[CalFiber] Letter to Biden FCC Transition team on abolishing digital redlining - deadline COB Nov 23rd

Christopher Mitchell christopher at ilsr.org
Fri Nov 20 09:00:41 PST 2020


I support making sure the FCC has the authority to do this via Title II.

Love that Capone quote ... wondering whether he was more lawless than AT&T.

Christopher Mitchell
Director, Community Broadband Networks
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

MuniNetworks.org <http://www.muninetworks.org/>
@communitynets
612-545-5185


On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:55 AM Stephen Blum <steveblum at tellusventure.com>
wrote:

> As the great broadband advocate Al Capone said, "you get further with a
> kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone".
>
> Steve Blum
> Tellus Venture Associates
> U.S. +1-831-582-0700
> N.Z. +64-21-116-0002
> steveblum at tellusventure.com
>
>
> On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 8:51 AM Harold Feld <hfeld at publicknowledge.org>
> wrote:
>
>> As I frequently write -- forcing companies to do stuff they don't want to
>> do should be the last resort. Why? Because they will resist as much as
>> possible, raisng the cost of forcing compliance. Best is to support people
>> who actually want to serve locally.
>>
>> But sometimes, the least bad alternative must suffice.
>>
>> In any event, I think it is critical to gain authority, and to pressure
>> incumbents to support alternatives.
>>
>> Harold Feld, Senior VP
>> (202) 559-1044 | @haroldfeld
>> Public Knowledge | @publicknowledge | www.publicknowledge.org
>> 1818 N St. NW, Suite 410 | Washington, DC 20036
>>
>> Support Public Knowledge's Mission
>> <https://www.publicknowledge.org/give/>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 2:29 PM Christopher Mitchell <
>> christopher at ilsr.org> wrote:
>>
>>> I do not like the idea of putting a lot of energy into a plan to force
>>> AT&T to invest more in areas it does not want to serve. Given the amount of
>>> effort it would take to win that, I would like that energy to result in a
>>> win that wasn't that more people got to experience how shitty AT&T is. We
>>> have done some unscientific surveys and may be getting one out that is
>>> scientific on the question of whether people are just looking for the
>>> fastest solution to getting broadband where it isn't or whether they are
>>> willing to wait and have it cost more to do it right. I'm heartened at how
>>> many more want to get it right. I think we need to respect that and build
>>> better business models with the power of government rather than continuing
>>> to let the power of government prop up the shittiest ones.
>>>
>>> Christopher Mitchell
>>> Director, Community Broadband Networks
>>> Institute for Local Self-Reliance
>>>
>>> MuniNetworks.org <http://www.muninetworks.org/>
>>> @communitynets
>>> 612-545-5185
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 10:12 AM Harold Feld <hfeld at publicknowledge.org>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Universal service in its modern inception goes back to the early days
>>>> of the AT&T monopoly. AT&T justified its monopoly on the basis of the idea
>>>> that it was necessary for them to have a monopoly to serve the entire
>>>> country. "One policy, one system, universal service
>>>> <https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/09/how-att-conquered-the-20th-century/2/#:~:text=In%20an%20era%20profoundly%20distrustful,as%20a%20%22natural%20monopoly.%22>"
>>>> was the slogan used to sell this idea.
>>>>
>>>> The way this got enforced, ultimately, was by requiring franchising on
>>>> a geographic basis and demanding deployment throughout the service
>>>> territory. unlike cable systems franchised at the local level, telephone
>>>> networks were franchised by the state (and required to get a license for
>>>> interstate services under Section 214 of the Act). Traditionally,
>>>> overbuilders were not subject to these universal franchising requirements.
>>>> Incumbent LECs were designated as "carriers of last resort" (COLR), and
>>>> could not terminate service without showing that other carriers exist to
>>>> service the service area.
>>>>
>>>> I will skip over the history of franchising and how this stuff used to
>>>> work. It was indeed a long, ugly and expensive process we would not want to
>>>> replicate. Without franchising, it is less clear how you enforce a
>>>> universal service mandate. The most obvious way is to make the government
>>>> -- local, state or federal -- the carrier of last resort and to require
>>>> cost-based interconnection to keep the price of backhaul reasonable. We
>>>> (PK) proposed this back in 2011 or so when LECs were looking to deregulate
>>>> themselves as part of the Tech Transition. Needless to say, this did not
>>>> get far.
>>>>
>>>> Harold Feld, Senior VP
>>>> (202) 559-1044 | @haroldfeld
>>>> Public Knowledge | @publicknowledge | www.publicknowledge.org
>>>> 1818 N St. NW, Suite 410 | Washington, DC 20036
>>>>
>>>> Support Public Knowledge's Mission
>>>> <https://www.publicknowledge.org/give/>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 6:51 PM Dane Jasper <dane.jasper at sonic.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Certainly understand the goals of full deployment, and our own
>>>>> analysis of the 477 info supports the fact that more fiber is deployed in
>>>>> areas with higher incomes.
>>>>>
>>>>> Universal service was a concept when cable companies were granted
>>>>> monopoly franchises for television services. They'd generally be required
>>>>> to provide service throughout a city, with some carve-outs for things like
>>>>> long private property driveways that they were allowed to charge more for -
>>>>> but they couldn't skip sections of town and basically had to go down every
>>>>> road. But of course, that was before the internet disrupted cable
>>>>> television, and a monopoly franchise meant something.
>>>>>
>>>>> But I don't understand how you could compel a carrier today, even an
>>>>> incumbent, to deploy or upgrade their infrastructure universally. And would
>>>>> you compel both the cable company and the incumbent telephone carrier both
>>>>> to deploy fiber to every home premise? What about CLEC overbuilders like
>>>>> Sonic? We build where we can, but without pre-existing conduit in place,
>>>>> and with overloaded poles and varying city limitations on underground
>>>>> construction, we end up with gaps in our coverage.
>>>>>
>>>>> -Dane
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 2:39 PM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> This is just one of many pieces. I agree this approach in isolation
>>>>>> alone would not be enough but I would emphasize that this is what common
