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Friday, March 16, 2018

SB 822 Would Secure Net Neutrality for California | Center for Internet and Society

SB 822 Would Secure Net Neutrality for California | Center for Internet and Society: "Some state-level attempts to legislate have just copied the text of the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules. But that's not sufficient. Some important protections were fleshed out in the text of the order. Senator Wiener's bill explicitly codifies these protections as well.

The bill is on firm legal ground.

While the FCC's 2017 Order explicitly bans states from adopting their own net neutrality laws, that preemption is invalid. According to case law, an agency that does not have the power to regulate does not have the power to preempt. That means the FCC can only prevent the states from adopting net neutrality protections if the FCC has authority to adopt net neutrality protections itself.

But by re-classifying ISPs as information services under Title I of the Communications Act and re-interpreting Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act as a mission statement rather than an independent grant of authority, the FCC has deliberately removed all of its sources of authority that would allow it to adopt net neutrality protections. The FCC's Order is explicit on this point." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Consultation: Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and the BEREC Net Neutrality Guidelines

Consultation paper on the evaluation of the application of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and the BEREC Net Neutrality Guidelines: "Document number: BoR (18) 33
Document date: 08.03.2018
Date of registration: 14.03.2018
Document type: Public Consultations
Author: BEREC

In this paper BEREC invites stakeholders to participate in a public consultation on an evaluation of the application of the BEREC Net Neutrality Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) in the context of the Net Neutrality Regulation (the “Regulation”). The objective of this consultation is to gather information on how stakeholders have experienced the application of the Regulation, as provided for in the Guidelines, since April 30th 2016.

BEREC realizes the importance many in the public domain attach to expressing their position on the general subject of net neutrality.

Yet, in this consultation BEREC focuses on the actual experiences of stakeholders with the application of the current Regulation and Guidelines. It is noted that early 2019 the Regulation itself will be evaluated by the European Commission. In addition to the general aspects of the application of the Regulation and Guidelines, BEREC is especially interested in the experiences of stakeholders concerning impact of the Guidelines on the adoption of new technologies." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Senator Introduces Fake Net Neutrality Bill Championed By ISPs Then Pretends He's Fighting Against Them - Motherboard

Senator Introduces Fake Net Neutrality Bill Championed By ISPs Then Pretends He's Fighting Against Them - Motherboard: "Understandably fearing that the FCC’s effort might not survive a court challenge by Mozilla, consumer groups, state attorney generals, and others, ISPs have a backup plan. They’ve convinced ISP-loyal lawmakers like Marsha Blackburn to support fake net neutrality legislation that could actually make the problem worse.

 Blackburn’s misleadingly-named Open Internet Preservation Act, introduced in the House last fall, bans behaviors that ISPs weren’t really interested in anyway, such as the outright blocking of certain websites or services. But it intentionally ignores trouble areas where anti-competitive ISP behavior is now actually occurring, such as usage caps, overage fees, zero rating, and the gaming of network interconnection points.

 Blackburn, a major recipient of ISP lobbying cash, claims her legislation would hold ISPs accountable, but the intention is more nefarious. The real goal of such bills is to pre-empt the tougher net neutrality rules now taking root across more than half the states in the nation." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

REVIEW: Network neutrality: From policy to law to regulation

Network neutrality: From policy to law to regulation, Christopher T. Marsden, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK (2017), p. 304, Paperback, £24.99, ISBN: 9781526105486 - ScienceDirect: "The writing style of the author is readily accessible and exceptionally readable. This is important for a text to have an audience beyond academia. In particular, the description in Chapter 4 of the way in which the European Union, in its various forms, created ‘a messy compromise’ law was fascinating. This chapter provides a fabulous case study in European Union regulatory decision making.

This volume would sit well as a reference in either the law or regulation of the digital economy. However, its widest appeal is likely to be as a postgraduate text in either law or business. Its accessibility means that it should have a broader appeal as a text in areas such as politics or policy studies. It would also be valuable to practitioners in at least two areas.

