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FCC Chair Ajit Pai Falsely Claims Killing Net Neutrality Will Help Sick and Disabled People (vice.com) 205

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: One popular claim by the telecom sector is that net neutrality rules are somehow preventing people who are sick or disabled from gaining access to essential medical services they need to survive. Verizon, for example, has been trying to argue since at least 2014 that the FCC's net neutrality rules' ban on paid prioritization (which prevents ISPs from letting deep-pocketed content companies buy their way to a distinct network performance advantage over smaller competitors) harms the hearing impaired. That's much to the chagrin of groups that actually represent those constituents, who have consistently and repeatedly stated that this claim simply isn't true. Comcast lobbyists have also repeated this patently-false claim in their attempt to lift the FCC ban on unfair paid prioritization deals.

The claim that net neutrality rules hurt the sick also popped up in a recent facts-optional fact sheet the agency has been circulating to try and justify the agency's Orwellian-named "Restoring Internet Freedom" net neutrality repeal. In the FCC's current rules, the FCC was careful to distinguish between "Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS)," which is general internet traffic like browsing, e-mail or app data and "Non-BIAS data services," which are often given prioritized, isolated capacity to ensure lower latency, better speed, and greater reliability. VoIP services, pacemakers, energy meters and all telemedicine applications fall under this category and are exempt from the rules. Despite the fact that the FCC's net neutrality rules clearly exempt medical services from the ban on uncompetitive paid prioritization, FCC boss Ajit Pai has consistently tried to claim otherwise. He did so again last week during a speech in which he attempted to defend his agency from the massive backlash to its assault on net neutrality.
"By ending the outright ban on paid prioritization, we hope to make it easier for consumers to benefit from services that need prioritization -- such as latency-sensitive telemedicine," Pai said. "By replacing an outright ban with a robust transparency requirement and FTC-led consumer protection, we will enable these services to come into being and help seniors."

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Falsely Claims Killing Net Neutrality Will Help Sick and Disabled People

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  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @08:20PM (#55692135)

    And, who knows, maybe also stop drug use, illiteracy, stop global warming and fix the infrastructure.

    It is fascinating what utterly despicable failed human beings make it to the top in the west today. Having people with zero honor and zero personal morals in charge used to be a privilege of the developing world. Not anymore.

    • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @08:31PM (#55692209)

      He's got to try to justify something he's doing which goes so far against the goals he claims he's trying to support and the mandate of FCC or his transparent attempt at a payday once leaving the FCC would be even more obvious.

      Pai doesn't give two shits about the internet, the FCC's mandate or the public, he's simply trying to guarantee his own payday once he leaves the FCC. With 80+% of the comments on his net neutrality rollback against the action and his blatant disregard of this it's obvious he doesn't care at all what the public thinks or the mandate congress gave the FCC. The FCC actually refused to even address any comment that wasn't written by a lawyer and referenced specific laws, which was actually in violation of federal public comment rules.

    • And, who knows, maybe also stop drug use, illiteracy, stop global warming and fix the infrastructure.

      You forgot "will make colors brighter, and food taste better".

      Would some women he's sexually assaulted please step up and accuse him of the crimes he's committed against them, so we can get him thrown out? Thanks.

  • Heard another Commissioner discuss how giving the FTC authority was better than the FCC. Lying bastards. Destruction of the net is both their priority and the worst thing that could happen. Oh, Trump voters ... people who may have had to rely on the WWW for your deplorable opinions...does this one bother you ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      >> Oh, Trump voters ......does this one bother you ?

      Yes but not half as much as a Hillary government would have.

      • by Known Nutter ( 988758 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @10:02PM (#55692681)
        Pretty much anything... just not Hillary. Drain the swamp? Fuck it, don't care anymore. Tax breaks for the middle class... fuck it, just no Hillary. Child molesters in Congress... fuck it, as long as it ain't Hillary. Emails!!! Grab 'em by the pussy! WW3? Who cares... just not Hillary.
      • by cats-paw ( 34890 )

        Then your view of reality is severely distorted.

      • Yes but not half as much as a Hillary government would have.

        Well, indeed, but there's nothing Trump could do that would make you dislike him.

        Arpaio was conviced for violating the actual constitution and Trump pardoned him.

        I look forward to rationalizing how forcing consitutional violations to go unpunished is good for America and good for the constitution.

        Expected response: [clutches pearls Oh... but Hillary!

        • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

          >> Arpaio was conviced for violating the actual constitution

          No he wasn't. Get a fucking clue.

          • No he wasn't. Get a fucking clue.

            Yes he was you constitution hating apologist.

