Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Even VZ is Yelling about the FCC

I was at the FCC Media Ownership hearing in Tampa Monday night. Of the 300 people in the room, only a handful were happy with Big Media. Non-profits were happy that media helped them with exposure but that is not the same as being happy with Big Media and Local News Coverage, which is what the hearing was about. The sociologist from NYU had the best view IMO on how consolidation is not working. Although media likes to say that blogs and the internet are competition - 30% of people do not have internet, the St. Pete Times newspaper just saw an increase in readership, and the only people reading blogs are bloggers (probably). They had some strange speakers like a confused priest.

Update: Best post about the Tampa FCC Media hearing is here. Another good one is here. Even Media companies talk about Convergence. (I'm tired of that word).

Anyway. I feel that the FCC is all about Big Business. Every ruling from media ownership to spectrum auctions to forbearance have been to bend to the whim of Big Business --- mostly to the detriment of the consumer and the small business. One of the compnaies to benefit the most from the FCC is now taking pot shots at it. Go figure. Here's Tom Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, calling on the FCC and Congress to create an “updated role” for government in telecommunications regulation. What is he smoking? VZ was granted forbearance by default; no real conditions on its merger with MCI; and broadband forbearance. What more could he want? VZ has a forbearance petition before the FCC now for relief in 6 MSA's on the East Coast. If he is yelling that means we DO need a Net Neutrality Act, because that guy doesn't understand that VZ's main responsibility is as a common carrier.

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