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5 Signs Our Broadband Plan May Already Be In Trouble
Meet the new heavily-lobbied boss. Same as the old heavily-lobbied boss?
by Karl Bode 06:08PM Thursday Aug 13 2009
As the government continues to work on crafting our first national broadband plan, there's been a lot of talk about how that process is consumer-centric, transparent, and data-driven. The FCC has spent the last few months talking about how they might actually start using real data to make policy decisions (astounding). Uncle Sam has unveiled a series of workshops to help consumers feel involved in the process (amazing). The FCC even says they'll be using more scientists and engineers and fewer lawyers and policy wonks (incredible).

But beneath all of this recent bubbly enthusiasm, there's some telltale signs that corporate lobbyists are still running the show, transparency isn't quite the priority the government claims, and consumers are little more than an afterthought. Yes, it's early, and these are all things that may not be show stoppers. But they're all things that need to be watched lest the process devolve into farce. A transparent, well-documented farce, but a farce all the same. Five things that need watching over the next 188 days if consumers want this to work:

Uncle Sam Is Already Wimping Out On Data Collection

Click for full size
If you've been paying attention the last ten years, you know that ISPs have fought tooth and nail in court to avoid having to release any raw data into the public sphere, be it coverage gaps, network congestion, or real world throughput.

ISPs like to argue they fight the release of such data because it would tip off competitors, but in reality incumbent ISPs know precisely where a competitor offers service and at what speeds, because they spend millions of dollars on intelligence gathering. Think Verizon doesn't know exactly where competitors offer service before it invests $24 billion to deploy fiber to the home service?

The real reason ISPs don't want that data exposed is because it would show limited competition and significant coverage gaps, resulting in new laws aimed at fixing things, and in turn lowering revenues. Instead, the government has willfully used flawed data that suggests everything is rosy. The illusion of a competitive, rosy broadband market has allowed government (and the lobbyists who love them) to justify the elimination of price controls and other consumer protection laws.

The result of years of government pandering to industry lobbyists, sucking down junk science lattes and ignoring consumer welfare? U.S. broadband customers are paying more money for less bandwidth with more restrictions than dozens of developed countries. Step one to turning things around? Making sure that the government has accurate, independently verifiable data. While the government has clearly admitted this problem and been paying lip service to it, their actions are busy saying something completely different.

After being lobbied by telecom carriers, the Commerce Department this week announced they'd be drastically reducing the volume of data ISPs have to provide Uncle Sam. ISPs will no longer have to provide government with data on connection speed, actual price paid per user, technology type or address-specific data. Instead, carriers now only have to hand over vague, market-area data that's not particularly useful in forming policy.

It's August. What other metrics will be watered down by industry lobbyists by the time the plan runs the lobbyist gauntlet and gets finalized in February? Why not just force ISPs to sign a certified certificate of their own awesomeness, and make hard data completely optional.

Connected Nation Has Cornered The Market On Broadband Mapping

Click for full size
For the last few years, a consumer advocate by the name of Art Brodsky has been quietly warning the public about a group by the name of Connected Nation. The group, according to Brodsky, is little more than a dog and pony show designed by telecom lobbyists to project an artificially inflated view of broadband competition, while lobbying lawmakers at the behest of major carriers. The Wall Street Journal raised many of the same questions last June.

Connected Nation CEO Brian Mefford insists to us the agency is a truly independent operation, even if the group's board of directors reads like a who's who of lobbying for the nation's largest carriers. The group, which could potentially gobble up the lion's share of the $300 million in taxpayer money being assigned to broadband mapping, conveniently puts more transparent and less incumbent-tied mapping operations out of business in each state they function.

Under Connected Nation's model, taxpayer dollars go to a broadband mapping system that cannot be truly independently verified, with data technically "owned" by major carriers, not the taxpayer. While Mefford tells us the organization has made great strides on this front, there's a good reason to remain skeptical. Their existing "successes" so far consist of things like press releases claiming they've miraculously brought broadband to nearly 100% of Kentucky. Many of these successes don't hold up under close scrutiny.

