Tag: FCC

FCC votes 3 to 2 in favor of net neutrality

They pretty much had to do this. The public outcry was immense. In fact from what I read it was the largest amount of comments in favor that the FCC had ever gotten in any notice of proposed rule making.

The two most important things – the carriers like Comcast, Cox, Verizon et al will no longer be able to give paid prioritization to content providers on broadband networks. Nor will they be able to block providers.

Of course you know the broadband carriers are going to fight this all the way. It’ll be tied up in court for a while but I’ll tell you what their point of contention is going to be and it’s that they believe regulation will stifle innovation.

Let me dispel this myth – it’s not true. When Ma Bell was regulated to the hilt she still a) made a hell of a profit and b) innovated like crazy. Need I remind you that the transistor was invented by Bell Labs scientists, in addition to doing things like improving microwave systems due to the invention of the MASER and perfecting the LASER. Not to mention that just ahead the breakup of Ma Bell she had been on a rapid replacement cycle for Class 5 central offices and the long distance network switches. To the point of where the cost to carry a long distance call was in the hundredths of a cent per minute. Which is sort of why on your cell you don’t pay extra for long distance calls these days.

Ok Cox – another price hike?

This time the video service is going bananas. My bill has now gown from about $150 a month to $200 a month. I’m about ready to tell Cox to take a hike. What I’ll do is just do what I don’t want – go with Verizon for two years and then flip back to Cox for their two year discount, then back to Verizon, and so on.

But I suspect this is all in anticipation of the FCC reclassifying broadband as common carrier or Title II. Because here’s a little secret about ALL the services of Cox, Verizon, Comcast et al. Everything that comes in you house be it phone or video – it all goes over Internet Protocol or IP or more formally as TCP/IP.

So movement of the broadband pipe into that will impact both voice and video too. And the price for the data connection will fall a bit too. I mean Susan Crawford in her book “Captive Audience” said that the cost to provide high speed data is more like $2 or $3 per month. And the thing is the cable companies KNOW this.

So right now the cable providers are just going to rape their customers until such time as the regulatory clamps come down on them. Fuckers.

If you came here looking for my take on sexuality in the U.S.

Then you’ll be disappointed to learn I pulled the post down. It was in reference to a couple who taught their kids about sex by demonstrating it. I found that just slightly amusing because of this:

Now my thoughts on sex and sexuality in the U.S. We’re one of the more repressed societies out there. It’s probably due to the Puritan ethic at the founding of this country and the ludicrous religiosity of a good chunk of the citizens of the U.S. 

We’re all human and we all have the same hormones running through our bodies, some more or less than other of course. It’s all part of the genetic lottery. 

And so long as it occurs behind closed doors I really don’t have issue with what you do in your bedroom or even your home for that matter. 

And keep in mind, the U.S. might be repressed but there are interesting statistics coming out recently. The first is that the region with the  biggest consumption  of porn in the U.S. – it’s the south. All that Bible Belt morality falls to the wayside in the confines of ones home. Plus there’s the divorce conundrum; divorce is more prevalent in the south.

I could propose a theory on the divorce issue. In the south you also have what I term the honor society. Not in the good way of course, but that honor means you marry the girl you knocked up even though you’re 17 and have next to nothing. Big old stressor there so the high divorce rate isn’t too big of a surprise. 

And in the U.S. we actually censor movies. It’s not overt – but any movie with nudity is almost always women in full frontal, rarely men. Big double standard there. And then there are the ridiculous FCC rules over broadcast television. From the seven words you can’t say on TV or Radio to the Nippelgate incident. The latter of which did spawn the creation of YouTube. But back to the FCC – they use a thing called community standards. It’s supposed to be representative of the area you live in but it’s never been that. And groups like the Parents Television Council have learned how to game the system in their favor. That needs to change post haste! 

But there’s hope that as the net penetration in the U.S. increases so does the opportunity to learn about people that may not hold the same beliefs and values that you do. And over time, if rates of nones on religious surveys hold true, most of the U.S. will be faithless. Good. That’s one of the biggest issues right there – millennials run about 30% non-believers. And in certain regions of the U.S. like for example the Northeastern U.S. we non-believers are a good quarter of the general population. 

The Internet Must Go – the leaked video


Now my two cents on the matter. I’ve long been in the networking side of things and I can tell you – the cost these ISP’s are talking about is fairly trivial when it comes to upgrading service.

But net neutrality is very important. I think the FCC should clamp down on all the ISP’s and classify them as common carriers, subject to full regulation. And that includes NET NEUTRALITY.

We pay enough for what I consider to be sub-standard service. And it’s the wild, wild west when it comes to what the ISP’s do with regard to pricing that is really impeding us economically in the U.S.

And that in nineteen states, including North Carolina the big carriers like Verizon, at&t, Comcast and Cox have gotten laws passed that say a co-operative cannot build out their own network. That is ludicrous. First off in the section of North Carolina he visits in the video – they’re never going to build out there. But they’re trying to protect something that they have no intention to build out. Isn’t that ludicrous.

And I really think we should regulate the ISP’s. Make them put aside 20% of annual net income for infrastructure upgrades. If we did that there would be no end to the wonders we’d see when it comes to the net in the near and far term future. That’s all you need to do.

Of course if we really wanted real net neutrality we’d say all the last mile belongs to the people, not the companies and that all could compete to use that last mile. It’s what they do in Germany and France.

This was a first – denigration of amateurs with Extra class licenses

So over on Facebook I’m in the Amateur Radio groups. In one this guy makes the statement that the Extra class operators with code are some of the biggest rogue operators.

Code being morse code, as in proficiency at 20WPM. Since I got my extra 20 years ago when the code was required I have rights to gripe here.

At the very least I can operate in the CW only portions of the band. CW = Continuous Wave aka code aka Morse Code.

Most of what comes with having an Extra class license is the ability to become a Volunteer Examiner. I’m accredited with both the ARRL and with the W5YI VEC’s (Volunteer Exam Coordinators). I’ve done four sessions in twenty years and I’m thinking I really should do a few more.

But the anti-code snobbery is really interesting. Because I went the extra length I’m now cast in the group of poor operating procedure? Really? Wow.

MetroPCS says 4G service will return real soon now

So I got a voicemail and text message saying to bring my phone in again. Brought it in, they can’t do anything to it. But they do say Metro is well aware of the issue, that some 10 minutes before I got to the store they got an email that this issue impacts the Samsung Indulge SCH-R910 only. They also say they’re working diligently and to take the customers information and 4G service should return soon.

I have a sneaking suspicion the next notice I get will be that they’ll give me my choice of phone. Because since this only the Samsung Indulge SCH-R910 having the problem, then maybe they should just give us all the Samsung Exhibit which is roughly equivalent. Or a Galaxy S III or IV would do nicely too.

Because it’s now been a full week that I have had NO VOICE SERVICE whatsoever. Net service came on just long enough for me to get my contacts and about 85% of my apps back before it too crapped out.

I’m considering filing an FCC complaint. That usually lights fires under someones ass.

The FCC wonders why cell 911 service borked in Boston

Doh! I was perusing some wordpress blogs and came across this:


In his final meeting at the Commission, the agency’s top regulator said the FCC would press forward with an examination of why wireless phones failed to operate in the wake of the bombing. Such a result is unacceptable, he said, given how essential it is for the public to access 911 during an emergency. “We will not let up as long as there is more to do to harness the technology,” he said.


This is why I say, it’s time to stop putting the lawyers in charge of the FCC and put the engineers and technical people in charge.

I can tell you why – it’s simple. A cell site can only handle so many calls at a time. A lot of them use variants of TDMA and CDMA which both have contention issues. TDMA because the number of time slots is fixed by physical realities, CDMA by the amount of bandwidth.

Even the ‘wired’ telephone network which more and more is becoming VoIP has contention issues. In a real emergency the switch fabric can only handle so many calls at once. When everyone picks up the phone it ties up the switch. Of course some people would get through, modern phone systems have these things called Class of Service(COS)  and Class of Restriction (COR). Entities with high COS and low COR get priority.

And ‘fixing’ this problem is likely to cost billions or trillions of dollars. You see, the limitations were a design choice in telecom switching, not a problem per se.

So really – maybe we should pass a law where half of the sitting commissioners are not attorneys but engineers and technical people. You wouldn’t need to have hearings to figure this crap out.