Media & Communications Policy

Media & Communications Policy

Issues & Developments in the Realm of Communications and Media Policy & the First Amendment

Category Archives: Network Neutrality

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FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan Is Another Step in the Regulation of Speech

Posted in Digital technology, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
So the latest development on the speech regulation front is Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s rumored plan to create a “hybrid” regulatory structure in the name of “net neutrality,” the condition which, as it happens, has already been attained. Under Wheeler’s plan, Internet regulation would be split between a highly regulated back end, … Continue Reading

The FCC’s Net Neutrality Vote

Posted in Broadband, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Not unlike the way that people present themselves as avatars in cyberspace, policymakers in Washington present themselves behind a veneer that is usually as predictable as it is tiresome. But not always!  Once or twice a decade some public official will do something that surprises, and in doing so leaves all the other players gobsmacked … Continue Reading

Net Neutrality Decision: A Welcome Development

Posted in FCC, Network Neutrality
Tuesday's decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, striking down the FCC's so-called "net neutrality" regulations, is a welcome development. As noted by many, these regulations amount to a solution in search of a problem, with the only lasting and real-world effects being the creation of the precedent of governmental oversight of the previously unregulated Internet… Continue Reading

Google’s Impact on Journalism

Posted in Journalism, Media competition, Network Neutrality
The products and services offered by Google are well known and highly regarded. Every day, millions of consumers around the globe visit the company's search engine or sites like Google News or YouTube. And for this, the company's employees and (especially) its founders have been well compensated. But there's another side to Google that consumers know very little about. That is Google the corporation, and the effect its business practices are having on competitors, and most dramatically on the professional media, news and entertainment alike… Continue Reading

The ITU and the Internet

Posted in Digital technology, FCC, Free speech, International Jurisdiction, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
In 1971, when China was first admitted to the United Nations, William Rusher quipped that it was "a case of loosing a China in the bullshop." Such is the first thought that comes to mind in reflection on the latest bit of mischief to issue from the UN, in this case courtesy of that body's International Telecommunications Union (ITU)… Continue Reading

Julius Genachowski and Broadband Billing

Posted in Broadband, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Comments made earlier this week by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski have raised hackles at organizations like Free Press and kindred groups.  The occasion was the Cable Show in Boston, and the offending subject was what is called “usage-based billing” – the radical notion that people who use more of a thing should pay more than … Continue Reading

Rationalizing Theft: The Technology Lobby’s Attack on Copyright Legislation

Posted in Copyright, Digital technology, FCC, First Amendment, Network Neutrality
The technology crowd’s objections to the copyright protection bills, now moving their way through Congress, put one in mind of H.L. Mencken’s crack that criticism is prejudice made plausible.  This, because that industry’s leaders, scribes, and think tanks uniformly oppose every legislative initiative aimed at protecting copyrighted content, even as they frequently give lip service … Continue Reading

Funding Net Neutrality … And Worse

Posted in FCC, Network Neutrality
There are so many things wrong with the FCC’s codified “net neutrality” rules, the kindest thing one can say about those responsible is that they were all born yesterday.  But criticism of this monstrosity abounds already, and given the potential for it to be wholly or partly undone by the courts or Congress, no further … Continue Reading

Net Neutrality’s Poison Petition

Posted in Broadband, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
For those in the communications policy business, perhaps the most jaw-dropping datum to issue from Tuesday’s elections is this: Of the 95 candidates for the House and Senate who signed a petition encouraging “net neutrality” regulation, all of them lost.  Not some of them.  Not most of them.  All of them. It’s really quite remarkable.  … Continue Reading

Sen. Franken Opines on Net Neutrality (or Something)

Posted in First Amendment, Free speech, Network Neutrality
There’s no intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, but chowderheads abound there.  We can infer this from the cosmologists’ predictions of Earth-like planets, and from the way our elected leaders demonstrate the density of Homo sapiens. Take, for instance, Sen. Al Franken.  In an opinion piece written last week for CNN.com, the gentleman unburdens himself of … Continue Reading

Shedding Light on Title II and the First Amendment

Posted in Broadband, FCC, First Amendment, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Now that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed what Broadcasting & Cable’s John Eggerton artfully calls a “Title II Lite” approach to broadband regulation, it’s a good time to take a second look (or maybe your first) at a recent paper by Robert Corn-Revere. Bob wrote a Perspectives policy paper for The Media Institute titled … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Decision

Posted in Broadband, Cable TV, FCC, Media jurisprudence, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
The D.C. Circuit Court’s decision, while obviously correct, will not slake the thirst of anyone looking for intellectual arguments for or against the FCC’s proposed regulation of the ISPs’ network-management practices. Because the court ruled that the FCC lacked the "ancillary" authority it asserted, the body of the decision amounts to little more than a … Continue Reading

Net Neutrality in Retreat?

Posted in FCC, First Amendment, Network Neutrality
If you’re a “net neutrality” critic, and dabble in schadenfreude, things are looking up!  First, there was oral argument in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (Comcast v. FCC), during which the panel clearly appeared to reject the notion that the FCC had authority to pursue its ambitions in this regard. Then, just last week, … Continue Reading

Net Neutrality: Whose First Amendment?

Posted in Broadband, FCC, First Amendment, Free speech, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
It shouldn’t come as any great revelation that when the government proposes regulations affecting the media, there very well might be implications for the First Amendment.  Raising such concerns, and then examining their validity, is a normal part of the regulatory process. Kyle McSlarrow did just that last Wednesday in a speech to a Media … Continue Reading

Orts and All

Posted in Art Appreciation, Network Neutrality
FCC’s "OpenInternet" The FCC website, now in Beta, called OpenInternet.Gov is interesting.  It’s not great, but it’s better than you might expect and sort of refreshing. Ostensibly given over to a public discussion of the “important issues facing the Internet,” the site’s primary focus is on one issue facing the Internet: Chairman Genachowski’s plans to … Continue Reading

Chairman Genachowski’s Modest Proposal re Net Neutrality

Posted in Broadband, FCC, Network Neutrality
FCC Chairman Genachowski’s proposal to extend and codify the FCC’s “Internet principles,” delivered in a speech just yesterday, has already attracted a substantial amount of commentary.  There is no doubt that his proposed rulemaking will be the subject of much literature issuing from The Media Institute proper, and in this space as well, in days … Continue Reading

Obama and the Media, Part II

Posted in Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Apart from the economic effects of President Obama’s fiscal and regulatory policies, there arises the question of how “business friendly” he may prove to be. The media and communications sector plays a large and important role in the general economy, and the new Administration’s stance on issues that matter to this sector may answer that … Continue Reading