Tales of the Sausage Factory

Sorry AT&T, Title II Would Not Require The FCC To Allow Paid Prioritization.

AT&T has raised a bit of buzz recently with claims from their policy folks that under Title II, AT&T could still do paid prioritization (aka “fast lanes,” “toll lanes,” or, as I like to call it in honor of the man who so clearly laid out the concept “Whitacre Tiering” — but that one sadly never caught on). The implication of these recent statements apparently being that (a) Title II is therefore sooooooo not worth it; and, (b) the demand by whacky-crazy-socialist-radicals to prohibit paid prioritization is just more whacky-crazy-radical-socialist stuff, so pay it no mind. One might ask, if so, why AT&T has invested so much money in demonizing Title II when it supposedly would require the FCC to allow paid prioritization, but I digress.

Instead, let’s play stupid fun lawyer games and try some legal analysis. Ooooooohhhh!!! I love that game! It makes me all nostalgic for a time when we actually filed pleading at the FCC and debated these issues before agencies in a public record rather then in blogs (which tells you how pathetically old I am). Besides, all kidding aside, debating actual law and precedent with with some of the other lawyer types willing to play law games is one of the few intellectual pleasures remaining to me in Policyland these days, given the way this usually degrades to blah blah Socialist blah blah. Heck, I may even see some substantive reply.

My short answer is that while Title II would allow the FCC to permit paid prioritization, in a non-discriminatory manner, it does not compel the FCC to permit paid prioritization. Further, while Title II would not require the FCC to prohibit paid prioritization, it would give the FCC authority to prohibit paid prioritization. Indeed, I first addressed this back when Genachowski announced his “3rd Way” proposal. At this point, the more results oriented can skip directly to the comments to tell me how socialist stupid I am, or describe how evil AT&T is (depending on your preference). Those interested in a little law and policy, see below . . .
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Posted in Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory, Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Genachowski Hits The Legal Reset Button — “Title II Lite”

Genachowski has announced his proposed response to the Comcast case. This is precisely the result Comcast and the other carriers feared since the DC Circuit panel signaled at oral argument they would slam the FCC.  In my latest “5 Minutes With Harold Feld,” I give a short (at least, as short as I can) explanation of what this “Third Way” (also referred to as “Title II Lite”) means and what happens next from a process perspective. Some additional analysis, laughing at Wall St. analysts, and reference to a Dilbert from 1992 below . . .

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Incantations

Incanting Incantations

All y’all regular Wetmachine readers please note Incantations, the new blog of my dear friend Helen Michaud, added to the masthead above. Helen’s inaugural Incantation will follow soon in which she’ll tell you what-all she expects to write about here.

Helen’s a geekoid technical writer with a very interesting background in the NYC and Boston publishing biz.

She is a kick-ass writer. She tends to specialize in the Nicholson Baker idiom of the precisely observed intimate conversation, but her range is vast. (See for example, her backwards-written twitter novel.) Moreover, like Wetmechanic Harold Feld, Helen has an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where all the smart people go to school, so you can rest assured that she is ipso-facto smart. (But unlike Harold, Helen was eligible for membership in the Princeton Asian Students Association as chronicled in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle Top that, Harold! . . . I digress. . .(by the way, were you guys (classmates???))

I met Helen nearly a decade ago on an open-diary site which has since fallen on trollish hard times, but which once rocked, big-time. I was a fan of her writing long before I knew her whereabouts on Earth. I just loved her stories– which were and are mainly micro-stories of overheard conversations, absurd encounters in public spaces, misunderstood marital exchanges, and similar. I was pleasantly surprised to find out, a while later, that she & I both resided near Boston, USA. Eventualy we met in meat-space. We became friends, and among other things, Helen went on to edit my book The Pains— not for any $$, mind you, but because she wanted to help me out. Whatever you may think of The Pains as a book, please take it from me that that book would have been a much, much less interesting effort absent her editorial ministrations.

