Andrew Schwartzman

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The Legal Underpinnings of The Prison Phone Call Debate

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

You may well have read about the Federal Communications Commission’s vote last August to cap rates for interstate phone calls placed by prison inmates. Understandably, most of the coverage of this controversy has focused upon what the FCC did, rather than the legal underpinnings of its actions. This post will address some of those legal questions.

Groups Want better Look at Verizon-SpectrumCo Marketing Agreements

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

In the Federal Communications Commission’s review of Verizon’s acquisition of spectrum currently owned by cable television companies, Verizon Wireless and the cable companies files copies of commercial agreements that provide the parties to those agreements with the ability to act as agents selling one another’s services. The companies claim that the agreements are neither anticompetitive nor relevant to this proceeding, claims that cannot be evaluated without reviewing the agreements themselves. The agreements are subject to the stringent confidentiality provisions of the protective orders issued by the FCC in this proceeding. But the companies filed them with redactions concerning pricing and compensation.

UPDATED: MAP Requests One More Round of Broadband Plan Comments

Recommendation:
3

The Media Access Project has requested the Federal Communications Commission allow the public an opportunity to submit comments addressing issues which have arisen during the course of the FCC's consideration of the National Broadband Plan docket.

Reform Universal Service for Recipients, Not Carriers, Groups Tell FCC

Recommendation:
3

The Media Access Project, representing a number of urban and rural public service organizations, filed comments on universal service reform and the goal of universal broadband. The groups urge the Federal Communications Commission to not consider Universal Service Fund (USF) issues solely from the perspective of carriers currently receiving USF disbursements. The interest that USF must serve, they argue, is not the parochial interest of any service provider or class of carriers, but the public interest.

Today's Quote 12.03.09

Recommendation:
4

"This is the most important media merger since Lucy married Desi."
-- Andrew Schwartzman, Media Access Project on Comcast-NBC

Consumer Organizations Request Improvements in FCC's Broadband Data Collection

Recommendation:
3

Free Press, the Consumer Federation of America, New America Foundation, the Media Access Project, Public Knowledge and Consumers Union have sent Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski a letter offering a set of proposals that reflect both the chairman's desire to run a "fact-based, data-driven agency" and their priorities for policies specific to open items related to broadband data.