Logo of the United States Telecom Association. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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
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A lawmaker in North Carolina proposed a bill that would curtail communities from building their own broadband networks. The move marks the fourth time since 2007 that a state legislator has attempted to limit cities’ ability to create municipal broadband networks.
The most recent proposed measure — “An act to protect jobs and investment by regulating local government competition with private business,” would impose a host of restrictions on cities that want to create their own networks. Among others, the law would curb cities’ ability to fund broadband networks, advertise them, or price the service below-cost.
One state down and 18 to go to allow municipalities to decide their own fate on the best broadband network option for them. Elimination of these laws is no guarantee that every municipality is going to enter the telecommunications business. Most of them do not have the expertise for such an endeavor which is why they will turn to private companies to assume that responsibility. If the incumbents could afford to upgrade the last mile networks in rural communities then there would be no need to consider leveraging the long-term financing of municipalities. The problem is that investing in rural broadband networks is not something that most public companies can do. As more and more communities build that last-mile infrastructure, I predict that the incumbents will start purchasing capacity or fibers from them.
By Matthew Lasar
“O joyous day! O rapture!” blogged a community broadband advocate on Monday. “That insidious bill [that] incumbents’ pocket legislator, NC state Senator Hoyle, tried to pass to kill muni broadband networks met its final demise over the weekend.”
Indeed it has. North Carolina Senator David Hoyle’s (D-GA) now-defeated amendment (S-1209) was cosmetically titled “An Act to Ensure That A Local Government That Competes with Private Companies in Providing Communication Services Has The Support Of Its Citizens.” But advocates of city/county backed high speed Internet projects just knew it as the Municipal-Broadband Must Die Die Die bill.
This was another great event sponsored by Silicon Flatirons but there was really nothing new said that has not been already written. The cable companies politely object to a potential change in regulation while supporting the National Broadband Plan. Many panelists tossed around the statement that there is 95% broadband penetration in the U.S. which is a number that is highly suspect. I am more inclined to trust the OECD numbers more.
LONE TREE, Colo. — Some at the top level of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may believe a new legal framework for its authority over broadband services will help keep its ambitious National Broadband Plan afloat, but some cable industry policy pundits wonder if the move might produce the opposite effect.
The FCC’s reclassification effort could “totally sidetrack [the Commission] from getting some pieces of the broadband plan done,” warned Steve Morris, VP and associate general counsel of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) , a speaker Thursday afternoon here at a “Future of Cable” conference hosted by the Colorado Cable Telecommunications Association and Silicon Flatirons, a law and tech center based at the University of Colorado. (See NCTA Reacts to FCC NOI.)
Not much to say here other than the administration is bent on regulating the Internet despite the wishes of Congress and the people. I am going to look into the option to leave broadband access a Title I service and providing some additional monitoring powers to the FCC. It may be the best option to insuring that broadband providers do not start limiting access to sites they do not approve while maintaining the freedom and innovation that is still fueling Internet growth.
The Federal Communications Commission has taken the first step toward figuring out how it’s going to regulate broadband after losing an important legal battle earlier this year.
At an open meeting Thursday, the FCC voted to open a proceeding that seeks comment on three options for redefining the FCC’s role in regulating broadband. The FCC is asking for comments on these new proposals, which it hopes will put it on firmer legal footing, after a federal appeals court ruled in April that the agency did not have authority to sanction Comcast for violating Net neutrality principles. Comcast had been caught throttling BitTorrent transfers on its network.