FCC's net neutrality rules open door to new fee on Internet service

Look, man, if you want me to break down the entire 450-page FCC rules, I can do that.

Under what circumstances? How is it worded currently?

Did you read the article above....? This is the topic of the entire thing.

Here's the relevant text:

In finding that broadband Internet access service is subject to Title II, we simultaneously exercise the Commission’s forbearance authority to forbear from 30 statutory provisions and render over 700 codified rules inapplicable, to establish a light-touch regulatory framework tailored to preserving those provisions that advance our goals of more, better, and open broadband. We thus forbear from the vast majority of rules adopted under Title II. We do not, however, forbear from sections 201, 202, and 208 (or from related enforcement provisions),46 which are necessary to support adoption of our open Internet rules. We also grant extensive forbearance, minimizing the burdens on broadband providers while still adequately protecting the public.

Those rules that they are forbearing--forbearing, not vowing to not put in effect--are the ones which allow for any utility classified under Title II to be subjected to "usage fees" by the FCC which aim to promote investment. Basically, they use them to do 2 things: 1. subsidize the ISPs/utility provider against increased costs (basically passing those costs along to consumer) and 2. subsidize a small number of consumers to access that utility. The most famous example of the latter is the "Obamaphone" program that started in the 80's under Reagan, to subsidize phone installations for the poor. By simply forbearing these 30+ statutory provisions of Title II, they are kicking the can down the road on whether or not we will face additional taxes and fees on internet usage. The FCC will decide this, not Congress, under Title II.

Also forbeared is the provision of Title II which allows for rate limiting (aka, price setting). You see this in electric/utility companies that have to appeal to state Public Service Commissions in order to undergo a rate increase. This process is incredibly convoluted, and very difficult for a company like a small ISP to navigate.

How so? What sort of rules would assist in said competition and growth?

If we can transfer this property to local municipality ownership--through voluntary buyouts, because eminent domain is never a good idea--then we can set firm rules to allow smaller, local ISPs to have equal access to this infrastructure. This gives a boost to local investments in broadband and increases the number of service providers available in areas where large providers have established a firm foothold based on older rules.

Such as? And how likely is the market to actually solve them?

By eliminating barriers (like bureaucratic Title II required paperwork and reporting), you allow new and smaller companies to invest more back into their company. Burdens like these don't hurt Comcast or Verizon--they already have teams and teams of people to handle those hurdles. Smaller companies that just have 1 CFO and an engineer can't do this without hiring additional people or outsourcing the work, which reduces the amount of resources they are able to reinvest.

If you have any other questions, I direct you to just read the FCC's actual order.

/r/news Thread Parent Link - latimes.com