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Frontline/Hundt's situational flip-flop on restricting spectrum for net neutrality

It is very interesting and ironic that when Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt was at the FCC he strongly advocated that "Spectrum Flexibility will Promote Competition and the Public Interest" in an article in IEEE magazine with Greg Rosston in the December 1995 issue.

  • "...we must stop over-regulating commercial uses of licenses for spectrum use."
  • " the digital age, innovation is far to rapid for anyone to predict accurately what the best use of the spectrum will be five years from now."
  • "The Commission should require that market failures be clearly shown and any restrictions on flexibility narrowly targeted to deal explicitly with the failure."

While I often disagreed with then FCC Chairman Hundt when he diverted from promoting market-based competition by picking winners and losers through hyper-regulation, I must commend Mr. Hundt's logic and policy explained in detail in his IEEE monograph in 1995.  

  • Its too bad that he no longer appears to support that pro-competition and pro-taxpayer stance anymore.

Ironically now, Mr. Hundt would financially benefit greatly, if the FCC rigs the 700 MHz auction to lower the value spectrum by requiring a license holder agree to net neutrality.

  • The taxpayer would be the biggest loser if the FCC decides to restrict and heavily regulate some of the 700 MHz spectrum up for auction with net neutrality.

The primary impetus behind the 1993 Democratic Congress that passed the law requiring spectrum auctions is that the taxpayer was routinely being fleeced by the FCC granting spectrum by other processes than auctions.

  • While no process is perfect, the law requring auctions has great wisdom and fairness embedded in it.

It is important to put this current FCC 700 MHz auction decision into context.

  • The FCC very recently decided that wireless broadband should not be subjected to net neutrality regulation; the very same decision the FCC made  previously for cable modems, DSL and BPL.
  • Given those overwhelming policy and legal precedents, if the FCC were to rig the 700 MHz auction with a net neutrality requirement for some of the spectrum, the decision would surely bring immediate lawsuits that the FCC rigged the auction to favor one class of bidders and robbed the taxpayer of the auction proceeds they were justly due under the law.

Lastly, the only reason we are effectively revisiting the recent FCC wireless broadband decision to not require net neutrality for wireless broadband, is that "process bandits" hold up proceedings with deadlines because like any mugger, ambusher or bandit, they know attacking the process at the most vulnerable point increases their chance of success.

  • This is classic the ends justify the means "process banditry" that should not be rewarded.