What’s Hot List 9/18/15

Obamanet Is Hurting Broadband (Wall Street Journal 9/16)

It’s back-to-school time, and Internet executives are getting an unhappy lesson in basic economics: Government regulation results in less of the regulated activity. New data show the Obama administration’s decision to regulate the Internet as a utility has already caused a steep drop in Internet investme

Capital Expenditures Declined Under FCC’s Network Neutrality Rules (Forbes 9/16)

A casual reader of the Federal Communications Commission’s many documents on network neutrality would reasonably conclude that the network neutrality rules are necessary for robust investment in the broader information sector. The linkage between FCC ngIf: ticker rules and investments animates the FCC’s recent court brief in which the agency defends its latest rules in the D.C. Circuit Court.

CenturyLink asks FCC to eliminate syndicated exclusivity rules on video programming (Fierce Telecom 9/15)

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) may be scaling its IPTV video business with over 2.6 million addressable households as of the end of the second quarter, but the telco has asked the FCC to eliminate non-duplication and syndicated exclusivity rules in order to get more competitive content rates.

In an FCC filing, CenturyLink said that the current rules give local broadcasters a monopoly on national syndicated and network programming, driving up costs for newer video service entrants like itself.

CenturyLink to roll out 1 Gbps service to homes in 6 more states, pursuing 700K target (Fierce Telecom 9/15)

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is amplifying its 1 Gbps service rollout with plans to bring the service to parts of six new states in its territory, enabling it to come closer to its goal to enable 700,000 homes by the end of the year.

The service provider is rolling out the 1 Gbps service in parts of Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Dakota.

Today, the service provider offers 1 Gbps Internet service to residential and small business customers in parts of 17 states.

AT&T to bring broadband to over 84K rural Kentucky homes, businesses (Fierce Telecom 9/15)
AT&T (NYSE: T) has set forth plans to bring broadband services to 84,000 rural households in Kentucky, further detailing its use of the second phase of the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF-II).

Over the next six years, it will make this commitment by using $30 million in annual CAF-II funds.

Under its agreement with the FCC, the telco will use the CAF-II funds in the state’s rural areas it would not typically be able to serve.

FBI: Weaker Encryption Is a Worthwhile Tradeoff for Law Enforcement Access to Data (National Journal 9/15)
The Justice De­part­ment and the FBI are con­tinu­ing their cam­paign to con­vince the tech com­munity and the pub­lic that weak­en­ing en­cryp­tion to al­low law en­force­ment to ac­cess en­cryp­ted com­mu­nic­a­tions and data has its risks, but that the draw­backs are out­weighed by the se­cur­ity ad­vant­ages.

Amy Hess, the ex­ec­ut­ive as­sist­ant dir­ect­or of FBI’s sci­ence and tech­no­logy branch, said at a Chris­ti­an Sci­ence Mon­it­or dis­cus­sion that al­low­ing ac­cess to en­cryp­ted mes­sages to any­one oth­er than the sender or the re­ceiv­er comes with “some risk” of in­tru­sion. But be­cause law en­force­ment must be able to read en­cryp­ted data and com­mu­nic­a­tion to do its job, the risk of third-party ac­cess is ac­cept­able, Hess said, as long as it is min­im­ized.

FCC Defends Title II in Court (Multichannel 9/14)

The FCC late Monday filed its opening brief in the industry challenge to its Open Internet order and its reclassification of Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II common carrier rules, and it took the commission 157 pages to make its case, which included that the FCC was free to change its mind about the classification of broadband access re reconsider earlier decisions.

NAB: GAO Study Supports Keeping Exclusivity Rules (Multichannel 9/15)

Broadcasters are pulling out all the stops in their effort to prevent the FCC from eliminating the syndicated exclusivity and network non-duplication rules.

In a filing at the FCC Tuesday (Sept. 15), the National Association of Broadcasters reminded the commission of a GAO report from earlier this year concluding that there could be harmful consequences if the FCC removed the rules without also eliminating the compulsory license that excludes cable and satellite operators from having to negotiate for the content within broadcast signals (the retrans negotiation is for the value of the TV signal as a one-stop delivery system for news and entertainment programming).

Is The FCC A Partisan Or Expert Agency? (Forbes 9/15)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) has long been regarded as being the expert agency for communications issues. However, its recent conclusion that imposing public utility-style regulations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would work to increase broadband investment casts serious doubt on its expertise and independence.


A federal court just put YouTubers (and creative re-users everywhere) on more solid legal ground (Washtington Post- The Switch Blog 9/14)
In 2007, a woman named Stephanie Lenz posted a video of her child to YouTube. But this wasn’t your average baby video: In the background, you can hear a Prince song, “Let’s Go Crazy,” playing as Lenz’ toddler bounces up and down to the beat. The footage soon drew the attention of Universal Music, which said the 29-second clip was an infringement of copyright and demanded that YouTube take the video down.

Now, after eight years of grinding litigation, a federal appeals court has sided with Lenz. When a company like Universal wants to send a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it must first consider whether the case in question could be construed as a legitimate “fair use” of the copyrighted material, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.