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Perspective on the FCC’s Special Access Delay of its IP Transition – Part 7 Special Access Series

FCC staff just muffed an easy opportunity to advance the IP transition on the FCC’s timetable in the National Broadband Plan.

Apparently FCC staff missed the big picture here.

1. On November 25th, AT&T proposed a baby step forward in the IP Transition.

AT&T did not propose any change in special access rates. AT&T simply proposed that its special access contract term-lengths, synch up with the FCC’s own goals for when the IP transition should be complete.

Instead of promoting investment certainty -- by respecting its own IP transition timetable that the private sector has come to rely on for infrastructure investment planning -- FCC staff announced an unnecessary five-month investigative delay.  

Why Chairmen Upton/Walden Plan a Communications Act Update – Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed “Why Chairmen Upton/Walden Plan a Communications Act Update” – here.

The op-ed provides a foundational answer to both:

  • Chairman Upton/Walden’s organizing question: “…is this working for today’s communications marketplace?” and
  • Representative Dingell’s core question: What is the need for change?

This is Part 21 of my Obsolete Communications Law Series.

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FYI: See additional background below: two key PowerPoint presentations & my Obsolete Communications Law Series.

A Modern Vision for the FCC – New White Paper – Part 7 Modernization Consensus Series

Please don’t miss my new white paper:  A Modern Vision for the FCC: How the FCC Can Modernize its Policy Approaches for the 21st Century (here/PDF).

  • It is the first comprehensive review of FCC policy and vision through the lens of what is modern vs. what is nostalgist.
  • Please don’t miss the first slide, a chart that concisely defines modern vs. nostalgist FCC visions.
  • My recommendation -- A Modern FCC Policy Agenda -- is near the end of this post.    

NetCompetition Capitol Hill Event:

U.S. Government's Obsolete and Wasteful Spectrum Hoarding and Rationing -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don't miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "U.S. Government's Obsolete and Wasteful Spectrum Hoarding and Rationing" here.

This is part 11 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

The FCC's 1887 Railroad Regulation Mindset -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "The FCC's 1887 Railroad Regulation Mindset" here. This piece is part 10 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

FCC Showcases Its Growing Obsolescence -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "The FCC Showcases its Growing Obsolescence" here. This piece is part 9 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

Part 2: "The FCC's Public Interest Test Problem"

Why U.S. Communications Law is Obsolete -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don't miss my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "Why U.S. Communications Law is Obsolete" here.

You won't look at current communications law the same way again.


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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

FCC Special Access: Communications Obsolete-ism vs Modernism -- My Daily Caller Op-ed (Part 3 in Series)

Please read my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "FCC Special Access: Communications Obsolete-ism vs. Modernism" here.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

Part 2: "The FCC's Public Interest Test Problem"

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Precursor Special Access Research Series:

Part 5: "FCC: Forced Access Economics & Selective Math"

Part 4: "Special Access Facts Show More Not Less Competition"

Part 3: "What's the Broadband Plan Implementation Vision? Affirming Competition Policy? Or the Retro-genda?

Part 2: "Special Access Nostalgia for Telecom's Bronze Age is No Path to 21st Century Broadband Leadership"

Objecting to Obsolete Obligations

The Washington Post's lead story today, "Landline Rules Frustrate Telecoms," puts a needed spotlight on obsolete communications law that: falsely assumes the telecom marketplace is still a monopoly with no consumer choice; and still mandates telecom companies subsidize below-cost, copper-line telephone service to households as if it were still a government-sanctioned monopoly.

A bit of history is warranted here. This century-old political arrangement -- the 1913 Kingsbury Commitment between the Federal Government and AT&T -- effectively established a government-sanctioned monopoly in return for universal telephone service to all Americans and utility rate of return regulation. In 1996, Congress reformed Federal communications policy by ending monopoly and promoting competition. Today, despite copper telephone networks losing half of their customer base to cable, wireless, VoIP, broadband and other Internet competitors (and losing most of their most profitable landline customers) many legacy telecom legal requirements, like subsidized below-cost telephone service, live on despite being obsolete. This means that in today's fiercely competitive voice service marketplace, mandating that only one provider must provide subsidized below-cost, copper-line service to potentially millions of households, is a classic un-funded mandate and a hidden, unfair, investment-distorting business tax on only one competitor.

NYT's Uninformed War on Competition Policy

The New York Times editorial "How to Fix the Wireless Market," is embarrassingly uninformed and totally ignores massive obvious evidence of vibrant American wireless competition.

The NYT's conclusion, that more wireless regulation is needed because of "insufficient competition," results from cherry picking a few isolated facts that superficially support their case, while totally ignoring the overwhelming relevant evidence to the contrary.

The NYT completely ignores widely-available evidence of vibrant wireless competition and substitution:

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths