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.

Net neutrality’s next frontier: Usage-based pricing and zero-rating

The Open Internet movement started as a means of protecting consumer welfare in cyberspace. Consumers were the focus of then-FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s 2004 Four Freedoms speech and the subsequent policy statement, which together outlined the agency’s initial vision for good network management practices. But somehow on the path from policy statement to binding rules, the commission’s focus shifted from consumer welfare to that of edge providers. Now, as the commission begins to gather information about innovative new broadband models such as T-Mobile’s Music Freedom and Binge On offerings, we run the risk of the commission sacrificing consumer choice to safeguard the interests of Internet-based service providers.

Usage-based pricing encourages Netflix to become better corporate netizen

Here at TechPolicyDaily.com, we have often discussed the potential benefits of usage-based broadband pricing. Last month, Netflix (a well-known critic of the practice) provided an unusually stark example of these benefits, illustrating how smart pricing encourages edge providers to become better corporate netizens.

How should the FCC classify text messages?

This month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider how to regulate a service that most Americans use every day. No, I’m not talking about the Internet and the Open Internet order. Yesterday, the reply comment period closed on the Twilio petition, which asks a truly geeky, yet important, telecommunications question: Is a text message more like a phone call in text format, or more like an email that happens to be sent over the telephone network? The answer could have significant ramifications for the future of texting.

Comcast’s usage-based pricing memo: Much ado about nothing

Net neutrality advocates made much of last week’s reddit post outlining Comcast’s guidance to call center representatives regarding usage-based pricing. The document supposedly “revealed” the company’s nefarious purpose behind its usage-based pricing trials: to charge customers based on the amount they use the company’s broadband service. But it should come as no surprise that Comcast behaves like virtually every company in America except all-you-can-eat buffets.

Creative lawyering and the rebirth of the anti-cybersquatting statute

At the height of the late-1990s Internet land grab, Congress passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which sought to bring trademark law to cyberspace by prohibiting the bad-faith registration of a domain name similar to a protected mark. The act had a brief but active life in federal courts, before falling into disuse as domain names became settled property and social media began replacing the web as our primary destination online. But recent litigation has breathed new life into this old statute as a tool for small businesses to avoid extortion by web developers, showing how creative lawyering can repurpose older laws in ways that Congress could not have anticipated.