FierceCable caught up with Michael Powell, NCTA president & CEO at his Washington, D.C., office on a typically active day. The cable industry organization had just filed a lawsuit against the FCC around the commission's just-passed net neutrality rules, and the U.S. Department of Justice was reportedly about to nix the merger of Powell's biggest constituents, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. FierceCable chatted with the former Republican FCC chairman ahead of the org's upcoming INTX show.
Speaking to a packed Las Vegas Convention Center ballroom at the National Association of Broadcasters 2015 Conference here, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the pay-TV industry is in decline, and broadcasters should take advantage of the emerging cord-cutting trend.
The FCC knows what's coming: a slew of net neutrality complaints, starting with an anticipated claim by Cogent Communications citing Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink with degrading Internet traffic.
Verizon is aggressively moving forward with a streaming pay-TV service targeted to younger mobile video enthusiasts. This service will leverage the wireless giant's 4G cellular network, and Verizon will have to remove data caps from what it classifies as a "managed service" in order for its customers to use the offering.
It's been a busy year, that's for sure. Would it be fair to say that the events of 2015 have set the tone for the rest of the year? Sure. Would it be fair to say that these were the three most import months in telecom and technology in the last decade? Probably not, that just seems foolish. That doesn't mean there aren't, at least, a handful of things Q1 2015 can teach us going forward and some predictions we can make.
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam wants Congress to take a tougher stance on rules governing bidding in spectrum auctions, and called out Dish Network in particular for its bidding strategy in the AWS-3 auction. In a letter to key lawmakers, McAdam also urged Congress to be more proactive in regulating telecommunications, curb the FCC's recently approved net neutrality rules and rewrite and update the Telecommunications Act.
ATLANTA--Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure advocated for a coalition of smaller carriers that are members of Competitive Carriers Association to be able to jointly bid with Sprint in the 600 MHz incentive auction.
The FCC's net neutrality rules could undermine what is being proposed for 5G networks by the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Alliance and others. Who knows how very well 5G might enable development of other innovative new services, business models and pricing packages if it remains unshackled?
Well, that didn't take long. Broadband industry trade group USTelecom and a small Texas-based ISP, Alamo Broadband, filed lawsuits challenging the FCC's recently approved net neutrality rules. However, the petitions are likely going to be tossed out for being filed too early.
When asked about the impact of the FCC's new net neutrality rules, top cable-industry executives have offered up a somewhat unified response: the effects should be minimal as long as the agency holds true to its promise not regulate rates.