Taxpayers Protection Alliance
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Category: Telecommunications

  • FCC Should Rethink Cross Ownership Ban

    on August 16, 2011

    Today (August 16) the Taxpayers Protection Alliance filed official comments with the Federal Communications Commission urging them to recognize that the Section 652 cross-ownership ban should not apply to cable operators and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECS).  As part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 652 was intended to prevent incumbent LECs, which owned the telephone lines, and traditional cable operators, which owned the cable lines—from merging and thereby controlling the only two wires to a customer’s premises.  There is no indication that Congress intended to restrict transactions between cable operators and the CLECS, especially when the CLEC does not own residential last-mile facilities.  Stronger competition among providers of telephone services will lead to lower prices, better service quality, and increased innovation » Read More
  • Time to Reform the Universal Service Fund

    David Williams on July 29, 2011

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Universal Service Fund (USF) in 1996 to “promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable and affordable rates for all consumers; increase nationwide access to advanced telecommunications services; advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular and high cost areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas;  increase access to telecommunications and advanced services in schools, libraries and rural health care facilities; and provide equitable and non-discriminatory contributions from all providers of telecommunications services to the fund supporting universal service programs.”  In essence, USF was designed to provide subsidies to build the infrastructure and provide telephone service to high cost areas.  Over the years the USF has taxed cell and land line phone service to provide these services.  But, what most people don’t know is that USF has also been stockpiling this money, more than $4 billion.

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  • Net Neutrality - No Need for Internet Regulation

    on July 12, 2011

    On June 3, 2011 the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) wrote about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) coordinating with supporters of net neutrality to advance the new regulation.  On Friday July 8, 2011 the FCC sent the proposed regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) which begins a 30 day comment period for the new regulations.  After that 30 day time period, the new regulation will go into effect 60 days later.  Any regulation of the Internet is unnecessary and potentially expensive for taxpayers.  There are also some who believe that the FCC does not even have jurisdiction to regulate the Internet.  TPA urges all citizens to contact the Office of Management and Budget (click here) and tell them that net neutrality regulations will be harmful to consumers and taxpayers.

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  • FCC Scrutinized For Coordinating New Internet Regulations With Outside Group

    David E. Williams on June 3, 2011

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been very active lately.  And, taxpayers know that when a federal agency/commission is busy that is not good news for taxpayers or the private sector.  The FCC’s biggest obsession over the last few years has been with regulating the Internet through a concept known as “net neutrality,” which is loosely defined as a system that allows information on the Internet to move freely without regard to content.  In reality, net neutrality is a not so subtle attempt to regulate the Internet.  Battles have been waged by groups on the left and right side of the political spectrum regarding net neutrality.  In short, the folks on the left want the Internet regulated and embrace the expanding bureaucracy that will surely follow.  The folks on the right believe that the free market will bring innovation and that a light regulatory touch is all that is needed. Now there is quite compelling evidence that the FCC coordinated with pro net neutrality groups on the left in advancing the regulation.

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