Phone and cable lobbying and PR efforts go so far as to create completely artificial consumer advocacy groups to argue against your best interest as a consumer, so such an operation wouldn't be the first. But if Connected Nation is only half the sham Brodsky seems to think it is, it very well may be the largest, most nefariously ingenious and well funded lobbying operation launched by carriers in the last decade.

We're scheduled to sit down and talk with Mefford about the group's methodology in the near future.

New FCC Boss Talks A Lot, But Says Nothing

New FCC boss Julius Genachowski has so far been allowed to skirt confrontation by riding the middle ground, his public discussions on broadband (including at his confirmation) not really choosing sides on a slew of controversial topics ranging from government-subsidized broadband to the need for network neutrality legislation. Other than vague support for select issues, Genachowski's true feelings on the issues remain murky at best.


The past few months has seen him do a flood of interviews with outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and GigaOM. If you read them carefully, you'll notice he never actually answers a single question with a concrete answer. He's particularly cagey on the subject of whether the agency intends to pass new consumer protection laws.

There could be several reasons for this, including the fact that his agency wasn't fully stocked, or he's not interested in making enemies at carriers early in the process. But the complete absence of substance in these interviews could equally suggest he has no intention of changing the status quo. Coming from an entrepreneurial background where all government regulation is seen as synonymous with puppy torture, it's very possible that Genachowski has little intention of shaking things up.

But bold choices and a good shake is precisely what's needed at an agency that's shifted away from technology and become a play thing for telecom industry policy wonks, PR magicians, and lobbyists. These companies all but directly control the United States Congress, and the deep competitive shortcomings in this sector aren't going to be fixed by ambiguity. It's time for Genachowski to start taking clear positions, and any broadband policy worth its salt isn't going to make many friends among the folks at AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

NTIA Judges For Grant Approval Are Anonymous

The fact that the NTIA is doling out $4.7 billion in broadband grants and loans has certainly been well discussed. Less discussed perhaps is that the people the NTIA has brought in to Judge grant applications are being kept anonymous. That means the public has absolutely no recourse as to whether grants are really being doled out fairly or by individuals or parties without a vested interest in the fund distribution.

The NTIA's call for reviewers (pdf) insists reviewers will "come from diverse backgrounds," but there's no way for anyone to confirm this. It's a strange choice for a "transparent" process, and we've got calls in to the NTIA as we try to understand what's wrong with actually knowing the identities of the reviewers.

The agency has been doling out such grants for a while, with a mixed track record of successes and failures in terms of getting broadband investment funds where they're actually needed. If you recall, it wasn't long ago that the agency proudly proclaimed we'd reached our goal of 100% universal broadband availability, again using bogus data the government knew was flawed (see our first two concerns).

As Usual, Consumers Are Getting Largely Overlooked


The FCC continues to hold "workshops" to discuss the direction and scope of the national broadband plan. They're also recording presentations by all of the FCC's "constituents," and offering consumers instantaneous access to all of the documents being presented at the workshop at the Broadband.gov website. All of this is absolutely great. What's not so great?

There are 51 panelists attending the latest 8 workshops. Out of those 51, there are just five people not directly associated with a company: Dave Burstein, Craig Moffett, George Ford, Victor Frost and Henning Schulzrinne. Moffett is a stock jock whose positions (such as upgrades are unnecessary and consumers should be paying more money) are clearly not going to serve anyone but investors. Ford works at the Phoenix Center, an AT&T-funded "think tank," whose job is to parrot AT&T policy positions.

Of the remaining three, only Burstein, a long-time telecom beat reporter, will likely ask any hard questions -- and then again his job is to get scoops, not to represent the public interest. Zero of the originally scheduled attendees acted as public interest witnesses. After complaints by consumer groups, Dr. Mark Cooper from the Consumer Federation Of America was added at the last second, but the fact that this was an afterthought raises questions about how "transparent and inclusive" this process really is.

"To start with, this is the most open, transparent and participatory process the FCC has ever done," the FCC's Mark Wigfield tells us, though that's not saying much. "Second, the scope of the process, including the workshops, is so large and the timetable so short that we are constantly going to be revising and improving how we gather and analyze information," he says. "We are committed to compiling a full record from across the spectrum of providers, public, private and non-profit alike," says Wigfield.

Through all of this, there's several worrying trends that should be very familiar to those who've watched DC fail at telecom policy the last decade. One is that powerful industry lobbyists are doing everything in their power to not only control, but manipulate the data the government will be using. Another is that consumers remain involved up to a point, but by and large the real "discussion" is occurring between various industry lobbyists, policy wonks and think tank employees, with consumers and consumer advocates watching the process from the cheap seats.

Again it's early, and as the Broadband.gov website notes -- there's 188 days left until the plan is unveiled. While government might succeed, they've got to spend the next 188 days running through a gauntlet of incumbent ISP lobbyists, who have every intention of turning the national broadband plan into their own personal plaything. Consumers are outspent, outgunned, and under-represented in this discussion, and are going to have to pay close attention if they want the nation's new broadband plan to work.

Too much criticism of agencies like the FCC at this juncture might be counter-productive, and feed into the lobbyist meme that all government efforts inevitably result in failure. Of course, lobbyists don't mention that many such efforts fail because by the time they finally get crafted, what began as good intention was disfigured by corporate influence. We've got 188 days to see if our national broadband plan will be one such effort.

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qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA

This surprises you?

It sure doesn't surprise me!
33358088
Premium
join:2008-09-23
kudos:2

Re: This surprises you?

time for the USA frak
your turn to get raped
gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME
I wish I was smart enough to be able to setup an ISP and do this in Portland, ME.
If I could do this and be the boss my company would never ever cap the internet and it would give you the fastest speed.
And to do this it would not cost you an arm and a leg.

I HATE CORPORATIONS !!!

Somnambul33t
L33t.
Premium
join:2002-12-05
Blackwood, NJ

Re: This surprises you?

said by gorehound:

I wish I was smart enough to be able to setup an ISP and do this in Portland, ME.
If I could do this and be the boss my company would never ever cap the internet and it would give you the fastest speed.
And to do this it would not cost you an arm and a leg.

I HATE CORPORATIONS !!!
there's a reason these companies make money...they ARE enough. what right do u have to dictate how a company spends its money? if you're a customer, then you're right is to not be one any more.

i pray no major ISPs/etc sign on to this monstrosity, but i know Obama will send in his Chicago thugs and break a few kneecaps and you'll see a major ISP or 2 involved.
--
Somnambulator - t3h 5133pw41k3r


The Stolen Eye TF2 Server
~Choosy moms choose Jif~
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
nope, not me.

the whole government is owned by corporations. that's not going to change until the people in congress addicted to corporate money get voted out of office.

which I'm guessing won't happen in my lifetime.
tdouglas22

join:2001-09-25
Memphis, TN

So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

Because as long as we keep crying on this online forum and not sending anything out, this isn't going to help anything. Leters, phone calls and even email. Get on it.

hopeflicker
Capitalism breeds greed
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Long Beach, CA
kudos:1

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by tdouglas22:

Leters, phone calls and even email. Get on it.
Does that ever help though? Maybe give them some $$$ and then you might get their attention.
tdouglas22

join:2001-09-25
Memphis, TN

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by hopeflicker:

said by tdouglas22:

Letters, phone calls and even email. Get on it.
Does that ever help though? Maybe give them some $$$ and then you might get their attention.
It actually might if enough people did it. I'm not one to think that the opposite side is always a villain or even evil. But when all people do is complain about what's wrong and do nothing else... then nothing is going to happen. Seriously speaking.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: So is everyone calling and writing their representatives?

said by tdouglas22:

Because as long as we keep crying on this online forum and not sending anything out, this isn't going to help anything. Leters, phone calls and even email. Get on it.
I write, email, & call my congresscritters. But my interests lie in making sure my investments aren't degraded due to overzealous regulation.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: So is everyone calling and writing their representatives?

said by FFH:

.... But my interests lie in making sure my investments aren't degraded due to overzealous regulation.
well, you must be absolutely ecstatic with the current status quo, as almost nothing is regulated if the corporate targets of the regulation don't want it.

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09

1 edit
said by FFH:

said by tdouglas22:

Because as long as we keep crying on this online forum and not sending anything out, this isn't going to help anything. Leters, phone calls and even email. Get on it.
I write, email, & call my congresscritters. But my interests lie in making sure my investments aren't degraded due to overzealous regulation.
Yeah, but you'll be dead in 10 or so years and the rest of us will be left with this crap.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
In other words, you're with the terrorists er, I mean, lobbyists who are fighting to keep the playing field un-leveled, to keep consumers from having many viable choices to monetize the profit margins of Telecom giants.

--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: So is everyone calling and writing their representatives?

said by KrK:

In other words, you're with the terrorists er, I mean, lobbyists who are fighting to keep the playing field un-leveled, to keep consumers from having many viable choices to monetize the profit margins of Telecom giants.

My telecom wireless mutual fund FWRLX is up 42% this year. What do your think?

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: So is everyone calling and writing their representatives?

said by FFH:

My telecom wireless mutual fund FWRLX is up 42% this year. What do your think?
I think that, in a nutshell, is why America is doomed. When a society becomes too self-absorbed in their own self interests (and others be damned) then it ceases to be a society and collapses. I once heard it said "The love of Money is the root of all evil." ....

BTW TK I'm not picking on you or trying to sound personal. These comments are just general feelings. We have plenty of examples of people these days who act only in their own personal interests, so I'm not really aiming this at you personally.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA
You'd make a dynamite politician

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

If anyone's noticed from the town hall fiascos, if you don't agree with the politicians you aren't listened to, you are just a paid for shill be the conservative party...

Which is funny since people who agree with this notion are doing it with no proof and have become shills for the democratic party...

hopeflicker
Capitalism breeds greed
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Long Beach, CA
kudos:1

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by Metatron2008:

If anyone's noticed from the town hall fiascos, if you don't agree with the politicians you aren't listened to, you are just a paid for shill be the conservative party...

Which is funny since people who agree with this notion are doing it with no proof and have become shills for the democratic party...
What i've noticed is that those that are most rude and yell over the politicians dont get listened to. oh well.

If you can't debate/discuss like a normal human then stay the fuck home.
--
My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. He said, If I have a chance to invade if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it.I'm going to get everything passed that I want.
G W BUSH

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 recommendations

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by hopeflicker:

said by Metatron2008:

If anyone's noticed from the town hall fiascos, if you don't agree with the politicians you aren't listened to, you are just a paid for shill be the conservative party...

Which is funny since people who agree with this notion are doing it with no proof and have become shills for the democratic party...
What i've noticed is that those that are most rude and yell over the politicians dont get listened to. oh well.

If you can't debate/discuss like a normal human then stay the fuck home.
You mean like this Rep who decided to take a phone call while one if her constituents was speaking? I mean wow this woman was so rude.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPuhpzGO8RQ

hopeflicker
Capitalism breeds greed
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Long Beach, CA
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by NOCTech75:

said by hopeflicker:

said by Metatron2008:

If anyone's noticed from the town hall fiascos, if you don't agree with the politicians you aren't listened to, you are just a paid for shill be the conservative party...

Which is funny since people who agree with this notion are doing it with no proof and have become shills for the democratic party...
What i've noticed is that those that are most rude and yell over the politicians dont get listened to. oh well.

If you can't debate/discuss like a normal human then stay the fuck home.
You mean like this Rep who decided to take a phone call while one if her constituents was speaking? I mean wow this woman was so rude.

(youtube clip)
that was rude also, but not as rude as people screaming at them.
--
My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. He said, If I have a chance to invade if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it.I'm going to get everything passed that I want.
G W BUSH

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by hopeflicker:

that was rude also, but not as rude as people screaming them.
Where the frack is this woman screaming at anyone? I don't see it.

hopeflicker
Capitalism breeds greed
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Long Beach, CA
kudos:1

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

"them" as in the congress people giving the town hall meetings.

Lark3po
Premium
join:2003-08-05
Madison, AL

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by hopeflicker:

"them" as in the congress people giving the town hall meetings.
I would scream at them too if given the chance...

hopeflicker
Capitalism breeds greed
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Long Beach, CA
kudos:1

Re: So is everyone calling and writting their representatives?

said by Lark3po:

said by hopeflicker:

"them" as in the congress people giving the town hall meetings.
I would scream at them too if given the chance...
yep! like a 7yr old would do.
--
My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. He said, If I have a chance to invade if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it.I'm going to get everything passed that I want.
G W BUSH
jfd15

join:2008-01-07
West Sacramento, CA

1 edit

2 recommendations

said by Metatron2008:

If anyone's noticed from the town hall fiascos, if you don't agree with the politicians you aren't listened to, you are just a paid for shill be the conservative party...

Which is funny since people who agree with this notion are doing it with no proof and have become shills for the democratic party...
i think you supposed to bus them in and pay them a la ACORN or SEIU, then you have "legitimate" protestors or legitimate townhall....

it also helps if you have some signs/chants of "We demand healthcare reform NOW!!!!"
- translation: "We demand YOU pay for OUR healthcare NOW!!!"
jfd15

join:2008-01-07
West Sacramento, CA
i guess a better idea than "shouting down" your congressperson is to pretend/claim you're a doctor and in favor of obamacare(when it seems you're really studying to be a social worker on the 12-year Blutarsky plan) like this woman at a Sheila Jackson Lee townhall....

»blog.heritage.org/2009/08/13/tow···doctors/

for some reason Houston Chron reported on it when she seemed legit, now that shes a fraud i can find no link to any msm article...go figure..

flyO15

@stancera.org

Letter to the FCC Chairman

Not that he will ever see this, but here are my comments I left on the FCC Web Site for Chairman Genachowski

Chairman Genachowski...
I think you need to read this:
»5 Signs Our Broadband Plan May Already Be In Trouble

People are clamoring for oversight and reigning in of these corporate giants who stifle innovation and drive up costs.

I think if you take the time to listen to the people, and read this article, perhaps you'll come to understand this.

One particular area of contention for most of us is the unrealistic caps these ISP's want to place on services. Two clear reasons behind this: To generate additional revenues on the backs of subscribers struggling already, and to stifle IP Video Solutions not provided by the incumbent ISP. It has nothing at all to do with Network Management, and these fat cat corporations know this.

Thank you for your time.

Somnambul33t
L33t.
Premium
join:2002-12-05
Blackwood, NJ

Re: Letter to the FCC Chairman

said by flyO15 :

Not that he will ever see this, but here are my comments I left on the FCC Web Site for Chairman Genachowski

Chairman Genachowski...
I think you need to read this:
»5 Signs Our Broadband Plan May Already Be In Trouble

People are clamoring for oversight and reigning in of these corporate giants who stifle innovation and drive up costs.

I think if you take the time to listen to the people, and read this article, perhaps you'll come to understand this.

One particular area of contention for most of us is the unrealistic caps these ISP's want to place on services. Two clear reasons behind this: To generate additional revenues on the backs of subscribers struggling already, and to stifle IP Video Solutions not provided by the incumbent ISP. It has nothing at all to do with Network Management, and these fat cat corporations know this.

