- NYPD disbands unit that spied on Muslims to go after ‘real bad guys’
- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
A green light for more broadband
The Federal Communications Commission — the traffic cop of the communications industry — just raised the speed limits on broadband. Its ruling on Thursday protects many of the fiber deployments by telephone companies from forced “open access” requirements. In short, the FCC made another positive step toward investment in an enabling technology.
The ruling fills an important void for increased investment in high-speed networks. The agency has been in the process of placing Jersey barriers between traditional local phone service and broadband, ensuring that open access rules meant for local phone service stay there. The FCC recognizes that there is hardly any “telephone” left in telephone companies. Cable, wireless, local phone, satellite and Internet service are all communications companies now, and their services are rapidly converging.
Thus far, telecommunications law has limited phone companies to driving a Porsche at 25 miles per hour. But this ruling changes the rules of the road — or at least the fiber superhighway — to the benefit of consumers. Fiber will enable increased quality of life for the homebound elderly, especially in communications with doctors and family. Broadband through the TV means competition for cable and satellite companies. Videoconferencing will provide opportunities for distance learning and corporate meetings. An always-on high-speed fiber connection will allow for remote monitoring of your home while at work or on vacation.
It would be easy to overlook this ostensibly narrow ruling, but its cause and effect is clear. Already some phone companies have announced large investments in fast-speed fiber. BellSouth, the company that petitioned the FCC for this ruling, said it will increase the number of homes equipped with fiber platforms by 40 percent in 2005. SBC will accelerate its plans to invest approximately $5 Billion into deploying fiber.
Eight years after the 1996 Telecommunications Act, policymakers are beginning to understand that people won’t invest in something they don’t control. Isn’t it amazing what happens when we allow industry to drive not with a compass, but with DVD navigational systems?
Braden Cox is technology counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in 'extraordinary' Yemen gathering; experts fear CIA caught flat-footed
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Bill Clinton falls off vegan diet wagon but not vegan label
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes