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The FCC’s Dangerous Game of ‘Let’s Make A Deal’

August 4, 2010 AT&T , Broadband , Non-Discrimination , Verizon , Wireless

For whatever reason, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues its misguided game of  “Let’s Make A Deal” with the big telecom empires.   Since the end of June, FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus has convened representatives from AT&T, Verizon, the National Cable Telecommunications Association, Google, Skype and the Open Internet Coalition in an effort to try to have those negotiators do what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski apparently won’t do – make a decision about the future of broadband and the Internet in this country.

As far apart as the parties are, it’s increasingly unlikely that any overarching deal will be reached, even though negotiating sessions are scheduled for today (Aug. 4) and tomorrow (Aug. 5), following a marathon Saturday session on July 31.  The Empire is stuck in 2005, giving nothing up and expecting surrender from the other side. 

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What is the Opposite of Competitive?

June 3, 2010 AT&T , Broadband , Mobile Communication , Verizon , Wireless

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a market is competitive or not.  How many businesses need to be in a market in order to count as competitive?  How big do they have to be?  What counts as a business in the market? 

Other times, it is easy to tell if the market is competitive.  Are businesses doing things that are good for consumers but bad for their bottom lines?  If so, it is probably because competition is forcing them to act.

Take, as a completely random example, the world of dial-up Internet access in the early and mid-90s. 

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