Thank you for your time.
if you think ISPs stifle innovation, where do you think we'd be with MORE government regulation? jesus christ...

almost every single new product, advancement, and idea comes from the private market whether they have stiff competition or not.

do u honestly think we'd have 50/10 plans commonly throughout major markets if not for Verizon/ATT/Comcast trying to 1-up each other? i dont.
--
Somnambulator - t3h 5133pw41k3r


The Stolen Eye TF2 Server
~Choosy moms choose Jif~
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

Re: Letter to the FCC Chairman

said by Somnambul33t:

do u honestly think we'd have 50/10 plans commonly throughout major markets if not for Verizon/ATT/Comcast trying to 1-up each other? i dont.
That's the whole problem: It's only in select markets... namely large cities (and most do not even cover the majority of the city). If we give businesses freedom to do as they please that is all that will happen in the next 10-20 years. The largest of cities will have the most choices while smaller cities and suburbs will have the same access they do today: One or two providers, same speed, same or higher prices as today because noone will want to budge when there is few or no competing companies. Esentially those in larger metro areas will be paying similar pricing to other nations per bit while smaller cities and suburbs will still be paying out massive markup for technology that (at that time) will be decades old.

Note I am not even referring to uncovered rural areas that companies do not want to touch.

The whole problem is the digital divide that was brought up before all the 'next-gen' services came out. They were silenced by companies claiming that that would never happen, "see? we built out in one or two small towns / rural areas to please you, now go away." Unfortunately they did go away and what they feared is happening: That large cities may have competition but just about anywhere else will be left in the 90s in terms of service, pricing, etc.
--

- "Techie" Jim

flyO15

@stancera.org
I'm not for more or bigger government with this one exception. I grow sick of big business lobbyist having their way and no voice for the little guy.

As the poster mentions below...rural communities are not represented. And as these large corporations drive the smaller guys out of the market, and there is little or no competition, in the end it's bad for the consumer.

Deregulation of the Telecom Sector has not had the impact that was expected. Sure, early on there was innovation, and in the whole dot.com boom we saw the competition the way it ought to be. But who is left...you have a handful of large carriers going out of their way to make it difficult or impossible for the small guy. And at every turn, their looking at ways to add additional revenue streams on the backs of consumers. Sure, I agree that is how things are in a capitalistic society. However, when it comes to the Internet, using caps as a way to do this is not good business. I have an unlimited service today and I pay a reasonable price for it. Whether I choose to get my streaming video\television, streaming audio, data or telephony services from the incumbent carrier, or from any other Internet Connected provider should be something I can do without the fear of hitting some arbitrarily imposed cap based on junk data.

What made the Internet great is the openness and the transparent nature of the network. Lets not stifle things through the imposition of caps.

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

ISPs to the FCC.

"ISPs to sign a certified certificate of their own awesomeness"

classic. in about 5 years, they won't even have to do that. the FCC will just give all the telcos and cablecos a free pass.
--
I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and i'm all outta bubblegum.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Hmm

Does Genachowski have any influence on the NTIA's decisions?
33358088
Premium
join:2008-09-23
kudos:2

Writing campigns failed in Canada

YOU should be thinking of more direct and in your face ideals , they don't care about your lil papers.
jdjbuffalo

join:2004-01-17
Denver, CO

Screwed Again

After being lobbied by telecom carriers, the Commerce Department this week announced they'd be drastically reducing the volume of data ISPs have to provide Uncle Sam. ISPs will no longer have to provide government with data on connection speed, actual price paid per user, technology type or address-specific data. Instead, carriers now only have to hand over vague, market-area data that's not particularly useful in forming policy.
If this is truly what happens then we are screwed and right back at where we started. This "data" would be no better than the zip code data we currently have.

