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Implications of Google's Broadband Plans for Competition and Regulation -- Part 1 Modernization Consensus SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2013-01-28 13:51
Google's latest broadband pilot, experimenting with micro-cell (mesh) wireless broadband in its Mountain View headquarters, comes on top of Google Fiber's high-profile, commercial broadband pilot in Kansas City, that Google's CFO recently told investors was not a "hobby" but a real business opportunity.
These broadband pilots put a spotlight on Google's overall broadband plans and beg an analysis of the potential implications of Google's broadband plans for competition and regulation.
Summary of Conclusions:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-01-22 10:19
In defense of the FCC's Open Internet Order, which unilaterally mandates net neutrality, four former FCC Commissioners and Professor Susan Crawford argue to an Appeals Court that Verizon and broadband providers should enjoy no broadband freedom of speech under the Constitution.
Why are many of the biggest political supporters of net neutrality focusing their legal defense of net neutrality on the constitutional freedom of speech argument and not the main event of the case, the Comcast vs. FCC precedent, i.e. does the FCC have direct statutory authority to regulate the broadband Internet?
The reason probably has a lot more to do with politics than the Constitution. That's because the net neutrality movement has long analogized and politically marketed net neutrality to be like an individual's freedom of speech under the U.S. Constitution -- in a desperate attempt to make an arcane regulatory pricing issue relevant to the public and to mask that it is a solution of preemptively restricting freedom without evidence of a real freedom problem.
The net neutrality movement has long misrepresented the American Constitutional notion of freedom of speech in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in two major ways.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2013-01-11 09:13
Please see my latest Daily Caller Op-ed "Professor Crawford's Obsolete Public Utility Thinking for Broadband" -- here.
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Obsolete Communications Law Research Series:
Note: Please see here for a summary powerpoint presentation of the problems with obsolete communications law.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-01-08 13:21
The Uneconomics of Data Cap Price Regulation and Legislation -- Part 14 Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-12-20 18:00
The latest attempts to subvert the competitive success of the current free market broadband Internet to advance the fantasy of abundance uneconomics and cost-less Internet commons is the New America Foundation's (NAF) white paper entitled: "Capping the Nation's Broadband Future? Dwindling competition is fueling the rise of increasingly costly and restrictive Internet usage caps;" and Senator Wyden's proposed "Data Cap Integrity Act" to have the FCC effectively price regulate broadband usage and ban traffic discrimination a la "net neutrality."
In a nutshell, the NAF paper argues competition, usage-based pricing and the profit motive ill-serve the broadband Internet consumer; thus the Government should prohibit the market-pricing model of broadband data caps.
In a nutshell, Senator Wyden's proposed legislation argues that broadband usage and tiered pricing harm consumers by discouraging Internet use, discriminating against high-bandwidth services, and inhibiting innovation because ISPs make money on heavy broadband usage. Thus the Government should price regulate competitive broadband companies to prevent extraction of "monopoly rents."
Google Fiber's Avoidance of Phone Service Makes Case for Obsolete Law -- Part 15 Obsolete Communications Law SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-12-07 15:34
This week Google's actions made the case that U.S. communications law and regulation is obsolete.
The Head of Google Fiber disclosed that Google considered offering phone services in Kansas City as part of its bundle of Gigabit "ultra high-speed" Internet service and TV offering, but declined to do so when they became familiar with the prohibitive morass of legacy analog federal and state telephone regulations with which Google would have had to comply. While acknowledging that the incremental cost of offering voice services would have been "almost nothing," Mr. Medin lamented that Google would have had to build a more complex billing system to comply with the various state calculations in Kansas and Missouri.
It is telling that with all the special tax breaks and large business subsidies that Google was offered to choose Kansas City as the pilot Google Fiber city, they were still not enough to offset the high operational, management, and regulatory costs to comply with legacy telephone regulations.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-12-04 18:10
While the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the FCC a significant win in upholding the FCC's Data Roaming Order, the incremental, serpentine, and limiting way the court did it suggests that this same Court will likely not uphold the FCC's sweeping assertion of legislative-like Internet regulation authority in its Open Internet Order.
In upholding the Data Roaming Order, the Court was faced with a set of facts where the FCC already had clear authority to require mobile voice roaming and the question was whether the FCC had enough authority to extend it to data roaming. In excruciating legal detail, the Court explained why the FCC had the Title III radio authority for this limited action and why the FCC "warrants deference" in this "gray area" of determining when a service is or isn't common carrier. Nevertheless, the court warned the FCC to not try and overreach beyond the narrow boundaries that the court allowed.
Simply, the court gave the FCC more leash in this set of circumstances, but still warned they remained on the court's leash.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-11-28 13:27
I can't remember reading a more misinformed op-ed than today's NYT's "Bad Connections" by David Cay Johnston.
His stated premise that telecommunications competition hasn't fulfilled its promise of lowered prices, more innovation or improved quality since 1974 is apparently blind to obvious commonly-known facts.
In 1974, most all Americans used black rotary-dialed phones, suffered from prohibitively-expensive long distance rates, and phone technology that hadn't changed much for forty years.
Now thanks to competition Americans can:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-11-16 10:26
Please see my new power point presentation here entitled: "Modern Beats Obsolete in Spurring Economic Growth and Innovation -- Modernize Obsolete Communications Law and Spectrum Management." It is the culmination of a year of research and presents very powerful evidence of how woefully obsolete and absurdly dysfunctional America's communications policy has become.
This neglected problem has been bipartisan in the making over sixteen administrations and dozens of Congresses. It also will take a long-term bipartisan effort to correct. It will only become increasingly imperative to do so as more and more of our economy and society depends on a fully modern mobile Internet.
After reading this presentation you won't be able to look at current American communications policy in the same way again. America's got a lot of work to do to ensure our leadership in the Internet and high tech continues and is not slowed by the nonsensical and unnecessary drag on investment, innovation and growth of obsolete law and spectrum resource management.
Please don't miss the charts. An outline of the presentation follows:
The Real Motive behind Opposition to Broadband Usage Pricing -- Part 13 Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-11-14 20:49
Now we know the real reason why there has been such strong opposition by FreePress and other net neutrality proponents to the common sense economic notion of broadband usage pricing. The newly launched Open Wireless Movement now wants to turn everyone's home WiFi routers into interconnected, free, public-community, "open WiFi" hotspots.