WASHINGTON, November 2, 2009 – Stephen Liu, the designer and architect of Cisco System’s myPlanNet and a senior marketing manager at Cisco, discussed the company’s new computer game that puts the common man in the shoes of the broadband executive. Edited excerpt of his interview with Winter Casey, Reporter, BroadbandCensus.com, are as follows:
Q: What sparked the development of myPlanNet?
A: This was actually a result of an internal contest to inspire innovation in marketing.
For me, it was a cool and fun way to illustrate just how far the communications have changed over 25 years and how people’s lives have shifted as a result. Remember life before cell phones or when you connected to the Internet on demand vs. it just always being on? We had some fun reminiscing on those nostalgic times when creating this.
Q: How long has it been in the works? It was released in October, correct?
A: This has been a side project for a small team of people at Cisco for about one year.
Q: Why did Cisco do the project? Did it by any chance want to get at some of the most pressing issues/debates at the time?
A: There are a lot of reasons. For one, it’s educational. We have over one million people affiliated with the Cisco Learning Network. This game helps weave together a lot of the technology and acronyms they are studying into a historical narrative and also puts it together from a business perspective. Many students enjoy this game because it helps them see a “bigger picture” in a fun and interactive way.
Secondly, no other vendor can really showcase the end-to-end story here. The game shows how Cisco has been a part of 25 years of IP [internet protocol] thought leadership. This is more than just networking, it’s about evolving business from simple connectivity into experience providers. You evolve from businesses models based on data access speeds and feeds into new applications that depend on the data center such as IP Video, Collaboration, Cloud Computing, 4G mobile. Depending on where you are in the world, you can identify yourself somewhere on this evolutionary timeline and see how far you have come and get visibility into what lies ahead. It helps bring some of the new services to life.
Lastly, as you evolve, so does the city and the lives of the inhabitants. You can listen to the customers as they deliver testimonials how the way they work, live, learn, and play change over time.
Q: It seems like a very interesting game topic in light of the network neutrality debate in Washington regarding internet access and all of the attention being placed on getting out quality broadband. Were these factors?
A: It wasn’t a main driving factor, but it’s part of the game. There are factors that come into play when you discover new technologies such as user-based content or IP Video and cloud based services. There are some things you have to deal with when faced with loads generated by over-the-top type of traffic. It’s only one piece of the puzzle, though.
Q: Is the game meant to be educational?
A: Yes! Edutainment!
FCC’s Simington Welcomes Congressional Action on Net Neutrality
The commissioner prefers going the route of legislation over Democratic FCC commissioners leading the charge for neutrality protections.
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2022 – Federal Communications Commissioner Nathan Simington said last week he would welcome congressional legislation to address debates over policy on net neutrality that continue to rage as the commission considers provisions that would protect the principle.
In a keynote address at an event Thursday on net neutrality hosted by think tank The R Street Institute, the Republican commissioner — who has opposed the net neutrality provisions imposed in 2015 by the commission under the former President Barack Obama – indicated he would prefer legislative action on net neutrality policy to proposals of Democratic FCC commissioners to regulate it through policy of the commission.
“Personally I would welcome congressional action to put this issue to rest,” said Simington, “I think a good law would focus on preventing blocking.”
Under the administration of former President Donald Trump, the FCC had in 2017 reversed the Obama-era net neutrality provisions, which prevented internet service providers from having a hand manipulating the data traffic over their networks to do things like provide faster or free access to certain applications.
Simington’s comment is significant for two reasons: because it comes after FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told lawmakers earlier this year that she is committed to the idea of the restoration of net neutrality principles; and because the commission is on the cusp of a Senate-approved fifth commissioner in Democrat and net neutrality advocate Gigi Sohn, which would break the 2-2 party split and would signal less friction when approving the Democratic agenda.
Thursday’s event also featured a panel that discussed issues such as whether a new agency must be created to deal with issues of net neutrality or whether an existing body such as the Federal Trade Commission can fulfill that role.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Efforts to Eliminate California Net Neutrality Law
A coalition of telecommunication trade associations were unable to sway the court.