            The court told him to stop his unconstitutional acts, he continued thme anyway and for it was convicted of contempt of court.

            • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

              Please show me exactly what part of the constitution says cops shouldn't uphold the law whenever that happens to involve illegal immigrants?
              "illegal" clearly means something like "whatever I happen to feel is right" to you nonsensical snowflake liberals.

    • The reason they want to give FTC authority is precisely because the FTC has no teeth. The entire point of this is because Steve Bannon and other anti-government types managed to get Trump to approve their anti-government wishlist for political appointees. We've got an education secretary that doesn't believe in public schools, a secretary of state that has laid off enough diplomats that we have no more diplomatic power, a secretary of the treasury who wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and other safeguards added

  • by AlanObject ( 3603453 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @08:22PM (#55692149)

    Telecom carriers that spend obscene amounts of cash on lobbyists and PACs to help disabled people and the elderly. That's all they want. Really.

    Sounds. legit.

  • by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @08:31PM (#55692207)

    So how does The People fight this? No one reads /.

    No one. Numbers-wise, I mean. /. is not read by enough people to truly spark Fake (or Genuine) Internet Outrage.

    How come this isn't running front page on the major Muggle press?

    Yeah. What they don' know won't hurt them.

    But sure as fuck it'll hurt us.

    • by chromaexcursion ( 2047080 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @08:49PM (#55692325)
      Actually it has been a front page story on CNN, NSNBC, others.
      It doesn't help that hardly anyone actually reads the real news now.
      There has been tons of outrage. It's falling on deaf ears.
      This is the era of Trump. Public opinion doesn't matter. Truth doesn't matter.
      It's an agenda.
      The only hope is that it will be reversed, as soon as possible.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by El Cubano ( 631386 )

        There has been tons of outrage. It's falling on deaf ears.
        This is the era of Trump. Public opinion doesn't matter. Truth doesn't matter.
        It's an agenda.

        I agree. It is eerily reminiscent of the era of Obama. I remember things like "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" and "the average American family will save $2500 per year in healthcare costs" and "you will have more and better choices for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act" and "we will cover more people with better coverage and it will cost less".

        It turns out that every single one of those things was false, that millions of Americans were outr

        • It turns out that every single one of those things was false, that millions of Americans were outraged at the effort to have government take over healthcare and that outrage fell on deaf ears. Remember the legislative chicanery to get the ACA rammed through the Senate before Senator Ted Kennedy's replacement, Republican Scott Brown, could be seated?

          Sheesh. And liberals are upset when the Republicans do things along party lines without Democratic support.

          All I gotta say is the old proverb: Two wrong do not make a right.

          We're not each others enemies, but goddamn it sure feels like the 'right' is at war with the 'left.' This is the kind of tit-for-tat thinking you expect of two sovereign powers that don't like each other.

          • The right is conservative. They don't change much, if at all. They're the same people they were decades ago, pretty much. The left, on the other hand, is just going further and further left, and anyone to the right of Mao Zedong looks like a Nazi to them. In 1973, all six major US class segments were centrist. Over the next 35 years, five of the segments moved slightly to the right, but "Intellectual Upper Class" moved far out to the left. [aei.org]

            The left sees people as a metallurgist sees iron ore. To them, pe

            • The left sees people as a metallurgist sees iron ore. To them, people in the way of their vision are impurities to be removed before forging their utopia.

              That's not how I see people. I'm definitely mostly liberal and progressive. I don't see the right as enemies or lumps of iron ore. I just see them as uneducated stupidity. There's nothing inherently wrong with being uneducated and stupid. But when the right imposes it's stupid upon me, I get a little annoyed. I don't like being told what I can and cannot do. The right seems to like to do that. Left seems to say, let people do what they want, leave people alone. So it's hard for me to sympathize wit

              • The right seems to like to do that. Left seems to say, let people do what they want, leave people alone.

                You joking? The side that invented social justice wants to leave people alone? You're nuts. Did you know that back in the 90's we didn't have SJWs and it wasn't exactly the third reich, right?

                Lastly, is the rights apparent 'fear' of government.

