January 16, 2014 |
Should the Internet be considered a public utility? How you answer that question will define what role you think federal regulators should play in ensuring that all content, from Netflix programs to Rush Limbaugh podcasts, receives equal treatment by the likes of Comcast and Verizon. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled this week that the Federal Communications Commission overreached when it laid down rules preventing network operators from assigning fast and slow lanes to content providers.
November 6, 2011
The fight over the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules is often billed as a battle over whether to regulate the Internet. In reality, it's more of a debate over how to preserve the Web's defining features. Opponents say the rules, which are slated to take effect Nov. 20, will stifle the investment and innovation that have characterized the Internet since its inception. Proponents say the opposite, arguing that the rules deter service providers from turning the innovative, vibrant online world into a cable-TV-like service dominated by powerful commercial interests.
August 30, 2009 |
The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, didn't pussyfoot around last week when he was asked to explain the Obama administration's stance on net neutrality. "One thing I would say so that there is no confusion out there is that this FCC will support net neutrality and will enforce any violation of net neutrality principles," he declared. If you're like Toluca Lake resident David Larson, who describes himself as a frequent Internet user, that sort of talk only leaves you scratching your head.
August 29, 2010 |
Back in prehistoric times, when Google was going public, its founders wrote in its stock registration statement: "Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one. " I suggested in response that good intentions such as that were often thwarted by little things, like showers of money. But it was 2004, an innocent time, before smart phones and video that could be downloaded on your handset, and the message of hope being wholesaled by Larry Page and Sergey Brin seemed uplifting.
October 20, 2010
A rancorous dispute between News Corp. and Cablevision has baseball fans in Long Island missing more playoff pitches than Alex Rodriguez. News Corp. has barred Cablevision from carrying its television programming, including the baseball playoff broadcasts from Fox TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, unless Cablevision pays significantly higher fees. The company even barred Cablevision's broadband subscribers from watching Fox programs from News Corp. outlets online for several hours on Saturday.
October 22, 2009 |
Facing a major regulatory issue, AT&T Inc. has unleashed the kind of lobbying blitz that makes it one of the grand corporate players of the great Washington game. And yet, for all the money AT&T and other old-line telecom and cable companies have spent pushing their cause, they are poised to lose a key vote to a bunch of newer tech companies that never had anything to do with Washington until recently. If the Federal Communications Commission votes today in favor of crafting rules to let the government oversee access to the Internet, it could be a sign of a fundamental shift of power under the Obama administration.
March 24, 2014 |
It was obviously a little soon for everyone to claim that February's deal between Netflix and Comcast, assuring the video streaming service more direct connections to Comcast's home customers, resolved the issues between them. Or does anyone think Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian people are now pals? Last week, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings fired a broadside at his supposed new partner over the issue of network neutrality, the principle that all services and content providers on the Internet should get equal access to an Internet service provider's customers.
February 12, 2014 |
Reports are swirling around the media universe that Comcast is prepared to announce, as early as Thursday, a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable for north of $45 billion. The deal would combine the nation's biggest and second-biggest cable firms. Comcast, already No. 1 in subscribers, would end up with about 30 million video customers, a net gain of 8 million (following a reported commitment to divest 3 million subs). It would put that subscriber base together with its ownership of NBCUniversal -- the network, the film studio and several other cable channels.
September 19, 2009 |
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will propose rules Sept. 21 requiring Internet companies to treat content providers equally, a person familiar with the matter said. Chairman Julius Genachowski will ask fellow commissioners to adopt the net neutrality rules, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the proposal hasn't been made public. The proposal may ignite a clash between the Obama Administration and AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp.