I agree to Idea Unify Regulation for Broadband Services
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I disagree to Idea Unify Regulation for Broadband Services

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Unify Regulation for Broadband Services

Based on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Cable v. Brand X Supreme Court case, cable providers are classified as "Information" while telecom services (like AT&T) are classified as "Telecommunications," thus subjecting each to very different sets of regulations.

As offerings by the varying service providers homogenize (internet, phone, television, mobile data, etc), traditionally classified telcos are heavily burdened by much more pro-competitive regulation.

Cable has an unfair advantage over traditional telco's because they are not subject to the same regulation based on archaic classifications dating back to the Great Depression. This has resulted in large-scale regional cable monopolies that has destroyed consumer choice for much of the country.

For broadband to become ubiquitous, affordable, and reliable, reclassifying internet-age services so that regulation becomes unified is absolutely essential to a healthy national broadband plan.

Submitted by Billy White 4 years ago

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Comments (4)

  1. Billy, you may not be aware of the fact that the FCC afforded phone companies' broadband Internet access services the same "information service" classification it applied to cable modem broadband, shortly after the Supreme Court's Brand X decision. Currently, there is no disparity in how different providers' broadband offerings are regulated -- they are information services not subject to common carrier regulation. The principal reason for the FCC taking this action was to eliminate an artificial disparity such as you have raised.

    The planned "net neutrality" regulations may change that. We shall have to see what develops.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  2. Billy White Idea Submitter

    You're right, msullivan, I was not aware of that classification. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I'll revert then back to the more generic point that regulation should be at the protocol level, and not based on the delivery medium.

    It's "unfair," in regulation terms, that phone companies must share their copper while cable and many wireless services across the literal spectrum, can remain closed off to access and as a result competition.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  3. I think you are under yet another misunderstanding, Billy, which isn't surprising because of all the shifts that have taken place. The FCC got rid of its requirement that telcos allow line-sharing (to permit competitors to have access to the DSL portion of the line) after a reversal by the D.C. Circuit federal court of appeals. As a reult, there is no requirement that wireline or wireless providers of broadband Internet access be subjected to fees based on lack of competition.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  4. Billy White Idea Submitter

    Wow, I'm as surprised as you aren't, considering I try and keep rather abreast on these types of issues. I'll blame it on the FCC website, or lack thereof, and jump off my soapbox.

    How about this: "More competition, less regulation"... as I'm thumbed down into oblivion.

    If you don't mind me asking what online resources do you generally keep up with, Michael?

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed