be interpreted as an attempt at censoring another company's product. Having editorial authority over what content is allowed on your network, i.e. throttling Hulu or Netflix in favor of your own product, i.e. Verizon Video etc., is very similar.

If you can't understand the parallel there, just go spend some more quality time with your sheep, iDiot.

posted on 12 Jul 2012, 22:30

27. str8tripin (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Apple says that is not just the hardware that makes their device work, the software is created for it to work in harminoy and work well with it. The phone and OS are designed together so that it just works, which is what most people want from their phones. In order to ensure that their customers have the most pleasant experience possible with their phones they ensure that all of the apps are upheld to their expectations. If an app is not up to par it is not allowed.... Sorta reminds me of dictatorship actually, now that I'm typing this... lol.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 16:20 5

13. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

Dear VZW,


posted on 11 Jul 2012, 16:30 2

15. Ravail (Posts: 182; Member since: 14 Oct 2011)

Oh yeah.. Internet sensorship.. just what American needs.. just another way for corporate america to control our rights and freedoms.. get a grib Verizon.. good thing ill never have your service.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 17:12 3

17. JC557 (Posts: 1789; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

Wow Verizon, you've become much worse after June. Such greedy pieces of crap.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 17:57

18. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

No. Just no. Verizon keeps comparing the Internet to a newspaper, which is a terrible analogy. Newspapers are one-way, and not really a network. The Internet is a two-way network. The only thing I can think of that is comparable to the Internet is the phone network.

What Verizon wants to do is equivalent to decreasing the quality of a phone connection between two people, blocking out bits of conversations and adding in their own, or maybe making callers wait through a busy signal to make a call.

I can think of one thing that Verizon might be able to get: Verizon's services would get unlimited data, the rest of data would be capped. VZW offered unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes to other Verizon Wireless subscribers, so based on the phone analogy, should be allowed. The rest of it, no.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 19:26

20. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)

---" Verizon thinks that it should be above the Open Internet Order rules, because the Internet is essentially a newspaper"---

Ummm....no. Newspapers do not encompass unlimited information. It soley exists on random and selective current news decided upon by editors. In contrast, the internet is far more comparable to an online Library. All info is accessible to all people and selectively chosen by each individual at their convience.

Verizon, shame on you for trying to manipulate the people's property for your own personal financial gain.

The FCC cannot and should not allow this to happen. The industrie's oligopoly is already too far into forcing us in forfeiting a balance of power.

John B.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 20:19 1

21. Fuego84 (Posts: 352; Member since: 13 May 2012)

Screw you Verizon, if the people don't want to use your online services don't try to change net neutrality so you can force us to use your services. Verizon I think you're trying to be the Apple of the internet.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 20:22 1

22. Fuego84 (Posts: 352; Member since: 13 May 2012)

Screw you Verizon, if the people don't want to use your online services don't try to change net neutrality so you can force us to use your services. Verizon I think you're trying to be the Apple of the internet.

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