Boehner Denounces FCC’s ‘Secret Plan to Put the Federal Government in Control of the Internet’

The future of the Internet should remain free and open. Government bureaucrats claiming “net neutrality” should keep their hands off. 

John A. Boehner (bay-ner) serves as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Elected to represent the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio for a 12th term in November 2012, John is a national leader in the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. - See more at: http://www.speaker.gov/about#sthash.cyfqqSik.dpuf

John A. Boehner (bay-ner) serves as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

WASHINGTON, DC – February 26, 2015 – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose new federal “net neutrality” regulations that would undermine a free and open Internet and hurt our economy:

“Overzealous government bureaucrats should keep their hands off the Internet. Today, three appointed by President Obama approved a secret plan to put the federal government in control of the Internet. The text of the proposal is being kept hidden from the American people and their elected representatives in Congress, and the FCC’s chairman has so far refused to testify about it. This total lack of transparency and accountability does not bode well for the future of a free and open Internet, not to mention the millions of Americans who use it every day.

“The FCC is supposed to be an independent agency, but the White House has once again meddled where it shouldn’t in order to advance what one commissioner has described as ‘a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist.’ And like ObamaCare, the Obama administration’s plan for the Internet may not work, but it will create years of uncertainty and lead to expensive legal fights. More mandates and regulations on American innovation and entrepreneurship are not the answer, and that’s why Republicans will continue our efforts to stop this misguided scheme.”

NOTE: Nearly a year ago, House Republican leaders sent a letter to the FCC’s chairman urging him to drop consideration of federal net neutrality regulations. In November, Speaker Boehner warned that they would hurt our economy.

Stop FCC From Nullifying State Municipal Broadband Laws
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis is committed to preserving the American Dream for younger generations and supports common sense policies that will generate economic growth and opportunities for working families.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today introduced legislation to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from overriding state and local municipal broadband laws.

Earlier today, the FCC voted to effectively overturn North Carolina and Tennessee state laws that set requirements and conditions on municipalities competing with the private sector in the broadband marketplace.

The Tillis-Blackburn legislation says that the FCC cannot pre-empt states with municipal broadband laws already on the books, or any other states that subsequently adopt such municipal broadband laws. The bill also includes a Sense of Congress stating that the FCC does not have the legal authority to prohibit states from implementing municipal broadband restrictions. Original co-sponsors of the federal legislation included Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Mark Meadows (R-NC), and David Rouzer (R-NC).

“It is disturbing, yet not surprising, that the FCC and Chairman Wheeler are attempting to deny the sovereign right of states to make their own laws,” said Senator Tillis. “After witnessing how some local governments wasted taxpayer dollars and accumulated millions in debt through poor decision making, the legislatures of states like North Carolina and Tennessee passed commonsense, bipartisan laws that protect hardworking taxpayers and maintain the fairness of free-market competition. Representative Blackburn and I recognize the need for Congress to step in and take action to keep unelected bureaucrats from acting contrary to the expressed will of the American people through their state legislatures.”

“The FCC’s decision to grant the petitions of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina is a troubling power grab,” said Congressman Blackburn. “States are sovereign entities that have Constitutional rights, which should be respected rather than trampled upon. They know best how to manage their limited taxpayer dollars and financial ventures. Ironically, they will now be burdened by the poor judgment of a federal government that is over $18 trillion in debt and clearly cannot manage its own affairs.

“I’m pleased to be working with Senator Tillis on this important issue. As former state legislators, we strongly believe in States’ rights and will fight the FCC’s liberal agenda. Chairman Wheeler’s regulatory appetite appears to know no bounds and is seeping dangerously into the lives of Americans. It is time for Congress to assert itself and protect States once again from unelected Washington bureaucrats.”

