Julius Genachowski at CES on digital literacy

Jim Steyer of Common Sense Media introduces Chairman Genachowski.  Paraphrasing::  “If there was one person in this country who could have the most impact on this, I guess I’d say it is the President…But if it’s anyone else, it’s the person I’m about to introduce::  Julius Genachowski.  It’s amazing that we have him there, because we need his leadership.  He’s a dad, with a teenage football star son.  … So he understands.  And he’s an extraordinary legal scholar. He clerked for two different SCT justices.  Definitely a really smart guy. …

Tying, subsidizing, and IMS

In response to my post a couple of days ago about the possibility that VZ might not plan to comply with the 700 MHz “open platform” rules, someone wrote: would you have the FCC mandate that every mobile device must be capable of running every operating system? If Verizon sells me a BlackBerry, should the device allow me to install Android, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, or Symbian OS? Obviously, Google believes the answer is yes (they will make the most money if they can install their OS on every device)….

700 MHz Update: Will VZ comply with the rules?

Last Friday (HT::  IPDemocracy), Google filed a petition [PDF] asking that the Commission ensure that Verizon understands what those “open platform” requirements for the C Block really mean.  Verizon has taken the position in the past that its own devices won’t be subject to the “open applications” and “open handsets” requirements of the C Block rules, and Google says it is concerned that Verizon doesn’t plan to follow those requirements in the future. This is big.  Here’s the background. In the 700 MHz auction rules, the Commission noted that public…

700 MHz and the D block

I want to applaud Harold Feld for writing energetically about what has happened to the planned public-private partnership for creating a dedicated public safety network.  Key post is here. The FCC paired the upper band D block (a single 10 MHz nationwide license) with 10MHz of public safety spectrum located next to the D block, and conditioned the D block license on an obligation to negotiate with public safety representatives towards the construction by the D block licensee of a nationwide public safety network. :  The idea was that a robust,…

700 MHz auction time

There was a mock auction today just to test the equipment for submitting bids.  The real thing is on Thursday beginning at 10am. Chairman Martin has been urged to let the auction for Block D (the public-private partnership) play out.  Given the roiling stock markets around the world and the high reserve prices that the FCC set, it’s unlikely that the reserve prices will be met – particularly the $4.6 billion reserve price for Block C, the block for which mild no-locking, no-blocking requirements were drafted.  If that block doesn’t…

Three developments

1. More passive content from network providers. Comcast announced that it’s going to be providing 3,000 high-definition video-on-demand programs for subscribers to its highspeed Internet access services. “Comcast is the largest purchaser of TV content and now we are bringing that content over to the Internet” [Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, at CES today] Comcast is also confidently predicting that the PC will become “a full cable TV client” in the future. Dirk van der Woude pointed me to a Wall Street analyst, Douglas McIntyre, who doesn’t think Comcast’s plan makes…

The self-regulatory two-step

Self-regulation is a great move to forestall legislation. “Here,” you can say, “we’ve solved your problem. We don’t have all the details yet, but we’re making progress. Don’t try to write rules for this markeplace – you’ll just make mistakes and embarrass yourself. Let us help consumers by doing it ourselves.” The second step of this particular dance is enforcement – in the form of results that real people can understand. We don’t have all the details of the first Verizon self-regulatory step yet. A lot will depend on how…

Verizon Volte-face

So this morning my communications law class was earnestly discussing the 700 MHz auction rules when, suddenly, one of the students lifted his head from his screen and said, “Verizon just announced they’re opening everything up!” (I’m always a fan of internet access in the classroom, and this gives me a good story to use with other teachers. “See, it’s useful, not just a distraction.”) We immediately started discussing why Verizon is doing what it’s doing. And the context was clear, because it was the subject of the class: it’s…

The Auction, the Cops, and Comcast

The 700 MHz auction is just ahead. Bidders will soon be filing their applications, and the auction itself is supposed to start by Jan. 24. This is the big event for telecommunications policy in the U.S. One recent online story says that “it’s almost like the powers-that-be decided to auction off the land in the Grand Canyon or Central Park in New York City.” It could affect the competitive landscape for U.S. wireless providers and change the way broadband reaches rural areas in this country. Re-reading the final rules [warning:…