Unfortunately, we have to bring this session to a close. A huge thank you to everyone for participating and engaging in this subject. You made this both fun and successful.

EDIT, 6 pm ET: Wow, the number of responses is amazing! You all are asking great questions which demand more than a few word answers. We can't answer all of them but we are trying to respond to at least a few more. Please bear with us as we try to catch up! If your questions are not answered here, check out our in-depth issue pages and our blog at www.publicknowledge.org

If you are still curious or have more questions, please check out our website www.publicknowledge.org where you will find our blogs and podcasts or follow us on Twitter @publicknowledge. Thank you again, and keep following as this issue continues!

Our Contributors:

Michael Weinberg - VP of Public Knowledge

Chris Lewis - VP of Government Affairs

John Bergmayer - Senior Staff Attorney - focuses on Mergers, Net Neutrality and more

Jodie Griffin - Senior Staff Attorney - knows all things tech transition, net neutrality, music licensing and broadband build out

Edyael Casaperalta - Rural Policy Fellow

Kate Forscey - Internet Policy Fellow

Brynne Henn - Communications

Comments: 587 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

ii-V-I240 karma

Wheeler's recent statement said that last-mile unbundling is off the table. Doesn't that mean that ISPs can still hold their customers over a barrel and charge us a ton without offering fast speeds?

PublicKnowledgeDC189 karma

It is true that the FCC is not implementing last-mile unbundling obligations in these rules, but there are still other steps the FCC can take to encourage competition for consumers, like examining all the potential harms of mergers or encouraging the deployment of new networks through efforts like municipal broadband.

-- Jodie

ii-V-I111 karma

there are still other steps the FCC can take to encourage competition for consumers, like examining all the potential harms of mergers or encouraging the deployment of new networks through efforts like municipal broadband.

But doesn't that mean we're right back where we started? Examining harms is fine and dandy, but it leads to no actionable consequences for ISPs. And without the last-mile, muni broadband will be financially out of reach for the majority of small towns in the whole country.

PublicKnowledgeDC123 karma

Another way to look at this: net neutrality is important but doesn't solve every problem. As to the other problems: We're working on it. PK also works for copyright reform, open spectrum, muni broadband, and lots of other stuff.

-John B

digital_end192 karma

The statements I have seen on this basically say they will allow "only blocking illegal content".

How that is really applied seems a huge factor. Are all torrents illegal? All large encrypted downloads? Links to content whatever political group in office disagrees with this week? Can all traffic be monitored for questionable content without legal process?

I know the excuse is, as always, child protection or drugs, but really how is this going to keep this from being an option to censor with impunity?

PublicKnowledgeDC161 karma

You raise some important questions. With regard to BitTorrent specifically, the FCC (under a Republican Chairman) has precedent for the position that it is not reasonable to block or degrade a whole protocol just because some of its uses might be infringing. Any such overly broad interpretations in the future of that language would not be reasonable and would clearly be contrary to the purpose of the law.

This is something we need to keep an eye on, but I would advocate the position that the "lawful content" language simply means that the FCC's rules don't (indeed, they can't) take away any of an ISP's existing obligations under the DMCA, etc.

-John B

fgobill83 karma

What part of the Wheeler announcement gives you the most hope?

What part gives you the most worry?

PublicKnowledgeDC186 karma

I'm hopeful that on this issue, Chairman Wheeler actually had the courage to listen to the opinions of average Americans and change his proposal. Its hard to go against an army of industry lobbyists!

My Worry... Its hard for 435 members of Congress to have the same collective courage


Shapeways_Natalia75 karma

Should we email all 435 members to give them some courage? I have time...

PublicKnowledgeDC89 karma

Email, call, visit... all good ways to get your message across to your Senator or Representative. Thanks for taking the time! Also, props to our friends at Battle for the Net, great call tool for contacting Congress (https://www.battleforthenet.com/scoreboard/) -Chris

Atruen62 karma

Are they any negatives of classifying the Internet as a Public Utility?

PublicKnowledgeDC78 karma

Well, any rules are only as good as their enforcement, so advocates will continue to need to get the FCC to do the right thing. The rules are not self-executing.

More broadly, while it's a common misconception, net neutrality is not public utility regulation.

Public utilities are often subject to price regulation, service and quality requirements, build-out requirements, and even accounting oversight.

Net neutrality rules are a form of common carrier rules. Common carrier regulation is different than public utility regulation, and applies to lots of stuff--buses, taxis, package delivery services.

