02.20.14

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Verizon Makes the Death of Net Neutrality in the US More Official

Posted in Law at 9:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another blow from Verizon helps show that Net Neutrality is going the way of the dodo, destroying the very principles of the Internet as we once knew it

Verizon

Summary: Net Neutrality is under serious attacks in the United States, where giant corporations try to make up new fees for Internet utility, putting enormous burden even on poor publishers

EUROPE, and by extension the rest of the world, typically follows the trajectory of the US lawmaking when it comes to law. US corporations, backed by NSA espionage which they secretly love, spread their legislation to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, and then to the rest of Europe, Asia, and even Africa (which depends on all those).

Defending Europe from Tiered Web has become important because there are lobbying attempts which try to destroy any chance of “Internet for the People”, or an Internet which serves anyone but the telecom backbones in the US (originally set up with Pentagon involvement). A French Internet advocacy site says that Net Neutrality talks in Europe are “taking a disastrous turn” [1] after the EU Parliament Civil Liberties Committee reportedly “pave[d] the way for real Net Neutrality.” [2]

The European Commission recently tried to gain more control over the Internet, capitalising on the NSA fiasco [3] that we have covered here very closely for years (even before Snowden showed up).

Net Neutrality is gradually dying even in Europe and clearly quite dead in the US (despite empty rhetoric from the FCC [4] and weak action from politicians [5]). We previously covered the topic in posts such as:

The ever-growing Comcast [6] and companies like AT&T or Verizon [7] are now going a step further and pass costs of traffic to the transmitter (publisher), not the receiver, in their greedy attempts to boost their profits at expense of users of the Internet. One headline states that “Verizon wants Netflix to pay for traffic”. Is this the official end of Net Neutrality in the US?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. EU Parliament Negotiations on Net Neutrality Taking a Disastrous Turn

    On 24 February, the “Industry” (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will take a crucial decision for the future of Net Neutrality in Europe, by adopting its report, on the basis of which the whole Parliament will vote. As things currently stand, Members of the European Parliament in ITRE still have the possibility to ensure a genuine and unconditional Net Neutrality principle, as proposed by others committees, so as to protect freedom of expression and online innovation. But instead, all might be lost because the liberal (ALDE) and socio-democrat (S&D) political groups seem ready to adopt the disastrous proposals made by Pilar Del Castillo Vera, the lead rapporteur in charge of this dossier. Unless citizens act and key MEPs show political leadership, we may be about to lose the Internet as we know it.

  2. EU Parliament Civil Liberties Committee Paves the Way for Real Net Neutrality

    Today, the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament adopted its opinion report on the European single market for electronic communications. Key amendments were adopted which, if included in the final text, would guarantee that network neutrality becomes an enforceable rule across all of the European Union. La Quadrature du Net warns against attempts in the Industry committee (ITRE), the lead committee on this dossier, to adopt watered-down amendments that would allow telecommunication operators to distribute specialised services in a way that would radically undermine freedom of communication and innovation on the Internet.

  3. European Commission declares itself an “Honest broker in future global negotiations on Internet Governance”

    For more than a decade there has been active resistance in some quarters to the continuing custody by the U.S. of the root domain registries of the Internet. Those directories (which control the routing of Internet traffic into and out of nations) are administered by ICANN, which in turn exists under the authority of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Today, Neelie Kroes, the strong-willed European Commission Vice-President in charge of the E.C.’s Digital Agenda, has put the question of “Internet Governance” (read: control of these registries) back into the news. Specifically, Kroes announced in a press release that the Commission will pursue a “role as honest broker in future global negotiations on Internet Governance.”

  4. FCC Chairman Promises Action on Net Neutrality

    FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will soon release his plan for how to proceed on net neutrality.

    Wheeler did not provide specifics on how the commission will proceed, instead making the case for why the FCC has the right to step in on this issue.

  5. Glimmer of hope or dying embers? Net neutrality flares up again

    Politicos get behind Net neutrality with the Open Internet Preservation Act of 2014, but the real power lies with us

  6. Comcast: Allowing Us To Get Immensely, Inconceivably, Ridiculously Massive Is ‘Pro Consumer’

    Comcast has confirmed reports that the company will be acquiring Time Warner Cable in a deal estimated to be worth around $45 billion. With the ink on their NBC acquisition only just dry to the touch, the deal will tack 8 million broadband subscribers onto the company’s existing 22 million broadband customers. Comcast is already the nation’s largest fixed-line broadband company, largest cable TV provider, and third largest fixed-line phone company — and that’s before you include the company’s NBC or other assets. From a geographical perspective the deal makes sense; Time Warner Cable filling in Comcast’s coverage gaps and in particular giving Comcast the prized markets of Los Angeles and New York City, where Time Warner Cable has traditionally under-performed.

  7. Netflix performance on Verizon and Comcast has been dropping for months

    Netflix’s speed rankings show that video streaming performance on Verizon and Comcast has been dropping for the past three to four months.

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