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FCC Chairman Pai Discusses Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has outlined his vision for the future of Internet regulation, including a plan to undo "Title II." 

In 2015, Pai's predecessor, Tom Wheeler, reclassified broadband Internet as a "common carrier" service under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. Net neutrality activists say that public utility regulations are necessary to have a free and open Internet. 

Critics of Title II, including Pai, argue that the rules are outdated and depress investment and innovation. 

Does the answer lie somewhere in between? What role might Congress and the Supreme Court play? Listen to Chairman Pai discuss those issues.

5G Business Models Will be Disparate in Early Rollouts

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Ironically, in a business where capacity always has been expensive and scarce, internet access capacity is becoming less an issue than business models that take advantage of that abundance
Those changes are coming at a time when revenue earned from selling access connections to humans, for devices they want to use, is reaching saturation. That is why internet of things is so important: services used by sensors and machines represent the major area for growth of connections and revenue. 
So different business models are likely to emerge early in the 5G rollout. In some markets, millimeter wave spectrum will not be a factor, so use cases based on use of small cells might not emerge, either.
In a few markets, 5G in fixed mode might be quite significant; in other markets it will not be a factor.
Internet of things opportunities likewise will vary between regions; large companies versus small companies; urban areas versus rural areas; mobile and fixed use cases and between connectivity sup…

Mobile Does Not Yet Represent Most Bandwidth Consumption, But Does Drive Most Digital App Time of Use

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Not that the finding is going to surprise anybody, comScore reports that in most markets, mobile devices represent the way most people use “digital” applications, from 64 percent to 91 percent of time spent with digital applications. source: comScore

Some Overbuilders Reconsider Triple Play

It has never been easy to be an overbuilder (a firm that competes on a facilities basis) with both cable TV and telcos in the same territory) in the U.S. market.

Since local access is a scale business, any overbuilder has to attack a niche (such as multiple dwellings units) or overbuild an entire metro area, risking a huge amount of capital for hope for a 10-percent to 15-percent take rate.
To boost prospects, most overbuilders offer triple-play services (voice, video entertainment, internet access), which helps increase average revenue per account. But the economics of the triple play are changing. Voice take rates keep falling, and the video business case for a smaller provider always has been challenging, as programming contract discounts are based on volume, which, by definition, a small provider cannot attain.
Recently, there are possible signs of a strategy shift, in some instances. Google Fiber did not offer voice services, sticking with internet access and video. Sonic only of…

FCC Wants to Return Internet Access Regulation to Title I Model

Though it will be controversial in some quarters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai suggests network neutrality should return to the light touch policies “in place for decades before 2015, we had a free and open Internet,” dating back to the Clinton administration.
Most significantly, Pai proposes to return the framework to regulation of internet access as a Title I information service, not a Title II “common carrier” service.”
Some will see greater freedom as a result, while detractors will see less. Since every public policy has corresponding private interests, some might characterize the “freedoms” as accruing to app providers (some call them edge providers) while others would say the new freedoms will accrue to access providers.
Since the “consumer” or “public” interest can be argued in any number of ways, agreement is unlikely. It is fair to note that, under common carrier regulation, U.S. residents had low cost services, but little benefit from innovation. The …

Gigabit to Every Customer, Everywhere, is AT&T's Goal

There are continuing signs that concern about the pace of U.S. internet access upgrades and investment are likely unfounded. Nor is the pace of mobile bandwidth expansion slowing, either.
Comcast has pledged to upgrade its whole network to gigabit access, as have other bigger cable operators other than Charter Communications.
Verizon recently announced symmetrical gigabit service for eight million FiOS passings, while AT&T continues to add more metro areas for its own gigabit services.
Google Fiber, meanwhile, seems to be preparing for a big new test of its fixed wireless strategy.
If fixed wireless assaults mount, and as fiber-based gigabit offerings expand, the pace of investment pace of investment is going to remain high, for competitive reasons.
Mobile bandwidth also has grown substantially, with T-Mobile US and Dish Network gains in the 600-MHz auction, new activity to add millimeter wave spectrum on the part of AT&T and Verizon, and more coming as shared spectrum in the …

If Using Roads is Free, Then Your Business has to Use Roads, Not "Be the Road"

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Mobile video has been a problem for operators because competitive pressure prevents them from usage pricing in a way that would realize much incremental revenue from the shift, Tom Nolle, Cimi Corp. principal, notes.  “They’re stuck with another reason for revenue per bit  to decline, sinking into the realm of dumb, cheap, plumbing,” Nolle says.
“And, of course, if the road is becoming free, then you have to make money on what’s traveling the road, which is video content,” Nolle adds. That is a fundamental insight into present and future business models for many access providers who once earned most of their revenue from voice or messaging.
Across the full range of applications and services, “telcos” (including even cable TV companies, which are a segment of the telecom industry using a different access platform), the value and revenue from traditional apps has fallen. That is starting to be true even for the “newer” legacy services, such as internet access or entertainment video.
The…