FCC to put the kibosh on regulations requiring "naked DSL"

According to this story at CNet, the FCC is considering striking down local regulations in California, Florida, and several other states that require phone companies that provide DSL services to offer those services without requiring the customer to also have a traditional land line.

Blocking this regulation will essentially raise the price of DSL service, and strangle the move many people are making away from traditional land lines to relying solely on cell phones or VOIP services, such as Vonage (both of which I’ve been considering, given that Verizon is charging me $45 just for local phone service).

Good to see the FCC is still looking out for the big guys.

Quick Take on FCC 3650-3700

The FCC decided the 3650-3700 Order today. You can find a link on the FCC Home page.

As is customary, the Order is not yet released, so we have only the press release to go on.

My first take is below. I know a lot of people are going to be upset that it requires licensing, but it is not a “licensed” regime anymore than a truly “unlicensed” regime. We need to keep an open mind and wait for the actual order to come out.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Last Gasp on Unlicensed Order

As those who follow unlicensed proceedings at the FCC here know, the FCC has been considering opening up the 2650-3700 MHz band to unlicensed use. The rumor is that the FCC will vote on the item at its March 10 meeting. I have also heard that the item is not particularly friendly to mesh networks. We have until Wed. March 2, 2005, 5 p.m. Eastern Time to turn this around. Wanna help?

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: FCC on Wireless–Mostly Snooze But Some Stuff I Can Use

Lost in all the hoopla last week on the Multicast Must Carry Vote (which I can explain in a future column) was the FCC’s Broadband Wireless Report. It’s conclusion – Wireless Broadband Is Good. Policy recommendations: Stay the Course.

Well, it’s a _bit_ more than that, but not much. See below….

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TotSF: The Wireless Circle Jerk

Sascha Meinrath has this blog posting on how Motorola’s acquisition of MeshNetworks is a prime example of corporate welfare gone wild. Of course, in D.C., we call this “the circle of life”. Taxpayers, however, may see it as the Circle of Jerk.

It is unclear to me if Motorola, one of the fiercest foes of expanding unlicensed access, is simply trying to take out a competitor or hedge a bet. I do not expect their filings to change — in fact,I expect them to leverage MeshNetworks as a means of undermining manufacturing comments from folks like Tropos. OTOH, FCC staff are not stupid, and understand how industry filings work.

Stay tuned . . .

UTX OTARD UPDATE

I’m informed by my contacts that the FCC has traditionally exempted colleges and universities from OTARD on the grounds that the relationship is not a standard landlord/tenant relationship. As a consequence, the OTARD declaratory ruling does not apply to UTX or other dormitory situations. The June 24, 2004 ruling did not change any existing OTARD exemptions. It merely clarified that OTARD applied to unlicensed services as well as licensed services.

Looks like the UTX policy is therefore legal. Whether it is wise or not is an entirely different question, and not for yr hmbl obdnt to judge.

Stay tuned . . . .

WIFI and Democracy

Check out this article on high tech anarchy protests during the RNC Convention in NYC. While I don’t condone the illegal uses (e.g., breaking in on protected licensed frequencies), I do applaud the many creative uses of wireless networking — made possible by the FCC unlicensed rules.

And I’m off on vacation, culminating in the community wireless summit. No doubt I’ll have loads to wax eloquent about when I return.

Stay tuned . . .

Buffy Not Indecent, Says FCC

I will confess, I found the entire 6th Season indecently bad. But for those worried that the FCC’s indecency craze will wipe out hot Vampire/Slayer sex in reruns, you may take comfort from the FCC decision located (in PDF) here. For those interested in the FCC tea leaves, I observe it’s a 5-0 decision. Copps and Martin, the most aggressive on indency, appear happy with the idea that suggestive television does not rise to the level of indecency.