This is the FCC a-hole who will go down in history as the person who killed the net! Can you spell yuppie?

Networking Pipeline – March 22, 2006:

FCC Chief Kevin Martin yesterday gave his support to AT&T and other telcos who want to be able to limit bandwidth to sites like Google, unless those sites pay extortion fees. Martin made it clear in a speech yesterday that he supports such a a “tiered” Internet.

Martin told attendees at the TelecomNext show that telcos should be allowed to charge web sites whatever they want if those sites want adequate bandwidth.

He threw in his lot with AT&T, Verizon, and the other telcos, who are no doubt salivating at the prospect at charging whatever the market can bear.

John has written about this issue in his PC Magazine columns:

You buy the 1.5-Mbps link, it costs a fixed amount. You actually want to use it, it costs more. How about putting a server on it? Nope, you have to pay extra. Can you make a VoIP Skype call? No way, costs more. So you’re not getting a real 1.5-Mbps line at all—you’re getting scammed, in fact.

His pipes? What an egotist. This is so silly it’s ridiculous. It’s wrong on so many levels. Hey Whitacre, take your pipes and close them off. We’ll go with Comcast, or Covad, or independent Wi-Fi. When did you become a gatekeeper? Isn’t the fee people pay for your lackluster connectivity enough for you? In Sweden you get 30 Mbps and IPTV! Here we get 750 Kbps—maybe.

  1. Kent Goldings says:

    What a great country we live in. We can always be thankful that goverment agencies are looking out for our rights.

  2. Don says:

    Why doesn’t the government just put itself on the block to be actioned off to the highest bidder. Oh, wait. It already has.
    The manta used to be, what would you rather have: Big government or big business. Surprise! It doesn’t matter. Neither of them give a damn about anything except sucking up as much money they possibly can.

  3. SN says:

    “you have a right to internet access?”

    I think you have a right to what you pay for. Thus, if you pay for a 1.5Mbps service you should get a 1.5Mbps service. What the FCC is saying is that you have to pay for your 1.5 service, but the ISP has the right to provide a less than “adequate bandwidth.” What does that mean to pay for 1.5 but get less than 1.5?!

    If ISPs want to tier their service, that’s fine. But to make us pay for bandwidth and throttle it back should be illegal.

  4. SN says:

    Re. 5. I hope you’re right. But what if it does become policy?!

  5. JSFORBES says:

    Who wants to bet this guy gets a cushy position in the telecomm industry after his tenure in office?

  6. Tallwookie says:

    I get the feeling that there is going to be a big backlash on this one… if I was this guy, I’d be watching my back… and my electronic records and creditcards and all that good stuff that can be… modified…

  7. Derek says:

    Congress won’t let this pass.

  8. Joao says:

    Two words:

    Alternate internet. Ad-hoc internet.
    We can already buy off the shelf all the equipement for it.
    We can make wireless antennas out of a can of beans, and bridge hundreds of yards over air. You can unite, even today, home networks house to house through wireless and if enough people let it on and there´s redundancy, one can build block by block an alternate web. Sure, no hi speed backbone, sure, no commercial content, ok.
    But just imagine:
    mail service, messaging apps or chat apps, p2p, even voip can travel these nets. And one node with “real” internet access can distribute some services. Given enough caching and sinchronization mechanisms one can distribute some services once and then be available for the rest (for instance: I watch a QT movie preview, and my home network has a caching proxy server. this server has a feature like P2P and all this cache gets published automatically to all other servers alike in this ad-hoc network, within hours there would be a copy of this preview floating around, thus reducing the number of hits on a “real” internet connection.).
    We just need some kind of open software all encompassing solution to lay all the internet mechanics over this highly distributed mesh-like net. I mean, some sort of arbitration has to be implemented (services like DNS, routing and caching ) but this time assuming that the net will be descentralized and the information will be redundant over nodes that can be connectable over several links or tottally disconnected.
    P2P software already works this way, it´s just a matter of applying same philosophy over all the rest of services.

    Is it too naive?… you tell me….


  9. Mike says:

    Or Google could start charging AT&T for allowing its customers to use their search engine. The internet still has to have compelling services to be of any use to people.

  10. jasontheodd says:

    Ah yes, everybody said that this was only a speech and not official policy…Has it occurred to anybody that the HEAD of the FCC may have a tiny little bit of influence in the department. Perhaps it’s just me, but the congress some of you feel will overturn this is the same pro rich big biz congress that supported the broadcast flag, digital millennium copyright act, and the restriction of the public domain. This is right up our congress’ alley.

  11. Eideard says:

    Paul — are you pretending to be naive, again?

  12. framitz says:

    The FCC should stick to what it knows; The radio frequency spectrum like it was originally set up to do.

    The FCC a-hole pictured probably doesn’t understand the priciples of radio communications. And he sure as hell doesn’t understand the internet or it’s ifrastructure.

    Isn’t this an appointed position? If so then he probably isn’t qualified to wash my dog.

  13. Brenda Helverson says:

    “His pipes.” The same pipes that “he” built as a public service while enjoying monopoly protection as a punlic utility. Sure, I get it.

  14. Per says:

    Whouldn’t Federal Trade Commission object to this? If Telcos is begining to “tax” some sites and not other sites with similar service, it will give the not “taxed” sites an unfair advantage.

  15. SN says:

    Frank, I went through your links and I don’t see anything that contradicts the article I cited and quoted.

