Verizon Gets the Open Internet Order Overturned…

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A Washington DC federal appeals court struck down the FCC’s Open Internet Order, saying the FCC doesn’t have the authority to enforce it.

The Open Internet Order was put into place in 2010 by former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.  The order was designed to keep ISPs from treating users differently.  It said ISPs had to be open with users about how their internet access is managed (for example, service providers couldn’t slow someone’s connection for no reason).

The Open Internet Order also said users should be able to access any legal site from any device.  In other words, the ISP could not pick and choose.

Verizon challenged the Open Internet Order in court, questioning the FCC’s authority over these issues. Companies like Verizon are the exact entities the Open Internet Order was keeping an eye on.

The court cited the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband as an “informations service” instead of a “telecommunications service”.

Reactions are quickly pouring in.  The Future of Music Coalition offered this statement:

“FMC has said since the beginning of the last decade that the FCC’s decision to classify broadband Internet as an information service would have poor consequences, and it doesn’t get much worse than the inability to guarantee a level playing field for creators and other innovators.”


Image by ToGa Wanderings, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)).

25 Responses

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think you’re aware of Nina’s little pro-piracy crusade — but not to worry!

      The only purpose of today’s decision in the D.D. Circuit Court of Appeals was to target criminal users and illegal traffic. Ordinary users won’t be affected.

      The problem was that ISPs were required to treat all internet traffic equally.

      And that seemed sensible way back in 2008, but over the years it turned out to protect pirates and pedophiles, while it was hurting anybody else, including musicians, writers, movie makers, ISP’s, children, etc.

      From today, it will be much easier to limit the access to child porn, stolen music, etc.

      And I’m sure we all can agree that’s a good thing.

      • Nina Ulloa

        yep you totally caught where i said i was sad that this would affect my pirating ways…. oh wait.

  1. Anonymous

    Great for everybody who loves music!

    Not so great for pirates & pedophiles, of course. 🙂

    • Jabsco

      Sure, great if your ISP has chosen a specific music service that they want to support. Or maybe worse yet your favorite music site doesn’t have the funding to pay your ISP and has their bandwidth throttled.

      This judgement is horrible for everyone who values the internet.

      • Anonymous

        Nonsense — ISPs need to slow your connection if you abuse it.

        • Nina Ulloa

          the point of the open internet order was to make the slowing transparent, so ISPs wouldn’t slow for no or arbitrary reasons…

          • Anonymous

            Don’t you ever get tired of clinging to the past, Nina?

            A lot of things happened since 2008. One of them was an International financial crisis. Society just won’t allow criminals to destroy our economy, our music, our children or our internet anymore.

            And why don’t you think we should hear Verizon’s side of the story?

            Here’s what Verizon General Counsel Randal Milch said today:

            “[the U.S. Court of Appelas ruling overturning FCC net neurtrality rules] will not change consumers’ ability to access and use the Internet as they do now. FCC logoThe court’s decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet. Verizon has been and remains committed to the open Internet which provides consumers with competitive choices and unblocked access to lawful websites and content when, where, and how they want.

          • AnAmusedGeek

            Yeah right – like your gonna take verizon’s word for it ?

            This is NOT a piracy issue – even though all you seem to see in the world is piracy and pedophiles.

            What this DOES do is open the door to internet ‘toll roads’ where companies have to pay to have their traffic delivered in a timely manner. For instance, YouTube and Spotify could have to pay extra or their traffic ends up at the bottom of the priority stack (Quality of Service) or routed through slow back-hauls delaying delivery.

            This could have really bad repercussions for both consumers and new startups. The only ones that benefit are the ‘mega-corps’ (reduced competition) and ISPs (higher charges).

          • Anonymous

            “Yeah right – like your gonna take verizon’s word for it ?”

            Oh, you feel more safe if the DMN readers only hear the pirates’ side?

          • AnAmusedGeek

            No – I’d rather people get the truth rather then actually believe the crap you spout…

            it has NOTHING to do with pirates – most ‘ISP’s already have bandwidth caps, and throttling in the TOS (Terms of Service). Oh! and surprise! Its not 2008 anymore – PIRATES ALREADY THROTTLE THEIR BANDWIDTH!
            Every popular peer to peer program out there lets you limit bandwidth – usually both by traffic per second and total traffic. Also, some ISPs already throttle p2p traffic as a matter of policy.

