32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for December 28, 2013
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Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 09:50:58 -0500 From: Fred Goldstein <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Can the FCC Handle Phone Service over the Internet? Message-ID: <52BD93D2.email@example.com> On 12/26/2013 1:20 PM, HAncock4 wrote: > On Tuesday, December 24, 2013 10:23:52 AM UTC-5, Fred Goldstein wrote: >> Mr. Lazarus appears to understand VoIP about as well as a good >> farrier understands electronic fuel injection. Perhaps he's >> shilling for the Bells, who want to maintain confusion in order to >> get out of their regulatory obligations. > > What regulatory obligations do the 'baby bells' still have? In our > area, Verizon announced only residential POTS service was regulated. > All business services and all premium residential services are not > regulated. The key obligations are wholesale, not retail. The whole point of the PSTN is that it is a catenet, functionally one network under multiple owners, not an internet, which is voluntary agreements among network operators. In the PSTN, intercnnection is mandatory: in other words, "The call must go through", even if one of the carriers doesn't like the price they're getting to route it. To prevent abuse, the price for interconnection is regulated. The originating carrier may charge its own customer whatever retail rate it wants, but the originating carrier MUST hand it off to the terminating carrier, who may only charge what the regulators approve. Note that in the internet model, that is not the case, and if the parties can't reach agreement, packets may be routed indirectly or not sent at all (though in practice some connectivity is usually reached; absent QoS, it is not like the PSTN where quality matters). What the Bells want is for interconnection to be treated like the Internet. Then they could refuse to pay competitors to deliver their calls, and demand higher rates from competitors who send them calls, or refuse them entirely. Size gives an advantage in that situation. -- Fred R. Goldstein k1io fred "at" interisle.net Interisle Consulting Group +1 617 795 2701
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:34:42 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to Sunsetting of Viewability Rule Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By Harry Cole, CoomLawBlog,. December 27, 2013 | The D.C. Circuit has given the FCC and the cable industry a | belated Christmas present. It has rejected a challenge mounted | by a number of broadcasters (including the NAB) to the FCC's | 2012 revision of its "viewability" rule. And one member of | the three-judge panel went considerably further, suggesting | that the entire cable must-carry regime is on extremely shaky | constitutional footing. | | The viewability rule, adopted in 2007, applied to "hybrid" | cable companies. ("Hybrid" cable operators are those that | opted, after the 2009 DTV transition, to provide an analog | tier of programming consisting of local TV signals and, in | some cases some cable channels so that subscribers with | analog receivers would not require additional equipment.) The | rule provided that such operators could either (1) provide the | digital signal of all must-carry stations in analog format (in | addition to any digital version carried) to all analog cable | subscribers, or (2) transition to an all-digital system and | carry the signal in digital format only, provided that all | subscribers have the necessary equipment to view the broadcast | content. Continued: http://tinyurl.com/plc2d83 " ...suggesting that the entire cable must-carry regime is on extremely shaky constitutional footing." I wonder if "must-carry regime" also includes retrans consent. That would be a real Christmas gift to the cable TV industry! This decision isn't final of course. Broadcasters will surely appeal the District Court's decision and the case may end up at the Supreme Court. Neal McLain
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 23:01:42 +0000 (UTC) From: email@example.com (Garrett Wollman) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to Sunsetting of Viewability Rule Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Neal McLain <email@example.com> wrote: >Continued: >http://tinyurl.com/plc2d83 > > >" ...suggesting that the entire cable must-carry regime is on >extremely shaky constitutional footing." I wonder if "must-carry >regime" also includes retrans consent. That would be a real Christmas >gift to the cable TV industry! I doubt it. Retrans consent has a very different legal footing. If the current must-carry regime were nullified (by either Congress or the Courts), then retrans consent would continue unimpeded, unless Congress chose to eliminate it (thereby creating a new carve-out from copyright law, whereas the copyright industry has been very successful in pushing Congress in the opposite direction, making copyright law more and more draconian at every turn). >This decision isn't final of course. Broadcasters will surely appeal >the District Court's decision and the case may end up at the Supreme >Court. It was not a district court decision; the decision came from the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The losers can petition for an "en banc" rehearing (by the entire D.C. Circuit), or they can petition the Supreme Court to hear their appeal. If they get an "en banc", the losing party at that stage can then petition SCOTUS. -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft firstname.lastname@example.org| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
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