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NetCompetition Statement on Verizon v. FCC Court Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2014

Contact:  Scott Cleland 703-217-2407

Court Upholds FCC’s “General Authority to Regulate” Broadband in Verizon v. FCC, But Denies FCC Authority to Impose Common-Carrier-like Regulation of Broadband.  This win-win, Could Settle into a de Facto Net Neutrality Peace, if Parties Don’t Appeal

WASHINGTON D.C. – The following quotes addressing the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Verizon v. FCC decision may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition:

Is Net Neutrality Trying to Mutate into an Economic Entitlement?

Net neutrality activist opposition to AT&T’s new Sponsored Data offering exposes that the purpose of “net neutrality/open Internet” is not just about protecting consumers and free speech, or preventing anti-competitive behavior.

Those calling for an FCC investigation of AT&T’s Sponsored Data are trying to mutate the “net neutrality/open Internet” debate to also be about whether or not there should be permanent economic entitlements, i.e. downstream “zero-price” subsidies, for edge websites and applications – to “subsidize creativity” and start-up innovation via an explicit FCC ban on network termination charges.

Translation:  all websites and applications should be entitled, by “open Internet” network design, to no cost Internet distribution/access to consumers forever, regardless of the costs that their services cause everyone else to pay for.

3 min video: Why We Need a Modern Communications Law

To learn why America needs to modernize its obsolete communications laws, please take three minutes to view this video where I explain why -- here.  

Many thanks to Dan Berninger, Founder of the Voice Communications Exchange, for producing this video "VCXC Examines the Future of Communications."  

Nattering Net Neutrality Nonsense over AT&T’s Sponsored Data Offering – Part 23 Broadband Pricing Freedom Series

Net neutrality activists’ criticism of AT&T’s new freebie for consumers called Sponsored Data is nonsensical.

AT&T’s pricing innovation creates a new freebie for consumers and a new freedom for web providers of Internet content, apps and devices that is fully in keeping with any reasonable notion of a free and open Internet.

AT&T’s Sponsored Data offering is no different from other business freebies offered to consumers to market and competitively differentiate their businesses like: Amazon’s free shipping and free Kindle wireless service; Apple’s free messaging and video conferencing; Google’s free Search, Fiber, Maps, Mobile Operating System, and video conferencing offerings; or Yahoo’s free email. A full list of all free and open Internet consumer freebies would be endless.

AT&T’s Sponsored Data innovation is no different from sponsored ads, website sponsors, content sponsors or any other kind of Internet sponsor.

It is nonsensical for net neutrality activists to not be open to yet another free web service. On what reasonable basis is a consumer freebie from AT&T different than a consumer freebie offered by any other competitor in the Internet ecosystem?

U.S. Wireless Economics Beat EU’s Wireless Uneconomics – Part 22 Broadband Pricing Freedom Series

A new European study from Britain’s Office of Communications tries to argue that the EU’s wireless regulation approach is better than America’s. The New York Times’ clever headline on the report sees right through it: “Europeans pay less for mobile use, but at a cost."

In Europe, regulators regularly lower prices and roaming rates for political purposes, ignoring the market economics or economic sustainability of their regulatory approach. The EU’s politics-of-the-moment interest in lower prices, based more on operating costs than total costs that fund long-term investments in infrastructure, ultimately harms consumer value.   

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.  

Why Chairmen Upton/Walden Plan a Communications Act Update – Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed “Why Chairmen Upton/Walden Plan a Communications Act Update” – here.

The op-ed provides a foundational answer to both:

  • Chairman Upton/Walden’s organizing question: “…is this working for today’s communications marketplace?” and
  • Representative Dingell’s core question: What is the need for change?

This is Part 21 of my Obsolete Communications Law Series.

***

FYI: See additional background below: two key PowerPoint presentations & my Obsolete Communications Law Series.

FCC Shouldn’t Pick Wireless Technologies

Some wireless competitors and the DOJ/OSTP are urging the FCC to effectively change their spectrum aggregation rules to treat low-band spectrum-technology <1 GHz competitively different than high-band spectrum-technology >1 GHz.

If the FCC complies, it effectively would subdivide the current spectrum marketplace into two technology markets: <1GHz and >1GHz, for the first time in twenty years of spectrum auction history. It also would set the precedent for the FCC to arbitrarily subdivide the spectrum market further in future auctions based on the FCC’s latest technology-mix prognostications at that time.

Big picture, it would represent a regression back towards the 1980s pre-auction period when the FCC, not competitive market auctions, decided which company got what spectrum, and how certain spectrum was allocated.

The FCC’s IP Transition: Two Key Perspectives

Kudos are due to FCC Chairman Wheeler for quickly announcing that “it is time to act with dispatch” on the IP transition, and putting that into swift action.

As the FCC refocuses on the IP transition, some important perspective is warranted.

First, the consumer-driven transition to IP in the marketplace is already three quarters complete.

YouTube is Ultimate a la Carte – My Daily Caller Op-ed

 

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed, “YouTube is Ultimate a la Carte” – here -- on Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Rockefeller’s new legislation: “Consumer Choice in Online Video Act.”

 

  • It is Part 21 of my Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom series.

 

Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

 

Part 1: Netflix' Glass House Temper Tantrum Over Broadband Usage Fees [7-26-11]

 

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths