11 net neutrality principles from higher ed you may have missed

Higher education verbalizes why net neutrality is critical to higher education

net-neutrality-principlesThe threat to net neutrality is real, and no, it’s not just about how slow your Netflix movie could stream on a Sunday night. Net neutrality has generated a lot of buzz lately, but higher education wants to make clear—11 principles clear—that net neutrality has the power to radically alter education for better or for worse.

In case you missed it, this past January (2014) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit nixed the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) existing net-neutrality rules. In May, the FCC said it would propose new rules that could permit telecommunications companies to charge extra for high-speed delivery of content.

Those in favor of net neutrality (aka pretty much everyone except telecommunications companies) decried the proposal, saying that the new rules, if unchanged, could prove detrimental to everything from personal online streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, et cetera) to education and the ability to access the internet and its vast amount of resources.…Read More

Senate rejects GOP bid to overturn net-neutrality rules

The rules bar ISPs from favoring or discriminating against content that could compete with their core operations.

Senate Democrats on Nov. 10 turned back a Republican attempt to repeal federal rules designed to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against those who send content and other services over their networks.

Republicans argued that “net neutrality” rules announced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last December were another example of federal regulatory overreach that would stifle internet investment and innovation.

But Democrats, and the White House in a veto threat, said repealing the FCC rules would imperil openness and freedom on the internet.…Read More

Dutch lawmakers adopt net neutrality law

The Netherlands on Wednesday became the first country in Europe, and only the second in the world, to enshrine the concept of network neutrality into national law by banning its mobile telephone operators from blocking or charging consumers extra for using internet-based communications services like Skype or WhatsApp, a free text service, reports the New York Times. The measure, which was adopted with a broad majority in the lower house of the Dutch Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, will prevent KPN, the Dutch telecommunications market leader, and the Dutch units of Vodafone and T-Mobile, from blocking or charging for internet services…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Netflix CEO wades into net neutrality debates

Netflix, the DVD mail-order-company-turned-online-video-giant, is firing back at cable and telecom firms as it weighs in on an increasingly thorny debate over net neutrality, the Washington Post reports. In a blog Thursday, Netflix published a ranking of how internet service providers perform in delivering Netflix’s online streaming videos. Chartered gets highest marks for delivering videos at high speeds, therefore better resolution. Clearwire is ranked last in the United States (of course, Clearwire is a wireless firm, which isn’t exactly an apples to apple comparison). Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox rank high. And after reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a letter to shareholders that the practice by Internet service providers such as Comcast of charging networking firms such as Level 3 more to bring videos and other content to users is “inappropriate…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Verizon challenges new net-neutrality rules in court

Verizon's court challenge puts the idea of an open internet to the test.

In a case with important implications for schools as well as consumers, Verizon Communications Inc. on Jan. 20 filed a legal challenge to new federal regulations that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with internet traffic flowing over their networks.

In a filing in federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, Verizon argues that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in adopting the new “net neutrality” rules last month.

The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against certain types of internet content and services—including online calling services such as Skype and internet video services such as Netflix, which in many cases compete with services sold by companies like Verizon.…Read More

Comcast’s legal win raises questions for education

Approval of the Comcast-NBC Universal deal could have a lasting impact on schools and colleges.

Educators and students could see new internet service options after the federal government on Jan. 18 gave Comcast Corp., the country’s largest cable company, the green light to take over NBC Universal, home of the NBC television network, in a deal that is likely to shake up the internet landscape.

Public-interest groups, meanwhile, hope consumers won’t see new restrictions on content distribution as a result of the deal.

Comcast is buying a 51-percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets. The deal raises many questions, however, as public-interest groups have expressed concerns about what will happen to accessibility when one of the county’s largest suppliers of broadband pipeline joins forces with one of its largest suppliers of content.…Read More

Higher ed disappointed by net-neutrality ‘loopholes’

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has vocal critics on both sides of the net neutrality debate.

Rules meant to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against online content might not be the safeguard that schools and colleges were hoping for, as net-neutrality supporters believe the Federal Communication Commission’s new policy might lead to “bidding wars” that could leave smaller campuses without access to a high-speed web connection.

The FCC passed the rules, 3-2, with all three of the commission’s Democrats voting for the measure and both Republicans voting against it.

Republican opponents of net neutrality have long argued that the rules constitute unnecessary regulations for web providers and internet users.…Read More

FCC to vote on net neutrality rules

Many in higher education support Genachowski's push for net neutrality.

Net neutrality apparently isn’t dead after all: Federal regulators are moving ahead with a plan to prohibit phone and cable companies from blocking or discriminating against internet traffic flowing over their broadband networks, despite Republican opposition to the plan in Congress.

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will outline his proposal for so-called “net neutrality” rules in a speech on Dec. 1.

Despite Republican opposition, Genachowski plans to bring his proposal to a vote by the full commission before the end of the year; many observers thought this was unlikely to happen after Republicans seized control of the House in last month’s elections.…Read More

House Democrats punt on net neutrality

Net neutrality was the Obama administration's top campaign pledge to the technology industry and a major priority of the current FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski
Net neutrality was the Obama administration's top campaign pledge to the technology industry and a major priority of the current FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski

In the latest development in the fight over so-called “net neutrality” regulations, House Democrats have shelved a last-ditch effort to broker a compromise between phone, cable, and internet companies on rules that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or degrading online traffic flowing over their networks.

House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., abandoned the effort late on Sept. 29 in the face of Republican opposition to his proposed net-neutrality rules. Those rules were intended to prevent broadband providers from becoming online gatekeepers by playing favorites with traffic.

The battle over net neutrality has pitted public interest groups and internet companies such as Google Inc. and Skype against the nation’s big phone and cable companies, including AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and Comcast Corp.…Read More

FCC seeks input on rules for online services

Genachowski continues to push for a net neutrality plan despite resistance from some in the private sector.
Genachowski continues to push for a net neutrality plan despite resistance from some in the private sector.

In the latest twist in the Federal Communications Commission’s pursuit of “net neutrality” rules to prevent broadband providers from discriminating against certain types of traffic flowing over their lines, federal regulators are seeking public input on what rules should apply to wireless internet access and specialized services that aren’t part of the internet but are delivered over wired broadband connections.

The agency’s move comes a few weeks after Google Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. announced a proposal of their own that would allow the FCC to enforce net neutrality rules for wireline broadband traffic would but exempt wireless carriers.

The companies’ plan, which was not popular with public interest groups, also would leave room for broadband providers to charge extra to route traffic from so-called “premium services” over dedicated networks that are separate from the public internet.…Read More