See this presentation by Professor Barbara Cherry on this point: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=60000973981

And here's a recent blog post by me: https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/title-ii-is-not-net-neutrality-and-net-neutrality-is-not-utility-regulation

-John B

mshorizon33 karma

Don't you think it is safe to say, however, that TitleII classification lays the ground work for broader public utility regulation in the future? A HUGE burden for smaller independent ISPs.

PublicKnowledgeDC43 karma

People often ask what the current FCC can do to prevent a crazed future FCC from doing something they think is a bad idea. The answer is: not much. After all, a past FCC thought it had already settled the classification issue, and the current FCC disagrees.

If a future FCC wanted to do Policy X then it will do it. Worrying too much about "groundwork" is a distraction.

-John B

drewstapes61 karma

I'm confused about "interconnection" What does it mean, and was the FCC's proposal about interconnection a good thing?

PublicKnowledgeDC97 karma

Interconnection has to do with how different networks physically connect to each other so data on one network can move onto another network. There are a few different ways companies can arrange interconnection with each other, but we've recently seen more disputes between companies over interconnection, which can result in data getting dropped and service quality (or call quality) getting hurt.

The FCC has announced that it is going to accept interconnection complaints and take action if ISPs don't interconnect with other networks on reasonable terms. This is really important to making sure the biggest end-user ISPs don't use their customers as leverage and are instead just focused on getting the network to work efficiently.

-- Jodie

PublicKnowledgeDC58 karma

One reason interconnection is important is because bad interconnection policies could undermine net neutrality rules. Net neutrality mostly controls what happens on an ISP last mile network. If an ISP is blocking or throttling on its own network it is violating net neutrality. But the ISP could also decide to block or throttle at the interconnection point where data enters its network. The harm would be the same, but the point of the harm would have just moved up into the network a half step.


albedodecero26 karma

Can Congress strip the FCC of its power to reclassify ISPs (or any entity) under Title II, making this good news moot?

PublicKnowledgeDC40 karma

Yes Congress can strip the FCC, but it doesn't make the Title II decision moot. Congress hasn't decided to do this yet, and if the public continues to speak up for title II and strong rules, Congress should respond.

PublicKnowledgeDC33 karma

Also, Congress is considering updating or rewriting the Communications Act. If they do, the public will need to stand up for keeping the same powers at the FCC they have now, whether they call it Title II or Title 5002.

albedodecero14 karma

Since I have little trust in the current Congress and its ability to enact legislation that will support net neutrality, it seems like the tough job now is for us to let Congress know in no uncertain terms that their opposition to net neutrality is unacceptable and that they will be held accountable at the ballot box. Anything else we can hold over them? EDIT: Besides the presidential veto?

PublicKnowledgeDC17 karma

That you care strongly about this. It is easy to get cynical about Congress and the process around policymaking, but Members really do respond to their constituents. Think about it - how often do most people call their Member of Congress? It only takes a handful of phone calls to make a Member to convince them that they need to get on the right side of the issue.


elemem14 karma

Why and how did the fight for Title II succeed? What does this victory teach us about effective advocacy in public interest tech policy?

PublicKnowledgeDC20 karma

This is a great question, and one that it is probably too early to answer fully. One huge bonus was that a broad coalition of internet users, public interest advocates, and companies came together to push with a single voice for a specific goal. The fact that there was something that we could push for - do Title II and make sure the rules cover these specific things - was a big advantage. Once you convince policymakers that you are right, you need to be able to give them specific things they can do to take care of the problem.


drewstapes12 karma

Is there an Internet privacy aspect to this? I don't see anything about protecting our ability to encrypt?

PublicKnowledgeDC12 karma

Privacy: Although "privacy" is a distinct issue from net neutrality per se, Title II also gives the FCC the authority to prevent ISPs from abusing your personal information. Since your telephone company and broadband provider necessarily have the ability to see (at least) who you're talking to, what domains you're visiting, when you're using the Internet, etc, the FCC has long had the power to protect what's known as "Customer Proprietary Network Information." But only with Title II.

While I don't know if the rules specifically mention encryption, an ISP should not be able to block or throttle your traffic because it's encrypted. If they tried, I imagine the banking industry among others might have something to say.

-John B

TheXimvu9 karma

If the Internet is a public utility doesn't that mean the government has more control over the Internet? What keeps the government more honest than the corporations?

