NetCompetition, an organization dedicated to improving competitiveness in the internet market, held a panel discussion and debate on April 4th on the topic “Thinking and Starting Anew: Modernizing Communications Law for American Consumers.” Scott Cleland, Heartland Institute policy advisor and president of the Precursor consultancy firm, was the first of the five guests to speak.
The Barack Obama Administration is back at it — yet another big government power grab is in the works. The Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) again resurrecting Network Neutrality — an all-encompassing Internet usurpation twice unanimously killed by court as an illegal overreach.
The net neutrality movement is positioning to influence the FCC, Congress, and candidates in the mid-term election cycle, to support their version of net neutrality — i.e. FCC reclassification of broadband Internet service as a telephone common carrier service.
Aside from whether you think the proposed Comcast – Time Warner Cable merger ultimately should be approved or not, it’s hard to suggest that Comcast’s announcement that it will divest 3.9 million subscribers does not advance the company’s pro-merger case by alleviating claimed competitive concerns. Without getting into the complexities of the proposed three-party subscriber divestiture transactions involving Comcast, TWC, and Charter Communications, the end result is that, as Comcast promised when the merger was announced in February, Comcast’s total number of subscribers, post-merger, will be less than 30% of the total number of U. S. cable subscribers.
Net neutrality activists’ latest rhetoric that opposes the FCC’s court-required update of its Open Internet rules, by implying that there haven’t been “slow and fast lanes” on the Internet before, is obviously factually wrong and misleading, both for consumers receiving content and for entities sending content.
Spectrum management is the least efficient part of the federal government.
That’s a big national problem because radio spectrum is the essential fuel of the mobile revolution of smart-phones, tablets, video streaming and the Internet of things.
Yet here we remain – stuck in government overreach Groundhog Day.
We haven’t yet seen the Net Neutrality power grab order – but the fact that they’re trying again at all is at once obnoxious and pathetic.
Not yet having seen the order hasn’t stopped the Left from going apoplectic. Because the Left never allows the facts to get in the way of a good beating.
The Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming “incentive” auction of TV airwaves is already at war with itself.
Somehow the FCC imagines it can maximize the revenue necessary to incent TV broadcasters to sell their 600 MHz spectrum by minimizing actual revenue collection via dis-incenting, and even banning some wireless company bids.
The federal government is yet again acquiescing to the ridiculous anti-free market demands of the Left. We the People will yet again be forced to pay dearly for the resulting damage.
We have looming before us a wireless spectrum crunch. Spectrum being the finite airwaves we use for all things wireless – from cell phones to car key fobs.
The Federal Communications Commission has a Procrustean problem. The agency would do well to acknowledge it as a means of reforming its regulatory process.
I borrow from FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen’s address, “The Procrustean Problem with Prescriptive Regulation,” delivered at the Free State Foundation’s Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on March 18. If you missed the conference and haven’t seen the C-SPAN video of Commissioner Ohlhausen’s speech or read it, you should. It ought to be required reading at the FCC.
From the various reports of briefings about the FCC’s planned rules for the 600 MHz incentive auction, two things appear clear. First, the FCC doesn’t trust market forces. And second, the FCC doesn’t want the highest bidders to win the spectrum.
They’re all actively preparing to enter the over-the-top online video business with their own streaming service or proprietary online programming to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and facilities-based pay-TV providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish, AT&T, Verizon, and others.
I was pleased that Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly accepted my invitation to participate as a keynoter at the Free State Foundation’s Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on March 18. We engaged in an informative and interesting lunchtime conversation, and I am grateful to Commissioner O’Rielly for indulging my questions.I was pleased that Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly accepted my invitation to participate as a keynoter at the Free State Foundation’s Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on March 18. We engaged in an informative and interesting lunchtime conversation, and I am grateful to Commissioner O’Rielly for indulging my questions.
On March 14, the Obama administration announced it was initiating a process to transfer oversight of the Internet from the United States to some yet-to-be-defined global entity.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling said, “The timing is right to start the transition process.”
You don’t need to be a credentialed foreign-policy expert, however, to harbor reservations concerning the plan to turn over management of key Internet functions to what the Commerce Department called the “global multi-stakeholder community.”
President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and 28 Senate Democrats remain fixated on “dangerous manmade climate change.” In the process, they are ignoring real threats to our living standards and very lives.
Just one year ago, the Wall Street Journal has reported, saboteurs attacked a power substation near San Jose, California. They cut fiber optic cables and shot up 17 transformers, causing them to overheat and fail. Apparently, they wanted to trigger a monumental blackout. Thankfully, grid operators were able to reroute power and avoid blackouts.
A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission official called the attack “purposeful, extremely well planned and executed by professionals who had expert training.” Other utility experts said it could have been a “dress rehearsal” for much bigger operation – one that could take down much of the entire US or even North American electricity grid for weeks, months or even a year. That would have a devastating effect on our economy, living standards and lives. Indeed, many people would likely die, as food, fuel and even safe drinking water become unavailable.
Crony Socialism is, in part, the government cutting special deals for certain companies – at the expense of other companies, and the free market. It is particularly pathetic when companies publicly troll for this treatment. It’s almost as if they’ve given up on actually, you know, trying.