July 26, 2008

More Shameful Days at the FCC

Greetings. The FCC's approval of the XM / Sirius merger with only trivial conditions required, in direct contradiction to their explicit license grant terms that the two services never merge, has again shown the Federal Communications Commission to be a paper tiger, a political pawn, and a shameful example of promoting absolute monopolies while ignoring genuine public interest considerations.

One hopes that the National Association of Broadcasters proceeds to take this decision to court, where there's at least a chance that some element of concern over the public's standing in this matter, as opposed only to the wallets of satellite radio stockholders, will have some chance of receiving fair play.

Simultaneously, word has come down that the Commission will shortly issue their official "condemnation" of Comcast's P2P blocking procedures, but in a manner that apparently won't even rise to the level of a "slap on the wrist" punishment -- just a bit of minor tongue lashing that most likely won't require Comcast to so much as dip into petty cash.

Such decisions by the Commission are a disgrace. They demonstrate again that the public should have no faith in the FCC to care about most public concerns within the official FCC purview, and why in particular it would be foolish to depend on the Commission to protect consumers against most predatory or intrusive ISP practices.

The ball is moving rapidly into Congress' court. Let's hope that the next Congress (and President) are not only up to the challenge of undoing much of the damage that the current FCC has already imposed, but also are ready and willing to help prevent a new series of shameful FCC episodes.


Posted by Lauren at July 26, 2008 12:24 AM | Permalink
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