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

The internet is not regulated by net neutrality, just internet access providers, and net neutrality regulation falls well short of "utility" regulation.

-John B

EverAwakened8 karma

What impact, if any, would the FCC proposal to classify the internet as a public utility have on censorship?

Or more broadly, what are the potential downsides to this FCC proposal and how will it impact net neutrality?

PublicKnowledgeDC16 karma

It depends on how you define "censorship" (sorry). If you consider censorship to be something the government does, the proposal has very little impact on censorship. The first amendment still prevents government censorship in most situations, and these rules don't change those lines.

If you consider "censorship" to be something that private actors (like ISPs) do, it will have a huge impact. The rules prevent ISPs from blocking or discriminating against content.

The proposal itself is designed to implement rules that protect net neutrality.


raven_attack6 karma

Whats the 20 second answer why we should be excited about this? Did we actually stop the slow-lanes?

PublicKnowledgeDC15 karma

Title II gives us better rules that are more likely to withstand a court challenge.

The FCC has tried to enforce net neutrality a few times before, and it's lost twice.

Each time, while net neutrality advocates have (more or less) supported its efforts, we argued that the FCC should have used a better source of legal authority. It didn't take our advice, and lost in court. Now, we're on firmer ground.

The rules will ban what most people think of as "slow lanes," but ISPs are very creative in coming up with new ways to achieve the same end. (For example, allowing interconnection points to get congested.) We'll need to examine the rules closely to make sure they're flexible enough to deal with all these sorts of challenges.

-John B

prezmonroe6 karma

What are some of the arguments against Net Neutrality under Title II? How does Public Knowledge respond to criticism of those who are against Net Neutrality?

PublicKnowledgeDC10 karma

Many of the arguments against using TII for net neutrality required changing what net neutrality means. Last year the DC Circuit threw out (relatively) strong net neutrality rules because they did not rely on TII for authority. That that point the FCC was left with two basic options: implement weak net neutrality rules that do not need TII authority or implement strong net neutrality rules and reclassify using TII.

Some people said that weak net neutrality rules would be enough to protect an open internet, but that really only works if you assume that ISPs will not leverage their position to pick winners and losers online. There are people who believe that in good faith, but we've seen too many examples of ISPs doing just that to believe it ourselves.


ColdplayParadise5 karma

Why is net neutrality so important for you guys?

What do you think about Gamergate?

And today the swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter revealed that Putin and the russian regime have trolls on the internet, who write positive things about Russia and Putin on Twitter, blogs etc. What do you guys think about that?

PublicKnowledgeDC9 karma

Net neutrality is so important because your internet connection is your gateway to the world.

The organization does not have an opinion on the other issues you raise, but it's important to stress the difference between your connection to the internet, which is a telecommunications service, and issues that are more content-related, which is at a higher level. Whatever your view on issues like that, your ISP shouldn't be taking sides on your behalf.

-John B

banillaice5 karma

Do you think the FCC's announcement will have any effect on the likelihood of the major cable/tv/internet provider mergers getting approved?

PublicKnowledgeDC11 karma

The issues are distinct, but I think we can see that the current FCC is serious about consumer protection. I hope they continue the streak with respect to the Comcast/TWC merger, in particular.

The Comcast/TWC merger raises many issues beyond net neutrality, so people shouldn't view the net neutrality rules as fixing those issues nor every last competitive problem in the broadband market.

-John B

Jux_5 karma

Is the FCC reclassifying internet as a utility really feasible? Or is it likely to be smacked down due to huge lobbying contributions from big telecom?

PublicKnowledgeDC6 karma

First, the Commission has always had the ability to reclassify internet service as a common carrier under Title II. The issue has always been willingness to actually do so. So it has been the long public advocacy fight over many years to get to the Chairman's announcement yesterday.

In fact along that way there were already been many efforts on the side of the big telecoms with deep pockets. The Chairman's proposal to reclassify stands as a significant rejection of incumbent ISP lobbying efforts, instead favoring the legal and policy push from consumer advocates as well as the millions(!) of consumers who wrote in to support reclassification. The only thing left is for at least 2 others of the the Chairman's 5 fellow commissioners to support his proposal and vote the order on Feb 26th, which we hope and believe will happen.

