Entries Matching: Broadband Authority

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Net Neutrality Oral Argument

If Monday's net neutrality oral argument in the DC Circuit foreshadowed the court's decision, opponents and supporters of the FCC's rules will each have something to cheer and something to fear. 


While some have portrayed the likely outcome of Monday’s DC Circuit oral argument on Verizon’s challenge to the Federal Communications Comission’s Open Internet order as a victory for anti-net neutrality forces and a loss for its supporters, the reality is much more complicated.   With the caveat that one can never rarely predict the ultimate outcome of a case – particularly one as difficult and multi-layered as this one – based solely on the oral argument, there are some pretty clear takeaways, some good, some bad and some just plain ugly.  For a comprehensive report on what happened in the courtroom, read Harold’s excellent blog post.

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Clarifying What I Would Do If I Were FCC Chair

ISPs should put the cork back in their champagne bottles. Public Knowledge still thinks Title II is the best way to reinstate the FCC’s authority over broadband Internet access, though other means of providing that authority would be acceptable too.


This past Tuesday I appeared on a Free State Foundation panel entitled “If I were the FCC Chairman….” For 2 hours representatives from Verizon, Time Warner Cable and I had the opportunity to “live the dream,” and set out what we would do if we commanded that big office on the 8th floor for the next several years.  

It is certainly hard for a reporter to condense 2 hours of non-stop opinionating and prognosticating into 400 words; sometimes nuances get lost.  Such was the case with a Communications Daily story on the panel, which screamed “FCC Will Lose Open Internet Case, Should Not Go Back to Title II, Say TWC, Public Knowledge Officials.” Champagne bottles could be heard popping in big ISP’s offices all over Washington, DC.  

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Comcast’s Very Scary PSTN Filing

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I’ve been sorting through the various filings at the FCC in the Phone Network to IP transition docket. I single out the 7-page filing by Comcast as the filing that scares the absolute bejeebers out of me.

Why? Because everyone else – no matter what their financial interest or political alignment – paid lip service to the idea that we ought to have at least some kind of regulation. Whether it’s a general nod to a “minimal and light touch regulatory regime” or a specific shopping list, the vast majority of commenters recognized that when you have something as big, complicated and utterly essential to people’s lives as the phone system, you need some kind of basic backstop for people to feel comfortable and to address problems that will invariably come up.

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“IP” Does Not Mean “Fiber,” “Fiber” Does Not Mean “IP”—Clearing Confusion About the Phone Network

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As regular readers know, I regard the upgrade of the phone system (aka the "public switched telephone network" or "PSTN") to an all-IP based network as a majorly huge deal. As I’ve explained at length before, this is a huge deal because of a bunch of decisions the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made over the years that have fragmented our various policies and regulations about phones into a crazy-quilt of different rules tied sometimes to the technology (IP v. traditional phone (TDM)) and sometimes to the actual medium of transmission (copper v. fiber v. cable v. wireless).

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