Thursday, May 15, 2014

FCC declares all of telecoms as a utility -- then the access providers to broadband win and the taxpayers lose.

Why is it that the “Who’s Who” of telecoms wants the FCC to classify broadband as a Utility?

Nearly 30 CEOs and groups representing the nation’s broadband companies called on Wheeler to reject calls to reclassify broadband service as a public utility in a letter that circulated May 13.

“Not only is it questionable that the commission could defensibly reclassify broadband service under Title II, such an action would greatly distort the future development of, and investment in, tomorrow’s broadband networks and services,” said the letter organized by Broadband For America.

The list of CEOs at the bottom of the letter was a Who’s Who of the nation’s telecommunications firms including AT&T, Charter Communications Inc., Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., among others. The letter also was signed by the CEOs of CTIA – The Wireless Association, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Telecommunications Industry Association and US Telecom.

One idea is that the telecom giants of yesterday are sitting on a lot of old infrastructure. By classifying broadband as a utility then those telecom players can off-load their archaic infrastructure onto the taxpayer – that’s why.

You see the carriers understand that they are being squeezed between ever-dwindling access model and the rise of the content service model, both of which they are not traditionally competitive in. What better way to formulate an exit strategy from the access model than off-loading your old assets of towers, fiber, etc., onto an organization that doesn’t understand the market fully. By relinquishing themselves of the burden of owning the overheads of the infrastructure, and the cost of maintenance, the telecom players can better position themselves for the content service market; the only issue will be their size and capability to morph into an all new business model. The smaller guys will either be bought up or put forward as scrap.

What better timing then to act on a brand new FCC Chairman and push him to a quick resolve by getting him to name the entire telecommunication infrastructure as a Utility. If that happens then taking care of the grass, and upgrading the network, will fall on the taxpayers -- or a few investor owned efforts. We aren’t talking about a utility meter here, we’re talking about a complex technical architecture that will just fall apart once its current players get relief of ownership.

But, here’s an idea; what if the carriers were able to get all the access, 100% geographic coverage, complimenting their already existing metro markets without building a single tower – and not hitting the taxpayers for funding? As an expert in this, there is only one model that fits the mold perfectly, the same model that FirstNet should be based upon – The Myers Model™ Public Private Partnership.

But who am I other than….

Just some guy and a blog…

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