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FCC votes 3-2 to reclassify broadband as a utility, sets new net neutrality rules

The new rules would allow the FCC to ban both fixed and mobile broadband companies from slowing down or outright blocking access to websites and online services. It would also ban the use of data "fast lanes" provided by ISPs to services like Netflix.

As expected, the 3-2 vote was along political party lines, with Democrat FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler voting in the affirmative, along with commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. Republican commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Ajit Pai voted against the new rules and changes. Even with this vote, the FCC's power to enforce these rules will almost certainly be challenged by broadband providers in court.

Source: The Verge

250 Comments
  • Yes! We won! There's been worldwide campaigns about this and I was involved in them myself.
  • We will blame people like you for all the obvious consequences to your blind support of these rules and control. This is yet another sad day for freedom.
  • I'm by no means on the OP's side, but enlighten me how so
  • For one, they didn't even release the rules for the public to see what's in it.  I think Mark Cuban talked about how it's going to **** everything up.  That's a pretty big reason IMO...
  • Some of you should follow your comments with in-text citations of the talking points your regurgitating verbatim. And a Works Cited page. Beck, Glen (2015)
    Hannity, Sean (2015)
  • Same for you guys.  8 pages of rules and we don't know what's in them.  That's a fact - google it.  Where are yours? 
  • I heard it was 300 pages. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • 332 pages not 8
  • Your comment is foolish and short sighted.  The idea of not agreeing with your stance, does not mean people are regurgitating so called Conservatives.  I would like to see your work-cited for why you think the FCC plan passing is so great.  The fact that it took small leaks to even get some of the information out of this plan before the vote should tell you they were hiding things.  I am a supporter of true Net Neutrality and I even agree with transitioning to a Title II.  I do not agree with many of the extra tools and broad language that will be miss used by Government to tax consumers more, either directly or in-directly.  Nor do I agree with over regulating the service.  All that was needed was to ensure that favoritism did not occur on the part ISP to specific business preventing any future growth from smaller companies.  They needed to ensure a level playing field, but they did not need the extra garbage. 
  • Today Microsoft released a statement: "We applaud the FCC’s decision to preserve the fundamentally open nature of the Internet and look forward to reading the Order and rules." Which can be reduced to: "We look forward to reading the Order and rules." So what they are saying is they fully support it, but have no idea what they support. We have seen this before with the ACA when Pelosi said "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" If this rule change was only about making sure that the small guy has the ability to compete with companies like Netflix and not be forced to pay for access, then they would have no problem releasing the order. Instead it is quietly hidden from public view and we will not know what it is really about until we start feeling the effects of it. And how are Comcast, TW, et al supposed to abide by the rules if they have never seen it? This is now "law" (although it was never voted upon like a law is required to be) but the ISPs do not know know what they are supposed to do since no one except for 5 people on the FCC board (and I assume Obama, his surrogates and his big donors) knows what is in the order. Hey Comcast, you are in violation of the law, but we are not goign to tell what part of it you are in violation of. I have no love for Comcast, but when we have no what our government is doing and does all they can to hide from us something so simple as regulating the Internet, it does not look good.  
  • Well said!
  • Obama's team wrote this junk. Damn pigs; Oink, Oink!!!
  • Ok, so if I am for net neutrality and say that it will make everything better. You would then be in favour of it.
     
  • No. I would be in favor of it because I understand the concept, the development of both the idea and the term, understand historical determinism and history itself and the events which, time and time again, remind me that unfettered corporate control is outright dangerous to...wait for it...wait for it...freedom!
  • Corporate control?  Why aren't you afraid of Government control?  History should tell you should be more afraid of that.
  • Bingo.
  • Governments are usually controlled by evil corporations through lobbyists. It's just a darker side to corporate control, which by the way, I'm fine with. If the government can't even balance their budgets, how can they regulate the internet?
  • I agree, but that's only the case here in America in this day in age, but itsn't the case everywhere like china and countless other countries. The Government isn't too conserned about balancing a budget, so why would they be conserned with over regulation.  The NSA/Government has already shown they don't give 2 shits about our privacy.  I'm not saying corporations care much more than the government either.  I think there is a better way to get this done and there are a few in the government that aren't in bed with corporite lobyists.  We need to vote more of them in.
  • Perhaps China isn’t as evil as the American press advertises. But as I understand, china is the exact opposite, where the government controls the corporations.
  • Those afraid of the government vs corporation...At least, the government, we can vote them out, at least here in America, not much in China. And yes, the fact that ISP can't no longer slow and do whatever they want with the internet is a good thing...We might not see it now, and if it not working we the people can tell government to change it.
  • Lol yes vote then out and vote the same people that we voted out. Not much of a democracy even though we aren't a democracy but a Republic and that's a difference. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The only thing worse than politicians is people who think they have the power to vote them out.  
  • Where did you directly vote for the members of the FCC ? Government Elites using bureaucrats to control the people Didn't know it took 332 pages to say to can't slow people internet speed
  • kevC4D - Governments are usually controlled by evil corporations through lobbyists.
    So true! The list on your side is endless. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hitler, Genghis Kahn. They were all innocent victims of corporate leaders who forced them to do what they did. It was the corporations that opened the camps for poor old Adolf. Man did he get a bum rap.  Sorry, I meant to say EVIL corporations...
  • Do I have the fubd as an individual to take big bussiness to court on their unfettered control? Nope, but hey, they have the deep wallet to challenge those standing in the gap for me. Why should the likes of AT&T throttle my data band withdth and call it unlimited for me? Why should I be at the bottom of the data band width pile because THEY deemed big companies like them and the selct few rich as "Fast Lane" enterprise. Why should these carriers block certain websites and services out of reach for me because they were unable to exploit them more. Let the Carriers charge as they see fit, competition will fix them. Corporate should have the freedom to stick it to the little guy but nobody to help stick it to the corporation. Look at the voting, right down party line. does that mean the democrats don't have businesses?  
  • nobody says I'm not. I'm just not so blinded by ideology that I place one over the other. If the appropriate checks aren't in place for the government I'll support that whole democracy thing that we do in our country and work to get folks who would appoint folks who CAN check the government's power into office.
  • Everybody wants the internet to be free and open.  It is one of the last bastions of true freedom for society, yet supporters of this rule just jumped for joy that the federal government is now regulating the internet.  Think about that for a minute.  If you think it is going to be sunshine and roses, dream on.  In addition, there are 317 pages to this rule.  What is being passed with the rule?  Hardly anybody knows.  Only a select few saw all the regulation (supposedly Google was given a sneak peak yesterday to give their biased input).   With that said, the designation of "utility" means taxes, a butt load of taxes.  Find me one utility who isn't.  And who do you think is going to pay for these new taxes?  It may not be today, tomorrow, or next year but you can bet it will happen in the near future.  Almost everything the federal government touches turns to a bloated, expensive, slow-moving catastrophe.
  • The simple fact is that the fact this has been an issue means that we already lost.  Fact of the matter is that nither the ISPs nor the government are good fair judges when it comes to what broadband is, or how to get it out there. The way that I see it is that regulation will (directly or otherwise) bring a nice fat government pipeline into every ISP as a way to harvest data that would be much more difficult to obtain otherwise.  Regulation will also mean a slower and more expensive roll-out of faster services across the board. However, regulation also means more consumer protections.  It means that people stuck on dial-up and sub 5mbps conections will have access to much faster access to internet on a much faster time table than they otherwise would.  This is super important for people who live in rural areas which are quickly starting to look more and more like 3rd world countries as everything gets connected.  I mean, how do you deal with things like nationalized healthcare (or other important online services) without access to a decent internet connection?  It also means that there is a possibility for flat-fee conneciton charges similar to what we have with phone lines where ISPs can only carge $x for a conneciton rather than charging absolutely astronomical ammounts like they often do today.  Lastly, it means that a lot of the customer service crap that happens (like the comcast customer retnetion phonecalls that have been so popular lately) will soon become a thing of the past.   Don't get me wrong, both sides are evil and we as consumers/citizens have absolutely lost this war.  But in this one rare case the government is not just less evil than the ISPs... they are a lot less evil, and this is the best thing that has happened in government regulation in a very long time.
  • 317 pages now. Anyone with common sense that number grows to tens of thousands of pages of rules and regs in years to come. I can't believe people blindly believe this will be great and blindly trust the damn government with a chance at more power. Its like they know nothing of history
  •   The FCC Net Neutrality document contains 8 pages of rules. 79 pages of citations from the existing Telecommunications Act and about 245 pages that reprint comments received from the internet about Net Neutrality. (http://www.nationaljournal.com...et-neutrality-plan-20150210)
  • You left off the part on the 245 pages also contain unoffical rules
  • By the standard of history, you should know that there is no freedom and there never was; free peoples simply cannot be governed or dominated.
