Blog - Page 11

Network neutrality regulation could be a lot worse than this

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has outlined a new plan for imposing network neutrality regulation on broadband providers. The draft rule is not yet public, but it sounds really rather reasonable as described by Genachowski. Broadband providers would have a “transparency obligation” so consumers and innovators know basic information about how networks are being managed. Blocking would be prohibited, so consumers and innovators can send and receive any lawful Internet traffic Broadband providers could not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful Internet traffic. Broadband providers would have meaningful flexibility to manage their networks to deal with harmful traffic and to address network congestion. Aside from a transparency requirement and a basic no blocking rule, mobile broadband would be closely monitored by the Read More ›


Simple in theory, tricky in practice You want to save the world; you have a clear and simple idea. If it weren’t for the details! Ah, the pitfalls of regulation. From the Wall Street Journal, Seeking to be a leader in protecting online privacy, the European Union last year passed a law requiring companies to obtain consent from Web users when tracking files such as cookies are placed on users’ computers. Enactment awaits action by member countries. Now, Internet companies, advertisers, lawmakers, privacy advocates and EU member nations can’t agree on the law’s meaning. Is it sufficient if users agree to cookies when setting up Web browsers? Is an industry-backed plan acceptable that would let users see–and opt out of–data Read More ›

What’s wrong with current regulation of broadband services?

At a Saturday morning panel discussion at the Federalist Society moderated by Chief Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, I asked whether any of the panelists feel that the Federal Trade Commission lacks jurisdiction pursuant to the FTC Act to combat against deceptive business practices and unfair competition in the market for broadband services. Parul P. Desai, Policy Analyst at Consumers Union responded that there are limitations on the ability of consumer advocates to litigate which do not apply in actions by the Federal Communications Commission. Maureeen K. Ohlhausen, an attorney with Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP who has an FTC background, added that those limitations do not apply in the context of Read More ›

Another example of doublepseak?

Rumors that the Federal Communications Commission may be planning to enact network neutrality regulation three days before Christmas (see previous post) seem odd in light of a observation President Obama made on Nov. 3 [A]s I reflect on what’s happened over the last two years, one of the things that I think has not been managed by me as well as it needed to be was finding the right balance in making sure that businesses have rules of the road and are treating customers fairly and — whether it’s their credit cards or insurance or their mortgages — but also making absolutely clear that the only way America succeeds is if businesses are succeeding. The reason we’ve got a unparalleled Read More ›

Nixonian doublespeak from FCC

A Federal Communications Commission spokesperson, responding to rumors that the commission may enact network neutrality regulation three days before Christmas, told a publication called The Hill that if government regulates broadband, it’s not “regulation.” Reminds me of former President Richard Nixon’s logic, e.g., if the president does it, it is not a crime. Net Neutrality is about preventing anyone from regulating the Internet. There are some cable and phone companies out there that want to decide which apps you should get on your phone, which Internet sites you should look at, and what online videos you can download. That’s regulating the Internet — and that’s what the FCC is trying to stop. I guess it depends on what the term Read More ›

Is ignorance blissful?

Senator Rockefeller, chairman of the committee with jurisdiction for the Federal Communications Commission, wishes there were something that could be done to cut down on the number of choices Americans enjoy for news, commentary and entertainment: I hunger for quality news. I’m tired of the right and the left. There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC “Out. Off. End. Goodbye.” Would be a big favor to political discourse, our ability to do our work here in Congress and to the American people to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly in their future. We need slimmed down Read More ›

Gilder: California’s Fall Threatens All

Our Sr. Fellow George Gilder now commands the “most read” space on the Wall Street Journal opinion page today with “California’s Destructive Green Jobs Lobby”. The information adds nails to the coffin that voters in the Golden State have fashioned for themselves. It has been a familiar theme for Discovery News ( for weeks. You might think that the California calamity opens opportunities for other states, notably nearby Washington, where voters just turned down an income tax on the wealthy (e.g., entrepreneurs, small businesses, investors in new jobs) and where the next state legislative session is not about new taxes, but major surgery on spending. Washington has energy for power-hungry computer companies and it has an outstanding employee base. Texas Read More ›


Comcast executive David L. Cohen had this to say in remarks at the Brookings Institution: The Internet is too big and too important for government to ignore… and it is too complex and too dynamic for government to regulate intrusively. Let?s learn from the Internet itself – it is flourishing as a self-governing, self-healing ecosystem, and the more we can take advantage of that model, coupled with reasonable, consensus-based regulation, the better. TEXT, AUDIO