• A Change for the Worse

    November 16, 2012

    In 2007, then-Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin rammed through controversial rules that would have allowed further media consolidation of newspapers and broadcast television stations. The change met significant opposition from the public and Congress, and was eventually overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Verizon-Cable Pact

    August 24, 2012

    Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 5–0 to approve Verizon’s purchase of a valuable slice of the public airwaves in exchange for a partnership with a cartel of cable companies. While both the FCC and the Department of Justice — which signed off on the swap last week — placed conditions on the deal, it signals dark days ahead for consumers.

  • FCC Ruling Will Save Verizon Wireless Customers Big Bucks

    August 9, 2012
    Last week, the Federal Communications Commission handed down a decision that could save millions of Verizon Wireless subscribers up to $240 a year.
  • Can't Buy Me Laws: Congress Must Give Back Chris Dodd's Dirty Money

    January 24, 2012

    People inside the D.C. bubble often tell stories about lavish fundraisers and the use of campaign cash to shore up votes in Congress. Conspiracy theories about who uses their PAC money, or direct contributions, to bend the ear of powerful committee chairmen and party leaders circulate throughout the capital faster than the Metro.

    Still, the stories are usually hard to substantiate, and publicly members of Congress and their staffs are quick to deny that money has any influence at all. Rarely is the systemic corporate capture of Washington, D.C., on display in such a transparent and ugly way as it was last week.

  • Verizon's Deal with Big Cable Spells the Demise of the Telecom Act

    January 5, 2012

    We all remember the 1980's and its awesome fashion and music. While some may want to revisit those aspects of the past, I don't think anyone wants to return to the era of the cable and Ma Bell monopolies.

    Opening up communications markets was the purpose of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The Act was designed to help phone companies get into the pay-TV business, and cable companies get into the phone business. Yet after a series of regulatory blunders, this promise of increased competition and lower prices has become a distant memory, like 7-Up Gold. And the situation is only getting worse.

  • America Deserves a Government That Works

    November 23, 2011

    As I sit down to write this post, the congressional job-approval rating is hovering around 12 percent. It has been for the past three months.

  • FCC to AT&T: Is That Your Final Answer?

    August 24, 2011

    Last Thursday five AT&T employees and twelve of its outside attorneys, from six different firms, got on a conference call with thirty-two officials from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. All told there were close to 50 people participating in the meeting.

  • Verizon's App-Blocking Defense: "Of Course You Should Pay Twice"

    August 8, 2011

    Verizon Responds to Free Press Complaint by Demonizing its Subscribers

    Leave it to a company like Verizon to respond to criticism of its shady business practices by forcing its customers to pay twice, then basically calling them thieves if they don't.

    First, a bit of recent history: