Has Art Brodsky lost his grip? His posting over at Public Knowledge has to be one of the lamest lines of defense ever offered as a basis for over turning the Rule of Law. Kindness of Strangers be damned!
Mr Brodsky starts with using the Ides of March reversal technique –
Of course, the story isn’t all that simple, is it? Because the hidden story of Comcast’s glorious victory is that if Comcast were smart, it wouldn’t in the first place have brought the case, which challenged the FCC’s authority over the company’s high-speed Internet service. Some in the telecommunications industry, perhaps even huge companies with three letters in its name, urged (begged?) Comcast not to take the FCC’s ruling to court, because of the possibility that Comcast could actually win and, potentially, win big —which is what happened.
The reason that the Telcos like the arrangement Art is that it extended their LATA boundary relationships into the non regulated digital environment without so much as a legal skirmish. And what’s this dismissive alluding but not naming? Its AT&T, VZ, Sprint. Don’t be so damn coy.
But where is the standing on damages to the industry that Mr. Brodsky intones? He offers two — Depend on the Kindness of Strangers, and Waiting for Godot. In the former case he charges that depending on the big firms for telecommunications advancement has led us on a downward spiral in terms of global competitiveness. There is some truth to that but not the whole truth. For who is the hand maiden leading the spiraling down the drain but the FCC itself. Then in the latter case we have this –
We can’t depend on unelected bureaucrats to deal with topics as essential as broadband, because the result could be “excessive and burdensome regulation” on those humble, hard-working telephone and cable companies who unfairly change the rules without any reason at all.
And to you I say, NO we cannot trust bureaucrats with damn near anything including telecommunications. If for no other reason that the concept of the Lack of Sufficient Knowledge on a continuing basis.
But thru all of Mr. Brodsky’s missive is this gem –
… Practically speaking (even if there is a very slim legal opening), broadband is free from regulation – a nirvana that the telecoms industry might once upon a time have gratefully accepted as its due, but now looks upon it with some trepidation because now the door has swung wide open to a full-scale discussion of bringing Internet broadband access services back under reasonable regulation.
Two counts here. Brodsky’s ox has been gored by this ruling yet now the door has been swung open for reasonable regulation? By what variant of a pharmaceutical does he come to this conclusion? Its an election year fella. The chances of a Democratic Congress taking this up is slim to none. Plus if the tea leaves are right the Republican Congress next year won’t have the cycle time to touch it either. The second is under proper procedure, the FCC being a creature of Congress should make the necessary request for an expansion of its authority by the proper means, not some gerrymandered legal trick with a wink and a nod. But Mr. Brodsky the FCC DOES NOT possess the authority to overstate its intended alloted powers. Or do I assume you are willing to abrogate the rule of law to achieve your statist aims under the color of consumer protection. How Stalinist.
Cox owns some spectrum, and plans to offer wireless service in its footprint. For starters, they’ll resell Sprint’s service. With LTE off in the horizon, that means they will be in the cellular and 3G arena. Few would call this a great time to enter a market that has peaked, and may soon be in decline.
The cable operator announced Monday that it will initially partner with Sprint Nextel to resell its wireless service to customers in its cable territory. Cox already bundles high speed Internet, telephony, and TV service. And soon it will add wireless service for a quadruple play offering.
“Wireless service will be a key driver to Cox’s future growth,” Cox President Pat Esser said in a statement.
But Cox isn’t stopping with just reselling Sprint’s wireless service. It also plans to build a 3G wireless network. And it will eventually build a 4G network using LTE technology. The company will use the nearly $550 million worth of spectrum it bought in the Federal Communication Commission’s AWS and the 700 MHz wireless auctions. (Cnet)
It’s nearly impossible to be innovative when you’re reselling an established business model. This is going to be a me too, with a mediocre marketing group behind it. That’s too bad. If Cox owned enough of their own facilities and knew how to sell an idea, they could do a low priced, device agnostic, flat rate cell / 3G service and make a big enough killing to fund a LTE build when it’s actually ready.
Traditionally, local governments have undertaken the delivery of utilities when they have been under served by private enterprise. Traditionally when a monopoly is granted, lobbying of politicians continuously erodes regulation of these monopolies to be done in the public interest. In America, we have a duopoly that is increasingly interested in creating scarcity in open access and using new capacity exclusively for the delivery of proprietary, extra charge services. They defend their “turf” like mafia dons. AT&T and Cox fought hard to end the city of Lafayette, La’s self build of a fiber network, and lost.
The city of Lafayette, Louisiana fought hard against BellSouth and Cox, who tried desperately to scrap voter-approved plans to wire the city with fiber. While residents won’t be getting the promised symmetrical 10Mbps connections and IPTV bundles until next year, the city says they’re planning to offer free local Intranet connectivity to those who plug in to the fiber ring, according to App Rising. (Broadband Reports)
I seriously doubt the duopoly players have accepted the defeat. They’ll be back to try to kill this again, and again. If we had real competition in the marketplace, this would never happen. These companies would then have to focus on offering better faster cheaper instead of political skullduggery.
While the UK’s politicians are in a bit of a panic over losing ground against other nations the the world broadband race, many Brits are getting what most Yanks only dream about.
Broadband ISP Virgin Media has announced its plans for upgrading customers’ broadband systems. Beginning late February customers with a 4Mbit/s service on Virgin Media’s ‘L’ tier package will be upgraded free to a 10Mbit/s service. Completion is expected by late summer.
Virgin Media have also said it will be extending its top-of-the-range 50Mbit/s service, offering it to customers who currently have a 20Mbit/s connection. (from NeoWin)
Hey AT&T, Qwest, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon DSL, Cablevision, Cox and the rest: You should be very ashamed. In the pre-broadband era, you were the envy of the world.
Big bad Darth V’s lawyer legions have been very busy. I expected to see the dark side take on other indepent VOIP providers, but it appears that they lave larger quarry in mind. On Jan 11, they began patent infringement proceedings against Cox Communications.
Verizon filed papers in Eastern District Court of Virginia on Jan. 11 alleging that Cox violated eight patents related to the technology used for completing IP voice calls. Four of the patents were included in Verizon’s suit against Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG – message board) last year. (See Vonage Ordered to Pay $58M to Verizon.) Verizon was eventually awarded $120 million in damages in that case. (from Light Reading)
How about this for a business strategy? Turn your legal department into a profit center while they are also focused on using the courts to run your competition out of business. It seems to work for Verizon, and AT&T was only to happy to copy. Perhaps Cox should acquire the rights to some obscure patents associated with video content delivery and do the same to V and the death star?