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FCC nominations bring back 3-2 Democrat split

updated 10:00 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011

FCC picks Pai and Rosenworcel for FCC spots

The Obama administration late Monday nominated replacements for outgoing FCC commissioners Meredith Atwell Baker and Michael Copps that will keep the 3-2 split in favor of Democrats. Baker will be replaced by Ajit Varadaraj Pai, a Republican partner at law firm Jenner & Block as well as a veteran of the FCC general counsel. Copps will be replaced by Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, is currently Senator Rockefeller's telecom counsel and one of Copps' former aides.

The two have to be approved by the Senate, although the choice is likely to clear as it comes as close to a balance as the current five-commissioner structure would allow. It's unclear how Pai and Rosenworcel will vote when issues aren't party-oriented.

Losing Copps may be a blow for the Democrats and for those who share his attitude towards technology. He has regularly been pro-net neutrality and objects to the AT&T buyout of T-Mobile. The official is leaving only because his term expires at the end of 2011.

Positions are less likely to change with Baker's loss, as both her and fellow Republican Robert McDowell have largely clung to party lines and sided with corporate views. While her exit was likely legal, Baker drew controversy when she left to work for Comcast just a few months after she supported its merger with NBCUniversal, raising concerns of possible corruption. [image via Harvard University]



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jul 2006

    -2

    Not good....

    The public will need to be on their guard. In practice, "corporate views" tend to mean rule-making that keeps prices down. With the Democrats in control, demands from special interest groups are more likely to win. I've been dreading 'net neutrality' provisions that help movie pirates while driving up the cost of my Comcast service. It's already far more than I want to pay. I want broadband service that's actively legal and hostile to massive downloaders.

    There could also be more corruption since the current administration isn't just Democratic, but of that special form of politicized crony capitalism that exists in Chicago. It makes inside the Beltway corruption look like a Sunday School picnic.

    At the FCC that's been most obvious in efforts to favor a cellular data allocation to Obama-contributor LightSquared that's very close to GPS satellite frequencies. A military general has already gone public with efforts the Obama administration made to censor his warnings about what that could mean for civilian and aviation GPS.

    One illustration. Lightsquared wants to put cellular data on 1525-1559 MHz and 1626.5-1160.5 MHz, on both sides of GPS in the 1559-1610 MHz band. If your iPhone is trying to read data from a GPS satellite some 12,000 miles out and there's a Lightsquared tower a hundred yards and a few MHz away, who do you think will win?



  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: Not good....

    The public will need to be on their guard. In practice, "corporate views" tend to mean rule-making that keeps prices down. With the Democrats in control, demands from special interest groups are more likely to win. I've been dreading 'net neutrality' provisions that help movie pirates while driving up the cost of my Comcast service. It's already far more than I want to pay.

    There is nothing that prevents Comcast from offering limited internet for cheap prices. They don't do it. Why? Because they want you to spend loads of money. If cell carriers can get away with 2GB or 10GB plans, why not Comcast? Oh, right, then people might go "Wait, I don't need anything more than that, so let me get the $20 plan". Comcast and the others have everyone convinced they need the highest speeds possible and 'unlimited' service. When, in truth, they know most people probably use a slight fraction of that.

    And you do realize your comcast service is already way overpriced (on what you say), and NONE of that has anything to do with Net Neutrality. It's all the cost of business and profit for Comcast.

    BTW, did you notice how Comcast internet service costs a whole lot more if you just get it, vs. also getting TV service? Why is that? Oh, right, because they want to gouge their customers all they can.

    Oh, and I love people who'll whine because some company like Comcast or Verizon or ATT or whatever 'overcharges' for a service or feature ("But MMS costs them next to nothing, and they're charging us what???") but have no problem when they hear Apple raked in 6 billion in profits last quarter, or that their gross margins on an iPad are like 40%. There it's charging what people are willing to spend. But someone else does it? Oh, that's price gouging.

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