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Open Un-Neutrality – Will FCC Re-Distribute Internet Opportunity? For Consumers? Businesses? Investors?Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2009-10-19 10:46
In effectively reversing fifteen-year bipartisan U.S. communications policy from promoting competition and reducing regulation to promoting regulation and reducing competition, the FCC’s coming “Open Internet” regulations are anything but neutral; they pick sides and strongly skew outcomes.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-09-24 10:27
What an "Open Internet" does not mean is as important as what it does mean.
The word "open" has 88 different definitions per Dictionary.com and the word "open" has even more different connotations depending on the context. While the term "open" generally has a positive connotation to mean un-restricted, accessible and available, it can also have a negative or problematic connotation if it means unprotected, unguarded or vulnerable to attack.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2009-09-15 09:26
George Ou's good post yesterday on "Being Rational on Text Pricing" rightly takes to task the complaint that text messaging should be priced at marginal costs and ignore total costs, upgrade costs, or competition. It also prompts me to join in to address the issue.
Lets get to the quick here.
The folks arguing for text pricing to be based on marginal costs are trying to politically redefine traditional economics in the datatopian Chris Anderson vision of the "economics of abundance" -- that because the marginal cost of computer processing, storage, and bandwidth are getting increasingly small -- the price should be free!
Does anyone think that the infrastructure that enables the instantaneous reliable delivery of roughly a billion text messages every day wherever one happens to be -- costs basically nothing to pull off and thus should be free?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2009-08-26 12:34
Analysis of the potential pitfalls of wireless innovation regulation is a necessary complement to the FCC's upcoming Notice of Inquiries into wireless competition/innovation and the DOJ's review of wireless competition, in order to ensure policymakers get a balanced view of the big picture.
What are the Top 10 Pitfalls of Wireless Innovation Regulation?
#1 Pitfall: Losing focus on universal broadband access.
"Wireless innovation" appears to be the latest rebranding iteration of "net neutrality" and "open Internet" as the net neutrality movement searches for more mainstream support of their views.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2009-08-21 18:45
The data and evidence show that broadband is not a public utility warranting economic regulation of prices, terms and conditions; this is contrary to the assertions of net neutrality proponents: the Markey-Eshoo Bill, FreePress, the Open Internet Coalition, and Google's Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, among others.
Why is broadband not a public utility?
First, it is a competitive service, not a natural monopoly service.
A public utility presumes "natural monopoly" economics where economies of scale and scope preclude the possibility of competitive facilities/services.
Second, users have choice of access providers.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-07-23 21:00
Choice, having the benefit of a selection of different alternatives to choose from, springs from the risk and opportunity of market competition -- not from Government economic regulation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2009-07-20 11:04
Kudos to Steve Pociask of the American Consumer Institute for his research reminding regulators that American consumers enjoy the most competitive, useful, and innovative wireless market in the world.
In reviewing the stats that matter most, the U.S. is far ahead of the rest of the world.
We constantly hear from anti-competition forces that competition doesn't work.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-07-16 12:08
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2009-07-09 16:19
The supreme irony of the special access* issue is that competitors, who want to avoid investing in next generation broadband access facilities, are demanding that the FCC... (whose top priority is a National Broadband Plan to encourage the rapid build-out of modern broadband facilities to all Americans) ...regulate copper access prices in a way that surely would discourage investment in the exact next generation facilities that the FCC wants to get built.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2009-07-06 16:45
The DOJ has opened an initial review of the telecom industry, per WSJ reports, as part of the Obama Administration's and the Varney Antitrust Division's "aggressive stance on antitrust enforcement."
Antitrust enforcement is fact-driven, since it ultimately must be proven in court. The competitive facts in the telecom industry will speak for themselves; the industry is clearly and overtly competitive and trending more competitive.
This review will not be difficult or take long since the DOJ has vast and deep experience with the U.S. telecom industry -- having overseen the AT&T Consent Decree 1984-1996, been intimately involved with the drafting and implementation of the 1996 Telecom Act including the detailed development of local competition and Bell entry into long distrance. The DOJ also has reviewed and approved a number of telecom mergers over the last several years, most recently the approval of Verizon-Alltel and Centurytel and Embarq.
Moreover, the DOJ will examine the telecom marketplace to see if it exhibits the core characteristics of a competitive market: