Rethinking Title II to achieve Net Neutrality
(In response to TWIT 499, on the discussion between Leo and Jerry Pournelle)
I had some thoughts regarding the FCC's recent decision to reclassify Internet Service Providers as telecommunications companies, thus subject to Title II regulation.
It has been alleged that Title II permits the FCC to regulate content. I have not heard either evidence for this nor rebuttal. The claim was made that technically it is a violation of FCC regulations to curse on a telephone over state lines, but I've seen neither citation for nor rebuttal against this allegation. Clearly it is not enforced, and I am not aware of any enforcement of regulation on content in telephone service. But obviously there is content regulation on broadcast media, as anyone who has heard the halfhearted attempts to cover cursing on Men's Radio (aka Sports Radio) can attest. That's likely regulated under a different statute, though.
I wonder if the FCC would regulate "hate speech" on the Internet under Title II. There are increasing calls to make hate speech illegal, even when it cannot be reasonably expected to lead directly to violence, crime, or threat to public safety. Once the FCC has the authority to regulate hate speech on the Internet, which this appears to give them, is it likely they would do so?
The other thing I'm wondering about is whether this decision requires that ISP's open their infrastructure to leasing by third parties? That is, can FairfaxISP, a startup ISP serving Fairfax City, setup their own DNS servers, make peering agreements with the Tier 1 backbone providers, and setup a big fat pipe into Verizon's data centers, then lease Verizon's FIOS fiber to get their service to my house? And then offer me 100Mbps for $50/month?
A second vote by the FCC apparently prevents state governments from preventing municipalities from setting up government-run or government-sponsored Internet access. Such apparently happened in Philadelphia when the city rolled out city-wide WiFi only to be overruled by a law passed in the Pennsylvania legislature forbidding such services, which of course was all but written by Comcast, headquartered in Philadelphia. Does this regulation also prevent municipalities from granting local monopolies on becoming high-speed ISP's using their own infrastructure?