  • Will you come back here and apologize if three years from now the internet is still the same with no changes whatsoever and you can stream Netflix with no throttling?
  • Monopolies need to be regulated. No point saying freedom - monopolies restrict consumers' freedom (we are left with fewer choices). Regulation is good...and needed.
  • Regulation is good? On what planet? Does it concern you at all that ATT and Verizon supported this? Follow the money.
  • Uhh please show me where you read with facts, that Verizon and att supported this vote? ATT Verizon Comcast and Time Warner are the among the top companies AGAINST this. There is not doubt there will be unforeseen consequences but this is just the beginning of a long fight and revising the rules. Be real, how long before Netflix was being charged by an ISP for the 'fast lane' and then us the customers got a price increase from Netflix. I've just accepted that its a lose-lose situation.
  • Christ, ONLY in America could people see regulation as a bad thing.  Your corporations have so successfully brainwashed almost the entire populace that any and all attempts to curtail their monopolistic, predatory and flat out dishnoest practices is anti-consumer.  They have you guys so utterly controlled that you consistently vote against your own self interests and that of your fellow man, and FOR the interests of corporations and their greedy inhumane desires. All you idiots have to do is look at what led to the recent GFC.  Seriously.  It should take you less than five minutes to see that it was the constant deregulation of the financial industrial complex that led to the events that almost economically destroyed America.  Countries that regulated what the banks can do sat out the GFC with little trouble and only minimal impact. Its the same with telcos.  The more power they get from supposedly 'good for the consumer' dereguation, the more they abuse that power and engage in screwing over the consumer even more. When was the last time you heard about an essential public service being sold off/privatized and the result was that quality of service went up, cost of service went down?  Because thats what they ALWAYS claim, but for some reason it never actually happens.  Funny that. In the fullness of time the actual rules will be known, and its ONLY THEN that anyone can determine of this re-regulation is going to be good for consumers or not.
  • Maybe we should have seen the rules before they were voted upon? No, that would be silly... you need to pass the rules before you get to see the rules.
  • This.
  • Please get educated. Start with US history in regards to the steel industry, oil, the railroads, etc.
  • 1. Monopolies are BY DEFINITION regulated, as they are *created* by government. The post office is a prime example. 2. There is no such thing as a monopoly in internet service providers. There are literally THOUSANDS of providers, which means competition and lots of it.
  • Right, the Government created Standard Oil and US Steel....../s
  • Absolute, 100% monoplies can be created by government, true. But virtual monoplies certainly exist that are not created but government. I challenge anyone to argue that there is any meaningful alternative to Comcast/Time Warner in most parts of the US (ok FiOS in very limited markets). When you have this kind of virtual monopoly, you get the worst of both worlds: no real competition to reward good behavior towards consumers and punish the bad, and little regulation from government to force good behavior either. Until now, individuals haven't had any power to make Comcast shape up either as consumers or as voters. Honestly, my preferences in this area, as in many others, would be: Lots of competition, with just a little regulation to keep things honest Little choice but heavy regulation No choice, no regulation, the virtual monopoly dictates all terms and does what it feels like We've been at #3. I'll take #2 over that any day.
  • MBY - "I challenge anyone to argue that there is any meaningful alternative to Comcast/Time Warner in most parts of the US (ok FiOS in very limited markets)."
    Do you know why FiOS, which I have, is in very limited markets? A little thing called government regulation. In my neck of the woods the places that don't have FiOS are without it because those towns/counties/states had so many regulations and so much paperwork and so many committees to oversee it all that Verizon choose to not bother. I live in a town, not a city, and we have two major ISP's, and all four major mobile providers have high speed LTE available. So we have plenty of choice. Those without the choice don't have it because their city/county/state governments place too many burdens on competitors to bother setting up shop and competing there. And you want MORE government regulation?  ... Finally, look at ACA. Obama has granted lots and lots of exceptions, almost all of which went to friends of his and the Democratic Party. What is going to stop them from doing the same to friends who provide internet access?
  • Thousands of ISPs... and yet exactly one, the local cableco, can provide anything approaching "broadband" speed at my house. Yeah, no monopoly there.
  • "1. Monopolies are BY DEFINITION regulated, as they are *created* by government. The post office is a prime example." Please expand upon this idea of yours.  I'm dying to know your definition of the word monopoly.  Governments *can* create monopolies in some instances, but to say that every monopoly is created by government is beyond absurd. How is the post office a good example of a monopoly considering that UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc all exist?
  • In most locations the cable, telephone, and in many cases internet (when delivered through cable and telephone providers) providers are controlled by the government. They grant who can hang wires on a telephone pole and which cable companies are permitted in an area through franchise deals. I live in a Seattle suburb, and the Seattle city council has 10 year deals with Comcast that usually excludes other carriers. I used to live in a house that was part of Seattle. About a block away someone I knew lived in unincorporated King county. They had a choice between Comcast, Charter, and Qwest (it was named something else back then). I was only allowed to have Comcast. It is like your power and gas companies - they are owned by one company and permitted to do buisness in an area. Unless you do something like operate a wood burning stove or have heating oil delivered, you are not permitted a choice in which power and gas company you deal with. The local government can pull their license, and until they do that company has a monopoly.
  • The risk which troubles me most here is the likelihood that dispensation power will be used to create a number of exceptions to regulations.  Those dispensations will create an unequal regulatory playing field.  The entities most likely to obtain those exclusions will be the industry players with the most market power.  Large companies in any business sector dislike the cost of regulation as a general principle, but they have all learned that a big bank account buys access and accommodation.  There are already structural barriers to entry that make it difficult to start a competing broadband provider.  This outcome is likely to exacerbate the problem, not fix it.  My expectation is that a most consumers will pay more so that a small portion of the population receives slightly faster internet connections.  The growing reach of wireless would have provided one solution to this issue as a natural market spread, without creating the risk of more privacy violations by government, raising costs associated with regulatory requirements and the like. A second concern is that there is not a single market that can be described for the entire United States.  Monopoly is the wrong term in many areas.  Oligopoly maybe, but a blunderbuss is the wrong approach.  For example, in my neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, I can get internet access from AT&T Uverse, Time Warner Cable,  DSL through a reseller of wholesale network access, or a 4G LTE wireless provider (Verizon and AT&T both have LTE here).  It wasn't always that way, but the access is growing, not shrinking.  I concede that options are fewer for smaller population density areas, including rural areas.  However, I don't think the creeping hand of government regulation over internet access will prove to be beneficial to innovation in the long term. I also worry that the discussion of "net neutrality" means different things to different people, and is viewed in different ways by the tech-enthusiast set and the general population.  If you ask the average person if they want Time Warner to mess with their Netflix video stream because it competes with the cable company's pay per view business and TV offerings, most will say no way!  I pay for that internet!  And from there the debate spreads in a variety of directions, depending, in no small part, on where you are.  For me, I can tell Time Warner to bite me and go elsewhere.  A competitor that promised not to favor traffic would win business if that sort of traffic discrimination became a widespread practice.  But it is inescapable that, eventually, the market would set a price where you could get your Netflix stream without interference by your ISP. The big players are already shaping the playing field to their advantage.  I have read that Google, Verizon and AT&T weighed in early and often.  I see consumers being the ultimate loosers here, and they will have even less recourse than they do today, if their treatment is now government sanctioned treatment. I leave with this question:  can you think of three examples where the government regulated an entire industry and then substantially relinquised regulatory oversight solely because it determined regulation was no longer needed?  I don't know what will come of this (other than massive litigation and uncertainty for years), but I do not think that we will receive the form of "net neutrality" that we say we want.
  • Agreed Paul. And who will people like Daniel be blaming other than himself when the consequences come? That'll be fun to watch
  • I have seen the fights and stood by them. I've supported the idea that the Internet needs to be without these priority fast lanes. And the fact that different lane speeds can affect users around the world (as Windows Central is an American website for example) means that action had to be taken to stop these fast/slow lanes. The thing is, I was very limited in what I could do as I'm English not American, and I live in England not America. I didn't exactly help win this fight, since the actions of a lone Englishman (whom by proxy is inferior to the Americans in every single way as the rhetoric always suggests) are meaningless, but yet when it goes wrong it'll be other countries like England that inevitably receive the blame.
