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Providers don't want to be under FCC regulatory control

Part of the billions of taxpayer dollars that president Obama set aside to help the economy and improve the technology used in many parts of the government is allotted to greatly improving the internet infrastructure in America. Millions of Americans around the country have no access to broadband or simply can’t afford access.

One of the first steps towards overhauling the national broadband infrastructure will be the unveiling of a new broadband plan by the FCC on March 17. The FCC began working on the national broadband plan back in April 2009. The FCC is looking at multiple methods of funding a national broadband plan including reallocation of funds collected in the Universal Service Fund. Last week, the FCC announced that it is aiming for nationwide broadband speeds of 100Mbps, but ISPs are already saying it will be hard to hit that speed in the next ten years.

Reuters reports that the FCC's national broadband plan is set to be unveiled on March 17 to Congress. The plan hopes to bring affordable and fast broadband internet access to the 90 million Americans who lack service today. According to the FCC, the major barriers it sees to broadband adoption by more Americas are cost, digital literacy, and relevance.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement, "In the 21st century, a digital divide is an opportunity divide. To bolster American competitiveness abroad and create the jobs of the future here at home, we need to make sure that all Americans have the skills and means to fully participate in the digital economy."

Cost is one of the main barriers to broadband cited by the FCC. Subscribers to broadband access around the country pay on average $40.68 per month while those bundling with other services at about $37.70 monthly. The cost of getting a computer in the home is also part of the cost barrier to getting broadband for many Americans. The FCC has not yet said how it plans to overcome the cost issues to broadband adoption or the other barriers for Americans.

As the FCC gets ready to unveil the national broadband plan next month, broadband ISPs are speaking out against any new regulations form the FCC over their networks. The FCC has been urged to place ISPs under the same regulatory umbrella that telecom providers operate under by digital rights groups. A decision on an old case currently before the federal appeals court could possibly derail the FCCs plans for national broadband reports the 
Washington Post.

Digital rights groups urge the FCC to place the broadband providers alongside phone providers with regulatory controls. The FCC is waiting on the federal appeals court to offer a ruling on whether it has authority over broadband providers. The appeal if from a 2007 case against Comcast where the FCC found the ISP violated open-access guidelines prohibiting network providers form slowing or blocking websites.

AT&T and Verizon are two of the largest broadband providers in the country. Both firms penned a 14-page document along with trade groups arguing that classifying broadband service providers along with phone services would be to "extremist" and add too many onerous ruled for the broadband industry.

The paper written by the companies stated, "The proposed regulatory about-face would be untenable as a legal matter, and, at a minimum, would plunge the industry into years of litigation and regulatory chaos."



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The people built the network
By 1Subscriber on 2/23/2010 3:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/telephone.html#slc

What is the Subscriber Line Charge and why do I have to pay this charge?
The Subscriber Line Charge is a fee that you pay to your local phone company that connects you to the telephone network. Local telephone companies recover some of the costs of telephone lines connected to your home or business through this monthly charge on your local telephone bill. Sometimes called the federal subscriber line charge, this fee is regulated and capped by the FCC, not by state Public Utility Commissions. It is not a tax or a fee charged by the government. The money received from the subscriber line charge goes directly to local telephone companies. To ensure that all Americans can afford at least a minimal level of basic telephone service, the FCC will not allow phone companies to charge more than $6.50 for a single line

The Telco's dont use their own money do build the networks they use the Subscriber Line Charge and the USF fees both mandated by the FCC to build it. They been usinig it to build a private netowrk and then selling off the old wireline business.

Just think 2003 100,000,000 land lines at $6.50 per month times 12 months times 7 years = $54,600,000,000 mandated by the FCC and in turn the lines are now for private use.

My question is if the lines aren't shared how do the telco get to continue to charge this fee on broadband users. Obviously they now need to maintain the line for their private sector business.




RE: The people built the network
By Kary on 2/23/2010 4:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
That was an interesting read..I do wish they would change:
quote:
The FCC's Truth-in-Billing rules require telephone companies to provide clear, non-misleading, plain language in describing services for which you are being billed.

to:
quote:
The FCC's Truth-in-Billing rules require telephone companies to provide clear, non-misleading, plain language in describing services for which you are being billed or are considering subscribing to.


Finding out that a $10 a month phone plan (Economy Phone service...ATT doesn't tell you this, but if you just want a phone you don't have to subscribe to a monthly plan..incoming calls are free..outgoing...well...you weren't planning on calling anyone, right?) cost me $22 a month from random fees kinda ticked me off. It's almost as bad as that company that offered 1.5Mb/s DSL service at a set price but would only actually provide 0.7Mb/s DSL service while charging the same price.


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