Congress Should Lead FCC by Example, Adopt Clean STELA Reauthorization
Yesterday’s FCC meeting was unabashedly pro-cable and anti-broadcaster. The agency decided to prohibit television broadcasters from engaging in the same industry behavior as cable, satellite, and telco television distributors and programmers. The resulting disparity in regulatory treatment highlights the inherent dangers in addressing regulatory reform piecemeal rather than comprehensively as contemplated by the #CommActUpdate. Congress should lead the FCC by example and adopt a “clean” | Read More »
Video Double Standard: Pay-TV Is Winning the War to Rig FCC Competition Rules
Most conservatives and many prominent thinkers on the left agree that the Communications Act should be updated based on the insight provided by the wireless and Internet protocol revolutions. The fundamental problem with the current legislation is its disparate treatment of competitive communications services. A comprehensive legislative update offers an opportunity to adopt a technologically neutral, consumer focused approach to communications regulation that would maximize | Read More »
In His Bid to Buy T-Mobile, Sprint Chairman Slams US Wireless Policies that Sprint Helped Create
Promoted from the diaries by Neil
Sprint’s Chairman, Masayoshi Son, is coming to Washington to explain how wireless competition in the US would be improved if only there were less of it.
After buying Sprint last year for $21.6 billion, he has floated plans to buy T-Mobile. When antitrust officials voiced their concerns about the proposed plan’s potential impact on wireless competition, Son decided to respond with an unusual strategy that goes something like this: The US wireless market isn’t competitive enough, so policymakers need to approve the merger of the third and fourth largest wireless companies in order to improve competition, because going from four nationwide wireless companies to three will make things even more competitive. Got it? Me neither.
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Net Neutrality Opinion Indicates Internet Service Providers Are Entitled to First Amendment Protection
Verizon v. FCC, the court decision overturning the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules, didn’t rule directly on the First Amendment issues. It did, however, reject the reasoning of net neutrality advocates who claim Internet service providers (ISPs) are not entitled to freedom of speech. The court recognized that, in terms of the functionality that it offers consumers and the economic relationships among industry participants, the Internet is | Read More »
Understanding the False Equivalency of the Free State Foundation’s Views on Retransmission Consent and the Free Market
My response to Free State Foundation’s blog post, “Understanding the Un-Free Market for Retrans Consent Is the First Step for Reforming It.” The Free State Foundation (FSF) questioned my most recent blog post at RedState, which noted that the American Television Alliance’s (ATVA) arguments supporting FCC price regulation of broadcast television content are inconsistent with the arguments its largest members make against government intervention proposed by net neutrality supporters. FSF | Read More »
How Cable and Satellite TV Providers Are Using the Net Neutrality Playbook to Regulate Broadcast Television Content
Promoted from the diaries by Neil
The American Television Alliance (ATVA), a coalition comprised primarily of cable and satellite TV operators, is using the playbook of net neutrality proponents in a bid to convince the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate prices for broadcast television content. The goal of ATVA’s cable and satellite members is to increase their profit margins by convincing the government to artificially lower the cost of programming they resell to consumers. I suspect the goal of ATVA’s non-profit members, e.g., Public Knowledge and New America Foundation, is to solidify the FCC’s flawed rationale for adopting net neutrality rules in 2010, which imposed restrictions on market arrangements between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet content providers without finding a market failure.
Many of ATVA’s cable members are also ISPs that have routinely argued against the imposition of net neutrality regulations in the market for Internet services. By supporting ATVA, these same companies appear to have abandoned the intellectual foundation for opposition to net neutrality. Are they now signaling their intent to embrace net neutrality regulation of the Internet?
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Senator Rubio Is Right On Immigration
Senator Marco Rubio is right on immigration. In his remarks regarding the immigration bill passed by the Senate last week, Rubio noted that immigration is an American story. For over two hundred years now, they have come. . . . From Ireland and Poland, from Germany and France. From Mexico and Cuba, they have come. They have come because in the land of their birth, their dreams were bigger than their | Read More »
Chilean in Chains: Net Neutrality Does Not Mean Internet Freedom
Free Press is holding its National Conference for Media Reform next week. The conference agenda describes the Internet as “central” to freedom of expression, which is how all mass media technologies have been described since the invention of the printing press ushered in the mass communications era. Despite recognizing that the Internet is a mass media technology, Free Press does not believe the Internet should be accorded the same constitutional protections as other mass | Read More »
Will Europe Regulate Over the Top Services on the Mobile Internet?
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, I was surprised that nobody had access to 4G mobile Internet services. How could Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain and host to the “world’s premier mobile industry event,” lack access to 4G? In the opening day keynote session, Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s CEO, said Europe has only 6% of the world’s LTE connections, and Telefónica’s CEO, César Alierta, | Read More »
Susan Crawford’s Captive Audience Filled with Misplaced Fear
From the diaries by Neil Susan Crawford, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, is in our nation’s capital today to promote her new book, Captive Audience. The book declares the United States is suffering from broadband inequality because no “privately provided wired Internet access product . . . can compete with cable.” Its proposed solution to this alleged monopoly is government ownership and control | Read More »