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Highlight Video on Modernizing Communications Laws for American Consumers -- A NetCompetition Event

For those interested, please see a nine-minute highlight video of NetCompetition’s April 4th expert panel on making consumers, not technology, the organizing principle of any update of the obsolescing Communications Act.

The experts, 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, all discussed the merits of making consumers, not technology, the starting point and organizing principle of any update of the Communications Act.

FCC’s Next Overreach of Authority: Preempting States on Muni-Broadband

The FCC seems bent on overreaching their legal authority – yet again.

At the NCTA convention, Chairman Wheeler said: “I believe the FCC has the power – and I intend to exercise that power – to preempt state laws that ban competition from community broadband.” And in an FCC blog post, Chairman Wheeler also said this preemption of states on muni-broadband “is an issue that remains high on my agenda, and we will be announcing more on this topic shortly.”

FCC lawyers appear to think this is the time for more overreach of FCC authority because the legal outcome may be different than in the past.

Reality Check on the Electoral Politics of Net Neutrality

The net neutrality movement is positioning to influence the FCC, Congress, and candidates in the mid-term election cycle, to support their version of net neutrality -- i.e. FCC reclassification of broadband Internet service as a telephone common carrier service.

It is instructive to look back at what happened in the last mid-term election cycle -- in both the 2010 election, and in 2009-2010 Congress -- when the net neutrality movement last tried this.

By way of background, this week the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) launchedNoSlowLane.com, a petition website to pressure the President and the FCC on their version of Net Neutrality.   

The 2010 Election:

The Multi-speed Internet is Getting More Faster Speeds -- Part 43 FCC Open Internet Series

The Internet has long had multiple speeds. And it constantly gets faster speeds via technological and commercial innovation, competition, and investment.

The Internet also has long met people’s diverse needs, wants and means for speed, with different technologies, pricing, and content delivery methods, and it will continue to do so.

Net neutrality activists’ latest rhetoric that opposes the FCC’s court-required update of its Open Internet rules, by implying that there haven’t been “slow and fast lanes” on the Internet before, is obviously factually wrong and misleading, both for consumers receiving content and for entities sending content.

Many in the media have fallen for this mass “fast lane” deception without thinking or questioning it.

First, isn’t it odd that those who routinely complain that the Internet is not fast enough oppose genuine FCC efforts to make the Internet faster?

Moreover, isn’t it ironic that the net neutrality activists -- who have long criticized the FCC for the U.S. falling behind in the world in broadband speeds, and long advocated for municipalities to create giga-bit fast lanes for some communities -- vehemently oppose FCC efforts to create “faster lane” Internet for those entities that need it and are willing to pay for it?

The Least Efficient Part of Government – My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my new Daily Caller op-ed: “The Least Efficient Part of Government.”

It’s Part 14 of my Spectrum Waste Fraud & Abuse Series. 

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Spectrum Waste Fraud & Abuse Series

Part 1: U.S. Government's Obsolete and Wasteful Spectrum Hoarding and Rationing [9-7-12]

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:

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths