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Regulation

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.  

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:

The Modern FCC Competition-Policy Linchpin – My Daily Caller Op-ed

If you are interested in learning the linchpin issue to watch to discern whether the FCC’s competition policy will be modern or nostalgist directionally, don’t miss my Daily Caller Op-ed: “The Modern FCC Competition-Policy Linchpin” – here.

  • It is Part 6 in the Modernization Consensus Research Series.

Modernization Consensus Series

Part 1: Implications of Google's Broadband Plans for Competition and Regulation - Part 1 Modernization Consensus Series [1-28-13]

Real vs. Contrived “Modern” FCC Policy Thinking – Part 20 Obsolete Communications Law Series

Just like the wisdom that one cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear; one cannot make “modern” FCC policy from obsolete communications law.

Apparently that is not stopping Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and Greg Rosston from trying in their new white paper: “Articulating a Modern Approach to FCC Competition Policy.”   

Their paper contrives:  three different competition policy approaches: the classicrole of regulating terms and conditions of sale, the modernrole of using various tools to create largely deregulated, multi-firm, competitive markets, and the laissez-faire approach of believing that unregulated markets, even if monopolized, will produce the best outcome.”

5 BIG Implications from Court Signals on Net Neutrality – A Special Report -- Part 34 FCC Open Internet Order Series

Economic rationality, competition, and broadband pricing freedom are the big winners, and common carrier-like net neutrality was the big loser, if the Appeals Court panel decides Verizon v. FCC as expected.

Monday’s intense tag-team grilling of the FCC’s lawyer by Judges Tatel and Silberman left most observers thinking the Court will decide it is illegal for the FCC to impose common-carrier-like regulation on broadband providers -- regardless of what else they decide.  

Why FCC won’t pass Appeals Court’s oral exam – Part 33 Open Internet Order research series

September 9th looks to be a challenging day for the FCC.

For many good reasons, the FCC will face a skeptical D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel Monday in oral arguments for Verizon vs. FCC. The FCC will be defending its Open Internet order which mandated neutrality.

Overall the court will be skeptical because the FCC largely ignored the law, Congress, the facts, and the Constitution. Essentially, the FCC made up an industry problem that does not exist in order to repurpose itself for the Internet age. Simply, the FCC is not asking for slack from the court (i.e. Chevron Deference), it’s basically asking for carte blanche to grant itself unbounded authority going forward.

Verizon enjoys the advantage in this case because it need prevail in only one of its several strong challenges to the FCC’s order, while the FCC must convince the court to completely reject all of Verizon’s arguments.

Specifically, why will this court be skeptical here?

Uneconomical vs. Economical Net Neutrality at the U.N. -- Part 11 Uneconomics vs. Economics Series

Information may want to be free, but physical networks are costly.

Few proponents of net neutrality appreciate the trillions of dollars of investment it has taken to build and upgrade the Internet’s vast and varied infrastructure that we all enjoy today. Simply, the Internet is not free of cost.

Economical policies have made the Internet universal and have enabled users to access the content, apps, and devices of their choice – what net neutrality is supposedly all about. On the other hand, uneconomical policies that discourage economic growth, return-on-investment, or respect for property can have unintended consequences and can threaten the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs.      

Arbitrary Spectrum Policy – My Daily Caller Op-ed & Part 11—Government Spectrum Waste Fraud & Abuse Series

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "Arbitrary Spectrum Policy” -- here.

  • It spotlights the FCC’s arbitrary treatment of its spectrum screen policy in approving Softbank-Sprint.
  • It is also Part 11 of my Government Spectrum Waste, Fraud & Abuse Research Series.

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Government Spectrum Waste Fraud and Abuse Research Series

A 600 MHz “UNE-P-like” Wireless Auction? Part 10 Government Spectrum Waste Fraud & Abuse Series

Just when the pending 600 MHz “incentive” FCC auction looks like it could not get more unworkably complex than a reverse, “incentive,” auction with looming FCC bidder limits, T-Mobile proposes to add a “dynamic” twist where the rules would then change as the auction goes along depending on how much bidders bid relative to a government-estimate that may or may not have any basis in economic reality. 

To use a diving metaphor, this is like a synchronized diving event with unknown dozens of divers that first must do a “reverse” back flip to “incentivize” another set of divers right behind them to then do a front flip, but only if the particular diver before them does a reverse back flip that individually gets a good enough score to make a follow-on dive possible, and then if that happens for some of the diver teams, any follow-on dives would then be scored “dynamically” depending on a random target score of the previous dive, which would then determine if said diver can dive again or not.

That’s essentially the latest T-Mobile “dynamic spectrum rules” proposal for the 600 MHz auction that T-Mobile just proposed and released to reporters.

It can and does get worse.

The economist behind the T-Mobile proposal was Deputy FCC Economist when the FCC was nano-implementing the 1996 Telecom Act and came up with TELRIC pricing and UNE-P. UNE-P was an elaborate FCC ruse to get around the plain language of the Telecom Act and get a 50-60% resale discount for all telecom services (a platform) for CLECs, rather than the ~20% platform resale discount methodology in law.

U.S. Competition Beats EU Regulation in Broadband Race – Part 30 – FCC Open Internet Order Series

They were so wrong. To justify FCC market intervention, U.S. proponents of EU-style, heavy-handed broadband regulation trumpeted the narrative that the U.S. was falling behind the world in broadband.

The pro-regulation chorus of Free Press, Save the Internet, Public Knowledge, Susan Crawford, the Harvard Berkman Center, et al, sung from the same made-up song sheet that American business was failing and Government needed to take control of broadband networks to restore American leadership and prevent private enterprise from discriminating and censoring Americans free speech.

Now we know how tall a tale these pro-regulation pressure groups were willing to spin to advance their interventionist net neutrality agenda.

Facts are pesky things and the facts show that the U.S. is strongly leading the EU in the broadband race. It is so obvious even top EU officials admit the EU “needs to catch up.”

Let’s review the latest facts.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths