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Trump and His Thieves Gut Net Neutrality

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Equal access to the internet has been an important part of its growth. Now that it is well-established the providers want higher profits by controlling access and speed. The Obama administration rejected those efforts. Naturally, Trump caved to the fat cats.

 

When Comcast and other providers have the new rules in place, expect to pay for faster speeds or face long wait times per site. Maybe there will be a surcharge for Netlix or Amazon. Will they monitor your video time and charge for that? The sky is the limit now that these sharks have bought the Republicans.

 

Net neutrality is dead? Not if consumers punish the thieves. Bring back net neutrality should be our mantra for 2018.

 

 

The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites.

 

The proposal, put forward by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibited high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery of websites, or charging extra fees for the best quality of streaming and other internet services for their subscribers. Those limits are central to the concept called net neutrality.

 

...The clear winners from the move would be the giant companies that provide internet access to phones and computers, which have fought for years against broadband regulations. A repeal of the rules would allow the companies to exert more control over the online experiences of American consumers.

 

Big online companies like Amazon say that the telecom companies would be able to show favoritism to certain web services, by charging for accessing some sites but not others, or by slowing the connection speed to some sites. Small online companies say the proposal would hurt innovation. Only the largest companies, they say, would be able to afford the expense of making sure their sites received preferred treatment.

 

And consumers, the online companies say, may see their costs go up to get quality access to popular websites like Netflix.

 

F.C.C. Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in Victory for Telecoms

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/technology/fcc-net-neutrality.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

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A group of important companies sent a letter to the FCC calling for the continuation of net neutrality regulations.

 

 

AirBnb, Reddit, Shutterstock, Inc, Tumblr, Etsy (ETSY.O), Twitter (TWTR.N) and a long list of small internet companies urged the Federal Communications Commission on Monday to scrap a plan to roll back net neutrality rules.

 

...The companies, which sent the letter on Cyber Monday to coincide with the biggest online shopping day of the year, argued that slowing access to content, called “throttling,” or blocking it altogether, would hurt the U.S. economy.

 

“This would put small and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage and prevent innovative new ones from even getting off the ground,” the companies said in the letter.

 

...The move was seen as a victory for big internet service providers such as AT&T Inc (T.N), Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), which favored a repeal.

 

They need to generate a public outcry. The last time there was a chance this might happen, there was a major hell-raising. Trump is too stupid and too rich to give a hoot. (Twitter should let someone propose limiting the president's usage if the changes take place.)

 

A poll during the summer found 60% of Americans wanted net neutrality to continue. A full 23% didn't know enough to have an opinion. (http://thehill.com/policy/technology/339137-poll-60-percent-of-voters-support-fccs-net-neutrality-rules)

 

The big carriers are about to get their pay back for buying Republicans.

 

Internet businesses ask U.S. to keep net neutrality rules

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-internet-letter/internet-businesses-ask-u-s-to-keep-net-neutrality-rules-idUSKBN1DR2TH

 

A major new issue emerged a few days ago with the revelation that millions of email responses to the net neutrality debate were fake. The Russians are not the only people using bots to distort the political process to their advantage. Hmmm...surely the honest, caring folks at Comcast wouldn't stoop to such a dirty trick, would they?

 

Even more interesting is the effort by Pai to prevent the states from making their own rules. Dare I suggest collusion between the carriers and the administration? Anyone...anyone...Bueller?

 

 

Americans do not want internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and Verizon controlling what websites they can see, or how quickly they can load them. When pollsters ask U.S. voters whether they support net neutrality — regulations that require ISPs to treat all web traffic equally — a large bipartisan majority answers in the affirmative.

 

Among Americans who care deeply about the issue, support for net neutrality is even more overwhelming. When the Federal Communications Commission considered unwinding those regulations in 2015, so many Americans posted pro-net-neutrality messages to the FCC’s webpage for public comments, the site crashed.

 

The ISPs, however, are quite keen on accruing more power to curate your internet experience (a.k.a. extort content creators into paying for competitive broadband speeds). And the Trump administration’s regulatory philosophy is, ostensibly, that powerful corporations should be able to do whatever unpopular thing they want (so long as they purchase an indulgence from a Republican campaign committee).

 

Thus, it wasn’t surprising when the GOP-controlled FCC began the process of ending net neutrality earlier this year by once again soliciting public comments on the policy. But the responses that the commission received were quite surprising, indeed: A solid majority of Americans who posted comments to the FCC’s website favored scrapping net neutrality.

