While the ITU / UN take over of the Internet was being debunked, AT&T has been making moves of its own. They even have the help of the Astroturf groups as they try to dismantle the copper plant and reassert their Monopoly. (more about that at WSJ)
The FCC is working on two fronts. In one, the FCC formed a Task Force to monitor the transition to an all-IP, general purpose communications network. I say monitor because they won't do more than that.
Quick Aside: It's been 11 years since 9/11 and we still don't have a public safety network yet! That's the H block that they will be auctioning off next year. Whew! Really moved glacial fast there, folks!
I know Regulatory issues are boring - and perhaps you think I am chicken little about this. The truth is if the CLEC industry is threatened, then so is the Agent community. Plain and simple.
Without an innovative telecom industry, how does America stay competitive with the rest of the world? Our Broadband Economy kind of depends on, well, broadband.
On the other front, the FCC is in court over its Net Neutrality rules.
"A federal court is currently considering a case that could determine how much power the Federal Communications Commission has over the primary communications tool of the 21st century: the Internet.... The case, which is before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is Verizon's challenge to the FCC's controversial net neutrality rules," The Hill reports.
If the FCC loses the case, all IP will be unregulated. Can you say caps, metered, slow, pricey broadband? It's what the RBOC's hope for.
But does it really matter?
Everything is pretty deregulated now. It's the wild west in VoIP. Everyone with a 486DX computer carcass has slapped on Freeswicth or Asterisk to offer VoIP. It's actually beyond the FCC to enforce it all.
Let's face it - I have proclaimed this before - the FCC is not in enforcement. Sure, a nipple here, a CPNI fine there - piddling stuff when you consider the trillions in investment to form a Duopoly that have decided to NOT compete with each other on any front.
People ask why I dislike the RBOCs so much. This is why. They spend tens of millions each year on lobbying and litigating. For what? They still have majority stakes in all the pies they are in. They could be spending that money on customer care or better broadband. But No! Let's fight the FCC and the CLEC "threat". Not to mention how both of them treat Agents!
When all the information runs on the Internet and we count on 10 companies to supply that network, privacy (what little is left) will be removed from the dictionary.
Meanwhile, Sprint, flush with cash from Softbank, has acquired US Cellular customers and spectrum in the MidWest. Sprint is also in talks with DISH about partnering on DISH's spectrum, a political football at the moment. This just reeks of Clearwire Part II.
Now that T-Mobile is getting the iPhone (5S with NFC maybe?), and perhaps MetroPCS, will it catch up to Sprint? And even if it does, combined Sprint and T-Mobile with MetroPCS (56.4M+42.5M) - throw in Leap and Clearwire too - are smaller than VZW (with 108.7M).