The iPhone, Net Neutrality and the FCC

Mr. Kessler hits the “nail on the head” by stating that competition will increase broadband penetration and solve net neutrality issues, but threatening regulation is not the way to achieve his goals.  Only by introducing more service providers in each market will the objectives be achieved.  The “beat them with a stick” approach does not work most of the time.

Regulatory uncertainty is spoiling the rollout of Steve Jobs’s latest inspirations.There’s a better way to spur broadband competition.

AT&T’s Picturephone, shown at the 1964 World’s Fair, was a huge flop. Apple’s new iPhone 4, announced this week, has a front-facing camera for video chats. It might succeed, except that AT&T isn’t providing enough bandwidth capacity.

First, the company won’t allow two-way video to work over its data network. Second, AT&T just made bandwidth-intensive video expensive by dropping iPhone and iPad’s $30 per month unlimited data plans and replacing them with a two-tiered plan of $15 a month for under 200 megabyte usage or $25 for two gigs. Not that I have a problem with AT&T charging me or the 2% of its customers who are heavy data users. I can always sign up with a competitor. Oh, wait. There are none. AT&T has an exclusive contract with Apple.

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FCC Seeks to Reclassify Broadband as Regulated

This article is a thorough review of the different options to create and enforce net neutrality.  The bottom line is that we need to rewrite this country’s telecommunications laws, but the current Congress is not up to that task.

Owen D. Kurtin | The National Law Journal

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On March 16, the Federal Communications Commission issued its National Broadband Plan, a compendium of lofty goals for extending broadband penetration throughout the United States and targeting specific industries and sectors, such as health care and education. As part of the plan, the FCC explicitly supported the principle of “net neutrality,” that of ensuring that internet backbone providers may not impose premium pricing or discriminatory access upon content and applications providers that use their networks, no matter how heavy their use of the available bandwidth.

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Congress rebukes FCC on Net neutrality rules

The bickering begins over who has control to regulate something that isn’t broken yet.  All three branches of government are now involved to solve a problem that has yet to be a concern.  Why don’t we wait until there is a problem before we create more regulation and most likely destroy a growth engine in our economy.

The Federal Communications Commission’s plan to impose Net neutrality regulations just became much more difficult to pull off.

A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the U.S. Congress changes the law.

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Scream 2 (The Broadband Sequel) Now Playing At The FCC?

By Art Brodsky on May 20, 2010 – 4:16pm

This is a familiar time of year for TV fans.  It’s the end of the season for original programs and the start of summer reruns for many. Some shows are better the second time around, but some lose their punch, or should, if you see them again and again.

For the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this summer’s big rerun is being brought to you by AT&T, which first broadcast its blockbuster “shock and awe” show last fall.  Now AT&T is doing it again.  While the FCC may have been spooked by this exercise in intimidation the first time around, there’s no excuse for the Commission panicking, screaming, or getting weak in the knees again.
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FCC Chairman Genachowski expected to leave broadband services deregulated

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 3, 2010

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has indicated he wants to keep broadband services deregulated, according to sources, even as a federal court decision has exposed weaknesses in the agency’s ability to be a strong watchdog over the companies that provide access to the Web.

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Google takes diplomatic route on Net neutrality

by Marguerite Reardon

In Washington, D.C., Google is learning there’s nothing wrong with a little diplomacy.

In a Federal Communications Commission filing earlier this week, Google reiterated its support for Net neutrality regulation, but it didn’t take sides in the ongoing debate over whether the FCC should reclassify broadband services to help ensure the agency has the authority to enforce that regulation.

The FCC’s authority was challenged earlier this month when a federal appeals court sided with Comcast, ruling that the FCC had no legal basis for censuring the company for violating its Net neutrality principles.

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Google Invites AT&T, Comcast, Verizon To Fiber Party

Whenever they actually get a network built…
04:15PM Thursday Apr 22 2010 by Karl Bode

We already knew that Google’s plan to deploy 1 Gbps fiber to the home to a limited area was going to operate as a wholesale operation — with open access allowing ISPs to come in and compete on top of the network (whenever it’s finally built). Part of the reason Google’s deploying the network is so they can show how open access and competition can help keep prices down, service quality up and carriers on their best behavior. The company this week reiterated their dedication to open access, inviting companies like Comcast and AT&T to offer service over the network when it’s finally built: