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17 Nonprofit Organizations Ask Congress to Rein in FCC

I see I am not the only one who is eager to see the Federal Communication Commission return its attention, focus and priorities to solving real issues with tangible real solutions in favor of chasing down network neutrality.

This week, seventeen minority organizations and nonprofits got together to ask the Congress to do just that. In their July 18th letter to Congress, they state:

[W]e are concerned that the Commission’s proposed regulations could be a distraction from efforts to implement the National Broadband Plan.  By injecting uncertainty into the broadband market, we fear that proposed regulations could have detrimental effects on investment, innovation and job creation.  As staff from the Commission has estimated that it will take up to $350 billion to deploy broadband nationally, those underserved by broadband cannot afford a decrease in future investments.  Nor can American workers, who we must rely upon to build out broadband infrastructure across the country.  The goal of closing the digital divide and creating jobs in our communities should be at the forefront of our broadband policy agenda at this time.

Amen to that.

Someone came up to me recently at an industry event asking why minority organizations do not see the benefit of net neutrality. I proceeded to explain to the nice man that having just gone through the first day of a conference about access to capital, he can see our plate is quite full with trying to redress real problems and challenges facing minorities in this industry. He didn’t seem to have a full understanding that there are minority content producers on the net. “I can’t find any,” he remarked to me! Really? So our solution to having a more visible presence on the net, in media and online jobs and in ownership is to adopt “network neutrality?” Wow!

We are facing challenges capital investment, universal broadband adoption, content distribution and carriage, multilingual emergency alerts, access to deal inside deal information, incubation and training. So far, based on the conference and input from Commissioners, I am anxious about the plan to implement many of the National Broadband Plan’s recommendations. They are offering real solutions like setting up databases for information, pairing partners in the same industry, developing workshops, and initiating rulemakings to change some of the rules to make them more favorable to new entrants.

Can you tell I am getting excited!?

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3 comments

  • ‘We’ aren’t going to have, “… a more visible presence on the net…” should the status quo on broadband regulation be maintained. The cable and telcos in particular wield far too much power over influencing the content people access over the Internet; how that content is accessed, when, and by whom. That influence has stifled far more innovation than it has generated.

    A lot of the uncertainly surrounding the industry can be put to rest with clear and concise policy framework from the FCC. As far as the investor class is concerned, they’ll adapt to the new regulatory climate just fine.

  • William, you are seriously telling me that the super fast growth, rapid changing applications, devices and opportunities have been stifled by someone or some entity or sector of our industry? If so, how?

    Finally, you don’t seem to have any know how of how the investment community works that you seriously think someone will just let their $30k, $50k, $100k “ADAPT”. Puhlease! It is still a recession, rarely do investors just throw their money at a project and “adapt”.

    I am trying not to laugh.

  • I’m explaining what you’re hyping as “super fast growth” would be exponentially larger if the telecom and cable network operators were actually competitive. They’ve demonstrated a well-chronicled history of throttling select innovations, including VOIP and P2P, that aren’t perceived to generate immediate profits or suit their proprietary aims.

    It’s been my experience that investors, once informed of the regulatory environment for their preferred industries, *always* adjust their investment strategy accordingly. What they’re reluctant to do is invest in a climate when the law is vague or unsettled. For example, when Congress created a financial incentive for broadcasters to sell TV and radio stations to minority owners, the numbers of minority-owned stations grew dramatically. When the incentive lapsed, the trend ended. Since that time, the number of broadcast stations owned by minorities has roughly remained the same.

    BTW… we’re no longer in a recession. Hello?!?!

    I’d like to believe you’re able to address the points I’ve raised on their merits. Try to avoid embarrassing yourself in the future by insinuating you know anything about my knowledge or experience.

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