Critics warn feds will choke off online TV

By Julian Hattem

Opponents of new regulations from the Federal Communications Commission are warning that the agency will inadvertently ruin the future of TV.

In comments filed to the FCC this week, industry and advocacy groups warned that the plan would unnecessarily interfere with the free market and stunt the growth of a nascent service. Continue reading

Rural Tennesseans Limited in Internet Choices

Jamie McGee, jmcgee@tennessean.com
Tullahoma, Tennessee

Tullahoma, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s usually between the 10th and the 15th day of the month when Clifton and Joanna Miller’s satellite Internet account hits its data cap. Clifton, a lawyer, and Joanna, a sixth-grade math teacher, are unable to work from home. Their 16-year-old daughter, who depends on access for homework, takes a laptop to her grandmother’s house nearby to complete her assignments until a new month begins.

The Millers’ house is less than a mile from Tullahoma‘s city limit, but under state law, the Tullahoma Utilities Board cannot extend its high-speed fiber Internet network outside its electric service footprint. They would settle for basic broadband from other providers, but those companies — AT&T and Charter Communications — don’t reach his neighborhood. Continue reading

CenturyLink, Frontier, TDS and others remain divided on new net neutrality rules

English: Frontier Communications logo at Front...

English: Frontier Communications logo at Frontier Building Rochester, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Frontier Communications and TDS, three telcos that have a long heritage of serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, are taking diverging paths on what they think about the FCC‘s passing of new rules to reclassify broadband service under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act and Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Serving as the third largest ILEC that serves a mix of both large metros down to rural markets, CenturyLink has taken a similar stance as its larger ILEC brothers AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), saying that the new order could have achieved its goals without a new source of regulation.   Continue reading

GOP lawmakers: Challenge FCC ruling on broadband in Tenn.

Chattanooga, Tennessee from Lookout Mountain.

Chattanooga, Tennessee from Lookout Mountain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Federal Communication Commission ruled last week that cities like Chattanooga may expand their municipal broadband service, but Tennessee officials who oppose the decision are lining up to block the move.

On Tuesday Republican state lawmakers led by Rep. Jeremy Durham of Franklin urged state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to file a lawsuit challenging the decision as “a violation of state sovereignty.” Continue reading

US Telecom: FCC’s Move Has Global Implications

Logo of the United States Telecom Association.

Logo of the United States Telecom Association. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAROL WILSON

The FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service will now subject the Internet to international telecom rules, as governed by the United Nations and the ITU, and could prompt other countries to implement similar regulations, claims the head of the major lobbying organization for telecom companies. (See FCC Adopts Title II Internet Regs for Net Neutrality.)

Walter McCormick, president and CEO of United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) , says his organization will be filing a court appeal as soon as details of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ‘s new rules are made public, claiming the federal government is overstepping its authority in a way that is “unnecessary and unwise.” Continue reading

Want Google Fiber In Your City? Make It Easy For Us, Google Exec Says

 

Google Inc.’s high-speed Internet service is slowly rolling out around the U.S., but so far has avoided major metropolitan markets – like New York and Los Angeles – as well as most smaller cities. One Google Fiber executive says bureaucracy is what’s holding back the rollout.

“If you make it easy, we will come,” said Milo Medin, Google Fiber vice president, according to Wired. “If you make it hard, enjoy your Time Warner Cable.” Continue reading

Tom Wheeler’s Other Web Takeover

Optic fiber

Optic fiber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler plans to seize regulatory control over the Internet by declaring private broadband carriers to be public utilities. Less well known is that he also wants to usurp state authority to regulate municipal broadband networks.

Local governments are forever seeking opportunities to diversify their, er, investments in sports stadiums, convention centers and such. Many lately have been getting into broadband. Municipalities have built some 180 fiber-optic networks in addition to about 75 cable services. Most operate as de facto public utilities with an implicit, if not explicit, taxpayer backstop. Continue reading