It’s no wonder some Washington lawmakers – citing obnoxious phone users – are voicing concerns about letting airline passengers make phone calls during domestic flights. One Congressman went so far as to say that the “flying experience in the United States would be forever changed for the worse if voice calls are allowed on flights.”
The result this time is likely to be different, and for good reason: Our cell phones aren’t just cell phones anymore, they are connected computers. Thus, the practical effect of the FCC’s rule goes beyond banning talk to creating a de facto Internet blackout zone on airplanes.
Identity theft wreaks havoc on its victims’ lives—their credit and finances, their sense of security and privacy, and their ownership over who they are. In the United States, annual losses from identity fraud are estimated to total $20.9 billion according to the research firm Javelin Strategy. This is a Hurricane Sandy-sized hit to the economy every year.
Two weeks ago, the FCC announced that it plans to consider revisions to its rules on mobile wireless services onboard aircraft. As the leading trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of information and communications technology (ICT), TIA strongly supports the FCC’s efforts to overhaul these outdated regulations. We also strongly believe that much of the criticism of the FCC’s announcement has been based on inaccurate information
Our telephone system is evolving, and consumer protections must keep pace.
Incivility in political and policy discourse is poisonous in a democracy. It breeds cynicism, discourages civic participation, and blocks bipartisanship and compromise that would benefit all Americans.
Although the federal government has auctioned spectrum for mobile wireless services several times in the past, it has never attempted a “reverse auction” in which broadcast license-holders submit bids to voluntarily relinquish their spectrum rights in exchange for a share of the anticipated proceeds from a subsequent “forward auction” of the newly available spectrum for wireless broadband services.
It’s ironic that a free-market champion like the former Commissioner is such a fierce defender of a broadcast carriage system nurtured by government regulation.
Broadband is one of America’s great success stories. And Internet service providers are doing much of the story telling through the unprecedented levels of competition, innovation, investment, and growth that these companies are fueling for our economy at both the national and global level.
Would you invest untold hours and thousands if not millions of dollars in developing new property where the rules change every few years? Where savvy lobbying and PR campaigns stampede political leaders into reducing the value of your property in a matter of months?