Friday, March 23, 2007

FCC at Work

As fast as can be, the FCC classified wireless as an information service, so that it too can enjoy no E-911 and USF contributions.

"Wireless broadband Internet access service is defined in today’s Ruling as a service that uses spectrum, wireless facilities, and wireless technologies to provide subscribers with high speed Internet access capabilities. Wireless broadband Internet access service can be provided using mobile, portable, or fixed technologies, and wireless broadband technologies can transmit data over short, medium, or long ranges. Specifically, the Ruling finds that the transmission component underlying wireless broadband Internet access service is "telecommunications," and that the provision of this telecommunications transmission component as part of a functionally integrated wireless Internet access service is an information service. "

To quote from Phone+: "However, Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps said he voted for the measure only in the spirit of treating like services alike. He decried the swiftness with which it was adopted and the lack of public comment." Why would the public comment? We were all sure that Martin would pass it as fast as he could type it.

Next up at the FCC is the Net Neutrality sort of. As Phone+ explains: "The FCC is investigating how broadband providers are managing Internet traffic on their networks; whether providers charge different prices for different speeds or capacities of service; whether the agency’s policies should distinguish between content providers that charge end users for access to content and those that do not; and how consumers are affected by these practices." [Read the order here]

Why now? Maybe that beating in Congress that was long overdue. But the more important issue facing the FCC that they don't want to touch is Inter-Carrier Compensation. That's why this can happen. But isn't this like Net Neutrality? I mean if you can't call any number from your phone, how is that not Discrimination?? And the ILEC's say they can be trusted with the Internet. (They can't even be trusted with the PSTN. Too much lazy monopolistic thinking by the Bell-heads).

I love this list: "The following groups commended the FCC’s notice of inquiry on net neutrality: The Alliance for Public Technology; AT&T Inc.; the Telecommunications Research and Action Center; the Center for Individual Freedom; USTelecom; and Verizon Communications Inc.; and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce." Can you say Astro-turf?

In addition to exploring network neutrality, the FCC has also started looking into development and apartment exclusivity deals. [Source] It was okay for the ILECs, but now that other carriers are winning these deals... well, we need to examine this. Again, it might be time to abolish the FCC.

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