Pai Opts For Classifying Broadband From Commercial to Private Service

As he said he would, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had the Commission release a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Open Internet yeaterday. If passed, the changes proposed by the Chairman would include re-instating the classification of all internet access services, including both fixed and broadband, as information services. That means they’d revert back to being treated as private, rather than commercial services, an FCC official explained to reporters.

In 2015, the internet access services were re-defined as common carrier services, Inside Towers reported. The Chairman said this week the change stifled broadband investment and deployment, especially in low-income urban and rural areas.
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Pai Sees Lightening Rules on Net Neutrality As a Boost to Broadband

Re-defining the internet as a common carrier inhibited broadband infrastructure investment, especially in rural areas, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. That’s why he  circulated among his colleagues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking yesterday to seek comment on reversing the two claims of legal authority that underlay the 2010 and 2015 Open Internet Orders. He intends to release the draft text today and have the item up for a vote at the FCC’s next open meeting on May 18. Continue reading

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Pai Bears Gifts for Broadcasters

In his first speech at the spring NAB show as chairman, Ajit Pai said Tuesday that after four years of attending the show and presenting in smaller panel discussions, speaking on the big stage brought more notice and pressure. But he delivered in a big way.

Pai intends to do away with unnecessary and outdated broadcast regulations, noting that many of the media rules are “decades old.” Continue reading

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Broadcasters Embrace IP Connectivity as NAB2017 Opens

Photography courtesy of Robb Cohen Photography and Video and Megan Reed of Inside Towers

John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life.” That’s certainly true of broadcasting, said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith as he opened NAB2017 in Las Vegas. Though the devices consumers use to access their video and audio content continue to evolve, broadcasters remain committed to serving their communities, yet also continue to innovate, he said. Continue reading

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Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Takes Shape

“Deploying broadband is hard, expensive, and time-consuming work, whether you’re trenching fiber, attaching equipment to poles, or setting up a gateway earth station. Red tape shouldn’t make those tasks even harder,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to attendees of the first meeting of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). The group held its inaugural meeting on Friday during the Commission’s “infrastructure month.” Continue reading

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Siting Hurdles Knocked Down in Unanimous FCC Vote

Wireless providers large and small have been asking the FCC and Congress for help to clear away regulatory barriers to broadband deployment; they especially have sought help with what they say are uneven prices charged by municipalities for pole attachments and lengthy, costly delays to siting wireless infrastructure, Inside Towers reported.

The FCC yesterday voted 3-0 to open a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to accomplish these goals; it invites public comment on regulations for pole attachments such as how to ensure pole attachers are not charged multiple times for certain capital costs and establishing a shot clock for FCC consideration of complaints.

The retirement of legacy copper is discussed too, and the agency seeks comment on how to streamline that as providers transition to IP networks. Continue reading

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Auction Came Up Short Due to ‘Sharpened’ Demand by Carriers

Inside Towers Interview with Vertical Bridge CEO Alex Gellman

Why did the nearly $20 billion in gross revenues from the FCC’s incentive auction come in at around half of what had been originally predicted by a myriad of analysts? Timing and the evolution of the carrier’s needs, according to one expert.

FCC officials told reporters last week the auction had been in the works for five years under four different Commission chairmen, beginning with Julius Genachowski. Continue reading

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Clyburn: Big Broadband Gets a ‘Hall Pass’ in Tomorrow’s Vote

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is decrying at least one change the FCC is slated to vote on tomorrow regarding tower siting and rights-of-way.

“The majority will take actions that benefit the largest providers to the detriment of smaller companies, and to the detriment of consumers” she told attendees at a regional broadband summit hosted by Next Century Cities in Mesa, AZ yesterday. “States and localities are okay to regulate but [large] broadband providers, I believe, are getting a hall pass.”   Continue reading

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LPTV Coalition Urges Members to ‘Resist The Repack’

The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition is gearing up for a court fight to delay the repack. The group is comprised of Low-Power TV station and TV translator owners.

“The auction winning bidders need to hear loud and clear that LPTV will not be moving when they want to start testing in a Partial Economic Area, but when we are ready,” says Coalition Director Mike Gravino. Continue reading

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Repack Clock is Ticking and An Expensive Move For Broadcasters Awaits

Now that the 39-month TV station repack timeline has begun, what kinds of equipment will be eligible for reimbursement? The deadline for stations to submit their estimated repack expenses to the FCC is July 12. Those include engineering, legal, equipment, installation, and other costs the FCC deems reasonable to accomplish a required channel change. The FCC has shed a little more light on equipment approximations in its Catalog of Potential Expenses and Estimated Costs.

The agency asked Widelity to reflect the current pricing for the equipment and services that repacked broadcasters may need to purchase to facilitate the moves to their new channel assignments, and the current pricing for equipment and services that MVPDs may need to purchase to continue to carry broadcasters. The report was produced August 2016. Continue reading

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