OVERNIGHT TECH: Competitiveness to win the day

THURSDAY—COMPETITIVENESS DRIVES THE DAY: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former House Science Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Rep. Susan David (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) will talk competitiveness with Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs at an ITIF event.

SENATE NOMINATION HEARING ON OSTP OFFICIAL: The Senate Commerce Committee holds a nomination hearing Thursday about Philip Coyle. Coyle was appointed by the White House to become associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He previously served as the office’s associate director for national security and international affairs.

LOOKING AHEAD—PRIVACY: The Senate Commerce Committee announced it will hold its second hearing on online privacy March 16. “Modern technology has connected people with the world and led to new innovations, new products and new experiences,” chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said in a statement. MORE: http://bit.ly/dJp8Yf.

NET-NEUTRALITY REPEAL CLEARS SUBPANEL: The members voted 15-8 along party lines.

NET-NEUTRALITY HEARING, TOP QUOTES: 

REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D-Calif.): "Republicans couldn't get a single major broadband provider to testify in support of their resolution."

AT&T'S JIM CICCONI on compromising with the FCC: "Chairman Genachowski...acted in good faith to find that fair middle ground." The order "provides a path for continued investment by removing much of the uncertainty this issue has caused."

REP. ED MARKEY (D-Mass.) "Mr. Cicconi, thank you for being here and walking a tightrope."

REP. ANNA ESHOO (D-Calif.) on certainty provided by the order: "To upset that apple cart would be fooling around with something we shouldn't be fooling around with."

REP. LEE TERRY (R-Neb.) on whether Congress has an anti-regulatory virus: "It isn't the flu. We're doing what the constitution states we should be doing."

REP. GREG WALDEN (R-Ore.), in response to an additional Dem who wanted to file an amendment: "Shocking." (That was tongue-in-cheek, after the markup had taken on a repetitive character.)

E&C CHAIRMAN FRED UPTON (R-Mich.) on preemptive regulatory strikes: "Would it be appropriate for the government to intervene because of the possibility of future harm without any analysis of a current problem or market power? I think not — not for Google, or anyone else."

ANALYST ANNA-MARIA KOVACS on the order: "To characterize it as a transfer of wealth from broadband Internet access providers to application providers is accurate."  

SMALL ISP WITNESS, Thomas DeReggi of RapidDSL & Wireless, on the rules: "We can all live with it."

BILL-SHOCK FACT CHECK:

BILL-SHOCK STUDY REVISITED: After WCAI members privately denounced its bill-shock study (http://bit.ly/fgUBmV) this week, the company is clarifying the message in the report.

WCAI CLARIFIES ITS BILL-SHOCK THESIS: "The WCAI study does not claim that higher cell phone bills save" consumers money.

FACTCHECK: The subject line of WCAI's press release announcing the study, "‘Bill Shock’ Study Shows Cellphone Plan Overages Save Consumers Up To $2.4BN Per Year."

MORE OF WCAI'S ARGUMENT: "According to the study, most consumers who exceed their current cell phone plan limits are better off financially if they pay extra charges occasionally rather than change to a more expensive plan to eliminate overages." 

CONSUMER'S UNION REACTS TO STUDY: From Parul Desai, "The study points out that, 'It is important to trust consumers to make rational economic decisions.' Bill-shock rules would do just that — once consumers know they are about to go over, they can determine whether they want to incur additional charges. Bill-shock rules go further in saving consumers money since they would have the necessary information to make the decision of whether they actually want to incur overage charges."