Verizon v. FCC: Why It Matters

Tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 9, the D.C. Circuit will hear argument in Verizon v. FCC. [FCC links here to filings in the case – scroll down. I was involved in the ‘Natl Assn of Telecomms Officers Assn’ amicus brief. The remarks below were prepared for a public session in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 5, for which CSPAN has video here.] There’s a spray of issues in telecommunications policy and law, and lots of acronyms and shiny objects. So it should be a relief to people here that the case being considered by…

Big surprise: Ex-FCC chief defends the cable industry

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”.

LA Times Commentary: Michael K. Powell, Former Chairman of the FCC and Current CEO of National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.

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”.

Book TV After Words: Susan Crawford, “Captive Audience”

“Ms. Crawford argues that the U.S. has lost its competitive advantage in the knowledge-based economy, because it is no longer at the forefront of the internet revolution. Other countries have internet capabilities that are significantly faster and less expensive to use than in the States. This puts U.S. consumers at a distinct disadvantage and, she argues, it also threatens America’s economic future. She discusses her findings with Andrew Blum, author of ‘Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet’”.

IMLS, USCIS to Make Announcement at ALA Conference

American Library Association’s Larra Clark, Director of OITP’s Program on Networks the Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century (AL21C), announces the upcoming presenters  for the 2013 National Conference. “A frequent media commentator and Internet activist, Crawford will explore themes outlined in her new book “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.” Of particular interest to librarians, Crawford examines how powerful telecommunications monopolies stymie policy efforts to improve Internet access at affordable rates”. 

While we’re waiting

Back in early July, we heard that the McCain tech policy (eight months behind the Obama tech policy) was going to be released in… July. It’s August, it’s humid, and no policy. We can predict to some extent what the in-process policy will say. The bottom line: Sen. Obama sees the promise of technology. He understands that technology policy should be closely tied to this country’s economic policy, because technology may provide answers — solutions — for our sagging standing in the world. Sen. McCain, from all we can tell,…

Battling over clouds

More than 40 years ago, the FCC was worried about telephone companies using their power over communications to control the then-nascent (and competitive) data processing marketplace. The Bell System at that point was already banned from providing services that weren’t common carriage communications services (or “incidental to” those communications services). In Computer 1, the Commission tried to distinguish the use of computers for processing information from the use of computers as part of communications, with the goal of not allowing the Bell System into the data processing business. In a…

The rock star, the Christian Coalition, and NN

Yesterday’s House Judiciary hearing (witness statements and archived video here) had a deeply political angle – what committee should have jurisdiction over network neutrality issues – but also revealed to me that: We’re seeing the moment when Hollywood, law enforcement, and the network access providers publicly attempt to join hands in favor of monitored/monetized network access. I loved meeting Damian Kulash and hearing him testify.  His opposite number (for purposes of the hearing) was the president of the Songwriters Guild, Rick Carnes.  Carnes was there to talk about piracy, p2p…

“The broadband revolution”

The International Telecommunications Union recently issued a press release announcing with joy the release of “the first set of global standards for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV).” A key sentence: A combination of voice, Internet and video services over a single broadband link and from a single provider is foreseen as the ultimate goal of the broadband revolution. Those of you who lived through What Is Broadband Good For? with me last summer (first post here) know that the word “broadband” is a pet bugaboo of mine. It’s a word that…