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Tag Archives: F.C.C.

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The digital transition is complicated, everywhere

I’ve been asked by several people to comment on the choice of a Japanese standard for digital broadcasting in Sri Lanka, as part of the process of clearing the 700 MHz band of analog TV broadcasting and making the freed up spectrum available for more productive uses. I have not commented, partly because I lack […]

Extending a chameleon concept/rule to mobile networks

Net neutrality sticks in one’s mind. Alliteration helps. The guy who cooked up the term ran for Lieutenant Governor nomination in New York and lost, but not too badly. Guess that helps explain its inherent openness to multiple meaning imposition. Net neutrality has an extraordinary range of meanings, not all consistent with each other. Just […]

What’s the difference between broadband “fast lanes” and a CDN?

If someone can clarify why it is wrong to allow “fast lanes” in broadband but not wrong for the same content companies to pay CDNs like Akamai to bring content closer to the user and thereby make access to the paid data faster? If the new rules deliver anything less, he added, “that would be […]

FCC releases more frequencies for wireless commons

In 2010, the Obama Administration announced a road map to release 500 MHz of frequencies for mobile broadband. Looks like progress is being made. Perhaps the most significant move by the commission was to allow a broad swath of airwaves to be used for outdoor unlicensed broadband, clearing the way for a new generation of […]

The upside of the net neutrality court ruling. Will the FCC regulate OTTs?

This is stuck at the end of a New York Times article on how the new FCC Chair has been doing in his first months. Worth pondering over. But he has yet to speak plainly about his plans to overcome the net neutrality decision. Critics say that in doing so he has hidden just how […]

Tim Wu on the future of the FCC

Following the Court of Appeals ruling against its net neutrality order, the FCC is facing an existential challenge, says Tim Wu in an interview with the Washington Post. What could the FCC have done differently? The obvious alternative would have been to do what the FCC should have done and — in the future tense […]

Oversimplified history and dilemma of telecoms

I am a fan of Mitchell Lazarus. This engineer-cum-lawyer, who is also a PhD in psychology, has brilliantly narrated the evolution of PSTN. He believes that regulating IP telephony is as challenging as “updating the rules of the road from horse-and-carriage traffic to modern automobiles.” It’s all about regulating the interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP services. […]

Absolutist versus pragmatic net neutrality debated in US court

Can the telcos work out deals with OTTs about the traffic they carry? Or do they have to be absolutely neutral? These are the questions. The outcome will reverberate across the world. The case, which is expected to be decided late this year or early next year, has attracted enormous interest. On Monday, telecommunications lawyers […]

Another dysfunctional e subsidy program, this time in America

The money comes from everyone with a telecom connection in the US. And the government has trouble pushing it through. Five billion USD is a lot of money to keep unspent. Here, we’ve been griping about India’s USD 4 billion and Brazil’s USD 4 billion plus. The E-Rate program has been faulted for inadequately allocating […]

CISCO on LTE at the GSMA Public Policy Forum in Shanghai

Bob Pepper of Cisco is speaking on LTE, with specific reference to the 700 MHz Band. If the FCC had the knowledge it now has about how to make the digital transition work, they would have taken back 160 MHz, not 108 MHz. Auction for the digital dividend spectrum in US was in 2007, but […]

FCC had to scrap 120 obsolete regulations

Technology dictates regulation, not other way around. And the Federal Communications Commission has found many of its regulations have lost relevance in today’s America. Such useless regulations only create confusion. Therefore, the FCC has, by far, filled its trashcan with more than 120 outdated regulations. A petition from the trade body, USTelecom, has prompted this […]

FCC punished Pakistan. Is Bangladesh next?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked US carriers not to pay more than US$0.02 per minute to their Pakistani counterparts. This decree has been slapped after Pakistan has raised its international termination rate to $0.88 per minute, which the FCC calls anti-competitive. Pakistan’s 14 Long Distance and International (LDI) operators have formed a single […]

Making mobile networks resilient in the face of disasters

There is a trade off between operating networks that are able to keep operating in the face of disasters and keeping down costs. For example, a 24 hr battery will yield a more robust BTS than a 8 hour battery. But as the FCC initiated discussion revealed, 24 hr batteries impose additional costs on operators. […]

The FCC gets serious about spectrum refarming

The spectrum refarming process is picking up speed in the US. The auction process will have three parts. In the first, the F.C.C. will conduct a reverse auction to determine which holders of broadcast television licenses will submit bids to voluntarily give up their spectrum rights in exchange for payment. In addition to seeking the […]

Reflecting on regulatory independence 13 years after I left the job

Among the PiRRC contributions to the Pacific Broadband Forum just concluded in Nadi, Fiji, was a panel discussion on regulatory independence. In addition to the practicing regulators of Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu, they invited some observers to participate. Preparing for the panel, I looked through some old slidesets and came up with this […]

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