Thursday, March 25, 2010

FCC's National Broadband Plan

Attorney Steve Corin reviewed the FCC's National Broadband Plan. It looks like it should be called the National Broadband Idea, since it's likely going to take at least 10 more NPRM's sessions and a couple of court cases, especially when the USF monies are touched.

Forbes has a list of purported winners and losers.

The big losers -- and soon to be plaintiffs - TV Broadcasters, who will be losing about 300 MHz of spectrum that they are either not using or are tying up. That will be a big expensive fight. Only 10% of Americans collect TV signals over-the-air.

Giving this spectrum to Clear, Sprint, Ma Bell, VZW or T-Mobile would be sticking a pen in the eye of any consumer with a clue. They have a long history of NOT helping the American economy and stifling competition as well as innovation. We need to STOP that!

If our Military might was 15th in the world, we would move heaven and earth to improve that. [see Businessweek for that story] But our economic might?

(I won't even get into the issue of out technological superiority is under attack because of lousy education and a lack of incentive to get advanced degrees.)

As Susan Crawford, an Internet law professor and former Obama advisor, explains, in every other country, the regulator just wills policy to happen. Here, there's litigation, lobbying, pay-offs, and stalling tactics. Our economic future cannot wait for these tactics to be sorted out. We need to start now.

As Benkler points out in the NY Times, "Unfortunately, though, senior commission staff members have essentially conceded in interviews that lobbying pressure from the monopolies is too strong even to begin exploring open access right now."

Meanwhile CLEC's - that COMPTEL clan of inward thinkers, just want access to copper and fiber. How about asking for 300 MHz of spectrum instead in any place that you have real network? By real network, I mean the following: a central office colocation and actual fiber plant that you own and light (can be an IRU or leased dark fiber or better still fiber you laid down). Then I would like to see that CLEC get local spectrum and a roaming agreement. Investment would come. Competition would be strengthened. CHOICE would be available to the consumer. Our economic future would be certain.

A Monopoly is no way to proceed to the future. Don't believe me? What happened to FiOS roll-outs? Want a fun laugh? Look at how much just AT&T Southeast collected from Universal Service last year (go to the USAC site, SPIN # 143004824 for BellSouth Local, and calculate for 2009. My head was spinning after $63M. They spent $14M on lobbying.

What we don't need is more shenanigans like the 700 MHz auction that resulted in nothing -- not even open access as promised.

A milder view can be read at TMC's On RAD's Radar.

No comments: