Well, I keep saying I will do the big posting on AWS-3/M2Z, and keep not getting to it. So I will just drop a short note for the fellow FCC policy junkies who follow this stuff closely. You can find background on the AWS-3/M2Z business here, here, and here.
The FCC extended the filing deadline on the proposal released June 20 to reapportion spectrum between the AWS-2 band and the AWS-3 band (as well as mandatory content filtering). Comments were originally due on a tight deadline (today). This extends things out to a full 30 days for comments and 14 days for reply, so the new dates are July 25 and August 11. That’s less than what the wireless carriers wanted, and it explicitly rejects the request for the FCC to do its own testing. In fact, the whole tenor of the Order provides a rich field for us FCC-ologists to start gazing in tea dregs and rummaging through pigeon entrails.
I’m old enough to know that all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. But it certainly ain’t bad news, and it gives a lot of credibility to the Croquet platform. I hope that Croquet folks around the world are able to make good use of this news in setting up their own projects.
Bad news: The House Judiciary Committee (which handles intellectual property issues) approved the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act, a bill to criminalize the use of false information in WHOIS registrations. This wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t required to divulge a boatload of personal information under the “thick” WHOIS requirements in order to register a domain name. Folks who hate getting beaten up by their governments over free speech issues or just hate the way spammers use the WHOIS database often try to defnd themselves by submitting false information.
More on the merits of the bills below. But also of relevance (and what makes the Sausage Factory so much fun) is to note the difference a change in committee makes.
Good news for consumers! @JRosenworcelFCC announced she's circulating the cable/satellite "anti-junk fee" item for a vote this meeting. Hopefully we can get 5-0 on honest billing!
When we speak of successful U.S. industrial policy, my first answer is the 1956 AT&T antitrust consent decree, which spurred American general computing (eg, IBM) AND more or less created a US semiconductor industry. My second pushing the IBM unbundling of software.
The @FCC took action to help survivors of domestic abuse separate from shared phone plans. As @NicholasPGarcia explains, "One of the horrors of abuse is isolation... these rules help ensure that our comms services work to protect & empower survivors." 📰:
Today we take a necessary step forward in protecting our nation’s survivors. By creating connections through Lifeline and providing an opportunity to reach out for help without being tracked, we are extending critical assistance during a time when help is most needed.