  • The fact this hurts you pleases me greatly.  You see, I actually know what this means. I do not need talking heads to stir me up one way or the other. All this does is keep the internet the way it is today. It is really not that hard to understand.  Let me make it simple for you. Concentrate on the word, "neutrality". 
  • Yes, neutrality... in the same way the affordable care act is affordable. So gullible.
  • Oh yes, I could very well be gullible. I freely admit that. I could very well be wrong. I am open to that. I do not profess to know the future.  The joke is, you do not even consider the possibility that you may be the gullible one. That you may be the one that is wrong.  What does that tell you? Nah, do not answer that. I forgot, the chances of you being totally wrong here is zero.  Carry on with your postings. 
  • Go back in time and get cancer then see what your bill is. Then get back into your time machine and come back to the future and do the same. Which is more affordable? Who am I kidding, I bet you won't even try to use a time machine because you're so stubborn.
  • No, you clearly don't.
  • Exactly, the internet should not be controlled by anything. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Fuck ACS (american coporate socialism)!
  • Except this is how the the web has been running up until last year and there haven't been any consequences yet. These regulations haven't stopped the cellular carriers from upgrading their infrastructure and I doubt it will have any effect on the telephone and cable companies. The only negative effect I see is that they may impose throttling on the user who have high usage the same way the cellular carrier do. 
  • Care to elaborate?
  • No blame Comcast (which agreed to net neutrality to purchase NBC), ATT, Verizon and Time Warner. They're the ones that agreed to net neutrality verbally and then back tracked. If they wouldn't have gotten greedy and showed some integrity by honoring their word we wouldn't have needed this law. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Do you even know what you "won"? No because they didn't want to tell you because they found a loophole into regulating something that not only didn't need regulation but that they also already had means to balance any problems via antitrust laws, etc. Put 2+2 together and figure out why members from our government, facebook, google, etc have been having meetings with the Chinese over how to restrict the internet as well as they do, why they're bringing in bodies like the FEC, and why the majority democrat body of the FCC was having secret meetings with representives working for human pieces of scum like George Soros - who probably bank-rolled whatever phony grassroots organization you fell for. This is going to restrict aad collapse anyone NOT Comcast, Verizon, etc the exact same way the "Affordable" Care Act smothered out any small insurer, hospital, or care provider that couldn't afford "compliance and is not only made healthcare expensive overall but is steadily making the quality of it worse. Wheeler himself - who let me remind you got his FCC job after being a LOBBYIST for the same industry, said the big ISP's are still going to get their cake and eat it too. You think there was a reason why that weasel avoided testifying yesterday? It may not be immediate but if you do have a brain and a conscience, pay attention to this situation for the next year or 2 and then particularly pay attention to the slippery slopes it's going to create. This goes hand-in-hand with all the other talk of eroding every one of your civil rights
  • No Doubt you are right and then some. Don't people even wonder why Google was privy to the 300 plus pages of the new regs and it was even modified at their request while us peons have to 'wait' to see what's in it. 'Net Neutrality' is the same as Affordable Care Act' in that they are the exact opposite of what they are being sold as. My insurance cost has doubled and out of pocket has too in the last three years so I fully expect broadband speeds to stagnate and rates to skyrocket just give it five years to see. Then expect to have to get a permit to blog or start a website.
  • Oh we are sooo screwed, the FCC has kept the internet way it is now.  Do you people even think for yourselves or just regurgitate things you heard from conservative talking heads.  Very disappointing. 
  • It's funny that on the internet every other person claims that their health care costs have "doubled in the past three years" or similar, but in the real world I can't find a single person that has experienced this (unless they changed jobs or added family members to their policy).  Also, actual data shows that for the first time in decades the cost of health care has been fairly steady.  It's almost like people on the internet just repeat this because they feel like it is probably true for someone, it makes their argument sound good, and it can't be verified.  Even more ammusing is that this has been going on since ObamaCare was passed even though it didn't even begin to take effect until 2+ years later.
  • Cleavitt76 - Even more ammusing is that this has been going on since ObamaCare was passed even though it didn't even begin to take effect until 2+ years later.
    Do you remember when the government mandated that certain TV stations switch over to HD? Do you think the cost to switch to HD didn't kick in until the day they had to begin broadcasting in it? Do you think that's how things work? Those stations had to spend lots of money to switch over BEFORE the regulations kicked in. With ACA, insurance companies and healthcare providers had to ratchet up expenses well BEFORE the ACA kicked in, years before. It takes a long time for all those changes to be made. Heck, after hundreds of million of dollars, the governments own website wasn't ready!
