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AT&T and Verizon Double-Dare FCC To Stop Spectrum Consolidation

January 25, 2013 AT&T , Competition , Mobile Communication , Spectrum , Verizon

Rarely do you see companies double-dare the FCC to back up their brave talk about promoting competition. That is, however, what AT&T has just decided to do – with a little help from Verizon. After gobbling a ton of spectrum last year in a series of small transactions, AT&T announced earlier this week it would buy up ATNI, which holds the last shreds of the old Alltel Spectrum. To top this off, Verizon just announced it has selected the purchaser for the 700 MHz spectrum it promised to sell off to get permission to buy the SpectrumCo spectrum. And guess what?

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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.

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Amicus Briefs Counter Verizon’s First Amendment Argument in Verizon v. FCC

November 19, 2012 FCC , Open Internet , Verizon

Last week Public Knowledge and the Open Internet Coalition submitted an “intervenor’s brief” in support of the open internet rules in Verizon v. FCC. Along with our brief, other allied parties including Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and several former FCC commissioners offered “friend of the court” briefs, or “amicus briefs,” in favor of the FCC.

Verizon claims it has the First Amendment right to edit, prioritize, or block its customers’ access to the internet. Verizon’s First Amendment argument plays an interesting role in the case, to which each responded in the following three briefs.

Tim Wu’s Amicus Brief

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A Network Neutrality Meme That Will Not Go Away

September 26, 2012 FCC , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , Open Internet , Verizon

Recently, arguments against network neutrality as a “solution in search of a problem” have resurfaced (recently subscribed to by Mitt Romney’s campaign, recently argued by Verizon in its challenge to the Open Internet Order, and also argued here and here). People who make this argument essentially claim either (1) discrimination predicted by Public Knowledge (and the FCC) will never actually come to pass, or (2) discrimination can be benign or even beneficial.

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In Less Than 1 Year Verizon Data Goes from $30/Unlimited to $50/1GB

June 12, 2012 Competition , Mobile Communication , Mobile Innovation , Verizon , Wireless

Today, Verizon Wireless announced its new pricing plans for mobile phones and data.  If you mostly use your phone for data, this is bad news.

Verizon's New Pricing PlanVerizon’s New Pricing Plan

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