>>>>>> carriage already requires in law today under Title II. The FCC has a job to
>>>>>> enforce.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> This is also limited to what the FCC can do with its authority
>>>>>> without a new law. For example, the FCC can't free up the local govs from
>>>>>> the state restraints under Title II, which is why the Clyburn bill has
>>>>>> those provisions unless those states change their laws. It can free up
>>>>>> federally funded fiber under E-Rate early next year that will help with
>>>>>> public infrastructure, but that's a small lift politically for the Biden
>>>>>> FCC. And most of the money the FCC has available is obligated now under
>>>>>> RDOF for years on out, so absent a new infusion of funds, there isn't more
>>>>>> money coming from the FCC without Congress.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> This is also specifically focused on densely populated cities and not
>>>>>> a rural solution and focused on what can be done by regulation without
>>>>>> money. Also nothing will be done that won't face litigation challenge by
>>>>>> the ISPs, but if you start on year 1 you can get to resolution by year 2 to
>>>>>> begin to enforce.
>>>>>> On 11/17/20 2:18 PM, Christopher Mitchell wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I respect the people who may support this, but not only would I not
>>>>>> sign this letter, I actively oppose it. I do not think it is in anyone's
>>>>>> interest to force AT&T to invest more in low-income communities. AT&T will
>>>>>> never do a good job of meeting those needs and I think work focused on how
>>>>>> to pass laws that would force AT&T et al to do that would be wasted. We
>>>>>> need to focus on better approaches to ensuring everyone can access the
>>>>>> Internet, as I outlined here:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> https://nonprofitquarterly.org/a-signal-failure-education-broadband-and-our-childrens-future/
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If you use the force of law to compel AT&T to invest in these areas,
>>>>>> you will make it less likely and more difficult for ISPs and business
>>>>>> models that will do a much better job of meeting those needs in the short
>>>>>> and long term. I do not think there is a short term argument in favor of
>>>>>> forcing AT&T to invest in certain areas as it will be years of court
>>>>>> battles that would have to be won prior to AT&T changing any investment
>>>>>> plans.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In disagreement, but solidarity,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Christopher Mitchell
>>>>>> Director, Community Broadband Networks
>>>>>> Institute for Local Self-Reliance
>>>>>>
>>>>>> MuniNetworks.org <http://www.muninetworks.org/>
>>>>>> @communitynets
>>>>>> 612-545-5185
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 2:25 PM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Hey folks,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The time to weigh in with the incoming Biden Administration on goals
>>>>>>> for the first year is *now*. Decisions about staffing federal
>>>>>>> agencies and setting their priorities are happening as we speak so that
>>>>>>> come January they can hit the ground running. Not a lot has been submitted
>>>>>>> to the transition team about what the FCC should do so I worked with some
>>>>>>> folks to come up with this letter that I present to you for your
>>>>>>> consideration.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The letter asks that the new Biden Administration appoint FCC
>>>>>>> Chair/Commissioners that will lead the agency to abolish digital redlining
>>>>>>> that is happening in our cities in year 1 and mandate the incumbents like
>>>>>>> AT&T to deploy fiber to the low-income people they have left behind with
>>>>>>> the goal of full deployment by the end of the first term. This would be
>>>>>>> done after reclassification of broadband as a Title II service by relying
>>>>>>> on the anti-discrimination authority the FCC has under Title II to address
>>>>>>> socio-economic discrimination in areas that are economic to fully serve.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It is just a fact that the large ISPs have refused to do so because
>>>>>>> they do not want to serve low income people for lower profits. Full
>>>>>>> deployment of fiber in densely populated cities is 100% profitable for the
>>>>>>> major ISPs like AT&T, but because we don't have an affirmative
>>>>>>> anti-redlining regulation on fiber, they are collecting profits that stem
>>>>>>> from discrimination with a disproportionate impact on people of color. This
>>>>>>> will carry serious ramifications going forward as those older slower
>>>>>>> networks will become more expensive to maintain, more expensive to
>>>>>>> subsidize access, and receive less and less investment by the incumbents
>>>>>>> who are purposefully letting them fall apart.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The new FCC can and should stop that from continuing forward after
>>>>>>> it reclassifies broadband as a Title II service.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> *If you wish to sign on to the attached letter, please click the
>>>>>>> link below. Deadline to sign on is November COB 23rd (Monday).*
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd3zD7OT-oCpk8m0azJlbkIYxouSJTZZPFZIa32KfwvWhLEqA/viewform?usp=sf_link
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> Ernesto Omar Falcon
>>>>>>> Senior Legislative Counsel
>>>>>>> Electronic Frontier Foundation
>>>>>>> Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
>>>>>>> Cell: 202 716 0770
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> CalFiber mailing list
>>>>>>> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
>>>>>>> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
>>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Ernesto Omar Falcon
>>>>>> Senior Legislative Counsel
>>>>>> Electronic Frontier Foundation
>>>>>> Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
>>>>>> Cell: 202 716 0770
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Help EFF Defend Freedom in the Digital Worldhttps://www.eff.org/donate
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> CalFiber mailing list
>>>>>> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
>>>>>> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Dane Jasper
>>>>> CEO
>>>>> 707-237-6205
>>>>> dane.jasper at sonic.com
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> CalFiber mailing list
>>>>> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
>>>>> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
>>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>
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