    The first link you cite is a slashdot discussion. I’m not going to spend the time to go through all the comments to find what you’re looking at. So either give me a specific link or don’t bother commenting at all.

    The second link had the same problem, it linked to a bunch of other articles on the same topic. Once again, if you have a specific link, please let me see it.

    The next link you provided totally backs up what I posted:

    “Martin also said he supports the right for network operators to differentiate their networks and prioritize traffic on their networks.”

    Exactly how does that quote contradict my posting?!

    The last link you provided was a link from the story I posted to. So it’s not surprising that it proves the point:

    “However, Martin also added that he supports network operators’ desires to offer different levels of broadband service at different speeds, and at different pricing — a so-called “tiered” Internet service structure that opponents say could give a market advantage to deep-pocket companies who can afford to pay service providers for preferential treatment.”

    You may be disappointed, but I just wasted 10 minutes to discover that my story was correct. Which is what I already thought in the first place. Don’t waste my time here anymore unless you can back up your complaints.

  16. gquaglia says:

    This is the same douche chairman that wants to impose decency standards to pay cable and satalite radio.

  17. Seventus says:

    There is one thing that should really be done about this. Raise hell with your representatives. When they start getting a flood of complaints, they’ll have to at least glance at the issue. In the end, as shocking as it seems, they’re people too, and I highly doubt that they want to pay even more for their internet with extortion fees.

  18. John says:

    Death of the internet is upon us!

    Run for your lives!

  19. John Vaccaro says:

    Read Marc Del Bianco’s column over at C|Net. His contension that competetive pressures from Municipal WiFi will prevent the telcos and cablecos from getting away with this.

  20. Andrew says:

    The only solution is to decentralize the Internet. Instead of having major routing hubs, we will need many more hubs with proprtionately less bandwidth. To facilitate this we will need to create a wireless cooperative that will be owned by users. And, the DNS servers will need more processing power. The telcos will die. and we will all sing songs and drink wine.

  21. Mr. Fusion says:


    Sheesh, I spent about 15 minutes rereading the same stuff.


    Which blog are you on?


    My problem with Martin’s proposal is his agreement that downstream companies should also pay to access the internet. That is the same as the Post Office, UPS, or FedEx asking the recipient to also pay for a package while at the same time charging the sender.

    Yes, this is only a speech by the FCC Chairman, but as with any board, the Chairman has a lot of clout and can move the board in a certain direction.

    Your technical qualifications of overselling bandwidth is well founded and I believe widely practiced.

  22. Milo says:

    Hi Paul! For someone who was “through with DU” you are certainly on here a lot!

    Did you get a raise?

  23. Dan says:

    When the Gov. helps F****d companies we are all F****d.

  24. Smith says:

    Actually, the way the federal regulation system works is that Congress passes laws (statutes), then the bureaucrats write rules that implement the laws. I’m assuming the FCC head believes his department already has the appropriate authority granted in a statute passed by Congress. So complaining to your congressman probably isn’t going to work unless congress is willing to amend the governing statute. (Though no bureaucrat wants to be in the cross-hair of a couple dozen angry congressmen, so complaining might work.)

    However, before the “opinion” of this gentleman can become a rule, it must first be promulgated, which includes the proposed rule being published in the Federal Register and a chance for public comment. If the public is overwhelmingly against the proposal — as documented through written comments that are thoughtful arguments against the proposal — then it is unlikely his “opinion” will prevail.

    But it is very important for the public to make their position known. Otherwise the arguments will reduce to the Googles vs the AT&Ts . . . and may the biggest bribe win!

  25. ty says:

    This is bullshit. If this happens i will personally beat that fuck senseless.

  26. thatedeguy says:

    Hey John,

    Why don’t you read between the lines for once instead of taking the spoonfull that the mainstream media feeds you? The part about the tiered internet is actually the reporter putting words into the guys mouth. He actually is on the record in several places as being against the “tiered” internet and is only for the telco’s being able to charge the consumer a price for a certain speed, and making sure that they get that speed no matter which site they visit. Sounds like a pretty sure fire stance AGAINST the “tiered” internet to me.

    You want sources? visit

  27. SN says:

    Thanks for chiming in thatedeguy, but merely citing to what appears to be your own blog is hardly proof of anything. If Kevin Martin was misquoted, show us some real proof. Not your own (or someone else’s) interpretations.

    I’ve corrected and even pulled stories before due to errors, this time won’t be any different. I just want some proof.

  28. thatedeguy says:

    I did not intend “my” blog to be the citation. The post is not posted, nor written by me. The fact of the matter is that Brady, the person who did write the post, has listened to the audio of the speech and based upon that gave the conclusion that he came up with. So, rather than taking the spoon, SN, maybe some of us should learn the lesson that the New York Times has had to learn so many times over the last few weeks and check our sources and actually do some investigation into things before we go around quoting willy nilly.

  29. Jake says:

    The proof is (from the guy who wrote the article on the blog is actually listening to the audio speech that was made. That is where his comments come from… not mere speculation. Actually fact and not just basing something off of what some else stated. If you read the other comments above, others have noted this as well.

    I will contact the author and see if he can post a link to the speech itself where the quotes came from. I think we can all agree that we hate the idea of a tiered internet… but lets not burn the guy at the stake for something he didn’t really state.

  30. thatedeguy says:


    I’m not saying that it’s gospel, but Glenn is pretty well known for not jumping to conclusions.

    BTW: I don’t write for instapundit, so you can’t claim that it’s my blog.



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