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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 16:32
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-05-15 11:51
Google's latest claimed antitrust get-out-of-jail-free-card is that Google is effectively immune from antitrust prosecution because it has a constitutional free speech right to free speech to rank and present its search results any way it wants, per a new Google-sponsored white paper by UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh. This effort is much more of a political argument and PR wish than a legal or antitrust argument, because neither the right to free speech nor any other right in the Constitution's Bill of Rights confers immunity from the rule of law foundation on which the rest of the U.S. Constitution rests. There are many reasons to be skeptical of Google's blanket claims of antitrust immunity via its free speech rights.
First, anybody that considers the many forms of illegal speech that are unprotected by the First Amendment: perjury, libel, slander, misrepresentation, lying under oath, fraud, deceptive practices, falsifying documents, collusion, conspiracy, impersonating a police officer, stealing, vandalism, graffiti, inciting a riot, etc., will take Google's imagined blanket immunity from antitrust laws on free speech grounds with a grain of salt. Google exaggerates its "free speech" rights to protection from antitrust, just like it exaggerates its "fair use" rights to take others' property without permission.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-05-14 14:59
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2012
Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407
Alliance for Broadband Competition Really Seeks Broadband Regulation
Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction promotes competition & the public interest
WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to the new "Alliance for Broadband Competition" opposition to the Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction, the following quotes may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition.org:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-05-11 17:03
The EU's latest round of mobile price regulation provides a golden opportunity to show how market competition produces much better results for consumers than government price regulation. Ironically, the European Parliament voted this week to lower mobile roaming charges by mid-2014 to levels that will still be much higher than America's competitive wireless market prices are today.
Per New York Times reports, the EU mandated price for making a roaming mobile voice call will be reset from 35 cents a minute today to 19 cents a minute by mid-2014, and the price for receiving a roaming mobile voice call will be reset from 11 cents a minute today to 5 cents by mid-2014. Putting this in perspective, Recon Analytics' research shows that Americans pay 4.9 cents a minute vs. 16.7 cents a minute for Europeans -- ~70% less; and because of these dramatically lower American wireless prices, Americans consumers use more than twice as much wireless as Europeans, 875 minutes of use per month vs. 418 minutes for Europeans. Simply, the EU's ~50% mandated price reductions will still have European consumers paying much more for mobile usage even if one incorrectly were to assume that competition won't further lower the market price for American consumers like it has every year.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-05-09 18:45
Apparently Netflix is angling to become Silicon Valley's king of corporate welfare. We learn from a New York Times economics column advocating for an Internet industrial policy that "Netflix is trying to build a coalition of businesses to make the case for… net neutrality." And that the "online video powerhouse Netflix started a political action committee to complement a budding lobbying effort in support of the idea that all content must be allowed to travel through the Internet on equal terms" -- translation: always at no cost to Netflix.
But Netflix isn't in need of public assistance; it is America's video subscription leader with 23 million subscribers. Netflix has $3.3b in annual revenues, $1.2b in gross profits, $800m in cash, a 34% return on equity, and a market valuation multiple over twice the market's. And Netflix flexed its exceptional pricing power last year in raising its prices 60% without losing many subscribers.