FCC Commissioner McDowell to Leave FCC
Tenure Highlights: Ignoring Competitive Issues & Ignoring Competitive Issues
Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell today announced that he'll be leaving the FCC
for an unspecified job elsewhere. McDowell was the likely front-runner to lead the FCC if Romney had won the election. McDowell's greatest hits since 2006 include an editorial insisting the country has no broadband coverage issues
, proclaiming the Internet would collapse
if Comcast was held accountable for throttling upstream P2P traffic and lying to customers, and conflating network neutrality with the fairness doctrine
for political effect.
Like current FCC boss and Democrat Julius Genachowski, McDowell was a stalwart believer in the fact that the current U.S. broadband market doesn't have any competitive issues that really need fixing. In McDowell's mind, any competitive issues are magically and organically fixed by the "free market," ignoring of course it's not a free market when those giant companies enjoy regulatory capture and literally write state-by-state telecom law designed to keep competition at bay.
Obviously you'll get a significantly different report card on McDowell if you ask Comcast's top lobbyist David Cohen, even if such breathless gushing from a lobbyist should speak volumes:
"Commissioner McDowell has been an exemplary public servant," said David Cohen, EVP, Comcast Corporation. "His wisdom, practicality and hard work all contribute to the widespread respect that everyone has for him. Commissioner McDowell’s tireless efforts to promote a free and unregulated Internet, reform Universal Service and keep the U.S. at the forefront of International telecommunications policy are just a few of his many notable accomplishments.
The biggest thing McDowell did for consumers was perhaps to help support his fellow FCC members' support for White Space broadband
. However, like all too many FCC Commissioners from both parties, his tenure at the FCC is most notable for his particular skill at denial. McDowell's departure comes as the agency loses Sherrese Smith, chief counsel and legal adviser to Genachowski, and within a few months -- Genachowski himself.
So, who takes his place? The usual possibilities - aides to Republican Committee members with power in the House & Senate.
Among the names immediately surfacing as possible successors to McDowell: Neil Fried, senior telecommunications counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Ray Baum, former Oregon Public Utility Commission chairman and current top adviser to House Communications Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.); Michael O'Rielly, a staffer with Senate Republican John Cornyn (Tex.); and former Scripps Networks Chief Legal Officer A.B. Cruz, who is Latino and whose name also surfaced for the Republican seat eventually taken by Ajit Pai.
Re: Can we have news not commentary?
said by dfxmatt:How would that solve anything?
how about just getting rid of franchise agreements?
done in one. gtfo.
| || I don't pretend to have the whole answer to this, just some thoughts to ponder that the FCC CAN consider, even if they've shot it down in the past:|
1) If only one cable company is allowed in town, then force them to allow resale of their facilities, similar to what is done with copper lines for CLEC's, at reasonable chargeback rates.
2) Cap profits: again a model from telco times. 30 years ago, the monopoly Telcos were only allowed to make a reasonable profit, and it was capped at something that was considered reasonable at the time. Cable Co's don't seem to have anything like this, so a 15% shareholder profit this year is good, which means next year is has to be 18%, and 21% the year after that.
3) Cap rate increases to something reasonable, which would tie into capping profits.
4) Mandate a basic service offering, again like what was done for the original lifeline telco services. Something like a 1.5/.75 for $20/month.
5) Interesting note: seems that cable co's are not held to the same 911 standard of service that traditional telcos are held to. To the point that now Comcast doesn't consider a brief battery backup in the modems as a requirement. Nor do they seem to care anymore if their HFC power inserters go without power for days at a time during a power outage. At one time, they used to make a reasonable effort to address both of these items; HFC power inserters by using temporary generators.