Items tagged "Deregulation"

Post

AT&T is Not Invincible

March 8, 2013 Broadband , Deregulation , Monopoly , Municipal Wi-Fi

The ill-considered bill in Georgia that would have prevented local communities from investing in their own broadband networks was defeated last night, and this is great news.

Read More
Post

Lessons from the Derecho: When Industry Self-Regulation Is Not Enough

January 16, 2013 Deregulation , FCC , Regulation , Verizon

The FCC released a fairly thorough report on the widespread 9-1-1 failure that followed the June 2012 “derecho” windstorm. For those who don’t remember, the derecho differs from most weather events by coming up almost without warning. According to the report, carriers had approximately two hours of warning from the time the derecho started in the Ohio Valley to when it hit the D.C. Metro region.

As a consequence of the damage done by the derecho, Northern Virginia experienced a massive failure of its 9-1-1 network, leaving over 1 million people with working phones (at least in some places) but no access to 9-1-1.  West Virginia experienced systemic problems as well, as a did a scattering of locations in other states impacted by the derecho. Verizon maintains the network in Northern Virginia, while West Virginia is managed by Frontier.

Read More
Post

The FCC Jump Starts Special Access (Again) and AT&T’s Disingenuous Response.

June 7, 2012 Deregulation , FCC , Special Access , Wireless , Wireline

Good news, the FCC has decides to one again reboot its seven year old proceeding on “special access.” Given that I have been flogging the FCC since 2006 to do something about this, with occasional reminders since then, I am obviously pleased. For those new to this, “special access” is the rate businesses and competitors to telcos pay to telcos for wholesale access to their telecommunications capacity. When you place a call over your Sprint or Cricket cell phone, the call goes to the tower.

Read More
Post

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?

Read More
Post

CWA Fights A Valiant Battle, But…

August 11, 2011 Deregulation , Network Neutrality

There are two ways to look at the Communications Workers of America (CWA) strike against Verizon, mirror images of each other.  (The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also is striking, but CWA is the main labor voice.)

First:  Why should the striking workers have it better than everyone else?  Why should they get away with having paid-for health care and time off and all the other things that the company now wants to take away?

Second:  Why don’t other workers have it as good as the striking workers?  Why don’t other people have paid-for health care and time off and all the other things that Verizon now wants to take away?

Read More
Post

Tim Wu’s “Master Switch” Is A Master Work

October 29, 2010 Competition , Deregulation , Enforcement , Innovation , Network Neutrality

As we speak, one giant telecommunications company, the cable/programming megalith Comcast, is poised to take over another, the NBC network of local stations, cable channels and even a movie studio.  At the same time, two other giants, NewsCorp., owner of the Fox network, is in a cage death match with Cablevision, another distributor/programmer as three million customers fume at the loss of the World Series and other programming.

Read More
Post

Tom-Toms: Tauke and Pynchon On Regulation and the Open Internet

March 26, 2010 Broadband , Competition , Deregulation , Network Neutrality , Network Open Access

The tone for the latest round of debate about whether there should be an Open Internet was set, not by the latest round of speeches and statements by industry executives, nor even by the emphatic statements of self-righteous politicians at a Congressional hearing.

No, what’s happening now could be summed up in a thought from the author Thomas Pynchon, and his book, Gravity’s Rainbow. Scattered throughout the 800-some pages of the novel are five “Proverbs for Paranoids.” The one relevant to our discussion of the Open Internet is #3: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”

The wrong question is – how should the Internet be regulated? The right question is – how should the online rights of consumers be protected? Yet, it’s the wrong question on which the industry-fueled discussion has dwelled. This is not to say that even wrong questions don’t deserve answers.

Read More
Post

PK and EFF: 2010 Special 301 Review Should Respect Copyright Balance and Increase Transparency

February 19, 2010 Deregulation , Enforcement , International , Limitations & Exceptions

Today, Public Knowledge, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed comments in the 2010 Special 301 review process. We wrote about this issue last time calling upon you to file comments with the USTR. I want to thank everyone who responded to our call and filed comments. Here are our comments.

As we said before, the Special 301 process, which is supposed to ensure protection for US intellectual property, has morphed into an instrument used to exert pressure on foreign countries to curtail socially beneficial intellectual property limitations and exceptions, ratchet up penalties for infringement, and force countries to sign treaties that are not necessarily in their best interest.

Read More