Network management

Network management refers to the activities, methods, procedures, and tools that pertain to the operation, administration, maintenance, and provisioning of networked systems.

Why Is The Broadband Infrastructure Debate Dominated By Supply-Siders?

[Commentary] Because infrastructure supply-siders wield considerable influence in this debate, connectivity efforts have taken center stage, pushing inclusion efforts and research to the side. Yet, effective policy will require customized approaches that focus on specific places and communities, matching both demand and supply concerns. Researchers agree. Broadband policy needs to move towards a more nuanced view. Hopefully policy makers will adopt it.

[Will Rinehart is a tech policy analyst in DC]

Comcast could go dark in Tennessee amid pole attachment dispute

A Tennessee utility company has threatened to remove Comcast’s cables from its poles if the company doesn’t pay $176,000 the utility claims it's owed by June 28. "We've been going back and forth with them for going on three years now trying to get payment out of them," said Scott Sims, CFO for Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corp., to WREG-TV Memphis. The utility, which serves around 50,000 customers in Tipton County (TN) said it delivered a 30-day “final” notice to Comcast in late May, seeking a payment on a charges dating back to June 2014. It is unclear as to how many of the utility’s 50,000 customers also subscribe to Comcast services. For its part, Comcast is disputing the amount of the bill, claiming the utility double-charged it in 2015 after it allegedly found pole attachments Comcast hadn’t been paying for. Comcast said it requested evidence supporting the charges, but that it hasn’t been provided.

Below the Belt: A Review of Free Press and the Internet Association’s Investment Claims

One of the central arguments in the Net Neutrality debate is over whether the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial 2015 decision to reclassify broadband Internet access as a common carrier “telecommunications” service had a negative effect on network investment in 2016. The evidence is mounting that it did. Free Press believes the consistency in the data does not carry over to Broadband Service Providers’ (“BSPs”) advocacy, however. Comparing statements made by BSPs to the FCC and to Wall Street, Free Press contends that these apparent inconsistencies imply that the companies are lying to the Commission and to the public about the effect of Title II on investment. The Internet Association—a trade group of companies favoring aggressive Internet regulation—recently borrowed from Free Press’s report to produce an online video summarizing the Free Press narrative.

Ford subjects Free Press and the Internet Association’s anecdotal evidence to review, and finds that it is Free Press and the Internet Association—and not BSPs—who are not telling the whole story. Free Press and the Internet Association have presented a false narrative to both the FCC and the public at large, and that their evidence actually points to the harms of reclassification on investment incentives.

Cable lobby tries to stop state investigations into slow broadband speeds

Broadband industry lobby groups want to stop individual states from investigating the speed claims made by Internet service providers, and they are citing the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules in their effort to hinder the state-level actions. The industry attempt to undercut state investigations comes a few months after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Charter and its Time Warner Cable (TWC) subsidiary that claims the ISP defrauded and misled New Yorkers by promising Internet speeds the company knew it could not deliver.

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association and USTelecom, lobby groups for the cable and telecom industries, in May petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for a declaratory ruling that would help ISPs defend themselves against state-level investigations. The FCC should declare that advertisements of speeds "up to" a certain level of megabits per second are consistent with federal law as long as ISPs meet their disclosure obligations under the net neutrality rules, the groups said. There should be a national standard enforced by the FCC instead of a state-by-state "patchwork of inconsistent requirements," they argue.

Charter, NCTA, ACA urge FCC to bring utilities to heel on pole attachments

The cable industry’s top lobbying groups filed comments related to an April Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) intended to spur deployment of fiber wireline services. “Attachers face problems in obtaining access to poles, ducts, and conduit for two primary reasons. First, many utilities oppose mandated access to these facilities and have little, if any, incentive to provide access on a reasonable basis,” said the American Cable Association. “The second problem attachers face is that the Commission’s complaint process has proven to be of little value to attachers, especially smaller entities, in addressing all but the most serious and substantial attachment problems,” ACA added.

Verizon supports controversial rule that could help Google Fiber expand

Verizon is supporting a controversial rule that would help network operators deploy fiber much more quickly by giving them faster access to utility poles. So-called "One Touch Make Ready" rules let Internet service providers make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles themselves instead of having to wait for other providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires.

Some cities passed their own One Touch Make Ready rules in order to help Google Fiber compete against incumbents. When Nashville passed such a rule, it was sued by Comcast and AT&T. When Louisville passed a similar rule, it was sued by AT&T and Charter. Verizon outlined its support for One Touch Make Ready in a blog post and an FCC filing. Verizon notes that it is in a unique position as "one of the few broadband providers with experience both as a pole owner and as a wireline and wireless attacher to other people’s poles."

Liberals should acknowledge the science: Not all data is equal

[Commentary] The political left is very vocal in their criticism of science deniers. After all, the denial of reality ultimately harms humanity. Unfortunately, the left has a similar blind spot when it comes to regulation. Economic fundamentals also have a claim on reality, a claim we ignore at our peril. This blind spot is on stark display over so-called network neutrality rules. By forbidding Internet bandwidth pricing to reflect economic costs, they are engaging in a form of science denial. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai is absolutely right in his efforts to undo these delusional and ultimately harmful Obama-era rules.

[Barry Fagin is senior fellow in technology policy at the Independence Institute]

When You Think Infrastructure, Think FCC

[Commentary] Admittedly, “infrastructure” might not immediately come to mind when you think “Federal Communications Commission.” But maybe it should. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai often begins and ends his speeches talking about infrastructure investment. The analogy may be getting shop-worn, but in this day and age, who can doubt that reliable high-speed broadband networks are as crucial a component of the nation’s infrastructure as last century’s interstate highways.

Eliminating public utility-like regulation in the Restoring Internet Freedom rulemaking is an important part of the FCC’s focus on spurring greater investment by our nation’s internet service providers. And the pending proposals to encourage more investment in high-speed wireline and wireless broadband networks by eliminating, or at least curtailing, unnecessary or costly regulatory impediments have the same objective. Spurring private sector investment by internet service providers in high-speed broadband networks should be viewed as a key part of the nation’s infrastructure program. And the FCC should be viewed as a key infrastructure agency.

[Randolph J. May is president of the Free State Foundation]

Rep Collins (R-GA) Introduces Broadband Tax Break Bill

Rep Doug Collins (R-GA) has introduced a bill that would provide a tax incentive to companies to build out rural broadband, providing a House version of a Senate bill, with both backing up a proposal long-advocated by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. The Gigabit Opportunity (GO) Act would allow companies to defer capital gains taxes when they converted those gains into "long-time" investments into designated Gigabit Opportunity Zones. That means expensing investments on rural broadband buildouts on the "front end." The goal is to boost competition and speed investment, something Chairman Pai has said is an FCC priority for rural areas. Rep Collins said his bill would "dovetail" with the FCC's proposal to streamline broadband regulations, both wired and wireless. The bill is actually dovetailing with another dovetail, as it is a companion to one introduced in the Senate in May by Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

USDA Helps Expand Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Four States

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the US Department of Agriculture is awarding four loans to help provide broadband service in rural portions of California, Illinois, Iowa and Texas. USDA’s partnerships with more than 500 telecommunications providers across the country fund broadband infrastructure investments that are uniquely designed to meet the specific needs of each rural community. These projects connect residents, businesses, health care facilities and community facilities – including schools, libraries and first responders – to the internet. The $43.6 million announced today will add nearly 1,000 miles of fiber to fund broadband service.