            This order was specifically to prevent carriers like COX or Verizion from creating ‘toll roads’. It was designed to prevent them extorting extra fees FROM BUSINESSES. Here is an excerpt from :

            “No blocking. Fixed broadband providers (such as DSL, cable modem, or fixed wireless providers) may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. Mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services”

            Notice: it already specified LAWFUL content. This rule gave NO benefit to pirates or pirate sites. Striking this down screwed LAWFUL businesses that might now face unfair competition. For instance, do you really think Verizion is going to give ‘good’ service to Vonage traffic ?

            Net Neutrality is a good thing – as the examples I gave my earlier post. But of course, you have no clue what your talking about, so I look forward to you spouting more uninformed bullshit about pirates.

          • Jughead

            I see you have no confidence in the free market. It is quite popular now to urge the Washington dimwits to legislate and regulate anything—and to tax it.

            I trust the open market over the damn gov’t any day. Of course, I am a dying breed known as a capitalist.

          • wallow-T

            “Last mile to the customer” is not a free market, because the costs of entry are so high. For wired connections, most customers face a duopoly of “the cable TV company” and “the phone company.”

            For wireless cell-phone-type connections, there are four major players, probably consolidating down to 3 depending on the fate of T-Mobile. Due to the limitations of the wireless spectrum & technology, the wireless companies already have the legal permission to discriminate, if I remember correctly.

            On the one hand, this is simple rent-seeking. On the other hand, streaming video volume is a bitch. (Music barely moves the needle any more, in terms of raw traffic volume.)

          • wallow-T

            I should add that, of that duopoly in the “last mile” environment, both the cable TV companies and the phone companies achieved their dominance — those wires that run to every home — by running a regulated monopoly.

          • Jabsco

            Since you’re such a good capitalist I’m sure you’ve read Adam Smith who advocated free markets.

            The problem is that even Smith knew for free markets to work that two things had to happen: 1) there have to be 1,000’s of players, not 4. With such a small group of companies, we are not talking about free markets, we are talking about captive markets because there is no way for a user to switch to another company.

            2) The players in that market have to be moral. These companies just gouge everyone.

          • Oinkoink

            I’m baffled you guys don’t see what’s happening here. The ISPs claim there’s a bandwidth problem, but really, they just want to control what you’ll be able to access so that they can charge site and content owners. Bandwidth isn’t a finite resource, Verizon and AT&T could simply invest a little bit more of their profits into their infrastructure and voila, more bandwidth!

            While this is happening, US is dropping like a stone in the Internet Penetration league. With just 81.0% of the population connected, it’s a depressing 28:th position…

          • Danwriter

            “What this DOES do is open the door to internet ‘toll roads’ where companies have to pay to have their traffic delivered in a timely manner.”

            Agreed. Verizon’s statement is simply a version of “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
            And let’s tone down the ad hominem stuff. Leave that for the Itchy & Scratchy Show.

  2. daily reader, industry veteran

    Although it has nothing to do with this article….i do agree based on articles and comments i’ve seen from NINA…she IS PRO PIRACY!

  3. Howard Noff

    If this gets in the way of me and my friends getting music and movies free then it’s bad. Otherwise yay. Because free.

  4. Jughead

    If you build a private road, should you not have the ability to regulate the flow of traffic?

    • AnAmusedGeek

      They already do this in the form subscriptions and bandwidth charges.
      Bandwidth isn’t free…

      Content providers ALREADY pay for the bandwidth to put the packets on the wire
      I ALREADY pay the bandwidth to receive the packets.

      This could lead to a situation where you PAY to get on the road, PAY to get off the road, and have to negotiate a separate toll at every ‘exit’.

      Hopefully, this helps clarify a bit…
      its not a great example though – for instance its not a ‘private road’ owned by a single person, its a network of ‘private roads’ owned by different people, some of them were built with public funds, etc etc

  5. Jughead

    Netflix and Youtube account for nearly 1/2 of the total data flow, and both will only grow. I hate to think that both may have to pay the ISP’s (and pass it along to me), but I hate the friggin US Gov’t getting involved in ANYTHING more.

    Let the damn market work itself out–Google and Netflix have the $$$$ to come up with something. Maybe they will annihilate Comcast, which would be a good start.

  6. Anonymous

    Anything that harms the Internet and technology is good for artists!