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Debated free super-WiFi with Professor Crawford on NPR's Diane Rehm Show Today -- Hear podcast

Today National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show featured a lively and informative discussion of "The FCC's Proposal for a Free Nationwide Wireless Network" -- based on the Washington Post's top story Monday on the topic of the FCC's "super WiFi" plans.

  • The podcast is -- here.

Diane Rehm's guests were:

  • Professor Susan Crawford;
  • Bloomberg's Todd Shields; and
  • Me.

I believe it was a very helpful and informative discussion because it corrected much of the confusion prompted by the Washington Post's cryptic and inaccurate article on the FCC's plans for "Super-WiFi."

It also provided an excellent and appropriate forum to systematically challenge and counter Professor Crawford's selective use of facts in her advocacy that broadband should be regulated like a public utility.

 

Developing Fundamental Consensus for the IP Transition -- Part 2 Modernization Consensus Series

Please read my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "Developing Fundamental Consensus for the IP Transition" -- here." Importantly, it builds upon Public Knowledge's "Five Fundamentals" framework in its PSTN comments to the FCC.

    • It's part 2 of the Modernization Consensus Research Series.

 

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Modernization Consensus Series

Professor Crawford's Obsolete Public Utility Thinking for Broadband -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller Op-ed "Professor Crawford's Obsolete Public Utility Thinking for Broadband" -- here.

  • It's a critical review of Professor Susan Crawford's new book on broadband and media concentration.
  • It's also Part 16 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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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.

The Uneconomics of Data Cap Price Regulation and Legislation -- Part 14 Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

 

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."

Don't Miss FSF's Book: Communications law and Policy in the Digital Age

For those who have been following my Obsolete Communications Law Series, and those interested in an outstanding and more in-depth free-market analysis of the many communications matters that demand modernization for the digital age, please don't miss: Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age -- The Next Five Years, edited by Randy May of the Free State Foundation.

  • One can get it on Amazon here.

The important work and views of Randy May, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Seth Cooper, Christopher Yoo, James Speta, Michelle Connolly, Daniel Lyons, Ellen Goodman, and Bruce Owen are a must read for those who want to learn how we can vastly improve current obsolete and increasingly dysfunctional communications law and policy in the United States.

Kudos for an important book well done!


Google Fiber's Avoidance of Phone Service Makes Case for Obsolete Law -- Part 15 Obsolete Communications Law Series

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.

What Court Data Roaming Decision Means for FCC Open Internet Order

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.

Debasing Free Speech as No-Cost Speech -- Part 1 Defending First Principles Series

The genuine U.S. Constitutional principle of "Freedom of Speech" in the First Amendment -- that protects us from the real and time-tested threat of governmental tyranny -- continues to get debased, devalued and misrepresented by the free-of-cost tech movement of Free-Culture, the Free-Software Foundation, Public Knowledge, and their corporate online-advertising allies who commercially-depend on free content and the no-cost sharing of others' private property. They justify their means of debasing, devaluing and misrepresenting Constitutionally-protected freedom speech because it advances their ends of an Internet information commons.

Ironically these freedom-from-cost interests just argued against a Constitutional interpretation of protecting freedom of speech in a brief before a Federal Appeals Court in opposing Verizon's challenge to the FCC's Open Internet Order, because Verizon had the temerity to assert its Constitutional right to freedom of speech, in addition to other legal and Constitutional defenses.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths