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Blog

Opening Pandora’s Set-Top Box

Towards the end of January, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a surprise announcement about regulations regarding set-top boxes, or what many refer to as their PVR. Mr. Wheeler announced that his agency would make cable providers “open” their set-top boxes to allow third-parties access to the designs and programming, essentially allowing them to compete in the set-top box market. While, at face value, there doesn’t appear to anything too nefarious, cracking open Mr. Wheeler’s plan reveals entirely different intentions and potential costs on consumers.

02/19/2016
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Blog

Net Neutrality Rent Seeking Begins

When the FCC announced that it would regulate the internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, we predicted a number of undesirable outcomes. One of these concerns was the ability of firms to petition the regulatory agency for special favors, and file complaints against competitors without having to actually demonstrate harm. Such an environment encourages harassment suits and rent seeking behaviors by companies who direct resources into influencing government rather than towards innovation and competition.

06/24/2015
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Blog

Obamanet could be the next Obamaphone

Proponents call it necessary for bridging a societal gap. Opponents call it wasteful and beyond the point of reform. Call it what you like, the long-running controversial “Obamaphone” debate has once again been ignited. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced a proposal to extend the Lifeline phone subsidy program, better known as the “Obamaphone,” to now cover the internet.

05/28/2015
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Blog

The Internet: 5 People to Decide Its Future!

Personal Freedom and Prosperity 110: The Rule of Law A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions. The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.

02/12/2015
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Blog

Heads Up: The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rule is Coming

February is going to be a big month for Net Neutrality. Following a public request by the president, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he will circulate a new rule on February 5th among the five FCC chairmen. The Commission will then hold a vote on whether to release the rule on February 26th.

01/22/2015
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Liberty Beats: Internet Freedom

01/22/2015
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Clearing up Net Neutrality

11/12/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Technology Is Thriving, So Why Are the Feds Strangling It?

A growing number of economists are describing the current slump as a form of secular stagnation, where diminishing outlets for capital investment have slowed economic growth, reduced the demand for labor and stalled the economic recovery. While the technology sector remains one of the few areas of the economy where innovation and growth continue at a rapid pace, the Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with a series of new rules that may shackle this important part of the economy. From new mandates for municipal broadband to redefining what broadband means, to proposals to turn the Internet into a common carrier, the FCC is working to reshape how Americans connect to the Internet.

10/01/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Desperate To Be Relevant, the FCC Pounces On the Internet

Spurred on by advocates of net neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that has the potential to drastically reshape the Internet. While the possibility of a "fast lane" on the Internet has the proponents of net neutrality up in arms, the looming threat of regulation is far more troubling. The proposed rulemaking is exploring a number of options, including the possibility of reclassifying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as a telecommunication service, which can then be regulated like the telephone system. Despite the lack of any evidence of market failure, Chairman Wheeler appears bent on expanding the FCC's regulatory reach on the Internet.

05/20/2014
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Op-ed Placement

The FCC's Mission Pivot Imperils the Internet

The Federal Communications Commission has sparked controversy with talk of new broadband policies that may have granted Internet service providers (ISPs) a degree of flexibility in pricing for purposes of traffic management. While the recognition of the economic realities of broadband management is significant, proponents of net neutrality have sounded the alarm bells, decrying the creation of a "fast lane" for those companies big enough to afford it. As a result, the FCC has been flexing its regulatory authority to appease its critics.

05/02/2014