Globalstar’s Stellar Chutzpah: Trying To Hold Up New Free WiFi To Leverage “Licensed WiFi.”

 

A very few of us have paid much attention to something called the “Globalstar Petition.” Briefly, Globalstar would like a couple of billion dollars in free spectrum favors from the FCC to offer what it calls a “Terrestrial Low-Power Service” (TLPS) on its satellite frequencies. As Globalstar has the great good fortune to have frequencies right next to the 2.4 GHz band most popular for WiFi, Globalstar hopes to leverage existing WiFi equipment and offer a “paid, carrier grade” WiFi-like service.

 

Recently, Globalstar attracted my negative attention by trying to leverage a fairly important FCC proceeding to expand unlicensed spectrum use above 5 GHz. Globalstar has raised bogus interference issues in the 5 GHz proceeding, and rather unsubtly suggested to the FCC that it could solve the WiFi “traffic jam” by granting Globalstar’s Petition for spectrum goodies so we could have a pay for WiFi service instead of having more of that pesky free WiFi (you can find Globalstar’s extremely unsubtle quotes here on page 3 and here on page 2.

 

So it seems an opportune moment to explain:

 

  1. What’s going on with the Globalstar Petition;

 

  1. What’s going on with the UNII-1 Band in the 5 GHz proceeding;

 

  1. How Globalstar are being utterly unsubtle in their efforts to hold the 5 GHz proceeding to try to leverage their ask in their Petition; and,

 

  1. How Globalstar’s jerkwad-ittude in the UNII-1 proceeding raises serious concerns about Globalstar’s willingness to play nice with the 2.4 GHz band, which could undermine the entire “WiFi economy.”

 

More on Globalstar’s truly stellar chutzpah, and why the FCC may want to rethink granting the Globalstar Petition, below . . . .

Continue reading

Duck Dynasty Prompts Conservatives To Rediscover The Fairness Doctrine.

Apparently, I am one of 9 people in the United States that had never heard of “Duck Dynasty” prior to last week.  Even I however, could not miss the furor over remarks by Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson and his remarks that homosexuality is “degrading to the human soul” and that African Americans were “better off under Jim Crow.” As one might expect, A&E, which owns Duck Dynasty, promptly suspended Robertson. Also predictably, conservative raised much hue and cry over this, calling it the worst sort of censorship and intolerance.

Normally, I limit my response to this to four words: “Dixie Chicks. Pot. Kettle.”

But to my surprise and delight, I now see conservatives such as Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), and Senators David Vitter (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) invoking the concepts of the First Amendment embodied in the Fairness Doctrine in defense of Mr. Robertson. Given that Conservatives have decided to revive their perennial boogeyman about the “Return of The Fairness Doctrine,” this staunch defense of the principles of the Fairness Doctrine could not be more timely.

 

Some more irony savoring worm turning goodness below . . .

Continue reading

Celebrate 100th Anniversary Of the Kingsbury Commitment With A Telecom Steel Cage Death Match and A Copy of Our Home Game!

Tomorrow, Thursday December 19, marks the 100th Anniversary of the “Kingsbury Commitment.” As just about no one outside the wonky world of telecom policy knows, the “Kingsbury Commitment” was the resolution of the anti-trust case between American Telephone & Telegraph (as AT&T was known then) and the Department of Justice wherein AT&T agreed to provide phone service to everyone (either directly or by providing interconnection to other local monopoly providers) and interconnect with its rivals in exchange for natural monopoly in most of its markets. You can see the text here.

 

 

Put another way, tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of when we mandated interconnection and universal phone service as the fundamental values/defining responsibilities of the phone system. For those following my endless blather about the “transformation of the phone system” the Kingsbury Commitment provides the cornerstone of those 5 Fundamental Values I’m always going on about (see exciting white paper here).

 

With a Steel Cage Policy Deathmatch and with release of copies of our home game!

 

See details below . . .

 

Continue reading

Ten Years Of Tales of the Sausage Factory — What Snarky Trip It’s Been

December 2013 brings two important anniversaries for the world of telecom policy. First, December 19 marks the 100th anniversary of the Kingsbury Commitment, the letter from American Telephone and Telegraph Vice President Nathan Kingsbury to to the U.S. Attorney General offering to settle the antitrust action against AT&T by allowing interconnection for all surviving rival phone companies (which by that time mostly meant companies in rural areas AT&T did not want to buy) and supporting the concept of universal service. (text here)

 

Second, December 10 marks the tenth anniversary of when I started doing this blog, Tales of the Sausage Factory.

 

Stipulated the first has had much greater impact on telecom policy, but I like to think we here at Wetmachine have done our bit as best we can.   For those curious, here is a link to my first ever post, although I actually think this over here (which quickly follows) remains one of the funniest things I’ve ever written about telecom policy (mind you, this is not a hard bar to meet).

 

A few nostalgic reflections and links to my favorite posts below, as well as seeking reader advice on what to do going forward . . .

Continue reading