Recently Helen has embarked upon a challenging, commendable, and daunting project — she’s editorial director of AE, an SF magazine a-borning; it’s devoted to Canadian Science Fiction. She’s raising funds for it on Kickstarter: please check it out and support her.

As a long-winded blabbermouth myself, I admire and envy those mininaturists who are masters of the apercu,
n 1.
A first view or glance, or the perception or estimation so obtained; an immediate apprehension or insight, appreciative rather than analytic.
The main object being to develop the several aperçus or insights which furnish the method of such psychology.
– W. T. Harris.
A series of partial and more or less disparate aperçus or outlooks; each for itself a center of experience.
– James Ward.
2.
Hence, a brief or detached view; conspectus; sketch.

I myself have four favorite miniaturists: Emily Dickinson, Beatrix Potter, Joseph Cornell and Helen. I would be hard-pressed to say which of these is my #1 favorite.

I try to keep my Wetmachine entries limited to a shorter first paragraph than this, but I’m indulging myself here, because I am delighted to announce Helen’s decision to join us here on Wetmachine. Now go check out AE, and pledge money.

Posted in Incantations, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Tom Disch's God that Failed

Shortly after Harold Feld’s kind and gentle remarks on the death of Thomas M. Disch appeared here on Wetmachine, I received a nice note from Mr. Disch’s publicist, Matt Staggs, asking if we would like review copies of Disch’s last two books, a short novel called The Word of God, and a story collection called The Wall of America. I replied in the affirmative, and Matt was good enough to send copies to both me and Harold.

It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally prepared a review. Following the review I’ve included a bit of context regarding my conversation with Mr. Staggs.


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Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Only You Can Save Creation Science

Listen, I know that there’s a pretty good chance that you (yes, you!) are some kind of policy wonk who only reads Wetmachine for the insight & analysis of all things FCC/Net Neutrality/media hegemony/First Amendment provided by the inimitable Harold Feld.

And there’s also a pretty good chance that you don’t give a care about Harold Feld’s wonky analysis, because you read Wetmachine for Howard Stearns’s stunning and out-of-nowhere insights into software development in general and 3-d collaborative virtual-world software in particular.

Or maybe you’re a Gary Gray groupie. Stranger things have happened. Maybe you even come here to see what I might have to say.

Or maybe, like those men who were busted at the suburban New Jersey bordello a few years ago, you just happened to be here because you pulled your car into the driveway to make a U-turn & got trapped when the fuzz showed up. Maybe you were googling for “Ted Williams’ Frozen Head” and wound up reading this instead.

I don’t care.

Wetmachine readers come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, even non-policywonk walks of life. Whatever. All is cool here. One love.

But you all should click on the above video, dammit. And you should chip in at least a buck to support Creation Science, the nifty new novel by moi, the Ur-Wetmechanic. I’ve been bringing you this site for 8 years now. Ain’t that worth nothin? Show me your love! At least watch the flippin video! It’s short!

N.B. Even if this is your first visit to Wetmachine, you can still show me your love. Click on the video! Join the family!

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

We Release Our First Actual Industry Report on Upcoming 2.5 GHz Auction.Go us and buy our stuff!

Fellow Wetmachiner and all around spectrum genius Dr.Gregory Rose has written a report on the upcoming FCC Auction 86 in the 2.5 GHz BRS Band. Dubbed “The WiMAX Band: (2.5 GHz): Characteristics, Technology, Major Spectrum Holders in the BRS-EBS Service and Prospects for Auction 86, and edited by Harold Feld, this report contains information vital to understanding how the evolution of the 2.5 GHz band and the FCC auction beginning at the end of October will shape WiMAX Deployment in the United States. Resources with the Report include:

A Searchable Database of All BRS and EBS Licensees and Spectrum Lessees. Anyone who has used the FCC’s Universal License Service knows how difficult it is to search for even basic information. The master database takes all the information and puts it into an easily searched Excel® spreadsheet.

