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Ex-FCC head speaks on regulatory affairs

In an interview in Marketplace, the recent FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, was asked about regulations he created. Says Wheeler: “Well, I think it's really important that we have protected a fast, fair, and open internet. And the question now becomes: how will the new administration respond to that? Will they say, ‘OK, there are half a dozen companies in America that don't like it and therefore we should undo what was previously done?’ Or, do they say that the internet is the most important asset of the 21st century, and that tens of thousands of companies and millions of consumers are affected by what happens, and it must be fast, fair and open. And that’s a question that is yet to be answered.” Wheeler also said the FCC put out a report in his last few weeks on zero rating, noting it has positive things. “But if a carrier, the company that you're getting your service from, is using their ownership of the network to favour themselves to keep you from having access to a competitor at equivalent terms, that's not a good idea. And we raised the flag about that, and then time ran out.” Wheeler also commented on regulation on voice over IP and guaranteeing a voice service. “We wanted to require backup power and actually had a proposed rulemaking on that. Our Republican friends opposed it and we ended up with a programme where we were able to require that the network providers offer consumers the choice, but didn't actually have to provide it unless the consumers asked for it.” Lastly, he commented in the incentive auction for spectrum, the second-largest spectrum auction that the FCC has ever had. Read more

  • Wednesday, 22 February 2017

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