(Side note - common carrier reclassificaiton is not the same as utility regulation - see John B's post here https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/title-ii-is-not-net-neutrality-and-net-neutrality-is-not-utility-regulation)

tblatt5 karma

How can I easily explain what this all means to my mother? What's the three sentence 'elevator pitch' that explains what's going on and why organizations like Public Knowledge are so bad-ass and that people should donate to them?

PublicKnowledgeDC5 karma

Net neutrality is the concept that all information accessed over the Internet "pipes" passes without interference - whether to speed or slow - by the providers like Comcast who control the access to the pipes.

This has historically been the status quo as the internet has grown from a fringe techie service to the vital information network across which almost all communications now pass. But a combination of mid-00s deregulation and reduced competition in the broadband market have put this at risk, leaving internet providers in a position to abuse their control over the pipes. This means they can pick and choose what goes fast and what goes slow, and they have all sorts of reasons to do this, whether its giving preferential treatment to content companies they might own (Comcast speeding up its XFinity over a competitor like Netflix), holding big content companies ransom while small companies who can't pay get left in the dust, or even favoring speech they approve of while blocking stuff they disagree with.

The FCC has tried several times in the past to create rules that would prevent the providers from playing favorites, and while we have been generally supportive, the FCC never actually invoked the part of the law designed specifically to prevent unfair discrimination by carriers, as we always tried to get them to do. They were largely reluctant to do so in response to lobbying efforts by Comcast, Verizon, and ATT asking the FCC not to regulate them.

Yesterday's announcement by Chairman Wheeler is the Commission finally saying that they are finally going to do what is right for consumers and invoke the part of the law that gives them the best ability to prevent unfair discrimination by ISPs and protect consumers and small businesses on the open internet. This is an historic event, and one that results largely from years-long efforts by consumer advocacy groups including Public Knowledge to push back against the big powerful providers on behalf of internet users everywhere.

SO that's not exactly a three minute pitch, but here is one by Jimmy Kimmel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqgmUURct4I

And a slightly longer one, but very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAxMyTwmu_M

-Kate F

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

Public Knowledge works everyday to further freedom of expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works. We have a fantastic team fighting for your rights here in Washington, DC. Every donation helps us achieve these goals! You can donate at www.publicknowledge.org/give.

kierenmccarthy12085 karma

Have you seen AT&T post staking out the path of its likely legal challenge? (http://www.attpublicpolicy.com/fcc/title-ii-closing-arguments/) Any observations, responses?

PublicKnowledgeDC8 karma

Indeed we have. This is mostly a collection of statements that various ISPs have been making during this entire process. The FCC is drafting these rules under the assumption that they will be challenged in court, and none of the things in the AT&T post are new. You never know what a court will do, but we are confident that there are ways that the FCC can write the rules to withstand the challenge.


netneutralityrocks4 karma

Title II regulates transmission to all comers. What is to stop any state commission from applying it to CDNs, analytics companies, content providers etc?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

Only last-mile ISPs are being reclassified (which might include interconnection with last-mile ISPs). Edge services, backbone providers, CDNs, and so on would not be regulated under Title II.

-John B

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

Just yesterday Chairman Wheeler announced his proposal to reclassify broadband under Title II, but this is a federal agency and it cannot dictate to each state how to classify or regulate broadband. The states still have power to decide how they will classify and regulate broadband service in their state. And many have. Currently over 20 states have passed laws that deregulated telephone service (once a Title II service and now not) and have preemptively deregulated broadband service. Included in these laws is the decision to take away a Public Utilities Commission authority to regulate telephone or broadband service. So, increasingly, the FCC is the only agency that would be able to protect phone and broadband consumers under Title II authority. Sad face. Thanks for your question! -edyael

Kevin-W3 karma

AT&T, Verizon, etc has said they will sue if the FCC votes to reclassify under Title II. What legal leg do they have to stand on, especially when the court struck down the previous net neutrality rules they said "You can enforce those rules if they under Title II."?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

Brand X clearly gives the FCC discretion on classification, and the Verizon decision is of course consistent with this. (Amusingly, AT&T has been arguing that advocates are basing our Brand X arguments on Scalia's dissent, which isn't true. The majority opinion is about deference. Scalia just argues that broadband must be a telecom service with no FCC discretion on the matter.)

Time and again, the ISPs also make the argument that the FCC's not allowed to change its mind, an argument which Fox v. FCC should have put that to bed. See also, of course, City of Arlington.

