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Net Neutrality

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OPINION
December 22, 2010
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski layered compromise upon compromise to get the commission's approval Tuesday for a Net neutrality proposal that at least some major Internet and telecommunications companies can live with. Those compromises disappointed advocates of a strong rule, and they weren't enough to placate Republicans who oppose the very idea of regulating broadband providers. Nevertheless, the result is both workable and necessary. At issue is the control broadband providers such as AT&T and Comcast can wield over the content, services and applications that are available online.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before finding out why I'm not hosting the Emmys. The Skinny: It is never fun giving a cat medicine. Try giving your cat three different doses if you really want frustration. I'm pretty sure Skinny isn't enjoying it either. Today's roundup includes the weekend box office preview. Also, lots of debate over the FCC's proposed new Net neutrality rules, and Seth Meyers will host this year's Emmy Awards. Have a great weekend. Daily Dose: Aside from consumer groups and media watchdogs, Netflix has emerged as the most vocal opponent of Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
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OPINION
November 9, 2011 | By Jon Healey
The Senate is expected to decide as early as Wednesday whether to throw out the Federal Communication Commission's "net neutrality" rules before they go into effect Nov. 20. The stakes are high for the phone and cable companies that sell Internet access services, as well as the companies that offer content and services through the Internet. To get a grip on the issue, it's important to understand what prompted the FCC to act and what it's actually done. First, however, let's cover the basics.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Jon Healey
A common assumption underlying the Net neutrality debate is that broadband ISPs will impose tolls on content providers, and content providers will pass those costs on to consumers, if only the Federal Communications Commission lets them. Witness this passage from a piece in Friday's Los Angeles Times about the Net neutrality proposal being floated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: " 'It could create a tiered Internet where consumers either pay more for content and speed, or get left behind with fewer choices,' warned Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union.
BUSINESS
April 14, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
Here's an entry in my bizspeak-to-English dictionary: When executives in certain industries talk about needing to be rid of regulation so they can foster "better customer service," they're really talking about safeguarding their income. Case in point: the cable and telecommunications industry, and the concept of network neutrality. Net neutrality, broadly speaking, is the principle that any Internet service provider, such as your cable or phone company, should be largely blind to whatever data flow to your computer from the websites you access -- your service provider shouldn't interfere with your Web searches, say, by giving Google preferential routing (and thus faster speed to you)
NEWS
February 3, 2014 | By Jon Healey
This post has been corrected, as noted below. Entering the home stretch of his congressional career, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) is trying again to let the federal government regulate the Internet just enough to preserve the status quo. And this legislation is almost guaranteed to meet the same fate as his last bill on the topic back in 2010: It will run into a brick wall of GOP opposition. Waxman's proposal would overturn a recent appeals court ruling that barred the FCC from enforcing the "net neutrality" -- excuse me, "open Internet" -- rules it adopted (with its two Republican appointees dissenting)
OPINION
August 7, 2010
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's first major initiative — a proposal to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all legal Web traffic — is foundering. The chairman sought a compromise with opponents of the proposed "Net neutrality" rules, holding a series of talks with major Internet service providers and Web companies. But the commission halted the discussions Thursday as reports spread that Google and Verizon, which have been negotiating privately for almost a year, were about to propose their own, less regulatory framework for Net neutrality.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to his company's blog this week to call for the implementation of strong net neutrality rules. Hasting's blog post comes about two months after a federal appeals court disallowed government regulations that ensured equal access to the Internet for all users and companies. This concept of equal access to the Internet is known as net neutrality. "To ensure the Internet remains humanity's most important platform for progress, net neutrality must be defended and strengthened," Hastings wrote.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Jon Healey
A common assumption underlying the Net neutrality debate is that broadband ISPs will impose tolls on content providers, and content providers will pass those costs on to consumers, if only the Federal Communications Commission lets them. Witness this passage from a piece in Friday's Los Angeles Times about the Net neutrality proposal being floated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: " 'It could create a tiered Internet where consumers either pay more for content and speed, or get left behind with fewer choices,' warned Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union.
BUSINESS
January 14, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien, Salvador Rodriguez and Jim Puzzanghera
A federal appeals court swept aside government regulations designed to ensure equal access to the Internet, raising the prospects of higher fees for consumers and more barriers for start-ups seeking to compete online. The decision Tuesday could allow AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other Internet service providers to charge the likes of Netflix and YouTube more money to deliver movies and video to their customers. The ruling also throws into disarray the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to limit telecom and cable firms from discriminating against certain Internet traffic by slowing speeds, impeding access or raising fees.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The head of the Federal Communications Commission strongly defended his controversial net neutrality proposal, saying critics were "flat-out wrong" that he was reversing the agency's long-held stance that all Internet content should be treated equally. Facing intense criticism from public interest groups, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the proposed rules he would circulate to other commissioners Thursday would protect consumers in a way that could withstand legal scrutiny after a federal court tossed out two previous attempts by the agency to enact safeguards for Internet users.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Netflix Inc. and other Internet companies may soon be able to pay for a faster road online for streaming movies and other content into customers' homes, raising concerns about who ultimately may end up with the bill. The nation's top telecommunications regulator, breaking with his agency's long-standing position, will propose new rules that would allow broadband network owners to sell a high-speed toll road for content providers, the Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday.
BUSINESS
March 24, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
It was obviously a little soon for everyone to claim that February's deal between Netflix and Comcast, assuring the video streaming service more direct connections to Comcast's home customers, resolved the issues between them. Or does anyone think Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian people are now pals? Last week, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings fired a broadside at his supposed new partner over the issue of network neutrality, the principle that all services and content providers on the Internet should get equal access to an Internet service provider's customers.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to his company's blog this week to call for the implementation of strong net neutrality rules. Hasting's blog post comes about two months after a federal appeals court disallowed government regulations that ensured equal access to the Internet for all users and companies. This concept of equal access to the Internet is known as net neutrality. "To ensure the Internet remains humanity's most important platform for progress, net neutrality must be defended and strengthened," Hastings wrote.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Joe Flint
"Five wins and a very light power reese know" sounds more like gibberish than a weather forecast. But that was the closed captioning on a WeatherNation report last month. What the captioning was supposed to say was, "high winds and a very light, powdery snow. " Closed captioning is designed to help the deaf and hearing-impaired enjoy television. But the captions are often riddled with typos or incomplete sentences that leave viewers struggling to make sense of what's being said.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Dawn C. Chmielewski
WASHINGTON - Beaten back twice by the courts, the nation's top communications regulator will make a last-ditch attempt to craft rules aimed at ensuring the Internet remains open and free of interference from a rapidly consolidating broadband industry. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, moving quickly after a court tossed out most of the agency's so-called net neutrality rules last month, started a new effort Wednesday to recraft regulations that advocates say would form the cornerstone for future broadband and pay-TV service.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2006
Regarding "Phone firms' TV market bid may skip Congress," Nov. 28: "Net neutrality" is about whether we, the consumers, get to choose what we view and what speed of service we purchase, or whether AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., etc., get to decide this for us. Phone companies have to connect all phone calls. Period. If the business owner down the street pays a higher fee, he can get more services, but he can't purchase a clearer connection or the right to receive calls faster or at the expense of mine.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, This post has been updated as indicated below
Comcast Corp.'s $45.2-billion bid to acquire Time Warner Cable would expand the reach of the nation's largest residential Internet provider into one-third of America's broadband households. The digital land-grab is likely to serve as a rallying cry for those who advocate government regulation over broadband providers. As a result of the deal, Comcast would reach 30-million broadband customers out of 92-million U.S. households with high-speed Internet access. Its sheer size and market clout present an opportunity for the Federal Communications Commission to revisit its efforts to regulate broadband Internet access.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Reports are swirling around the media universe that Comcast is prepared to announce, as early as Thursday, a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable for north of $45 billion. The deal would combine the nation's biggest and second-biggest cable firms. Comcast, already No. 1 in subscribers, would end up with about 30 million video customers, a net gain of 8 million (following a reported commitment to divest 3 million subs). It would put that subscriber base together with its ownership of NBCUniversal -- the network, the film studio and several other cable channels.
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