The FCC headed by Julius Genachowski has made it clear that Net Neutrality is a top priority. So much so that they intend to boost their authority in order to impose rules on all purveyors of IP data. Both AT&T and Verizon have voiced concern with the prospect of being weighed down by new regulations. The two are now pushing for Congress to intervene and come up with Net Neutrality compromise legislation.
The principal of Net Neutrality holds that an ISP should be required to treat all data in exactly the same way. For instance, an ISP could not filter torrent traffic and delay/ block it. By asking Congress to head the FCC off at the pass, the telecoms are hoping they can lobby their way to weaker regulations.
We're concerned that any congressional action would rules would likely be filled with loopholes enabling ISPs to continue non-neutral practices. Do you think the FCC should move ahead with making rules, or should the legislative branch tackle it?
Let’s pretend you run a company with a reputation for poor customer service. What’s the best way to fix it? If you answered, “rebrand stuff,” you and Comcast are on the same wavelength. Comcast has announced recently that their phone, internet, and television services would be renamed with the new XFINITY brand.
The change is first going to be rolled out to customers in 11 major markets. So those of you in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Hartford, Augusta, Chattanooga, Portland, and San Francisco are now proud subscribers to XFINITY services. The company itself will be keeping the Comcast name, but had the following to say about the service rebranding, “XFINITY is about offering our customers more — more HD, more speed, more choice and more control over their services.”
Hey, it’s about YOU having more control. We thought it was more about getting a customer service do-over, but apparently not.
Verizon is coming out swinging as the FCC is poised to officially adopt new Network Neutrality regulations. The FCC is expected to approve FCC Chair Julius Genachowski’s new policies on October 22nd. The cell carriers contend that the realities of managing their networks are not compatible with the new rules. They have even gone so far as to claim that their mobile networks could be “crippled”.
Verizon CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, didn’t mince words, saying of the proposal, “[It’s] a mistake, pure and simple - an analog idea in a digital universe." He claimed that the regulations may keep Verizon from prioritizing packets for important applications, like emergency communications for first-responders.
Seidenberg indicated that Net Neutrality regulations could damage, or halt, our “progress toward a connected world.” Even as the Verizon chief was making these claims, the FCC received a letter signed by 30 prominent investors in technology businesses that support the proposed regulations. Is Seidenberg overstating his case, or trying desperately to save us all from ourselves?
In a separate joint statement with Google, Verizon clarified that they accept Net Neutrality principals for wireline broadband, just not for their wireless networks. "Verizon and Google might seem unlikely bedfellows in the current debate around network neutrality, or an open Internet. And while it's true we do disagree quite strongly about certain aspects of government policy in this area -- such as whether mobile networks should even be part of the discussion -- there are many issues on which we agree," the companies wrote.
Acer has already been working with Far EasTone Telecommunications in Taiwan. Agreements have also been reached with Bouygues of France, Wind of Italy, and CSL of Hong Kong. Acer expects to begin working with North American telecoms in 2010. Could this mean that the Acer A1, with its Snapdragon CPU, will grace American shores in 2010? By then, it might be just another Android phone.
The broadband infrastructure of the United States is a little on the poor side when compared to some other nations. According to a new FCC report, the best way to fix that is to open up broadband access and increase competition. The FCC hasn’t considered requiring open access to broadband facilities since 2002. The principal of ‘open access’ says telecoms, like cable companies, should allow access to their physical infrastructure for competing businesses that don’t own infrastructure. Telephone carriers (i.e. DSL) are required to do this, cable providers are not.
The study was quoted as saying, “The lowest prices and highest speeds are almost always offered by firms in markets where, in addition to an incumbent telephone company and a cable company, there are also competitors who entered the market, and built their presence, through use of open access facilities.” The US is also expected to use stimulus finds to increase access to broadband.
The 232-page report estimates that building out the US infrastructure would cost at least $20 billion, and as much as $350 billion. The wide disparity in cost is the result of uncertainty as to what speed should be offered. The report says one-third of Americans have broadband access at home but do not subscribe, and 4% have no access at all.