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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2011-05-05 19:26
The latest debate over net neutrality regulation in the House Judiciary Committee today spotlighted for me three big fundamental questions that the FCC has still not answered.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2011-04-20 12:30
FreePress' campaign director, Tim Karr, continues to overuse its main political tactic of demonizing anyone that disagrees with FreePress' goal of ridding the world of free market capitalism and property ownership.
FreePress' play book is all about the politicization of issues -- dividing people, not uniting them.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2011-04-19 14:41
Kudos to Randy May of the Free State Foundation for his outstanding must-read piece in the National Review Online: "Rolling Back Regulation at the FCC --How Congress Can Help Competition Flourish."
It is a very important reminder that Congress nearly unanimously set U.S. communications policy in 1996 "to promote competition and reduce regulation," in stark contrast to the FCC's Open Internet de-competition policy.
Randy is also dead right that the FCC looks backward to preserve its regulatory raison d'etre, rather than looking forward, obeying the law and trusting competition to drive consumer benefits.
We so need an FCC that genuinely encourages competition and lets consumers and the market choose market winners and losers, not the FCC.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2011-04-12 13:33
The House's rejection of the FCC's December Open Internet order 240-179 is just the latest in an ongoing high-profile accountability gauntlet for the FCC's unauthorized, unwarranted and unjustified net neutrality rules.
The Net Neutrality Accountability Gauntlet:
First, the President's January Executive Order, "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review" to seek the "least burdensome" regulations, was a big post-mid-term election political pivot by the Administration to be more sensitive to business, economic growth and job creation concerns.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-04-08 17:28
There are many major going-forward implications resulting from the DOJ's latest antitrust enforcement action against Google -- this time to mitigate the anti-competitive effects of the proposed Google-ITA transaction.
Summary of Implications:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2011-03-30 10:18
Why is there a selective political fixation on AT&T-T-Mobile's ~43% combined market share when so many related markets are dramatically more concentrated, less competitive, or even monopolized?
When the FCC does the "data-driven analysis" that it claims to value, it will discover a blatant competition double standard where broadband critics gerrymander and torture broadband market share statistics to raise the specter of a broadband "opoly" -- to justify broadband regulation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2011-03-28 18:38
Despite Sprint and Clearwire opposing the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile acquisition, expect the DOJ and FCC to approve it, because the DOJ appreciates the facts of vibrant wireless competition and because the FCC will come to appreciate how the transaction actually helps solve many of the FCC's highest priority problems.
As a veteran analyst, who has closely covered most all of the roughly two dozen major communications mergers since the 1996 Telecom Act, it is easy to cut through the critics' standard, hyperbole and histrionics -- that they use to attack every major communications merger -- to get to the rub of this matter.
Like I blogged that the Comcast-NBCU merger would get approval when the hyperbole and histrionics were similarly over the top and not credible, this acquisition ultimately will gain government approval.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2011-03-14 16:35
It will be surprising if the Republican FCC Commissioners and a bipartisan majority of Congress do not oppose the FCC's unwarranted war on wireless competition policy.
The linchpin of the FCC's de-competition policy to restore the FCC to its pre-1996 monopoly regulation glory days, and to put the FCC in more control of the communications sector going forward, is to politically define away the existence of "effective competition," in order to justify FCC regulation of the mobile Internet.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2011-03-01 14:52
"The Net Neutrality Debate in Europe is Over" per an excellent commentary by Ben Rooney in WSJ TechEurope.
For those who follow history, it is truly ironic, surprising, and just plain bizarre that Europe is more pro-competition on Internet policy than the U.S. FCC.
How can this be? To understand this wierdness, look at this remarkable development through the lens of industrial policy.
I posit the reason for this European policy outcome is the fact that Europe does not have a Silicon Valley lobby -- with an aggressive corporate welfare agenda seeking government special treatment, regulation of their competitors, and implicit bandwidth subsidies -- like the U.S. does.
The stark and ironic contrast between the FCC's European-style, interventionist, regulatory approach, and Europe's more American, non-interventionist, competitive approach can only be explained by the presence of the potent lobbying force of U.S. industrial policy national champions (Silicon Valley -- Google, eBay, Amazon, IAC) in the U.S. -- and the absence of European national champions seeking net neutrality in Europe.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-02-18 13:50
There were lots of important net neutrality developments worthy of comment this week:
First, I would like to applaud the FCC Chairman for making it clear before Congress that the FCC's Open Internet order "doesn't change anything to existing peering arrangements" and that the FCC "hopes those parties settle and resolve it."