FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly testifies before a House panel on Capitol Hill in Washington December 12, 2013. REUTERS

Commissioner O’Rielly’s crusade for FCC process reform

Following the harsh spotlight that the net neutrality proceeding placed on the FCC’s operations, there has been renewed interest in the topic of FCC process reform. Late last month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bipartisan bill designed to “improve transparency, accountability, and predictability” at the agency. Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has launched a task force to tackle reforms suggested by a 2014 staff working group. And perhaps none have taken more interest in this topic than FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly, who has penned several blog posts in recent months challenging the commission to change “business as usual” in specific ways. But what does “process reform” mean in practice?
Internet history by Shutterstock.com

The danger of using history to guide modern Internet policy

What should guide the decisions of today’s policymakers when it comes to the Internet? Net neutrality proponents tend to argue that policymakers should look to the values held by the Internet’s pioneers. But as it turns out, using modern interpretations of old values makes for very bad policy. Here’s why.
Spectrum by Shutterstock.com

Four reasons the FCC is ill-suited to handle spectrum allocation

American consumers’ demand for mobile wireless technologies is growing, but the amount of spectrum available for commercial use has not kept pace. The OECD reports that mobile broadband is growing at a blistering 13.5%  year over year. The US has had over 100% mobile penetration for some time. Unfortunately, the agency charged with managing the scarce resource that is spectrum does not seem up to the task.
Streaming video by Shutterstock.com

Why FilmOn, Aereo, and others should not qualify for copyright’s cable compulsory license.

FilmOn is a more-obscure-but-less-inefficient version of Aereo, which recently folded after its attempts to use the Internet to retransmit broadcast TV content were rejected by the US Supreme Court, and then by lower courts on remand. Why then, has a federal judge issued a ruling in favor of FilmOn, one that conflicts with most existing interpretations of US copyright law?