BACKGROUND

In 2006, the City of Wilson, North Carolina, borrowed at least $34.6 million to build a government-owned broadband network, without a vote of its citizens. In support of the borrowing, Wilson’s broadband business plan claimed that the fiber project would be cash positive in year three of its operation; however, the projection failed to materialize, as Wilson lost $2.1 million in FY2008; $1.1 million in FY2009; $1.4 million in FY2010; $1.06 million in FY2011; and $1.3 million in FY2012.

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law (S.L. 2011-84) that protects taxpayers by barring local governments from using tax dollars to cross-subsidize other local accounts and requiring a vote of citizens to authorize new debt used to fund the broadband service. The law grandfathered the City of Wilson, North Carolina, and two other municipal broadband providers, but required them to follow the requirements set in the legislation if they attempted to expand their service. Wilson subsequently asked for a waiver from those rules, resulting in today’s FCC ruling.

Good news: FCC promotes broadband competition

You may have heard that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just put in place rules to protect ‘net neutrality.’ That’s big news. But there was another important decision today to help keep the Internet competitive and open — and while it’s getting less attention, it may be just as important.

As part of its agenda to encourage meaningful competition in high speed broadband for all Americans, the FCC supported allowing cities to make their own decisions about investing in new broadband networks. More needs to be done to drive innovation in bigger, faster broadband, but this is a good step. Click on the image below to take action.

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House Republicans Voice Opposition to FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan

As a historic vote looms to give the Federal Communications Commission power over Internet Service Providers to enforce net neutrality, House Republicans are attempting to sway the FCC away from the proposal.

Leading up to Thursday when the FCC votes on the new rules, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) called the FCC’s proposal “net nonsense,” remarking that it’s going to fail to gain court approval.

Under the proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, ISPs would fall under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, giving the FCC authority to implement and enforce open internet protections. This would essentially stop providers like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Sprint and T-Mobile from favoring certain Internet traffic under most conditions. They had previously been treated as lightly regulated “information services”.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) believe they have a better way.

These Republicans have put forth legislation in the House (PDF) that would give the FCC authority to administer some tenets of net neutrality such as paid prioritization of content, but not give the FCC broader oversight over ISPs. They also believe this legislation will resist court challenges that the FCC is overstepping its bounds.

Wheeler, a former government lobbyist and telecom industry insider, had previously proposed in 2014 that ISPs should be allowed to prioritize certain online traffic to create an internet “fast lane” that was panned by Net Neutrality activists. In contrast, his latest regulations are far more in line with President Barack Obama’s Net Neutrality stance, spurring congressional committee investigations into the White House’s influence over the FCC, which is supposed to operate as an independent agency.

Upton has also noted that Chairman Wheeler has refused to testify the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and that he “refuses to directly answer growing concerns about how the rules were developed, how they are structured, and how they will stand up to judicial scrutiny.”

This story will be updated with the results of the FCC vote on Thursday.

FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect The Open Internet

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to implement new net neutrality rules designed to make sure Internet service providers treat all legal content equally. The historic vote on the proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler elicited hearty cheers from a wide array of technology companies and consumer groups while setting the table for further legal challenges from Internet service providers. The controversial proceedings that led up to the vote generated heated lobbying in Washington and public clamor on social media, all in efforts to steer the future direction of the rules that guide Internet traffic.

“No one … should control free and open access to the Internet,” Wheeler said to applause from the standing room-only crowd gathered before the FCC panel. “It’s the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. The Internet is too important to allow broadband providers to make the rules.”

The Commission, once and for all, enacts strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of legal authority, to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future.  These new rules are guided by three principles:  America’s broadband networks must be fast, fair and open—principles shared by the overwhelming majority of the nearly 4 million commenters who participated in the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding. Complete presss release can be viewed at http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-strong-sustainable-rules-protect-open-internet

Bright Line Rules: The first three rules ban practices that are known to harm the Open Internet:

  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services,
    or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the
    basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over
    other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.”

This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates. The bright-line rules against blocking and throttling will prohibit harmful practices that target specific
applications or classes of applications. And the ban on paid prioritization ensures that there will be no fast lanes.

