Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Posts in "Net Neutrality"

September 17, 2014

Wheeler Talks Net Neutrality at House Hearing

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler testified before the House Small Business Committee Wednesday in a pretty toned-down hearing, where he talked about a number of issues, including net neutrality.

“It is clear that there must be an open Internet,” Wheeler said. “That is what’s necessary for small business, that’s what’s necessary for entrepreneurs, that’s what’s necessary for consumers. At the same point in time, communications carriers are investing $60 billion a year in infrastructure. And we have got to have that kind of infrastructure build out. And you don’t want to put in place rules that would disincentivize companies from making that kind of continued investment.”

South Carolina Republican Tom Rice — who said he was concerned about reclassifying broadband as a common carrier — asked if Internet service providers were blocking, prioritizing, requiring paid performance or degrading service.

“The issue is that yes there are indications of these kinds of problems having happened in the market,” Wheeler said, citing instances like Comcast blocking BitTorrent and AT&T’s restrictions on accessing Apple’s Face Time on the iPhone.

Rice contended that there’s been much innovation from the Internet in a “wild, wild West” regulatory environment and that government regulation would “stifle it far more” than anti-competitive efforts which he contended could be dealt with under antitrust law.

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 4:49 p.m.
Net Neutrality

September 16, 2014

Should FCC Keep Treating Mobile Broadband Differently in Net Neutrality Rules?

The Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 Open Internet rules didn’t apply to mobile broadband to the same extent as fixed broadband. For instance, the unreasonable discrimination rule didn’t apply to mobile.  The current Open Internet proposal before the FCC “tentatively” thinks it should keep that same approach, but should the FCC revisit its different treatment of mobile broadband given big changes in the mobile market since 2010?

That’s basically one of the questions asked in the current Open Internet notice of proposed rulemaking (the 2010 rules are being rewritten in response to an appeals court decision earlier this year that struck down the bulk of those rules).

Below are a some excerpts of what a few of the reply comments, which were due on Monday, had to say on the matter of mobile broadband and net neutrality rules. They might give you a sense of the debate that could emerge in this afternoon’s FCC Open Internet roundtable on mobile broadband.

Full story

September 12, 2014

Next Week: Net Neutrality, Big Data & Robotics Policy

It’ll be a busy week next week, with Monday being the deadline for filing Open Internet comments with the Federal Communications Commission, as well as a number of events here in Washington, among them the Federal Trade Commission’s big data workshop and the FCC’s Open Internet roundtables.

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission holds a day-long workshop on big data and its impact on consumers, including the poor and under-served.

Also on Monday, The Brookings Institution hosts a panel discussion on robotics and the legal and regulatory policy surrounding it.

On Tuesday, the FCC hosts two roundtables on net neutrality, one in the morning on policy approaches  and another in the afternoon focusing on mobile broadband.

The Atlantic Council holds an event titled “The Final Frontier: Renewing America’s Space Program” on Tuesday.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Small Business Committee in a hearing on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Software & Information Industry Association holds an event releasing a report on the economic impact of the software industry.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a net neutrality hearing on Wednesday.

The House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday on the FCC’s budget and management, followed by another hearing by a Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee hearing on cross border data flows.

The House Judiciary Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee holds a copyright hearing on Wednesday, followed by a hearing Thursday on U.S. Copyright Office oversight.

On Thursday, National Journal and The Atlantic hold an event on Hispanic millennials and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

On Friday, the New America Foundation and the Global Public Policy Institute host an event on “technology sovereignty” proposals.

The Progressive Policy Institute holds an event titled “Growing the Transatlantic Digital Economy” on Friday.


September 10, 2014

What Was That Spinning Icon About?

upworthy slowlane 418x335 What Was That Spinning Icon About?

You might have noticed a spinning icon like this on some websites today. If you’re wondering, it’s part of an “Internet Slowdown” campaign organized by Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future and the Free Press Action Fund trying to mobilize public comments to policymakers on net neutrality

From the campaign’s website: “On September 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic ‘loading’ symbol (the proverbial ‘spinning wheel of death’) and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House.”

“The Internet is united against the FCC’s Net Neutrality-killing proposal,” said Craig Aaron of Free Press Action Fund.

Public interest groups and some Internet companies have opposed the net neutrality proposal the FCC is currently taking public comments on, contending that it doesn’t go far enough and calling for reclassification of broadband as a public utility.

On Twitter, here’s some of what some groups and companies were saying:


The campaign also had its critics:

September 9, 2014

Q&A Part One With Etsy’s Althea Erickson

Althea Erickson, Etsy’s public policy director, is the sole person working exclusively on public policy issues for the company and is based out of Etsy’s headquarters in Brooklyn. Technocrat talked with Erickson about her work on net neutrality, among other topics.

Full story

September 2, 2014

Harvard Internet Conference and FCC’s Wheeler’s Broadband Talk on Tap This Week

Congress is out of town for another week, but there are several events in D.C. and outside the Beltway, including a speech by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and an Internet policy conference at Harvard University.

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August 18, 2014

Wikipedia, Cybersecurity, and Aspen Forum This Week

Events on Wikpedia, cybersecurity, startups, and government use of technology to lower costs are on tap this week and the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in Colorado continues early this week.

Full story

August 15, 2014

FCC Extends Deadline for Second Round of Net Neutrality Comments

People looking to file net neutrality reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission will have a few extra days to do so. In a public notice, the FCC announced that the deadline for filing the second round of comments on its controversial proposalregarding Internet speeds will be Sept. 15. The deadline had originally been Sept. 10.

Full story

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 4:15 p.m.
Net Neutrality

August 12, 2014

Women File Fewer FCC Net Neutrality Comments Than Men

Men filed significantly more comments with the Federal Communications Commission on its net neutrality proposal than women, according to preliminary findings of an analysis commissioned by the Knight Foundation.

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August 1, 2014

The App, Net Neutality and the Digital Divide

Facebook on Thursday announced an app from – a project among companies including Facebook which tries to expand Internet access in parts of the world where people aren’t connected – that lets mobile phone users connect to certain websites without incurring data charges, starting with Airtel customers in Zambia. A couple articles say that’s a good thing or at least has the potential to do so, but they also lay out questions about implications on net neutrality and the digital divide.

Full story

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