All that said, I'd expect opponents to trot out any number of other legal arguments as well, which they're already previewing in the FCC's docket: notice, PMRS/CRMS, etc. None of them are very good arguments, however, which is why opponents so desperately want legislation.

-John B

OfGodsandMan3 karma

I'm a 23 year old who's parents (in their 50's)think that net neutrality is a bad idea, and I'm just too young to understand why it's bad. What's the best argument or article that I can use to maybe sway them?

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

To entertain them you can start by showing them this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqgmUURct4I

Then to put it simply Net Neutrality is the principle that the company that connects you to the internet does not get to control what you do on the internet.

Yanothatsnot3 karma

What is muni broadband? I keep hearing about rural broadband but why do we need that and how easy is it to fix these issues?

PublicKnowledgeDC5 karma

Hi there! These are great topics you raise :) Municipal broadband refers to when a municipality or town decides to create their own broadband network to bring broadband service to its residents. Many municipalities decided to take this approach because large ISPs don't prioritize building broadband networks in rural areas, small towns, or low income communities. Instead of waiting to convince a large ISP to bring them broadband service, the leaders of a municipality decide to roll up their sleeves and do it themselves. This is one great and much needed approach (of many) to close the digital divide in our country. According to the latest FCC Broadband Progress Report, 53% of rural areas and 63% of Tribal lands do not have high speed-broadband. This translates to 22 million people that cannot access the benefits of the Internet OR even do simple every day things like apply for a job, pay bills online, submit their college applications, sign up for healthcare, or launch a website for their business. Unfortunately, now that municipalities are launching great and even world-class networks (ex: Chattanooga, TN), some large ISPs see them as a threat and have lobbied heavily to pass laws in various states that make it illegal or almost impossible for a municipality to create its own network! Go here to see a super cool map of all the municipal broadband networks in our country: http://communitynets.org/ Municipal broadband or community broadband networks, whether run by the city, co-ops, or non-profits are important tools in our toolbelt to close the digital divide. We have a lot of work to do to ensure rural, low income, and Tribal communities have high-speed broadband and can contribute to our society :) --edyael

PVinc3 karma

Why did Tom Wheeler have such a change of heart? It seemed like he completely changed his goal

PublicKnowledgeDC5 karma

Well, as John Maynard Keynes said, "When the facts change, I change my mind."

But truthfully, he listened and reviewed sound legal arguments, was given the political cover to take this position by the more than 4 million people express their supporting for net neutrality, and ultimately protecting the public as all civil servants should do.

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

Unfortunately, we have to bring this session to a close. A huge thank you to everyone for participating and engaging in this subject. You made this both fun and successful.

If you are still curious or have more questions, please check out our website www.publicknowledge.org where you will find our blogs and podcasts or follow us on Twitter @publicknowledge.

Thank you again, and keep following us as this issue continues!

strapt3133 karma

Could you please stop supporting net neutrality and start supporting the end of monopolies for ISP's? Thanks!

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

It's not either/or!

-John B

potato_sulad3 karma

It doesn't matter if you are for net neutrality or not. Either side has its downsides. If you have read any posts supporting NET neutrality, listen to this. Net neutrality will give control to the government over rules for the internet which limits severely what isps can do (which is mostly good). But, the government will have to setup an institution to manage this and make sure isps aren't breaking rules and creating loopholes. This is going to cost us, taxpayers. Also, net neutrality will limit the ability of isps to grow, so they'd have no motivation to expand or introduce fibre optic connections that we should already have at this point in time. Unfortunately, if we let the government control the internet, it won't be anything like it is today, in 30 years. Laws will be passed RESTRICTING the internet. That's just not how it was designed to be. It was made like the wild west, so there is no real control about what goes on on it. On the other hand, if net neutrality didn't pass, isps like timewarner, Comcast, and at&t would have full control over whether or not they wanted so called 'speed lanes' which would slow down or speed up connections to certain websites. Now, I'm not trying to sway you one way or another, but before you make a decision, please consider what I've said.

Do you want the internet like it is today, with isps having control?

Or do you want the government to have insight and control on it?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

There are a few mistakes with this analysis. But I'll start with this - the government doesn't have to "set up a new institution" to manage net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission that is writing the rules is also the one charged with enforcing them.