Special breakout tables and coverage maps for Clearwire and Sprint. Convenient tables and coverage maps show the coverage and relationships of these WiMAX giants.

• Analysis of the top 35 other providers. The report also lists the top 35 licensees in the band after Sprint and Clearwire, describing their general market areas and what their spectrum holdings say about their strategies.

The report cost $499 until FCC Auction 86 beginson October 27, at which point it goes up to $799. Those purchasing at $499 may buy the post-Auction update, scheduled to come out 3 months after Auction 86 closes, for a savings of $200 off the full post-auction price.

Copies of the report are available for sale at Broadbandcensus.com and at Muniwireless. Click HERE to get your copy today!

To see the full press release, click here.

To read the executive summary for free,click here.

Stay tuned . . . .

tags: wimax, wimax band, 2.5 GHz, wireless, spectrum, wimax report, wimax auction, fcc, fcc auction, fcc auction 86, harold feld, gregory rose, strength to strength develop-ed.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Obama's plan: Another corporate bailout?

Representative Kucinich makes good points.

We need to keep standing behind progressives to make sure that the bill reported out includes real reform, not a mere windfall for the insurers and drug companies. As Rep Kucinich says, it’s not yet time to say he’ll vote “no” on the final bill. But he’s not very optimistic.

I do take to heart the advice of my Wetmachine colleague Harold Feld, who constantly reminds us that whining and hand-wringing don’t help. What really matters is getting involved and supporting the people who are doing the right things. As soon as I post this I’m going to call Rep. Delahunt’s office. He’s signed the Progressives letter to President Obama saying he won’t vote for a bill that doesn’t have the American Option (AKA “public option”), and in general I’m very happy with his voting recordd. But his name doesn’t appear on the Progressive Caucus letterhead, so I’m not sure if he’s in danger of “backslidin’”. Now’s the time to dig in, sez I.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

CellAntenna Scam Continues To Gain Momentum — Bummer.

Regular readers may recall that I find CellAntenna’s continuing effort to leverage the problem of contraband cell phones to get the law changed so that they can sell cell phone jammers legally in this country not merely obnoxious and offensive, but downright dangerous. CellAntenna has proven real good at persuading state prison wardens that this technology solves their problems, despite the statements of frequency coordinators and public safety orgs that this is a real bad idea. The mainstream media, as is all too common these days, has generally acted like mindless cheer leaders without troubling to dig into whether cell phone jamming will actually work or not. The only decent in depth coverage was this Wired piece by Vince Beiser. For one thing, Beiser notes that prisoners can beat the jammers with a few sheets of aluminum foil.

I’ve blogged in a little more in-depth on this over here at Public Knowledge. We also (with additional sign ons from a number of other orgs) sent this letter to the Senate Commerce Committee in advance of tomorrow’s hearing so that at least someone is on record opposing this scam. Finally, for those of you who prefer the short, pithy medium of me staring into a camera and yakking about this, I give you my latest Five Minutes With Harold Feld The Prison Problem: Cell Phone Jamming and Shrimp Scampi.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

My Weekly Five Minutes of Fame — I Explain the National Broadband Plan In Five Minutes.

We are starting a new feature at Public Knowledge called “Five Minutes With Harold Feld,” wherein I will take insanely boring complicated wonkery and make it mildly less boring. This week, I explain the National Broadband Plan and the comments PK filed last night.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory, The Stimulus Package (ARRA) | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Suomi go Brágh! again

That special time of year, when St. Urhu’s day elides into the name-day of St. Patric, is again upon us. Here at Wetmachine we have a special place in our hearts for this great Finno-Irish-American festival.

Truly, the world is full of marvels. I know this is small potatoes when compared to the news of Harold Feld’s new gig, but as Mrs. Lohman so rightly observed, attention must be paid. Yes, attention must be paid.

Posted in General, My Thoughts Exactly | Tagged | Comments closed
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