‘What’s Hot’ List: 5/29/15

The ‘What’s Hot’ list for May 29, 2015.

Charter Communications announces deal to buy Time Warner Cable  (Los Angeles Times, 5/26/15) Charter Communications has reeled in its big prize, agreeing to purchase Time Warner Cable. The long-sought-after acquisition values Time Warner Cable at $78.7 billion and along with Charter’s purchase of Bright House Networks will produce a company with 23.9 million subscribers in 41 states.

Embracing broadband policy innovation from abroad [Commentary by Stuart Brotman] (Brookings, 5/27/15) The context of broadband Internet ecosystem development in a particular country often is unique to that country’s physical, economic, political, cultural, and social environment.  Attempting to generalize from even the countries with the best policies is unlikely to yield meaningful policy outcomes.

USTelecom Takes FCC Side in One Net Neutrality challenge (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/26/15) It’s complicated. USTelecom, which has challenged the FCC’s justification for new open Internet rules, has asked a federal Court for permission to weigh in in support of the FCC. The trade group, which represents telco ISPs, has asked permission to intervene on behalf of the FCC in the single challenge of the FCC’s Title II-based rules.

Vox Media Adds ReCode to Its Stable of Websites (New York Times, 5/26/15) ReCode, the news website led by the veteran journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, is being acquired by Vox Media, a deal that reflects the turmoil among digital organizations focused on covering the tech industry. The all-stock deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will give ReCode access to a wider audience, something it has struggled to build since the site split off from The Wall Street Journal about a year and a half ago. Both Mr. Mossberg and Ms. Swisher plan to stay with ReCode after the merger.

Charter Pushes for More Reserve Spectrum (Broadcasting & Cable Blog, 5/26/15) Charter had more than the proposed Time Warner Cable deal on its mind Monday, urging the FCC to make plenty of low-band spectrum available in the broadcast incentive forward auction to competitors to AT&T and Verizon. The FCC has proposed reserving 30 MHz of spectrum in the auction for competitive carriers, but Charter says it should be 40 MHz, which would allow for two potential competitors–20 MHz is needed for each of those.

How the FCC Will Wreck the Internet (Wall Street Journal, 5/29/15) The Federal Communications Commission injected a considerable amount of uncertainty into the high-tech sector in February when it reclassified Internet service providers (ISPs) as public utilities. If it is upheld by the courts, the Open Internet Order—which inserts the government directly into private dealings between ISPs and firms that generate or aggregate Internet content—will drag down investments in new networks and infrastructure and slow down innovation.

FCC ruling could bolster robocall battle (Network World, 5/27/15) The Federal Communications Commission could soon clear a path to help in the ongoing battle to fight unwanted and in many cases illegal robocalls and text messages.FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing a number of changes that the FCC says would “close loopholes and strengthen consumer protections already on the books,” such as the widely used Do-Not-Call Registry. The FCC proposals were in response to industry players who sought clarity on how the Commission enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).”The FCC wants to make it clear: Telephone companies can – and in fact should – offer consumers robocall-blocking tools,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a blog post. In the past some carriers we concerned that blocking automated calls could be construed as violations of the TCPA that requires them to ensure that all calls placed over their networks reach their intended recipients.

USTelecom Takes FCC Side in One Net Neutrality challenge (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/26/15) It’s complicated. USTelecom, which has challenged the FCC’s justification for new open Internet rules, has asked a federal Court for permission to weigh in in support of the FCC. The trade group, which represents telco ISPs, has asked permission to intervene on behalf of the FCC in the single challenge of the FCC’s Title II-based rules.

Business Decisions Matter: Top Ten Spectrum Auction Facts (Mobile Future, 5/20/15) With a nod to David Letterman’s final show tonight, Mobile Future put together our own top 10 list