Post

Holiday Handouts: How the FCC Gave Gifts to Sinclair and Lumps of Coal for Consumers

December 22, 2017 Competition , FCC , Media Ownership , Sinclair

It’s the holiday season, and the Federal Communications Commission has been in a giving mood for the largest media companies. Over the past few months, the FCC has adopted a number of items that have relaxed or eliminated rules around media ownership. On their own, these actions allow for the largest media companies to further consolidate, drowning out diverse, independent, and local voices in the marketplace. However, the FCC’s actions have also particularly benefited one broadcast company — Sinclair — and its effort to merge with Tribune.

Read More
Post

No, the FTC CANNOT Have a Ban on All ISP Blocking

December 12, 2017 FCC , FTC , Net Neutrality , Title II

In my last post, took the four most famous net neutrality violations to see how they would come out under the current rules adopted in 2015 v. how they would come out under the regulatory framework following the Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality rules, based on the draft Order. To condense the approximately 5500-word analysis: all four incidents are addressable under the 2015 rules. None of the incidents are addressable under the combined Federal Trade Commission and antitrust regime that remains after the vote to repeal the rules, with the exception of Comcast’s deliberate deception about their blocking peer-2-peer protocols in 2007-08.

Read More
Post

Chairman Pai Plans to Put an End to the U.S. Commitment to Universal Service and Affordability

November 16, 2017 Affordable Access , Broadband Access , FCC , Lifeline , Lifeline Modernization

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to modernize the Lifeline program for the digital age to help low-income families, veterans, and children gain access to the internet. This week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is poised to initiate steps to drastically roll back the program, ultimately leaving millions of Lifeline subscribers and eligible families without a service provider.

Read More
Post

Fewer Voices In Our Communities: The FCC Supports More Media Ownership Consolidation

November 14, 2017 Competition , FCC , Media Consolidation , Media Diversity , Media Ownership

Imagine living in a town where the only local daily newspaper, two of the top four television broadcasters, and some local radio stations are all owned by the same entity. An owner might promote one political ideology or favor particular beliefs, leaving different viewpoints simply unheard. This poses many dangers, and runs contrary to the principles of a country that prides itself on the First Amendment and the benefits of robust public dialogue. This Twilight Zone-esque hypothetical may now become reality when the Federal Communications Commission moves to scrap central portions of its historic media ownership rules at the Open Meeting on Thursday. The current media ownership rules limit any one entity from owning too many of the newspaper, radio, and/or television entities within a local market, in order to ensure viewpoint diversity. These rules are under attack.

Read More
Post

Pai’s Plan to Downgrade Rural America

November 2, 2017 FCC , National Network Upgrade , Rural Broadband Downgrade , Tech Transitions , Wireline

On his very first day as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai dedicated himself to closing the digital divide and to “work to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.” Sounds promising for America, right? Unfortunately, Chairman Pai hasn’t followed through with this promise. Instead, the Trump-appointed FCC Chairman has rubberstamped the elimination of several policies and protections that are critical to closing the digital divide.

Read More