Blog - Page 16

National Broadband Plan’s flawed premise

The Washington Post’s reaction to the National Broadband Plan that was deemed approved and issued with fanfare by the FCC this week: BY THE Federal Communications Commission’s own account, broadband use in the United States has exploded over the past decade * * * * So it is curious that the FCC’s newly released National Broadband Plan faults the market for failing to “bring the power and promise of broadband to us all” — in reality, some 7 million households unable to get broadband because it is not offered in their areas. Such an assessment — and the call for government intervention to subsidize service for rural or poor communities — is premature, at best. * * * * it Read More ›

Hundt confesses


Former FCC Chairman Reed E. Hundt

Notorious former regulator Reed Hundt admitted he tried to screw telephone companies and broadcasters during a session at Columbia University, according to Harry Jessell at TVNewsCheck.
“In other words, we stole the value from the telephone network and gave it to … society. When I say we stole it, it was a government rule that produced this outcome.”
If this doesn’t sound Nixonian, it ought to. It was Nixon who famously said, “If the President does it, it is not illegal.” But the president is not above the law, and he was forced to resign.
Also, one cannot steal from a company, although this point is often overlooked. One can only steal from a group of investors, employees and/or consumers. They are the ones who ultimately pay.
While the FCC was stealing from the communities of interest represented by the telephone companies, Hundt said, it also tried to repress broadcasting: “This is a little naughty: We delayed the transition to HDTV and fought a big battle against the whole idea.”
Hundt thought his actions all served a higher purpose, i.e., “We decided … that the Internet ought to be the common medium in the United States and that broadcast should not be,” he said. “We also thought the Internet would fundamentally be pro-democracy and that broadcast had become a threat to democracy.” Huh?

Read More ›

Internet a “treasure trove” for catching criminals

Some of the fascinating ways social media sites are making it easier for police to nab the bad guys, from, Police in Indiana were able to arrest a New York fugitive who turned himself in by posting his workplace on his MySpace and Facebook pages. A Florida man who was convicted of murdering of his friend was caught because he posted pictures of the friend on his MySpace page next to the words “rest in peace” and “live through me,” hours before the death was even reported to police. A burglar in Pennsylvania who ransacked a home and stole some jewelry was caught after the victim found the burglar’s Facebook account open on her home computer. A bank fraud Read More ›

Illinois’ telecom report card

<a href= We have completed a new paper examining the need for regulatory reform in Illinois for the Illinois Technology Partnership. Illinois was one of the first states to take the first step in permitting competition in the local telephone market. But it failed finish the job. In 1985, the Illinois General Assembly declared that “competition should be pursued as a substitute for regulation,” delivering new technologies, improved service quality, choice among telecommunications providers and ultimately lower prices for consumers. The goal of the 1985 act, which was to open the market to competition, has been achieved, but not the task of ensuring that consumers will reap the full benefits of competition — which requires eliminating legacy regulation that is Read More ›

Net Neutrality is an Orwellian Phrase for Government Direction of the Internet

Senior Fellow George Gilder has shot a little arrow into the Obama Administration plans for “net neutrality”. The Tuesday Wall Street Journal carries George’s attack. The author of Life After Television, Microcosm and Telecosm, among others, has been trying hard to make the point that the very cutting edge of our economy is high technology and its abundant success is the product of freedom from government over-regulation. Obama and Co., he says, hope to change that. Net neutrality is Orwellian. It is further evidence of America’s careening drive into a planned economy–and stagnation.

Broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband

Although Congress directed the FCC to allow broadcasters to offer “ancillary or supplementary services on designated frequencies as may be consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity,” it obviously hasn’t worked. A column by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. offers some clues: Ask the media bankers and investors at a recent FCC roundtable. To a man and woman, they said the FCC’s stringent ownership rules have only cut broadcasters off from the capital to remake their businesses for the digital age. And now, as Jenkins further notes, it’s no secret that planning is underway at the FCC to coax broadcasters into voluntarily relinquishing some of their spectrum so it can be assigned for mobile voice and broadband services. Obviously the Read More ›

A New Freedom, Both Free and Important

The government expansionists have had their eyes on the Internet ever since Al Gore claims he invented it. Of course, the Feds’ DARPA did help birth the Internet, but there is no reason why Washington now should imitate the Iranian mullahs or the Chinese and start restricting access and imposing financial or technical controls. It is not just because the technology is new that it has made such a huge contribution to our economy; it’s also because the new technology has been relatively unfettered by the government. The whole subject of federal regulation re-emerges in a major way in coming weeks. Watch this space. Meanwhile, Mark Landsbaum of the Orange County Register (in a column that I missed when it Read More ›

Georgia close to reforming regulation of telecom

The Georgia State Senate approved a sweeping reform of the state’s telecommunications laws by a vote of 46 to 4 (see HB 168, as passed by the Senate). The Senate bill Eliminates legacy telephone regulation that restricts competiton by creating artificial competitive advantages and disadvantages so that VoIP, wireless and wireline carriers will all have an equal opportunity to compete. Reduces inflated intrastate access charges for smaller rural telephone service providers and new entrants to the same level as interstate access charges. Sunsets Georgia’s Universal Access Fund, after providing a partial replacement of lost access revenues for ILECs who provide high-cost services (subject to a fully contested PSC hearing before allowing any fund distribution). HB 168 now goes back to Read More ›

Why antagonize China?

From George Gilder’s column in today’s Wall Street Journal, Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the president’s friends at Google are hectoring China on Internet policy. Although commanding twice as many Internet users as we do, China originates fewer viruses and scams than does the U.S. and with Taiwan produces comparable amounts of Internet gear. As an authoritarian regime, it obviously will not be amenable to an open and anonymous net regime. Protecting information on the Internet is a responsibility of U.S. corporations and their security tools, not the State Department. The full column is here.

Study: Net neutrality regulation would cost jobs

A study by Larry F. Darby, Joseph P. Fuhr, Jr., and Stephen B. Pociask of the American Consumer Institute concludes: Historical data suggest that for every $1 billion in revenue, “core” network companies provided 2,329 jobs, while non-network “edge” companies provided 1,199 (about half as many). This indicates that Net Neutrality rules that reduce revenues and growth for network companies, and transfer benefits (revenue or growth prospects) to non-network companies, are a barrier to job creation. Read the study here.