Tag Archives: Tom Wheeler

FCC Chief Warns Cable Ops: Don’t Thwart Broadband Competitiors

In making his case, Wheeler touched on Comcast’s aborted $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The FCC “recognized that broadband had to be at the center of our analysis, and that video was, in essence, an application that flows over networks and that could be supplied both by the owners of facilities and by competitors that use broadband pathways to compete against the owners of those broadband pathways.” – David Lieberman, Deadline Hollywood

Dear Tom Wheeler: I’m Sorry I Thought You Were A Mindless Cable Shill

Since coming into office, Wheeler has raised the base definition of broadband to 25 Mbps to aggressively highlight how three-quarters of the country lack more than one competitive option at that speed. He’s started threatening wireless ISPs for using throttling and congestion as bogeymen to make an extra buck. Wheeler also surprised everyone by reclassifying ISPs as common carriers and pushing tougher net neutrality rules. More importantly (I believe), he’s spearheaded an effort to kill ISP-crafted, state protectionist laws designed specifically to hinder broadband competition, an issue the FCC had spent the last fifteen years ignoring. Then, last week, Wheeler played the starring role in killing an ugly Comcast merger most sector analysts originally believed would see little regulatory resistance. – Karl Bode, Techdirt 

FCC’s Wheeler makes net neutrality case before global carriers

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Tuesday that he doesn’t put much credibility in claims that U.S. carriers would stop investing in their networks in his new era of network neutrality. Taking the stage at Mobile World congress in Barcelona before a global carrier audience, he said that the U.S. telecom industry’s actions speak far louder than its public statements. – Kevin Fitchard, Gigaom
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Will the FCC’s new net neutrality rules hold up in court?

The FCC will have to explain why internet service no longer fits this definition. “In fact, the FCC is going to have to deal with significant evidence that, if anything, broadband is now even more functionally integrated than it was in 2002,” [Bennett Ross,Wiley Rein] says. Nowadays, he says, internet providers routinely bundle security tools, cloud storage, and other new offerings that “I think most everybody would agree are information services,” which seems to entrench them in the commission’s existing definition. – Jacob Kastrenakes , The Verge
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Love or hate net neutrality, GOP probe is pointlesss

The twin probes, which are being led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R.-Wis) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), call on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to explain how he came to favor net neutrality — a policy that prevents ISPs from giving special treatment to some websites over others when they deliver broadband. […] So what’s going on? In the view of Berin Szoka of TechFreedom, a group critical of Wheeler’s proposal, the legal case is “subtle” but turns on two issues: whether the White House “threatened” Wheeler as the head of an independent agency, and whether the executive violated an anti-lobbying law by having FCC staff lobby Congress. Or something. – Jeff John Roberts, Gigaom
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Did the Internet Win Yet? No. But Here’s What We Got.

[Tom Wheeler]’s statement of commitment to strict rules that defend net neutrality is a powerful one, but we’ve yet to see the actual wording of his proposal. Once that wording’s out, the FCC commissioners will have to review it, and then, hopefully, votes to approve it at the end of this month. Based on the tenor of the last FCC meeting about net neutrality rules, it sounds like some of the commissioners will support this new plan. But let’s not forget that the agency as a whole did pass some pretty shitty rules less than a year ago. – Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo 

FCC to propose treating ISPs as public utilities

FCC chair Tom Wheeler is expected to adopt President Obama’s stance to treat broadband providers the same way telecommunications companies are treated and to regulate them as public utilities, giving government more weight over the deals between broadband providers and content providers, much to the chagrin of many in the industry. – JC Torres, Slash Gear
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FCC chairman mocks industry claims that customers don’t need faster Internet

The FCC was having this debate because Congress requires it to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. The first step is determining what speeds allow for broadband access. Congress made it clear in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that broadband isn’t the bare minimum needed to use the Internet. Instead, it is “advanced telecommunications capability” that “enable[s] users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.” – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica 
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On net neutrality, Internet providers are betrayed by one of their own

At CES, [Tom Wheeler,FCC] hinted that he wants to craft broadband rules based on the ones that apply to cellular voice, which is a common carrier service but doesn’t face rate regulation. Mobile voice’s common carrier status was established in section 332 of the Communications Act, which Wheeler helped negotiate as head of the CTIA 20 years ago. A framework like this one could apply to fixed and mobile broadband, establishing requirements for reasonable rates and practices, a prohibition against unjust or unreasonable discrimination in rates and practices, and a complaint process. – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica 
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Tom Wheeler says FCC will vote on net neutrality on February 26th

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced that his office will vote on an official proposal for net neutrality on February 26th. “We’re going to circulate it to the commissioners on February 5th and vote on it February 26th,” Wheeler told Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President Gary Shapiro in a public interview at CES. […] The FCC has said over the past few months that it has been exploring a hybrid approach to protecting net neutrality. It’s believed that this approach would use strict, utility-like Title II regulation on the parts of the internet that connect content providers, but the approach wouldn’t apply that regulation to the final stretch of the internet that connects to consumers’ homes. There, a lighter regulation would be used that would still allow prioritized fast lanes to be sold. The FCC initially began exploring that approach at the suggestion of the court that struck down its last net neutrality rules. – Russell Brandom & Jacob Kastrenakes , The Verge
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