A Standard for Future Conduct: Because the Internet is always growing and changing, there must be a known standard by which to address any concerns that arise with new practices. The Order establishes that ISPs cannot “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” the ability of consumers to select, access, and use the lawful content, applications, services, or devices of their choosing; or of edge providers to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to consumers. Today’s Order ensures that the Commission will have authority to address questionable practices on a case-by-case basis, and provides guidance in the form of factors on how the Commission will apply the standard
in practice.

Has the FCC really Adopted a Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect The Open Internet? My opinion will be posted tomorrow on how this new ruling will affect businesses and consumers.

Questions Remain Ahead: Net Neutrality FCC Vote is Today

tom wheelerI have never liked Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC. I always thought he was on the wrong side of the argument when he was Chairman of the National Cable Television Association. I just don’t trust the man and now he is going to plop down a 317-page+ piece of regulation that most people interpret as “net neutrality”. Guess what, it’s not.

Posted on CNET are 8 burning questions about Net neutrality you should read. CNET breaks down everything you need to know about complicated, but critical, issue.

I think everyone wants net neutrality, but for some reason I don’t think it takes more than 300 pages to get the job done. What is he trying to fix, and more important what is broken? The FCC is voting during an open meeting today, Thursday February 26th at 10:30 am ET on whether to reclassify broadband access as a telecommunications service under Title II which by the way is very outdated, was originally written in 1988 before the internet was readily available to the public.

  • Will it contain fees?
  • Will it contain restrictions?
  • Will the Internet be regulated?
  • Will it impinge upon some content?
  • Will it add operating expense to your business?
  • Will it include net neutrality? I guarantee it, I just don’t know the flavor.

I found another great post on NPR everyone should read The FCC’s Net Neutrality Vote: Here’s What You Need To Know

I can’t write a blog outlining the horrors or even the beautiful free skies of net neutrality until I see the regulation. I can’t because I am not an FCC commissioner and only their eyes are allowed to see.

Low Cost Hosted VoIP Services Provider can save your business major monthly Expenses

Carolina Digital PhoneSince Alexander Graham Bell invented it into existence, reliable phone service has played a vital role in keeping businesses up and running. That telephone on the desk makes it possible to take orders, obtain supplies and keep in touch with customers. Let’s face it: If your phone system should ever fail, you might as well lock up and go home. There’s only one problem. Unless you’ve upgraded to hosted Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, you’re spending far more than you should on your telephone service.

How Your Telephone System Affects Your Bottom Line:  Some fail to realize the expense of using so-called plain old telephone services. Traditional POTS systems rely on analog technology to transmit data through electronic frequencies. While this methodology is cheap and simple to transmit over short distances, voice quality fades in a hurry when vast expanses come into play. To overcome this inherent defect, old-fashioned telephone services rely on a public switched telephone network, or PSTN, to transfer calls incrementally between locations through a grid of cables, satellites, switchboards and telephone lines. Each such transfer adds to the cost, sending long-distance rates that much higher with each additional mile. For this reason, POTS systems normally charge by the call. With hosted services, on the other hand, it’s a different story.

The Benefits of VoIP for Business: Instead of paying by the call, the business that switches to hosted PBX and VoIP services will incur just a moderate monthly fee with unlimited calls allowed and no extra charge for long distance. That’s because these services utilize a broadband Internet connection to transmit data digitally from the point of origin to the telephone exchange that’s closest to the final destination.

In addition to saving money, hosted VoIP and hosted PBX services are:

  • Reliable. Regardless of external influences, round-the-clock monitored maintenance will keep your system up and running.
  • Scalable. Your hosted service can expand or contract to match the changing needs of your business.
  • Versatile. No antiquated POTS system can provide the advanced features you’ll get from an Internet-based service.
  • Mobile. Users of hosted PBX and hosted VoIP can make and receive calls through a laptop or forward incoming communications to a mobile phone.
  • User-friendly. The Web-based interface is intuitive and simple to use

If you’re still running with your business on outdated analog telephone services, it’s time to ask yourself why. For service on which you can always rely at a price that will make you smile, hosted PBX and VoIP are the only way to go. Once you’ve enjoyed the benefits of VoIP for business, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to switch. When considering Hosted VoIP for your business telephone system call the experts at Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000.

