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The FCC Disincentive Auction – My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my new Daily Caller op-ed: “The FCC Disincentive Auction.”

  • It exposes an auction at war with itself, with more economic disincentives than incentives to bid.
  • It also spotlights the irony of FCC auction rules that approve a de facto Sprint and T-Mobile “wireless duopoly” of auction bidders.  

It’s Part 13 of my Spectrum Waste Fraud & Abuse Series. 

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Spectrum Waste Fraud & Abuse Series

600MHz Market Auction or FCC Three-Ring-Circus?

It appears the FCC may be betting again that it is smarter than everyone else in the marketplace. Time will tell.

From the various reports of briefings about the FCC’s planned rules for the 600 MHz incentive auction, two things appear clear. First, the FCC doesn’t trust market forces. And second, the FCC doesn’t want the highest bidders to win the spectrum.

Apparently, the FCC is trying to produce something for everyone in this now circus-like auction process – a proverbial, dazzling three-ring-circus of political compromises that catch and keep different people’s attention.

At core, the FCC reportedly is adding a third ring to the already-complex, unprecedented, two-ring circus of the incentive auction. The first ring is the incentive reverse auction of broadcasters bidding for what they must earn in order to sell their spectrum, and the second ring is what wireless companies will then pay to own the broadcasters’ spectrum.

The FCC wants to add a third ring to this growing auction spectacle. Reportedly the FCC is going to effectively create yet a third auction process that would commence when certain, not-yet-known auction revenue targets are met in the auction. Below those FCC-determined-revenue-targets anyone can bid. Above those targets, the largest potential bidders’ opportunities to bid further would be dramatically restricted.

Online Video Competition’s Tipping Point Has Tipped – My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my new Daily Caller op-ed: “Online Video Competition’s Tipping Point Has Tipped.”

It pulls together how regulatory developments, much faster wireless networks, and several new entrants with deep pockets are converging to create a tipping point for over-the-top, online video competition.

It is Part 25 of my Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom series. 

 

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Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

Part 1: Netflix' Glass House Temper Tantrum Over Broadband Usage Fees [7-26-11]

Diverging US-EU Internet Trade Visions

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Diverging US-EU Internet Trade Visions.”

It spotlights that starkly diverging US-EU net neutrality and data protection policies complicate negotiations for the nascent and pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) trade agreement.

This is Part 6 of my “World Changing the Internet” research series.

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World Changing Internet Series

How to Modernize Communications Law for American Consumers

Please don’t miss my new white paper that I will present Friday at a NetCompetition Capitol Hill event with the following well-known experts responding: Gene Kimmelman of Public Knowledge; Jeff Eisenach of the American Enterprise Institute; Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America; and Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute. (Event details are below for anyone who wishes to attend.)

The white paper -- “Thinking and Starting Anew: Modernizing Communications Law for American Consumers” -- has a simple but critically important premise: that consumers and not technology should be the organizing principle of any update of the Communications Act  

I believe you will find the two contrasting graphics particularly helpful:

Net Neutrality’s about Consumer Welfare not Corporate Welfare for Netflix

Billionaire Netflix CEO Reed Hastings objects to Netflix having to pay anything at all for Netflix’ gorging on 30% of the Internet’s North American bandwidth. In a Netflix corporate blogpost billionaire Reed Hastings rails against the perceived injustice of Netflix paying Internet usage-based pricing like consumers do.

At core, Mr. Hastings now derides traditional consumer-defined net neutrality, which ensures consumers the freedom to access the legal content of their choice – as “weak” net neutrality.

Meanwhile, he is attempting to rebrand his new self-serving, corporate-defined net neutrality, which ensures the largest corporate users of the Internet pay nothing for their largest usage of interconnection bandwidth -- as “strong” net neutrality.

Mr. Hastings’ position clearly prioritizes corporate welfare above consumer welfare.

U.S. Wireless Competition Criticism “Believe it or not!”

With due credit to "Ripley's Believe it or Not!®," so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the "name" of "U.S. wireless competition criticism” that the topic calls for its own collection of: "Believe it or Not!®" oddities.

Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son, who bought Sprint for $21b in 2013 with public plans “to become the #1 company in the world,” tells U.S. regulators just eight months after he bought Sprint, that Softbank-Sprint cannot compete with either of America’s #1 and #2 wireless providers, Verizon and AT&T, unless Softbank can buy America’s #4 wireless provider -- T-Mobile! 

FCC’s Open Internet Order Do-over – Key Going Forward Takeaways

As the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s January 14thdecision to vacate and remand the FCC Open Internet Order for another try, and from FCC Chairman Wheeler’s February 19thstatement accepting the court’s invitation to propose open Internet rules that could pass court muster, what does it all this mean going forward?

First, we need to glean the key separate baseline takeaways from what the court ruled and also what Chairman Wheeler initially decided. Then we need to put them together to glean what the big going-forward takeaways are.

Court Decision Takeaways

The Narrowing Net Neutrality Dispute – My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “The Narrowing Net Neutrality Dispute.”

  • It puts the recent positive Netflix-Comcast IP interconnection agreement into the broader net neutrality context.

It is Part 24 of my Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series.  

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Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

Part 1: Netflix' Glass House Temper Tantrum Over Broadband Usage Fees [7-26-11]

Part 2: Netflix' Uneconomics [9-6-11]

Don’t Miss Great AEI Report on EU Lagging US in Broadband

Anyone interested in broadband policy should not miss the excellent new research of Roslyn Layton, an AEI Internet economist, who has studied European broadband progress as compared to America’s.

Let me flag two big research takeaways that should not be missed.

  • “… per capita [broadband] investment in the U.S. is twice that of Europe, and the gap is growing.”
  • Then there is the claim that Americans pay more for broadband than Europeans. As I point out in my report, critics forget to include the impact of value added taxes (as high as 27% in some countries) and compulsory media license fees (adding hundreds of dollars per year to the cost of every broadband subscription). When accounting for these real differences, Americans pay less for broadband.”

These findings affirm the wisdom of America’s market-led broadband policy that encourages facilities-based broadband competition over the EU’s lagging, common carrier, monopoly-unbundling, approach to broadband.   

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths