Items tagged "Regulation"

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Will Minnesota Senate Kill Duluth’s Chances of Getting Google Gigabit Project?

March 10, 2010 Fiber , Last Mile , Municipal Wi-Fi , Qwest , Regulation

As reported by Christopher Mitchel from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Qwest has scored quite the little victory in its efforts to keep itself (and the good people it serves in Minnesota) from the evil socialist menace known as "local government providing broadband when the incumbent does a lousy job."

Apparently,MN State Senator Bakk and MN State Rep Dill introduced a bill that would have made it easier to for local governments to build municipal networks. Right now, it takes a local referendum vote with 65% to authorize a locality to build a network that offers commercial telephone service (and therefore any "triple play" broadband access service — or so they read it in MN).

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FCC Reform Moves Forward At Thursday’s Meeting

February 9, 2010 FCC , Regulation , Regulatory Reform

Assuming the Federal Government opens for business on Thursday (and I am not taking bets), we can expect to see Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski taking another substantial step to make good on his pledge to reform how the FCC does business. The agenda for the Commission's open meeting for Thursday, February 11 lists three items. Two have to do with changing FCC rules to make the agency more open and more streamlined, the third has to do with reforming the E-Rate Program under which schools get money to subsidize broadband.

We can expect that to the extent the press cover this, the focus will go to the E-Rate story. At least people understand about broadband in schools. But for long term difference that matters, the FCC process stories — while phenomenally boring and unsexy — have much broader impact.

The first item is a general "housekeeping" item.

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Obama Not Backing Away From Net Neutrality

February 1, 2010 Broadband , FCC , Network Neutrality , Regulation

There have been persistent rumors that the Obama Administration has been “backing away” from network neutrality. These rumors usually start with the unsupported but oft-repeated idea that Susan Crawford was “forced out” by Larry Summers for her “extreme” views on NN and move on from there. I would say I hoped this put such rumors to rest, but it won’t. The artificial manufacture of the “rumors” is part of an overall strategy to marginalize network neutrality as “extreme” even for the “socialist” Obama Administration. To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, it is widely reported that Obama is backing away from his commitment to network neutrality, and this conclusion is therefore ‘fact-esque.’ Still, for the curious, here is what Obama actually said about this on February 1, 2010.

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Google Voice’s Regulatoty Status: Cloudy With A Chance of Title I

November 2, 2009 AT&T , Broadband , FCC , Network Neutrality , Regulation

Last week, Google filed its response to the FCC's letter of inquiry on Google Voice. You can find the actual (redacted) letter here. Leaving aside AT&T's effort to make political hay from this on the network neutrality side (which has included such colorful issues as whether GV blocks calls to Benedictine nuns), the letter presents Google's explanation of how GV works and whether the FCC should treat it as a Title I "Information Service" entitled to do whatever it wants or a Title II "Telecommunications Service" with a duty to complete any call.

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