Proposed FCC regulation Limits Indian Country’s Access to Internet

Ross Racine (Blackfeet)

When the FCC reclassified broadband services, they stated that they were not going to get into price regulation. As expected, they did not keep their word and are now manipulating the prices in a free market. What Ross mentions below are the unintended consequences of price regulation.

By Ross Racine

When it comes to internet access, Native American and Alaskan tribes are among the least connected in our country. An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers found that along with the rural South, portions of the Southwest, predominately home to Indian communities, are amongst the lowest connected regions. Continue reading

‘Needless experiment’: Cities weigh gov’t-backed broadband, critics see tax $$ at risk

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A push by cities across the country to get into the business of the Internet is raising concerns that local governments, with Washington’s blessing, are meddling where they are not needed — and wasting taxpayer dollars in the process.

The push was fueled earlier this year, when President Obama in January introduced a plan for municipal broadband projects which, according to the administration, would encourage “competition and choice” while offering a “level-playing field” for high-speed Internet access Continue reading

19% of US Homes May No Longer Have Broadband

English: A wireless internet router, part of M...

English: A wireless internet router, part of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s broadband wireless internet network run by U.S. Internet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Broadband” is another term that historically had a specific definition in the telecom industry but now politicians have co-opted it and made the definition squishy. Before the Internet was a commercial service, the industry referred to signals as being narrowband, wideband, and broadband. Broadband was defined as any signal being greater than 1.544 Mbit/s or a DS1/T1 rate. Now broadband has evolved from an adjective to a noun with a different meaning depending on how the FCC defines it. I guess I should think of it as further evolution of the English language.

All across America, people could be waking up to their last day with broadband internet access. Oh, the speed of the bits in their pipes isn’t changing, but what we call it might be. The FCC is set to vote on whether or not internet access should only be called broadband if it’s 25Mbps or higher downstream. The current standard is a measly 4Mbps, which ISPs are just fine with. Continue reading

Pai Worried FCC Might Be Heading Toward Title II

By: John Eggerton

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai warned fixed wireless Internet service Providers (WISPs) Wednesday that he is worried the FCC might be headed toward Title II regulation.

In a speech to  WISPAPALOOZA, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association conference in Las Vegas Oct. 15, Pai took a page from former President Ronald Reagan to make his point. “President Ronald Reagan wisely said that the ‘government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.’ Unfortunately, I’m worried that’s where the FCC might be headed when it comes to the Internet.” Continue reading

FCC Votes To Ease Wireless Infrastructure Deployment

This is how government should be behaving. They should be removing the hurdles for business and society to advance.

The FCC voted unanimously Friday (Oct. 17) to make it easier to deploy wireless infrastructure, yet another step in the commission’s broader move to spur broadband deployment.

The item extends various exclusions from environmental and historical impact restrictions for wireless buildouts, including co-locations of new equipment on existing structures, and clarifies that shot clocks and other measures to ease infrastructure buildouts extend to distributed antenna systems and small cells.

State and local entities won’t be able to deny further modifications of existing sites that do not change the physical dimensions, and fixes a 60-day deadline for action.
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The Government Could Build You Faster Internet, But Cable Companies Won’t Let It

This article takes a stance that government can do things better than private industry although history has consistently proven different. Few will question the fact that incumbents will do what is necessary to continue the business model in which they are comfortable. Also, several states have felt the need to “protect” taxpayers from getting stuck with the bill from a failed investment in municipal broadband. Despite the un-based assertion that most municipal broadband projects are financially successful, more than half of the projects have left bondholders and taxpayers with the debt from a poorly executed strategy. 

The article fails to address that the FCC has no legal authority to override state law nor that it is not the government’s role in a capitalist society to enter the communications business. The article implies that municipalities have rights and freedoms to enter certain businesses. I do not recall anything in the Constitution granting municipalities any rights.
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FCC Officials Outline Plans for 100 Million in Funding for Rural Broadband Experiments

, Reporter, Broadband Breakfast News

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014 – In a webinar on Thursday, July 17, the Fiber to the Home Council hosted a webinar with Federal Communications Commission officials on a $100 million fund for expanding broadband capabilities to rural communities. FCC officials encouraged companies to apply for the funds, but also cautioning them of the heavy commitment.

The FCC voted at its July 11 monthly meeting to authorize the experiments, and applicants have until Oct. 14 to bid for funding. The $100 million will be split into three categories, said Jonathan Chambers, Chief of the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis. About $75 million will be used for testing networks that service plans at 25 Megabit per second downloads and 5 Mbps uploads. Another $15 million will go to testing delivery service at 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps upload speeds in high cost areas. The remaining $10 million will go to 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps upload service in remote rural areas.

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