Furthermore, net neutrality is the "wild west" standard to which you refer. It is the way the internet has historically existed - a default status quo. However, as the control over the pipes has consolidated into the hands a few large ISPs, they have figured out how to manipulate the access to their own benefit. The current effort by the FCC is not creating some brand new rule for the internet; rather, it is merely codifying what is a traditional standard for the internet ecosystem so that if ISPs do try to play fast and loose, consumers and small businesses who are being harmed have a legal basis for saying "hey, you can't do that - I pay you for access to the whole internet, and that's what you've got to deliver"

Shapeways_Natalia3 karma

Is the fight over? Is there anything else we should be doing as the public or is it out of our hands now (Since we've been heard! Hurrah!)

PublicKnowledgeDC4 karma

First, enjoy the victory. Because it is that.

But there's always more to do. We need to see the final rules, (probably) help defend them in court, and then make sure they're enforced.

One great thing you can do is let your member of Congress know how you feel about this issue: https://www.publicknowledge.org/act-now/tell-congress-to-support-real-net-neutrality/

-John B

Yanothatsnot3 karma

Isn't Title II a little too much? It seems like it puts a lot of rules on the internet that don't really reply to it. Why don't you want something like 706 or the republican bill?

PublicKnowledgeDC5 karma

We have concerns that Section 706 authority alone and the discussion draft circulated by Senator Thune would both fail to adequately protect an open Internet and would not give the FCC strong enforcement authority when net neutrality violations occur. Right now the FCC is proposing to "forbear" from certain provisions of Title II so they would not apply to broadband access service, like rate regulation or automatically adding new fees. So long as the FCC carefully considers each provision before it forbears from it, PK thinks that is a workable way to make sure we aren't applying irrelevant rules to broadband service.

-- Jodie

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

The FCC has tried several times to have its cake and eat it to - to prevent unfair discrimination of content on the internet with section 706 and Title I while avoiding reclassifying broadband common carrier. Those other attempts have failed based on their shakier legal ground, culminating most recently in the DC Circuit's saying in no uncertain terms that the FCC may not prevent unfair discrimination unless it reclassifies. It has taken a year of thoughtful solicitation of comments from stakeholders and the Commission has now arrived at what we believe is the correct conclusion and the one most likely to be upheld in court - to reclassify broadband as Title II.

Fortunately, Title II need not be "too much" - the Commission retains flexibility to apply those provisions which they see necessary for consumer protections - such as no unfair discrimination or blocking - while forbearing from those provisions that are unnecessary or simply don't apply - such as rate-regulation or tariffing, which the Commission has indicated it will do.

For more on exactly how that works, http://www.wetmachine.com/tales-of-the-sausage-factory/forbearance-redux-still-easy-peasy/

Slyx3 karma


PublicKnowledgeDC4 karma

It probably isn't the biggest factor for these companies. Pole access - and that really is the set of rules that govern who gets to put wires on telephone poles - are important for new fiber deployments. And the FCC has said that they are including pole access rules as part of this process. That being said, it is still expensive to build out networks and net neutrality doesn't directly impact that one way or another.


rolltide452 karma

My neighbor says Title II won't stop paid prioritization. Assuming he's right, what's the point of Title II and why should we want it so badly?

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

Don't assume. Investigate! He's not right. Title II doesn't stop ALL paid prioritization, but it empowers the FCC to DEFINE what type of paid prioritization is "unjust and unreasonable"... the legal standard under Title II. Given that power, the FCC can stop all harmful paid prioritization with an ability to exempt if an ISP makes a case for why a practice is "just and reasonable".

Title II is good because it makes the big powerful companies make a case for paid prioritization before doing it, rather than apologizing after blocking/throttling/crushing their competition. -Chris

AdonisChrist2 karma

I live in VA. My representative is Barbara Comstock. My senators are Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

Are any of these people being problematic? You want me to call them? What should I say?

That last question's an important one.

Oh I guess an important first question would be whether this is a congressional issue right now. I'll call other people, too. I want a neutral net.

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

Yes please call them. Kaine and Warner are pro-Net Neutrality but have not taken a position on Title II. They need to be convinced. Comstock has taken no public position we are aware of, and so needs to be pushed to take a position.

You should tell them why an open internet is important to you. You should tell them how the FCC is the best way to get strong rules enacted now. You should tell them not to support legislation (like the Thune/Upton bill) that strips the FCC of rulemaking authority over broadband providers. Check out our action page (https://www.publicknowledge.org/act-now/tell-congress-to-support-real-net-neutrality/) for more instructions!

