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

Ernesto Falcon ernesto at eff.org
Fri Nov 20 09:56:50 PST 2020


In the CPUC proceeding EFF suggested that the interim step would be for 
AT&T to open up its fiber to WISPs to fill the gaps. But there has to be 
a rationale as to why they're legally required to share fiber.

On that lawless note, we are dealing with a company that paid the 
outgoing President's now in prison lawyer a lot of money for "advice."

On 11/20/2020 9:00 AM, Christopher Mitchell wrote:
> 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 <mailto: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 <mailto:steveblum at tellusventure.com>
>
>
>     On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 8:51 AM Harold Feld
>     <hfeld at publicknowledge.org <mailto: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
>         <http://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 <mailto: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
>             <mailto: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 <http://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 <mailto: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 <mailto: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/
>>                         <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
>>                         <mailto: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
>>                             <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
>>                             <mailto:CalFiber at lists.eff.org>
>>                             https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
>>                             <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 World
>                         https://www.eff.org/donate  <https://www.eff.org/donate>
>
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>
>
>                     -- 
>                     Dane Jasper
>                     CEO
>                     707-237-6205
>                     dane.jasper at sonic.com <mailto:dane.jasper at sonic.com>
>                     _______________________________________________
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-- 
Ernesto Omar Falcon
Senior Legislative Counsel
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
Cell: 202 716 0770

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