Behind The Hoopla of The National Broadband Plan

The promulgation of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan caused near-orgasmic pleasure among policy wonks in D.C. and elsewhere – if only for the reason that it showed that the FCC appears to care about bringing our country’s true communicative potential into the 21st century.
But now that everybody’s had a chance to look under the hood, so to speak, of the 376-page proposal, and I got to sniff the air in D.C. myself, it’s clear that the honeymoon – if there really was one – is over. Continue reading “Behind The Hoopla of The National Broadband Plan”

FCC's Broadband Plan: Show Me Action, Not Words

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited National Broadband Plan, which has become shorthand for a comprehensive set of new policies the agency plans to promote. The plan encompasses everything from digitizing medical records to telework, distance education, a nationwide emergency-responders communications network and, perhaps most importantly, a drive to spur competition in the broadband ISP sector, increase access and median data-transfer speeds nationwide, and lower prices in the process (making us, one day, perhaps on par with more advanced European and Asian countries). For a very superficial overview of the plan’s high points, check here.
The telecom pundits are all a-twitter about this plan, and its relative wonderfulness. But it behooves breaking down some of the basics: Continue reading “FCC's Broadband Plan: Show Me Action, Not Words”

ACTA Bits Leak; Resistance is Fertile

The veil of secrecy over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is slowly beginning to lift. Starting with a leak late last year over proposed restrictions on digital interoperability (ostensibly making it more difficult for devices/programs to work together without “permission” from the device/program creators), more has come to light since then.
Questions of transparency – not just of ACTA, but of the entire negotiating process itself – are now being asked more pointedly. Especially now that ACTA’s “Internet Chapter” has leaked; in a nutshell, it would impose the U.S.’ draconian Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to all ACTA signatories. Continue reading “ACTA Bits Leak; Resistance is Fertile”