From your fellow Virginian, -Chris

WinkMe2 karma

Thanks for doing this. What is the easiest Layman way to explain title 2 to someone who has been misinformed and sure its a bad thing?

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

Ask an opponent of Title II: Do they think it would be a good idea if when you tried to call a local pizza, you were connected to Domino's instead? Title II is what prevented that sort of behavior on the phone network. It is also the legal authority the FCC used to require that AT&T allow people to use modems, answering machines, and third-party phones. It is also the legal authority that ensured that people could dial into competitive ISPs throughout the 1990s.

In short, nondiscrimination was the norm, and people loved it, and it had measurably good effects. Title II enabled it.

-John B

NotWeinberg2 karma

Alright, what's to stop Congress from cutting funding from any program under authorization of the FCC which will attempt to enact Chairman Wheeler's proposed Rule?

PublicKnowledgeDC1 karma

Public Outcry! Congress considered this last summer during the budget conversations, and public outcry forced sponsors of that proposal to withdraw. Congress responds to constituent pressure, but without public engagement, the only voice Congress has to listen to are big cable and telecom lobbyists. -Chris

kierenmccarthy12082 karma

Is it possible and/or likely that Congress, possibly under a new Republican president, would pass legislation that effectively vacates these proposed FCC rules?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

It is possible. The GOOD NEWS is that the public outcry for Title II and strong rules has forced the Republican Congress to shift its position. Now GOP leaders are not saying no Net Neutrality, they just want to do it while limiting FCC power.

Make no mistake, there may be Democrats who also want to limit the power of the FCC. Preserving these Title II rules and a strong FCC to watch big cable companies is something the public will have to be vocal about with all their elected officials. Great question for the 2016 Presidential Race! -Chris

petermal672 karma

Are you worried about Republicans pushing through legislation to try to stop or stifle the FCC's proposed ruling? What are your plans to combat idiot politicians with vested interests in cable company monopoly?

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

A little, but we continue to work with a large coalition of business and consumer groups to rally support for keeping the rules. Congress works for you! If you want them to say no to the Cable Lobby you have to tell them. Believe me, they hear from Cable Lobbyist every day! -Chris

rodnefarious2 karma

What effect will reclassifying under Title II have on state public utilities commissions? Will they have a more active role in regulation? Will the FCC still handle all enforcement?

PublicKnowledgeDC4 karma

Parts of Title II set out separate roles for federal and state commissions over telecommunications services. However, many states have deregulated their own states commission, so they don't have authority over broadband, VoIP services, or both. In those cases reclassifying broadband under Title II helps the FCC ensure it can help consumers when states don't have authority over broadband (VoIP is still a question for another day).

-- Jodie

Amayricka2 karma

How likely is it for ISPs to actually censor sites they don't like in the way people have made it sound like they would? Is this a serious threat?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

Censoring sites they don't like isn't the top concern that we have. It is much more likely (and we have seen this happen) for ISPs to prioritize sites that they have financial relationships with, deprioritize sites that compete against them or do not pay them, and degrade services in a way that force people to pay more to get access to the full internet.

jameslosey1 karma

Public Knowledge has been a longtime fighter for digital rights. How can we donate or support?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

Great question! You can donate at www.publicknowledge.org/give. The support we receive makes a huge difference! Thank you :-D.

wrineha21 karma

What would happen if the Republicans took office and decided not to reclassify?

PublicKnowledgeDC4 karma

After the FCC reclassifies (20 days away!), Republicans could undo it but it would take a long time. They'd have to win white house, get a new chairman, do a new multi-month proceeding, and fight off public opinion.

Congress is a much bigger threat to over turn the reclassification, which is why we are encouraging folks to contact their members of congress. -Chris

ozoxy0 karma

Is the "Don't Break the Net" website/TechFreedom campaign simply propaganda?

PublicKnowledgeDC2 karma

While we disagree on some issues with our friends at TechFreedom, particularly on this issue, we're always happy to hear what they have to say and we have worked with them on other issue in the past (e.g., First Amendment, government surveillance).

-John B

Ableyoungthug0 karma

How do you guys feel about the war on drugs?

PublicKnowledgeDC3 karma

Not something PK has a position on, but open communications tools allow people to debate these issues.

That said, this might be of interest, on a related issue: https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/t-mobile-to-weedmaps-everyone-no-texting-without-our-ok-1

Also, "Lost in the Dream" was one of my favorite albums last year.

--John B