Stay updated by reading http://CarolinaDigital.Today and visit http://siptrunking.reviews for SIP Trunking Review and Options updates on VoIP Options for your business. For Schools Please visit http://erate.tips for USAC Updates and Tips for Using E-Rate Funding for Schools and Libraries.


Nicky Smith

About the Author: Nicky Smith – For the past 30+ years, computers, advanced technology and solving problems with this new technology have been his business. In 1978, he graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with the first graduating class in the 16 North Carolina Universities with an Information Systems degree from the College of Business. For the last 15 years Nicky has served as the visionary leader and CEO of CAROLINANET.COM, a web hosting and server colocation data center and since 2004 the CEO of Carolina Digital Phone offering hosted telephone services and SIP Trunking. Read more at his LinkedIN page http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickysmith

Follow Nicky Smith on Twitter @PBXintheCloud, Google Plus at https://plus.google.com/+Carolinadigitalphone/ and on Facebook

Do you remember the telecom switch days?

How quickly we forget how competitive the long distance market was just 15 years ago. It was AT&T, Sprint, MCI and who knows who would come along next. Today the competitive market for business to look at hosted VoIP for telephone service is warming up and business owners can save over 60% over their current land-line based telephone company. Please enjoy this video and have a great laugh! Want make the switch? Call Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000 in Greensboro, NC.

How does net neutrality effect me?

Q: What is net neutrality?
A: Net neutrality, or open Internet, is the principle that Internet service providers should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring or blocking some sources. It also prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging content providers for speedier delivery of their content on “fast lanes” or deliberately slowing the content from content providers that may compete with ISPs.

Q: How will new net neutrality rules affect me?
A: The rules aim to ensure a high-quality Internet experience for all on home broadband Internet service. The proposed FCC regulations aim to ensure that Internet content — be it streaming video, audio or other content — will be treated equally by Internet service providers. Another goal of the initiatives: To give start-ups and entrepreneurs access to broadband networks without undue influence from the ISPs.

Q: How will new net neutrality rules affect me?
A: The rules aim to ensure a high-quality Internet experience for all on home broadband Internet service. The proposed FCC regulations aim to ensure that Internet content — be it streaming video, audio or other content — will be treated equally by Internet service providers. Another goal of the initiatives: To give start-ups and entrepreneurs access to broadband networks without undue influence from the ISPs.

Q: So what’s going to happen when I’m streaming House of Cards in the future?
A: In theory, the only thing that should change is that there are actual regulations on the books — or potentially laws, should Congress pass new ones — that prohibit ISPs’ discrimination of content and content providers. An ISP would be prohibited from slowing the delivery of a TV show simply because it’s streamed by a video company that competes with a subsidiary of the ISP. That doesn’t mean everyone gets the same level of Internet service — remember, customers already pay for different speeds. And the price of broadband could rise over the years as speeds increase and technology advances. What the FCC’s rules would do is prevent an ISP from favoring content, blocking content, or other conduct that would harm consumers.

Q: What’s the difference between an ISP and a content provider? 
A: An Internet service provider is a company that provides you with access to the Internet. Some popular ISPs in the U.S. include AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable. Content providers are companies like Netflix and Amazon that create and/or distribute videos and programs. Sometimes an ISP is also a content provider. For instance, Comcast owns NBCUniversal and delivers TV shows and movies through its Xfinity Internet service.

Continue Reading →

Making the Move to Hosted VOIP

Carolina Digital PhoneDoes your business still have a traditional telephone service? If so, you’re living in the dark ages! Standard telephone services don’t have anything on hosted VoIP services, providing that you choose the right service to meet your needs.

