By Tom Wheeler – “Here’s how the telecom industry plans to defang their regulators,” a September 12, 2013 Washington Post headline announced. “[T]elecom giants including Verizon, AT&T and Comcast have launched multiple efforts to shift regulation of their broadband business to other agencies that don’t have nearly as much power as the FCC,” the article explained.
The companies’ goal: to move regulatory jurisdiction from the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Strategically, it is a brilliant sleight of hand since the FTC has no rulemaking authority and no telecommunications expertise, yet the companies and the policymakers who support them can trot out the line that the FTC will protect consumers.
With this vote, the FCC walked away from over a decade of bipartisan efforts to oversee the fairness and openness of companies such as Comcast, AT&T, Charter, and Verizon. These four companies control over 75 percent of the residential internet access in America, usually through a local monopoly. Henceforth, they will be able to make their own rules, subject only to very limited after-the-fact review.
The assertion that the FTC will be able to provide that protection adequately is an empty promise. The people at the FTC are good people, but they have neither network expertise, nor the authority to make rules. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, FCC, History, Net, net neutrality, Regulations, telecom
Tagged Broadband, Congress Watch, FCC, Government, Internet, Net Neutrality, United States, Wireline
By George Mattathil –
In a nutshell, the current situation with cyber security
] is the direct result of the developments during the the “internet bubble,” in the 1990s. Collapse of the Bell Labs permitted the unchecked growth of the “internet bubble” and related hype.
The divestiture and the collapse of the Bells Labs left a vacuum for network technology leadership, that was substituted by hype that surrounded the “internet mania.” As a result, current network industry is operating on flawed foundational principles.
This added to the deficiencies in economic decision systems for (network) technology adoption, with the results we are seeing today: cyber security  challenges, internet malware  attacks and political controversies .
One of the consequences of the flawed network foundations is that the Broadband  adoption (which includes IoT) is progressing much slower than it could.
Another side effect is that ongoing network deployments are architecturally incoherent, resulting in enhanced complexity and cost. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, FCC, History, Net, net neutrality, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Government, Internet, Technology, Technology adoption, United States
By Andrew Soergel – As recently as Wednesday, President Donald Trump was quoted during a Cabinet meeting as saying he sees “no reason why we don’t go to 4 percent, 5 percent and even 6 percent” gross domestic product expansion in the months and years ahead.
Economists have broadly doubted these claims – though few quibble with the idea that the GOP-constructed tax plan would have a modestly positive impact on markets and the economy over the near term. Analyses from the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Tax Policy Center and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Budget Model have all predicted a final bill, in a best case scenario, would add a few fractions of a percentage point to the country’s GDP growth rate over the course of the next 10 years.
A growing number of experts are using the term “sugar high” to describe what the tax bill is likely to do to the U.S. economy – provide some short-term energy for growth before petering out or, even worse, pushing the country toward a crash. more>
By Jake Schwartz – Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates suggest, for example, that there will be 1 million more computing jobs than applicants to fill them by 2020.
Of course, the skills gap is about more than just supply and demand. It stems from what economists call “friction,” exacerbated by megatrends like the shrinking shelf life of skills and persistent equity gaps in K-12 and higher education systems struggling to keep up with the pace of change. But it also reflects decades of self-inflicted wounds within corporate America.
I’ve observed three troubling drivers of the economic friction fueling the skills gap:
- a surprising lack of visibility and long-term planning around concrete skill and talent needs within the enterprise;
- incredible inertia around and adherence to old-school hiring practices that perpetuate growing equity gaps through a search for new skills in conventional places; and
- a tendency to misplace hope that our higher education and workforce development systems can somehow “solve” the problem with minimal corporate involvement or responsibility.
Imagine the possibilities if just a fraction of that spending was allocated to investments in re-skilling existing workers.
And yet, corporate training fads, from an obsession with online training (it’s cheaper), to a belief that all employees should spend their off-hours being “self-guided learners,” only exacerbate the delta between average investments in talent acquisition ($20,000 to $40,000 per head) and corporate training ($1,000 per person per year). more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Government, Jobs, Skills, Technology, Training
By Gwynn Guilford – The “China is taking over the world” meme is a perennial one.
As usual, this argument overlooks what’s happening within China’s borders. That includes: a credit-driven growth model that has left debt growing faster than the economy, the continued dominance of inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at the expense of dynamic private firms, and a fiscal system that depends on a housing bubble to sustain it.
David Ignatius bemoans the rail line buildout connecting China to Europe and Eurasia while bypassing US-controlled sea lanes, but by exporting its short-term growth formula for wasteful investments abroad, Xi Jinping is compounding the already huge risk that befouls China’s financial system.
Thanks to China’s size, running even a slight surplus means foisting massive deficits on its trade partners, as well as the debt and unemployment that accompany those, as we’ve argued before. And as Xi’s goal of self-sufficiency and manufacturing-export dominance—articulated in the Made in China 2025 plan, which focuses on Chinese dominance of artificial intelligence, robotics, and other high-tech sectors—makes clear, it’s not just BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) countries that will be on the receiving end of Chinese mercantilism.
The core problem for China is: Power doesn’t guarantee competence. And Xi’s handling of the domestic economy in the past half-decade suggests a dearth of the latter. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media
Tagged China, Debt, Deficit, Government, Industrial economy, Leadership, Super regions
Public officials used to be worthy of being looked up to – not anymore.
By Kenneth T. Walsh – Where have all the role models gone?
They certainly are vanishing from politics and government, at least based on the seemingly endless series of accusations and admissions involving famous politicians and public officials who have been engulfed in the swamp of alleged sexual misbehavior.
Now the media are investigating public figures more thoroughly than ever, and are more willing than ever to expose the flaws they find. And people with grievances against public figures are increasingly willing to go public.
Trump, at the top of the political pyramid, has been widely condemned for failing to live up to the standards of civility, decency and honesty that have been expected of presidents for many years. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told CNN recently: “The president has great difficulty with the truth on many issues….I don’t know why he lowers himself to such a low, low standard and debases our country in the way that he does, but he does.”
Questioning Trump’s “stability,” Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump is not a “role model” for the world and for America’s children, and added: “I think at the end of the day when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth-telling, just the name calling, I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for, and that’s regretful.” more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Congress Watch, culture, Donald Trump, Government, Leadership, Role model