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Submitted by jonathan on Thu, 2012-01-12 16:06
Christopher Mitchell, Community Broadband News
Last year, Community Broadband News noted that a bill to expand local authority to invest in publicly owned broadband networks would return to the Washington Legislature in 2012. HB 1711 is in Committee and causing a bit of a stir. "A bit of a stir" is good -- such a reaction means it has a chance at passing and giving Washington's residents a greater opportunity to have fast, affordable, and reliable access to the Internet.
Washington's law presently allows Public Utility Districts to build fiber-optic networks but they cannot offer retail services. They are limited to providing wholesale services only -- working with independent service providers to bring telecom services to the public.
Unfortunately, this approach can be financially debilitating, particularly in rural areas. Building next generation networks in very low density areas is hard enough without being forced to split the revenues with third parties.
Last year, House Bill 2601 created a study to examine telecommunications reform, including the possibilty of municipality and public utility district provisioning. The University of Washington School of Law examined the issues and released a report [pdf] that recognizes the important role public sector investments can play...Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Wed, 2011-02-16 13:17
Amy Schatz, Wall Street Journal
House Republicans attacked new "net neutrality" rules for broadband Internet lines in a contentious hearing Wednesday and criticized Democratic Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski for adopting them.
Republicans are targeting the new Internet rules, which would bar Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic and services, as one of many new regulations, including for health care and the environment, which they say are unnecessary and overly burdensome on industry.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Tue, 2011-01-25 14:47
Office of Senator Maria Cantwell
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 to ensure the broadband Internet continues to serve as a source of innovation, free speech, and job growth. Though Cantwell believes that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) acted within its authority to issue its own net neutrality rules last December, she stated at the time that they were not strong enough to ensure the Internet remains a source of innovation and economic growth. U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is an original cosponsor of the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Wed, 2010-12-22 19:16
office of Rep. Jay Inslee
On Dec. 21, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01) issued this statement following the release of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) adoption of the Open Internet Order.
Today's rulemaking from the FCC seeks to preserve the open internet, and protect the foundation that has built industries, fostered marketplaces, and created jobs. I commend the FCC for moving forward on this important policy and ensuring basic consumer protections.
FCC's net neutrality compromise benefits industry at expense of small business, tech innovators and minoritiesSubmitted by jonathan on Tue, 2010-12-21 22:40
Reclaim the Media
Public interest advocates continue pushing for a level playing field online
Today, the Federal Communications Commission held a key vote affecting rules of the road for the Internet. Unfortunately, the rules approved today fall short of Chairman Julius Genachowski's rhetoric concerning Internet openness, and stand to benefit large providers like AT&T and Comcast at the expense of end users, small businesses, and technology innovators.
By treating wireless web access differently from wired broadband, the FCC's net neutrality order paves the way for a two-tiered Internet experience, with wireless users faced with predatory pricing tiers and discriminatory filtering. Latinos, rural Americans, blacks and low-income Internet users disproportionately favor wireless connections, and will be disproportionately impacted by the new rules.
Additionally, while the order provides many consumers with a new level of protection from net neutrality abuses by service providers, it lacks a clear, enforceable ban on paid prioritization--a practice which would allow Internet providers to impose discriminatory speed limits on some websites unwilling or unable to pay for special access.
The FCC's decision ignores overwhelming public support for stronger, enforceable net neutrality protections, and commonsense requests for a single set of rules recognizing that there is a single set of rules recognizing that there is one Internet, not two.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Sun, 2010-12-19 08:57
Matthew Lasar, Ars Technica
A new study suggests that the United States could do better when it comes to home ISP prices. The Technology Policy Institute's latest survey of the global high speed Internet market finds that US residential broadband subscription rates have "remained fairly stable" over the last three years, rising by just two percent.
That's good, of course, since they didn't go way up. But residential broadband prices have fallen in most other countries, the paper notes—in some instances by as much as 40 percent.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Tue, 2010-10-19 09:33
Sen. Tom Udall, Politico
It is beyond cliché to note how important the Internet is in modern life. The Internet has transformed not only the telecommunications landscape but also our economy and society.
Over the years, the Net has morphed from a complicated medium for scientists and computer engineers into a network for telecommuting to school or the office, a marketplace for e-commerce and a place to connect with friends via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Mon, 2010-10-11 10:50
Tim Karr, Huffington Post
It's put up or shut up time on Net Neutrality. That's what Rob Pegoraro wrote in the Washington Post earlier this week.
And he's right.
The fate of the open Internet now rests in the hands of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The chairman just needs to muster the courage to do right by the millions of Internet users who demand an Internet of, for, and by the people.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Tue, 2010-10-05 10:11
Jennifer Martinez, LA Times
Some leading minority advocacy groups long have supported AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and other major telecommunications firms in the industry's efforts to win approvals for mergers, get rid of old regulations and avoid new government rules.
And the telecom firms, in turn, have poured millions of dollars of donations and in-kind services, including volunteer help from the carriers' executive suites, into charitable groups in the communities they serve.Read more.
Submitted by jonathan on Thu, 2010-09-30 14:11
On Sept. 30 Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01) released this statement regarding the announcement that efforts to craft bipartisan net neutrality legislation in Congress have stalled: "Waiting and deliberation is over, the FCC must now move to reclassify broadband under Title II. Innovators and consumers can no longer wait, hoping, that the internet will remain open and free from discrimination they need certainty. For months I have encouraged the FCC to reinstate the rules of the road that have allowed for the explosion of innovation and economic growth on the internet. Instead, some have pointed to Congress to find a solution. Despite the efforts of Chairman Waxman, it is now clear that Congress will likely not find a bipartisan approach this year that will protect consumers and the online marketplace. The time for FCC action is now. We can't wait any longer."Read more.