 

These Americans were so passionately opposed to the status quo policy — and so well organized — that they posted the following comment, verbatim, 1.2 million times:

 

The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation.\n\nI urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years.\n\nThe plan currently under consideration at the FCC to repeal Obama’s Title II power grab is a positive step forward and will help to promote a truly free and open internet for everyone.\n

 

You will be shocked to learn that 1.2 million Americans did not actually, individually, submit this lamentation of “Obama Title II power grab,” interspersed with random strings of “\n.” In October, the data analytics company Gravwell found that only about 17 percent of the comments submitted to the FCC on net neutrality were written by individual humans. Ninety-five percent of these were in favor of net neutrality. The rest of the comments were “submitted in bulk and many come in batches with obviously incorrect information — over 1,000,000 comments in July claimed to have a pornhub.com email address.”

 

These were overwhelmingly supportive of the Trump administration’s position.

 

This week, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced that hundreds of thousands of the bulk-submitted comments were falsely attributed to actual Americans.

 

“My office analyzed the public comments submitted to the @FCC about #netneutrality — and found that 100,000s of Americans were likely impersonated to drown out the views of real people and businesses,” Schneiderman tweeted Tuesday.

 

Although some comments were attributed to fake names with porn-themed email addresses, “Many misused the real names and addresses of actual people as part of the effort to undermine the integrity of the comment process. That’s akin to identity theft, and it happened on a massive scale,” Schneiderman said.

 

For some strange reason, the Trump administration has evinced zero interest in finding out how this happened. Schneiderman claims that his office contacted the FCC nine separate times about the investigation, without ever receiving a response. The attorney general wrote that this was a major headache for his team, since “successfully investigating this sort of illegal conduct requires the participation of the agency whose system was attacked.”

 

While bots were drowning out majoritarian opposition to ending net neutrality, Trump’s team was plotting to neutralize that opposition in the States. Earlier this year, Republicans killed an Obama-era rule that restricted the ability of ISPs to collect and sell their users’ data without explicit permission. Nearly two dozen states responded by proposing legislation that would impose similar restrictions on internet providers within their borders. FCC chair Ajit Pai is trying to preempt similar state-level subversion of his net-neutrality rollback, by stipulating in his “Restoring Internet Freedom” order that the federal rules change would override state and local regulations. Pai’s legal argument is that broadband qualifies as an “interstate” information service, and thus Uncle Sam has the power to block internet regulations that subvert federal policy.

 

Fake Americans Dominated the Net-Neutrality Debate

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/fake-americans-dominated-the-net-neutrality-debate.html

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The University of Maryland did an extensive survey analysis of the public's views on net neutrality and concluded that 83% oppose the FCC's plan to scalp the people so monopolistic carriers like Comcast can up their profits while 16% think its a great idea.

 

Trump's government is a give away to the rich from gutting pollution standards for the Koch Bros, to making Comcast profits greater (and consumer costs higher) again, to the tax cut for the rich that just cut rates for the top AGAIN in the reconciliation bill. The rest of us pick up the tab for the rich. I wonder if the suckers who voted for Trump are beginning to wake up? Looking at the results from Alabama last night, ALABAMA!, where exit polls showed that 48% supported Trump and 48% opposed Trump in a state that he carried in a landslide last year, 62.1% to 34.4%. I would say those folks might get fooled once, and that can happen to anyone, but not again.

 

Still, he is able to do a lot of damage and gutting net neutrality is another rotten deal for the American people.

 

 

On the eve of a pivotal vote that would deregulate the broadband industry, a fresh survey from the University of Maryland shows that large majorities of Americans — including 3 out of 4 Republicans — oppose the government's plan to repeal its net neutrality rules for Internet providers.

 

The results paint the picture of an electorate that is largely at odds with the GOP-led Federal Communications Commission, whose chairman, Ajit Pai, plans to vote Thursday to lift key rules for corporations such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. The move would permit such companies to speed up some websites, and slow down or block others, as Internet providers seek new business models in a rapidly changing media and technology environment.

 

The survey by the university's Program for Public Consultation and Voice of the People, a nonpartisan polling organization, concluded that 83 percent of Americans do not approve of the FCC proposal. Just 16 percent said they approved.

