As I’ve pointed out in past posts, the opponents of the Net Neutrality repeal have continued to put their energy into “fixing” the repeal by simply restoring net neutrality. The argument made by many, especially those in the liberty community that were against the repeal, was that regulations underneath the net neutrality regulations create protected ISP monopolies that almost assure the ISPs will abuse customers in all the ways the anti-repeal folks say they will.
My question has been this, why not put your effort to now undo the regulations that create these protected monopolies. As it so happens, the FCC itself is considering rules changes that will make it easier for ISPs to be formed by reducing the cost of applying for ISP licensing. This move, in and of itself, will not solve all the regulation monopoly problems, but it will go a long way towards undermining the state-protected monopoly status of ISPs.
Let’s see if the anti-repeal folks come out and support this with anywhere close to the same energy they’ve invested in preserving the net neutrality regulations.
Even as President Donald Trump spends his time promising rural Americans that closing the digital divide is a top priority, his agencies are taking steps that will only make that goal harder to achieve.
The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering a rule changethat would alter how it doles out licenses for wireless spectrum. These changes would make it easier and more affordable for Big Telecom to scoop up licenses, while making it almost impossible for small, local wireless ISPs to compete.
The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum is the rather earnest name for a chunk of spectrum that the federal government licenses out to businesses. It covers 3550-3700 MHz, which is considered a “midband” spectrum. It can get complicated, but it helps to think of it how radio channels work: There are specific channels that can be used to broadcast, and companies buy the license to broadcast over that particular channel.
The FCC will be auctioning off licenses for the CBRS, and many local wireless ISPs—internet service providers that use wireless signal, rather than cables, to connect customers to the internet—have been hoping to buy licenses to make it easier to reach their most remote customers.
“The vast majority of wireless ISPs are using unlicensed 5Ghz spectrum to connect the customer to their tower,” said Jimmy Carr, the policy committee chair for the Wireless Internet Service Provider Association (WISPA), a trade group representing wireless ISP companies. “5Ghz spectrum is great, you can pack a lot of data on it, but the problem is that it requires a true line of sight between the customer’s home and the tower. Any trees, any hills in the way and you can’t connect the customer.”