Pet Adoption and Old People
INTERESTING STUFF – 24 February 2018

Net Neutrality Dies on 23 April Plus The Alex and Ronni Show

It surprised me to find that the first interview I did via Skype with my former husband Alex Bennett was published here way back last September. (Blame that damned time-goes-faster-as-you-get-older phenomenon.)

Ever since, Alex has been nudging me to do more of such chats and from my end, there never seemed to be time until earlier this week.

Below is the full interview, about 30 minutes. For the second time, we had audio sync difficulties - it appears to be a feature, not a bug, of Skype. Oh well.

If you would like to see Alex's entire two-hour show with other guests after me, you can do that at Facebook or Gabnet on Facebook or on YouTube or Vimeo.

As Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai has been threatening since before he was appointed to that post, yesterday the agency filed its net neutrality revocation order in the Federal Register.

The ruling, misleadingly titled The Restoring Internet Freedom Order which can be found online here, goes into effect, if not stopped, on 23 April 2018.

A simple explanation of what that will mean to your internet life can be found here at TGB but even better is this easy, one-sentence explanation from Engadget:

”Net neutrality forced ISPs [internet service providers] to treat all content equally; without these rules in place, providers can charge more for certain types of content and can throttle access to specific websites as they see fit.”
So, for example, big rich companies could afford hefty fees to providers so their web pages arrive faster in your browser than – oh, let's say political groups that depend on donations or blogs like yours and mine that are throttled because they can't bear the increased cost.

Also, ISPs may offer new tiered systems of subscription where we, the users, could be required to choose websites and content based on the price we are willing or able to pay for a certain package level.

There are many more ways ISPs can favor one kind of content. The Verge explains another:

”One current practice that’s a sign of things to come is zero-rating, where internet providers offer free data when you use certain services. This sounds great on the surface (who wouldn’t want free data?), but it gives a huge advantage to the sites and services that the internet provider chooses to support.

“AT&T, for instance, offers free streaming of its own video services, like DirecTV Now, whereas subscribers still have to pay in order to stream Hulu. That means an AT&T customer may be more inclined to sign up for DirecTV than Hulu, which would make life harder for Hulu and other streaming video competitors.

“Over the long run, this could allow established tech and telecom giants to pick the services that win and lose, rather than having them all compete on an even playing field and letting consumers pick which they like better.”

Publication of the FCC order in the Federal Register is important because now, notes Reuters,

”...state attorneys general and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order from taking effect.”

Engadget again:

”...the attorney general of New York is set to sue the FCC over the repeal of net neutrality, and more states and advocacy groups will follow.

“Democrats in the Senate have the votes to restore net neutrality (but not the two-thirds majority required to override the president's veto, which would surely follow any action on their part.)”

Most of the news coverage of this filing yesterday suggested it will be difficult if not impossible for Democrats in Congress to override Republican approval of the revocation order. Reuters again:

”Even if Democrats could win a majority in the Senate, a repeal would also require winning a vote in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a larger majority, and would still be subject to a likely veto by President Donald Trump.

“Democrats need 51 votes to win any proposal in the Republican-controlled Senate because Vice President Mike Pence can break any tie...

“The approval of Pai’s proposal by the FCC marked a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

“Earlier this month, technology companies including Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc threw their weight behind the congressional bid to reverse the Trump administration’s plan to repeal Obama-era rules designed to protect an open internet.”

Do recall, everyone, that during the public comment period for this order, the FCC received more than a million fake comments supporting their proposed repeal of net neutrality.

Rather than investigate the false comments to get an honest count of the public's position, Chairman Pai ignored the intrusion and went forward with safeguarding the internet for corporations. (See this Salon story.)

Net neutrality is a consumer issue but it is also an important free speech issue. Because the internet has become indespensible for almost everything we do in life, it is crucial to individual wellbeing, support of the Constitution and equality.

Between now and 23 April, please contact your federal representatives and urge them to vote down the hypocritically named Restoring Internet Freedom Order.


Great to see and hear your voice again thanks to you and Alex. You're looking wonderful!

Gorgeous Ronni and I loved listening to you two reminisce about then and now. Xx

Really enjoyed listening to you two. Good to see you!

Love getting to see and hear you. I feel I know you so much better.

Ronni, You are my hero! Thank you for everything and maseltov on your cancer free result. We all love you......

I, too, loved seeing you in the Interview. You look like you have lost weight since the last Interview. Whether that's true or not, I think you look simply "Mahveolous Darlin'". Your laugh and smile are infectious and I felt better by just looking at you.

This terrible administration is hell bent on making our lives much worse. If the Internet becomes a way for Verizon, Comcast, et. al. to become even wealthier at our expense and by driving every liberal or progressive channel out of the Internet they will have succeeded in privatizing another industry and controlling all of the news.

I am sick at heart for our country. God save us for the politicians sure won't. As Alex pointed out, they just want us to die.

I so much enjoyed seeing you n Alex He’s right you’re soo pretty n a cancer survivor to boot How wonderful. Please do another one soon. We all love you Thankyou for all you do. You’re a god send. God Bless you. Stay well. Xo

My reps are adamantly opposed to Pai's internet plan--and everything else on the Rethugs' agenda as well--but they're Dems so their power (for now) is limited. Big hopes for a dramatic change in that situation come November. . .

Plan to view the "Ronni 'n Alex" video this evening.

You're abs beautiful! and charming.

Salute to you in maintaining a cordial relationship with an ex-spouse (tho' I guess some credit goes to your partner too).

Thank you very much for this site, and highlighting political issues of the day. I love dropping by and re-affirming my belief that all USA is NOT barking mad.

Net Neutrality continues to be such an important issue for true communication freedom. We should all be up in arms. Anything we each can do, however slim the possibility of success, reversing the FCC action we should do. Hopefully the the legal actions of Attorney Generals will make a difference. Thanks for providing such a succint summary of the matter.

Great interview, Ronni. You touched on so many relevant topics, especially the part where you and Alex talked about young people getting busy, taking a stand against gun violence.

You look beautiful, healthy. Your laugh is infectious. I noticed a blanket and cushion on your couch, like at Ronni's Cafe.

You have a comfortable rapport with your ex. No rough edges. Friends for life. You lived parallel lives, can now look back and be proud of your accomplishments.

Excellent interview.

Do it again.

Your Montreal Fan

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