What’s Hot List 9/25/15

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  rules and investments animates the FCC’s recent court brief in which the agency defends its latest rules in the D.C. Circuit Court.

Consumers deserve better, faster, stronger wireless networks (The Hill 9/21)

Smartphones, those “computers in your pocket,” are now in the hands of nearly 200 million American consumers. A steady wave of mobile innovations are developing new applications that offer consumers enhanced communications, information, entertainment, education, commerce, and so much more.   Consumers are big users of data on their mobile devices, exchanging 3.6 million text messages and downloading 300,000 videos and photos every minute, every day of the year.

Tech firms flood court in support of net neutrality (The Hill 9/21)

Major tech companies and other supporters of the Federal Communications Commission’s new Internet rules are expected to flood the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit on Monday with arguments in favor of the regulations. 

Monday is the deadline for supporters of the FCC’s net neutrality regulations to file their friend of the court briefs, defending the agency against a lawsuit from Internet service providers who are challenging the commission’s authority to create the new rules. 

Obama administration declares broadband ‘core utility’ in report (The Hill 9/21)

The Obama administration on Monday declared broadband Internet a “core utility,” while announcing three dozen steps federal agencies are taking to get more people online. 

The administration’s Broadband Opportunity Council, which was created in March, released a 40-page report outlining challenges and recommendations to increase Internet deployment. 

Delivering on Broadband Opportunity: (White House Blog 9/21) 

Over the past six years, under President Obama’s leadership the United States has expanded broadband access, bringing millions of people online and creating significant new economic, educational and social opportunities.

White House Lines Up Broadband Playbook (LightReading 9/22)

If Gigabit Cities are a sign that individual community efforts can bring about significant broadband change, then the new Broadband Opportunity Council report presented to US President Barack Obama is a sign of the government’s determination to take regional broadband successes and turn them into a template for the rest of America.

Web companies are fighting in court for the FCC’s net neutrality rules (Washington Post- The Switch Blog 9/22)

A top Washington trade group for Internet companies such as Dropbox, Facebook and Netflix is now defending federal regulators in a major court battle over net neutrality, adding a legal brief to the flurry from both sides of the debate.

Arguing that the FCC acted legally when it rolled out strong new rules for broadband companies this year, the Internet Association said Monday that the regulations help protect consumers from Internet providers who control access to the Web. The “friend-of-the-court” filing called for the FCC’s net neutrality order to be fully upheld — endorsing for the first time the legal approach the FCC used to implement its regulations.

Jeb Bush says he’d repeal net neutrality (Washington Post- the Switch Blog 9/22)

In a broadside against federal regulators, GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush says he’d overturn the government’s sweeping net neutrality rules that currently prohibit Internet providers from favoring some Web sites over others.

Arguing that Washington is in the midst of a “regulatory crisis” spurred by President Obama and the Federal Communications Commission, Bush said Tuesday that, if elected to the White House, he’d “repeal or reform” a number of regulations, beginning with net neutrality.

3.5 GHz spectrum rules create opportunities for equipment makers and service providers (RCR Wireless 9/22)

he explosive growth in mobile broadband traffic and its concomitant strain on limited spectrum resources has required the Federal Communications Commission to engage in creative frequency allocation. To that end, the Commission recently adopted rules to allow commercial shared use of 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3550-3700 MHz (“3.5 GHz”) band. The FCC, which will allow licensed and unlicensed use of the 3.5 GHz band for a wide variety of services, anticipates that its new rules will pave the way for broadband providers to implement new and innovative wireless services.

Wheeler: Broadband access is key to economic opportunity, advancement (RCR Wireless 9/22)

Despite criticism, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler used the fall conference of the National Telephone Cooperative Association to push the Federal Communication Commission goal of universal broadband access.

“Simply put, in the 21st century, access to broadband is access to opportunity,” Wheeler said in his speech. “Consider a small business owner in a small town. The minute she connects her business to the Internet, she has access to global audience of potential customers. If you are a student and your rural high school doesn’t offer advanced calculus or physics, the Internet allows you to take a class online at a neighboring school or even MIT. If you live hours from the nearest hospital, a broadband connection allows you to be treated remotely by a world-class specialist. On the flip side, if your community isn’t connected, you are shut off from these opportunities. This hurts not only people in these communities; it hurts our nation. We are stronger when every American can contribute to our modern economy and the digital community created by the Internet. A network that leaves millions on the sidelines does not meet our joint responsibility of universal access. The primary means through which we achieve widespread deployment of robust broadband networks, of course, is private sector investment.”

NCTA: FCC Regs Lag Competitive Market (Broadcasting & Cable 9/22)

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association says the video marketplace has been competitive for many years and through many video competition reports, but the FCC’s regulatory regime has yet to catch up with that fact.

Add the “booster rocket” of over-the-top options, it says “the role for regulators is not, as some urge, to extend the scope of new and existing regulations but to ensure regulatory parity by eliminating rules and requirements designed to address circumstances that no longer exist.”