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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-10-28 18:59
Tim Wu, the self-described “policy advocate,” who coined the term “net neutrality;” who has been a leading activist for preemptively regulating broadband service like a utility despite scant evidence of any problem; who from 2008-2011 was Chair of the pressure group FreePress that ran the notoriously-deceptive “Save The Internet” campaign to force FCC net neutrality regulation that was overturned in court; who has been part of a decade-long PR demonization effort of broadband companies for first not having fast enough broadband speed relative to the world and then for enabling broadband “fast lanes” -- is now the “Senior Enforcement Counsel and Special Advisor” to the New York Attorney General, who is investigating Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and Verizon for allegedly providing broadband service at speeds less than the companies advertise.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2015-10-23 12:51
There are troubling signals that the FCC is gearing up to further increase regulation of cable -- on top of the extra-legal new utility regulation the FCC already did in its 2015 Open Internet Order.
What is profoundly troubling is the abject illegitimacy of their premise for more regulation of cable, i.e. the FCC’s new arbitrary and capricious definition of broadband that illegitimately redefined long-recognized, strong broadband competition -- out of existence with the stroke of a pen.
So what are the signals of more cable regulation? Two speeches from the FCC Chairman, one from the FCC General Counsel, another from the DOJ Antitrust Chief, a variety of Hill and edge-industry entreaties to regulate cable more via new MVPD or ALLVID regulatory proceedings, (but of course without regulating favored edge providers), and an explosion of new opposition to the proposed Charter-Time-Warner merger (by the exact same cast of characters whose opposition doomed the Comcast-Time-Warner merger).
This broad simultaneous level of focused regulatory chatter and organized activity is not coincidental, but highly-orchestrated and abjectly illegitimate.
Why is more cable regulation abjectly illegitimate?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2015-10-19 23:18
The FCC’s approach to special access is all wrong because they should be doing the exact opposite of what they are doing. The FCC should be price de-regulating special access, not signaling increased micro-regulation of special access rate terms and conditions.
Like an ostrich, the FCC has its head hidden in the sand on its approach to special access regulation, hoping that no one notices that the rest of its body is fully exposed.
If the FCC can convince everyone to join them and put their heads in the sand too, and to look at special access regulation in the dark of self-defined isolation, and ignore the broader context of the competitive U.S. communications sector visible all around them, the FCC has a reasonable chance of sounding reasonable.
However, if anyone has their head out of the FCC’s regulatory sandpit and looks around for a moment at special access regulation in the broader context of the real world, more special access regulation looks ridiculous, just like the exposed back-end of an ostrich does when it hides its head in the sand.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-10-07 18:43
Don’t miss the sweeping antitrust, privacy, security, and EU-U.S. Data Safe Harbor ramifications of Google-Android’s power grab and highly-strategic acquisition last week of Jibe Mobile’s “Rich Communications Suite” (RCS), the world’s leading, mobile-carrier, messaging platform/standard.
Simply, Google has just acquired the single missing strategic piece holding Google back from being able to centralize the recording, data transfer and analysis of most global mobile communications like it has already centralized the collection, data transfer, and indexing of the world’s digital information.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-09-30 15:24
To try to justify mandating Title II utility regulation of broadband and the blocking of the Comcast-Time Warner acquisition, the Administration and FCC had to gerrymander broadband definitions to reach their political goal that wireless broadband service not be considered an official competitor to wireline broadband service.
Never mind the obvious: that the nearly three quarters of Americans who use a smartphone know that one can functionally do most everything one wants on a mobile smartphone/tablet/laptop that one can do on a wireline connection. Also never mind: tens of millions of Americans who use only wireless broadband for all their Internet needs.
To try to justify preempting State limitations of gigabit muni-broadband build-outs and its cheerleading for Government Owned Networks (GON) to politically and economically devalue commercial broadband competition, the government had to ensure that the wireless industry could not create four more very-high-speed competitors to wireline cable and telco broadband providers.
It did so by unilaterally changing Federal spectrum policy to starve and limit the amount of licensed and unlicensed spectrum available to wireless users long-term, because for smartphone users -- spectrum is speed. Limit spectrum, limit speed, to maintain the charade that wireless broadband does not compete with wireline broadband.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2015-09-25 10:03
It is timely to fact check the Federal Government’s storyline that broadband is a ‘core utility,’ given a new White House report that directs municipalities that broadband is a “core utility… like water, sewer and electricity;” and given that a senior FCC official recently encouraged local municipalities at the NATOA conference to build their own local broadband infrastructure with the FCC’s backing now that the FCC has claimed the legal authority to preempt State laws limiting municipal broadband.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-09-23 11:28
The juxtaposition of Google tacitly accusing the EU with “digital protectionism” and “discrimination” as the EU’s Digital Chief, Günther Oettinger, visits D.C. and Silicon Valley, while the Google-created Internet Association this week asks for U.S. protection from ISP “discrimination” in an appeals court brief in support of the FCC’s Open Internet order – exposes exceptional hypocrisy.
Antitrust and privacy regulators around the world weren’t born yesterday. They know Google and its online platform allies want it both ways – manipulating policy to advantage them and disadvantage their potential competitors.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2015-09-18 11:08
How many times is it “reasonable” for any agency to assert that their core legal arguments are “reasonable” before they sound unreasonable? A few? Several? A dozen?
Of the 19 core statutory arguments in the summary defense of the FCC’s Open Internet order, TWELVE defend the order by declaring the FCC’s legal judgment was “reasonable.”
When arguing in court that the FCC has the statutory authority to common-carrier-regulate the Internet for the first time, shouldn’t the FCC be able to declare at least once in their summary defense: “the law says,” “precedent supports,” or at least “Congress intended?”
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2015-09-14 18:15
The FCC’s latest legal brief defending its Open Internet Order, will represent the FCC’s “strongest possible” legal arguments for its Title II net neutrality case – a vainglorious legal fortress.
In reality, the FCC’s legal case is closer to a magnificent beach sandcastle.
Its downfall will be that its case is sand, on top of a sand foundation -- that won’t be able to weather the elements intact.
Consider some of the elements the FCC’s sandcastle legal case must withstand.
The term “net neutrality,” or direct Congressional authority to mandate the FCC’s concept of “net neutrality,” is not found in law.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2015-09-07 18:11
Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed:” Presidential Candidate Lawrence Lessig’s Far Left Net Neutrality Agenda.”