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No shadowy spectrum earmarks for Dotcom Billionaires!

Like the discredited and shameful congressional practice of fleecing the American taxpayer with "earmarking" public funds for special interests, Frontline-Google and eBay-Skype are asking for the equivalent of special interest commercial "earmarks" from the FCC.

It is outrageous that the FCC is actually entertaining these proposed special interest scams against the American taxpayer. 

  • The FCC should keep the auction free of the corrupting influence of spectrum or policy "earmarks" for the obvious benefit of only one company lobbying the process for permission to pick the American taxpayers' pocket.

What am I talking about specifically? Two special interest spectrum/policy "earmarks" are getting a lot of press attention lately.

First is the Frontline Wireless proposal backed by the DotCom billionaires at Google and its Google-tied investors.

  • The Frontline Wireless proposal effectively requests special subsidy treatment.
    • They are effectively asking the FCC to rig the 700 MHz auction process to ensure that only the Google-backed Frontline Wireless business model could work with the rigged rules. 
  • Reed Hundt's Frontline Wireless is asking the FCC to stand on its side of the auction scales, and not to have a free-market or a "open" opportunity for the spectrum to go the highest bidder and most highly reward the American taxpayer.   
  • Frontline is secretly asking for the functional equivalent of an "FCC spectrum earmark" worth billions of dollars of taxpayer money.
    • Congress' thousands of earmarks for hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars -- are penny ante earmarks compared with the hubris of the Frontline Wireless requested "spectrum earmark."
    • Where's the outrage?
      • Frontline is counting on the complexity and arcaneness of the FCC auction rules and process to slip a humongous special interest earmark by the American taxpayer and "open government."

The second outrageous special interest "policy earmark" is Skype's request for a special policy-fix that would essentially only commercially reward Skype -- called wireless net neutrality.

  • Skypes founders were also the ignominous founders of Kazaa, the music file sharing/piracy service that initiated the web-wide theft of music online.
  • Skype's founders stayed away from US soil for years because of Kazaa-related litigation.
  • If my memory serves me right, it was only after Skypes' founders sold Skype to eBay for a couple of billion dollars that they had sufficient resources to settle the Kazaa litigation.
  • Now Skype is essentially trying to reverse successful bipartisan wireless policy to promote competition and market forces that, by any measure, have been a spectacular success.
    • American consumers enjoy more wireless competition and choice than consumers in any country in the world.
  • Like Frontline, Skype is basically asking the FCC to reorganize the US wireless industry to suit its personal business model through wireless net neutrality. 
    • Like the Frontline Wireless proposal, this net neutrality-related, spectrum policy earmark for Skype would also be worth the functional equivalent of billions of dollars in implicit spectrum subsidies to the Skype business model.
    • Just because Skype has cloaked its wireless net neutrality language in "consumer-friendly" slogans, don't be fooled.

Bottomline: Both Frontline/Google and eBay-Skype are asking for special interest spectrum and policy "earmarks" outside the "open" congressional process, that would hugely and disporportionately benefit their companies only -- at the expense of the American taxpayer.

  • It's outrageous.