  • @PBarrette,  I work in the industry and my job for the past 5 years has been, along with other things, to implement processes to comply with ObamaCare.  I'm probably more informed about this topic than 99.99% of the population.  The upfront costs to comply with ACA have been minimal in the grand scheme of things.  For my company it was ~0.2% of total expenses over about 3 years.
  • Cleavitt76 - I work in the industry and my job for the past 5 years has been, along with other things, to implement processes to comply with ObamaCare.
    Interesting. I too work in the industry. In IT, and more specifically in the financials area. The dollars flow through my systems. The healthcare system I work for has spent millions putting in new systems due in large part to ACA. Rather than modify what we had we upgraded to all new. And it has been very, very expensive. We just had layoffs to try and help manage the costs.
  • Sorry to hear about the layoffs.  My hospital recently got bought out by a large health system and we are facing layoffs as well.  As an independent hospital we had not turned a profit in about 15 years.  However, the new corp. are plenty profitable so that isn't the cause for the layoffs.    ACA has created some projects, but the vast majority of our new implementation/upgrade projects have been related to ARRA and "meaningful use" which is a totally different beast.  Honestly though, as someone that works in the Healthcare IT industry you probably know what I'm talking about when I say that much of these system upgrades were long overdue.  At least in my hospital, many of our systems were 20+ years old and things like electronic MARs and bedside barcode scanning for medications had not been implemented.  We spent well over 10 million on all these projects over the past 5 years (for ARRA compliance mostly, not ACA/ObamaCare), but it was money that should probably have been invested 10 years earlier.  In the grant scheme of things though, 10 million dollars is a drop in the bucket for even a mid-sized hospital when spread out over 3 to 5 years.
  • The only people I know that don't realize how much its gone up have someone else paying for it, work for the Govt or possibly a large corporation that is self funded, or have it subsidized by people like me.  So which one are you? If I had to guess you would probably be one still be on your dads policy just because your insinuation is so immature.  I work for a small company and Obamacare is killing us and thats a fact.  Every single employees insurance has gone up dramatically in the last couple of years. (and it was supposed to go down $2,500 remember)  anyway the insurance companies did start raising rates in anticipation of Obamacare and because of the uncertainty the cost to my company for my insurance for a family of 5 went from $11,000 per year to over $28,000 with the same deductibles (and one less person) so now my deductibles have doubled so it would drop to a little over $24,000. I couldn't care less if you believed me as you obviously are one of those low information voters suffering from cognitive dissonance and the truth only confuses you.   
  • I am not a low information voter and I'm not on my "dads policy."  I have insurance through my employer which is a mid-sized company with fairly standard insurance options.  I earn far too much money to get any subsidy from ObamaCare.  I also happen to work in the health care industry (in a hospital as an IT professional) so I am well aware of exactly how things work in the industry, what the problems are, and how ObamaCare/ACA relates to those things. I will concede that it's not fair of me to accuse you of making up or exagerating the cost of your healthcare.  There is so much misinformation about ObamaCare that it's become very common to here people talking about it in ways that just don't add up and I assumed that was the case here.  However, if you understand what ObamaCare actually is, then you will know that it doesn't make a lot of sense for your insurance to have increased strictly due to ObamaCare.  Insurance company greed or your employer reacting in an irrational way is far more likely.  That is where your anger should be directed.  I can also say that prior to the ObamaCare regulations there were quite a few "insurance plans" that were practically scams.  They were slightly less expensive then the average insurance, but they paid for almost nothing and had lots of ways to disqualify the patient completely if they ever got really sick.  I witnessed the end results of this quite a few times (prior to my work in IT) and it is heartbreaking. Having worked in the industry for more than 20 years it is obvious that the reason that US health care is so overpriced (it's shameful) is because we have private for profit insurance companies siphoning huge amounts of money from the market and then doing everything they can to avoid actually paying for health care when you get sick.  ObamaCare is basically just a collection of regulations that limit the health insurance companies ability to screw over the consumer.  These regulations were long overdue to be honest and they were first suggested by Republicans in the mid 90's which is ironic.  There are other goals such as incentives and tax penalties to encourage people and employers to get insurance if they exceed a certain income or number of employees, but most of ObamaCare is about restricting the abuses of the health insurance companies (which I have zero sympathy for).  You should know that for every story like yours (that is actually true) there are probably hundreds with the opposite experience.  I can name several off the top of my head.  My co-worker who has never been able to get insurance as an adult until now because she was born with a heart defect.  My own mother who is self employed could not get affordable insurance because of her age, but is now able to get reasonably priced insurance through the federal health exchange (non subsidized) just to name a couple examples. BTW: I just spent about 2 minutes on the Healthcare.gov federal health exchange website and there are several plans for a family of 5 (2 parents age 45, 3 kids ages 12, 16, and 20) in my state at around $12,000 per year + $0 deductable.  This is for a "gold level" plan without any subsidy.  That is inline with your pre-ObamaCare plan of $11,000 from a few years ago.  I really have no idea how your company managed to find a plan that costs twice that.  Maybe you should consider dropping your employer sponsored insurance plan because even if they are kicking in part of the cost it still sounds like a rip off.  
