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Tech at Night: LightSquared debates, FCC subsidizing and raising prices, Seven figure fine for Google?

Tech at Night

So, LightSquared. It’s a funny turn this whole thing has taken. Way back at the start, when I was excited for LightSquared’s potential as a 4G competitor, I was told that they were the next Solyndra. Then, when the Obama administration and LightSquared both reacted badly to requests for oversight, I was convinced. Now, though, defenders on the right are cropping up again for LightSquared. I’ll say this: transparency in the FCC is worth fighting for, but a solution that leads LightSquared build a terrestrial 4G network is also worth finding.

See if you can spot the problem: As AT&T warns that FCC meddling is raising prices, the FCC is off expanding wireless subsidies.

Since 1992 when the modern, commercial Internet began, and 1996 when the bipartisan Telecommunications Act effectively deregulated the Internet, much has changed. Some think it’s in spite of that hands off law, apparently, so I’m skeptical of calls to rewrite the law, even if they are competition-minded. This call for a law that recognizes the competitive marketplace is reasonable in itself, but I fear that any re-opening of the Telecommunications act could go wrong where the original idea went so right. Also, new laws won’t matter if the FCC will just ignore them.

The FCC’s jerking around Verizon, after all. The firm is having to speak up for itself since they’re changing deadlines, dragging it out, doing the bidding of the George Soros extremists.

Note: all this regulatory nonsense has a cost: It’s harming our way forward in modern, innovative, high-speed communications. We need a functioning spectrum market.

Retransmission: While the broadcaster outrage has been loud against Jim DeMint’s Senate effort to level the playing field between local broadcasters and cable companies, I have to give Joe Barton credit for picking up the issue in the House. I’ve been critical, but he doesn’t have a bad idea here, and I need to give credit.

Cookie privacy’s the hot thing. So even as FCC gave Google only a slap on the wrist over the Street View scandal, three cheers for Darrell Issa and the House Oversight committee, for conquering YouTube.

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