F.C.C. Archives — Page 2 of 3 — LIRNEasia

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 money in the fund, which is provided through a tax on consumers’ phone bills, a monthly charge between 50 cents and $1.
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 actual switch-over was in 2009. It was important to create the stakeholders to ensure pressure was maintained on the regulator to keep to the schedule and not backtrack. Pepper is talking about White Space.
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 Therefore, the FCC has, by far, filled its trashcan with more than 120 outdated regulations.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 belated housekeeping.
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 international gateway called International Clearing House (ICH) and raised international termination prices in October 2012.
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. Local rules in some cases do not allow enough space for 24 hr batteries. The issue is, no doubt, important.
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.
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 structure. Did not use the slidesets, but the structure was useful. What surprised me was how easily I switched from the role of disinterested scholar to former regulator.
Assailing the shutting off of mobile networks in Egypt and Libya and then allowing the same to be done by the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority was hypocritical. But American hypocrisy has limits. They have launched a public-comment process to define the terms. When will we see such actions in the developing world? The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing whether or when the police and other government officials can intentionally interrupt cellphone and Internet service to protect public safety.
Our findings from the recently concluded Interactive Voice-enabled alerting and situational reporting pilot revealed that Speech-To-Text and Text-To-Speech were impossible to apply with audio over low quality transmission networks (listen to this audio to get a sense how bad it can be). One could sample at much higher frequencies then that produces an extremely large mega byte file which may take hours to multi-cast; hence, not recommended for critical life-saving communications. Our conclusions drawn were mainly on the situational reporting functions. The U.S.
We’ve been talking about the qualitative increase in data volumes that will result from the conversion of mobile networks into carriers of data since 2010. Is it a flood, a tsunami or an avalanche? The name does not seem to matter (though tsunami is the term that seems to be catching). Unless the problem is understood (operators do; some regulators and policy makers do, as evidenced below); and addressed (both in terms of access networks, as below, and in terms of backhaul, as we have been advocating), the quality of broadband experience will degrade radically. The announcement comes as wireless companies are facing a spectrum crunch crisis that has already begun to reshape the industry.
AT&T announced its plans to take over T Mobile in March 2011. More than five months later, the US Department of Justice filed suit to block it. Now the FCC joins the fray. While all this is going on, T Mobile must be hemorrhaging to death. In Sri Lanka, we do not have these kinds of complications.
The program we talked about few weeks back has been announced. It will spend USD 4.5 billion a year to connect 20 million Americans to broadband. In an effort to expand broadband Internet service, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved an overhaul of its fund that subsidizes rural telephone service, turning it into one meant to offer broadband service to the millions of Americans who lack high-speed connections. The plan could lead to higher fees for consumers on their telephone landlines because the commission also approved changes in the complex compensation system by which telecommunications companies pay one another for completing or carrying calls on one another’s systems.
I found it interesting how much space Helani Galpaya had given to the demand side in her study of Broadband in Sri Lanka. Looks like the problem is common to us and to the US, according to this NYT report. Only 68 percent of Americans with access to high-speed broadband Internet are using it, while in places like South Korea the rate is 90 percent. More than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies — including Wal-Mart and Target — require job applicants to apply online. Various studies have shown that the major reasons people do not have broadband are: the cost of Internet services and the cost of computers; not knowing how to use a computer; and not understanding why the Internet is relevant.
Two years after our research was cited in a presentation by Scott Wallsten to Congress to support his argument that the US should adopt least-cost-subsidy auctions and I condemned the inefficient ways of US universal service fund disbursements at an event attended by senior FCC staff, the change is done: The US will use auctions. Can we claim direct causal responsibility? No. But did we do what catalysts do? Yes.
The Federal Communications Commission has a solution: reclaim airwaves from “inefficient“ users — specifically, television broadcasters — and auction them off to the highest bidder, sharing some of the proceeds with television stations that volunteer to give up airwaves, known in the trade as spectrum. It is easy to talk about spectrum refarming in the abstract. It’s quite something else to get it done. Having done it, I have the scars to prove it. President Obama said 500 MHz will be refarmed.
Mitchell Lazarus practices law in Washington D.C. He also holds two degrees in electrical engineering and a doctorate in experimental psychology. His article – Radio’s Regulatory Roadblocks – is an outstanding piece. He also wrote The Great Radio Spectrum Famine thereafter.