  • Cleavitt76 - BTW: I just spent about 2 minutes on the Healthcare.gov federal health exchange website and there are several plans for a family of 5 (2 parents age 45, 3 kids ages 12, 16, and 20) in my state at around $12,000 per year + $0 deductable.
    How about a screenshot of that. In my state it's$7,200 for somewhat crappy coverage for a single adult.
  • Screenshot at link below.  There were a total of 9 plans with similar total costs but differing in the ratio of premium to deductable.  This is based on $100,000 annual income and 5 family members covered.  Young people tend to be very healthy so it is less expensive than 5 individual adult plans. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=419D70F9AB028CEC!141825&authkey=!AARUzVlqV5P6gkQ&v=3&ithint=photo%2cPNG BTW: The average cost of health insurance in the US was ~$7,200 per person in about 2006.  See random graph below.  This is exactly what I'm talking about.  You are complaining about ObamaCare causing insurance costs to skyrocket, yet the prices you are currently paying are 2006 prices.  If I had to guess, your employment situation has changed and the employer is simply paying much less towards your insurance than previous.  In other words, your employer benifits suck compared to what they used to be.  Employers with "good" health benefits pay on average around 80% of the employees monthly premium leaving around 20% for the employee, but it varies quite a bit and most people only focus on their pay rate when searching for a job. While you are looking at that graph, it's also worth mentioning that all of those countries that are spending 25 - 50% of what we are spending per person have better overall health outcomes than we do.  We are ranked between #30 and #50 in the world depending on the source even though we spend more than any other country by far.  Unfortunately, this has been the case for decades and I find it quite depressing since this is the industry I work in.  It is undeniable that our system is badly broken and horribly inefficient, but claiming that all of this started because of ObamaCare is not backed by data. http://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/health-spending.jpg
  • I had a somewhat lengthy reply for you, but the bottom line is we're off topic. So I'll just say I don't doubt your sincerity, and I'm sure there is much upon which we agree. But on this FCC ruling, I don't see how anybody can be happy until they read the d@mn rules/laws that were just passed.
  • Agreed and fair enough.  We'll see how it plays out with the FCC thing.
  • Frank pik,
    Respectively, could you please go back and correct your typos. There are a few that confuse what is being said and I want to try to hear your points.
    Best wishes.
  • Worldwide campaign to impose US regulations. Read that again... He's actually making a point to have UN control of the internet. Get ready for taxes and fairness as dictated by those in power.
  • One of the saddest things about this is that you think it's good, but no one except the unelected bureaucrats that passed this even know what's in it. You're blindly celebrating government takeover of the internet. If that's a win, I don't want to win.
  • Will you come back here and apologize if three years from now the internet is still the same with no changes whatsoever and you can stream Netflix with no throttling?
  • The outcome is guaranteed. The length of time until it becomes highly detrimental depends on who is in control of government. Many were warning about the dangers of too much power to the government from the Patriot Act, etc. This was dismissed in much the same way. When all hell broke loose against G.W. Bush for warrantless wiretaps between a few dozen known terrorist sympathizers and people in the USA, it was claimed that this proved that the checks and balances in government and the news media prevented excessive abuse. All it took was a change of those in power to go from a few warrantless wiretaps being an outrage, to having total surveillance of everything about every American being a reality and more or less accepted. When those who influence public opinion hold one group of people accountable but look the other way when it comes to the actions of others, things will get bad. This is why we shouldn't enable excessive power and control to government. This is why our constitution spells out limited government.
