I have to go Verizon for the new iPhone

On August 17, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens

I’ve been agonizing over whether to stay with AT&T or hop to Verizon when the new iPhone comes out. With AT&T I have a grandfathered-in unlimited plan, though AT&T is actively seeking to gut that, contract or no. So there’s genuine value in hopping to Verizon to take a subsidized iPhone.

I’m letting coverage make the decision. It turns out it’s an easy call. Verizon wins.

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Tech at Night

So, LightSquared. It’s a funny turn this whole thing has taken. Way back at the start, when I was excited for LightSquared’s potential as a 4G competitor, I was told that they were the next Solyndra. Then, when the Obama administration and LightSquared both reacted badly to requests for oversight, I was convinced. Now, though, defenders on the right are cropping up again for LightSquared. I’ll say this: transparency in the FCC is worth fighting for, but a solution that leads LightSquared build a terrestrial 4G network is also worth finding.

See if you can spot the problem: As AT&T warns that FCC meddling is raising prices, the FCC is off expanding wireless subsidies.

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Tech at Night

Am I tired of expressing dissatisfaction with the Obama FCC and other government intrusions? Never!

Al Franken is setting up an unfalsifiable rationale for government action against Verizon and Comcast. Gotta love that, eh?

I’m sure he, the FCC, or both will try to overturn the courts who say bundling is not anticompetitive. I like bundling. It saves me money when I’m buying both things anyway. Then again, I like choices in the marketplace.

Why we want FCC subsidizing tablet makers though, I have no idea.

Chuck Grassley’s threat seems to be working at least, as FCC starts to break down on LightSquared transparency, a necessary step toward being able to confirm the President’s new appointees to the commission.

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Tech at Night

The House is doing anything but shirking its responsibility to apply oversight to the Obama administration. The FCC in particular is getting the attention it needs. “Regulatory hubris” in picking winners and losers is part of the problem, says Commissioner Robert McDowell. He should know, as he’s on the inside.

Darrell Issa and Chuck Grassley disagree on the FCC’s transparency though. Issa gives them a good grade, oddly enough, even as they continue to stonewall Grassley.

And so it’s good that Jo Ann Emerson questions the FCC’s hypocritical and questionable demand for senseless record keeping in others.

Though it’d be nice if somebody asked “Senator” Wendy’s questions about Free Press, in relation to the FCC.

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Tech at Night

Top story tonight is of course the major win by the triple alliance of George Soros and his front groups like Public Knowledge, Sprint Nextel, and the Obama administration’s dual agency of the FCC and the DoJ. Yes, AT&T has given up on acquiring T-Mobile. I believe they will now have to pay a sizable fee to T-Mobile as compensation.

This is bad news for those who respect property rights and for those who favor competition in the market, as Mike Wendy notes at Media Freedom. AT&T will be short of spectrum, as TechFreedom notes, a key reason competition will be reduced. It’s not just AT&T users hurt; anyone who now would not be interested in switching to AT&T due to inferior 4G LTE rollout now suffers from less leverage in the marketplace. That can only result in sustained high prices for 4G Internet service.

When this news broke I was so mad I could burst. But hours have passed and now I’m just disappointed.

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Tech at Night

There’s a new story developing. I’ve touched on it now and then, but the pieces are coming together. The FCC temporarily blocked the AT&T/Qualcomm deal to let AT&T buy spectrum using the excuse that they wanted to evaluate it together with the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. Well, the latter deal has been withdrawn from the FCC, so now what’s the hold up?

It turns out that the Obama FCC under Julius Genachowski is looking to change the rules of the game. Genachowski wants to make it harder to for firms to pick up the spectrum they need to serve an ever-growing demand for wireless Internet. He and the FCC are calling it a change to the “spectrum screen.”

Why the timing? Well, it turns out that Democrat commissioner Michael Copps, despite being an ardent supporter of the radical George Soros-driven Media Reform agenda, has spoken out against changing the rules midstream. but it may not matter, as he’s quitting, and his replacement is going through the confirmation process right now in the Senate. Though that replacement may be delayed as Chuck Grassley fights for transparency in the FCC, there are no other obstacles to confirmation foreseen.

So while Copps has made a due process argument against what Genachowski is doing, Genachowski may be counting on Copps’s departure to prevent that from being an issue. With him gone, the Chairman will apparently be free to do what he wants, declaring what the rules will be anytime he wants, picking one set of rules for one company, and another set of rules for another, with nothing to stop him.

Chuck Grassley is fighting for transparency with respect to the FCC and LightSquared. The House Energy and Commerce committee is looking into FCC’s Spectrum Screen treatment. Even FCC Democrats are having to speak up. The FCC is completely out of control, and it’s taking all we’ve got in the Congress just to try to keep up, and to force the Obama administration to submit to oversight and respect the rule of law.

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Tech at Night

Remember: One of the victims of the joint Sprint/Justice/FCC Triple Alliance against AT&T is T-Mobile itself. T-Mobile has no 4G, no iPhone, and no clear plan for what to do if their right to sell off to AT&T is taken away by the big government wonder team.

Nobody benefits when big government tramples the little guy. Even if FCC is clearly wrong, and it is, the committee’s meddling is a problem at this point. I do hope alternatives can be found that government’s boot can’t crush. The Government in going after these firms is simply trapping the public in the middle. We’re the ones who lose out with lesser competition thanks to this deal potentially being blocked.

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Tech at Night

Why can’t the news come in even intervals, instead of batching up all at once?

So yes, the Senate Net Neutrality vote is coming up. Credit where it’s due: Kay Bailey Hutchison moved the ball forward on this, no doubt about it. Credit also to Marco Rubio making headlines with his strong support of the repeal.

And Rubio is right: the whole thing is ridiculous. This regulation closes; it does not open the Internet. Which is why Obama is threatening a veto: can’t have the Congress undoing a regulatory power grab, can we? The representatives of the people, what do they know?

Don’t forget to tell your Senators, especially if they’re Democrats or Scott Brown, to vote for the repeal!

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Tech at Night

Oops. It’s midnight as I type this out. I just remembered I’d better do Tech tonight, so here goes. Fortunately I already did my reading!

Urgent in the Senate this week is the upcoming vote on Net Neutrality repeal, which was already passed by the House. We need 51 votes, not 60. Less Government has a list of Senators to contact with this urgent message: repeal Net Neutrality! Democrats are listed there, but Scott Brown needs to hear from us, too!

The bad Net Neutrality rules are a symptom of greater problems at the FCC and demonstrate a need for greater reform, but we have to start somewhere. Let’s start with repeal.

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Tech at Night

There’s been a push lately to attack punitive, unfair taxes on wireless service, one that Erick Erickson signed onto, and was advertised at RedState. Ironically I only found out about it because I saw the ads while working on the code side of the site, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Anyway, that movement seems to have gotten a win, as the House passed the Wireless Tax Fairness Act, a 5 year freeze on new wireless taxes. Sounds good to me.

SOPA, the House answer to the Senate’s PROTECT IP, isn’t dead yet, unfortunately. This attempt to have the US government censor the Internet, and in fact forcibly steal domains from people, and cut off Americans from the rest of the world online, incredibly is being considered by House Republicans. Copyright apparently is sufficient justification for government of unlimited size. Kill the bill.

And what’s worse is that Republicans are being dragged along as dupes to help Democrats continue to justify huge Hollywood fundraisers by smacking the Internet around to favor the movie industry. Which is probably why the MPAA is trying to stifle criticism of the bill. Kill the bill.

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