Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The FCC Daily Headaches

I get NECA's daily email about what is happening at the FCC. What a headache. So much activity. Look:

Under Open Internet:

  • Paid Prioritization 
  • Net Neutrality 
  • Title II Classification for Wireless Broadband Services
With complaints ranging from:

  • ATT Supports Using Section 706 to Prohibit Paid Prioritization
  • Google Supports Rules Encouraging Investment in Abundant Bandwidth
  • Free Press Opposes Open Internet Hybrid Approach, Edge Facing Proposals
  • Sen. Cruz calls Net Neutrality the Obamacare of the Internet
  • Akamai Technologies Supports Section 706 for Broadband
  • 5% of rural America cannot get wired broadband.
  • If only we had more competition for broadband... The Future was stolen.

Other Topics under Consideration:

  • Rural Call Completion Reporting Rules (and Problems)
  • TDM-to-IP Transition
  • USF/ICC Transformation Order
  • IP Inter-connection Rules
  • VoIP Symmetry Rule
  • ATT Argues CLECs, VoIP Partners Do Not Provide Local Switching
  • CAF Phase II Cost Model
  • ECT/Lifeline Program
  • Urban Rate Floor [comments]
  • Muni Broadband Networks
  • LNP Administrator Transition

Not to mention the usual E-911, public safety, consumer protection and competition goals of the FCC.

And now "The Federal Communications Commission took its first step into the field of data security regulation on October 24 when it hit two telecommunications companies with a $10 million fine for allegedly failing to adequately safeguard customers' sensitive information." [source]

The open topics are ways that the FCC can make itself relevant again. This past week it floated 3 more ideas around. David Byrd at ANPI summarized them:

“Earlier this week, I circulated a proposal to update the Commission’s rules to give video providers who operate over the Internet — or any other method of transmission — the same access to programming that cable and satellite operators have. This change should ultimately give consumers more options to buy the programming they want.

“Those same principles apply in the context of an item I circulated last week on an issue commonly referred to as ‘VoIP symmetry.’ The notion is simple — interconnected VoIP is functionally equivalent to traditional voice service, and the Commission’s rules that govern the way communications companies pay each other to complete voice calls must reflect that. Technology-neutral rules are best.

“Technology transitions will be speeded by technology-neutral rules that promote, preserve and protect the enduring values that consumers have rightly come to expect. Chief among them is the ability to reach emergency responders, and the ability to choose products and services in a competitive market. Technology must improve; these values must be protected.”

The E-Rate program is also under review and being re-vamped for 2015.

The USF Rural Healthcare program is also under review. This program provides up to 65% of the costs of network. We will see where they go with that.

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