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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2009-07-21 10:23
FCC Broadband Coordinator Blair Levin described the crux of the National Broadband Plan in testifying before the Commission 7-02 as "identifying where there are currently 'demonstrable public interest harms.'" That central task is essentially defining the problem(s) and is necessary to complete the last task of the plan: "identifying ways to lessen those public interest harms," or recommending solutions. Defining the problem largely defines the range of recommended solutions.
Levin's choice of a classic organizational structure, background-problem-solution, is a wise, useful, and simplifying approach for such an exceedingly complex endeavor.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Sun, 2009-07-19 17:57
Big kudos to George Ford and Larry Spiwak of the Phoenix Center for their innovative breakthrough in devising a rigorous "Broadband Adoption Index" to replace current highly-deficient international broadband comparison methods.
First, George Ford drove home the point that the much-touted OECD broadband penetration ranking was fatally flawed, in that even if the U.S. reached perfect 100% penetration the U.S. could remain in about 15th place.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-07-16 12:08
What's the Broadband Plan Implementation Vision? Affirming Competition Policy? or The "Retro-genda?"Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2009-07-14 16:39
At core, Congress has asked the FCC to recommend to Congress HOW "to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability." Arguably the FCC's main "fork-in-the-road" decision in developing its National Broadband Plan is whether to recommend to Congress to:
What engine of choice will the FCC recommend to Congress:
In other words, will the FCC:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-07-09 16:19
The supreme irony of the special access* issue is that competitors, who want to avoid investing in next generation broadband access facilities, are demanding that the FCC... (whose top priority is a National Broadband Plan to encourage the rapid build-out of modern broadband facilities to all Americans) ...regulate copper access prices in a way that surely would discourage investment in the exact next generation facilities that the FCC wants to get built.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-07-09 12:33
Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute issued an informative and insightful report on the many international broadband measures out there; I recommend reading it if you are interested in the subject.
I particularly liked the new data on how broadband is used that shows that the U.S. has the highest:
I liked these new measures because they begin to expand this discussion to how broadband is used and how people benefit from broadband rather than just a sterile and not very useful debate over broadband penetration.
Scott's report does a very good job at showing the vast richness of different ways international broadband comparisons can be made. It adds a lot of value to the ongoing debate over where the U.S. stands internationally on broadband.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2009-07-08 18:18
What do the Administration's new "NOFA" guidelines, which implement the $7.2b broadband stimulus package, tell us about the trajectory for broadband and net neutrality policy going forward?
What do we know now that we didn't know before the release of the NOFA guidelines?
I. The Administration implicitly rejected extreme net neutrality.
The grant conditions strongly rejected the extreme net neutrality position of the tech elitists: (FreePress, Save the Internet and the Open Internet Coalition) that any bit interference is de facto discrimination. The Administration substantially limited what could possibly constitute Internet discrimination by substantially expanding the number of exceptions to the FCC's Broadband Policy Statement as it applies to these broadband grants.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2009-07-06 16:45
The DOJ has opened an initial review of the telecom industry, per WSJ reports, as part of the Obama Administration's and the Varney Antitrust Division's "aggressive stance on antitrust enforcement."
Antitrust enforcement is fact-driven, since it ultimately must be proven in court. The competitive facts in the telecom industry will speak for themselves; the industry is clearly and overtly competitive and trending more competitive.
This review will not be difficult or take long since the DOJ has vast and deep experience with the U.S. telecom industry -- having overseen the AT&T Consent Decree 1984-1996, been intimately involved with the drafting and implementation of the 1996 Telecom Act including the detailed development of local competition and Bell entry into long distrance. The DOJ also has reviewed and approved a number of telecom mergers over the last several years, most recently the approval of Verizon-Alltel and Centurytel and Embarq.
Moreover, the DOJ will examine the telecom marketplace to see if it exhibits the core characteristics of a competitive market:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2009-07-01 15:13
Handset marketing exclusives are a pro-competitive wellspring of wireless growth and broadband adoption. Marketing exclusives are also a legitimate, proven and widespread marketing practice that marshals maximum marketing resources for selected, potentially-hot-new-products in order to drive maximum sales and adoption.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2009-06-30 12:23
Comcast-Clearwire's 4G WiMax rollout starting in Portland today, as part of broader national launch this year, is powerful evidence of the vibrancy and dynamism of the facilities-based broadband competition trajectory in the U.S.
Contrary to the parade of imperfection horribles claimed by anti-competition groups to try and justify a wide variety of new net neutrality-related regulations, the U.S. has more real and growing facilities-based broadband competition than any nation in the world.
The Comcast announcement provides powerful proof points of all the good aspects of vibrant facilities-based competition.