Today the Communications Liberty and Innovation Project filed an ex parte letter in the Federal Communication Commission’s special access proceeding, WC Docket No. 05-25, opposing the FCC’s adoption of an order freezing pricing flexibility in competitive markets. The text of the letter is copied below.
I had a Twitter exchange this week with Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge, regarding government regulatory jurisdiction over the Internet. The exchange clarified the similarities and the differences in the views on this issue offered by advocates for centralized government regulation of the Internet (in this case, represented by Harold) and advocates for individual rights and free markets (in this case, represented by me). After giving this exchange some thought, I decided the additional clarity justified another post on the issue.
It appears that at least one licensee in the Wireless Communications Services spectrum band at 2.3 GHz, AT&T Wireless, has reached an agreement with satellite radio provider Sirius XM to mitigate radiofrequency interference in the band. Sirius XM operates on spectrum adjacent to WCS. As most now know (as a result of the high-profile dispute between LightSquared and GPS), satellite and terrestrial networks have difficulty operating in adjacent spectrum without harmful interference.
Two weeks ago, Gigi Sohn, President and CEO of Public Knowledge, wrote “US communications policymaking, policymakers, industry and civil society groups (including Public Knowledge) of all stripes are in accord that the ITU’s jurisdiction should not expand to encompass regulation of the Internet.” That’s good news.
To lead the world in mobile Internet innovation, technologies, and infrastructure, America must act with urgency, vision, and focus to make more spectrum available for the mobile Internet. The government is trying to allocate more mobile spectrum, but its 1930’s central planning approach to “managing” the airwaves clearly isn’t working. We need a 21st Century approach to spectrum policy.
Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Eli Dourado, also a research fellow at Mercatus, have launched a new website, WCITLeaks.org, to foster greater transparency into the effort at the International Telecommunications Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations, to regulate the Internet. Jerry Brito describes the purpose behind the new website here. The site has already published a document, known as TD 64, that contains all the proposals under consideration. This is a must read for those who are defending Internet liberty.
Chairman Genachowski wasted no time in making “innovation” an FCC buzzword. Virtually every FCC order now promises that it will promote innovation, even when its purpose is merely to preserve the status quo. Now the Chairman is proposing to reverse the status quo by imposing price regulations on 1950s technologies that were deregulated over a decade ago. Apparently the new FCC buzzword is “stagnation.”
The Communications Liberty and Innovation Project submitted these comments in response to the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released on March 21, 2012, in the 700 MHz interoperability proceeding. A PDF version of these comments can be . Read More
Later today the Communications Liberty and Innovation Project (CLIP) will be filing comments at the FCC opposing a technology mandate in the 700 MHz band after deployment has begun and without industry consensus. Imposing a technology mandate in the 700 MHz band after auctioning the spectrum pursuant to flexible rules would be another step backwards at the FCC. Since the early 1990s, the FCC had been making progress toward a more market-based approach to communications policy. Over the last two years, however, it has looked more like a 1930s-style central planning agency than a 21st century expert. A surprise technology mandate in the 700 MHz band would bring it another step closer to its central planning past.