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  • joly 10:24 am on 01/12/2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Robert McDowell   

    WEBCAST TODAY: A Legislative Hearing on Four Communications Bills #SubCommTech #broadband 

    US HouseToday Wednesday January 12 2016 the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is holding a hearing A Legislative Hearing on Four Communications Bills. The four bils under review are

    • H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, authored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) instructs the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules to protect the rights of amateur radio operators to use amateur radio equipment. In general, communications equipment is recognized under current law as having a societal benefit in providing access to information. Land use restrictions imposed by governments or homeowners associations on other communications equipment is currently protected by FCC regulations. H.R. 1301 instructs the FCC to adopt similar regulations for the use of amateur radio equipment.
    • H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, also authored by Kinzinger, would prevent the FCC from regulating the rates charged for broadband Internet. The FCC’s Open Internet Order reclassified broadband under Title II, giving the FCC the ability to regulate rates in two distinct ways: tariffing and through declarations of what are “reasonable” rates. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has stated that the Open Internet Order is not about regulating rates, and as such, the FCC used its authority to avoid applying the tariff authority to broadband. However, that still leaves the FCC free to regulate broadband through its enforcement authority. H.R. 2666 holds future FCC chairmen to this commitment by preventing rate regulation of broadband by statute.
    • H.R. 2669, the Anti-Spoofing Act, authored by Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), and full committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), extends the provisions of the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 to text messaging. The legislation also addresses the growth of services that allows a user to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information by adding a definition of “spoofing service,” to the Truth in Caller ID Act. The full House approved the Anti-Spoofing Act by voice vote in 2014.
    • H.R. ____, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, authored by subcommittee Chairman Walden would make permanent the FCC’s temporary exemption from the enhanced disclosure rules for small businesses required by the commission’s Open Internet Order. The bill also defines a small business as any provider of broadband Internet access service that has fewer than 1,500 employees, or 500,000 subscribers.

    Witnesses: Elizabeth Bowles, President & Chair of the Board Aristotle, Inc. (on behalf of Wireless Internet Service Providers Association); Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge; Robert McDowell, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute. The hearing is being webcast live via the Energy & Commerce YouTube Channel.

    View on YouTube: https://youtu.be/F2C-ow7OImU
    Twitter: #SubCommTech

  • joly 12:46 am on 03/22/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Robert McDowell,   

    VIDEO: Robert McDowell announces resignation from #FCC @WCIT #netfreedom 

    At the FCC’s Open Agenda meeting on Wednesday March 20 2013, Commissioner Robert McDowell announced his resignation. Video is below.

    Republican McDowell has during his tenure earned the respect of all sides for his stalwart support of an Open Internet. Public Knowledge issued the following statement:

    “Although we often disagreed, working with Commissioner McDowell was a pleasure. His willingness to hear opposing views, the intellectual rigor in his analysis, and his leadership at the WCIT made him someone we enjoyed working with. “Commissioner McDowell deserves enormous credit for defending TV white spaces in its darkest hour and pushing back against House Republicans who saw no value in preserving unlicensed spectrum.”


    Commissioner McDowell appeared on C-SPAN’s The Communicators program on March 19, a day before his surprise announcement, where he discussed issues such as spectrum auctions due in 2014, internet freedom, and the FCC’s recent approval of a deal to merge T-Mobile and MetroPCS.

  • joly 1:23 pm on 02/22/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Robert McDowell, , WITC-12   

    @FCC Commissioner McDowell to @UN – Hands off the Internet! #netfreedom 

    Robert M. McDowellOn Feb 21 2012 the Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed from FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell – “The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom“. Commissioner McDowell says that at an World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) next week “Russia, China and their allies” will be pushing hard to renegotiate the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) set at the World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference held in Melboune in 1988 (WATTC-88). Key provisions in those ITRs facilitated the private expansion of IP-based networks opening the gates to the building of the Internet.

    Commissioner McDowell lists several proposals that would emasculate the open successful multistakeholder process that has engineered the growth of the Internet and suggests that they will lead to an eventual balkanization of the network.

    He concludes with a call to action to defeat the proposals.

    A top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders. No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make engineering and economic decisions in lightning-fast Internet time. Productivity, rising living standards and the spread of freedom everywhere, but especially in the developing world, would grind to a halt as engineering and business decisions become politically paralyzed within a global regulatory body.

    Any attempts to expand intergovernmental powers over the Internet—no matter how incremental or seemingly innocuous—should be turned back. Modernization and reform can be constructive, but not if the end result is a new global bureaucracy that departs from the multi-stakeholder model. Enlightened nations should draw a line in the sand against new regulations while welcoming reform that could include a nonregulatory role for the ITU.

    Pro-regulation forces are, thus far, much more energized and organized than those who favor the multi-stakeholder approach. Regulation proponents only need to secure a simple majority of the 193 member states to codify their radical and counterproductive agenda. Unlike the U.N. Security Council, no country can wield a veto in ITU proceedings. With this in mind, some estimate that approximately 90 countries could be supporting intergovernmental Net regulation—a mere seven short of a majority.

    While precious time ticks away, the U.S. has not named a leader for the treaty negotiation. We must awake from our slumber and engage before it is too late. Not only do these developments have the potential to affect the daily lives of all Americans, they also threaten freedom and prosperity across the globe.

    • joly 2:43 pm on 02/22/2012 Permalink | Reply

      Internet Society Senior Manager for Public Policy Sally A. Wentworth has directly filed comments to the WCIT-12, including detailed recommendations (pdf).

      She adds:

      Further, any expanded regulation at the infrastructure level is likely to have an impact on growth and innovation and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. In the rare case where a regulatory framework is needed, Member States should commit to ensuring that these are justified, and consist of high-level principles. Regulation should not interfere in commercial decisions, be based on specific technologies or business-models, or seek to substitute government (public-funded) action for the private sector.

      The ITRs should enshrine a commitment to the use of open and voluntary international standards. Interoperability, mutual agreement, and collaboration are invariable requirements for the Internet’s survival. Many standards development organizations contribute to the smooth functioning of the Internet, and new standards development organizations have emerged over time, so it is potentially damaging to impose a preference for some standards development organizations (SDOs) over others.

      The ITRs should reflect what has been learned about what works best for telecommunication regulation in the 24 years since the WATTC. In particular, its text should seek Member States’ commitment that their regulatory regimes be non-discriminatory, technology neutral, and encourage competition.

      Finally, to continue to benefit from what we know about the Internet, the ITRs should strive to be permissive, not restrictive. The text could be improved by committing to develop “soft” regulatory practices such as “codes of practice” and “guidelines” wherever possible, and always in an open and transparent manner, consistent with current practices and with the outcomes of the WSIS.

      Ms. Wentworth refers readers to the Internet Society document: Internet Invariants: What Really Matters

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