Adelstein Steps Up on Open Access
by Matt Stoller, Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 07:40:54 AM EDT
As we build our new blog, I'm going to keep you updated on the FCC 700 auction on MyDD. There's some seriously important news out - Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has come out for open access (last week he was pushing for business models for larger national chunks of spectrum). Telecom wonk extraordinaire Harold Feld is feeling good.
Commissioner Adelstein publicly supported some kind of open access requirement for the 700 MHz auction licenses. Wooo Hoooo! For us policy geeks, it's kind of like the moment when the Millenium Falcon comes out of nowhere and blasts the Imperial tie fighters targeting Luke as he barrels down toward the access port. Not that I had any doubt where Adelstein's heart was, but it's always reassuring to see him commit himself.
The whole model of auctioning off public assets like spectrum is messed up, but that's where we are at this moment in politics. We use something like 5% of our spectrum efficiently. Still, this is a good step forward. We're making progress.
Meanwhile, there's other news on the FCC. AT&T agreed to offer $10 DSL as a condition of its merger agreement with Bellsouth. According to the Consumerist, they lied, and are giving consumers the run-around on the deal they legally have to offer. This is egregious, but it's possible to put some leverage here as Bush is renominating Commissioner Tate for the FCC. That's a potential leverage point, since Democrats control Congress.
AT&T executives are a bunch of crooks that steal from consumers and block innovation. Conveniently for them, they are also massive campaign donors and contribute to think tanks and charities all over the country to whitewash their behavior.Update [2007-6-21 11:56:51 by Matt Stoller]:: Whoa. There's more on Tate here and here. She's tied into industry and wants to use her position on the FCC as a 'bully pulpit' for DRM, which is 'digital rights management', or technology that allows corporations to control how you use the digital tools you own.