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Net Neutrality

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)
January 16, 2014 | David Lazarus
Should the Internet be considered a public utility? How you answer that question will define what role you think federal regulators should play in ensuring that all content, from Netflix programs to Rush Limbaugh podcasts, receives equal treatment by the likes of Comcast and Verizon. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled this week that the Federal Communications Commission overreached when it laid down rules preventing network operators from assigning fast and slow lanes to content providers.
January 15, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
How unpopular has Facebook become among teenagers and young adults? So much so that even the president knows. President Obama recently sat down with a handful of young adults to talk about how the administration can get more 18-to-34-year-olds to sign for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. At the restaurant where they met was Atlantic writer Robinson Meyer, who was within earshot of the president's conversation with the group....
January 15, 2014 | By Jon Healey
The appeals court ruling Tuesday that rejected most of the Federal Communications Commission's "net neutrality" rules sent a fair number of Internet advocates into panic attacks. But the worst-case scenarios laid out in the media - consumers gouged, rival websites blocked, commercialization triumphant - are for the most part overblown. That's because the ruling was actually a victory for the methodical rule-making process conducted by former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (shown in an unflattering photo above)
January 15, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before getting ready for American Idol's return. The Skinny: Got caught up in "Gross Pointe Blank" last night. An underrated film! I love the shrink scenes with John Cusack and Alan Arkin. Anyway, Wednesday's roundup includes the latest on the Charter Communications-Time Warner Cable situation. Also, why Hollywood should pay attention to the net-neutrality ruling, plus Viacom's new Nickelodeon channel. Daily Dose: Discovery Communications has tapped JB Perrette as its new president of Discovery Networks International.
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.
January 14, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today's ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC's rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was " even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected," in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit thoroughly eviscerated the Federal Communications Commission's latest lame attempt to prevent Internet service providers from playing favorites among websites--awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee, for example, or slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates.
September 5, 2013 | By the Times Editorial Board
The battle over federal "net neutrality" rules resumes Monday when a federal appeals court takes up the challenge filed by one of the country's largest Internet service providers: Verizon. The phone company, which argues that the Federal Communication Commission's rules violate federal law and the Constitution, asserts that ISPs have a 1st Amendment right to edit or block the data flowing from websites to their customers. The company's stance is strange and self-contradictory, considering its long-standing efforts to be freed from liability for the "speech" that travels through its wires.
March 20, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell, who was seen as a free-market advocate and friend to the media industry and a foil to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, announced he is leaving the regulatory agency in the next few weeks. A Republican, McDowell has been at the FCC for almost seven years and was seen as a potential chairman if Mitt Romney had won the White House in November. McDowell did not say what his future plans are. McDowell often disagreed with Genachowski on how to best regulate the media industry.
August 25, 2012 | By Jon Healey
The Daily Caller, a right-of-center news outlet, offered this scoop Friday: The proposed Republican Party platform includes a call for "Internet freedom. " That may seem like endorsing motherhood and apple pie, but the meaning is much more elusive. That's because the definition of "Internet freedom" depends on whose freedom you're trying to preserve. The provision in the proposed Republican platform suggests the main threats to freedom come from government regulators and outdated rules that stop innovative telecommunications companies from rolling out new services and extending broadband to more parts of the country.
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