& cplSiteName &

Wheeler Writes Regulatory Rubric

Mari Silbey
4/3/2014
50%
50%

"You cannot have an open economy if you don't have an open Internet," said Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler at the annual ACA Summit in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Speaking to the American Cable Association (ACA) , an organization representing independent cable operators, Wheeler was emphatic about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's authority to regulate the Internet and to ensure that it remains a democratizing force.

Reiterating his position on a recent federal appeals court decision that struck down net neutrality rules but maintained the FCC's right to govern the Internet, Wheeler declared, "I view that as an invitation to action by the court." (See Net Neutrality Fight Not Over.)

However, while Wheeler was adamant about maintaining Internet fairness, he also stated that he wasn't looking to be revolutionary. Peering, for example, isn't on his regulatory agenda, although he added that that's "not to say we don't have jurisdiction over peering, but I think it's related to, but not the same as, the open Internet."

And Wheeler was clear that he believes the FCC needs to take action based on "data-driven conclusions," not on anecdotes and what-if scenarios.

Wheeler said he sees the issues facing the FCC through three prisms of thought. First, every issue -- whether the agency is looking at open Internet policies, broadcast incentive auctions, the IP transition, or anything else -- needs to be evaluated according to the impact on economic growth. Wheeler compared broadband infrastructure to railroads in the past, but explained the difference by saying, "What's happening now is the networks are the economy. They're not ancillary. They're primary."

Second, Wheeler said that with each issue, the FCC has to consider what he calls the "network compact" between the people who build networks and those who use them. The five issues under that principle include examination of access, interconnection, consumer protection, public safety, and national security.

Finally, Wheeler said the agency needs to keep in mind what broadband networks are enabling. For example he noted, "If we are not providing a 21st century education for our students which is defined by broadband connectivity, shame on us."

Wheeler also emphasized in his address the ongoing importance of market competition. On that front, the chairman will face an early challenge in the Commission's review of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The potential acquisition is one of many issues that will put Chairman Wheeler's regulatory rubric to the test. (See Comcast-TWC Deal: Playing All the Numbers.)

The world will be watching.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/4/2014 | 7:12:12 PM
Re: Transparency
KBode - " ... every time I hear someone like Wheeler proclaim that they need to spend another 8-14 months studying an issue -- I wonder what the agency has been doing all these years?"

Indeed, net neutrality dates back to literally 1860, and started to be applied to the Internet in 2003. Where has Wheeler been?
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/4/2014 | 2:15:51 PM
Re: Transparency
Not sure how we can have an open Internet if peering is not part of the discussion. Just look at how Comcast was able to muscle out Cogent when it came to streaming Netflix.

1200-lbs gorillas like Comcast could muscle out all small providers like Cogent by cutting deals with the content companies. Then they really would have us by the throat.

 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
4/3/2014 | 8:58:32 PM
Re: Transparency
I agree with that too. Greater transparency is  key. The big question is how do the feds mke it happen? What's the best way toregulate that?
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
4/3/2014 | 1:44:56 PM
Re: Transparency
I firmly agree on the transparency front. Peering deals becoming too important to keep entirely hidden from view.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/3/2014 | 1:03:22 PM
Transparency
I'm not keen on government rushing to regulation as a fix without understanding the issues, but every time I hear someone like Wheeler proclaim that they need to spend another 8-14 months studying an issue -- I wonder what the agency has been doing all these years?

At the very least these peering deals are going to need greater transparency, or you ARE going to start seeing them increasingly abused for a particular company's business interests. Knowing both companies better than I know myself it's certainly something that's on AT&T and Verizon's agenda.
spc_isdnip
50%
50%
spc_isdnip,
User Rank: Lightning
4/3/2014 | 12:25:19 PM
He is fooling himself or someone else with 706 talk
The FCC does not have authority over peering.  it is the private exchange of informatoin among information service providers, not telecom.  There has to be a content-carriage boundary, and the Internet only exists because it is content, not carriage.  The  DC Circuit overturned most of Part 8 because it tried to impose common carriage rules on non-common-carriage services.

The Court's limited acceptance of 706 was based on a lie. The FCC in 2010 presented the Court with legislative history, a Senate Report, on what 706 meant, and the Court accepted it. But the submitted Report described the Senate draft that was NOT passed by the conference committee and signed into law.  The enabling clauses it cited were removed.  That creates a nice avenue of appeal if he tries 706 again.

The Court did say that the Computer II rules, which the FCC revoked in 2005, leading to the whole NN fiasco, were obvious and legal. So the FCC could just say that facility owners have to make the raw bit pipes (telecom) available on the same terms they use them for their own Internet services.  That would fix everything.  But it would hurt Randy, Lowell, and Brian's fee-fees.  They and Tom seem to think that common carriage is so T.C. (twentieth century).  So they're constructing a complex house of cards to get around a simple foundational fix that worked.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.