I Know It Because I
Read It on the Internet

Posted by: Bob Quinn on December 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I spoke at an investor conference on Tuesday hosted by Capitol Forum. Not surprisingly, the topic of the panel was net neutrality – what else would anyone want to talk about this holiday season.  Also not surprisingly, one of the panelists, a proponent of Title II classification of Internet service, asserted that the cable ISPs were okay with Title II and would continue to invest at current levels in their networks regardless of whether the FCC imposed Title II on their broadband networks.

I was pretty sure my co-panelist was referring to a Washington Post column from Tuesday containing snippets of quotes from executives of Time Warner, Comcast and Charter made at a UBS Analyst event held last week.  I had read that article and I disagreed that that was what the cable executives were saying or that quotes selected supported the proposition of the column.  Before I could get into it, however, an attendee at the conference took the microphone to state that he had, in fact,  attended the UBS conference and that all of the cable executives who appeared there were adamantly opposed to Title II regulation –disagreeing entirely with the characterization of my co-panelist.  I thought that really closed down that topic.  I was, however, wrong.

After the conference, the Washington Post ran a second story titled, “Why Broadband Execs Are Telling Washington and Wall Street Different Things On Net Neutrality” and quoting me from statements I had made after the panel. The story asserted that the cable companies were telling one tale to Wall Street – that the imposition of Title II would have no impact on investment decisions – while telling a different tale to Washington regulators:

“The companies are telling investors that they’ll keep making their networks better, just like always — even if federal regulators adopt aggressive Internet rules. But that’s not what regulators are hearing from the companies, who are telling them that those same rules would depress investment in the network and hurt consumers.”

So, now I was really intrigued to see exactly what these executives said at the UBS conference.  I obtained a copy of the Comcast transcript from the Comcast website and I listened to the webcast of the Time Warner Cable presentation on the Time Warner Cable website.

Read More

Red Herrings and Bogeymen: Setting the Record Straight on TruePosition’s Misinformation Campaign

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 12, 2014 at 10:45 am

By Joe Marx, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory

TruePosition and its fully-controlled FindMe911 coalition is at it again, spreading misinformation and ill-informed criticisms of the APCO, NENA, and Wireless Industry Roadmap for Improving Location Accuracy.  Others have blogged to explain the benefits and merits of the Roadmap, and it’s our experience that the more people hear about the voluntary agreement and fully understand the enormous improvements it will bring to finding wireless callers in times of emergency, the more they like it and support it.

We don’t expect to convert TruePosition, or its well-known spokesperson Jamie Barnett, but we can set the record straight on the misinformation campaign they are waging in an attempt to raise fears, uncertainties and doubts.

TruePosition alleges that the carrier approach depends entirely on “new and untested technologies.” Setting aside the fact that TruePosition did not participate in the independent test bed established by the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) and that its technologies are not mentioned even once in the FCC’s test report, this allegation is simply not true.  Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies have been in use for years in commercial location services, and are central to the current wireless ecosystem in ways that will drive strong incentives for further innovation and lasting relevance for years to come. By associating enhanced 911 (e911) with commercial location services, public safety can harness that innovation to its direct benefit – and the benefit of wireless consumers everywhere – rather than having to settle for proprietary 911-only location solutions that evolve only in response to new mandates. In contrast, the database approach of the Roadmap enables continual improvements in indoor location accuracy without need of a lengthy carrier-deployment process.

TruePosition also wrongly suggests that the Roadmap doesn’t require carriers to provide dispatchable address/location. Again, not true. There are specific requirements for the carriers to build a dispatchable address database and to enable 100% of handsets sold to support the dispatchable address functionality. And given this investment and increasingly difficult performance metrics, carriers will use dispatchable addresses to meet these milestones. It is a win for public safety and a win for consumers.

Read More

AT&T Statement on New
Connect America Fund Rules

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

The following statement may be attributed to an AT&T spokesperson:

“In 2011, the FCC began comprehensive reform of its universal service programs to transition them from voice services to broadband. Today’s action is a significant milestone on this ambitious agenda. CAF II will target universal service subsidies to places where there is not an adequate business case for broadband. Moreover, the FCC appears to be taking significant steps toward phasing out obsolete voice obligations. We look forward to learning more details of the FCC’s action when they are available.”

Read More

If T-Mobile has a Beef,
It Should File a Complaint

Posted by: Joan Marsh on December 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

A few weeks ago, a group of advocates calling themselves “T-Mobile Petition Supporters” filed an ex parte purporting to show that the Commission should grant T-Mobile’s data roaming petition.  T-Mobile itself then weighed in with yet another letter in the record.  Neither filing offers anything new of substance, much less provides any basis to grant T-Mobile’s petition.

As AT&T has previously demonstrated, T-Mobile’s petition itself shows that data roaming is available at commercially reasonable rates, which have been declining rapidly, and that the Commission’s rules are working.  Although it is evident that T-Mobile and its supporters would like a different set of rules than those adopted in the Data Roaming Order, to the extent they believe that AT&T or anyone else is not offering data roaming services on commercially reasonable terms, they have a remedy:  they can file a complaint.

In fact, the most recent ex partes filed by T-Mobile and its “supporters” underscore why that is the proper context to address their claims.  Let’s look in more detail at the supporters’ letter.  First, the parties at the meeting apparently expressed disbelief that AT&T is a net payor of data roaming expense.  They may be shocked by that, but it’s true.  AT&T currently pays more in data roaming expense than we receive in revenue from our data roaming partners.

The ex parte goes on to complain that AT&T has not provided any information or data to support these claims, “so there is no record-based way to determine the veracity of these assertions.”  Actually there is.  Again, T-Mobile or one of its supporters could file a complaint.  In that context, we could provide the exact record-based evidence that this group admits is essential for the Commission to assess commercial reasonableness.  Surely, the development of such a record is a far better way to resolve fact-based disputes than reliance on general expressions of disbelief voiced in a group advocacy session.

Read More

AT&T Statement on FCC’s
Proposed IP Transition Rules

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on November 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Please attribute the following to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer:

“The principles the FCC’s IP Transition NPRM seeks to uphold – public safety, reliability, universal connectivity, competition and consumer protections – should be implemented in a manner that reflects the many marketplace and technological developments that today are driving the transition to next generation networks.  Customers are demanding higher speeds and more capacity, and a vibrant, competitive environment exists to provide robust, innovative options. The success of what Chairman Wheeler describes as the Fourth Network Revolution can be achieved by adapting the FCC’s technology transition framework in recognition of these realities while preserving the ability for all industry participants to continue to invest in faster and better Internet for consumers.”

Read More