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.
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Title II and the future of LTE broadcast

Over the past 18 months, LTE broadcast has garnered significant buzz as one of the just-around-the-corner technologies that will help optimize the wireless experience. On the eve of the 2014 Super Bowl in New York, Verizon Wireless demonstrated the service, showing how it might someday solve the bandwidth problems that caused the NFL to blackout streaming video at stadiums. Since then, both Verizon and AT&T have invested significantly in the technology and are expected to debut services later this year. As the wireless industry analyzes the changed legal landscape following the FCC’s reclassification decision, the always-insightful Phil Goldstein at FierceWireless asks an interesting question: what does Title II mean for LTE broadcast? The answer is not as clear as one may think – but it may provide hope for those worried about how future innovation will fare under the FCC’s new framework. LTE broadcast is a technology that facilitates multicasting over wireless networks. With traditional streaming, a content provider sends an individual copy of requested content to each consuming device.
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Broadband rate regulation is inevitable under Title II

Throughout its net neutrality proceeding, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been deliberately vague about the contours of its proposal to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service. Will sponsored data or T-Mobile’s Music Choice service survive the new rules? To what degree will the FCC regulate interconnection, after insisting in its initial notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that it would not? What impact will the reclassification decision have...

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Telecommunications law primer: The Federal Universal Service Fund

A common lament of telephone consumers is that they don’t always pay what they expect to pay for their phone plans. They purchase these plans at a fixed price, but when the bill comes, the total is inflated by a laundry list of regulatory fees. In today’s blog post, part of an ongoing series of telecommunications law primers, we will explore the law underlying the most prominent of these charges: those related to the...

Consumer protection and viral videos: Will the FTC prune Vine?

One of the difficulties of regulating in cyberspace is the need to remain flexible to meet new innovations and ever-changing market conditions. Regulators must determine how to achieve important public policy objectives without unduly inhibiting the evolution of new products and services. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has been walking this fine line for over a decade with mixed results, may soon face this challenge again; innovative advertising could force it to bring its stodgy old-school consumer protection laws to the edgy, ironic teenage world of Vine. The commission has long regulated advertising disclosures, as part of its mandate to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive trade practices, and has developed an intricate web of reporting requirements. While paid product placement alone need not be disclosed (except in television or radio programs pursuant to Federal Communications Commission rules), disclosure may be required if a message makes an objective claim about the product that could be misleading without clarification.
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Zero rating: Narrowing the digital divide in the mobile broadband market

The tech policy world is once again atwitter about sponsored data and other initiatives that offer consumers free access to Internet-based content and services. Last week, Professor Susan Crawford described such arrangements as “pernicious,” “dangerous,” and “malignant.” Our own Bret Swanson offered an excellent response here that counters many of Professor Crawford’s assertions. This post offers additional support for the seemingly obvious proposition that we should encourage initiatives that reduce the cost to consumers of accessing the goods and services they desire. Professor Crawford’s argument is premised on the notion that consumers need access to all Internet content at all times on all devices at the same price. But as she seems to acknowledge, this homogenized view of broadband access is increasingly at odds with how consumers are using the Internet. Internationally, numerous wireless carriers offer social media plans that include talk, text, and access to selected sites such as Facebook and Twitter for a lower price than a traditional data plan. These plans have proven incredibly popular: Turkcell, for example, reports that it sold 600,000 subscriptions to its Facebook social media package in the first four months alone, which it credits with helping spark an 820% increase in mobile Facebook use among the company’s customer base.