March 9, 2017 – Susan Crawford, co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, says it’s “extremely unlikely” that freeing internet providers from Title II regulation will spur more competition. “We have a very broken marketplace in the United States, and absent government intervention, there’s no reason that would change,” she explains. “There’s no real competition to the local cable actor in most American places.”
January 24, 2017-Tom Wheeler, the recently departed chairman of the FCC, took aim at an idea to streamline the agency, saying that it was a “fraud” to say that it was “modernizing” the agency and suggested that it is really a way for major internet service providers to escape substantive oversight. “It makes no sense,” Wheeler said at the event, moderated by Susan Crawford. “We are talking about 1/6 of the economy, but more importantly, we are talking about the networks that connect 6/6 of the economy.”
January 23, 2017-During his time as head of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler pushed for internet providers to deliver information at equal speeds. But companies have pushed back against this idea of net neutrality. Wheeler joined us to talk about the telecom industry, his successor, and his plans for the future. Afterwards, we’ll hear from Harvard professor Susan Crawford about what telecom policy might look like under President Trump.
Early next year, Senate Democrats will get to choose a new commissioner for the F.C.C. Democrats ought to pick a strong consumer advocate who will use the position to speak out forcefully for more competition in the industry and common-sense approaches like net neutrality rules. Susan Crawford, of Harvard Law School, and Tim Wu, of Columbia Law School, are two experts who specialize in telecommunication issues and fit that bill.
September 4 – LA Times’ Joe Flint references Susan in the ongoing forum about the Time Warner Cable vs. CBS dispute. “This opinion is significant because it shows that we can be reasonable about the 1st Amendment,” said Susan Crawford, a communications professor at Cardozo Law School. “Not all economic decisions about the transport of bits are the same as messages that should be protected by the 1st Amendment.”
August 30 – LA Times’ Michael Hiltzik responds to commentary from former FCC chairman, Michael K. Powell while referencing the “digital divide”. “Former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who is now the chief lobbyist for the cable industry, takes issue with my Aug. 25 column about how cable monopolies such as Time Warner and Comcast have made Internet access slower and more expensive than in many countries around the world”.
August 25 – Michael K. Powell responds to LA Times’ Michael Hiltzik’s article, “Why the U.S. has to settle for low-speed data” and mentions Susan Crawford. “Michael Hiltzik could have noted the fact that America is among the world’s leaders in broadband choice, availability and quality”.
Check out Susan’s dialogue with Holistic Survival’s Jason Hartman about the Federal Communications Commission’s responsibility to the American people with respect to free Wifi. “Crawford believes the telecom industry now has a monopoly. American are paying much more for Internet access yet getting much less. Other countries are beating America in this space”.
Another Friday filing by the FCC: 146 pages on program access.It’s a classic on-the-one-hand-on-the-other item. This time around it’s even worse for the public, because the underlying competitive reality of the wires that run to American homes is being hidden, in two ways: First, the entire discussion is focused on the market for pay-TV, because that’s the subject of the rules being examined. That’s the wrong market definition from a consumer’s point of view. Consumers are buying both data and video in bundles, and in that bundled marketplace we don’t…
When should a court defer to an agency’s interpretation of its governing statute and/or its own regulatory actions? I got interested in this question because deference by a flummoxed Supreme Court gave us Brand X, with its ahistorical “this looks really tricky so we’ll let the FCC categorize highspeed internet access” approach. In this week’s Third Circuit opinion about the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident, the court doesn’t defer much. At least three times, it corrects the FCC’s reinterpretation of past regulation. 1. FCC: We gave notice of and a…
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)….
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…