NY attorney general asks for net neutrality vote to be put off

FILE PHOTO: New York Attorney General Schneiderman announces the filing of a multistate lawsuit in New York City
FILE PHOTO: New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman at a press conference at John Jay College in New York City, U.S. on September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Penney/File Photo

December 4, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York’s attorney general urged the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote rolling back net neutrality rules because of the large number of fake comments submitted to the agency on the issue.

The FCC is expected to vote on Feb. 14 on Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to scrap the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules, moving to give broadband service providers sweeping power over what content consumers can access. Pai is a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been investigating allegations that more than half of the 21.7 million public comments submitted to the FCC about net neutrality used temporary or duplicate email addresses and appeared to include false or misleading information.

Schneiderman said the FCC agreed on Monday to assist in the probe. “We’re going to hold them to that – and, in the meantime, it’s vital that the FCC delay the vote until we know what happened,” said Schneiderman.

The 2015 rules changed the designation of internet service providers, or ISPs, usually big cable and telephone companies, so they were banned from blocking or throttling (slowing) legal content or from seeking payments to speed delivery of certain content, called “paid prioritization.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who opposes the net neutrality rollback, agreed that the vote should be delayed.

“The integrity of the public record matters. The FCC needs to get to the bottom of this mess. No vote should take place until a responsible investigation is complete,” she said.

Under Pai’s proposal, the Obama-era rules would be reversed and ISPs would only have to disclose blocking or throttling.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Dan Grebler)

  • LCDR

    Sounds like the NY AG is throwing up a smoke screen. Democrats are born to lie and they will do anything to salvage what’s left of Obama’s “legacy.”

  • CDG

    ISP’s already charge for different levels of service speed. So called “unlimited data plans” with phones are doled out at 480 max resolution and the top 3% of users are throttled (Read the fine print). Forgive my ignorance but what do current Net Neutrality laws actually accomplish??

  • dmsaudio

    Diane and Dan, I think you need to review part of your story. You say Pai was appointed by Trump…while Trump did designate him as the FCC chairman, Obama was the one who initially appointed him to the commission. Wikipedia: “He has served in various positions at the FCC since being appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in May 2012, at the recommendation of Mitch McConnell. He was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7, 2012,[1] and was sworn in on May 14, 2012, for a five-year term”

  • Bill McNeil Sr.

    Believe me, if this creep in NY is against it, I’m for it.

  • Bud

    “The integrity of the public record matters. The FCC needs to get to the
    bottom of this mess. No vote should take place until a responsible
    investigation is complete,” she said.

    Yeah, she’d see to it that no investigation would ever be complete.

  • WitchWay

    The one paragraph that says why we actually need the law – and why the business world wants it gone. If they roll the law back – all the Large providers can and will charge all of us extra for whatever amount of streaming we do. They are furious that we can stream things via a ROKU or Firestick etc. and pick and choose our content for less money.

    “The 2015 rules changed the designation of internet service providers, or ISPs, usually big cable and telephone companies, so they were banned from blocking or throttling (slowing) legal content or from seeking payments to speed delivery of certain content, called “paid prioritization.””

    • Bud

      ISPs should be able to charge bandwidth hogs more if they stream constantly. There’s no valid reason they should not be able to do so. Those of us who use the Internet for surfing and email should not have to subsidize you hogs.

      • Sean Wallace

        you obviously havent paid for your data, then been throttled. If a company offers you an unlimited plan it means unlimited, not throttle to cut you off at 3gbs. everyday the things we do normally require more data. its not about being a hog, normal sufing will cause rates to skyrocket. we will be going right back to the days of paying by the minute for a cell phone….I dont see any cable or telephone providers struggling now, do you???? this is more about charging more and more and more for the same service.

      • Sean Wallace

        i had unlimited data with att, and only did normal surfing and email back before the fcc stepped in. After a week of my month att slowed me down to .25mbs…i couldnt even pull up my email….their solution was to drop unlimited plan and pay by byte. you have any idea how much it would cost to pay by byte? about 1600$ a month for data only. there is no competition for cell phones or cable internet, they all are together in their pricing. i am normally totally against regulation, but they have shown they abuse their position.If i pay unlimited, then they have NO RIGHT to throttle me!

        • CDG

          The old “unlimited plans” were created before everyone and their grandmother had an HD viewable phone. This unlimited plan was put in place and as more and more people used unlimited data with full HD resolution it put a strain on available network capacity. All of these plans were done away with. Today’s “unlimited plans” are data that streams at a max of 480 resolution, all you want of completely unwatchable 480 video on your smart phone, and the top 3% get throttled (It’s in the fine print). and they have every right to throttle you if you sign the contract. This is with current Net Neutrality laws on the books. I would suggest you stop using your phone data for things you could be doing on home or office WI-FI instead.

    • CDG

      I pay for fast ATT Uverse at home that gives me about 400 gbs of data each month to watch Roku, Amazon movies, etc,… (it’s all in the contract). I also pay for Roku, Netflix and Amazon. I also play onlines games. I never come close to maxing my available data and if I did I have the option of paying more money for more speed and more gbs a month. The majority of people pay for fast service so they can enjoy online streaming. Net Neutrality laws have been in effect for years. What do you see changing with out them? We are already paying for both ISP speed on one end and content provider on the other.

  • Ed L

    Communist the New York State attorney general