 

This poll gave Americans a detailed case for and against the FCC’s net neutrality plan. The reaction among Republicans was striking

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/12/12/this-poll-gave-americans-a-detailed-case-for-and-against-the-fccs-net-neutrality-plan-the-reaction-among-republicans-was-striking/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.ed302b31af0c

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The deed is done. Today the Trump administration's FCC demonstrated once again the fraud at the heart of Trump's electoral campaign. He is NOT for the little guy. He is NOT prepared to take on the powerful interests to defend the people from rapacious greed. He IS, in fact, a Pig at the trough concerned only with cashing in on a tax bill that will grant him at least a billion dollars in tax and inheritance relief. Had more than one year of his tax returns been in the public domain, we could know if that is a minimum or a maximum amount. Indeed, it may be much more given the last minute cut to the top rate for billionaires. In the matter of net neutrality, Trump has unleashed the broadband monopolists to slow service or charge higher fees in any combination they see fit. Anyone who has attempted to negotiate the TV service "packages" offered by Comcast has an inkling of the kind of crap we face ahead.

 

Net neutrality rules weakened by US regulator

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42355666

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Not at all.

 

I want to know how it directly affects the lower to middle tiers of service providers? Bill- how could this impact your station, the forum, and any of the online communications? I hope its not much if anything. Thanks.

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Thanks for asking the question, as it most often the case in these types of things, it's not the immediate nature that will have any effect at all, despite what you might here. It's the implication of what it might become. The case for "Net Neutrality" was firmly established in 1936 and, of course, applied to telecommunications. When the internet providers (ISP's) started fooping around with the delivery for their own selfish reasons, the Government attempted to apply this 1936 Act to the internet. Sort of like telling a person they can't park their car in front of a fire hydrant when the law plainly says all horses must be tied to designated hitching posts. This thing won't hold water until it addresses modern issues. Consider this:

 

The Supreme Court says the FCC has the authority to classify and regulate the Internet in whichever way makes the most sense to the agency. Today the FCC says DNS and caching are fundamental to neutrality among internet users. 2 years ago they said it had no effect at all. Heck, Congress hasn't weighed in on what the internet is since 1996 when they called it "an information service" and beyond that it's whatever the FCC says they think it is.

 

Until the government can define exactly what the internet is, like the 1936 Act did with telecommunications, Net Neutrality and the regulation of it are just a bunch of words.

 

It definitely needs to be regulated, and for that reason I hate to see what has just happened.

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What are some implications for the end of net neutrality? WaPo offers a few observations. The best analogy is an unpleasant experience many of us have endured--the airline boarding process. On your ticket you get a number. Usually I get a 4 or 5 on an international flight unless I purchase an upgraded Economy seat at $200, then I might get a 2 or 3. That number represents the order in which you may board the plane. The pilots and fight attendants board first--no ticket required. First/Business Class gets a special line and a 1 on their tickets--they pay the big bucks (think Google and Facebook buying priority service form Comcast). An upgraded economy--a seat with enough space to prevent your knees from gouging the seat in front of you has a 2 or 3. Then comes everyone else according to whatever logic the airline decides. If you are the last to board with a 4 or 5, your carry on may find no compartment left and you are forced to check your bag or bags (you can have 2) with a flight attendant. You are the lowest of the low both shunned, angry and humiliated. (In internet terms, nobody will look at your website because it will be on the last page of a Google search.) How does that compare to net neutrality? Consider this...

 

 

Without the neutrality rules, Internet providers could set up their own fast lanes—meaning certain websites could buy first-class treatment, while others are stuck in cattle class. Providers could sell Internet service in packages, like cable-TV bundles. Service providers would also have the right to set up their own no-fly lists, blocking certain websites that they don’t like or compete with their own business.

 

For you, certain websites could slow to a crawl. Or perhaps they wouldn’t show up at all.

 

The problem isn’t what happens to Silicon Valley companies who can afford special treatment. It’s hard to shed a tear for Facebook or Google fighting with the cable guy over who gets to swim around in the largest pile of money.

 

... Google search results give lower rankings to slower sites. So if iFixit’s pages slow down, its instructions for replacing an iPhone battery could lose their audience.

 

Small businesses from craft sellers on Etsy to online video stars have raised the same concerns. It crosses the political spectrum: Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of conservative news outlet Newsmax, has asked the FCC to make sure providers can't block or throttle content, particularly news content, according to the trade publication Multichannel News.

