Daniel Lyons

Daniel Lyons

Daniel Lyons is a visiting fellow with AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, and an associate professor at Boston College Law School, where he specializes in telecommunications and Internet regulation, as well as administrative law. Professor Lyons’ scholarship focuses on the challenges that technological development poses for legacy regulatory regimes. Among other topics, he has written on technology convergence and the need to redefine the boundary between federal and state jurisdiction over telecommunications; the relationship between net neutrality and traditional common carriage; and the importance of allowing pricing innovation in broadband markets. He is also a member of the Board of Academic Advisors for the Free State Foundation and a Fellow with the Boston Bar Association. Before joining the faculty, Professor Lyons practiced energy and telecommunications law at Munger, Tolles & Olson and at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. Professor Lyons earned both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate from Harvard University and after graduation, he clerked for Hon. Cynthia Holcomb Hall on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California.

Amazon is playing with fire, but shouldn’t get burned by regulators

The Titans of Silicon Valley have long battled for control of the television, that stubborn holdout in the living room that has long resisted being dragged into the Internet age. This battle heated up last week when Amazon banned the sale of Apple TV or Google’s Chromecast units on its site. The announcement triggered a deluge of criticism, including calls by some to investigate whether the decision violates antitrust laws. But these calls are misguided. Amazon’s new strategy likely falls in the “unwise but not illegal” category. Consumers can – and likely will – make their displeasure known through market behavior, without the need for a regulator to help Amazon get the message.
Ten Republican US presidential candidates debate at the first official Republican presidential debate of the 2016 campaign August 6, 2015. REUTERS

It’s time to retire the Equal-Time Rules

Politicians are increasingly becoming a staple of late-night television. Stephen Colbert began his reign on the Late Show with GOP contender Jeb Bush on his couch, and welcomed Vice President Joe Biden later that week. To compete, NBC courted frenemy Donald Trump to appear on the Tonight Show. Of course, this trend began with President Obama, who in 2009 became the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show – and has gone back fourteen times since, including four times during his re-election year. As the line between politician and celebrity continues to blur, and viewers increasingly demand to see their candidates in late-night settings, it is time to revisit the arcane rules governing broadcasters’ responsibilities to cover political issues and candidates “fairly.”
Cord-cutting by Shutterstock.com

The forgotten victim of cord-cutting: Municipal governments

2015 saw cord-cutting grow from an occasional conversation topic to a recognized phenomenon. IHS Technology estimates that over 650,000 subscribers cancelled their pay television subscriptions last quarter, making it the worst ever for subscriber growth. Much of the media attention has been focused on how cable operators and linear channels will respond to the growing threat from over-the-top providers such as Netflix. Less studied is the impact that cord-cutting will have on another sector highly dependent on cable revenue: municipal governments.
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?
Data caps by Shutterstock.com

5 things OTI gets wrong about data caps. Including using the term “data caps.”

Earlier this month, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) released a short paper attacking usage-based broadband pricing. Provocatively entitled “Artificial Scarcity,” it purports to show “how data caps harm consumers and innovation.” But the report is short on evidence in support of its proposition, and overall it fails to present a balanced view of various broadband pricing strategies. While there are several points worth discussing, this blog post will focus on five key errors.