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 Well, the latter deal has been withdrawn from the FCC, so now what’s the hold up?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

What do AT&T, LightSquared, and the late Super Committee have in common? Spectrum.

AT&T is the big story right now, too. They know the fix is in, with Sprint, Eric Holder, and FCC all ganging up on them as a team effort. The Obama administration is all but running guns to Sprint in this effort. So, the firm is trying to slip the noose by withdrawing its FCC application and warning the FCC that they will get sued if the application is not allowed to be withdrawn.

The only reason not to let AT&T pull back until the DoJ effort is settled is to rig the system, which is why the radicals want FCC to pick that particular fight.

AT&T is also proposing bolder sell offs of T-Mobile assets in order to make this work. The firm has repeatedly shown itself willing to negotiate, even as Barack Obama and his subordinates have stonewalled. Tech Liberation Front calls it ‘magical thinking’ that the FCC has been doing lately.

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DoJ targets AT&T: The story behind the story [Updated]

On August 31, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

Updated below…

Today it was announced that the Department of Justice will attempt to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile. The deal is needed for technical and regulatory reasons to allow AT&T to compete in the 4G wireless market with Verizon, Sprint/Clearwire, and with the upcoming competitor LightSquared. So why is the Department of Justice calling it bad for competition?

Enter R. Gerard Salemme. It’s not a well-known name, but it’s been an important one in the Obama administration. It’s also a name that often comes up in the ventures of one Craig McCaw. Craig McCaw is an equal opportunity donor who gives to anyone who looks likely to win, including Gore 2000, Bush 2004, and both sides in 2008.

That $2,300 donation to Obama sure is paying off.

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Tech at Night

House pressure on the FCC continues, with Friday’s hearings on FCC process reform, including testimony from all four active FCC Commissioners (Republican Commissioner Meredith Baker has quit the FCC). I associate myself with the remarks of Seton Motley on the preferred outcome of FCC Process Reform: “FCC ‘Process Reform’ Should Be About Reducing FCC Power. Oh, and making them obey the law.”

Meanwhile, as much as we talk about what’s wrong with the FCC and other issues, it’s good when I get to report on people getting ready to fight back. Jim DeMint is questioning the plans for the new National Emergency Alert System, while Verizon’s fighting back on the ridiculous FCC price controls on data roaming designed to help Sprint compete without actually investing in a better network.

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Tech at Night: Google, FCC, Civil Defense spectrum

On April 14, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

That’s one of the most boring and least unique Tech at Night titles ever, but I’m going to war with the links I have.

Slade Gorton’s priorities are horribly wrong. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. On Tuesday the Greg Walden subcommittee held hearings on “Use of Spectrum with Public Safety.” I’ve already explained why I think the D Block of wireless spectrum needs to be allocated directly to public safety, but Gorton’s argument for putting the D block up to auction is ridiculous. So says Energy and Commerce’s press release:

Gorton testified that auctioning “the D Block to the private sector will reduce the deficit, empower huge investments in new technology and job creation, and will meet the very real needs of our vital public safety sector.”

We already tried auctioning the D block. It did none of the above. And why should we try to reduce the deficit with a one-time payment from the pockets of first responders? That seems all wrong to me.

I know civil defense has a mixed record historically, when it was promoted by some as an alternative to tough-minded deterrence of nuclear war. But the threat of retaliation doesn’t work against jihadis. We need to be prepared to react to attacks better than we did on 9/11.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.