Items tagged "Innovation"

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FCC Patches CableCARD; Doubles Down on AllVid

October 14, 2010 DVR , Innovation , MVPD , Plug and Play , Set-Top Box

It’s great to see the FCC issuing orders and moving its agenda forward. The National Broadband Plan called for the Commission to increase video device competition–that is, to create the conditions that allow for third-party devices to as easily interoperate with cable or satellite video as they can with Internet-delivered content. The Commission just took an important step in the right direction by issuing an order designed to fix some of the most egregious consumer issues that have made using CableCARD devices such a challenge. CableCARD is far from an ideal solution (for example, you can’t use it with satellite), but with AllVid (the proposed successor) still on the drawing board, it’s all we’ve got for the next few years.

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The Incredible Shrinking FCC

August 20, 2010 Broadband , FCC , Innovation , Network Neutrality , Wireless

When Federal Communications Commissioner (FCC) Michael Copps issued a brief, two-sentence reaction to the news of a policy agreement between Verizon and Google over Net Neutrality, he deliberately emphasized one word.  In bold face and italics, Copps said that a “decision” had to be made, to guarantee an open Internet.

“Some will claim this announcement moves the discussion forward.  That’s one of its many problems.  It is time to move a decision forward—a decision to reassert FCC authority over broadband telecommunications, to guarantee an open Internet now and forever, and to put the interests of consumers in front of the interests of giant corporations.”

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Determining Causality in Telecommunications

May 6, 2010 FCC , Innovation , Last Mile , Non-Discrimination , Regulatory Reform

With the FCC and most government actors obsessed with incentive creation, it makes sense to determine whether and how a regulatory or deregulatory action causes some desired outcome.  Consider the creation of incentives to invest in physical plant.  Incumbent carriers have spent a lot of time, money and effort arguing that regulation creates investment disincentives and deregulation does the desired opposite.  This simplistic and not always correct premise constitutes the prevailing wisdom in the U.S.

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Standards good. Tech mandates bad.

April 29, 2010 DVR , Innovation , Internet Protocol , Set-Top Box

What exactly is the difference between a “standard” and a “tech mandate”? There was some confusion today at the House hearing on the FCC’s efforts to promote a more competitive market in home video devices. (Here’s Harold’s written testimony from the hearing.)

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How Balanced Copyright Gives Us As Many Freaky Alice in Wonderlands as We Can Handle

March 2, 2010 Innovation , Public Domain

Oftentimes, opponents of Public Knowledge suggest that our calls for a balanced copyright is really a call for everything to be free. First off, this is wrong. Balanced copyright is an attempt to find a way to promote creation without restricting innovation or creativity (or “balance” the rights of the creators of the past, creators of the future, and the public), not make everything free (for the 2 page handout version of PK’s take on balanced copyright, click here (PDF)).

Second, and what really annoys me, is the implication that there is no real value to works once they are in the public domain.

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The Public Knowledge Interview: Set Top Boxes at CES

January 20, 2010 Broadband , HDTV , Innovation , Network Neutrality , Plug and Play

As you may have noticed, Public Knowledge spent some time at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. While we wandered the floor with the best of them, we also found time to talk with some of the people who are trying to bring Internet video to your TV.

Syabas (Popbox)

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How to Preserve an Open Internet

January 15, 2010 Filtering , Innovation , Internet Protocol , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination

The FCC can preserve the Open Internet with the tools already at its disposal. With a coalition of other public interest groups, Public Knowledge filed comments with the FCC yesterday emphasizing the importance of the Internet, and what can be done to protect it.

Along with the Center for Media Justice, Consumers Union, Media Access Project, and New America Foundation, we dealt with the bulk of the issues raised in the FCC's Notice. We filed them in addition to comments that concern the relationship of copyright enforcement to the principles of an open Internet.

Here's what we had to say.

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Keeping an Open Mind on Spectrum

January 11, 2010 Broadband , DTV , Innovation , NTIA , Spectrum Reform

As Harold has been saying, a long-term solution to the "spectrum crisis" is going to involve a lot more than just throwing more spectrum at the wireless industry. We also need to look at smarter ways of using spectrum. In this, we're in accord with NTIA, which recently told the FCC that they both "should explore ways to create incentives for more efficient use of limited spectrum resources, such as dynamic or opportunistic frequency sharing arrangements in both licensed and unlicensed uses." We're on the record as supporting these kinds of approaches.

Spectrum policy shouldn't be dogmatic.

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Promoting Innovation in Video Devices

December 18, 2009 Broadband , Competition , FCC , HDTV , Innovation

Public Knowledge has long argued that the market for "video devices"–things like set-top boxes and DVRs that you attach to your cable or satellite provider's network–is not as competitive as it should be. In fact, it's not as competitive as the law requires: back in the 1990s, Congress directed the FCC to adopt regulations promoting common standards of interoperability to make the market for these video devices as competitive as the market for other high-tech equipment. As a result of this lack of competition, consumers end up paying high prices for limited devices.

There are many reasons for this lack of competition.

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Oh Hollywood: Netflix Profit Leaching and Longer Movie Rental Delays

October 28, 2009 Innovation , MPAA , SOC

Admittedly, we here at Public Knowledge spend a lot of time fighting with Hollywood and the MPAA. It is not that we think that the MPAA is full of bad people, just that the policies that they fight for are not always in the public interest. Of course, it is not their job to fight for the public interest – their job is to fight for movie studios. Fighting for the public interest is our job. However, sometimes the MPAA or one of its member studios says something that makes us wonder – are you even doing a good job fighting for movie studios?

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