The one thing that seems to be obvious in here and in most areas of law/policy making is that LOBBYING SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. The corporations, who don't vote, have vastly more influence than the people the government is supposed to represent. This is wrong on so many levels!
33358088
Premium
join:2008-09-23
kudos:2

agreed if lobbying were illega OH MY

what a wonderful world we would live in, might even look a lot like star trek and with such a nice standard of living i'll bet.

Duramax08
To The Moon
Premium
join:2008-08-03
San Antonio, TX

Re: agreed if lobbying were illega OH MY

Its wrong but it wont be stop. I scratch your back, You scratch mine.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Honeymoon is over!

January 1st, 2010.. the honeymoon is over!
All the problems with the economy, fcc included are now going to begin to count against Obama and the administration cronies!

This includes the decade(s) old screwup that's been long coming with the consolidation of last mile companies & lack of competition which made the problem of deployment of next generation netoworks IMPOSSIBLE for some rural, suburban areas and included in this are a few cities in the southwest!

Hpower
Roflmao

join:2000-06-08
Glendale, CA

YOU FAIL!

National broadband plan = big time fail. More lobbying, more corporate greed, more regulation, more taxing, and more FAILED networks. I don't think we really want the damn government to run the internet. It is way too complex and too much work for them.

I mean common, Obama's CFO doesn't even have FIREFOX and says even he himself feels powerless since they have such old computers....and we want them to operate our national broadband? ROFL!
--
The Internet is about to go down....it is actually.

•••
gulfstreme

join:2004-02-22

We need Karl as a "workshop" panelist!

We need Karl as a "workshop" panelist!

fatmanskinny
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Wandering
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Re: We need Karl as a "workshop" panelist!

Karl, Justin and the crew should do a Learning Annex seminar on the State of the Internet.
--
Satan is always busy. He makes bad things look good and good things look bad! Watch that Devil.
BubbaDude

join:2008-06-06
Livermore, CA

What about Sascha Meinrath?

The complaints about the panels are a ploy to get more people like Sascha Meinrath involved. He wasted a considerable part of the mobile wireless tech panel talking about buzzword hobbyist networks.

It's telling that he didn't make your list, Karl.

BillInWI

@att.net

broadband going nowhere

I sent this message to the FCC broadband.gov and the whitehouse.gov sites -

I'm a citizen, one of 3 households who live on a short drive in a wooded area which happens to be 600' off a public road, in a suburban neighborhood. We've been trying to get broadband for many years, but no one will help/service us.
Charter Cable provides service at the main road; however, after repeated request, they have said they will charge $5000 up front to extend cable service to my house. AT&T has a switching station within 2.5 miles of my house; however, they refuse to put DSL equipment into that switching station; therefore, they will not provide DSL. I've requested the ATT U-verse service, but they won't put that equipment in our service area. I've looked at satellite service, but it is very poor service, very expensive, and would require us to cut down a number of mature hardwood trees.

We are NOT in a rural area; we live within approx 2 miles of a Wal Mart! We are the masses that no one cares about & no one is studying; please help us. I would be glad to talk with anyone & document my many efforts to get broadband. We have dial-up, but to do anything other than e-mail, I must make a 5 mile trip to the library.

Studying is great, and I'm sure folks in Washington can spend $4.7B studying; but please actually do something, anything that actually delivers broadband to people who desperately want it and are willing to pay market prices for it, but are being refused it by the monopoly utilities who service our market area.
SuperWISP

join:2007-04-17
Laramie, WY

1 edit

I see: obviously all "companies" are evil. Not!

Out of those 51, there are just five people not directly associated with a company
Actually, some of those five are very closely bound to companies. Sascha Meinrath, for example, works for the New America Foundation, a DC lobbying group that is owned -- lock, stock and barrel -- by Google. (Its chairman is Google CEO Eric Schmidt.) What's more, there were several representatives -- including myself -- of small companies which are close to, and fight for the interests of, their customers. Just because one is in business doesn't make one irredeemably evil, Karl.