  • A simple yes or no would have been fine. 
  • Fools. 300 pages now, 10,000 later. Government now has the foot in the door it wanted. Congrats.
  • Three groups "won" today. 1. Lobbyists - Instead of competing in an open market, you'll need more lobbyists than the competition to become and stay the biggest internet provider. 2. Big Companies - Regulations always start with the best intensions, but quickly become a WA to limit the competition and raise the costs of entry into your industry. 3. Politicians - Now the internet giants will have to come groveling to them for favor. Oh, and brings lots of campaign dollars. Losers - Everyone else Daniel Ratcliffe is in either group 1, 2, or 3. Or doesn't see how big government regulations work.
  • Daniel - I am sorry to say that we did not win.  Although I also support Net Neutrality and even the classification change made, I have read releases of portions of this plan the FCC approved today.  I tell you know it is not Net Neutrally in the sense of what has been argued for across the World.  The only thing the FCC needed to do was the reclassification to prevent fast lane nonsense.  However, they chose to add other broad language that leaves giant wholes for Government and even Big Business to take advantage of consumers.  We did not win, we have been fooled by idiocy when in reality all they had to do was keep it open, instead they made blind gestures.  Only time will really tell what this will do to innovation in regards to Internet and sub parts.
  • Happy I got me a new tin foil hat today...haint no one taken away ma denim...Alaska Bush People ftw..
  • Lets just hope this doesn't create a whole new form of taxes and regulation of content.
  • The government is involved. What do you think that means?
  • LOL yeah duh of course it's more taxes.
  • It's also the first step to charging those who do pay, a bit extra, as a way to subsidize the costs for others. Reclassification as a utility was needed to accomplish this goal without getting approval from Congress.
  • If they could figure out a way to get good bandwidth to rural areas, without a big tax, I'd be happy. This 1.3Mbps DSL out in the country is terrible. Lol. That or pay $50/month for basically 4G/LTE setups that are barely faster. I take my 60Mbps bandwidth for granted while my parents suffer. XD
  • We receive 0.8Mbp/s in our village location in the UK. This isn't even a remote part of the country either - it's 4 miles from a major road, & 2 miles from 2 v.sizeable towns :).
    So, you're not alone in having abysmal speeds in the countryside! Fortunately, 0.8 is just quick enough to bag me 'Better Call Saul' each Tuesday on Netflix :)
  • Lol! In London I'm getting a good run of speed but on the south coast it is awful! I'm forced to have a tech free weekend away, listen to the birds and all that... This is an interesting bind, our American cousins find themselves in, and I don't doubt the appeal is already being written. I hope Cameron is watching better call Saul and not paying any attention...
  • The most annoying thing about the lack of broadband horsepower is that I can't make use of my unlimited OneDrive! It's taken since Christmas to upload 30 gigs! Haha
    As for the new law in the US...I'm not sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Laws relating to the internet tend to be a bad thing - but then again, if it prevents particular companies from buying all the bandwidth at the expense of others, then it may just be a positive!
    I'm glad to be a Brit. We don't need to worry about discussing such laws: GCHQ do all the surreptitious stuff without our knowledge....so we can all live in ignorant bliss :)
  • The thrust of these new regs was to benefit primarily one or two companies, at the expense of most others. Google(YouTube) and Netflix. Those two companies consume over half of all bandwidth in north America. When their traffic begins to slow commerce and transactions to other companies, the ISPs had the ability to slow movie, video and porn bandwidth which freed up enough bandwidth to reduce the negative impact on other businesses. This affects the resolution and image quality of streaming videos somewhat, but it kept things working for everyone else on the internet. Netflix could pay the isp to guarantee bandwidth with money going towards additional infrastructure. The new regs ban any extra fees or preferences. Netflix is now free to stream everything at 4k with no consequences to them. If their excessive bandwidth causes massive problems for all other businesses, there is no longer anything an ISP can do as an immediate fix. It will all go through the government bureaucracy. No incentive for investment in infrastructure if its use is dictated by the government.
  • And consumers cost will go up to pay for it. You want 4K then either you would pay Netflix or your ISP. Now I think we will all suffer the buffer.
  • Wait, you're getting Better Call Saul on Netflix in the UK?! No fair!