The first area is competition law, where it would appeal to regulated industries, their advisors and associated policy makers. The volume's investigation into a flawed policy process provides valuable insights.

The second area is that of communications enterprises. The book will provide practitioners in this space with a basis to understand where network neutrality law and policy is likely move next." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Ofcom's 2018 Code Offers Clarity on Home Broadband ISP Speeds - ISPreview UK

Ofcom's 2018 Code Offers Clarity on Home Broadband ISP Speeds - ISPreview UK: "One other gripe is the way that Ofcom’s changes to the MGALS rule could also be interpreted to mean that 10% of broadband lines are faulty. As the MD of AAISP, Adrian Kennard, said, “The problem is that if you are unfortunate enough to be in that bottom 10th percentile, and bear in mind that one in ten people will be, you may well have a service that is indeed doing the best it can and there is no fault whatsoever on the line that can be fixed by anyone” (example).

Otherwise the changes seem to be positive and any providers worried about the cost have at least dodged a bullet due to the regulator’s decision to keep the revised code “voluntary“.

As usual the underlying challenge is the problem of balancing consumer expectations with reality, which can be inflated by how some ISPs advertise their packages. The ASA’s separate move to adopt average speeds into advertising are partly designed to tackle this (here).

 Ofcom’s changes are an attempt to force a greater degree of honesty into the market, which in practice might struggle if they continue to insist that member ISPs must all carry out their own speedtests (easy for end-users, but not ISPs). Some ISPs suggest that it might have been better to encourage more providers to join the code than creating a huge barrier to entry via cost.

 Provisional List of UK ISPs Planning to Adopt the New Code

* Virgin Media
* BT
* Sky Broadband
* EE
* TalkTalk
* KCOM (Hull Area)
* XLN Telecom
* Plusnet
* Daisy

 Implementing these reforms will require providers to make major changes to their systems, develop new speed testing methods, and train staff. Providers have a maximum of 12 months to make these changes before the new requirements come into force for services purchased from 1st March 2019." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rupert Murdoch's Sky bid challenged by Comcast - BBC News

Rupert Murdoch's Sky bid challenged by Comcast - BBC News: "Fox's Sky bid has not been viewed favourably by the UK's competition authority, which in January provisionally found that it would not be in the public interest.

 The Competition and Markets Authority is concerned that if the deal went through, the Murdoch Family Trust would have too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda.

Last week, 21st Century Fox said it would keep Sky News running for at least 10 years, with a fully independent board for the channel, to try to make the proposed deal more attractive to regulators.

 The picture was made more complicated in December of last year when Walt Disney agreed to buy the bulk of 21st Century Fox's business, including its 39% Sky stake.

If that acquisition goes through, it could lessen the Murdoch family's UK influence. 

Mr Roberts said that Comcast was prepared to co-own Sky with either Fox or Disney, as long as Comcast held a majority stake." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 25, 2018

AT&T didn’t waste any time abandoning net neutrality – BGR

AT&T didn’t waste any time abandoning net neutrality – BGR: "As of right now, the only three services using AT&T’s sponsored data program are DirecTV, UVerse, and Fullscreen. By a huge coincidence, those are three video services owned by AT&T. “Now your plan includes sponsored data. This means, for example, that customers who have DirecTV or U-verse TV can now stream movies and shows … without it counting against their plan data,” AT&T told customers in a text message earlier today.

This flies directly in the face of a statement AT&T made just last year, when it was trying to persuade consumers that the FCC’s net neutrality repeal wouldn’t be the end of a free and open internet. “AT&T intends to operate its network the same way AT&T operates its network today: in an open and transparent manner. We will not block websites, we will not throttle or degrade internet traffic based on content, and we will not unfairly discriminate in our treatment of internet traffic,” executive Bob Quinn said at the time.

By any definition, offering paid fast lanes to companies constitutes “discriminating” against internet traffic. I’d say that only prioritizing traffic from AT&T-owned companies, or companies willing to pay up, constitutes unfair discrimination, but then again I’m not an AT&T lawyer." 'via Blog this'