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Tech at Night: Net Neutrality scheduled, Sprint admits the truth, Hutchison fights, Anonymous loses

Tech at Night

November 20. That’s the day the Obama administration has chosen to regulate the Internet after what even The Hill calls “a partisan vote” at the FCC to pass the Net Neutrality regulations. I’m hoping Verizon and/or MetroPCS will sue and win a stay before that date, though I don’t know how likely that is for a court to act that strongly.

I’ve said much about the House and its strong opposition to Barack Obama’s regulatory overreach, but Senators are unhappy as well. Kay Bailey Hutchison is ready to fight. It looks like she will push to get the Senate to go forward with using the Congressional Review Act, as the House already did, to repeal Net Neutrality.

In AT&T/T-Mobile news, Sprint Nextel has stopped pretending its antitrust lawsuit is even about competition. Sprint wants the deal stopped, yes, but only because Sprint wants to merge with T-Mobile. And that’s not me saying that. See this quote of Sprint CEO Dan Hesse from the Wall Street Journal:

“I don’t believe that what the DOJ said in any way, not even a little bit, should be viewed as we want to keep four [major telecom carriers]” Hesse said at an investor conference today, according to Deal Journal colleague Shara Tibken. “My view is [the DOJ] would look at other consolidation very differently.”

Yup. The Justice Department’s own lawsuit AT&T is just the government choosing to prop up Sprint Nextel and protect them from lower prices. They’ll never admit it as Sprint does, though. This isn’t about protecting the public from oligopoly-created high prices at all. Good on AT&T for calling out Sprint as well.

Sprint truly is having trouble, too. Their big marketing campaign, hoping to swipe customers from Verizon and AT&T, has been promoting their unlimited, unthrottled data… but now they’re announcing plans to cap some data. Oops. They just can’t compete.

It’s been a bad week for Anonymous, heh. Just after they announce a “Day of Vengence [sic]” for Saturday the 24th, the FBI pounces and rolls up some of the members. Frogmarch! Frogmarch!

Free State Foundation says cable set top box regulations should die. I have to agree, because I know they are ineffective. Providers have already worked around CableCARD regulations by using new technologies to increase channel bandwidth, which happen not to work with CableCARD. So just give up already and try something new.

Quick hits: Moonbeam signed the Amazon tax bill, keeping California on its path to enforce an unconstitutional Internet sales tax.

Samsung is trying to get iPhones and iPads banned in Europe over patent issues, in retaliation for Apple’s legal successes against Samsung, as well as Apple announcing plans to drop Samsung as a supplier of even more iPhone and iPad parts. If patents get all gadgets banned, can we just repeal them? Thanks.

A note to regulators and legislators: People don’t actually care about privacy. We know this because they’re not actually doing anything about it. People talk about it because the teevee says to talk about it, but talk is cheap.

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