Posts about FCC

After a quiet period both in Europe and in North America, the Net Neutrality debate has flared up again at the same time in both regions. The reasons are different, and the outcomes look to be different too, but the confusion around the topic and the way it's covered by the mainstream press is unfortunately all too familiar. In this article, I will try to expose the situation as clearly as possible and highlight how Europe and the US are taking different paths to tackle it.
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I’m excited about the potential of gigabit broadband services, but I also know it is unlikely my current broadband service provider will offer these kinds of speeds within this decade or perhaps even next. If I should be so lucky to have access to gigabit speeds (heck, I would be happy with 50Mbps) in the foreseeable future, it will likely be provided through my own city government in some form of a public-private partnership.
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Over the past few weeks, the debate on Internet regulation has once again been thrust into the media spotlight. Largely driven by political events in Europe, these debates have centred upon the rapid development of the Internet and the level of regulation required to effectively govern it. Indeed, it’s the whole question of governance and the comments made by President Sarkozy at the e-G8 that have brought this topic bubbling to the fore. President Sarkozy’s hard-line stance that governments need to be responsible for developing and enforcing stricter digital laws comes at a time when sensitivity on Internet freedom is still high. In his speech, Sarkozy stated that Internet companies have to know where the red line is.
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As the political gears in the United States’ electoral machine begin to pick up speed, it’s fascinating to see the topics that are driving discussion. As you would expect, economic growth, employment and social welfare are some of the hot issues being bandied around by potential candidates. Yet one topic that has been largely absent from this early round of dialogue is the state of the country’s transport and communications infrastructure. Looking at some of the latest figures, this may be something that is about to change.
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April’s proving to be an interesting month for those following the net-neutrality debate. Within the first week we’ve already seen the US Court of Appeals swing into action and dismiss Verizon and MetroPCS’ anti-net neutrality lawsuits filed against the FCC. Thrown out on a legal technicality, many expect these lawsuits to be re-filed shortly. However, while most eyes where following the legal wranglings on Capitol Hill, a new battleground in the neutrality debate has emerged and this time it’s focused on devices.
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