Posts by Harold Feld:

Last week, NCTA, the trade association for the industry formerly known as cable, posted this amazing graph and blog post showing that the “virtuous cycle” the Federal Communications Commission predicted would happen when it adopted the Open Internet rules (a.k.a. net neutrality) back in December 2010.
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The Ninth Circuit issued a fairly important decision limiting the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Unfortunately, articles such as this from CNET, combined with some overwrought commentary, have generated a lot of confusion.
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It may seem odd for me to say, and meaning no offense to his replacement Bob Quinn, but I am sorry to see Jim Cicconi retire from AT&T at the end of this month. For those who don’t play in this pond, Cicconi has been AT&T’s Lobbyist in Chief here in D.C. since 2005. It may therefore seem odd that I am sorry to see him go, particularly since Cicconi was so damned good at his job. But, as I have said many times before, I’m not here because companies are evil, nor do I believe the people working for them necessarily delight in crushing consumers, strangling puppies and tossing destitute widows and orphans on the street in rags in the dead of winter. (At least not in telecom. The copyright folks, on the other hand, were ready to screw over the blind a few years back just for giggles. But I digress.)
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The two Orders the FCC will vote on today probably have more impact on the future of our communications infrastructure than the Title II reclassification of broadband, but like many technical topics, it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
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The Federal Communications Commission has an ongoing proceeding to apply Section 222 (47 U.S.C. 222) to broadband. For those unfamiliar with the statute, Section 222 prohibits a provider of a “telecommunications service” from either disclosing information collected from a customer without a customer’s consent, or from using the information for something other than providing the telecom service. While most of us think this generally means advertising, it means a heck of a lot more than that — as illustrated by this tidbit from Cable One.
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For the last 3 years, the auto industry and the Department of Transportation (DoT) have been at war with the open spectrum community of 75 MHz of spectrum up at 5.9 GHz.
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Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to ensure the Internet remains an open platform for consumers and innovators. The new rules (adopted as part of the Open Internet Order) are a capstone to over a decade of policy battles and litigation over how the FCC regulates broadband Internet service. For close observers of the net neutrality saga, this Friday brings a sense of déjà vu, as the agency again heads to Court to defend net neutrality rules at oral argument. The FCC’s relevance in the broadband era, along with how consumers, content creators, entrepreneurs, and network providers interact with each other, hangs in the balance.
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As reported by Brian Fung in the Washington Post and others, a company called Commercial Network Services (CNS) has filed the first network neutrality complaint under the FCC’s new rules — which went into effect June 12 after the D.C. Circuit denied a stay request. You can read the complaint here. While I probably should not prejudge things, I expect the FCC to deny the complaint for the excellent reason that — accepting all the facts alleged as true — Time Warner Cable did absolutely nothing wrong.
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Good news! Late last week, the D.C. Circuit denied the request by the carriers suing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prevent the FCC’s net neutrality rules and reclassification of broadband as a Title II telecom service. As of last Friday, the Net Neutrality rules are in effect, and broadband access is once again a Title II telecommunications service — pending the final outcome of the lawsuit challenging the the FCC’s actions.
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Yesterday, the U.S. Telecom Association (USTA), the trade association for incumbent telecoms like Verizon and AT&T, and a Texas Wireless Internet Service Provider called Alamo Broadband, filed separate appeals from the FCC’s Order reclassifying broadband as Title II and applying net neutrality rules. (This Ars piece links to both Petitions). USTA filed in the D.C. Circuit, while Alamo filed in the 5th Circuit – a court that is typically more hostile to the FCC.
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