First of all, a standard telephone service is just a standard telephone service; it can’t offer you all of the great features of a hosted VoIP service. A hosted service can provide auto telephone attendants to answer calls when it’s not convenient (or cost effective!) for a live answerer to do so. These services can also provide voice mail, caller identification and tracking, call routing, directories to help callers reach the right person, call forwarding, call recording, and so much more. Obviously, it’s important for you to know what features your business requires; when you know that information ahead of time, you can easily find a hosted VoIP service that offers all of the features you need to help your business run as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.

With so many excellent features, you would think that a hosted VoIP service would be a lot more expensive than a standard telephone service, but, surprisingly, that’s actually not the case at all. As mentioned above, hosted VoIP services allow for much of the work to be done by automated systems, rather than by actual people, meaning you don’t have to pay an actual person to provide your necessary services. In fact, most hosted services simply charge a low monthly rate per user. Contracts vary from provider to provider but do not have to be very long-term in nature. And, surprisingly, you also don’t need a lot of equipment, if any, on-site; in fact, with some plans, you don’t need any equipment in your office at all, further minimizing costs. A good provider will talk to you about your individual needs and will match you with a service that is specifically tailored to those needs, making finding the perfect plan (and the perfect price!) a breeze.

Another good thing about hosted VoIP services is that they can handle a very large call volume. The goal of any company is to grow and expand, and if you’re reaching that goal, you may find that your old, standard telephone service doesn’t work for you anymore. A good VoIP service, however, will! Plus, you don’t have to hire a local VoIP service; no, these services can offer you assistance from anywhere and at anytime, making them convenient and capable of meeting your needs even as those needs change. With so many great reasons to make the switch to a hosted VoIP service, what are you waiting for?

When considering Hosted VoIP for your business telephone system call the experts at Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000.

SIP Trunks Replace Traditional Telecom PRI

Carolina Digital PhoneWhat’s overly expensive, set in its ways and headed down the road to obsolescence? It’s telecommunications via Primary Rate Interface, and if your business still uses this old-time voice delivery method, you might want to ask yourself why.

What PRI Is and Is Not:  PRI is nothing more than a form of digital circuitry that offers its users 23 channels or voice paths over a single signaling circuit. Because PRI connects directly to the , the call quality is good. Unfortunately, the entire PRI system calls for a substantial investment in cables and hardware. This makes it less than ideal for use in the modern business office.

Session Initiated Protocol Trunking: With SIP trunking, all calls route through the Internet, requiring no external hardware or circuitry. Instead of interfacing with the telephone company, the SIP trunk connects your organization directly to an Internet telephony service provider. This use of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, makes it vastly less expensive to operate while providing a flexibility that positions it well for modern business use.

Benefits of SIPWhen calculating the ways in which SIP outstrips PRI, several features come to mind. Chiefly, an SIP trunk provides:

A virtual connection. Unlike PRI, SIP trunking has no need for cables and termination hardware to connect each individual circuit.

  • Scalability. Perhaps the biggest selling point of any VoIP system is its ability to add capacity through nothing more involved than a simple software reconfiguration. With SIP, you’re dealing with only one network and one set of cables. With PRI, on the other hand, scaling up requires the installation of new circuits and hardware. This can take weeks to accomplish.
  • Savings. The already high cost of running on PRI will rise in line with the number of voice channels a company uses. An SIP trunking system, on the other hand, bases its pricing on actual usage, saving its users hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Reliable disaster recovery. The simplified setup of SIP eliminates the headache of recovering from telecommunication loss due to accident or natural disaster. Whereas the diversion of PRI calls to alternative locations can be costly and involved, the business that runs with an SIP-based telephony system can trust that its calls will automatically reroute to one or more functioning localities.Without question, the capability and cost-effective nature of SIP trunking have already far outstripped any benefits of the older technology. While VoIP rules the day, the death knell for PRI has already begun to ring.

When considering SIP Services for your telephone system call the experts at Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000.

A company is only as good as the people it keeps

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”  ~ Mary Kay Ash

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