April 20, 2022 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday denied the efforts of telecommunications trade groups to to rehear its prior decision upholding California’s 2018 net neutrality law.
In January, the court turned back industry trade groups, including US Telecom, the cable industry groups NCTA and ACA Connects, and the wireless association CTIA, who had sought to overturn California’s SB 822 on the grounds that the Federal Communications Commission federal rules on net neutrality conflict with California’s state level rules.
Then, the appeals court found that because the FCC determined – in a prior ruling during the Trump administration – that it no longer had authority over broadband consumer protection, California’s broadband consumer protection law could go into effect.
On Wednesday, the appeals court refused to reconsider whether the California law had been preempted by the FCC’s decision.
In January 2018, the FCC – administered by then-Commissioner Ajit Pai – rescinded rules put in place in 2015 by the Obama administration that had reclassified broadband services from “information services” to “telecommunication services.” The latter category is subject to far more regulations.
Later that year, California passed SB 822, putting net neutrality requirements in place for California consumers, even after the rules had been gutted at the federal level by the FCC.
On the federal level, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Trump administration’s removal of net neutrality requirements in October 2019. Although the Pai FCC’s reclassification was largely upheld by the D.C. circuit court, the victory was tempered by the court’s decision, by a two-to-one margin, to vacate the FCC’s having purported to preempt “any state or local requirements that are inconsistent with [the FCC’s] de-regulatory approach.”
In a tweet about Wednesday’s ruling, FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said:
- The 9th Circuit just denied the effort to rehear its decision upholding California’s #netneutrality law. This is big. Because when the FCC rolled back its open internet policies, states stepped in. I support net neutrality and we need once again to make it the law of the land.
“As expected, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected yet another attempt by internet service providers to overturn California’s strong net neutrality law,” said John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge.
“The California net neutrality law is now undefeated in court after four attempts to eliminate it,” he said. Net neutrality protections nationally continue to be common sense and popular with the public among all ideologies. It’s good news that Californians will continue to enjoy this important consumer protection, and we look forward to a full Federal Communications Commission restoring net neutrality nationwide.”
Federal Appeals Court Upholds California’s Net Neutrality Rules
The ruling prevents internet providers in the state from abandoning net neutrality for broadband customers.
January 28, 2022 – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled against broadband companies seeking to block a state net neutrality law, and internet policy advocates are calling it a win for consumers in California.
The ruling comes after industry trade groups, including US Telecom, the cable industry groups NCTA and ACA Connects, and the wireless association CTIA, sought to overturn California’s law on the grounds that the Federal Communications Commission’s now-abandoned federal rules on net neutrality conflict with California’s state level rules.
The court found that because the FCC determined – in a prior ruling during the Trump administration – that it no longer had authority over broadband consumer protection, California’s broadband consumer protection law could go into effect.
SB 822, or the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018, restricts internet service providers from some activities. For example, the state law prevents paid prioritization, or agreements that would optimize data transfer rates large companies including Facebook, Google and Netflix.
The law also prohibits so-called “zero-rating” practices that some believe exploit consumers by allowing free access to some services but not others.
John Bergmayer, legal director at Public Knowledge, called the ruling a “great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide.”
“When the FCC has its full complement of commissioners, it should put into place rules at least as strong as California’s nationwide, making some state measures unnecessary. But even after that happens, this decision clarifies that states have room to enact broadband consumer protection laws that go beyond the federal baseline.”
But Randy May, president of the Free State Foundation, said “like a lot of Ninth Circuit decisions, it is arguable that the court got the law wrong regarding whether California’s net neutrality law is preempted. Given the inherently interstate nature of today’s tightly integrated broadband internet networks, there’s a good chance that other circuits might reach a different conclusion regarding preemption.
May said that the risks of a patchwork of state regulations “should prompt Congress to resolve the decades-old net neutrality controversy by adopting a new law that prevents consumer harm while recognizing the technologically dynamic nature of today’s Internet ecosystem.”
The opinion was authored by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Mary Schroeder and joined by Judge Danielle Forrest with a concurrence by Judge J. Clifford Wallace.
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