& cplSiteName &

Wheeler Walks Line on Net Neutrality

Carol Wilson
12/3/2013
50%
50%

New Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is pledging to be pro-competition and to walk that fine line between regulating the Internet and protecting Net Neutrality.

In his first major policy speech Monday in Columbus, Ohio, Wheeler said that "regulating the Internet is a non-starter," but also expressed firm support for maintaining open access to all lawful content and for protecting interconnection of networks comprising the Internet to promote competition.

"What the Internet does is an activity where policy makers must be judiciously prudent and should not be involved," Wheeler said to an audience at his alma mater, Ohio State. "But assuring the Internet exists as a collection of open, interconnected facilities is a highly appropriate subject."

Of course, the real questions will be how the FCC chooses to protect interconnection, and whether it will implement new Net Neutrality rules if the current regs are knocked down in court. Wheeler wasn't offering details in the speech. He did, however, issue an e-book, Net Effects: The Past, Present & Future Impact of Our Networks, which can be downloaded here. (See FCC VoIP Ruling Bound to Disappoint Someone and Bye Bye Net Neutrality?)

Wheeler reiterated his support for unlocking cellphones, saying consumers who keep up their end of the bargain by buying the phone should be able to take it with them to whatever carrier they choose. (See FCC: Unlock or We Regulate.)

Wheeler's speech, which can be viewed here, was also clearly aimed at blunting critics who are expecting a highly active Democratic FCC, promising to not interfere where competition is working, because competitive markets are the best option for consumers. But he also pledged to deliver additional access to spectrum for wireless network operators and boost broadband penetration above the current 80% level to promote economic development and create broadband options for those who don't today have access to wireline broadband services.

Those were goals of his predecessor as well, and there is already healthy skepticism as to whether Wheeler can succeed where Julius Genachowski didn't, at least not entirely.

In an unscientific poll of Light Reading's audience, 44% answered "Tom Who?" to the question of whether they were grateful to have Wheeler at the helm of the FCC, while another 18% said it doesn’t really matter who chairs the FCC. Only 13% said they were grateful to see the former leader of both the cellular and the cable industry associations tapped to run the top US regulatory body.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(12)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/3/2013 | 4:10:02 PM
Re: Tommy Boy
Your math was better than mine, but then I was a J-major, so probably took many of the same classes as you and avoided advanced math.
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/3/2013 | 4:08:18 PM
Tommy Boy
You are right about the niumbers - households and individuals with smartphones.  Maybe he figures households have 4-5 phones per - 56% of people have smartphones...equates to 10% households.  How's that for quick math?  I told you I'm not good with numbers.  What do you expect from a former PR guy.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/3/2013 | 3:59:40 PM
Re: Broadband penetration
Ritch, as I understand it, the 70% number Wheeler cited is households with wireline  broadband, and he added the extra 10% representing people with smartphones but not broadband.

You and I and all the other folks with multiple connections and devices only count once...or less than once, since he may be counting households.

Actually, the more I think about this, the more the numbers start to confuse me.
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/3/2013 | 3:47:54 PM
Broadband penetration
I also question the numbers out there.  I think I read something from PEW Research that said 56% of Americans have a smartphone.  And we have to then ASSume that every smartphone has access to 3G/4G mobile broadband (let's not count tablets and laptops that also have connections...i.e. me, a phone, tablet and laptop all on mobile broadband) -- can someone explain how that makes the 70% number only go to 80%?  I am not the brightest bulb when it comes to numbers but....

And Net Neutrality - tough issue but one that can be resolved as soon as everyone doesn't think that it has a free pricetag.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/3/2013 | 2:53:05 PM
Re: Whither Wheeler
I doubt if Wheeler has an answer for the very rural areas, where wired broadband is concerned. It seems like everyone starts thinking they can solve that problem and then wind up learning they can't because the math just doesn't work. 

I think ultimately wired broadband becomes the pipe into the home gateway device that is supporting all the connected devices in the home. Hardly a vision unique to me. 

I'm guessing the devices in the home are going to change dramatically. And yes, it will be driven by the new digital generation.

 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/3/2013 | 1:30:10 PM
Re: Whither Wheeler
Thanks!

But let me be a bit clearer....

Okay let's say you have a 70% Wireline Penetration rate and 10% more based on Smartphone.  Unless you say that those Smartphone folks CAN"T get Wireline BB then the number doesn't matter.  The FCC can not cause people to buy wireline broadband, it can only make it available.

I thought the idea was to make Wireline BB a basic for all computer owners.  To me the question is "How many computer owners CAN"T get wireline BB?"  For example, my parents have Satellite BB.  They can not get DSL.  They COULD get cable, but choose not to pay the fee to get it hooked up.  The fee comes because they live in a very rural area (10 miles outside the massive metropolis of Schuylerville, NY - population 1197 according to Wikipedia) and the cable company has a distance limit from the road to the home before they charge the homeowner.

I know these are hard things to come up with but I also watch my son's behavior.  He uses the PC for gaming and watching videos.  He can watch videos on his smartphone (linked to our WiFi thankfully).  Without gaming, there is essentially no purpose for the computer.  

I think the long term question for all of this is the long term of the large home screen.  If I go out 25 years, is everyone wearing Google Glasses (or the equivalent) and doing everything mobile - including watching all their video?

seven
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/3/2013 | 1:05:53 PM
Re: Whither Wheeler
Actually I think it was a cumulative number - 70% have wireline broadband and if you add in folks that are smartphone-only, it hits 80% total broadband penetration. 

Obviously a lot of folks have both. 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/3/2013 | 12:51:55 PM
Re: Whither Wheeler
Carol,

I was talking about an analyst that was reported on this site...not Wheeler.  May have to take the time to look for it.

It seems odd that there is better BB Wireless coverage than wireline...by 10%.

seven

 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/3/2013 | 12:29:38 PM
Re: Whither Wheeler
Wheeler said the current broadband adoption rate  is 70% on wireline connections and 80% if you add smartphones. And he says 15 million people can't get wireline broadband. 

 

 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/3/2013 | 12:12:59 PM
Re: Whither Wheeler
Wait, I thought a couple of weeks ago we said that BB penetration was about equal to computer penetration.  

So, can we have a view to how many computer owners have no access to ANY wireline or cable BB?  Is it 7 or 7M?

seven

 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/12/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Andreessen Facepalms on Facebook Free Basics
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/10/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.