Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Does The FCC Want Competition In Telecommunication Or Not

First the FCC bans the merger of AT&T with T-Mobile because it will reduce competition in the telecommunication space; yet, now it bans LightSquared from moving forward despite the fact that it can increase competition and add to the economy. "A proposed wireless broadband network that would provide voice and Internet service using airwaves once reserved for satellite-telephone transmissions should be shelved because it interferes with GPS technology, the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday." Not having an engineering background, I can simply ask, is there not room for both?

As companies are pursing new streaming businesses, the demand on the current infrastructure is becoming stressed. Current broadband and mobile companies want to change the all-you-can-eat system to usage data billing, and costs for streaming will only steadily rise. Alternative distribution choices, like LightSquared, hope to keep the system in check. But without them, consumers face a limited choice of businesses to choose from for their wireless access.

Just yesterday, IAC introduced Aereo, a new service to stream broadcast television signals to multiple platforms and devices. While the fee for the service may be low, it still relies on a wireless service to enable the connection. And cable companies that provide broadband and cable will no doubt want to charge a ton more for broadband only customers. Wireless providers also want to charge us for access to their 4G sytream. No doubt bundled services from cable and telco will make their package pricing a better value than for customers buying services a la carte.

And without a competing national wireless provider, like LightSquared, how can they consumer build their best valued combination of distribution and pipeline providers. If the FCC truly wants to enhance competition in the wireless space, why aren't they doing more to enable it? Encourage competition or not, but make up your mind!

1 comment:

  1. Actually Lightsquared LTE did impact GPS signals. It was a major concern for the general aviation community. Lightsquared blamed the GPS manufacturers (all of them) for not making gps units that could resist interference from their LTE signals