                You know what killed more people than anything else in the 20th century? Government. Powerful central governments. Apparently when you give them enough powe

        • by chromaexcursion ( 2047080 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @10:54PM (#55692875)
          Every civilized country on earth has national health care.
          Except the US.
          The US ranks below Costa Rica in health care.
          We're about to fall below Cuba.

          your other claims are specious.
          • It has been well-known that the USA is not a civilized country since the reign of Bu$hitler the Tyrant. Well on over 15 years now. So why this "except the US" statement, when the US long ago fell out of the ranks of civilized nations? It's a third world shithole and has been for quite some time. I'm kind of puzzled.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by pastafazou ( 648001 )
              So if it's such a shithole, why are people still trying to sneak in, and why are people going through the immigration process to get in?
        • by mishehu ( 712452 )
          The ACA was passed with bipartisan support. Your comparison is irrelevant.
        • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday December 07, 2017 @03:10AM (#55693605) Homepage Journal

          I kept my doctor. I see no death panels. The issue was debated ad-nausium. I would have liked to see the ACA go much further, but the GOP wasn't open to anything that might cut the insurance companies out of the picture, or even weaken their position.

          Meanwhile, the GOP has wasted many MONTHS since Trump came into office trying to come up with something better and have failed time after time. You can't blame the Dems, the Rs control House, Senate, and the Oval office. The only 'solutions' they could come up with were so vile that even parts of the GOP couldn't hold their noses hard enough to pass it.

          Now they're trying so hard to pull a fast one with the tax bill they totally forgot to renew the Patriot (traitor) act.

          But look out! Something truly despicable must be brewing in D.C. since Trump needlessly dumped a 55 gallon drum of gasoline on the dumpster fire that is Israeli-Palestinian relations as a diversion.

          It's time to wake up and smell the coffee!

          • I kept my doctor. I see no death panels.

            You are joking. Insurance companies go through unseemly effort to deny care. They have adapted the practice of demanding pre-aproval for just about anything that may cost money, but not publishing (in advance) which treatments need pre-aproval and which do not. The effect is to delay care. And delaying care in a situatoin in which you pay for coverage per unit of covered time, is equivalent to denying care.

            • by sjames ( 1099 )

              They are not the government death panels the GOP squawked about and they do not exist because of Obama. You might say they are a pre-existing condition...

              • They exist because insurance companies are forced to pay for care that most people don't need but still are forced to pay for. So they cannot afford to provide the care that people do need and do pay for. When the law restricts insurance companies in what they can charge and puts mandates on what care they must provide, the insurance companies cannot physically provide everything implied in the contracts they write. So they get into the position where they are forced to look for way to cut care. And sin
                • by sjames ( 1099 )

                  You apparently don't remember pre-ACA insurance. It included such gems as rescission a process where they decide after an expensive medical event that your coverage was terminated the day before. Or somehow an expensive medication was declared to be "experimental" for (non)-coverage purposes.

                  You may also have missed the way the industry as a whole colluded to insist that uninsured patients get charged far more than insured patients.That continues today.

                  Finally, health insurers are making record profits this

                  • You apparently don't remember pre-ACA insurance.

                    Don't be daft.

                    It included such gems as rescission a process where they decide after an expensive medical event that your coverage was terminated the day before. Or somehow an expensive medication was declared to be "experimental" for (non)-coverage purposes.

                    Those were (a) rare cases, (b) something you could litigate in court. Because of ACA, you can't take insurance companies to court nearly as readily.

                    Finally, health insurers are making record profits this year.

                    So? ACA caps their profits at 20% of revenue. If their operating profits are growing that just means that their expenses are growing, too. Otherwise, they would not be able to collect higher premiums (and they have been). If their investments are growing, however, it has nothing to do with how they operate (stock market had quite a run, so the

                    • by sjames ( 1099 )

                      There was nothing rare about rescission. It was common enough that they had software specifically to flag likely expensive patients for dpecial review. They specifically created their applications to make sure they would always have the proverbial 6 lines written by an honest man.

                      Record profits means only a fool would take their crying about ruinous regulations seriously. They can't be all that ruinous if they're prospering so well.

                      Now, keep in mind, I would have preferred to cut insurance out of the pic

                    • Record profits means only a fool would take their crying about ruinous regulations seriously.

                      No, it doesn't. If the profits come from investment income rather than operating income, then regulation is forcing them to cut down costs whether you like or not. They just happen to have an incidental windfall from the rising stock market. The moment it turns south, the investment income will drop to zero or even negative (depending on how good their hedging and risk management is). The law already prohibits them from paying out less than 80% of the money they take in. So rising values of those 20% w

                    • Oh, and just so I am clear, it is my firm opinion that if no one goes to jail for this travesty of justice called Obamacare, than it will be the miscarriage of justice that this country will be most remembered for. Obamacare is a bigger injustice than slavery was. Having an immoral system (like slavery) because no better system has been devised is only tragic. Having a working system and destroying it deliberately is wicked and repugnant.
                    • by sjames ( 1099 )

                      So now any sort of rationing is a death panel? We have always had rationing. We can do it on the basis of wealth (rich get manicures while they wait, poor die of treatable illnesses), need (people who might die go first, boo-boos get fixed at home with a band-aid), or?

                      You do know that nothing says socialized medicine forbids you from paying cash in a private transaction, right? Even then, you benefit since the private care will consider that you will eventually be treated at no additional cost and so will o

                    • by sjames ( 1099 )

                      The system wasn't working though. It still isn't working all that well, because ACA didn't go nearly far enough. There are several examples around the world of systems that work better based on objective criteria. We should adopt one of them.

                    • Reducing costs is no way to increase care. Romney's plan (when he ran for President) was to create a lower tier of doctors for lower tier of care. Some states already allow RN's to act as partial doctors (including writing prescriptions). Introducing a nation system for RN licensing would increase the number of providers. Allowing RN's do the basic care while requiring MD to do specialist care would have been enough to increase the pool of providers. Instead of it they created a system specifically des
                    • by sjames ( 1099 )

                      Reducing cost is the first step to increasing care. If the care is unaffordable, it tends to not happen. Other countries with better life expectancy and quality of health care spend HALF what we spend in the U.S.

                      Other measures that reduce cost (but not provider earnings) include emphasis on generic and well proven drugs rather than the drug of the week, clinical diagnosis rather than a battery of tests, and same proces of medical supplies.

                      You don't think that might help?

                      You should also actually look up Romn

                    • Reducing cost is the first step to increasing care.

                      No, that's literally putting the before the horse.

                      If the care is unaffordable, it tends to not happen.

                      No, if care is oversupplied it tends to get reduced in price. You are completely misunderstanding cause and effect.

                      Other countries with better life expectancy and quality of health care spend HALF what we spend in the U.S.

                      This stupid on so many levels that I don't if I am even talking to a human being. I hope you don't vote.

                      clinical diagnosis rather than a battery of tests

                      Don't worry, we do much less testing that is necessary to fully diagnose. So that's dumb.

                      You should also actually look up Romneycare. It's the very ACA like system implemented in Mass. under then governor Romney.

                      Why should I care? No one ever says "I wish I lived in MA for better healthcare." ACA is evil. People who support it are people in name only.

                      According to the WHO, the U.S. is currently in 37th place.

                      The bog

        • There has been tons of outrage. It's falling on deaf ears.

          This is the era of Trump. Public opinion doesn't matter. Truth doesn't matter.

          It's an agenda.

          I agree. It is eerily reminiscent of the era of Obama. I remember things like "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" and "the average American family will save $2500 per year in healthcare costs" and "you will have more and better choices for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act" and "we will cover more people with better coverage and it will cost less".

          It turns out that every single one of those things was false, that millions of Americans were outraged at the effort to have government take over healthcare and that outrage fell on deaf ears. Remember the legislative chicanery to get the ACA rammed through the Senate before Senator Ted Kennedy's replacement, Republican Scott Brown, could be seated?

          Sheesh. And liberals are upset when the Republicans do things along party lines without Democratic support.

          The only hope is that it will be reversed, as soon as possible.

          The same can be said of the Affordable Care Act, which is decidedly unaffordable for practically every American it affects.

          Obama was hoping that the Americans would look to Canada and how our health care system does what he is quoted as saying.

          We have some dual citizen families returning to Canada. Vis, Husband is American, wife Canadian. After 6 months of employment, the family is covered for medicare. No discussion about pre-existing conditions or limits to coverage.

          Her 4 kids will be going to McGill University for around $3000/kid. University here is 3 years for a bachelor degree as first year is covered in a college that

      • It doesn't help much if major venues host his story without addressing its veracity. For instance, this bit about paid priority for those who need it. The key words are "paid" and "need"; these are markets not currently being singled out for this particular extortion, because of the law he intends to repeal. Of course this is hugely unfair as the telecom companies aren't allowed to perform the same type of extortion the pharmacological ones can.
    • So how does The People fight this? No one reads /.
      No one. Numbers-wise, I mean. /. is not read by enough people to truly spark Fake (or Genuine) Internet Outrage.
      How come this isn't running front page on the major Muggle press?
      Yeah. What they don' know won't hurt them.
      But sure as fuck it'll hurt us.

      There has been a ton of press coverage of this. The people who aren't listening is the FCC. Everyone else is! And there's a lot of loud bitching from every corner (except the ISPs of course.) There's a ton of noise that doing this is Bad. But as I said, FCC isn't listening. They just don't give a flying f about The People.

    • The Muggle Press misrepresents a lot of things here. They talk about ISPs being the issue, because that's easier for the audience to understand and relate to. In reality the problem is in the guts of the internet, where the big players control not only the internet but content as well. Sure, if your ISP happens to be Comcast, then yes, Comcast is trying to screw over the internet competition. But if your ISP is a local cable company, or a rural broadband company, they are going to be wanting net neutrali

  • by xbytor ( 215790 )

    Did he even read the current rules. I would assume so which means he's just telling bald-faced lies.

    I want Wheeler back.

  • not a fan of killing net neutrality and by extension, Pai, the FCC, Comcast, or Verizon but come the fuck on, it's possible to write a summary without all that editorializing.

  • If Pai's gibberish isn't the epitome of doublespeak, nothing is.

  • by nickmalthus ( 972450 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:05PM (#55692431)

    Artificial scarcity is the core motivation behind the Network Neutrality repeal. They are about to roll out 5G technologies with 10gbs download speeds which is more bandwidth than most everyone will need. With cable cutters and plunging market prices the telecoms are in a panic and thus they are calling on their inside man to protect their interests. He is looking forward to his future “Pai Day” for his loyal service.

    If network prioritization were a true problem then senders and receivers, the customers, should have full control of prioritization using existing Quality of Service (QoS) network features. However by giving telecoms unabated control of prioritization they can distort traffic and resume charging premiums for video and voice.

    The FCC chairman has been unequivocally clear in is objectives; increased network investment (read profit) for the ILECs and absolute hands off regulation until there is a complete “market failure” (read unavoidable regulation due to universal outrage over telcom censorship and exorbitant prices).

    Finally his talking point about regulatory burden on telcom technology is a joke. It is impossible for telcoms to transfer data beyond the speed of light so the only thing they can do is slow it down or block it. Providing financial incentives to enact artificial scarcity, censorship, and surveillance is the complete opposite of promoting “Free Market” ideologies.

    • They are about to roll out 5G technologies with 10gbs download speeds which is more bandwidth than most everyone will need.

      Let's put that one into the time-capsule, along with the apocryphal "640k ought to be enough for anybody."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      However by giving telecoms unabated control of prioritization they can distort traffic and resume charging premiums for video and voice.

      This is not just about multimedia. The telecoms want to tap into the endless V2X (Vehicle to X) traffic of the future and charge extra for mandatory traffic services that may not use the bandwidth but require very low latency. They want you to pay for gas, electricity and infrastructure data for every km/mile driven.

  • dropping a safe on this man from a great height would do the US a lot more good than harm.

    Assuming the safe could even penetrate his aura of self righteousness . . .

    Do we even make a safe that big ?

    • No, no, no, not a safe, an anvil [impsec.org]! And the only way to do it right, is from orbit!
    • I love how we can just openly call for the assassination of public officials we don't like, and get modded up for it. Kill those with whom we disagree! It's OK when we do it!
  • It's fairly simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dripdry ( 1062282 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @11:11PM (#55692967) Journal

    Pai doesn't care. All he has to do to get a cushy job later on is to say,"Well, we tried" to the telecom industry. If they get even a few bucks more out of this they'll hire him away into executive heaven after he leaves/is ousted. He's showing his loyalty to the bitter end and HE KNOWS this will never, ever get through. It's going to get sued into the turf 5 seconds after being enacted, and will probably die a long slow death in court.

    Does ANYONE remember the Bushie administration? The same tactics were used! Do all kinds of things that will never work, but do enough of them and maybe a few will stick. When government fails to yield any benefit, turn around and tell your base,"Government doesn't work!" even though they've been intentionally obstructing the functioning of government and blame it on the next guy. Rinse and repeat!

  • This Just In: Government regulator and former top lawyer for a corporation tells lies that benefit his former employer.
    Film at 11.

  • No low is low enough for them. Amazing.

  • If the only way he can sell this change is to blatantly lie about easily-verifiable things like the telemedicine exception, you know he doesn't have any good arguments.

  • I am really not too concerned about this because I am sure this will be challenged in a court. While the challenge is proceeding, plaintiffs can ask for an injunction. When 80+% of people support net neutrality, the court system should side with the people. Ajit Pai's actions really make me want to turn into a troll but I am holding it together.
  • Regulation is needed when there are severe problems in private market and these problems are not being solved for a prolonged period of time. CO2 emissions seems to be a good such example, and either carbon tax or cap and trade a reasonable response. Even phone number portability is arguably unnecessary. The same problem was being actively solved by services such as Google Voice and over the top apps. Arguably legislation suffocated these services and left us stuck with inconvinient phone numbers rather tha

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