‘What’s Hot’ List: 6/4/2014

  • Regulating Internet Access as a Public Utility: A Boomerang on Tech if it Happens (Brookings, 4/2/2014) Litan writes, “There is a very slippery slope from having designated ISPs as being subject to common carriage regulation to having to include other forms of Internet transmissions as well because they arguably use ‘telecommunications services’, the legal hook in Title II for its application.” Litan goes on to explain, “public utility regulation of Internet access – complete with rate filings and FCC approvals, among other requirements – would dampen innovation and investment in more, faster broadband.”
  •     Lawmakers lay out goals for FCC program to fund Internet in schools (The Hill’s Technology Policy Blog, 6/2/14) A bipartisan group of lawmakers laid out recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission to modernize its E-Rate program to fund technology in classrooms. “The funding priorities must reflect the changing nature of the Internet, so that our classrooms and students have access to today’s technology,” a group of 46 lawmakers told the FCC in a letter on Monday.
  •    House Votes to Block ICANN Handoff (Broadcasting & Cable Blog, 6/2/14) House passage of the 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Act last week included an amendment that would effectively prevent the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s planned hand-off to a multistakeholder model of some oversight of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Internet domain naming system.
  •   FCC Needs to Improve its Internal 911 and IPv6 Compliance (FCC Blog, 6/2/14) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets communications rules and policies, as directed by the Congress, and works with providers and organizations as they develop and implement industry standards.  To remain relevant, the agency must stay on top of current technologies and serve as a model both for industry and other federal agencies.  The FCC loses credibility when it seeks to impose rules or standards on the private sector but does not adhere to the same or similar commitments in its own operations.
  •  How Google just turned Internet access into a space race (The Washington Post’s The Switch Blog, 6/2/14) First Facebook, now Google. The search giant is exploring how to use satellites to beam wireless data down to people in developing countries in a bid to expand internationally, according to the Wall Street Journal. The idea builds on the company’s existing efforts, such as its balloon-based Project Loon, to serve otherwise disconnected regions of the world and places where it’s too expensive to set up fixed broadband or cellular towers for mobile data.  
  • Time Warner Cable spreads its Wi-Fi wings with Boingo deal (Gigaom Blog, 6/2/14) The deal isn’t gigantic, adding only about 100 hotspot locations in major transit hubs to TWC’s network, but it could be the beginning of a bigger wireless expansion. Now that Time Warner Cable has it made it easier for customers to access its Wi-Fi hotspot networks with its recent upgrade to Hotspot 2.0, and it’s starting to expand its wireless coverage with roaming deals. It’s now signed a new roaming deal with wireless ISP Boingo, giving it access to its network of hotspots in busy U.S. transit hubs, including airports, train stations and even NYC subway platforms.
  • The Real ‘Slow Lane’ Threat to the Internet (Forbes, 6/2/2014) There is a subversive plan to slow the Internet, and it must be stopped. The new plan, now being contemplated by the Federal Communications Commission, could alter the Internet forever. It could slow speeds, limit the content and applications consumers can access, and create a two-tier system that favors some companies over others. The plan even has a code name: it’s called “Title II.”