The Archives

The collection of all scholarly commentary on law, economics, and more

Showing archive for:  “Telecom”

The View from Canada: A TOTM Q&A with Aaron Wudrick

Aaron, could you please tell us a bit about your background and how you became interested in competition law and digital-competition regulation? I’m a lawyer by profession, but have taken a somewhat unconventional career path—I started as a litigator in a small general practice in my hometown outside Toronto, moved on to corporate law with ... The View from Canada: A TOTM Q&A with Aaron Wudrick

Clearing the Telecom Logjam: A Modest Proposal

In this “Age of the Administrative State,” federal agencies have incredible latitude to impose policies without much direction or input from Congress. President Barack Obama fully pulled off the mask in 2014, when he announced “[w]e are not just going to be waiting for legislation,” declaring “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” ... Clearing the Telecom Logjam: A Modest Proposal

The View from Australia: A TOTM Q&A with Allan Fels

Allan, you have a remarkably high public profile in Australia and are known to most of the Australian population as ex-ACCC chair. Could you please give us a bit on your background and how you got into competition law?  I did degrees in law and economics at the University of Western Australia and a PhD ... The View from Australia: A TOTM Q&A with Allan Fels

It’s Risk, Jerry, The Game of Broadband Conquest

The big news in telecommunications policy last week wasn’t really news at all—the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its proposed rules to classify broadband internet under Title II of the Communications Act. Supporters frame the proposed rules as “net neutrality,” but those provisions—a ban on blocking, throttling, or engaging in paid or affiliated-prioritization arrangements—actually comprise ... It’s Risk, Jerry, The Game of Broadband Conquest

Section 214: Title II’s Trojan Horse

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed classifying broadband internet-access service as a common carrier “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. One major consequence of this reclassification would be subjecting broadband providers to Section 214 regulations that govern the provision, acquisition, and discontinuation of communication “lines.” In the Trojan War, the Greeks ... Section 214: Title II’s Trojan Horse

Blackout Rebates: Tipping the Scales at the FCC

Cable and satellite programming blackouts often generate significant headlines. While the share of the population affected by blackouts may be small—bordering on minuscule—most consumers don’t like the idea of programming blackouts and balk at the idea of paying for TV programming they can’t access.  Enter the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with a bold proposal to ... Blackout Rebates: Tipping the Scales at the FCC

FCC’s Digital-Discrimination Rules: An Open Invitation to Flood the Field with Schlock

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

Are Early-Termination Fees ‘Junk’ Fees?

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?

The Curious Case of the Missing Data Caps Investigation

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

Slouching Toward Disconnection and the End of the ACP

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

Indiana Jones and the Allocation of Spectrum

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

Gotta Go Fast: Sonic the Hedgehog Meets the FCC

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