Listening to Yogi on Interconnection and Net Neutrality

I’m returning from a packed event, hosted by the Progressive Policy Institute, on the FCC’s role in Internet interconnection.  It was a good discussion.  And I’m glad to see these issues getting the attention they deserve.  I was the only panelist calling for an ongoing FCC role as a backstop for interconnection agreements, which I’ve advocated in my Only Connect (2007) and No Dialtone (2014) papers.  The others were more concerned ...

Higher Standards

I’ve posted my draft paper, Higher Standards: Regulation in the Network Age (Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, forthcoming 2009) to the SSRN online repository.  Here’s the abstract: As digital networks proliferate, standardized interfaces will define the economic and normative dynamics of markets. In other words, standardization is regulation. Regulatory mechanisms must evolve to emulate the best aspects of the standard-setting process. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should remake itself ...

Wireless: Walled Gardens to Walled Markets?

T-Mobile, the #4 US wireless carrier, is moving to an App Store model for all its phones.  In other words, users will be able to choose their own applications, as they now do on Apple’s iPhone.  Along with Google Android/Open Handset Alliance, Verizon’s open development initiative, and the success of Apple’s App Store, this is good news for wireless subscribers in the US.  For too long we’ve been stuck with ...

“It would be a tragic mistake to underestimate the potential market power Skype is accumulating.” So says the always insightful Martin Geddes. He’s right, and yet this mistake is still quite widespread.

All in the Family

My brother Adam, who sits on the San Francisco Public Utility Commission and has an amazing record as a progressive activist, has an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle promoting municipal wireless broadband. It’s great when our professional paths cross like this. It’s even better when Adam does such an effective job of making the case for municipal networks.

Open Spectrum podcast

David Weinberger and I did a podcast last week about open spectrum that is now available on Richard Giles’ site, The Gadget Show. We had a few audio issues — we were communicating over Skype between the US and Autralia. Nonetheless, we were able to cover the major reasons why radical spectrum policy reform is such an exciting concept, and where things stand today.

Skype tipping point?

James Enck: “[M]ore than 1% of the world’s broadband population is running Skype at any given time.” Sounds like a killer app to me.

The End of Broadband Service

The FCC reached a decision this week that could effectively end broadband service as we know it. The order hasn’t officially come out yet, but the result was leaked. The FCC granted a petition by BellSouth to pre-empt state regulators from requiring “naked DSL.” The procedural aspects are convoluted, so the effect of that action may not be clear. Here’s what the FCC is saying. The local phone companies (and, ...

The FCC stands up for VOIP

The FCC announced an order and consent decree fining a small local phone company for

Philly WiFi: The Gloves Come Off

It has been interesting to watch the debate progress over the city of Philadelphia’s plan to create a city-wide outdoor public WiFi network. The project generated a lot of attention when first announced. At that time, Verizon and Comcast didn’t have much to say about it. Then word leaked out that a bill in the Pennsylvania legislature would prohibit Philadelphia and other cities from engaging in such projects. (After a ...