Posts Tagged ‘Mobile’
October 21st, 2013 at 3:56 pm
CFIF Technotes
Posted by Print

(1)  Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Representatives Fred Upton (R – Texas) and Greg Walden (R – Oregon) on how the Obama Administration continues to “put the brakes on business,” including FCC red tape and regulatory uncertainty:

On Sept. 26, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlining potential new media-ownership rules that eliminate the so-called UHF discount.  The change would affect how the FCC determines whether a station owner has approached a 39% cap on nationwide audience that can be reached by a single owner.  The proposed FCC rules aren’t just complicated.  They won’t even be final until next year at the earliest because the FCC can take however long it sees fit—sometimes more than a decade—to promulgate rules.  Even worse, the commission says whatever rules the FCC dreams up in the future will be applied retroactively.  So between now and when the new guidelines become final, no one knows the rules of the game.  And companies have to be prepared at all times to adhere to a new set of regulations that are still a glimmer in the FCC’s eye.  This leaves one of the economy’s only flourishing industries at the mercy of bureaucrats in Washington.”

(2) From The Washington Post, encouraging analysis entitled “How the FCC Plans to Clear the Air for More Mobile Data”:

To fix the coming crunch, federal regulators think they’ve come up with the right solution: Give companies like Verizon and AT&T a lot more frequencies on the wireless spectrum to play with. But where will all those extra channels come from? That’s where the television industry comes in. If all goes according to plan, next year hundreds of TV stations will get a big check to shut down operations and give up their spectrum. Then the agency will turn around and sell that invisible treasure to the wireless companies so that when you fire up your data connection, you won’t get caught in an online traffic jam. All told, the FCC hopes to take about 20 channels worth of spectrum that are currently licensed to various TV stations across the country and auction them off to the wireless companies in various local markets.”

(3) From Jim Kohlenberger writing at GigaOM, a clarion call to free much-needed spectrum for commercial wireless use:

To advance the emerging connected device revolution, we need to continue to free up spectrum for commercial wireless use, and accelerate the transition to IP networks.  At GigaOM’s Mobilize conference on October 16, I’ll be talking about some of the ways we can do this.  President Obama has already taken important steps to make more spectrum available and accelerate the transition to faster and more capable next-generation IP-based wireless LTE networks.  It is absolutely essential that we continue to invest and upgrade our next-generation networks today in order to keep pace with innovation and meet the wireless demands of consumers and businesses tomorrow.”

(4) From Bloomberg, a report on FCC observers’ recommendations for quick action if and when its new commissioners are confirmed:

Once confirmed, the new chairman of the FCC should spell out the agency’s perspective on the issues facing the modern telecommunications sector, industry analysts said Oct. 15 at a panel hosted by the Technology Policy Institute.  The FCC should ‘take a look at where the industry is today, [ask] what are the challenges ahead, is there a role for regulation in that, what is it and how should we, in fact, plan for that?’  Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior vice president of external and legislative affairs, said Oct. 15.  This requires the FCC to ‘modernize its approach and its outlook and, frankly, modernize some of its regulations,’ he said. Cicconi said he believes the FCC has an oversight role as telecommunications companies and customers migrate from wired copper telephone networks to IP-based networks.  AT&T has a pending proposal with the commission to coordinate tests at wireline facilities which would replace their time-division multiplexed facilities with IP-based alternatives.

Cicconi urged the FCC to avoid setting spectrum caps that would prevent larger carriers from bidding on certain bands in the upcoming incentive auction. ‘The notion of setting artificial limits seem purely designed to advantage one set of companies and disadvantage another,’ he said. AT&T isn’t against ‘something that is set up to be even-handed,’ Cicconi said.  ‘I think it is possible to do that with the current spectrum screen.'”

(5) From the State Telephone Regulation Report, a story on calls for fewer obstructive regulation from the FCC as we move forward in the IP transition:

Fewer regulations are needed by states and the FCC to promote competition and to move the IP transition forward, said speakers at the Telecommunications Summit at Murray State University in Kentucky Oct. 9.  The deregulation of telecom services by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission helped to spread investment and innovation in the state by AT&T and Comcast, said Commissioner Larry Landis.  State commissions have the opportunity to work with the FCC to change policies in the states, said Landis:  ‘States have a unique perspective to bring to the process, and they understand the need to share a vision as well as each having their own.’  The IP transition is a multi-year change that doesn’t need to be hampered by FCC regulation before the technologies are fully developed, said Hank Hultquist, AT&T vice president-federal regulatory.  ‘IP is a remarkably flexible protocol that allows you to operate different technologies on the same network.’  IP does provide some solutions to old technologies that will take time to adopt, said Hultquist.  Some customers were upset that Verizon deployed Voice Link as the sole service in Fire Island, N.Y., because it did not have faxing capability, he said.  ‘You can do faxing with scanning, but I’m skeptical that this should be handled in the transition or the network,’ because increasingly scanning can take the place of sending faxes, he said.  It will also take time to make sure IP interconnection works, said Hultquist.  ‘We don’t want to replicate problems.’  Rural providers are concerned about the IP transition because they base revenue on long-distance calls, which would cost them money on IP networks, said Hultquist.  ‘The revenue flow would go away and these providers want a way to resolve that.'”

(6) From The Hill, an update on confirmation hearings for FCC and FTC nominees ready to proceed:

The Senate could confirm President Obama’s nominees to the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission as early as Wednesday night.  Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s pick for FCC chairman, and Michael O’Rielly, a nominee for a Republican commission seat, have been placed on a fast track for Senate approval, according to a document circulated on Capitol Hill Wednesday.  The confirmations would likely come after the Senate votes on a deal to lift the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown on Wednesday night.  The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved Wheeler’s nomination by a voice vote in July.  O’Rielly and McSweeny testified before the panel last month, but the committee hasn’t voted on either nomination.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has indicated he might block Wheeler’s nomination unless he promised not to require more disclosure about the groups paying for political advertisements.”

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May 22nd, 2013 at 12:13 pm
Christian Adams Last Night in Mobile

Last night, I had the pleasure of introducing former Justice Department whistleblower J. Christian Adams at his speech to the Mobile chapter of the Federalist Society. Ace reporter Brendan Kirby of the Mobile Press-Register wrote about the event here.

Adams was superb. It is well worth reading his book, Injustice, about the corruption at the Obama/Holder Justice Department.

In my introduction, by the way, I told the story about the first time I tried to talk to Adams, while he was still at DoJ:

You should know, though, that the first time I ever spoke to Christian, he said he couldn’t talk to me and sent me to a Justice Department press flack named Schmaler, who proceeded to yell and curse at me like a Greek fury before I ever had two very polite sentences out of my mouth.

Tracy Schmaler would later go on to be identified in numerous news accounts as almost habitually yelling at other reporters as well. And now, as of a couple of days ago, she is in the news again:

In addition to Burke’s involvement in leaking the document, emails the IG uncovered show senior officials at the Department of Justice discussed smearing Dodson.

One of those was Tracy Schmaler, the Director of the Department’s Office of Public Affairs, who resigned her position at the DOJ after emails uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed that she worked with leftwing advocacy group Media Matters for America to smear whistleblowers and members of Congress and the media who sought to investigate DOJ scandals under Attorney General Eric Holder.

To complete the circle, this is not the first time Schmaler — who now works for Obama hardball political maestro David Axelrod — has been shown to have been part of a smear campaign. She earlier had been found, via e-mails, to have smeared Justice Department attorneys while they still worked for the department. One of those attorneys: J. Christian Adams.

March 10th, 2012 at 11:19 am
Gingrich in Mobile

Unlike Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich doesn’t do much to alter his basic speech from event to event — but, judging from the comments all around me, he still manages to hold the interest of, or even entertain, his audience.

Speaking last night at an antique car museum in the heart of the (white) blue-collar area of Mobile, AL, Gingrich used the backdrop to make the obvious point that gasoline sure was a lot cheaper back when those cars were on the road. He then moved into what already is becoming a familiar, but instructive, litany of Barack Obama’s transgressions against reasonable energy policies — including Gingrich’s favorite new target, namely Obama’s recent embrace of yet another new form of bio-fuel:

“I don’t think [the museum owner] has a single algae car!”

Gingrich told a humorous story about when oil shortages in the late 1970s briefly created rationing systems in which drivers could buy gasoline only on certain days, depending on whether their license plates ended with an odd number or an even one. He said his friend  (and mine) David Bossie, now president of Citizens United, remembers being 13 years old and having his father send him out each morning with a screwdriver to switch the license plates back and forth between the family’s two cars, depending on which one needed gas.

Gingrich said conservatives and liberals naturally react differently to “laws so dumb that fathers enlist 13-year-old sons to break them” (that’s actually a very close paraphrase; I didn’t get the exact words of the quote). Conservatives, Gingrich said, would naturally want to get rid of such a dumb regulation. Liberals, he said, would insist we need to hire some license-plate police.

Gingrich moved on from energy to foreign affairs long enough to say that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “should resign tonight” if Panetta really believed that a U.S. administration need more “permission” from foreign powers than from the U.S. Congress when deciding whether to use American force.

He blasted Barack Obama for having, in the same fortnight, apologized to Afghanis for mistaken Koran burnings even after Afghanis killed innocent U.S. troops — in other words, showing outsized deference to radical Islam — at the same time he was moving ahead with violations of religious liberties (especially of Christians) within the United States via his mandate on insurance coverage of abortifacients. He accused the administration of being “disrespectful and bigoted… about [against] Christianity…. We are tired of you denigrating our culture, our religion, our beliefs.”

Back to energy, Gingrich went on at great length (as Santorum had earlier in the day in Mobile) about the vast new energy supplies found in North Dakota — and he noted that Barack Obama in his recent press conference spent lots of words denigrating “drilling” as a solution for energy problems, only to shortly thereafter  claim credit for great new supplies of natural gas. But, asked Gingrich rhetorically, how does Obama think the new gas was found?

The answer, of course, is drilling — in areas that would never even have been explored had Obama succeeded in an attempt he made as a senator in 1987 to end the U.S. Geological Survey’s task of keeping and developing an inventory of fossil fuel potential. “This is a case study,” said Gingrich, “in cognitive dissonance.” (AND, whispered my wife, “cognitive dissidence too!”)

Finally, Gingrich moved onto the political outlook for his presidential campaign. He belittled Mitt Romney’s sales pitch about the importance of a businessman’s managerial ability in the Oval Office. “You don’t need a manger in the White House,” said Gingrich. “You need a visionary leader…. As it says in Proverbs, “without vision, the people perish.”