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Trump Team Appoints Net Neutrality Naysayers for FCC Transition

Dan Jones
11/22/2016

The Trump team has confirmed two appointments with a history of anti-net neutrality sentiment to drive the policy agenda of the new administration's FCC.

One of the new advisors, Jeff Eisenach, is an economist who has worked as a consultant for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and the GSM Association (GSMA) , according to the New York Times. In September 2014, Eisenach told a Senate Judiciary Committee that "net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest," the paper noted.

The other appointment, Mark Jamison, was the director of regulatory policy at Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) in the 1990s, and is currently the director of the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. He has written extensively on net neutrality.

President-elect Trump shares the anti-net neutrality stance. Two years ago he tweeted:

The appointments to the transition team appears to put net neutrality back on the front burner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . Trump could appoint a new FCC chair as soon as he takes office on January 21, replacing current chairman, Tom Wheeler.

For more:

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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kq4ym
kq4ym
12/7/2016 | 11:13:52 AM
Re: Not going to be easy
It's going to be nothing if not interesting to see what happens or doesn't over the next few years as folks start taking sides again, and struggling for public and agency sympathy for both sides of the arguments. Lawyers and lobbyists should be very busy.
brooks7
brooks7
11/28/2016 | 2:00:31 PM
Re: Not going to be easy
At its roots are a concern, for something that never happened.  We could have spent the political capital for something like universal broadband.  Now expect the next interest in changing things to happen sometime around 2025.  Expect the next Telecom Act around 2050.  That is why the changes were an utter waste of time.  We need to spend the few seconds we get in the spotlight on something completely useful.

seven

 
KBode
KBode
11/28/2016 | 12:13:41 PM
Re: Not going to be easy
"Actually, it was a huge waste of time and news print.  Let us remember that Netflix versus Comcast was the starting point of this at a broad basis."

Actually, AT&T's 2005 claim that it wanted to charge Google an erroneous toll just to reach AT&T customers -- combined with Tim Wu's detailed analysis of the problem in letting incumbent ISPs in uncompetitive markets give preferential treatment to their own content -- was the starting point.

Netflix interconnection was just one chapter.

This current effort to likely dismantle the rules will be another, ugly and contentious chapter.

At the root are legitimate worries about abusing uncompetitive last mile markets. Anyone suggesting this isn't a genuine concern hasn't been paying close enough attention.
DanJones
DanJones
11/28/2016 | 11:45:42 AM
Re: Not going to be easy
Yeah, the ambitious promises are stacking up for sure.
DanJones
DanJones
11/28/2016 | 11:38:26 AM
Re: Trump Advisors Proposal to Disolve FCC
Thanks.
Duh!
Duh!
11/25/2016 | 2:11:13 PM
Re: Not going to be easy
A Telecom Act re-write would require 60 votes in the Senate. Mitch McConnell is going to have to pick his battles.  My crystal ball has been out-of-calibration, so no predictions about which way that goes.
Summerhill
Summerhill
11/23/2016 | 10:01:42 PM
Trump Advisors Proposal to Disolve FCC
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/11/22/we-dont-need-the-fcc-a-trump-advisers-proposal-to-dissolve-americas-telecom-watchdog/?tid=sm_fb
brooks7
brooks7
11/23/2016 | 1:06:14 PM
Re: Not going to be easy
"Net neutrality was nice while it lasted."

 

Actually, it was a huge waste of time and news print.  Let us remember that Netflix versus Comcast was the starting point of this at a broad basis.  Let us also remember that Cogent acknowledged publicly that they were the reason for the Comcast/Netflix problem.

So here are the number of issues fixed: 0.

seven

 
KBode
KBode
11/23/2016 | 1:01:22 PM
Re: Not going to be easy
I feel like Trump is basically outsourcing much of the heavy lifting to barely competent sector synchophants not entirely aware that the kind of disinformation they used to 2001 to justify gutting all regulatory oversight doesn't work as well. They also don't seem to understand the backlash they'll face should they try to dismantle net neutrality.

But I think people should take Eisenach and Jamison at their word here. They're pretty clearly on record saying they'll gut the FCC. And with the help of the GOP's plan to rewrite the Communications Act with an eye toward gutting and defunding the agency, there's every indication they can do it. There's little chance they'll appoint somebody whose ideals clashes with their own.

The costs for them in terms of backlash will be steep, however.
DanJones
DanJones
11/23/2016 | 12:30:58 PM
Re: Not going to be easy
Who, in actual fact, knows? Trump seems to have walked back a lot of his more controversial policy ideas in the last day or two. If comes down to taking on net neutrality etc., we've already seen that a lot of the public are not prepared to let that go without a fight, right?
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