Federal Communications Commission

Fred Upton, Linguist
February 08, 2011

Apparently Fred Upton's method of communicating is an even richer subject than I had thought. Two sentences of Upton's were so jargon-laden that they inspired a long meditation by David Roth:  The topic is what Stephanie K.

Bill Daley's Seediest Exploit
January 06, 2011

[Guest post by James Downie] Most of the media attention on Bill Daley’s corporate ties has focused on his time as a JP Morgan executive, but his record at his prior job, as president of SBC Communications, is perhaps more worrisome. Hired as the company’s president in late 2001, after chairing Al Gore’s presidential campaign, Daley told The New York Times, “[P]olitics is not something I will be involved in other than as a citizen voting.” But as the trade journal Telephony wrote: The Bell company has lousy relationships with many state regulators and little Democratic support in Congress.

January 05, 2011

In his 61 years, my father has never sent me an e-mail, never purchased a personal computer, never thought to acquire a home Internet connection. A welder, he has little use for the latest software at work; at home, he prefers handwritten letters, and he still obtains his news in print-only form. Recently, when I asked him why he never thought to get wired, he looked perplexed. He shrugged and said, “Never saw the need.” No, he is not nostalgic for a past era or hopelessly impoverished.

December 04, 2010

Most Internet-policy issues are mind-numbingly complex and, let's face it, a little too dull for the broader public to sift through. So, if you're a small company caught up in an arcane battle with a massive service provider like Comcast, it can be hard to get anyone aside from specialized trade publications to care. Unless, of course, you say those two magic words: net neutrality. Just claim that the future of the open Internet is at stake, and your tiff is guaranteed to splash across headlines everywhere. Want an example?

The Geography of Broadband Access
July 21, 2010

As big fans of maps, data, and infrastructure, we are pretty enamored with the interactive website of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan. High speed telecommunications infrastructure is critical for boosting business growth, enhancing education and scientific research, improving public safety services, and reliably providing for emergency communications in times of crisis. It also has the potential to reshape the physical landscape of America, connecting communities in ways never before possible through telecommuting and videoconferencing.

Why Brandeis Matters
June 29, 2010

Louis D. Brandeis: A Life By Melvin I. Urofsky (Pantheon, 955 pp., $40) I. In 1916, Herbert Croly, the founder and editor of The New Republic, wrote to Willard Straight, the owner of the magazine, about the Supreme Court nomination of Louis Brandeis. Croly enclosed a draft editorial called “The Motive of Class Consciousness,” and also a chart prepared by a lawyer in Brandeis’s office showing the overlapping financial interests, social and business connections, and directorships of fifty-two prominent Bostonians who had signed a petition opposing Brandeis’s nomination.

Chait Crony Defeated
June 08, 2010

This morning Dave Weigel reported on a Republican primary campaign in northern Virginia involving Matthew Berry, an openly gay former clerk for Clarence Thomas and FCC official under George W. Bush. It dawned on me that I knew Berry about thirty years ago when he was in my Sunday school class. I went to his house after Sunday school one day, and it was immediately clear that, despite being the two nerdiest kids in the class, we had little in common. I remember he absolutely insisted that we immediately go to work on an extra-credit homework task I had no intention of doing then or ever.

The Broad Variation in Broadband
March 01, 2010

In advance of the March 17th delivery of a National Broadband Plan to Congress, mandated as part of the Recovery Act, the Federal Communications Commission has released a mound of useful data this month. Last week, at an event hosted by Brookings, Chairman Genachowski presented the results of a consumer survey on attitudes towards broadband and views on how to improve access for all. Some major findings: ·        Two thirds of American adults have broadband access at home, but rates vary according to socioeconomic status: of adults whose highest level of education is a high school degree, only

What to Think of Net Neutrality
October 23, 2009

Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to begin writing “net neutrality” rules to prevent Internet providers from determining which content or services reaches their customers. Several weeks ago, Jeff Rosen wrote a magazine piece on network neutrality in which he argued that a lack of it can amount to discrimination, as well as restriction of free speech: The Comcast case is a model for the free-speech battles of the future, where Internet and wireless providers may want to favor certain content providers over others in order to maximize profits at the expense of con

Net Cemetery
October 12, 2009

Network neutrality--that’s now the official policy of the Obama administration, announced last month by the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Julius Genachowski. It’s a development that could be more significant to the future of free speech than any milestone since the Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times v. Sullivan in 1964. The essence of net neutrality seems simple: Internet service providers should be required to treat all data equally and avoid blocking or delaying any sites or applications.