Items tagged "Broadband Authority"

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

September 12, 2013 Broadband Authority , FCC , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , Open Internet

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

June 6, 2013 Broadband Authority , FCC , Network Neutrality

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

February 14, 2013 Broadband Authority , Comcast , Competition , FCC , National Broadband Plan

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

February 4, 2013 AT&T , Broadband Authority , FCC , phone transition , Verizon

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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Oregon: Past and Present, A Model for the Nation on Broadband Policy

October 26, 2012 Broadband , Broadband Authority , Competition , FCC

Last week I had the privilege of travelling to Hood River Oregon to speak at the Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference.  Here are my prepared remarks, which focused on policy issues affecting cloud computing.

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Not-So-Hidden Agendas Threaten the ITU “Kumbaya” Moment

August 17, 2012 Broadband Authority , ITU , Network Neutrality

One of the things that has drawn Public Knowledge to be an active participant in the effort to ensure that the United Nations doesn’t become an Internet regulatory or governance body is the fact that nearly every civil society group, policymaker and industry representative is on the same page.  

As I have said previously, it is one of those very rare “kumbaya” moments in communications policy debates where there is consensus – when the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meets at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai this December, its jurisdiction should not expand to encompass Internet policymaking.

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What Do You Mean The “End of the Phone System?” I Gotta Call Home for Father’s Day!

June 4, 2012 Broadband Authority , Deregulation , FCC , National Broadband Plan , phone transition

A few weeks ago I went to a fascinating gathering of a few dozen academics, policy wonks, and others from the U.S.  and elsewhere to talk about the end of the phone system. While by no means a unanimous consensus, a very solid majority considered the phone system obsolete and ready for the scrap heap. This will come as a surprise to those of you who called home on Mother’s Day or who thanked God for a call center number when your broadband connection went down. But in fact, most of you are probably not using a phone service but a “phone service,” so we are half-way to shutting down the actual phone system anyway.

What is the PSTN and Why Should Anyone Care if We End It?

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Public Knowledge Pleased With FCC Action On VoIP Reporting

February 15, 2012 Broadband Authority , Press Release


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today extended mandatory reporting of network outages to service provided by Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

The following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:

“We are pleased the FCC has extended outage reporting requirements to VoIP.  As the Commission recognized, this reporting must be mandatory in order to collect the necessary data to analyze the outages.  At the same time, we are disappointed that this data, as with other reported outage information, will not be made public.

“As we said in our comments filed with the Open Technology Initiative last fall, the reporting burden will be minimal on VoIP providers.

“We will continue to monitor the issue of voluntary outage reporting by broadband service providers given the uncertain status of the FCC authority over broadband service.”

 

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Public Knowledge Skeptical of FCC’s Universal Service Plan

October 27, 2011 Broadband Authority , Press Release

 The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

 “We appreciate the effort and commitment the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dedicated to tackling the universal service system, which is in need of serious reform.  We also appreciate that the Commission recognizes the importance of non-traditional broadband providers, such as community-based institutions, and will seek comment on how to enhance the ability of these entities to serve their local communities.

“At the same time, however, we share the concerns of other consumer organizations that the Commission’s actions will lead to higher prices at a time when the average American is watching every penny. We hope that the mechanisms adopted by the Commission to prevent this prove adequate, and that this and future Commissions will have the political will to address problems that may arise.

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