A half-dozen lawsuits have been filed to date challenging the digital-discrimination rules recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These cases were consolidated earlier this month and will now be heard by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This has the hallmarks of a significant case that will almost certainly involve the U.S. ... FCC’s Digital-Discrimination Rules: An Open Invitation to Flood the Field with Schlock
Cable and satellite companies often get a bad rap for early termination fees (ETFs). Consumer advocates portray them as “junk fees” or billing traps meant to cheat customers. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to accept these allegations at face value, characterizing ETFs as “junk fee billing practices … that penalize subscribers for terminating ... Are Early-Termination Fees ‘Junk’ Fees?
In an announcement that was treated to mild fanfare (meaning it was reported by certain tech blogs, but largely ignored elsewhere), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel asked her fellow commissioners in June 2023 to support a formal notice of inquiry (NOI) to learn more about how broadband providers use data caps on consumer ... The Curious Case of the Missing Data Caps Investigation
It’s our first post of the New Year, and we’re having a hard time feeling the Hootenanny vibes. Rather than Congress taking a “new year, new you” approach to telecom policy, it seems that D.C. is starting the year with the “same old, same old” of brinkmanship. This time, with broadband subsidies. The Affordable Connectivity ... Slouching Toward Disconnection and the End of the ACP
For those of who’ve been doing the Telecom Two-Step over the past year, the holiday break can’t come soon enough. Last week, comments were due on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) latest proposal to impose Title II common-carrier regulation under the guise of net neutrality national security. Before that, we had the FCC’s new and ... A Holiday Hootenanny Hiatus, But First, Some Title II Talk
Betteridge’s Law of Headlines states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” But, apparently, folks in the nation’s capital found a way around Betteridge’s Law. This week, a U.S. House subcommittee hearing featured testimony from all five members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The majority on ... Has the Biden Administration Taken Over Broadband?
Hootenannies are mostly peaceful affairs, so it’s a bit awkward to invoke a violent metaphor here. In “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana Jones runs down a Cairo sidestreet only to be confronted by a swordsman. The swordsman makes a big show of tossing his weapon from hand-to-hand and swirling it around. But Indy has ... Indiana Jones and the Allocation of Spectrum
It happens at just about every hootenanny. There’s always at least one song that clears the dance floor. Some tunes, people just won’t dance to. But with a little remixing and a better tempo, even a dirge can be danceable. For years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has refused to dance to the tune of ... An Inconvenient Truth: Net Neutrality Depresses Broadband Investment
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel this week announced a notice of inquiry (NOI) seeking input on a proposal to raise the minimum connection-speed benchmarks that the commission uses to define “broadband.” The current benchmark speed is 25/3 Mbps. The chair’s proposal would raise the benchmark to 100/20 Mbps, with a goal of having ... Gotta Go Fast: Sonic the Hedgehog Meets the FCC
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed digital-discrimination rules hit the streets earlier this month and, as we say at Hootenanny Central, they’re a real humdinger. It looks like the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) got most of their wishlist incorporated into the proposed rules. We’ve got disparate impact and a wide-open door for future ... Everyone Discriminates Under the FCC’s Proposed New Rules
At lunch last week, I handed out the first of my new business cards with the title “Director, Hootenanny Division.” My lunchmate looked down and said, “Sounds fun, what do you do?” Then, I had to explain that part of the job involves watching open meetings of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and reporting on ... All Aboard! The Title II Express Is Leaving the Station
We’ve all been there. You’re enjoying a hootenanny, and someone tries to change the tune. Kind of like yelling “Free Bird” at a Taylor Swift concert or asking a wedding DJ to play the chicken dance. Well, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has jumped into the digital-discrimination hootenanny and put in some requests. ... NTIA Tries to Call the Tune on Digital Discrimination