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U of Michigan law professor Crawford: Now's the chance for FCC


Susan Crawford sees it differently than Michael Powell.

Check out her op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday, where the University of Michigan law professor credits deregulation of broadband services under former FCC chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin with consolidation of service providers, lagging speeds and higher prices. Crawford also served as an economic advisor to President Obama.

It wouldn’t be the first time that the F.C.C. relabeled Internet access services — and certainly not the first time it addressed the need for equal access. Until August 2005, the commission required that companies providing high-speed access to the Internet over telephone lines not discriminate among Web sites. This allowed innumerable online businesses — eBay, Google, Amazon, your local knitter — to start up without asking permission from phone and cable companies. There was nothing unusual about this legal requirement; for more than 100 years, federal regulators had treated telegraph and telephone service providers as "common carriers," obligated to serve everyone equally.
But under the Bush administration the F.C.C. deregulated high-speed Internet providers, arguing that cable Internet access was different from the kind of high-speed Internet access provided by phone companies. Cable Internet access providers, the commission said, really offered an integrated bundle of services — not just Internet connection but also e-mail, Web hosting, news groups and other services. So the F.C.C. declared that high-speed Internet access would no longer be considered a “telecommunications service” but rather an “information service.” This removed all high-speed Internet access services — phone as well as cable — from regulation under the common-carrier section of the Communications Act.

By Cecilia Kang  |  April 11, 2010; 10:17 PM ET
 
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Next: My Q&A with former FCC chair Powell on how he hates reclassification -- the name and the idea

Comments

As usual, Cecelia Kang steps completely beyond the bounds of journalistic ethics, pointing readers to an op-ed written by a lawyer who, like Ms. Kang, has benefited directly from the largesse of Google and hence is lobbying for Google's corporate agenda. Kang also repeats Crawford's falsehood that broadband was "deregulated" when in fact it was never regulated. When will the Post get a tech reporter who will report the news fairly, rather than disgracing it by literally biasing every article toward the corporation that funds her paycheck?

Posted by: LBrettGlass | April 12, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Brett, how has Susan Crawford "benefited directly from the largesse of Google and hence is lobbying for Google's corporate agenda?" You obviously haven't read her work, stretching back into the days before Google was what it is today. That aside, you choose to slime her as working for Google, even though she merely has an opinion on a subject that is more in line with Goolge's than yours.

Brett, give it up.

Your grand conspiracy thesis is so tired. So what if public interest groups have similar thoughts on a single issue as Google does? Harold Feld yelling at the FCC to do something isn't the same as Eric Schmidt calling up the chairman.

But to continually accuse this blog of working for Google is just plain ol' stupid. Really. Company A places an ad on this blog via Company B. The financial interests of potential corruption lie not in company B, but the company who purchases the advertising.

That aside, as stupid as your theory was, it isn't even operative anymore. Look up at one of the ads. See the "Buy a Link Here" button? Takes you to the WaPo, not Google.

Folks, if you've been reading Brett's rantings here, you are slowly learning why the allegations about him allegedly stalking a reporter and other alleged allegations about shady activities with children are likely allegedly true. His mental illness is on display for everyone. Hopeful the judge in his alleged case is reading.

Posted by: AmyBandini | April 12, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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