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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-07-09 09:54
Recent evidence confirms that the U.S. net neutrality movement is in substantial retreat and trying to fall back to more defensible ground, on which to make its next stand. The movement is by no means defeated overall, as it is resilient, well-funded and organized. It is actually in ascendance in Europe with the European Parliament's vote supporting net neutrality.
Importantly FreePress, the clear leader of the net neutrality movement via its six-year stewardship of SaveTheInternet.com, recently asked the D.C. Court of Appeals for permission to withdraw its legal challenge to the FCC's net neutrality rules for not being strict enough. After six years of full-throated constant campaigning for net neutrality legislation or FCC regulation in the U.S., it is remarkable that FreePress has quietly retreated from the latest and most pivotal net neutrality battlefield in the U.S. -- i.e. whether or not the FCC's net neutrality regulations stand or are thrown out by the D.C. Court of Appeals. FreePress' emailed statement to reporters said: "We felt that there were better ways to accomplish our goals of promoting Internet freedom, and decided to direct our resources elsewhere in the continued campaign to preserve the open Internet."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-06-25 09:11
Please don't miss my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "Why U.S. Communications Law is Obsolete" here.
You won't look at current communications law the same way again.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-06-21 13:59
The Supreme Court's 8-0 decision on FCC vs. Fox, vacated the FCC's indecency penalties against Fox and ABC for "fleeting expletives and momentary nudity" because the FCC violated constitutional "due process protection against vague regulations" for failing to provide fair notice of what would be "actionably indecent."
How is this decision relevant to net neutrality?
First, "net neutrality" is like "obscenity" or "indecency", in that it's often in the eye of the beholder, and is devilishly difficult to define definitively. The tweet-length provision of law in question (Section 1464) is: "Whoever utters any obscene, indecent, or profane language by means of radio communications shall be fined…"
The term "net neutrality" -- that proponents have gone so far as to hype as "the first amendment of the Internet" -- can be found nowhere in law. The concept is wholly organic to the FCC, in that it started as a concept in a speech that called for no regulation for it, became an unenforceable FCC policy statement, was then used as the basis for an enforcement action, and then became an FCC order that has been challenged in court for being unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious, and without statutory authority.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-06-19 17:23
Thanks to Mike Wendy of Media Freedom for capturing my 3 minute explanation of why Netflix' net neutrality complaint to the DOJ against cable broadband usage pricing is specious.
You can view it here.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-06-14 09:27
Please read my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "Obsolete Analysis Will Doom DOJ's Antitrust Probe of Cable" here.
Part 1: Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers
Part 2: "The FCC's Public Interest Test Problem"
Part 3: "FCC Special Access: Communications Obsolete-ism vs. Modernism"
Part 7: "Broadband Pricing is Naturally Evolving to Usage Tiers"
Part 6: "Leaf Vision & Broadband Usage Caps"
Part 5: "Consumer Group's Advocacy Hypocrisy"
FCC Special Access: Communications Obsolete-ism vs Modernism -- My Daily Caller Op-ed (Part 3 in Series)Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-06-08 12:08
Please read my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "FCC Special Access: Communications Obsolete-ism vs. Modernism" here.
Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:
Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"
Part 2: "The FCC's Public Interest Test Problem"
Precursor Special Access Research Series:
Part 5: "FCC: Forced Access Economics & Selective Math"
Part 4: "Special Access Facts Show More Not Less Competition"
Part 3: "What's the Broadband Plan Implementation Vision? Affirming Competition Policy? Or the Retro-genda?
Part 2: "Special Access Nostalgia for Telecom's Bronze Age is No Path to 21st Century Broadband Leadership"
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-05-29 17:47
Are the FCC and DOJ paying attention? They say they want more wireless competition. Well the foundations of an economically-viable fifth national wireless broadband network are staring them in the face in the pending Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction, if only they would get on with approving it.
Critics and skeptics of the transaction have an obsolete and myopic view that competition must develop in the way that Congress first envisioned it seventeen years ago in the 1996 Telecom Act -- before the commercial Internet, residential WiFi, broadband wireless, smart phones or tablet computers ever existed. Critics are blind to the technology innovations, competitive developments and hybrid-business models that now are enabling the cable industry to transform into a potentially disruptive fifth national wireless broadband competitor long term.
FreePress' and Public Knowledge's desperate campaign to: discredit competition policy, twist any competitive development into anti-competitive behavior, and block the Verizon-Cable transaction -- can't overcome the obvious facts that this Verizon-Cable transaction is exceptionally pro-competitive.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-05-24 15:03
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 24, 2012
Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407
Verizon-Cable's Market-based Spectrum Transaction Promotes Competition
Promoting secondary market for spectrum & new forms of competition is in the public interest
WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Kohl's letter to the DOJ and the FCC on the Verizon-Cable transaction, the following quotes may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition.org:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-05-21 09:35
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-05-17 19:11
Exploding overall broadband usage, combined with increasingly varied usage between average users and heaviest users, is naturally evolving the broadband market towards the flexibility of tiered usage-pricing over time.
Yesterday, Verizon Wireless indicated that it will begin to move its wireless data users away from unlimited data plans for single users that upgrade to its 4G LTE wireless broadband network, towards more-shared, tiered usage-pricing data plans, where with the potential added-price comes the added-flexibility of combining the usage of multiple devices of a family or a small business.
Today Comcast announced a transition from its current very-high, but static 250G monthly data usage cap, to a more flexible and expandable 300G monthly usage threshold, where a user would then have the option of buying additional usage above 300G -- at the likely cost of about an additional $10 per additional 50G used in a month. So in addition to choice of broadband speeds, the heaviest-use Comcast consumers will now also be able to choose how much more capacity they want to use/buy as well.
Both companies, which invest billions of dollars in their broadband infrastructures, are naturally evolving their pricing and competitive business offerings over time to address the exploding high-bandwidth usage of smart phones and tablets, market segments that did not even exist five years ago.