I’ve been litigating this and a prior case against the FCC seeking to halt its ongoing “incentive spectrum auction” on behalf of low-power television (LPTV) clients like religious broadcasters. It’s a bit arcane with the terminology, but you’ll get the gist.
One of the most perplexing issues in communications policy — with a convoluted 20-year history — is that of the cable television set-top box. We may finally be on the verge of a new era where the user interface is more important than that archaic box.
The anticompetitive effects of vertical integration by cable systems have now reached crisis proportions with the ongoing refusal — already more than five months old and with no end in sight — of Time Warner to license Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games for cable or satellite distribution, or local broadcast, on any network other than its own SportsNet LA programming channel.
The legal process is increasingly being used by incumbent industries to thwart change with that ancient mantra of obsolescent businesses, “consumer protection.”
The story of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 this year is how the Supreme Court can sometimes see a legal issue so clearly despite confusion and conflicts among the lower federal courts.
The brief on behalf of the Consumer Federation of America to the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether the so-called Red Lion doctrine of First Amendment regulation of broadcasters should be re-examined.
Although the AT&T/T-Mobile deal has both horizontal and vertical elements, most media and analyst discussion to date has focused on direct competition for wireless subscribers, the classic horizontal concentration question. Regardless of the result there, observers can expect behavioral injunctions, whether by DOJ consent decree or FCC “conditions” to approval, addressing the deal’s vertical factors.
The modest few “open internet” rules FCC Chairman Genachowski has suggested are so trivial that, like all good policy compromises, they have angered both the left and the right. The far more important issue is the legal framework under which the Commission will support net neutrality regulation.
While telephone subscribership has now become ubiquitous, increasingly many citizens — especially twenty-somethings — no longer use landline telephones, instead going completely wireless. Pollsters, however, still base their surveys on landline phone subscribers
The highly polarized debate over so-called net neutrality at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exposes serious philosophical differences about the appropriate role of government in managing technological change. Neither side is unfortunately free either from hyperbole or fear-mongering. And neither side is completely right.