US Presidential Candidates on Net Neutrality

With Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) having now endorsed his rival, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Jay Schwartzman of the Benton Foundation describes the two remaining US major-party presidential candidates’ positions on Net Neutrality:

The presumptive nominees have already staked out positions supporting (Hillary Clinton) and opposing (Donald Trump) network neutrality. A Trump-appointed FCC would presumably stop utilizing Title II powers and refrain from enforcing the network neutrality rules, but a formal recision of the FCC’s decision would take some time and would require some legal gymnastics. There is plenty of time to address that scenario if and when it happens.

Nonetheless, according to DSL Reports, even Mrs. Clinton continues to accept money from anti-Neutrality Internet providers such as AT&T:

AT&T’s Top Lobbyist Backs Hillary Clinton

Net Neutrality Now

Net Neutrality Now

Sky Broadband Latest UK ISP to Block Adult Sites

According to Wired UK, Sky Broadband is the latest UK Internet provider to block adult websites by default for new customers as well as for existing customers who haven’t yet elected to opt out. As the article notes, the plan includes some potential pitfalls:

[T]he first time a user goes to a restricted website, they will be invited to amend the filter settings, or turn it off altogether. However, only the account holder will have the ability to do this – not necessarily a hurdle for families, but potentially a problem in shared houses of adult occupants. Sky’s announcement does not specify what filters will be used to determine whether a site is “inappropriate” or not.

I thought it would be interesting to see how this blog is filtered in the UK, as determined by https://www.blocked.org.uk/ (image below)

Open Rights Group report on this blog

Open Rights Group report on this blog

More Reasons ISP’s Need Common Carrier Regulation

Today’s news offers two more examples of why the local ISP monopolies and duopolies in the US need to be regulated by the FCC as common carriers.

First, this is one of many recent legal cases where incumbent ISP’s have pressured state and local authorities to physically block access to potential competitors:

Frontier teams with AT&T to block Google Fiber access to utility poles

As we reported in February, AT&T sued the local government in Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky to stop a new ordinance designed to give Google Fiber and similar companies access to utility poles.

Next, Kate Murphy reports at Today Online about why American ISP’s are notorious for providing hideous customer support:

Why tech support is (purposely) unbearable

The most egregious offenders are companies like cable and mobile service providers, which typically have little competition and whose customers are bound by contracts or would be considerably inconvenienced if they cancelled their service. Not surprisingly, cable and mobile service providers are consistently ranked by consumers as providing the worst customer support.