 

...The deepest impact will be invisible: small businesses...stuck in the slow lane. Multiply that impact by thousands of sites, we could lose what what makes the Internet so useful in the first place. Without net neutrality, many new ideas just won’t ever take flight.

 

The FCC’s net neutrality rules are gone. Now this is what could happen to the Web.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/12/13/net-neutrality-keeps-the-web-from-running-like-an-airport-security-line-and-it-might-go-away/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_net-whatsnext-1110pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.c6c7ef6e9d61

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Consumer Reports is pretty reliable on things. Good article out today addressing this question.

 

 

Now that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under chairman Ajit Pai has officially repealed net neutrality rules that have been in effect since 2015, the question becomes: Will the web really change?

 

The vote took place on Thursday, but nothing will change immediately, according to both advocates and opponents of the rules.

 

 

Here's the entire article: https://www.consumerreports.org/net-neutrality/end-of-net-neutrality-what-to-watch-for/

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The internet is not the same as it was in the early 2000s. There is more than 1 high speed provider in most localities now. Service providers in our area range from Comcast, Century-link, Hughes Net, MiNet, Chatmoss, various Dial-ups, to various wireless providers.

 

Just like the throttling and data caps in the wireless industry have gone the way of the DoDo so will this paranoia of control by the ISPs on web speeds by certain websites. Competition is the answer. Regulation prevents business from operating in a way they can afford to expand to rural areas where the margins aren't as high because the population is less dense.

 

Over the next 5-10 years, this won't matter anyway. We will all get our internet from radio waves in an ultra high speed form from MANY providers that are in the wireless industry. Verizon is already testing 5G in several markets and that will blow cable and DSL out of the water.

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Net neutrality, that is, classifying the internet as a public utility, makes the expansion of its services to remote areas more likely rather than less likely. Eliminating equal treatment for all content is likely to stifle new, innovative start ups too small and too poor to compete with those who can pay to play.

 

Wavenet sounds great but I think most of us would prefer a level playing field for all content providers while we are stuck with the current configuration.

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Net neutrality, that is, classifying the internet as a public utility, makes the expansion of its services to remote areas more likely rather than less likely. Eliminating equal treatment for all content is likely to stifle new, innovative start ups too small and too poor to compete with those who can pay to play.

 

Wavenet sounds great but I think most of us would prefer a level playing field for all content providers while we are stuck with the current configuration.

 

 

When i think of utilities, all of them are monopolies. There is no competition. Phone lines, water, sewer, gas, power, and garbage pick-up all have a monopoly on the market. I'm not going to list cable TV or Internet because there are now multiple ways to get the end result now because of growth, opportunity, and innovation. These key components are strangled out of public utilities and leaves us with these inefficient dinosaurs we have now.

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A coupe of years ago high speed internet was available to around 80% of users from only one ISP Gutting net neutrality will do nothing to change that.

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When i think of utilities, all of them are monopolies. There is no competition. Phone lines, water, sewer, gas, power, and garbage pick-up all have a monopoly on the market. I'm not going to list cable TV or Internet because there are now multiple ways to get the end result now because of growth, opportunity, and innovation. These key components are strangled out of public utilities and leaves us with these inefficient dinosaurs we have now.

 

 

Some of  those are, and should be, public service provided by your taxes. Speaking specifically with water service, water quality, sewage, etc.

 

Trash pickup and recycling has been a public domain but in a lot of areas who have thriving competition. On my rural road we have 3 different trash and recycling companies. And speaking of which, we're about to change that one at our house if they dump half of our garbage on the road next friday pickup!

 

In the present day, broadband access needs to be available to everyone everywhere. Especially us in rural America. Without it we are all destined to failure and poverty, industry, and access to a better life will be a fleeting memory of "the good ole days"!

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A coupe of years ago high speed internet was available to around 80% of users from only one ISP Gutting net neutrality will do nothing to change that.

 

 

I could see where initially net neutrality may be viewed as something that could be needed. ISPs were still discovering revenue generating services they could offer in addition to the service itself(modem/router rental, insurance, service fees, tiers, etc). A lot of areas like ours could only handle one worth the investment of bringing the infrastructure here to provide it. We also skew older so even less of the population would even want to consume the product. We enacted net neutrality a couple of years ago. The action itself prevents new ISPs from entering because they are limited to the ways they can make money to become profitable. It raises the barrier of entry. Most companied aren't profitable the first few years they operate. It is something that is achieved through hard work, growth, and innovation that isn't currently offered by competitors. Net Neutrality tells these companies what they can't do to make money. Some companies may not be willing to take the risk in investing if government tells them what they can and can't do.

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When i think of utilities, all of them are monopolies. There is no competition. Phone lines, water, sewer, gas, power, and garbage pick-up all have a monopoly on the market. I'm not going to list cable TV or Internet because there are now multiple ways to get the end result now because of growth, opportunity, and innovation. These key components are strangled out of public utilities and leaves us with these inefficient dinosaurs we have now.

 

 

Some of  those are, and should be, public service provided by your taxes. Speaking specifically with water service, water quality, sewage, etc.

 

Trash pickup and recycling has been a public domain but in a lot of areas who have thriving competition. On my rural road we have 3 different trash and recycling companies. And speaking of which, we're about to change that one at our house if they dump half of our garbage on the road next friday pickup!

 

In the present day, broadband access needs to be available to everyone everywhere. Especially us in rural America. Without it we are all destined to failure and poverty, industry, and access to a better life will be a fleeting memory of "the good ole days"!

 

 

As far as water and government, all I have to say is Detroit. If it was a private company, that wouldn't have happened.

 

I 100% agree that internet access in America should be available anywhere. I'm interested in how you think we achieve that. Where do we not have that now?

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Over the next 5-10 years, this won't matter anyway. We will all get our internet from radio waves in an ultra high speed form from MANY providers that are in the wireless industry. Verizon is already testing 5G in several markets and that will blow cable and DSL out of the water.

 

 

and boom goes the dynamite.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-5g/att-to-launch-5g-in-u-s-by-late-2018-idUSKBN1ET0FX

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It was Flint, Michigan and thanks to some Hokies they found the problem's source, and have worked to clean that issue up while laying out plans to prevent such events happening elsewhere in the country.

 

Go Hokies! Even though I wasn't interested (or smart enough) to get my major in science and engineering.

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It was Flint, Michigan and thanks to some Hokies they found the problem's source, and have worked to clean that issue up while laying out plans to prevent such events happening elsewhere in the country.

 

Go Hokies! Even though I wasn't interested (or smart enough) to get my major in science and engineering.

 

 

Thanks for keeping me honest

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Net neutrality is getting support from three sources. Several states are developing legislation that would essentially require service providers to maintain the features associated with the term. At the same time, Senate Democrats claim to have enough votes to bring the issue to the floor of the Senate where it could pass. That would set up a clash with the House and the president who are unlikely to support it. Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic leader, said Democrats would make it an issue in the 2018 Congressional campaign. Finally, major tech companies are joining the fight. Google, Netflix, and Facebook are among those who promise to join lawsuits against the FCC.

 

The FCC claims that its regulations supersede state law, but that has not been the case in at least one previous Supreme Court ruling.

 

The push back by itself may be enough to maintain the existing rules in spite of the success of Comcast, et al., in buying off Trump's FCC.

 

Lawmakers in at least six states, including California and New York, have introduced bills in recent weeks that would forbid internet providers to block or slow down sites or online services. Legislators in several other states, including North Carolina and Illinois, are weighing similar action.

 

They are responding to the Federal Communications Commission’s vote last month to end regulations that barred internet service providers from creating slow and fast lanes for different sites and services. The new policy will go into effect in the coming weeks.

 

...“The internet is the ultimate form of interstate commerce, which is clearly only within the authority of the F.C.C.,” said Bret Swanson, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who specializes in telecommunications policy.

 

But the state lawmakers argue that they have an obligation to protect consumers with net neutrality rules and that local governments can approve or deny requests by telecommunications providers to operate in their states. They also argue that it is unclear if the Federal Communications Commission can declare a blanket pre-emption of states, something they say Congress would have to do. In 2016, a federal court ruled against the commission’s effort to pre-empt state laws related to municipal broadband networks.

 

...On Tuesday, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, announced that he had enough support to force a vote on a congressional resolution to bring back the rules. He gained an important Republican supporter, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who said she would vote in favor of it.

 

...Last week, a lobbying group for big technology companies including Facebook, Google and Netflix announced that it planned to join the lawsuits, giving the opposition substantial new resources. More than a dozen state attorneys general have also announced plans to sue the commission.

 

States Push Back After Net Neutrality Repeal

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/technology/net-neutrality-states.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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